Hamed Jafar-Nejad is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular & Human Genetics and the Program in Developmental Biology at Baylor College of Medicine. His group is interested in the roles of glycosylation and deglycosylation in the regulation of animal development and human disease pathogenesis. He received his MD degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences and learned basic molecular biology techniques in a research institute in Iran. He spent one year in the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of Ottawa, studying the transcriptional regulation of a serotonin receptor implicated in mood disorders with Dr. Paul Albert. He then moved to Houston and started his postdoctoral training in the area of Notch signaling and Drosophila neurogenesis with Dr. Hugo Bellen at Baylor College of Medicine/HHMI. In December 2006, he joined the faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, focusing on a glycosyltransferase called Rumi which he had identified in Drosophila as a key regulator of the Notch signaling pathway. In 2012, he was recruited back to the Department of Molecular & Human Genetics at Baylor, where his group continues their work on the role of glycosylation in animal development and human disease. Hamed’s lab has established a mouse model for a rare disease called Alagille syndrome and has identified Rumi (Poglut1) as a dominant genetic suppressor of the Alagille biliary phenotypes in the mouse. The Jafar-Nejad group is also using Drosophila and mammalian cell culture assays to understand the role of a deglycosylation enzyme called N-glycanase 1 (NGLY1) in animal development and BMP signaling, in hopes of shedding light on the pathophysiology of NGLY1 deficiency in human patients and identifying drug targets for this disease.
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