Pathology Graduate Training Program
Cellular and Molecular Pathology (CMP) -

Name: Erick T Tatro

Undergraduate Degree: BS
Undergraduate Degree Year: 2004
Undergraduate Institution: The Ohio State University
Undergraduate Major: Biology and Chemistry

Academic Status: 2nd Year

Graduate Program: Experimental Pathology

Thesis Advisor: Cristian Achim, Ph.D.

Thesis Title/Research Topic: Immunophilins and their ligands in neurodegeneration and neuroregeneration

Current Research Description: The goal is to exploit cellular machinery, particularly immunophilin FKBP12 as a accessory protein that modifies diverse cellular functions, to induce neuritic growth in neurodegenerative diseases. Currently, I am working on protein binding experiments with FKBP12 under different stress and excitatory conditions. We work with rat primary brain cultures and immunophilin ligands and use immunostaining and confocal microscopy to test natural immunophilin ligands and a synthetic ligand synthesized by Dr. Chet Mathis's lab called IPLX. We are also constructing neuritic growth curves of the cell line SH SY5Y and testing the newly discovered immunophilin ligand as a neurotrophic and potential neuroprotective factor. Future experiments will use genetic constructs to monitor in vivo protein-protein interactions that may be important for promoting synaptic plasticity and axonal growth. Future experiments will also use si-RNA to silence FKBP12 and measure changes in neuritic growth.

Undergraduate Honors:

  • 1999 Lillian E James Scholarship
  • 2000-2003 Justin Morril Grant
  • 2001-2004 Scarlet and Grey Scholarship
  • 2002 Study Abroad, Tropical Field Ecology, La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica
  • 2003 Summer Undergrad Student Research Assistant. Department of Immunology. University of Iowa. Iowa City, IA
  • 2003-2004 Student Intern. American Chemical Society Chemical Abstracts Division, Dept 67. Columbus, OH

Graduate Honors:

  • 2004 -pres Member, The American Chemical Society
  • 2004 Member, Biomedical Graduate Student Association
  • 2005 Poster: "Brain Immunophilins as early markers of neurodegeneration." 2005 Experimental biology and XXXV International Congress of Physiological Science meeting abstracts [accessed at] The FASEB Journal, 19, Abstract #302.20.
  • 2005 Ad hoc Reviewer, The Journal of Neuroscience
  • 2005 Ad hoc Reviewer, Annals of Neuroscience
  • 2005-pres Council Representative of Cell and Molecular Pathology to Biomedical Graduate Student Association
  • 2005-pres Assembly Board Member, Graduate and Professional Student Association, University of Pittsburgh
  • 2005-pres Member, American Society for Investigative Pathology
  • 2005-pres Member, Society for Neuroscience
  • 2005 Poster: "Immunophilins in neurodegeneration." Biomedical Graduate Student Association Symposium. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2005 Poster: "Immunophilins in neurodegeneration and neuroregeneration." 9th International Symposium on Parkinson Research. National Parkinson Foundation. Washington, DC.