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 Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Sciences | Alumni | Robyn Grayson

Robyn Grayson

Research Interest:
Under normal physiological conditions, the lung is the most well-oxygenate organ in the mammalian body. However, a variety of conditions related to disease and prenatal development result in severe limitation of oxygen in pulmonary tissues.  The goal of my research is to define the metabolic responses of pulmonary cells to oxygen limitation and to determine the role that these metabolic adaptations play in the pathology of hypoxia-associated diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.  This work also seeks to correlate hypoxic metabolism to the metabolic phenotype of these cells under normal, oxygen-limited prenatal conditions.

 Specialized cells in the pulmonary alveoli facilitate normal breathing by production of pulmonary surfactant, a mixture of lipid and protein components that coats the surface of alveoli at the air/fluid interface.  Pulmonary surfactant is absolutely essential for reducing surface tension within the alveolus during expansion and contraction associated with breathing, thereby preventing alveolar collapse. Specifically, my work investigates pulmonary cell metabolism with the ultimate goal of determining how hypoxia affects the pathways critical to successful surfactant production. Understanding cellular adaptation to hypoxia will contribute to our understanding of ATII cell dysfunction in associated adult lung disease and diseases of prematurity.

Publications, Presentations, Posters & Meetings Attend:
Lottes, R.G., D.A. Newton and J.E. Baatz. "MsoCommentReference"Alveolar Type II Cells Maintain Bioenergetic Homeostasis in Hypoxia Through Metabolic and Molecular Adaptation. Publication submitted

O2-Sensitive Modulation of Oxygen and Nutrient Fate by HIFa Isoforms & AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in Alveolar Epithelial Type II Cells. American Thoracic Society Conference 2013, Philadelphia PA. Grayson R., D. Newton, and J. Baatz.

Hemoglobin & GATA1-dependent modulation of mitochondrial function in alveolar epithelial type II cells. American Thoracic Society 2012, San Francisco CA. Grayson R, D. Newton, D. Spyropoulos, and J. Baatz.

Hemoglobin & GATA1-dependent modulation of mitochondrial function in alveolar epithelial type II cells. Darby Children's Research Institute & Pediatric class="st" Research Day 2012, Charleston SC.Grayson R, D. Newton, D. Spyropoulos, and J. Baatz.

Metabolic adaptations foster ATII cell survival in hypoxia. 21 March 2013. Darby Children's Research Institute & Pediatric Research Day 2013, Charleston SC.

Honors & Awards:
Trainee in Marine Biomedicine and Human Health Program

Trainee in Oceans and Human Health Program

Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellow 2010

Robyn Grayson

Robyn Grayson

John E. Baatz

BS University of Kansas 2010

Year Matriculated: 2010