School of Medicine


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  • Nicholas Melosh

    Nicholas Melosh

    Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and of Photon Science

    BioMelosh's research is focused on developing methods to detect and control chemical processes on the nanoscale, to create materials that are responsive to their local environment. The research goal incorporates many of the hallmarks of biological adaptability, based on feedback control between cellular receptors and protein expression. Similar artificial networks may be achieved by fabricating arrays of nanoscale devices that can detect and influence their local surroundings through ionic potential, temperature, mechanical motion, capacitance, or electrochemistry. These devices are particularly suited as smart biomaterials, where multiple surface-cell interactions must be monitored and adjusted simultaneously for optimal cell adhesion and growth. Other interests include precise control over self-assembled materials, and potential methods to monitor the diagnostics of complicated chemical systems, such as the effect of drug treatments within patients.

    Research Interests:
    Molecular materials at interfaces
    Directed dynamic self-assembly
    Controlling molecular or biomolecular assembly and behavior
    Influence of local electronic, optical or thermal stimuli

  • Denise M. Monack

    Denise M. Monack

    Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe primary focus of my research is to understand the genetic and molecular mechanisms of intracellular bacterial pathogenesis. We use several model systems to study complex host-pathogen interactions in the gut and in immune cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells. Ultimately we would like to understand how Salmonella persists within certain hosts for years in the face of a robust immune response.

  • Stacy McAllister

    Stacy McAllister

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsEndometriosis is one of the few disorders in women's health research with little progress made in the last 20 years relative to screening, detection, prognosis, and treatment. Reactive aldehydes, formed during oxidative stress, are produced and elevated in women with endometriosis and are metabolized intracellularly by aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). My K99/R00 central hypothesis is that the balance of reactive aldehyde production and metabolism underlies endometriosis and endometriosis-associated pain. My research goal of this project is to determine the role of reactive aldehyde production and aldehyde metabolism in endometriosis to identify a novel treatment and biomarker for women suffering from endometriosis.

    I will test my hypothesis under the guidance of expert mentors, advisors, and contributors which includes Drs. Eric Gross, Daria Mochly-Rosen, Marcia Stefanick, Julie Christianson, and Linda Giudice. During the K99 phase: Aim 1 will determine if reactive aldehyde metabolism influences the development of endometriosis using ALDH2*2 knock-in mice with reduced aldehyde metabolism, an experimental model of endometriosis, and cutting-edge techniques to measure reactive aldehyde production and aldehyde metabolism. Aim 2 will determine if reactive aldehyde metabolism is altered in women with endometriosis using techniques from Aim 1 to analyze human endometrial tissue samples from women with and without endometriosis provided by the UCSF NIH Human Endometrial Tissue Bank. During the R00 phase: Aim 3 will determine if reactive aldehyde metabolism influences endometriosis-associated primary abdominal and secondary vaginal pain (hyperalgesia) using an endometriosis experimental model, unique equipment and specialized skills to assess hyperalgesia, and a novel ALDH2 activator (to increase reactive aldehyde metabolism).

    Overall, my research will advance the knowledge of how reactive aldehyde production and metabolism contribute to endometriosis development and its associated pain. If my hypothesis is found to be true, my research findings will potentially provide a therapeutic and diagnostic biomarker to reduce the years of unnecessary suffering for women with endometriosis.