Dana R. Crawford
Dr. Crawford's laboratory is primarily involved in redox, gene expression, and diet research. He has identified a number of genes that are modulated by oxidative stress and is characterizing their function and possible clinical use in stress-related diseases and disorders. One of these genes, RCAN1 (ADAPT78), is important in regulating many calcium-dependent cellular functions, and we are currently assessing its role in immune system dysfunction, Down syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, and brain inflammation. A second set of oxidative stress-modulated genes that the lab studies are mitochondrial RNA and DNA. These polynucleotides are preferentially degraded during stress, and we are now characterizing their immunogenic signaling properties. The laboratory is also involved in diet and nutrition as a healthy, low-cost and translational approach to treating multiple pathologies and conditions, a project we call dietary rational gene targeting. This novel approach uses healthy dietary agents (e.g., whole food or plant polyphenols such as curcumin) to modulate key disorder causing genes, in turn providing potential alternative and adjuvant treatment therapies. Dr. Crawford also chairs the Capital Region Cancer Research (CRCR) group, an inter-institutional organization devoted to the cure of cancer.