Lab Notes

Lab Notes

  1. Tumor inhibitor

    A compound that disrupts enzyme function has been found to inhibit the growth of breast, colon and other cancer cells in laboratory testing. The compound, known as UF010, blocks a crucial enzyme function that cancer cells need to replicate, said Daiqing Liao, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of anatomy and cell biology in the College of Medicine. Liao collaborated with scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and Reaction Biology Corp., who published their findings recently in the journal Chemistry & Biology. UF010 works by halting a biochemical reaction catalyzed by enzymes known as histone deacetylases. That changes the way cells modify proteins and express genetic information, which ultimately leads to tumor suppression, the researchers found. — Doug Bennett

  2. Health in Haiti

    Conditions such as cholera and malaria pose serious public health threats to Haiti’s population, and numerous programs have been put in place to help combat them. However, these public health efforts typically operate in disease-specific silos, potentially losing out on benefits that could be yielded from targeting multiple health threats at once. To determine whether integrating public health efforts would be a more efficient, effective and less costly way to eradicate these diseases in Haiti, researchers from the Emerging Pathogens Institute are preparing to launch pilot studies with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations program. The Gates-funded project is being led by scholar Kevin Bardosh, Ph.D., and Glenn Morris, M.D., Ph.D., director of the EPI. UF researchers have been involved with efforts to help Haiti for years, with a more profound focus there since the 2010 earthquake that devastated much of the region and paved the way for a cholera outbreak and other public health crises. In 2011, UF opened the UF Public Health Laboratory in Gressier, Haiti.  — April Frawley Lacey


  3. Treating sleep, weight in children

    Inadequate sleep and weight problems in children are closely linked, with an estimated 60 to 90 percent of children who have shortened or disrupted sleep being at increased risk for obesity. This fall, UF researchers will begin a study examining a non-medication sleep treatment program for 6- to 12-year-olds who are overweight. The study is one of the first of its kind to focus on sleep treatment for children who are overweight and their families. The UF Pediatric Sleep Study is designed to help children who are overweight and having sleep problems improve their sleep through behavioral strategies rather than medication, medical devices or surgical procedures. Parents and children will participate in individual treatment sessions with a trained sleep therapist to learn how to manage real-life problems and make healthy changes in their sleep patterns. There is no cost to families to participate. The study is led by David Janicke, Ph.D., a professor in the department of clinical and health psychology at the College of Public Health and Health Professions, and Christina McCrae, Ph.D., a professor and chair of the department of health psychology at the University of Missouri.  — Jill Pease