Principal Investigator

Nathan Wall, PhD, MBA, MS
Assistant Professor & Biochemistry, Graduate Program Director
Division of Biochemistry
nwall@llu.edu
Phone: (909) 558-4000 Ext. 81397

Nathan Wall, PhD, MBA, MS

People

Janviere Kabagwira
Janviere Kabagwira
5th Year Ph.D. Student
Biochemistry Graduate Program
Division of Biochemistry
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, CA 92350

909-558-4000 (x81368)
jkabagwira@llu.edu

Research Interests:

Important to pancreatic cancer (PCa) diagnosis and management is to determine an optimal combination of clinical indicators or biomarkers that could detect tumors early with high specificity/sensitivity and with limited invasiveness. In spite of the availability of a plethora of gene products considered as promising PCa biomarkers, it is recognized that their combined use with the available clinical information is still insufficient for early diagnosis and for guiding individualized therapeutic interventions and predicting outcomes. Their main limitation is that they require invasive procedures such as biopsies. However, there is growing interest in using proteomics approaches to identify tumor-derived serum microvesicles called exosomes and their content, as serological biomarkers. This interest stems from the notion that these blood components are considered “sensors” of molecular events associated with tumorigenesis. One such target that may prove useful in early detection from PCa patient serum or plasma is the newly recognized exosomal protein Survivin and its alternative splice variants. Validation that serum exosomes contain a specific panel of survivin splice variants may provide not only a cancer-specific marker of cancer but a means to identify disease in a non-invasive manner.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  1. Kabagwira J, Wall NR. An Argument to Examine Exosomal Survivin Splice Variant Expression and Patient Survival in Pancreatic Cancer. Clinics in Oncology, 2: 1-10, 2017. (Impact Factor: 1.920)
  2. De Necochea-Campion R, Gonda A, Kabagwira J, Mirshahidi S, Cao H, Reeves ME, Wall NR.  A Practical Approach to Extracellular Vesicle Characterization Among Similar Biological Samples. Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express, 4(6), 2018 (Impact Factor Not Yet Available).
  3. Gonda A, Kabagwira J, Senthil GN, Ferguson Bennit HR, Neidigh JW, Khan S, Wall NR. Exosomal Survivin Facilitates Vesicle Internalization. Oncotarget, 9(79):34919-34934, 2018. (Impact Factor: 5.168)
  4. Gonda A, Kabagwira J, Senthil GN, Wall NR. Internalization of Exosomes through Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis. Molecular Cancer Research, 17(2):337-347, 2019. (Impact Factor: 4.484)
  5. Ferguson Bennit HR, Gonda A, McMullen JRW, Kabagwira J, Wall NR. Peripheral blood cell interactions of cancer-derived exosomes affect immune function, Cancer Microenvironment, 12(1), 2019. doi: 10.1007/s12307-018-0209-1. (Impact Factor 2.680).
  6. Gonda A, Moyron R, Kabagwira J, Vallejos PA, Wall NR. The Cellular-defined Microenvironmental Internalization of Exosomes, Book: Extracellular Vesicles.  Requested by InTech Publishing, Accepted for Publication April 2019.

Paul A. Vallejos
Paul A. Vallejos
2nd Year Ph.D. Student
Cancer Biology Graduate Program
Division of Biochemistry
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, CA 92350

909-558-4000 (x81368)
pvallejos@llu.edu

Research Interests:

is (PC) is a manifestation of several gastrointestinal cancers. In the lab we study colorectal PC. Patients diagnosed with colorectal PC, on average, have a median life expectancy of 5-month. Poor survival is attributed to the lack of early diagnostic techniques. Using Next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics analysis, we are in the process of identifying potential biomarkers to aide in the early diagnosis and prognosis of the disease. These biomarkers are carried throughout the circulatory system in microvesicles known as exosomes. They originate in the primary tumor and contain genetic information specific to the disease. They can be collected through noninvasive liquid biopsies. We hope to one day develop an assay to aide in the early detection and prognosis of the disease.  

 

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Gonda A, Moyron R, Kabagwira J, Vallejos PA, Wall NR. The Cellular-defined Microenvironmental Internalization of Exosomes, Book: Extracellular Vesicles.  Requested by InTech Publishing, Accepted for Publication April 2019.

NRW Laboratory Alumni:

Dalmor W. McGregor, MS Microbiology, June 2007

Jessica M. Slater Jutzy, PhD Biochemistry, January 2013; MD, May 2015

Nicholas R. Galloway, PhD Biochemistry, May 2013; MD, May 2013

Jonathan R. Aspe, PhD Biochemistry, May 2014

Carlos J. Diaz Osterman, PhD Biochemistry, May 2015

Malyn May Asuncion-Valenzuela, PhD Biochemistry, May 2015

David Turay, PhD Anatomy, January 2016

Rosalia de Necochea-Campion, PhD Biochemistry, May 2017

Ron B. Moyron, PhD Biochemistry, June 2017

Heather Ferguson Bennit, PhD Biochemistry, July 2017

Amber Gonda, PhD Anatomy, November 2018

Research Technician:

Maritess Gay Asuman, DO; September 2004 to July 2009

Post-Doctoral Fellows:

Salma Khan, MD/PhD, 2006-2012

Surgical Fellowship Program:

Matthew Selleck, DO; Fellow in Surgical Oncology; August 2016 to January 2017

Blake Babcock, MD; Fellow in Surgical Oncology, August 2017 to January 2018

Mei Li Kwong, MD; Fellow in Surgical Oncology, August 2018 to January 2019