Wahida Ali, PhD

Research Fellow, Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology

Biography

Wahida finished her undergraduate degree in biochemistry with honors from Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY. During her undergraduate years she studied proteomic differences between drug resistant PC3 cell lines and non-drug resistant lines under Dr. Susan Bane. She then went on to complete her M.S. in microbiology under Dr. Karin Sauer also at Binghamton University. Under Dr. Sauer, Wahida studied development of antibiotic resistance over different stages of biofilm development in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In 2008, Wahida moved to Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY to complete her Ph.D in molecular and cellular pharmacology under Dr. Michael Frohman. In this lab, she studied the contributions of phospholipase D (PLD) and it's signaling product phosphatidic acid (PA) to phagocytosis and innate immune responses. She then applied this data to an obesity model and showed that PLD knock out mice show improved insulin sensitivity and reduced localized stress. Following completion of her Ph.D., Wahida spent one year doing a postdoc with Dr. Ashley Snider also at Stony Brook University. Here she studied fatty acid chain length in relation to colon inflammation. In October of 2014, Wahida received a T32 grant at University of Michigan and moved to Ann Arbor to pursue her second postdoc under Dr. Joseph Holoshitz in rheumatology.

Research Interests

Project 1: I am looking for orally available small compounds to be used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. I virtually screen a small molecule library using AutoDock 4 followed by in vitro screens to measure effectiveness at decreasing osteoclast differentiation. I further examine permeability of these compounds through 21 day differentiated colon epithelial cells using mass spectrometry and HPLC. My next step is to test effectiveness in vivo. Project 2: I am looking at the effect of the small peptide RA risk factor known as the shared epitope as an inducer of peptidylarginine deiminases through calcium signaling.

Techniques

RT-PCR Western blotting Cell culture and differentiation - primary and cell lines, fibroblasts, macrophages, and colon epithelial cells Confocal microscopy LTQ mass spectrometry HPLC Mouse models of obesity and insulin resistance Computational modeling (DOCK 4)

Publications

Immunology Mentor