Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Lan Jiang is awarded $324,338 NIH grantAssistant Professor Lan Jiang, of the Department of Biological Sciences, has been awarded a $324,338 grant from the National Institutes of Health (R15GM100369). The 3-year project, titled The Drosophila Expansion Gene Controls Tracheal Tube Diameter, began April 1.
Tube size is critical for the function of tubular organs such as the lungs, the blood vessels, and the kidney. Aberrant tube size during development can lead to devastating illnesses such as polycystic kidney disease. Jiang’s goal is to understand the fundamental mechanisms regulating tube size. She uses the fruit fly (Drosophila) trachea as a model system for her experiments. Her specific aims are to identify the cellular processes that are regulated by the protein Expansion, and to determine how Expansion regulates Epithelial Growth Factor signaling to control tube size.
Since many developmental mechanisms are well conserved between invertebrates and vertebrates, the results of Jiang’s research will contribute to our understanding of the tubular organogenesis in vertebrates, and potentially lead to new avenues to treat human disease caused by tube-size defects.
To learn more about Jiang’s research, see the video about her work in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).