Archive for October, 2005

2005 Interview Series #2: Dr. Lisa Kaplan

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Dr. Lisa Kaplan is currently the director of the Biology and Enviromental Sciences Programs at Post University in Waterbury. She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. She studied under Dr. Joseph Crivello. Below is the abstract from her dissertation

Degree: PH.D.
Year: 1991
Pages: 00159
Advisor: Major Adviser: J. F. CRIVELLO
Source: DAI, 52, no. 12B, (1991): 6255
Abstract: Several species from the fish genus Poeciliopsis differ dramatically in their response to the carcinogen N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). Differential induction of tumors among genotypes exposed to NDEA may, in part, result from differences in carcinogen bioactivation, extent of hepatotoxicity, and induction of cell proliferation to replace damaged hepatocytes.

Biochemical evidence (inhibition by carbon monoxide and requirement of molecular oxygen and NADPH) suggests that a microsomal cytochrome P450IIE1 enzyme catalyzes the metabolism of NDEA to acetaldehyde and other intermediates in Poeciliopsis. A radioactive assay was developed to measure acetaldehyde formation in liver microsomal preparations. Differences in maximal basal activity and thermal optima (25$spcirc$C-30$spcirc$C) were found among genotypes. Western Blots, using anti-rat P450IIE1 antibodies, detected a 55-60kd band in fish and rat liver microsomes, but none in muscle microsomes.

Northern Blots, using a 49mer probe specific for rat P450IIE1, detected a 3.3kb mRNA from liver of one synthesized and two wild-type hemiclones; no bands were detected from muscle RNA. S1 Nuclease Protection Assays revealed an mRNA protected by the 49mer against nuclease digestion that could be either induced or suppressed depending on dose and exposure to ethanol. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), using gene specific primers, amplified a 300bp fragment. The putative amino acid sequence from this cDNA had 40% homology with rat P450IIE1.

The presence of cytochrome P450IIE1 activity in liver is, by itself, not sufficient to produce tumorigenesis; there must be cells susceptible to the activated carcinogen. Cells appear most susceptible to damage during their replicative phase. Although adult liver parenchyma is fairly stable, it retains the ability for substantial regeneration. Damage from chemical insult has been found to initiate a toxic response in Poeciliopsis liver. Histological examination of liver after carcinogen exposure revealed diffuse and localized necrosis, loss of tissue architecture, condensation of nuclei, and, in some instances, increased vacuolation of hepatocytes as early as one day post-treatment. Although lymphocytic infiltration was absent, macrophage activity was observed on different days after exposure. Extensive cell proliferation usually began two days post-treatment and continued for up to 12 days.

Read her statement of research at:

Read her current personal profile

Read about her teaching experiences

Dr. Kaplan and Dr. Crivello had a partnership for a number of years conducting research in association with Connecticut High Schools. The program was funded by the Long Island Sound Licence Plate Fund and was called The Estuary Watch Program. Students would collect data from different Long Island Sound Salt Marshes in Connecticut, provide data, with more sophisticated research taking place in Dr. Crivello’s lab. Read about this program at

If you would like to find out more about some of Dr. Kaplan’s published research, search Google! Scholar using “LAE Kaplan” for your search parameters.

Using the information above as well as your own interests and further research, compose appropriate, relevant questions to ask Dr. Kaplan when she visits us on October 25th. Questions should be conceptual, in-depth, and original (do not repeat other students’ questions). Post them here so we can share our ideas and thoughts.

Our interview will conclude with the “Big10.” . . . a series of rapid-fire, quick-response questions based on The Pivot Questionnaire. You will probably recognize them as similar to the 10 questions James Lipton asks of his interviewees on the television program Inside the Actor’s Studio.

01. What is your favorite word?
02. What is your least favorite word?
03. What turns you on creatively?
04. Who has made the biggest impact on your life? (name and relation)
05. What is your favorite scientific word?
06. What sound or noise do you love?
07. What sound or noise do you hate?
08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
09. What profession would you not like to do?
10. What phrase or message should all people know?

Kelly L’s Choice Project

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Kelly has created a robotics website. Please check it out and provide feedback.

Feedback should include:
What you like
What needs to be clarified
Questions you have
Suggestions and/or other comments