Collaborate 2 Cure
June 26, 2017



KU Clinical Research: Fairway Auditorium
4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway Fairway, KS 66205

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Brain Clusterin Isoforms and Mitochondrial Localization


Clusterin (CLU) has recently been identified as the third most significant genetic risk factor for the development of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. However, despite many new clinical findings, an extensive gap still exits in the literature pertaining to the basic properties of CLU in the brain. This presentation will discuss our most recent discovery of mitochondrial isoform of CLU and its possible role in the brain.

Speaker- Liqin Zhao, PhD

Dr. Liqin Zhao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Kansas-Lawrence. The lab’s ongoing research focuses primarily on identifying the bioenergetic and synaptic mechanisms underlying sex differences and genetic risk factors as well as sex-gene interactions in the development of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

BRCA1 and Metabolism


BRCA1 is a tumor suppressor gene and women carrying BRCA1 mutations have up to an 85% life-time risk of developing breast cancer. It has been demonstrated that BRCA1 modulates cellular metabolic pathways in breast cancer cell lines and mutations in BRCA1 disrupt its ability to influence these pathways resulting in enhanced fatty acid synthesis and an increased rate of energy-consuming anabolic processes that drive synthesis of lipids, proteins and DNA. Preliminary data from our lab indicates loss of BRCA1 results in decreased cellular respiration.

Speaker- Lisa Harlan-Williams, PhD

Dr. Harlan-Williams earned her BS in Biology from Henderson State University. Under the guidance of Steve Benedict, She earned her PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Since 2005, she has worked with Roy Jensen at The University of Kansas Medical Center; starting as a post-doc and currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. Her research projects aim to expand our knowledge of BRCA1 function in breast cancer.