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Dr. Seballos Presents at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Dr Bethel Seballos presented her recent research at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on April 10, 2015. Her talk was titled "The impact of calcium on the progression of fibrotic lung disease". Pulmonary fibrosis is an incurable disease belonging to a class of disorders known as Interstitial Lung Diseases, all of which lead to progressive scarring of the lungs. Fibrosis results when specialized cells called myofibroblasts are recruited to repair damage, but do not die or migrate away once the repair is complete. Our current hypothesis is that the presence of calcium impacts the fate of these cells. Through scratch assay experiments, we have observed calcium-dependent changes in cell migration and proliferation. Immunocytochemistry has revealed calcium-dependence of cytoplasmic expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin, a hallmark of myofibroblasts. . Further studies on cells isolated from both “healthy” and “diseased” subjects may allow for determination of the pathways which are impacted by changes in calcium homeostasis in lung myofibroblasts.