Fozia Mir , PhD
Research Assistant Professor
The focus of my research is to investigate the role of the thromboxane A2 receptor (TPR) - a ubiquitously expressed G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), in modulating the development and function of oligodendrocytes (OLGs). OLGs are the sole myelinating cells of the central nervous system. My work aims at understanding the role played by TPRs in inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases (like Multiple sclerosis and AD) and to evaluate the therapeutic potential of this signaling under conditions of disease and stress. Interestingly, my work has also revealed a novel self-contained nuclear signaling pathway for TPRs which modulates myelin gene transcription as well as increases cell survival, thus defining a novel paradigm for selective modulation of GPCR/G-protein signaling (Molecular Cellular Biology, 2008). We have generated a mouse model to achieve inducible, OLG-specific, knockdown of TPRs and are using this model in conjunction with pharmacological, biochemical and immunological approaches to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of TPRs in normal development and during disease. I am also interested in investigating the biological role and signaling mechanisms of a related class of eicosanoids – isoprostanes, which are the bio-markers for in vivo oxidative stress and are believed to be involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.