Randall J. Roper, Ph.D.
Departmentof Biology, School of Science
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
723 W. Michigan St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Our research seeks to understand the genetic and developmental bases of phenotypes related to Trisomy 21 or Down syndrome (DS). We have examined the origin and development of skeletal malformations associated with DS including the typical craniofacial features and changes to the appendicular skeleton see in all individuals with DS. Using mouse models of Down syndrome, our work provided the first experimental evidence that trisomy adversely affects neural crest cells, precursors to the craniofacial skeleton. We are performing preclinical studies to test treatments that would permanently correct skeletal as well as cognitive-related DS traits by targeting gene products that are overexpressed because of trisomy. Additionally, we are examining changes in expression of trisomic genes as well as others throughout the genome and correlating this information with phenotypic and developmental alterations. Our long term goal is to apply the knowledge of how and when trisomic genes affect developmental processes to ameliorate Trisomy 21 phenotypes.
SELECTED RECENT PUBLICATIONS
Goffinski, A., M.A. Stanley, N. Shepherd, N. Duvall, S.B. Stone, C. Davis, M.J. Bull, and R.J. Roper. 2015. Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Young Infants with Down Syndrome Evaluated in a Down Syndrome Specialty Clinic. Am J Med Genet A. 167:324-30. Epub 2015 Jan 13.
Blazek, J.D., A. M. Malik, M. Tischbein, M. L. Arbones, C. S. Moore and R. J. Roper. 2015. Abnormal mineralization of the Ts65Dn Down syndrome mouse appendicular skeleton begins during embryonic development in a Dyrk1a-independent manner. Mech Dev. 136:133-42. Epub 2014 Dec 30.
Blazek, J.D., I. Abeysekera, J. Li and R.J. Roper. 2015. Rescue of the abnormal skeletal phenotype in Ts65Dn Down syndrome mice using genetic and therapeutic modulation of trisomic Dyrk1a. Hum Mol Gen. 24:5687-96. Epub 2015 Jul 23.
Stringer, M., I. Abeysekera, K.J. Dria, R.J. Roper and C.R. Goodlett. 2015. Low dose EGCG treatment beginning in adolescence does not improve cognitive impairment in a Down syndrome mouse model. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 138:70-9. Epub 2015 Sep 10.
Abeysekera, I., J. Thomas, T.M. Georgiadis, A.G. Berman, M.A. Hammond, K.J. Dria, J.M. Wallace, and R.J. Roper. 2016. Differential effects of Epigallocatechin-3-gallate containing supplements on correcting skeletal defects in a Down syndrome mouse model. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Jan 9. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201500781. [Epub ahead of print].