The University of Toledo | Embracing Curiosity

Embracing Curiosity

Surprising Discoveries that Lead to Scientific Breakthroughs

As a national public research university, UToledo and its faculty believe challenges fuel our success and drive us to innovate new ideas. We are always asking “what if?” and inspiring our students to do the same.

Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Ph.D, working in a lab

While researching a protein thought to trigger rheumatoid arthritis, Ritu Chakravarti, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and her team instead found the opposite. When researchers removed the protein, it didn’t prevent illness but actually caused early onset arthritis. With that new knowledge, Chakravarti is developing a protein-based vaccine to prevent the painful autoimmune disease.

Ritu Chakravarti, Ph.D.

New research showing how sperm evolved to move better by Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences, opens avenues to help diagnose and treat male infertility. He previously discovered an additional atypical centriole in sperm and his latest research confirms its role as a transmission system rather than a shock absorber in controlling the twitching in the head of the sperm to synchronize with the sperm tail movement.

Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Ph.D.

A single therapeutic that could both normalize glucose levels and improve the mass and quality of bone could be possible leveraging the protein called PPAR-gamma, according to Beata Lecka-Czernik, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery with a joint appointment in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. Supported by a $3.4 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, she’ll advance her research ultimately aimed at developing a single therapeutic for people with osteoporosis and Type 2 diabetes.

Beata Lecka-Czernik, Ph.D.

Tom Megeath, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy, and Ph.D. candidate Nolan Habel are challenging the common model of how stars are born. Using data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, they discovered outflows of gas from infant stars do not actually determine the masses of stars, which has been the fundamental idea of star formation.

Tom Megeath, Ph.D. standing with and Ph.D. candidate Nolan Habel

Dedicated to uncovering new treatments for drug-resistant cancer, Amit K. Tiwari, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology, is pursuing a pre-clinical study of a promising new chemotherapy treatment for triple negative breast cancer. Instead of killing cancer cells by apoptosis to shrink and break them down, this method causes cancer cells to swell and burst, releasing markers that activate the body’s immune system.

Amit K. Tiwari, Ph.D.

By pure accident, Jyl Matson, Ph.D., associate professor of medical microbiology and immunology, found Vibrio cholerae living in northwest Ohio waterways. While not the same strains that cause cholera in people, the surprising discovery raises intriguing questions about where else the bacteria might be lurking. Her ongoing research into cholera recently received an $800,000 National Science Foundation grant.

Jyl Matson, Ph.D. Jyl Matson, Ph.D.

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Last Updated: 8/22/22