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Farmington, CT, United States

UConn Health is the branch of the University of Connecticut that oversees clinical care, advanced biomedical research, and premier academics in medicine. The main branch is located in Farmington, in the US state of Connecticut. It includes a teaching hospital , the UConn School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, and Graduate School. Other smaller branches of UConn Health exist in Storrs and Canton. The university owns and operates many smaller clinics around the state that contain UConn Medical Group, UConn Health Partners, University Dentists and research facilities.UConn Health Center has about 5,000 employees, and is closely linked with the University of Connecticut's main campus in Storrs through several cross-campus academic projects. UConn Health Center is part of a plan introduced by Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, called "Bioscience Connecticut," and approved by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011, to stimulate the economy in the state of Connecticut. Wikipedia.

Weller S.K.,University of Connecticut Health Center
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology | Year: 2012

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) encodes seven proteins necessary for viral DNA synthesis-UL9 (origin-binding protein), ICP8 (single-strand DNA [ssDNA]-binding protein), UL30/UL42 (polymerase), and UL5/UL8/UL52 (helicase/primase). It is our intention to provide an up-to-date analysis of our understanding of the structures of these replication proteins and how they function during HSV replication. The potential roles of host repair and recombination proteins will also be discussed. Source

Medvedev A.E.,University of Connecticut Health Center
Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research | Year: 2013

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are germ-line-encoded innate immune sensors that recognize conserved microbial structures and host alarmins and signal expression of MHC proteins, costimulatory molecules, and inflammatory mediators by macrophages, neutrophils, dendritic cells, and other cell types. These processes activate immediate and early mechanisms of innate host defense, as well as initiate and orchestrate adaptive immune responses. Several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the TLR genes have been associated with altered susceptibility to infectious, inflammatory, and allergic diseases, and have been found to play a role in tumorigenesis. Critical advances in our understanding of innate immune functions and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have uncovered complex interactions of genetic polymorphisms within TLRs and environmental factors. However, conclusions obtained in the course of such analyses are restricted by limited power of many studies that is likely to explain controversial findings. Further, linkages to certain ethnic backgrounds, gender, and the presence of multigenic effects further complicate the interpretations of how the TLR SNPs affect immune responses. For many TLRs, the molecular mechanisms by which SNPs impact receptor functions remain unknown. In this review, I have summarized current knowledge about the TLR polymorphisms, their impact on TLR signaling, and associations with various inflammatory, infectious, allergic diseases and cancers, and discussed the directions of future scientific research. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Gunzl A.,University of Connecticut Health Center
Eukaryotic Cell | Year: 2010

Trypanosomatids are early-diverged, protistan parasites of which Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, and several species of Leishmania cause severe, often lethal diseases in humans. To better combat these parasites, their molecular biology has been a research focus for more than 3 decades, and the discovery of spliced leader (SL) trans splicing in T. brucei established a key difference between parasites and hosts. In SL trans splicing, the capped 5′-terminal region of the small nuclear SL RNA is fused onto the 5′ end of each mRNA. This process, in conjunction with polyadenylation, generates individual mRNAs from polycistronic precursors and creates functional mRNA by providing the cap structure. The reaction is a two-step transesterification process analogous to intron removal by cis splicing which, in trypanosomatids, is confined to very few pre-mRNAs. Both types of pre-mRNA splicing are carried out by the spliceosome, consisting of five U-rich small nuclear RNAs (U snRNAs) and, in humans, up to ~170 different proteins. While trypanosomatids possess a full set of spliceosomal U snRNAs, only a few splicing factors were identified by standard genome annotation because trypanosomatid amino acid sequences are among the most divergent in the eukaryotic kingdom. This review focuses on recent progress made in the characterization of the splicing factor repertoire in T. brucei, achieved by tandem affinity purification of splicing complexes, by systematic analysis of proteins containing RNA recognition motifs, and by mining the genome database. In addition, recent findings about functional differences between trypanosome and human pre-mRNA splicing factors are discussed. © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. Source

Stevens R.G.,University of Connecticut Health Center | Brainard G.C.,Thomas College | Blask D.E.,Tulane University | Lockley S.W.,Harvard University | Motta M.E.,Tufts Medical School
CA Cancer Journal for Clinicians | Year: 2014

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide, and there is only a limited explanation of why. Risk is highest in the most industrialized countries but also is rising rapidly in the developing world. Known risk factors account for only a portion of the incidence in the high-risk populations, and there has been considerable speculation and many false leads on other possibly major determinants of risk, such as dietary fat. A hallmark of industrialization is the increasing use of electricity to light the night, both within the home and without. It has only recently become clear that this evolutionarily new and, thereby, unnatural exposure can disrupt human circadian rhythmicity, of which three salient features are melatonin production, sleep, and the circadian clock. A convergence of research in cells, rodents, and humans suggests that the health consequences of circadian disruption may be substantial. An innovative experimental model has shown that light at night markedly increases the growth of human breast cancer xenografts in rats. In humans, the theory that light exposure at night increases breast cancer risk leads to specific predictions that are being tested epidemiologically: evidence has accumulated on risk in shift workers, risk in blind women, and the impact of sleep duration on risk. If electric light at night does explain a portion of the breast cancer burden, then there are practical interventions that can be implemented, including more selective use of light and the adoption of recent advances in lighting technology and application. CA Cancer J Clin 2014;64:207-218. © 2013 American Cancer Society. © 2013 American Cancer Society, Inc. Source

Chamberlain S.J.,University of Connecticut Health Center
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA | Year: 2013

The human chromosome 15q11-q13 region hosts a wide variety of coding and noncoding RNAs, and is also the site of nearly every imaginable type of RNA processing. To deepen the intrigue, the transcripts in the human chromosome 15q11-q13 region are subject to regulation by genomic imprinting, and some of these transcripts are imprinted in a tissue-specific manner. As the region is critically important for three human neurogenetic disorders, Angelman syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and 15q duplication syndrome, there is intense interest in understanding the types of RNA and RNA processing that occurs among the imprinted genes. This review summarizes what is known about the various RNAs within the imprinted domain, including a novel type of RNA that was only very recently identified. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

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