Establishment of a Sibling Donor Cord Blood Program in Iran

Thalassemia is a disease common to 60 countries worldwide, with high prevalence in Middle Eastern countries. The Iranian population consists of many who exhibit the beta-thalassemia hemoglobinopathy, which reduces red blood cells ability to carry oxygen, and even more who are carriers of this life-threatening disease. In the past, most of the children born with beta-thalassemia failed to survive during the first decade of life. Medical advances have recognized that placental and umbilical cord blood of a newborn is a rich source of blood stem cells, which can replace the blood of a thalassemic sibling and cure him of the disease for life. In this clinical study, Shahrzad will survey and document the need for a sibling donor cord blood program in Tehran, Iran, evaluating the feasibility of establishing such a program.

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Alternative Splicing and Fox Proteins in Zebrafish

Alternative splicing of pre-mRNA is critical to development and differentiation, allowing metazoans to generate a large amount of protein diversity from a single gene. Despite its importance, our understanding of the factors that influence this process is limited. The objective of Joshs project is to investigate the role of the Fox family of proteins, which have been implicated as splicing regulators. Through experiments with zebrafish he will asses the effect that Fox has on a library of alternatively spliced exons in the hope of better understanding this protein familys role. Hopefully his project will provide insight into the role of Fox and the alternative splicing events it controls, and possibly some insight into the mechanism any of a number of the genetic diseases caused by aberrant splicing.

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Controllable Synthesis of Cadmium Telluride Nanotetrapods

Nanocrystalline materials have shown promise in many applications, such as light-emitting diodes, solar cells, biomedicine, optoelectronics, etc. Shape-controlled nanocrystals are important because different geometries of nanocrystals possess various electronic properties which can be tailored to their application. In this project, Yu will conduct synthesis experiments of Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) by varying the amount of solvent. By analyzing nucleation kinetics in the synthesis of the CdTe, Yu hopes to develop a mechanistic explanation for crystal branching and increase the reproducibility of the tetrapods shape syntheses. Moreover, this approach to understanding CdTe tetrapods and their syntheses will contribute to an explanation of thermodynamic and kinetic effects on CdTes structure.

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