Courtney Andersen studies the role of estrogen receptor-alpha in ovarian cancer.
Chris Barnes investigates the structural details by which transcription factor activity regulates RNA Polymerase II during the universal process of eukaryotic gene expression.
Soma Jobaggy studies nitrated fatty acid pharmacology and the antioxidant response in hypertensive end-organ damage.
Allison Nagle studies growth factor receptor signaling in breast cancer.
Jonathan M Beckel

Research Instructor, Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Univ. of Pittsburgh


Graduated: 2009
Expression and Function of Urothelial Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

After graduation, in their own words:

After graduating from Pitt I took a postdoctoral position at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands with Professor Gert Holstege, who had asked me to join his newly formed Center for Uroneurology.  Our project was going to be to look at the role of the periaqueductal grey in the control of micturition.  Unfortunately, our use of a feline model met with strong opposition in the community and following some rather intense protests, the University decided to withdraw support for the project. 

So, after a year, I left the Netherlands and headed back to the States.  At the Neuroscience meeting that year I was contacted by Dr. Claire Mitchell from UPenn, who was interested in my thesis work looking at stretch activated ATP release from urothelial cells.  She was looking at the same thing in the eye, as a possible etiology for glaucoma.  She had some collaborators who were also studying the bladder, and was interested in me joining her lab in order to examine ATP in both the bladder and the eye.  

 I joined her lab in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology about 2 years ago.  I work about 80% of my time on her glaucoma project while she pays for me to continue my bladder studies at a 20% effort.  I’m currently applying for funding and I’m hopefully back on track for my goal of getting my own lab as a faculty member. 


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Program Achievements

Molecular Pharmacology Graduate Program Ranked #2 in National Research Council Rankings

Outcomes:  Time to disseration, last five graduating classes:  4.5 years, Completion Rate: 84.8%

Ranked #9 in National of Institute of Health funding of departments of Pharmacology

Ranked in the top 15 in funding for twenty four consecutive years

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