The Gaffney lab has welcomed Dr. Joshua Garton to the team. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Gaffney lab, Josh will be working to establish the MPRA assay as a SOP used to identify functional variants that influence regulatory activity in immune cells relevant in SLE pathology.
Dr. Gaffney, Dr. Jaanam Gopalakrishnan, and the rest of the Gaffney research team would like to celebrate the publication of Jaanam’s research focused on the functional characterization of risk variants carried on the SLE associated UBE2L3 risk haplotype. Gopalakrishnan, et al. Arthritis Rheumatol 2021
We would like to welcome Jacob Lynn to the Gaffney Team. Jacob is a Ph.D. graduate student from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Congratulations, Jaanam!!! You did great on your thesis defense. Your hard work and dedication have paid off and you are now Dr. Jaanam Gopalakrishnan, Ph.D. in Pathology. J Gopalakrishnan Defense Announcement
We welcomed Dr. David Murphy to the Gaffney team in early 2021. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York, NY for his research on the effects of linked selection on genetic variation in the human genome. Dr. Murphy will be working closely with the rest of our team as we use high-throughput sequencing technologies to understand how genetic variation affects the epigenome and influences autoimmune disease pathology.
Dr. Gaffney was awarded a new 2-yr award from the Lupus Research Alliance (LRA) to use single-cell ATAC sequencing (sciATAC-seq) to characterize the epigenome and transcriptome features in human subjects with SLE in order to identify putative epigenome-transcriptome biomarker modules.
Our graduate student, Jaanam Gopalakrishnan, was recognized as an outstanding graduate student leader at the Annual 2020 OUHSC Student Award Ceremony. During her time as a graduate student, Jaanam not only dedicated her time to academics and outstanding research but has also served in many leadership roles for the graduate college, OUHSC campus, and our local community. As a testament to her dedication and hard work in the lab, she has received numerous scientific achievement awards. On April 20, 2020, Jaanam’s leadership skills and service were also recognized, and we couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments. We would like to congratulate Jaanam as the new recipient of the:
- 2020 O Ray Kling Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Leadership (OUHSC Graduate College)
- 2020 Joseph J Freddy Outstanding Overall Senior Leadership Award (OUHSC Student Affairs)
We are excited to announce our newest publication, which reveals important new insights into the functional complexity of the SLE-associated TNIP1 risk haplotype. Pasula, et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019.
Dr. Gaffney was awarded a new R01 research grant from the NIH to study how the genetic risk variants associated with SLE influence disease phenotype. Dr. Gaffney’s research team recently published a research manuscript highlighting how inherited genetic risk variants influence gene expression by altering how the chromatin folds in 3D space (Pelikan, et al. 2018). Chromatin folding is a tightly regulated process that ensures the interactions between specific non-coding regulatory regions of DNA and the genes that they control.
Our new research grant, titled “Epigenome-guided causal variant discovery and mechanisms”, will use these findings as a launching pad to identify genetic risk variants in SLE that influence the chromatin network and drive changes in the expression of genes involved in SLE pathogenesis.
Our graduate student, Jaanam Gopalakrishnan, continues to be recognized for the outstanding research she is doing in our lab to characterize the role of UBE2L3 in lupus. Last week (3/29/19), Jaanam was recognized as one of 10 selected finalists for the 2019 OUHSC Biomedical Engineering Symposium Poster Competition. Congratulations Jaanam!