Researcher: Jinghe Mao, Ph.D.
Dr. Jinghe Mao, Biology Professor, has established a Genomics Facility on campus and is exploring the lipidomic profile of normal, pre-diabetic and diabetic patients from different races. Her lab has employed high-throughput electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) to screen 343 lipid species belonging to 14 lipid classes in a total of 120 subjects, including type 2 diabetic, prediabetic patients, and healthy individuals. Twelve lipid species were found to be significantly decreased in the type 2 diabetic group and 13 in prediabetic group when compared with the healthy group. Eight species were 2-8 fold decrease in diabetic and prediabetic groups using a parametric t-test with a cut off P value <0.05. The data indicate that the lipid metabolism pathway has been impaired in the pre- and diabetic patients, especially for certain group of lipids.
The Mao lab is also performing microarray analysis from peripheral WBC to compare up/down gene regulation between Caucasians and African-Americans and among different types of type 2 diabetes. Eight genes related to lipid metabolisms have been found to be significantly up- or down-regulated among different groups. Thus, these "lipid or gene markers" can be useful for early diagnosis and the targets the new drug development.
Dr. Mao has mentored more than a dozen students working on different projects in her lab. These students were/are much better prepared and more competitive for going to the graduate school after finishing their tenure at Tougaloo College. Seven of them have attended graduate school. Most of them presented their research papers on the NSD student seminar series as well as national undergraduate research conferences.