Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD)

Research News

March 27, 2015: 
A recent study devoted to chromosome break repair mechanism that has been published in Molecular Cell by Dr. Valentin Boerner and his colleagues has been highlighted in a preview article, which appeared in the journal Development CellDevelopmental Cell is a unique cross-disciplinary resource that brings together the fields of cell biology and developmental biology. Congratulations, Valentin!
March 04, 2015: 
GRHD faculty member Dr. Aimin Zhou has received the first-ever award from Dr. John C. Vitullo’s Pilot and Bridge Funding Program to support his research on type 1 diabetes using RNase L knockout mice model! Congratulations, Aimin!
March 03, 2015: 
An innovative approach for the combined diagnostics and treatment of cancer has been reported by Dr. Anthony J. Berdis and his colleagues in a recent publication in J. Biol. Chem, appeared on line on Feb 24, 2015. A metal-containing nucleoside designated Ir(III)-PPY nucleoside was shown to display both therapeutic and diagnostic properties against the human epidermal carcinoma cell line, KB3-1. Ir(III)-PPY nucleoside kills cancer cells by arresting cell cycle progression at G2/M. Fluorescent properties of the nucleoside at the same time allow quantitative measurements of the nucleoside uptake by cancer cells via monitoring the activity of a specific nucleoside transporter, hENT1. Nucleoside transporters are important players in optimizing the therapeutic response to chemotherapy and quantifying nucleoside transporter activity can help to predict therapeutic responses to nucleoside treatments. Congratulations, Tony!
For more than 100 years J. Biol. Chem. has been an essential resource for the international community of biomedical researchers. 
Feb 27, 2015: 
Dr. Xue-Long Sun's (and co-authors) article, entitled "Carbohydrate and Protein Immobilization onto Solid Surfaces by Sequential Diels-Alder and Azide-Alkyne Cycloadditions" that was published in Bioconjugate Chemistry (BC) in 2006, has been included in the special 25th Anniversary collection of the BC's best Articles and Communications. Congratulations, Xue-Long! Bioconjugate Chemistry publishes articles on all aspects of the joining of different molecular functions by chemical or biological means. This includes, among other topics, the conjugation of antibodies, nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates, or other biologically active molecules and their analogs with any molecular groups that add useful properties (drugs, radionuclides, toxins, fluorophores, photoprobes, inhibitors, enzymes, haptens, ligands, etc.).
Feb 13, 2015:
Congratulations to Dr. Anthony J. Berdis a member of GRHD and the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Red5 Pharmaceuticals LLC! Red5 Pharmaceuticals LLC has just received funding from the Ohio Third Frontier Foundation totaling $60,000 in the category Technology Validation and Start-up Fund for the research and development proposal, entitled “Diagnostic Kits to Predict Patient Response to Chemotherapy”The goal of the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-up Fund (TVSF) is to create greater economic growth in Ohio based on start-up companies that commercialize technologies developed by Ohio institutions of higher education and other Ohio not-for-profit research institutions. Dr. Berdis is a recipient of the first-ever CSU Faculty Innovation Fund (FIF) award.
Feb 10, 2015: 
Cleveland State University ranks among the top 20 percent of universities in the United States for research and development. According to the NSF's Higher Education Research and Development Survey, released last week, CSU is at No. 174 in the NSF’s national rankings, up from No. 183 in 2012; No. 193 in 2011; No. 220 in 2010; and No. 261 in 2009. R&D expenditures at CSU increased 371 percent over five years moving CSU almost 100 positions up in national ranknings. Importantly, CSU is at No. 94 in total and federally financed higher education R&D expenditures in the biological sciences!
Feb 5, 2015: 
A groundbreaking study devoted to chromosome break repair mechanism has been published in the journal Molecular Cell by Dr. Valentin Boerner and his colleagues. Chromosomes store all our genetic information.  The danger of losing genetic material makes chromosome breaks particularly hazardous. Not surprisingly, cells have powerful ways for repairing chromosome breaks. This response is orchestrated by master regulators called checkpoints. However, chromosome breaks are not always bad. During meiosis, cells gradually inflict a larger number of breaks on their chromosomes. These self-inflicted breaks are used to link maternal and paternal chromosomes and ensure their distribution in the meiosis cell division. A team led by Dr. Boerner has discovered a new, ultrasensitive checkpoint system that controls chromosome break repair, specifically, when there are only a few breaks per cell. Previously, it was assumed that two checkpoints called ATM and ATR perform overlapping functions during meiosis.  The researchers now report (in a new study published online on Feb 5th) that only ATM activates chromosome break repair when break levels are low. The fact that cells monitor break numbers in such a specific way has wide implications. This study provides novel insights into how cells battle harmful genome damage. Furthermore, outside the germ line, ATM and ATR are important guardians against cancer and this study may have wide implications for radiation therapy and cancer treatment. Congratulations, Valentin!
