Ewelina Betleja, Ph.D. a Winner at 12th Postdoc Symposium

Ewelina Betleja, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Division of Nephrology faculty member Moe Mahjoub, Ph.D., was one of four winners of the 12th Annual Postdoc Symposium held today. The focus of Ewelina’s work is to better understand how cells build a primary cilium, a critical cellular organelle that acts like an “antenna” to send and receive signals from the extracellular environment.  Cilia play a key role in the development and function of multiple organs in the human body, including the kidney. Her project is focused on characterizing the molecular functions of Cep120, a protein that is mutated in patients with Jeune Asphyxiating Thoracic Dystrophy. JATD is an inherited disorder of bone growth characterized by a narrow chest, short ribs, shortened bones in the arms and legs, and extra digits. Infants born with this condition often develop life-threatening cystic kidney disease that causes the kidneys to malfunction and ultimately fail.  Using a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches, Ewelina has uncovered a novel mechanism that regulates the assembly of cilia. Congratulations!

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Ewelina - Postdoc symposium (1)

Dr. Betleja presenting her winning poster