Iqbal Hamza: University of Maryland

Talk Title: "Lessons From Bloodless Worms: Heme Transport and Recycling"

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October 23, 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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Current Research: 
The long-term objectives of my research program are to identify the genes and uncover the pathways for heme transport and trafficking in humans which have remained poorly understood. At the University of Maryland, I deliberately set out to uncover heme trafficking pathways in eukaryotes – which were unknown at the time. My pioneering work with the invertebrate animal model C. elegans has demonstrated that this roundworm is exceptional because it does not synthesize heme but rather utilizes environmental heme to manufacture heme-containing proteins, which have human homologs. This broke the existing paradigm that heme synthesis occurred in all free-living eukaryotes [PNAS 2005].  Using the worm model, my research group identified the first eukaryotic heme importer/transporter (HRG-1) which is conserved in zebrafish and humans [Nature 2008].

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