The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering welcomes Dr. Jeffrey Twiss as a part of the ChBE 2018 Fall Seminar series. Dr. Twiss is the SmartState Endowed Chair in Childhood Neurotherapeutics and a Professor at the University of South Carolina where he is the Chair of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Twiss was in the Medical Scientist Training program at the Medical University of South Carolina where he received his M.D. and Ph.D. He subsequently did clinical training in Neuropathology and post-doctoral fellowship in Neurobiology at Stanford University. He was recruited back to South Carolina in 2013 from Drexel University. His lab is a leader in the field of axonal RNA transport and translation.
His seminar, titled “Leveraging Molecular Knowledge of Growth Mechanisms for Neural Repair Strategies,” will take place on Thursday, October 20, 2018 from 2:00-3:00pm in Earle 100.
Neurons have axons that extend more than a meter in humans, and are used to connect neurons to each other and to target tissues like muscle. These axons are needed for long-range communication in the nervous system. For spinal cord injury and peripheral nerve injury, movement and sensations are lost when axons are severed and there is a pressing need to develop therapies to facilitate axon regeneration. The Twiss lab’s work focuses on molecular mechanisms of axon growth, and particularly how localized protein synthesis contributes to axon growth. Neurons regulate mRNA transport into and translation within axons through RNA-protein interactions. In studies focused on these RNA-protein interactions, Dr. Twiss will present recently uncovered mechanisms of mRNA storage in axons that are being targeted as a strategy to accelerate axon regeneration.