Molecular Cell is a companion to Cell, the leading journal of biology and the highest-impact journal in the world.
Jan 25, 2015: 
Dr. Xue-Long Sun's (and co-authors) article, entitled "Chemoenzymatic Bio-orthogonal Chemistry for Site-Specific Double Modification of Recombinant Thrombomodulin", that was published in  ChemBioChem in 2013, was one of the 25 most accessed articles in ChemBioChem over the last 12 monthsCongratulations, Xue-Long! ChemBioChem is a source for important primary and secondary information across the whole field of chemical biology, bio(in)organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Its mission is to integrate this wide and flourishing field, ranging from complex carbohydrates through peptides/proteins to DNA/RNA, from combinatorial chemistry and biology to signal transduction, from catalytic antibodies to protein folding, from bioinformatics and structural biology to drug design...
Oct 21, 2014: 
Crain’s Cleveland Business - the leading source of business news in Northeast Ohio has highlighted a recent NIH grant received by Dr. Sailen Barik. Congratulations, Sailen!
Oct 06, 2014: 
GRHD faculty member Dr. Aimin Zhou has received CSU's distinguished faculty award for researchCongratulations, Aimin!
Sept 30, 2014: 
GRHD faculty member Dr. Xue-Long Sun has been elected a Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) conferred by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS). Fellowship is open to physicians, scientists, nurses and other healthcare professionals with a major and productive interest in cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Congratulations, Xue-Long!
Sept 19, 2014: 
GRHD hosted the first GRHD – GRHD External Advisory Committee meeting. GRHD External Advisory Committee includes 7 world renowned scientists, experts in various life sciences fields. Follow the link to learn more about GRHD External Advisory committee. 
Sept 16, 2014: 
Congratulations to Dr. Sailen Barik for receiving a three-year R15 NIH grant award totaling $436,500. The grant is entitled "Structure and function of RNA viral interferon suppressor complexes". The long-term goal of this project is to decipher how RNA viruses suppress the host's innate immune response. The short-term goal is to glean a biochemical and mechanistic understanding how the two unique nonstructural (NS) proteins of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) operate to suppress both the induction and function of type I interferon (IFN), which enables the virus to cause severe lower respiratory tract infection and associated mortality.
Aug 18, 2014: 
A novel extraribosomal innate immune function of mammalian ribosomal protein L13a described by Drs Mazumder and Barik in their recent manuscript published by the Journal of Virology (JVI) and entitled “Extraribosomal Function of Ribosomal Protein L13a in Antiviral Defense” has been selected to be previewed by the journal in its featured spotlight . JVI spotlight highlights articles of significant interest selected from the issue by the Editors. JVI is the #1 cited journal in Virology. Congratulations, Barsan and Sailen!
Aug 1, 2014: 
Dr. Anton A. Komar has received a three-year R15 NIH grant award totaling $436,500. The grant is entitled "Understanding the impact of disease causing mutations in FIX" and will further help Dr. Komar to enhance his work on understanding the molecular mechanisms behind several disease causing synonymous mutations leading to Hemophilia B.
July 2, 2014:
Dr. Aaron Severson has been selected to present a talk at the prestigious Gordon Research Conference on Genomic Instability and “Mechanisms That Cause DNA Damage and Related Diseases” to be held in Hong Kong, China, July 6-11, 2014. The title of his talk "Establishing and Releasing Cohesion During Meiosis". Congratulations, Aaron!
The Gordon Research Conferences provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of frontier research in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, and their related technologies. For over 75 years, GRC's high-quality, cost-effective meetings have been recognized as the world's premier scientific conferences, where leading investigators from around the globe discuss their latest work and future challenges in a uniquely informal, interactive format.
June 5, 2014:
Congratulations to Dr. Anthony J. Berdis a member of GRHD and the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Red5 Pharmaceuticals LLC. Red5 Pharmaceuticals LLC has just received Northeast Ohio’s Innovation Fund Award totaling $25,000 that will help Dr. Berdis to develop novel diagnostic assays enabling a personalized medicine approach to chemotherapy of cancer patients. The Innovation Fund supports early-stage technology-based startups. On June 3, 2014 it has announced (in its latest funding round) five awards totaling $275,000. Three companies received $25,000 awards aimed at validating technologies and two received $100,000 awards meant to prove out business concepts.
