I get good quality images and quantification data that can be used directly from the machine. The whole package of benefits that the Odyssey Imager offers makes life much easier.
Dr. Rosemary Schuh
Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine
For Dr. Rosemary Schuh, mitochondrial dysfunction provides an exciting avenue into understanding certain neurological conditions. Specializing in the study of mitochondrial bioenergetics, the Assistant Professor, with dual appointment at Maryland VA Healthcare System and University of Maryland School of Medicine, is taking an unconventional approach to identify early biochemical markers in Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Dr. Schuh, Alzheimer’s research efforts are largely focused on studying the formation of amyloid plaques and tangles, and developing therapeutics that target them. She informs, "In our animal models, however, we have observed mitochondrial problems long before the up-regulation of amyloid burden." In a recent study, Dr. Schuh’s group found deficits in mitochondrial oxygen consumption in skeletal muscle and brain of an Alzheimer’s disease-relevant mouse model1. "It is known that the functioning of complex IV of the electron transport chain is impaired in Alzheimer's patients. So we are looking for possible early indicators of Alzheimer’s onset through mitochondrial bioenergetics."
Since bioenergetics is a collective term for numerous biochemical reactions that occur at the mitochondrial hub, her group extensively assesses expression levels of a range of targets. Mitochondrial proteins like VDAC, subunits of the electron transport chain complexes, oxidative stress markers like 8-hydroxy deoxyguanosine, 3-nitro tyrosine, targets of protein carbonylation, and lipid peroxidation are all under the purview of their study. Western blotting analysis is indispensable to the lab.
Quality Images and Quantifiable Data
Dr. Schuh’s lab at the VA System houses the Odyssey® Infrared Imaging System. The Odyssey System has facilitated analysis of phosphorylated proteins, as well as probing the protein of interest along with a normalization control on the same blot. "Infrared fluorescence detection of blots on the Odyssey System using two different channels has helped us determine overlap or changes in protein expression levels, without having to strip and re-probe. I really like the fact that I can do my quantification analysis right here," she says.
In addition to Western blotting, Dr. Schuh’s group uses the Odyssey System for multiple applications like tissue section imaging and biochemical assays. "I get good quality images and quantification data that can be used directly from the machine. The whole package of benefits that the Odyssey Imager offers makes life much easier."
Multifaceted Digital Chemiluminescent Western Imaging
I try to avoid going to the darkroom at all costs, which is why I was so thankful when the C-DiGit Scanner came on the market.
At the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. Schuh collaborates with Dr. Gary Fiskum’s research group. This lab is equipped with a C-DiGit® Blot Scanner. The instrument is an asset when it comes to projects that require the use of traditional chemiluminescence detection. Dr. Schuh acknowledges that the C-DiGit Scanner provides high quality images and ease of use at an affordable price.
The group relied on a shared X-ray film developer prior to purchasing the C-DiGit Scanner. "I try to avoid going to the darkroom at all costs, which is why I was so thankful when the C-DiGit Scanner came on the market," says Schuh. "The [film developer] machine used to break down all the time and was difficult to maintain, given the number of researchers and students using the facility. At times we lost our data because the developer ate the piece of film." With the C-DiGit Blot Scanner, she doesn’t have to deal with the hassles of developing blots on film anymore.
Students who were used to working in the darkroom now prefer to work on the C-DiGit Scanner.
Interestingly, the C-DiGit Scanner has also found utility as an educational tool in the lab. Dr. Schuh is actively involved in training graduate students on Western blotting practices, and especially, developing their blots using the C-DiGit Scanner. "Students who were used to working in the darkroom now prefer to work on the C-DiGit Scanner," she says.
Drawing from their understanding of mitochondrial bioenergetics, the research group is investigating the role of a natural compound in ameliorating mitochondria-related deficits in Alzheimer’s models.
Innovative scientists like Dr. Schuh are advancing their research with dependable and user-friendly technology platforms like the Odyssey Infrared Imaging System and the C-DiGit Blot Scanner.
Paper from Schuh lab citing the Odyssey Imaging System
- Schuh et al.; Mitochondrial oxygen consumption deficits in skeletal muscle isolated from an Alzheimer’s disease-relevant murine model; BMC Neuroscience 2014, 15:24; doi:10.1186/1471-2202-15-24
- Dr. Geir Bjørkøy
University College of Sør-Trøndelag and CEMIR Centre of Excellence, NTNU
- Dr. Wendy Bollag
Georgia Regents University, Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center
- Dr. Jeremy Chambers
Florida International University, Miami, FL
- Dr. Paul Digard
University of Cambridge, UK
- Dr. Jane Gray
Cancer Research Institute, Cambridge, UK
- Manuela Gustafsson
Karolinska Institute's Department of Laboratory Medicine
- Dr. Oliver Hantschel
- Dr. Stefan Hüttelmaier
Martin Luther University
- Dr. Jelena Janjic
- Dr. Andrea Kasinski
- Dr. Sue Katz
Rogers State University
- Dr. Lisa Keyes
University of Florida College of Medicine
- Dr. Stanislav Kholmanskikh
Weill Cornell Medical College
- Dr. Patrick Kiely
University College Cork, Ireland
- Dr. Andreas von Knethen
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University
- Dr. Michael Lee
University of Massachusetts Medical School
- Dr. Robert Lewis
University of Nebraska
- Dr. H. Charles Manning
- Dr. Debra Martin
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
- Dr. Kevin Morano
The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston
- Dr. Rick Page
Miami University in Oxford, OH
- Dr. Nicolai Peschel
Universität Würzburg Department of Neurobiology & Genetics
- Dr. Wendy Picking
Oklahoma State University
- Dr. Martin Pomper
Johns Hopkins Medical School
- Dr. Vikash Reebye
Imperial College London, UK
- Dr. Rosemary Schuh
University of Maryland School of Medicine