College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Nutrition & Food Science

NSF Award - Congratulations Dr. Rahaman!

Dr. Shaik O. Rahaman (PI, 90% effort), Assistant Professor at The Department of Nutrition and Food Science, has been awarded a $398,499 grant (3 years) from the National Science Foundation for his grant proposal entitled “Substrate Rigidity and Long Non-Coding RNA Expression: Role of TRPV4 Ion Channel.” Dr. Li Ma (10% effort), Assistant Professor at the Department of Animal & Avian Sciences, is the Co-PI in the project. The objective of this proposal is to identify and characterize matrix stiffness-sensitive LncRNAs (Long Non-Coding RNA) using global expression analysis, and to determine the role of transient receptor potential (TRP) channel of the vanilloid subfamily, TRPV4, a matrix stiffness-sensitive, calcium-permeable channel in matrix stiffness-induced LncRNA expression and epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT). By enhancing our understanding of how matrix properties regulate gene expression in cells, results of this proposal will have broad-ranging impacts in fields as diverse as cell mechanotransduction, and molecular and cell biology of gene regulation. Matrix stiffness, LncRNAs, and EMT are essential to numerous fundamental processes including development, tissue maintenance/regeneration, oncogenesis, and fibrosis; thus, understanding the mechanosensing role of TRPV4 in regulating LncRNA expression and EMT is likely to provide a basis for designing next generation biomaterials to aid wound healing and to target TRPV4 therapeutically in diseases including fibrosis.

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