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Archive: Arkana Voices

Zebrafish: How Can They Help Us?

I have enjoyed working with laboratory zebrafish since 2003.  Zebrafish have become a very well accepted model organism for human disease due to rapid breeding, fast development, transparent embryos, and conservation of 70% of human genes.  Several human diseases have been successfully modeled using zebrafish such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, melanoma, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The majority of my time with zebrafish was spent in the Vanderbilt University system where I was involved in diverse research areas such as gastrulation, fetal alcohol syndrome, holoprosencephaly, Menkes Disease, and obesity. I discovered that I like contributing to the discovery or development of...

APOL1: Why Is It Important?

I have been working at Arkana Laboratories (formerly Nephropath) for close to seven years as the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory Supervisor. One of my first projects here was to isolate DNA from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue and get an assay set up to determine variants in the APOL1 gene. At that time, these variants were recently discovered and there was great excitement in the scientific community as to their role in kidney disease, especially in African Americans, which is the population with the highest frequency of these gene variants in America. Our project involved the role of these variants in collapsing glomerulopathy...