In Memoriam: Jody Modarelli


Associate Professor of Chemistry

B.S. The University of Akron

Ph.D., The University of Akron



330-569-5987

 


Courses Taught:

  • Basic Biochemistry and research based lab
  • Intermediate Biochemistry and Cell Culture lab
  • Research Techniques in Biochemistry
  • Physiological Chemistry II and lab (focus on diabetes and tropical diseases)
  • General Chemistry II/lab
  • Immunology/lab
  • Virology/lab
  • Freshmen Colloquium (The Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease)
  • Seminar: Invertebrates and the Physician, Mass Spectrometry/lab
  • Interdisciplinary: Non-Profits, Healthcare and Public Policy
  • Study Abroad Seminar: Sustainable Science in the Dominican and Haiti

Current Research Projects

In search of a disease marker in the White-Winged Wood Duck (WWWD): A partnership between Hiram College, the Akron Zoo and the Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park.

A research project currently being conducted by Basic Biochemistry and research students in the biochemistry lab is the identification of novel metabolites in the plasma of the endangered Asian WWWD. Efforts to repopulate the WWWD in captivity (zoos and protective breeding grounds) are being attempted by the Akron Zoo and others, but have met with resistance due to the waterfowl's high susceptibility to Mycobacterium Avium (TB), a common air, soil and water bacterium found in the organs of these waterfowl.  The bacterium is believed to thrive at the soil-water interface, forming a biofilm that results from the high lipid content in the cell envelope making the bacterium (1) exceedingly resistant to treatment by antibiotics and (2), capable of eliciting an inflammatory response in most organisms, producing granulomas.  To date, students have identified in this species antibody switching, a lipid vesicle that could possibly transport bacterial metabolites in the cell and fatty acids associated with Protozoa (a possible vector for transmission). Biochemistry students are also growing Protozoa from Zoo water samples and designing tiered Reed Beds as a way of eliminating infectious organisms. Students use both biochemical techniques (gel electrophoresis) and mass spectrometry (400K instrument granted by the National Science Foundation) in their research.

Using Bioanalytical Methods to Detect Lipid Markers in the Urine of Patients with Renal Cell Carcinoma

Another research project in its beginning stage at Hiram College is in collaboration with Akron General Medical Center (AGMC) is the detection of cholesterol esters in the urine of patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC- kidney cancer).  This research represents a novel approach to cancer biology. RCC accounts for approximately 70% of all malignant kidney tumors and is characterized by cancerous cells that line the tubules of the kidney.  The cancer is often referred to as the "silent disease" because it is usually asymptomatic in its early stages and doesn't generally respond well to chemotherapy or radiation. The lipid content in human renal tissue has been investigated and has revealed that the biochemical pathway of cholesterol biosynthesis is altered due to abnormalities in all the mechanisms of cholesterol de novo biosynthesis. These results support the theory that esterified cholesterol plays a major role in cell proliferation and that excess accumulation of esterified cholesterol is due to an abnormality in cholesterol transport.  Research students are isolating cholesterol ester from healthy patients and patients with RCC to identify the specific types of cholesterol esters and to see if the esters are eliminated through the urine. In addition to studying urine samples, students will have the opportunity to work with AGMC and inject renal adenocarcinoma into isogenic Wister-Lewis rats in vivo.  Tumors in these species have been shown to closely resemble human renal cancer.

Publications/Published abstracts from Hiram College submitted or work completed and manuscript in progress

UNDERGRADUATE AUTHORS IN BOLD

Rajendra Acharya, Liladhar Paudel, Jojo Joseph, Claire McCarthy, Venkat Dupidali, Jody M. Modarelli and David A. Modarelli. Synthesis of Three Asymmetric (Mono- and Tri-Substituted) Free-Base N-Confused Tetraarylporphyrins. Submitted to the Jour of Org Chem, 2012.

Tessianna Misko, Phil D'Amico, Sarah Stevens, Claire McCarthy, Jooi Vyas, Michael Majetich, Audrey Andzelik, Jennifer Pekar, Matthew DiMuzio and Jody Modarelli. A Relationship Between IgY, IgY(DFc) and the Endangered White-Wood Winged Ducks High Susceptibility to Mycobacterium Avium. Submitted to Chem. Bio. 2012

Matt Dimuzio, Tessianna Misko, Jennifer Pekar, Sarah Stevens, Jennifer Razek and Jody Modarelli. Identification of a Unique Reverse Micellular Lipid in the Plasma of the Endangered White-Winged Wood Duck, 60th Annual ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Health. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. May 2012.

