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Analytical Chemistry Seminar Series: Renã Robinson (Vanderbilt University) – on Zoom
October 22, 2021 | 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
About the Speaker:
Dr. Renã A. S. Robinson, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University and inaugural Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow received her B.S. in Chemistry with a concentration in Business from the University of Louisville and Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Indiana University under the mentorship of Professor David Clemmer. She developed proteomics methods to study aging in Drosophila (fruit flies) and continued working in aging as a Lyman T. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor D. Allan Butterfield at the University of Kentucky. During this fellowship, she began to focus on neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and received a UNCF/Merck Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Dr. Robinson joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh as Assistant Professor in 2009 and moved to Vanderbilt University in 2017. She has a nationally and internationally recognized research program and is a leader in the field of proteomics for her work in aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and applications relevant to human health and disparities. Her laboratory is especially focused on using advancing proteomics and lipidomics technologies to further understanding of health disparities in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Robinson is the Leader of Outreach, Recruitment, and Engagement and faculty member at the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center, training faculty senior member at the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Co-Investigator of the Recruitment Innovations for Diversity Enhancements NIH Award to understand the effectiveness of storytelling as a recruitment tool into Alzheimer’s disease research. She is an active member of several organizations serving underrepresented students and professionals in STEM and is the President-Elect of National NOBCChE, NOBCChE Collaborative Liasion, and the faculty advisor for the Nashville Student and Professional Chapter of NOBCChE.
About the Seminar:
High-throughput ‘Omics to Advance Equity in Alzheimer’s Disease
Renã AS Robinson
1Department of Chemistry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235
2Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235
3Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37235
African American and Hispanic adults have one and a half to three times higher incidence rates compared to non-Hispanic Whites for Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States. By 2050, underrepresented US adult populations will represent the fastest-growing population of adults over the age of 65. In addition, these disparities are complicated by many factors which can inherently impact molecular contributions at the protein and lipid levels. Our laboratory is working to better understand racial and ethnic disparities in Alzheimer’sdisease using comprehensive proteomics and lipidomics tools based on mass spectrometry. We have developed high-throughput platforms that incorporate sample automation and multiplexing using in-house and commercial chemical labeling strategies. Our platforms rely heavily on nanoflow liquid chromatography, high-resolution mass spectrometry, and various bioinformatic and biostatistical approaches and are applied to human biospecimens such as post-mortem brain tissue and plasma. We have applied these tools to pilot cohorts of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitively unimpaired individuals. Initial results have identified the presence of unique features in proteomes and lipidomes that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease and racial and ethnic background. This presentation will highlight our approaches, study findings, and implications for reducing disparities and towards biomarker discovery in Alzheimer’s disease.