Omar Skalli

Omar Skalli

Director, Integrated Microscopy Center

103A Life Science Building
Office Hours
By Email Appointment

Research Interest

Cell Nanomaterial Intereaction

1. Research Interests

U373 MG astrocytoma cells stained by immunufluorescence1A. Contribution of cytoskeletal proteins to the motility and proliferation of astrocytoma cells. The cytoskeletal proteins on which we focus include the intermediate filament proteins synemin and vimentin as well as alpha-actinin, an actin filament bundling protein. We are also examining the mechanisms by which intermediate filament proteins, and synemin in particular, affect P13K/Akt signalling in astrocytoma cells.

Figure to the right shows U373 MG astrocytoma cells stained by immunufluorescence for the intermediate filament protein vimentin (in red) and the nuclear intermediate filament lamin (in green). DNA is stained with DAPI and fluoresces in blue.



HeLa cervical carcinoma cells incubated with carboxylated polystyrene beads (red).1B. Changes in cytoskeletal and plasma membrane dynamics during uptake of nanoparticles by cancer cells.

Figure to the left shows HeLa cervical carcinoma cells incubated with carboxylated polystyrene beads (red). Cell membrane was stained with fluorescent wheat germ agglutinin and fluoresces in green, while is stained with DAPI and fluoresces in blue.

1C. Improving microscopy methods to image cytoskeletal proteins and nanoparticle uptake in astrocytoma cells growing in 3D culture models.


2. Current funding

09/01/2014 to 08/31/2017: NSF Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) grant, PI: Dr. Preza; co-PI: Dr. Skalli. "Improving 3D resolution and reducing sensitivity to spherical aberration in live, thick sample cellular imaging using novel methods in optical sectioning microscopy". Amount awarded: $464,800.

3. Publications : 2014-2015

Pekny, T., Faiz, M., Wilhelmsson, U., Curtis, M.A., Matej, R., Skalli, O., Pekny, M. 2014. Synemin is expressed in reactive astrocytes and Rosenthal fibers in Alexander disease. APMIS 122:76-80.

Skalli, O., Boykins, L., Coons, L. Electron microscopy. 2014. Chapter in: "Biofouling Methods". Dobretsov, S., Williams, D.N., and Thomason J. Edts. Wiley Blackwell publisher. Pages 26-43.

Hamill, K.J., Colburn, Z.T., Hiroyasu, S., Ventrella, R.V., Hopkinson, S.B., Skalli, O., and Jones, J.C.R.. Alpha actinin-1 regulates cell-matrix adhesion organization in keratinocytes: consequences for skin cell motility. J. Invest. Dermatol., in press.

Quick, Q., Paul, M., and Skalli, O. Roles and Potential Clinical Applications of Intermediate Filament Proteins in Brain Tumors. Sem. Ped. Neurol. In press