Matt Dimuzio, Tessianna Misko, Jennifer Pekar, Sarah Stevens, Jennifer Razek and Jody Modarelli. Identification of a Unique Reverse Micellular Lipid in the Plasma of the Endangered White-Winged Wood, Submitting to the Jour. Of Lipid Chem. 2012

Derek Scribner, Madhu Balasubramanian, Matt Jenoir, Cynthia Martin, Santiago Morales, Aimee Thompson, Reagent Panday, Emilee Lucking, Eileen Russell, Tessianna Misko, John Rice, Lauren Shunkwiler, Sarah Stevens, Nicole Marotta, Amelia Dorschel, Charles Gilbert, Darin Scribner, Jennifer Pekar, Ian Burton, Ken Belter, Ashlynn Krohn, Heather Brown, Andrianna Stephens, Viviani Schillace, Kristen DeChristopher, Audrey Andzelik, Mike Mastrmatteo, Chelsea Bardtini, Andrew Whims and Jody M. Modarelli.  Research in the Biochemistry Classroom: An Undergraduate Antibody Study. Submitting to Chem. Ed. 2012.

Tessianna Misko, Jennifer Pekar, Matthew DiMuzio and Jody Modarelli. Protozoa: A Potential Vector for Mycobacterium Infection in the Endangered White-winged Wood Duck. Submitting to Jour. Of Bio Chem. 2012

Abigail Freedman, Pyi Saw and Jody Modarelli. Direct Identification of Cholesterol Esters by ESI by Forming Salt Bridges. Submitting to Jour of Mass Spec 2012.

Tessianna Misko, Phil D'Amico, Sarah Stevens, Claire McCarthy, Jooi Vyas, Michael Majetich, Audrey Andzelik, and Jody Modarelli. A Relationship Between IgY (DFc) and the Endangered White-Wood Winged Ducks High Susceptibility to Mycobacterium Avium, 59th Annual ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Health, Denver,  Colorado, June 4th – June 9th, 2011.

Sarah Stevens, Phil D'Amico, Tessianna Misko, Jennifer Pekar, and Jody Modarelli. The Search for Lipid Metabolites in the Endangered White Winged Wood Duck, 59th Annual ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Health, Denver, Colorado, June 4th – June 9th, 2011.

Audrey Andzelik, Claire McCarthy, Michael Majetich, Jooi Vyas, Abigail Hexamer, Tria Charnas, and Jody Modarelli. The relationship between the IgG immunoglobulins in the plasma of the endangered White-Winged-Wood Duck susceptible to avium TB, 58th Annual ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Health, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 22nd – May 27th, 2010.

Claire. McCarthy; Audrey Anzelik; Michael Majetich; Jooi Vyas; Brittany Palmer; Margaret Pokryfki; Jody M. Modarelli. Identification of lipid metabolites in the plasma of the endangered White-Winged-Wood Duck infected with Mycobacterium Avium. 58th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Health, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 22nd – May 27th, 2010.

Modarelli, Jody M., Razek, Jennifer Lucas, Heather Tarase, Karly, Kinches, Brian, McCarthy, Claire, Marshall, John Gisemba, Eddie. A Reverse Micellular Lipid in the Plasma of the Endangered White- Winged Wood Duck Infected with Avium Tuberculosis. Central Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Cleveland, OH, 2009

Razek, Jennifer Taylor, Leeanne, Ross, James, and Modarelli, Jody M, Synthesis of Cholesteryl Esters for use as a Standard in Renal Cell Carcinoma Research, Central Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Cleveland, OH, 2009

Lucas, Heather Balusabramanian, Divya, and Modarelli, Jody M. A conservation study to investigate Mycobacterium Avium lipid metabolites in the endangered White-Winged Wood Duck, 56th ASMS Conference Denver, CO, June 2nd – June 5th, 2008

* 17 prior publication and published abstracts not included

Unpublished abstracts (poster presentations by Hiram Undergraduate Students)

Jennifer Pekar and Jody M. Modarelli. A Relationship Between IgY (ΔFc) and the Endangered White-Winged Wood Duck's High Susceptibility to Mycobacterium avium Infection, Ronald E. McNair California Scholars Symposium: Developing New Voices in the Academy, Berkeley, California, August 4th- 7th, 2011

Jennifer Pekar and Jody M. Modarelli. A Relationship Between IgY (ΔFc) and the Endangered White-Winged Wood Duck's High Susceptibility to Mycobacterium avium Infection, Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, Ohio, July, 2011

Jennifer Razek, Karly Tarase, Bryan Kinches and Jody Modarelli. A Reverse Micellular Lipid in the Plasma of the Endangered White-Winged Wood Duck Infected with Avium Tuberculosis, The University of Akron Undergraduate Symposium, April 2009

* 4 on campus presentations by undergraduate students not including

Invited talks:

  • The Cleveland Clinic Post-Doctoral series (2010, 2012)
  • The Akron Zoo (2010, 2011)
  • John Carol University (2010)

(Click here to view full curriculum vitae)

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