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Personal profile

Research interests

The Dr. James Broach lab has studied a variety of biological processes using the yeast Saccharomyces as a model system.  These studies have focused primarily on the interaction of cells with their environment, exploring the nature of signaling pathways that cells use to perceive their nutritional state - such as the Ras/protein kinase A pathway and the Target of Rapamycin Complex – and the transcriptional and metabolic responses of those cells to changes in nutritional state.  More recently, the lab has focused on the cell’s stress response, using single cell imaging and genome sequencing-based studies of chromatin structure and transcriptional remodeling.  These studies yielded the remarkable finding that genetically identical cells in the same environment mount quite different responses to an applied stress, allowing the population as a whole to hedge its bets regarding the best survival strategy in the face of an uncertain future.

 

More recently, the lab has expanded its interest to the application of genomic tools to issues of disease onset and treatment. The work is conducted through the Institute for Personalized Medicine, comprising a biorepository, in which biological samples from all consented patients of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are stored; a genomics core, in which state of the art genotyping and NextGen sequencing is applied to the biological samples; and a bioinformatics core, in which patient outcome data obtained from electronic medical records are correlated with genomic profiling and sequencing results. The lab works closely with clinicians at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center to identify patients whose disorder or response to treatment shows a familial pattern of inheritance, as well as cohorts of patients that have phenotypically distinct disease presentations or responses to treatment.  The lab has successfully pursued studies in a variety of diseases, including various cancers, ALS, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy and osteoporosis.

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Projects

  • VIRAL AND CELLULAR ONCOGENES--MECHANISM OF ACTION

    Broach, J., Levine, A., Shenk, T., Zakian, V. A., Schupbach, G. M., Schwarzbauer, J. & Wieschaus, E.

    National Institutes of Health

    7/1/862/28/07

    Project: Research project

  • Research Output

    Genetic variants implicate dual oxidase-2 in familial and sporadic nonmedullary thyroid cancer

    Bann, D. V., Jin, Q., Sheldon, K. E., Houser, K. R., Nguyen, L., Warrick, J. I., Baker, M. J., Broach, J. R., Gerhard, G. S. & Goldenberg, D., Nov 1 2019, In : Cancer Research. 79, 21, p. 5490-5499 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Molecular characterization of tumors meeting diagnostic criteria for the non-invasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP)

    Pool, C., Walter, V., Bann, D., Goldenberg, D., Broach, J., Hennessy, M., Cottrill, E., Washburn, E., Williams, N., Crist, H., Imamura, Y. & Warrick, J. I., Mar 11 2019, In : Virchows Archiv. 474, 3, p. 341-351 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Scopus citations

    Shared polygenic risk and causal inferences in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    The ITALSGEN Consortium & The International ALS Genomics Consortium, Apr 1 2019, In : Annals of Neurology. 85, 4, p. 470-481 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 10 Scopus citations

    A possible role for platelet-activating factor receptor in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis treatment

    Briones, M. R. S., Snyder, A. M., Ferreira, R. C., Neely, E. B., Connor, J. R. & Broach, J. R., Feb 6 2018, In : Frontiers in Neurology. 9, FEB, 39.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Scopus citations

    CD4 T cells control development and maintenance of brain-resident CD8 T cells during polyomavirus infection

    Mockus, T. E., Shwetank, Lauver, M. D., Ren, H. M., Netherby, C. S., Salameh, T., Kawasawa, Y. I., Yue, F., Broach, J. R. & Lukacher, A. E., Oct 2018, In : PLoS pathogens. 14, 10, e1007365.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Scopus citations