Randal J. Westrick
Assistant Professor, Ph.D.
Lab location: 304 DHE & 307 DHE
Lab phone (248) 370-4243
FAX (248) 370-4225
Degree: Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2009
BIO 340 Genetics
· BIO 341 Genetics Laboratory
Genetics of cardiovascular
Research in Professor
Westrick’s laboratory focuses on one of the most important medical issues
spanning the fields of cardiology, hematology/oncology and vascular biology:
understanding and preventing the development of pathologic intravascular blood
clot formation (also known as thrombosis).
in thrombosis are responsible for approximately 40% of deaths in the United
States. Although susceptibility
to thrombosis is estimated to be 60% heritable, at least two thirds of the
genetic risk for both venous and arterial thrombosis remains to be elucidated. Professor Westrick’s lab uses mouse models and
Next Gen sequencing approaches to identify and study the genetic determinants
of thrombosis susceptibility. This
includes whole genome high throughput screening approaches as well as the
development of new transgenic mice by conventional approaches or by TALENs (Transcription
Activator-like Effector Nucleases)/CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced
Short Palindromic Repeats)
The current focus is on characterizing
genes isolated from a sensitized whole genome ENU mutagenesis screen for
thrombosis in the mouse. His work recently
identified a missense mutation in Actr2
that acts as a thrombosis suppressor. Actr2 encodes a major component of the
ARP2/3 complex, which is involved in the control of cell shape and the
generation of lamellipodia that are central to platelet attachment and
spreading and suggests that alterations in platelet cytoskeletal function may
be protective in the setting of severe thrombosis. Mutants from 7 additional suppressors are also
being identified and studied.
Westrick RJ, Mohlke KL, Korepta LM, Yang AY, Zhu G,
Manning SL, Dougherty KM and Ginsburg D. (2010) A spontaneous Irs1 passenger
mutation linked to a gene- targeted SerpinB2 allele. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107: 16904-9.
Westrick RJ, Ginsburg D. (2009) Modifier genes for
disorders of thrombosis and hemostasis. Journal of Thrombosis and Hemostasis. 7
Suppl 1: 132-5.
Westrick RJ, Winn ME, Eitzman DT. (2007) Murine models of vascular thrombosis. Arteriosclerosis,
Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 27: 2079-93.