Identification of Genetic Suppressors of C. Elegans Fer-1

Identify and characterize genetic and chemical suppressors of C. elegans fer-1 as a way to identify potential new therapeutic targets

C. elegans fer-1 is the ancestral homolog of human Dysferlin. Mutations in fer-1 are known to cause infertility in C. elegans. Since genetic modifiers of LGMD2B/MM are known to exist, it is possible that homologous modifiers may also exist in other organisms such as C. elegans. Based on this rationale, we performed a large-scale mutagenic screen and isolated a number of genetic suppressor mutants that restore fertility to C.


2B Empowered Conference

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Disease-modifying factors in inherited muscle diseases, a twin study

The objective of this project is to understand whether progression of LGMDs is due to genetics or environment.

Phenotypic variation has been reported in patients with the same inherited muscle disease, even  with identical gene mutations, inter- and intrafamilially. 

The goal of this project is

(i) to investigate if there is a variability in onset, progression and symptoms in monozygotic and dizygotic twins  with inherited muscle diseases, with primary focus on muscular dystrophies like dysferlinopathies.


Hasan Balcin, M.D

Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge

Dr. Balcin is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Karolinska Institute in the Department of Neurophysiology and Neurology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Past Projects

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Regenerative capacity of hypothermic treatment in induced human satellite cells

Satellite cells, characterized by the transcription factor Pax7, are the proper stem cells of the adult skeletal muscle. They have an enormous capacity for self-renewal and superb potential for muscle regeneration. It has only recently been recognized that muscle regeneration cannot occur when satellite cells are absent. However, satellite cells are notoriously difficult to study due to their low abundance and their dispersed location in the specific stem-cell niche, the space between basal lamina and sarcolemma of skeletal muscle.


Overly-optimistic portrayal of stem cell research in the media gives false hope

Researchers analyzed newspaper articles on stem cells from 2010-2013 and found almost 70% of the articles reported that treatments would be available in 5-10 years or earlier, but these timelines are unsupported by scientific research. These inaccurate timelines give false hope and can lead patients to seek out unproven stem cell therapies.


Dennis G. Drescher, PhD

Wayne State University

Dr. Drescher is Professor and Director of Molecular Biology in the Department of Otolaryngology and Biochemistry-Molecular Biology at Wayne State University (Detroit, MI).

Research Projects