Department of Physiology
JHU School of Medicine
Lutsenko Lab
Personnel in the Lutsenko Laboratory

Graduate Students

Courtney McCann

Copper Transfer Copper Transfer Hometown: Norfolk, MA.

Degree: BSc in Biochemistry.

Undergraduate Degree/Institution: Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Research interests: Regulation of copper homeostasis, Structure and function of copper homeostatic proteins.

Recent publications
Projects: 1) ATP7B SNPs were found in Alzheimer’s Disease patients that correlate with high levels of labile copper in the blood serum. I found that of those SNPs affect protein expression levels and trafficking upon elevated copper conditions. I am exploring the effects of these SNPs on ATP7B protein stability and phosphorylation..

2) Downregulation of RNA binding protein hnRNP A2B1 was found to upregulate ATP7A and reduce cellular copper levels. An increase in cellular copper levels was shown to enrich a minor isoform of hnRNP A2B1. I am currently exploring the interaction between hnRNP A2B1 protein and ATP7A pre-mRNA, the specific effects that each hnRNP A2B1 isoform has on ATP7A regulation, and how this regulation is affected by copper stress. tion across membranes and how copper is then incorporated into the acceptor enzymes within the secretory pathway.

Katharina Schmidt

Copper Transfer Copper Transfer Hometown: Stuttgart, Germany.

Degree: BS in Molecular Medicine.

Undergraduate Degree/Institution: Eberhard-Karls University of Tubingen.

Research interests: Cellular and Molecular Physiology .

Recent publications
Projects: In 2011, I moved to the United States to pursue a research scholarship in the Department of Surgery/ Physiology at Yale's School of Medicine. In my current thesis project, I am studying the role of copper transporter ATP7B in catecholamine metabolism, in particular its role in dopamine beta hydroxylase (DBH) function. DBH is a copper dependent enzyme present in the adrenal medulla and brain stem, and is converting dopamine to norepinephrine. I aim to understand psychiatric symptoms in Wilson disease patients which have mutation in ATP7B and display abnormal catecholamine levels. Using ATP7B-/- mouse model designed in our laboratory, I intend to investigate brain regions which are relevant for DBH metabolism and affected by knockdown of ATP7B.

Haojun Yang

Copper Transfer Copper Transfer Hometown: Nanjing, China, one of the "Great Ancient Capitals of China".

Degree: BS in Biological Sciences.

Undergraduate Degree/Institution: Nankai University.

Research interests: copper homeostasis in lipid metabolism and obesity .

Recent publications
Projects: I'm pursuing the Ph.D. degree in department of physiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. I'm interested in copper homeostasis in lipid metabolism and obesity. We have found that obesity is associated with changes in Cu levels, and Cu misbalance also affects lipid metabolism in adipocytes. My project is focusing on uncovering the mechanistic link between them.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Hannah Pierson
Samuel Jayakanthan

Research Staff

Abigael Muchenditsi

Copper Transfer Copper Transfer Hometown: Kakamega, Kenya.

Degree: BSc in Zoology & Chemistry, PhD in Biochemitry.

Undergraduate Degree/Institution: Maseno university in Kenya & Ohio University .

Research interests: Copper homeostasis in Animal models .

Recent publications
Projects: My research project focuses on better understanding of Wilson disease mechanism by development and characterization of animal disease models. Am comparing the previously developed WD model Atp7b whole body knockout (Atp7b-/-) to the liver specific Atp7b knockout (Atp7b?Hep) that I recently generated to better understand how copper accumulation induces morphological and functional abnormalities in the liver and other tissues.

Former Members

Yuta Hatori
Nan Yang
Ashima Bhattacharjee
Eri Furukawa
Chris Mangels
Yiping Huang
Nesrin Hasan
Neha Dhawan
Arnab Gupta
Venkata Susrut Pendyala
Lawrence Gray
Amanda Barry
Sujata Bhatt
Jason Burkhead
Mee Min
Natalie Barnes
Matthew Cooper
Dominik Huster
Brian MacArthur
Clinton Morgan
Meenakshi Noll
Igor Rupniewski
Ruslan Tsivkovskii
Scott Vanderwerf
Joel Walker

Lutsenko Lab
Department of Physiology
Johns Hopkins University
725 N. Wolfe Street
203 Hunterian
Baltimore, MD 21205
(410) 614-4661 (tel)
(410) 955-0461 (fax)