Dimova, Dessislava K.
Ph.D, Cornell University, 2000
Professional Summary/CV [.PDF]
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, School of Arts and Sciences, New Brunswick; Rutgers
Areas of Interest
The Study of Transcriptional Regulatory Networks through Genomics.
Molecular Genetics, Cell Structure and Function, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Chromatin and Epigenomics.
Memberships and Professional Service
SAS Affirmative Action Committee, 2007-2009; MBB Facilities Committeee, 2007-2008; Assistant Professor, Department of Mol. Biology & Biochemistry, Rutgers University, 2005-present; Research Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Nicholas Dyson Research, "Comprehensive analysis of the E2F/RB pathway in Drosophila," 2000-2005; Research assistant, New York University Medical Center, Department of Biochemistry, Dr. Hannah Klein Research, "Genetic studies of mitotic recombination and genome instability in yeast," 1992-1994.
Grants, Honors, and Awards
NJ Commission on Cancer Research Grant, 2006-2008; Charles and Johanna Busch Biomedical research Grant, 2006-2008; Rutgers University Searle Scholar nominee, 2006; Fund for Medical Discovery Fellowship Award, 2003-2004; Individual National Research Service Award, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2001-2003; National Research Service Award, Viral Oncology Training Grant, National Institutes, 2000-2001; Vincent du Vigneaud Award of Excellence, Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 1999; American Society for Microbiology Travel Award, 1999; Research Fellowship, Aroma Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Bulgaria, 1989-1991.
Academic Interests and Plans
We are interested transcriptional regulatory networks that govern cell division and differentiation and the molecular mechanisms behind such regulation. Specifically our studies have focused on the E2F/RB pathway. which is frequently deregulated in human tumors. The E2F and RB proteins are a family of transcription factors that are required for the expression of many genes. with diverse functions: cell cycle progression. differentiation. programmed cell death. etc. In mammals the pathway consists of a large number of interrelated complexes comprised of members of at least 3 multi-gene families (E2F. DP. RB). The mechanisms behind the diverse biological activities and the precise functions of each individual network component are not well understood.
We study the E2F/RB pathway and other related pathways using Drosophila as a model organism. These pathways are very well conserved. yet simpler in flies. We have taken advantage of recent methods for genome-wide studies such DNA Microarray analysis of global transcriptional changes. RNA interference (RNAi) techniques for knock-downs in tissue culture cells and high-throughput screening techniques to study the pathway and its regulators in fly cells. Some of the questions we are studying:
1) What are the individual contributions of each pathway member and how are their different activities integrated. We know that individual components can have overlapping (redundant). opposing and unique functions. and we are trying to identify these functions.
2) What are the molecular mechanisms that control the diverse activities of the different pathway members. The best studied regulation of E2F/RB is by cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) during the cell cycle. We and others have identified cell cycle-independent functions of E2F/RB and the goal is to understand these functions and how they are regulated.
3) Understanding which activities/functions of the pathway are important and which context - developmental and in respect to tumor formation. The diverse and sometimes opposing activities of E2F and RB family members. and the fact that they have different modes of regulation. indicate that the biological responses of the pathway will vary in different settings.