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McNair Scholar 2013Nima Odowa

Nima Odowa is a junior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She is majoring in biology, society and environment with minors in Arabic and pharmacology. Nima plans to earn a D.D.S/Ph.D. to become a practicing dentist for the Somali community and an educator at a school of dentistry.

Nima Odowa photo
My dream is to become a professor and to pursue research and educate future dentists. I hope to be able to earn a D.D.S./Ph.D. and do my part to drive dentistry forward.

Research project

Understanding the Role of Bone Morphogenic Proteins in MAPK Phosephatase-1 (MKP-1) Regulation During Osteoclastogenesis

Abstract: The role MAPK phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) in the regulation of osteoclast differentiation has yet to be fully understood. The purpose of this study is to determine whether BMP signaling has a role in the regulation of MKP-1 expression in osteoclasts. MKP-1 expression in wild-type osteoclasts treated with RANKL and/or BMP2 was measured using Real-Time PCR. My results demonstrate that upregulation of MKP-1 expression is delayed in osteoclasts treated with RANKL and BMP2 compared to RANKL alone. One of the pathways through which BMPs signal to regulate gene expression is SMAD 1/5/8. To determine whether SMAD1 can regulate MKP-1 expression, NIH 3T3 cells were transfected with a MKP-1 luciferase reporter and constitutively active SMAD1 termed SMAD1 DVD. My results demonstrated that SMAD1 DVD, was able to activate the MKP-1 promoter in a dose responsive manner. My results suggest that BMP signaling modulates expression of MKP-1 either positively or negatively depending on context. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Kim Mansky is currently an associate professor in the Division of Orthodontics in the Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Her research interests are in bone biology and currently her research is in proteins that regulate osteoclast differentiation and activation. Dr. Kim Mansky has had 20 publications in several journals including the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. Dr. Mansky earned her Ph.D. in oncology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997.