Tamara Rodems, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Tamara Rodems is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Christine Cheng’s laboratory at JCVI. She received her PhD in cancer biology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her graduate work focused on epigenetic regulation of class I HLA molecules in prostate cancer and developing a novel method for capture and analysis of methylated DNA from low-input samples such as circulating tumor cells (CTCs).

Since joining Dr. Cheng’s team at JCVI, she has been applying her molecular biology and assay development experience to the field of neuroscience, specifically Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and opioid/cocaine use disorders. She is particularly interested in how the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) and immune cells contribute to AD and ALS pathology and will employ cutting-edge methods for single nuclei isolation and spatial transcriptomics to discover new molecular insights in neurocognitive disorders and neurodegenerative disease.

Understanding the contribution of the blood-brain-barrier to AD and ALS severity and progression
  • Developing a novel, iPSC-derived 3D spheroid model encompassing BBB and glial cells to generate a more complete in vitro representation of the neurovascular unit (NVU) to study Alzheimer’s disease
  • Utilizing our AD spheroid model to understand the involvement of the BBB and immune cell types, including microglia, in AD pathology
  • Using single nucleus RNA-seq to characterize transcriptional changes in key cells types of the BBB in ALS patient samples
Understanding transcriptomic changes in the brain due to opioid and cocaine use disorder
  • Utilizing spatial transcriptomics to understand how gene expression changes spatially map in the brains of cocaine and opioid use disorder patients and animal models
  • Comparing spatially regulated gene expression to bulk single cell analysis and protein level changes

Publications

Development and initial clinical testing of a multiplexed circulating tumor cell assay in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Molecular oncology. 2021-02-19;
PMID: 33604999
AXL Mediates Cetuximab and Radiation Resistance Through Tyrosine 821 and the c-ABL Kinase Pathway in Head and Neck Cancer.
Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 2020-08-15; 26.16: 4349-4359.
PMID: 32439698
Platelets Promote Metastasis via Binding Tumor CD97 Leading to Bidirectional Signaling that Coordinates Transendothelial Migration.
Cell reports. 2018-04-17; 23.3: 808-822.
PMID: 29669286
Adaptive responses to antibody based therapy.
Seminars in cell & developmental biology. 2016-02-01; 50.153-63.
PMID: 26808665
Understanding the contribution of the blood-brain-barrier to AD and ALS severity and progression
  • Developing a novel, iPSC-derived 3D spheroid model encompassing BBB and glial cells to generate a more complete in vitro representation of the neurovascular unit (NVU) to study Alzheimer’s disease
  • Utilizing our AD spheroid model to understand the involvement of the BBB and immune cell types, including microglia, in AD pathology
  • Using single nucleus RNA-seq to characterize transcriptional changes in key cells types of the BBB in ALS patient samples
Understanding transcriptomic changes in the brain due to opioid and cocaine use disorder
  • Utilizing spatial transcriptomics to understand how gene expression changes spatially map in the brains of cocaine and opioid use disorder patients and animal models
  • Comparing spatially regulated gene expression to bulk single cell analysis and protein level changes