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Dr. Manuela Ayee
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Engineering
Phone: (712) 722-6739
EDUCATION & TRAINING
- NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep, and Allergy Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
- Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, UIC, Dissertation: Molecular Modeling of Endogenous and Exogenous Toxins at Phospholipid Interfaces
- M.S., Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University, Thesis: Luminescent water-soluble quantum dots: Improved stability through surface functionalization
- B.A., Engineering Science - Chemistry Emphasis, Dordt University (formerly Dordt College)
EXPERIENCE & INTERESTS
Dr. Ayee has experience in both academia and industry. Her research interests combine computational and experimental techniques to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of small molecules and proteins on membrane biomechanics and cell biophysical properties, with a focus on pathogenesis. Some applications include:
- Examining the molecular interactions of myelin protein zero to uncover the pathophysiological mechanisms that drive Charcot-Marie-Tooth peripheral neuropathy disease.
- Investigating the modulation of cellular and tissue biomechanics by oxidized lipids and sterols under hypercholesterolemic conditions.
- Elucidating the roles played by toxins in modulating the properties of lipid layers.
- Membrane Stiffening in Osmotic Swelling: Analysis of Membrane Tension and Elastic Modulus. Current Topics in Membranes, 2018
- Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Kir2. 2 Interactions with an Ensemble of Cholesterol Molecules. Biophysical Journal, 2018
- Hypotonic Challenge of Endothelial Cells Increases Membrane Stiffness with No Effect on Tether Force, Biophysical Journal, 2018
- oxLDL induces endothelial cell proliferation via Rho/ROCK/Akt/p27kip1 signaling: opposite effects of oxLDL and cholesterol loading, American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology, 2017
- Molecular-Scale Biophysical Modulation of an Endothelial Membrane by Oxidized Phospholipids, Biophysical Journal, 2017
- Differential effects of sterols on ion channels: Stereospecific Binding vs Stereospecific Response, Current Topics in Membranes, 2017
- The emerging threat of superwarfarins: history, detection, mechanisms, and countermeasures, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2016
- Paradoxical impact of cholesterol on lipid packing and cell stiffness, Frontiers in Bioscience, Landmark Edition, 2016