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Earl W. Godfrey , PhD

    • Title:
    • Professor

    • Role:
    • Faculty

    • Faculty Appointments:
    • Additional Certifications:
    • Focus Areas:
    • Neuromuscular disease (ALS)

       

      Molecular basis of synapse formation

       

      Stem Cells and Therapies for ALS

       

      The goal of Dr. Godfrey’s current research project is to test a new therapy using cells from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease).  The therapy involves a DNA- and RNA-binding protein, Pur alpha, discovered by his collaborator at EVMS, Dr. Edward Johnson.  The protein binds to an expanded RNA repeat sequence found in cells from patients with the most common genetic form of ALS, the C9ORF72 expanded hexanucleotide repeat (GGGGCC).  In a fly model of this mutation, overexpression of Pur alpha has been shown to reduce neurodegeneration.  Pur alpha and a peptide with Pur activity developed by Dr. Johnson are being tested for efficacy to ameliorate cellular pathology in blood cells and fibroblasts from C9ORF72 ALS patients, and motor neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells from ALS patients with the C9ORF72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion.

    • Office Location:
    • Lester Hall

    • Undergraduate Education:
    • B.S., Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin - Madison

    • Graduate Education:
    • Postdoctoral Education:
    • Ph.D., Biology, Johns Hopkins University

    • Medical Education:
    • Residency:
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    • Research Interests:
    • Primary Specialty:
    • Hospital:
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    • Current Projects:
    • Bio:
    • 1984-1999, Assistant and Associate Professor, Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Medical College of Wisconsin

      1999-2004, Associate Professor, Pathology and Anatomy, EVMS

      2004-present, Professor, Pathology and Anatomy, EVMS

      2007-present, Director, Biomedical Sciences Graduate Programs, EVMS

Selected Recent Publications:

Godfrey, E.W.  and Schwarte, R.C. The role of nitric oxide signaling in the formation of the neuromuscular junction.  J. Neurocytol. 32: 591-602, 2003.

Schwarte, R.C., and Godfrey, E.W. Nitric oxide synthase activity is required for postsynaptic differentiation of the embryonic neuromuscular junction.  Devel. Biol. 273: 276-284, 2004.

Godfrey, E.W., Longacher, M.W., Neiswender, H., Schwarte, R.C., and Browning, D.D.  Guanylate cyclase and cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase regulate agrin signaling at the developing neuromuscular junction.  Devel. Biol., 307: 195-201, 2007.

Godfrey, E.W., and Schwarte, R.C.  Nitric oxide and cyclic GMP regulate early events in agrin signaling in skeletal muscle cells.  Experimental Cell Research 316: 1935-1945, 2010.

Selected Recent Presentations:

Meslang, A., Peak, J., and Godfrey, E.W.  Adipose stem cell transplantation as a therapy in a rat model of ALS.  Research Day, EVMS, 2011.

Heck, T., and Godfrey, E.W.  Stem cell therapy in a rat model of ALS.  Summer Scholars Poster Session, and Research Day, EVMS, 2012

Aguisanda, F., Theroux, C., and Godfrey, E.W.  Stem cell therapy in a mouse model of ALS.  Summer Scholars Poster Session, EVMS, 2013.

Godfrey, E.W., Orians, J., Johnson, E.M. and Daniel, D.C.  Pur alpha: a potential therapy for ALS due to the C9ORF72 expanded repeat.  Central Virginia Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, Richmond, VA, March 21, 2014.

Tyler, R.E., Daniel, D.C., Johnson, E.M. and Godfrey, E.W.  Pur alpha: a potential therapy for ALS due to the C9ORF72 expanded repeat.  SPUR Program/Summer Scholars Poster Session, EVMS, July 31, 2014.

Godfrey, E.W., Orians, J., Johnson, E.M. and Daniel, D.C.  Pur alpha: a potential therapy for ALS due to the C9ORF72 expanded repeat.  Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, November, 2014.