Wanda O'Neal

Wanda O’Neal

Degrees

BS: 
(1984) North Dakota State U
Fargo ND

MS: 
(1987) North Dakota State U.
Fargo ND

PhD: 
(1993) Baylor College of Med
Houston TX

Academic Title:
Research Assistant Professor

Office:  7011 Thurston-Bowles
Phone:  919-962-9866
Fax:      919-966-6821
Email:   woneal@med.unc.edu

Research Interests:

  1. We are interested in studying the barriers to gene transfer in the lung epithelium, specifically the role of the glycocalyx as a barrier to prevent contact of gene transfer vectors to the cells. We are concentrating on the transmembrane mucins as important components of the glycocalyx layer. Mice with mutations in two of these mucin genes are either being evaluated (Muc1) or generated by knockout technology (Muc4).
  2. Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) is a disease similar to CF in that it leads to chronic lung infection. However, the mechanism of disease is different. PCD patients are lacking functioning cilia so that they have defective mucociliary clearance. We are studying the genetics of PCD and have characterized a dynein heavy chain protein, involved in the structure of the cilia, that is lacking in a patient with PCD. Mice are being bred with mutations in the dynein genes in order to generate a model for the human condition.
  3. The CFTR protein is known to interact with a variety of proteins within the cell. We are using RNA microarrays to evaluate the effect of CFTR mutations on the functions of thousands of genes simultaneously. We hope to identify new therapeutic targets for CF lung disease by discovering genes whose functions are altered by the presence of mutant CFTR.