UNT Research, Volume 16, 2006 Page: 44
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end of this three-year study, I hope to be
able to fully describe the ductus and make
some prediction of how it will respond to
certain environmental factors."
When we get cut, we count on hemo-
stasis - successful blood clotting - to
stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, the same
process inside a vessel is not so positive.
"We call that thrombosis, and of course
it can be devastating," says Jagadeeswaran,
professor of biological sciences. "If the clot
occurs in the blood vessels leading to the
heart, we call it a myocardial infarction. If
it occurs near the brain, we call it a stroke.
Location, location, location."
Jagadeeswaran has conducted a long-
time study of hemostasis and thrombosis at
several posts, including the University of
Texas Health Science Center in San
Antonio and the University of Illinois
College of Medicine in Chicago, since his
first research appointment at Yale in 1979.
Along the way, Jagadeeswaran - stu-
dents call him Dr. Jag - has become a
renowned expert in the use of the zebrafish.
The clear, inch-long, striped fish, which
originated in the River Ganges in India, has
become a model for study of human dis-
ease and is now used in labs worldwide.
With Jagadeeswaran's recent appoint-
ment at UNT comes a new, state-of-the-art
zebrafish facility, an upgrade from a few
, yoil. U 0,a , u m predict how best to
aquariums to upwards of 50,000 fish in
specialized breeding tanks.
Jagadeeswaran's team was the first to
use aspirin with zebrafish to model human
blood thinning. But what interests him
most about the fish today is how they can
be used to model human genetics and then
to predict how best to counteract thrombo-
sis in humans by refining the blood thin-
Simply mutate a male zebrafish by
soaking it in water containing a chemical,
called a mutagen, then breed that fish. The
resulting offspring carry mutated genes.
Those fish are bred to produce homozygous
random mutations, and so on; the end
result is a library of gene mutations in
something like 30 to 40 zebrafish. That
provides plenty of subjects on which to test
how random genetic mutations might affect
the hemostatic system in zebrafish and gives
researchers a tool to identify human genes
by using fish mutations as a bait.
For the past seven years, Jagadeeswaran's
team has worked on a genetic test for use
on his inch-long subjects that allows the
researchers to detect developing hemostatic
and thrombotic problems.
Before coming to UNT, he identified
several major genetic mutations in hemo-
philia patients, as well as the problems in
platelet thinning that lead to hemophiliac
conditions. Jagadeeswaran's latest big ques-
tion surrounds the unusual development in
hemophiliac patients who make it to adult-
hood - they're usually not hemophiliac
"Something is broken that corrects as
they age. We have to identify that part in
order to solve the puzzle," Jagadeeswaran
UNT's new zebrafish facility offers
the Jag team's best shot yet, and he's hope-
ful they can get their questions answered.
44 2006 UNT RESEARCH
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University of North Texas. UNT Research, Volume 16, 2006, periodical, 2006; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29777/m1/44/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.