Valance WashingtonValance Washington, Ph.D.
Member, OUWB Eye Research Center

Washington's postdoctoral training was completed at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick Maryland, where he studied the role of the innate immune system and its role in cancer.

It was during Washington's postdoctoral studies where platelet receptor TREM-Like transcript – 1 (TLT-1) was discovered. The research team initiated the initial studies and characterization on TLT-1 and have the most extensive collection of resources for TLT-1 studies. In his current laboratory, his team is studying platelet function in cardiovascular disease, lung function, and cancer. In the most recent series of studies initiated in his laboratory, Washington's team delineated a role for TLT-1 in immune derived bleeding and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

The team can demonstrate that TLT-1 mediates smooth transition of neutrophils from the vessel into the tissue. They have renewed their R01 grant. They have defined a role for TLT-1 in regulation of fibrinogen deposition, as a prognostic factor for acute respiratory distress syndrome. His team is finishing  studies on TLT-1’s  role in cardiovascular disease. Their characterization of soluble TLT-1 (sTLT-1) in patients with peripheral artery disease suggests that TLT-1 may accelerate the progression of atherosclerosis.

Following up on findings using treml1 mouse, the researchers found that TLT-1 null mice have smaller lesions than littermate controls but have higher cholesterol and become obese. These studies were all completed in Washington's lab at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). Also, while a professor at UPR, Washington has taught grant writing to new professors and participated in the NIH’s Strategic Empowerment Tailored for Heath Equity initiative as a grant writing coach. His experience in Puerto Rico gives him a unique perspective on the challenges any university faces in the upcoming decade.