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Beckman Director's Seminar: Sekaran and Wozniak

Beckman postdoctoral fellows Nathiya Vaithiyalingam Chandra Sekaran and Marcin Wozniak will present their research at the Beckman Institute Director's Seminar at noon on Thursday, Dec. 1 in 1005 Beckman and on Zoom. Lunch will be provided to in-person attendees. Registration is required to attend.
Published on Nov. 21, 2022

Nathiya Vaithiyalingam Chandra Sekaran, a current Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, and Marcin Wozniak, a recent Carle Foundation Hospital–Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, will each present their research at the Beckman Institute Director's Seminar at noon on Thursday, Dec. 1 in 1005 Beckman and on Zoom. Lunch will be provided to in-person attendees.

Registration is required to attend.

"Cerebral microvascular changes in aging and Alzheimer's disease visualized using ultrasound localization microscopy"

Nathiya Vaithiyalingam ChandrasekaranNathiya Vaithiyalingam Chandrasekaran

The aging population is more vulnerable to cognitive impairment and dementia. Increasing evidence has suggested a link between cerebrovascular disease and the cognitive impairment of aging patients and patients who have Alzheimer’s disease. However, cerebrovascular disease and neurodegenerative disease share several risk factors and neuropathological overlaps, making it unclear whether cerebrovascular deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease pathology have additive effects on cognition or if cerebrovascular impairment merely exacerbates the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease. The study of the impact of cerebrovascular disease on aging brain and Alzheimer’s disease pathology is complicated by the need to image deep-brain structures with high vascular fidelity. In this seminar, Nathiya will present her recent work on ultrasound localization microscopy on the aging and mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, revealing microvascular scale reconstructions throughout the whole brain depth, to visualize and quantify vascular impairments associated with Alzheimer's disease. This study will reveal a design method for exposing the brain for imaging global vascular changes and quantifications of deep brain structures with a high local resolution along hierarchical analysis of individual vessels.

Nathiya Vaithiyalingam Chandra Sekaran earned her B.S. in 2006, and her M.S. in medical biochemistry and M.Phil. from the University of Madras, India in 2009. She earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Madras, Tamilnadu, India, in 2015. In 2020, she joined the institute as a Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, where she collaborates with Dr. Dan Llano and Professor Pengfei Song to study aging-related auditory network function, particularly as it relates to its changes in network properties in the auditory cortex and thalamus. Her project, “Super-resolution Ultrasound Microscopy to Image the Aging Rodent Brain," applies brain imaging to a mouse model and to ultimately understand the brain's microvasculature.

"RAGE receptor: an emerging target in translational research"

Marcin WozniakMarcin Wozniak

First characterized in 1992, the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End-products, or RAGE receptor, represents the immunoglobulin protein family of cell surface molecules. Since its discovery, RAGE has fascinated scientists worldwide due to its distinct ligand repertory and its connection with many pathophysiological phenomena associated with inflammation, including cancer. Studies have shown elevated RAGE expression in tissues in many pathologies and linked it with an augmented concentration of RAGE ligands: advanced glycation end-products, or AGEs. In his presentation, Wozniak will discuss developing novel targeted imaging strategies to assess RAGE receptors in animal models of disease, standardization of small animal protocols, and validation of novel radiotracers. His presentation will include a successfully evaluated, dendrimer-based Cu64-labeled RAGE-targeted probe as a PET imaging agent, their applicability to non-invasively assess both spatial and temporal changes of RAGE expression in the murine model of hindlimb ischemia, and prostate cancer. He will also discuss a new class of RAGE-targeted probes based on the RAGE antagonistic peptide, or RAP, for correlative molecular PET-optical imaging that he and Professor Wawrzyniec Dobrucki’s group are currently characterizing.

Marcin Wozniak earned his Ph.D. in pharmacy from the Department of Medical Laboratory Diagnostics at the Medical University of Gdansk, Poland in 2019. Prior to this, he spent 2015-2019 as an Instructor with the Department of Medical Laboratory Diagnostics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Gdansk. After receiving his Ph.D., he joined the Beckman Institute as a Carle Foundation Hospital-Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. Currently, he is a postdoctoral research associate at the Cytometry to Omics Facility, Carver Biotechnology Center, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His professional interests include developing novel targeted imaging strategies to assess myocardial and peripheral angiogenesis, remodeling, and atherosclerosis in animal models of diseases including diabetes and cancer; standardization of small animal protocols; and validation of novel radiotracers. The principal objective of his studies is the construction of multimodal nanoparticles for theranostic applications, including simultaneous drug administration and imaging of pathologically altered cells.

In this article

  • Marcin Wozniak
    Marcin Wozniak's directory photo.
  • Nathiya Vaithiyalingam Chandra Sekaran
    Nathiya Vaithiyalingam Chandra Sekaran's directory photo.

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