May 28, 2014:
Congratulations to Dr. Xue-Long Sun, for winning a 2-year American Heart Association (AHA) Grant-in-Aid award for his proposal “Recombinant Thrombomodulin Glycoconjugate and Its Antithrombotic Activity.” Dr. Sun is an expert in glyco-affinity ligand engineering and targeted drug delivery applications. Dr. Sun is a member of GRHD faculty since 2009. He joined CSU in 2006 after completing his training at Emory University School of Medicine.
May 15, 2014:
Congratulations to Dr. Valentin Börner, for winning the Faculty Research and Development (FRD) award for his proposal "Role of the proteasome in chromosome stability." Dr. Börner is a member of GRHD faculty since GRHD inception in 2008. He joined CSU in 2005 after completing post-doctoral training at Harvard University. 
May 5, 2014:
GRHD receives donations from Fisher Scientific and its vendors to support GRHD Graduate Progress Report Seminar Series. We thank Christina Camuendo (Fisher Sci), Charlie Fink (Fisher Safety), Tricia Tortoreti (Thermo Sci Lab Equipment), Kholiswa Laird (Thermo Sci Manual Liquid Handling), Scott Wisniewski (Thermo Sci Nalge Nunc), Bob Myers (Thermo Sci Chromagraphy Consumables), Joshua Schaefer (Mettler Toledo), Eric Tepe (Sartorius), Christopher Yarima (Millipore Water), Bikram Chakraborty (Biotek), Michael Hutsell (GE Healthcare) for their support.
April 30, 2014:
GRHD External Advisory Committee has been revised to include four new renowned scientists: Drs. William M. Baldwin M.D., Ph.D., Stephen J. Benkovic, Ph.D., Carlos J. Bustamante, Ph.D. and Harry F. Noller, Ph.D. GRHD faculty cordially welcome new advisory committee members and appreciate their kind agreement and willingness to serve on the GRHD advisory board.
April 15, 2014:
Congratulations to Dr. Michael Kalafatis, who recently received a three-year unrestricted grant from the Parker Foundation in the amount of $1.2 million to support his innovative research on cancer therapy. Dr. Kalafatis is a co-founding member of GRHD and member of the GRHD planning committee.
April 15, 2014:
Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Resnick, for wining the second Faculty Innovation Fund (FIF) award for his proposal, "Microperfusion Tissue Interrogator: platform technology development." Dr. Resnick joined GRHD faculty in 2011. He is currently the only GRHD faculty representing Department of Physics at CSU. 
April 3, 2014:
A pledge of $50,000 was made by Dr. John C. Vitullo to support pilot and innovative research projects at the Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD). Dr. Vitullo was the COSHP college's 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. He holds a master's degree from Youngstown State University and a Ph.D. (1984) in Regulatory Biology from Cleveland State University. He is chief executive officer and co-founder of Omega Laboratories, Inc., one of only a few hair drug-testing laboratories in the world.
March 17, 2014:
Congratulations to Dr. Girish Shukla, who recently received notification of funding from the Department of Defense (DoD) for two grant proposals for his research on prostate cancer. Dr. Shukla's grants are Exploration - Hypothesis Development Awards from the DoD's Prostate Cancer Research Program. In addition to Dr. Shukla, these grants were awarded to faculty from distinguished research universities, including Stanford University, UCLA, and George Washington University. Furthermore, CSU was the only university with two funded awards.
January 31, 2014:
Congratulation to Dr. Anthony Berdis, who has earned the distinction of having received CSU’s first-ever Faculty Innovation Fund (FIF) award for his proposal “Diagnostic Kits to Quantify Pro-Mutagenic Replication in Hyperproliferative Diseases.” Dr. Berdis joined GRHD faculty in 2012. His research spans several fields ranging from chemistry to biochemistry and cancer pharmacology. 
January 8, 2014:
Dr. Anton A. Komar has been appointed new director of the Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD). Dr. Komar joined the CSU faculty in 2005. He is a co-founding member of GRHD.
June 15, 2013: 
Two Ph.D. students of GRHD member Dr. Michael Kalafatis presented their recent discoveries on the blood coagulation Factor V in major national and international conferences. Joesph R. Wiencek has been selected by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry for the highly competitive $2,500 travel award to attend the 2013 AACC Annual Meeting in Houston, TX. Joe's work has also been selected for an oral presentation at the XXIV Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from June 29 to July 4, 2013. Joe has also another eposter presentation at the same meeting. Mahesheema Na, another PhD student in Dr. Kalafatis' group, is also presenting two studies in the same meeting: one oral presentation and an eposter. These studies offer important insights into the function of Factor V, deficiency in which leads to predisposition for hemorrhage, while some mutations (notably, Factor V Leiden) predispose for thrombosis. Our congratulations to Joe, Sheema and Dr. Kalafatis.
