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Roberto M Vanacore PhD

Department: Medicine

Biography

The focus of Dr Vanacore’s research is the study of basement membrane proteins, particularly collagen IV and its modifying enzymes, which are involved in life-threatening human diseases such as diabetic nephropathy, vascular disease, Goodpasture disease, and Alport syndrome. Collagen IV forms crosslinked supramolecular scaffolds that are essential for the mechanical stability of basement membranes and act as ligands for integrins influencing cell behaviors such as proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Dr. Vanacore has made important discoveries about the chemistry and pathology of basement membranes, including the discovery and assembly of the novel evolutionary conserved sulfilimine bond (S=N) that crosslinks the carboxyl-terminal NC1 domain of collagen IV, the first of its kind in a biomolecule. More recently, Dr Vanacore is investigating the role of the crosslinking enzyme lysyl oxidase on the stabilization of collagen IV scaffold. These investigations pursue a better understanding of these basement membrane proteins in normal tissue function and development as well as in pathological states, including renal fibrosis and tumorigenesis. For our investigations we use state-of-the-art mass spectrometry-based proteomics and bioinformatics tools in addition to a variety of biochemical, molecular and cell biology techniques.

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