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Ray AndersonRaymond Anderson


Advisor: Dr. David Smith
Room 3130F HSC-North

B.S., Psychology and Biology, University of South Dakota

Mechanics of Proteasome Function
The general interest of our lab is to understand the function of the proteasome, a giant molecular machine that has the capacity to destroy nearly every protein in the cell. Despite this destructive capability the proteasome is highly selective in what it chooses to destroy. In fact, this machine is so  elective and precise that it can degrade a single subunit out of a protein complex with surgical precision, or can amputate a single domain from an isolated protein. Ultimately, our lab is interested in understanding how the proteasome moves and functions at a molecular level, using an energy dependent multistep process involving 1) substrate binding, 2) unfolding, 3) translocation, 4) gate-opening and 5) destruction inside of a sequestered chamber. More specifically we have a special interest in understanding how the many different regulatory “caps” that bind to the 20S proteasome catalyze aspects of this multistep process. Because of the proteasome’s central role in regulating most cellular processes (e.g. Cell cycle, Apoptosis, transcription, receptor signaling, etc.) understanding the mechanisms that regulate its specificity is not only of biological interest, but is also highly relevant to many areas of medicine (e.g. Cancer and Neurodegenerative disease).

  • Smith JP, Prince MA, Achua JK, Robertson JM, Anderson RT, Ronan PJ, Summers CH (2016). Intensity of anxiety is modified via complex integrative stress circuitriesPsychoneuroendocrinology, 63: 351-361.
  • Snoberger A, Anderson RT, Smith DM (2017). The proteasomal ATPases use a slow moving but high power strategy to unfold proteinsFrontiers Molecular Biosciences.
  • Thibaudeau TA, Anderson RT, Smith DM. (2018). A Common mechanism of proteasome impairment by neurodegenerative disease-associated oligomersNature Communications.
  • Anderson RT, Smith DM (2017). “Direct proteasome impairment by neurotoxic tau oligomers.” Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Symposium, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Anderson RT, Thibaudeau TA, Smith DM (2016). “A common mechanism of proteasome impairment by neurodegenerative disease-associated oligomers.” Society for Neuroscience Conference, San Diego, CA.
  • Anderson RT, Thibaudeau TA, Smith DM (2016). “A common mechanism of proteasome impairment by neurodegenerative disease-associated oligomers.” Appalachian Regional Cell Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Anderson RT, Smith DM (2016). “Are tau oligomers toxic to the proteasome?” West Virginia University Van Liere Research Day, Morgantown, WV. [David Smith – Biochemistry]
  • Prince MA, Anderson RT, Smith JP, Summers CH (2014). “Exercise, yohimbine and neuropeptide s modulate escape behavior in the stress-alternatives model.” University of South Dakota IdeaFest, Vermillion, SD. [Cliff Summers – Biology]
  • Anderson RT, Achua JK (2013). “Stressful social decision-making reduces brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA gene expression.” University of South Dakota IdeaFest, Vermillion, SD. [Cliff Summers – Biology]
  • 2nd place poster presentation. Appalachian Regional Cell Conference, October 2016
  • WVU Travel Award recipient. November 2016
  • F-31 Pre-doctoral Fellowship. December 2017-Present

Jacob BoosJacob Boos 
Neuroscience PhD Candidate
Advisor: Dr. Werner Geldenhuys
Room 121 BMRC

B.S., Biology, St. Edward’s University

Research Interests
Neurodegenerative Diseases – Alzheimer’s Disease in particular

Emily Burrage
Emily Burrage 

Neuroscience PhD Candidate
Advisor: Dr. Paul Chantler
Room 8604 HSC

B.S., Neuroscience, minor in Chemistry, Bay Path University

Research Interests
The role of stress and obesity on the neurovascular unit

JZ CavendishJohn Zachary (J.Z.) Cavendish 
Neuroscience MD/PhD Candidate
Advisor: Dr. James Simpkins
1st Floor, BMRC

B.A., Biochemistry-Molecular Biology, West Virginia University

Mechanics of Proteasome Function
Pathophysiology of neurodegeneration; mitochondrial structure, function, and dynamics within cortical and hippocampal neurons.

  • Saumyendra Sarkar, Sujung Jun, Stephanie Rellick, Dominic Quintana, John Cavendish, James Simpkins (2016). Expression of MicroRNA-34a in Alzheimer’s Disease brain targets genes linked to synaptic plasticity, energy metabolism, and resting state network activityBrain Research, Sep 1;1646:139-51. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2016.05.026..
  • Nguyen, L., Thomas, K. L., Lucke-Wold, B. P., Cavendish, J. Z., Crowe, M. S., Matsumoto, R. R. (2016). Dextromethorphan: An update on its utility for neurological and neuropsychiatric disordersPharmacology Therapeutics, 159, 1-22.
  • Nguyen, L., Lucke-Wold, B. P., Mookerjee, S. A., Cavendish, J. Z., Robson, M. J., Scandinaro, A. L., Matsumoto, R.R. (2015). Role of sigma-1 receptors in neurodegenerative diseasesJournal of Pharmacological Sciences, 127 (1), 17-29.
  • Hu, H., Cavendish, J. Z., Agmon, A. (2013). Not all that glitters is gold: off-target recombination in the somatostatin–IRES-Cre mouse line labels a subset of fast-spiking interneuronsFrontiers in neural circuits, 7, 195.
  • Wan, Y. W., Raese, R. A., Fortney, J. E., Xiao, C., Luo, D., Cavendish, J., … & Guo, N. L. (2012). A smoking-associated 7-gene signature for lung cancer diagnosis and prognosisInternational Journal of Oncology, 41(4), 1387-1396.

WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute