Science Friday Talks

KCU-Kansas City

Get up-to-the-minute research discoveries on hot topics, such as Alzheimer’s disease, biological warfare and cancer.

Science Friday Talks

KCU-Kansas City

Get up-to-the-minute research discoveries on hot topics, such as Alzheimer’s disease, biological warfare and cancer.

Tissues in Motion: The Dynamics of Early Cardiac Morphogenesis

Brenda Rongish, PhD
Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, KU Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo., Associate Director of the MDPHD Physician Scientist Training Program

Friday, Oct. 13 2017
Noon-1 p.m.
Classroom B Annex, KCU Campus
1750 Independence Avenue
Kansas City, Mo.

Talk Summary - The focus of her current research is early avian cardiovascular morphogenesis. Her group uses time-lapse imaging and cell/ECM labeling approaches to follow cardiac progenitor cells (myocardial and endocardial) through space and over time to determine how their behavior and motility influence formation of the tubular heart at pre-circulation stages.
She is also interested in the relative roles of migration versus collective cellular (tissue) motion in cardiac development. One area of current investigation relates to the role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) signaling during cardiovascular development. Gross cardiac phenotypes result from experimental manipulation of VEGF signaling, and indicate the importance of VEGF in both myocardial and endocardial tube formation.
Circulation stage defects have been observed following perturbed VEGF signaling, which are similar to those observed in humans. A recent focus is on the role of scaRNAs in cardiovascular morphogenesis, through a collaboration with Dr. Doug Bittel at CMH. scaRNAs are a subset of small nucleolar RNAs that are essential for the biochemical modification and maturation of small nuclear RNAs (spliceosomal RNAs).
scaRNAs appear to have a role in spliceosomal stability and function and there is a relationship between altered scaRNAs and the congenital heart defect, Tetralogy of Fallot. The quail embryo serves as a model in which to knockdown scaRNAs and observe dynamic changes in cellular behavior, tissue formation and organogenesis.

Please contact Gwen Dodd in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at gdodd@kcumb.edu with questions.