Megan A. Mahlke

Name: Megan A. Mahlke
Agency: 711th Human Performance Wing/Human Effectiveness Directorate
Division: Bioeffects Division, Fort Sam Houston, TX
School: University of Texas at San Antonio
Program of Study: M.S., Biology
Synopsis:Nanosecond electrical pulses (nsEPs) have been demonstrated to stress mammalian cells via inducing the formation of small pores in the plasma membrane, allowing for unregulated influx of ions into the cell. Ultimately, nsEP exposure can lead to apoptosis, yet it is unknown whether pore formation alone is the cause. The effects of nsEPs on a cell’s structural integrity, ie. cytoskeletal components, are an important factor that remains unevaluated. Currently, I am working on the transfection of CHO cells with two plasmids carrying fluorescent-linked actin. These cells will be used to visualize the effects of nsEPs on the organization and structure of actin within mammalian cells. The effects of nsEPs on other structural proteins (tubulin, vimentin, histone H2B, etc) will also be evaluated using a similar methodology. Ultimately, this will provide insight into the involvement of structural proteins in nsEP-induced pore formation, plasma membrane disruption, and apoptosis.
Megan Mahlke, Bennett L. Ibey, Christopher Navara (2013) In G. J. Wilmink, B. L. Ibey, (Eds.), Terahertz and Ultrashort Electromagnetic pulses for Biomedical Applications. Effects of nanosecond electrical pulses (nsEPs) on cell cycle progression and susceptibility at various phases. Paper presented The International for Photonics 7 at Society Optics and Photonics, Photonics West, Moscone Center, San Francisco, 2-7 Feb (Vol. 8585; doi: 10.1117/12.2020679)
Dates: Start: 11/2011 End: