Dr. Daniel Kuebler | Franciscan University of Steubenville
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    Dr. Dan Kuebler

    Dean of the School of Natural & Applied Sciences, Professor of Biology

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    Regenerative Medicine Research

    The field of regenerative medicine involves using tissues, cells, growth factors, and biocompatible materials in order to regenerate damaged tissues with the hope of re-establishing normal physiological function. Our lab work focuses on the use of bone marrow, adipose tissue and placental tissue to aid in the regeneration of orthopedic injuries. All three of these tissues contain mesenchymal stem cells, adult stem cells that have the ability to differentiate into fat, bone and cartilage cells. In addition, the MSCs are known to secret a variety of factors that can promote tissue regeneration and modulate/regulate the immune response. We are interested in examining the effect different harvesting and processing techniques have on the isolation of bone marrow, fat and placental tissue for use in orthopedic procedures. In the case of bone marrow, there are numerous techniques for isolating and concentrating bone marrow. However, the efficacy of these techniques in terms of procuring high numbers of MSCs, platelets and growth factors is not well understood We are currently investigating this in the lab in collaboration with a number of clinicians. In addition, we are working with physicians on clinical trials to examine the efficacy of bone marrow in treating knee osteoarthritis a common, debilitating condition that is estimated to affect nearly 27 million adults in the United States. Given the limitations of current treatments, identifying the optimal regenerative techniques and treatments for this condition holds much promise. 

    Our lab is also investigating the effects of various biologic extracts (bone marrow, placental tissue, etc.) have on the growth, protein secretion, and gene expression of various types of MSCs and immune cells. Given 1) the ability of various biologics to modify the immune response and 2) the role of the immune response and inflammation in tissue repair and injury, understanding how biologics, alone or in combination, can modify the immune response in order to augment the healing process may lead to more effective regenerative treatments.

    Read more about this research.

    Research with Seizure Disorders

    Millions of people in the US suffer from epilepsy, a heterogeneous collection of disorders that all involve spontaneous recurrent seizures that have no known trigger. Unfortunately, the etiology of epilepsy is poorly understood particularly given the diverse categories of genes that have been implicated in this disease. In order to understand the underlying cause of seizure disorders such as epilepsy, we study a family of seizure susceptible Drosophila mutants that are known as the Bang-sensitive (BS) paralytic mutants. Uncovering the underlying causative defect in these mutants represents the major line of investigation in our lab. Recently, we have demonstrated that metabolic alterations can have profound effects on seizure susceptibility in the BS mutants. Specifically, we have found that mutations and drugs that increase metabolism can reduce seizure intensity and duration. Undergraduate students, many of whom have presented at national meetings or have been authors on scientific publications, have performed all of this work. Currently we are examining the effect dietary changes have on seizure susceptibility as well as how the expression of metabolic genes is altered by various diets and pharmacological treatments. We hope that a better understanding of the link between metabolism and seizure susceptibility will shed light on the physiological defect(s) underlying seizure disorders in general.

    Selected papers and meeting abstracts with undergraduate student co-authors:

    Stone B, Burke B, Pathakamuri J, Coleman J, Kuebler D. (2014) A low cost method for analyzing seizure-like activity and movement in Drosophila. J Vis Exp. 84: e51460.

    Burner K and Kuebler D. (2014) “Sucrose-only diets suppress seizure-like activity (SLA) in the Bang-sensitive (BS) paralytic mutants easily shocked and technical knockout." (Annual Drosophila Research Conference, Abstr 537C, Mar 26-30).

    Stone B, Kaercher L, ColemanJ, and Kuebler D. (2013) Alterations in metabolism suppress seizures inthe Bang-sensitive paralytic mutants. BrainResearch 1496:94-103.

    Kuebler D, Coleman J., and Stone B.(2013) “Metformin reduces seizure-like activity in the bang-sensitive paralyticmutants easily shocked and technical knockout. (Annual Drosophila ResearchConference, Abstr 470B, Mar 28-Apr 1).

    Kuebler D, Kaercher L, and Stone B. (2011) “Mutationsand drugs that increase metabolism can suppress seizures in the Bang-sensitiveparalytic mutants.” (Annual Drosophila Research Conference, Abstr 417C,Mar 30-Apr 3).

    Whelan J, Burke B, Rice A,Tong M, and Kuebler D. (2010) Sensitivity to seizure-like activity in Drosophila following acute hypoxia and hypercapnia.Brain Research 1326: 120-128.

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