May, 2023. In Memorial of Dr. Alan Fein
We are sorry to share the sad news that Dr. Alan Fein, Professor Emeritus at UConn Health, passed away on May 1, 2023 after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Dr. Fein joined the Health Center faculty in the Department of Physiology (now the Department of Cell Biology) in 1987 and retired in 2017. He is internationally recognized for his discoveries about the function of inositol trisphosphate in cellular signaling, and for his studies of the physiology of photoreceptors and blood cells.
He also contributed importantly to medical student education at UConn Health. He served for 20 years as a facilitator for Problem Based Learning, and designed and taught a medical school elective on Pain. He is the author or editor of several books, including an introductory textbook on the neuroscience of pain, which he decided to make freely available online.
Dr. Fein was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and received a B.S. in electrical engineering from City College of New York, a master's from Columbia University and Ph.D.'s from Johns Hopkins Medical and Engineering schools. Prior to moving to UConn Health, he was a faculty member at Boston University and the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole Massachusetts. He is survived by his wife Marlene Leiner Fein, his 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
His obituary can be found here.
December, 2020. New Faculty: Rebecca Page
Rebecca Page joined the Cell Biology Department in December 2020, as a full professor. Her research concerns how we sense and react to our environment which is communicated in the cell by vast networks of highly dynamic, interacting proteins. These interactions are regulated in both space and time, and it is this tight regulation that allows signals from outside of the cell to be rapidly and precisely transmitted to the nucleus leading to the appropriate, and healthy, cellular response. We integrate structural biology, cell biology, genetics and biochemistry in order to understand how these signals in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes are communicated in the cell at atomic resolution.
September, 2017. New Faculty: Hideyuki Oguro
Hideyuki Oguro will join the Cell Biology Department in September 2020, as an assistant professor, with a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. His research concerns mechanisms that regulate hematopoietic stem cells, and investigates how in conditions where more blood is needed, hormonal signals stimulate the proliferation and mobilization of these stem cells to make more blood cells. In a recent paper (J. Clinical Investigation, 2017, 127: 3392-2401), Oguro and colleagues demonstrated that two endogenous estrogen receptor ligands, estradiol and 27-hydroxycholesterol, differentially induce proliferation and mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells, respectively. This hormonal regulation is particularly important during pregnancy when maternal blood expands rapidly (figure adopted from Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2019, 10:204), and can lead to new strategies to promote hematopoietic regeneration and to enhance mobilization of stem cells into the bloodstream for transplantation. An additional focus of Oguro's research is to generate hematopoietic stem cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells by mimicking their developmental process.
April, 2017. New Faculty: Mayu Inaba
Mayu Inaba joined the Cell Biology Department in April 2017, as an assistant professor. Her research concerns signaling between adult stem cells and the specialized microenvironments, called niches, that maintain stem cells in an undifferentiated and self-renewing state. In a recent paper (Nature, 2015; 523: 329-332), Inaba and colleagues demonstrated that microtubule-based nanotubes, which extend from stem cells into the cells of the niche, contribute to the short-range nature of this signaling.