June 3, 2013: 
Sujata Jha, a PhD student of Dr. Anton A. Komar, has been selected for oral presentation of her research at the EMBO conference, 'The Biology of Molecular Chaperones', 17 – 22 May 2013, Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy. Our congratulations to Sujata, and to Dr. Komar! The Conference home page is here:
May 29, 2013: 
Congratulations to GRHD member Dr. Anton A. Komar for winning a 2-year American Heart Association Grant-in-Aid award on "Comparative study of nonsynonymous and synonymous mutations causing hemophilia B".
Dr. Komar is a renowned expert in multiple aspects of translational regulation, including co-translational protein folding and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
Janunary 28 2013: 
Congratulations to GRHD member Dr. Bin Su for receiving an NIH AREA award (R15) titled "Drug development of orally active anti-trypanosomiasis agents".
Dr. Su is a medicinal chemist focusing on anti-cancer and anti-parasite drug development. African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, is a vector-borne parasitic disease caused by Trypanosoma brucei. It threatens over 60 million people in 36 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. There are no effective vaccines and satisfactory drugs for its treatment. Dr. Su and T. brucei biologist Dr. Bibo Li will work together to develop new small molecule drugs to treat this neglected disease.
November 21, 2012: 
Congratulations to GRHD members for recently receiving a Federal grant (NIH/NCRR) titled "Nikon A1RSI Confocal Microscope" (PI: Dr. Sailen Barik; Major Users: Drs. Bibo Li, Barsanjit Mazumder, Xue-Long Sun, Roman Kondratov).
This high-power microscope, capable of capturing still and video images in fully programmed mode, will allow studies of cellular structures and their behavior in great detail and clarity.
September 23, 2011: 
Dr. Roman Kondratov's funding success and his breakthrough research have been featured in Crain's Cleveland Business
The Cleveland State researcher won a $1.5 million grant to study the aging process. Dr. Kondratov will examine the effects of circadian clocks on aging under dietary restriction. Circadian rhythms are 24-hour internal cycles found in many living organisms. Read more »
September 19, 2011: 
Congratulations to GRHD member Dr. Valentin Boerner for winning a three-year R15 Federal grant (NIH) to study "Control of pairing and recombination during meiosis".
Dr. Boerner is an expert in the mechanism of chromosome segregation during gamete formation, a key factor for reproductive health in humans.
September 15, 2011: 
Congratulations to GRHD member Dr. Roman Kondratov for winning a $1.4 million 5-year Federal (NIH) R01 grant to study "Circadian clock and dietary restriction".
Dietary restriction is powerful intervention that delays the development of age-associated pathologies and increases lifespan in many organisms including humans. Dr. Kondratov's laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms of dietary restriction and its interaction with the circadian clock.
September 14, 2011: 
Congratulations to our newest GRHD member, Dr. Andrew Resnick, for receiving an NIH AREA award (R15) titled "Fluid flow may be an environmental modifier of ADPKD disease progression".
Research in his project will shed light on the autosomal dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease, which affects 1 in 1000 Americans, and for which no cure currently exists (
August 24, 2011: 
Congratulations to GRHD member Dr. Aimin Zhou for winning a two-year R15 Federal grant (NIH) to study "The role of RNase L in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases".
Dr. Zhou is an expert in RNase L, an important player in our body's defence against viruses, inflammation, and cancer. In the recent past, three other GRHD members, Drs. Mazumder, Sun and Li, also won large NIH grants. Together, these highly competitive awards recognize and consolidate GRHD's overall mission to understand and cure human ailments through modern biomedical research.
February 16, 2011:
Congratulations to GRHD member Dr. Bibo Li, recent recipient of a major NIH grant!
Kudos and congratulations to our GRHD member, Dr. Bibo Li, for recently receiving a five-year NIH award totaling $1.8 million to continue her groundbreaking studies to understand how the Trypanosome parasite changes its surface proteins, which allows it to evade human immunity and cause African Trypanosomiasis, a fatal disease if left untreated. Dr. Li's success in this highly competitive field reflects the outstanding quality of research at GRHD. Of note, the 12 GRHD scientists, including Dr. Li, have collectively attracted roughly $11 million of external funding from various sources since 2000 to support cutting-edge biomedical research.
October 25, 2010: 
October 8, 2008: