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Biology Professor Named 2012 Research Frontier Trailblazer
May 8 2012
Dr. Anna Malkova, associate professor of biology, recently was awarded the Research Frontiers Trailblazer Award, which recognizes outstanding IUPUI researchers who are showing great promise in becoming nationally and internationally known for their accomplishments in advancing the frontiers of knowledge.
Specifically, the award is for outstanding research and scholarly activity accomplishments by an Associate Professor, within the first three years of promotion or appointment in the given rank.
Since joining the faculty at IUPUI in 2003, Dr. Malkova has been advancing research in the area of fundamental mechanisms of DNA repair – mechanisms that are crucial to the maintenance of normal genome integrity. Failure to repair breaks in DNA strands (particularly double-strand breaks) contributes to cancer and a number of genetic diseases. Her laboratory has found new ways to use yeast as a model system to study these mechanisms; studies that have given profound new insight into this important process. This system elegantly exploits the power of yeast genetics to uncover the details of the molecular mechanisms involved in this process. This has made her an acknowledged leader in this area of research.
Other winners announced at the IUPUI Research Day on April 13th and represented research on the care of older adults with dementia, DNA repair mechanisms, the genomics and phenomics of psychiatric disorders, and skeletal biology in areas related to mechanobiology. Associate Professor of Medicine Malaz Boustani, Associate Professor of Psychiatry Alexander Niculescu, and Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology Alexander Robling each were recognized for their trailblazing research.
At a relatively early stage in his researcher and scholastic career, Dr. Boustani has established himself as an exceptionally talented scientist with acknowledged expertise in studies targeting care of older adults with dementia. He has become a leading authority in the field of population-based screening for cognitive deficits, and is frequently consulted by various federal and non-federal agencies/organizations to help establish clinical guidelines and an agenda for future research in dementia.
Dr. Niculescu joined the IU School of Medicine in 2004 and has since made considerable contributions in the area of Genomics and Phenomics of Psychiatric Disorders research. With a particularly broad interest in genetic and clinical co-morbidities and overlap between disorders, his research is offering new and exciting proof of principle for an approach to identify blood biomarkers for disease state. Such biomarkers can serve as a basis for objective clinical laboratory tests.
Dr. Robling is a young investigator who, even this early in his career, has had a profound impact on skeletal biology in areas related to mechanobiology, Wnt signaling in bone, and the interaction of the mechanical and biological environments in skeletal adaptation. His work has evolved into a completely independent direction that ties the Wnt pathway to mechanotransduction. In his early work, he devised several very clever experiments that were used to determine the optimum way that loading should be applied to the skeleton to maximize that anabolic potential.