New NIH R56 Grant Awarded to Arjumand Ghazi, PhD

December 5, 2021

Arjumand Ghazi, PhD, associate professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R56 grant for a study titled “ Role of the Transcription Elongation and Splicing Factor TCER-1 in Repressing Immunity and Promoting Fertility.”

The aim of Dr. Ghazi’s study is to more fully explain how the protein TCER-1 alters fat metabolism to mediate the complex association between immunity and fertility status. 

Research from the Ghazi Laboratory has shown that lifespan-promoting transcription factors coordinate fat production and breakdown to enhance longevity. Recently, her laboratory discovered a novel role for one such factor, TCER-1, in having opposite impacts on lifespan and healthspan, and in repressing immune-resistance to divert cellular resources towards fertility. This prior work formed the basis for her new NIH R56 award further exploring the mechanisms of TCER-1 action.

More About Dr. Ghazi

Arjumand Ghazi, PhD, trained as a developmental biologist, completing her graduate studies in fly muscle development at the National Center for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, India, and postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) on the genetics of aging in C. elegans. As a postdoctoral researcher, her work demonstrated that the proteasomal pathway of protein degradation regulates lifespan and identified genes and pathways that influence longevity based on signals from the reproductive system. Dr. Ghazi leads a research group that studies the molecular genetic pathways that link length of life (lifespan) with reproductive fitness, quality of aging (healthspan) and stress resistance mechanisms. 

Dr. Ghazi is committed to, and active in, graduate education and mentoring. She is the associate director of the Molecular Genetics and Developmental Biology (MGDB) graduate program, and a member of the Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology (CBMP) and Integrated Systems Biology (ISB) graduate programs. Dr. Ghazi is also an associate member of the University of Pittsburgh’s Aging Institute and the Magee Women’s Research Institute. She has faculty appointments in the Departments of Developmental Biology and Cell Biology and Physiology.

Recent Selected Publications from Dr. Ghazi

Loose JA, Ghazi A*.  Auxin Treatment Increases Lifespan in Caenorhabditis Elegans. Biol Open. 2021 May 15; 10(5): bio058703. 

Naim N, Amrit FRG, Ratnappan R, DelBuono N, Loose JA, Ghazi A*. Cell Nonautonomous Roles of NHR-49 in Promoting Longevity and Innate Immunity. Aging Cell. 2021 Jul; 20(7): e13413.

Wani KA, Goswamy D, Taubert S, Ratnappan R, Ghazi A, Irazoqui JE*. NHR-49/PPAR-α and HLH-30/TFEB Cooperate for C. Elegans Host Defense Via a Flavin-Containing Monooxygenase.
Elife. 2021 May 12; 10: e62775. 

Naim N, Amrit FRG, McClendon TB, Yanowitz JL, Ghazi A*. The Molecular Tug Of War Between Immunity and Fertility: Emergence of Conserved Signaling Pathways and Regulatory Mechanisms. Bioessays. 2020 Dec; 42(12): e2000103.

Quesada-Candela C, Loose J, Ghazi A, Yanowitz JL*. Molecular Basis of Reproductive Senescence: Insights From Model Organisms. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2021; Jan; 38(1): 17-32. 

Schiffer JA, Servello FA, Heath WR, Amrit FRG, Stumbur SV, Eder M, Martin OM, Johnsen SB, Stanley JA, Tam H, Brennan SJ, McGowan NG, Vogelaar AL, Xu Y, Serkin WT, Ghazi A, Stroustrup N, Apfeld J*. Caenorhabditis Elegans Processes Sensory Information to Choose Between Freeloading and Self-Defense Strategies. Elife. 2020; May 5; 9: e56186.

Amrit FRG, Naim N, Ratnappan R, Loose, JA, Mason C, Steenberge L, McClendon TB, Wang G, Driscoll M, Yanowitz JL and Ghazi A*. The longevity-promoting Factor, TCER-1, Widely Represses Stress Resistance and Innate Immunity. Nat Commun. 2019; Jul 17; 10(1): 3042.

King CD, Singh D, Holden K, Govan AB, Keith SA, Ghazi A* and Robinson RASR*. Proteomic Identification of Virulence-Related Factors in Young and aging C. elegans exposed to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J Proteomics. 2018; Apr 12. S1874-3919: (18)30165-9. 

*Corresponding Author