Ellen LeMosy

Associate Professor

Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy
Member, Augusta University Cancer Center
Carl Sanders R&E Building, CB2916

Phone: 706-721-0876
Laboratory: 706-721-0893
envelope-o icon elemosy@augusta.edu

Current Member(s) of the LeMosy Lab:

Inquiries from prospective STAR, CURS, and Medical Scholar trainees are encouraged.
At this time (2015), the LeMosy lab is unable to support PhD. or post-doctoral trainees.

Research Interests:

Our overall interest is in understanding mechanisms by which the extracellular matrix in the tissue microenvironment regulates signaling molecules transmitted between cells. This area of research is relevant to disease processes such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and wound healing. We approach the extracellular matrix as cell and developmental biologists. Signaling pathways important for development of organisms have been clearly demonstrated to be re-utilized in repair, regeneration and aging. We use the developmental model systems of fruit flies and zebrafish, which offer powerful genetic tools and ready visualization of tissue morphogenesis, cell migration, and pathway activation in whole embryos. Because secreted signals must undergo tight spatial and temporal regulation in vivo, as compared to in cell or tissue culture studies, development offers strong models for determining regulatory mechanisms.

One ongoing project is to understand the function of a highly-conserved matrix component that has been implicated in pediatric disorders of kidney and cranial bones, and as a tumor suppressor. We have demonstrated that this protein is required for early development of craniofacial skeleton, heart, brain and kidney in zebrafish. We have early evidence that this protein acts by regulating Wnt growth factors, and are pursuing its effects on Wnt signaling and on cellular behaviors such as migration and differentiation in zebrafish. Targeted experiments in fruit fly and mammalian renal and tumor cell models are planned, and would provide further insight into the fundamental conserved mechanisms by which this protein acts. Longer-term, we are also interested in exploring human disease associations and mouse models with Augusta University colleagues. This project offers several opportunities for trainees to develop independent and/or collaborative projects.

Another major project examines dorsoventral axis patterning in the fruit fly, in which members of the EGF and NGF signal families sequentially determine polarity of the oocyte and embryo. Much of our published work involves proteases that regulate activation of the NGF-related ligand in the embryo, but we have more recently gained biochemical and genetic evidence for roles of two classes of charged sugars, including GAGs (glycosaminoglycans), in spatial control of these ligands. This work may have implications for regulation of related signals important in cancer and nervous system. This project has benefited from collaborations with colleagues at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center in Athens, GA, as well as with a laboratory at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. This project offers trainees experience with glycobiology and biochemistry, in addition to genetics and developmental biology.

Former Lab Members and Where They Went:

Postdoctoral Scientists
Debra Gearhart, PhD., Senior Research Scientist, Arkley BioTek LLC, Indianapolis
Xutong Sun, PhD., Assistant Professor/Research Scholar, Medicine, University of Arizona
Sangeetha Sukumari-Ramesh, PhD., Research Scientist, Neurosurgery, Augusta University
Pamela Steen, PhD., Adjunct Faculty, Biology-Geology Dept., USC-Aiken

PhD Students
Sufang Tian, MD, PhD, Associate Chief Physician, Pathology, Wuhan University
Michael Dinkins, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Neuroscience Regen Med, Augusta University

Dean’s Summer Research Medical Scholars
Tambrea Ellison, MD, Physical Med Rehabilitation Residency, Johns Hopkins University
            Pain Fellow and Attending in Macon, GA
Bennett Gardner, MD, OB/GYN practice in NC

STAR and SMURP Summer Undergraduate Students
Adrea Tiller, BS, Lenoir-Rhyne College; MS, Forensic Science, U. Oklahoma
Benjamin Covar, BS, USC-Columbia; Finance and Banking
Leah Hubbard, BS, Spelman College; PhD, U. Michigan; Postdoc, NIAID
Victoria Fratto, BS, College of William and Mary; MD, U. Pittsburgh; OB/GYN, Columbia U.
Maja Stanojevic, BS, Missouri State University
Caitlin Suilmann, BS, Agnes Scott College
Haesung Lee, BS, University of Georgia; Medical Student, PCOM
Rachel Roberts, BS, USC-Aiken; PhD student, Biomedical Sciences, Augusta University

Other (High School, Post-Bacc Technicians)
Maggie Elalayli, BS, UC-Riverside; tech 2002-2004; MBA, Augusta University; Pharm. D., U. Pittsburgh
Mazen Fakhouri, BS, UC-San Diego; tech 2004-2007; PA, Augusta University
Jackie Hall, BS, USC-Aiken; tech 2003-2006; CNL, Augusta University
Alex Moosariparambil, Lakeside High junior 2009; went on to UGA
Brandon Pope, BS, UGA; temp tech 2012; IRTA Fellow, NINDS


1984    BS, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
1993    PhD, Duke University, Durham, NC
1993    MD, Duke University, Durham, NC

Post-Doctoral Positions:
1994-2000       Post-Doctoral Fellow, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
                       Dept. of Cell Biology, Lab of Carl Hashimoto
2000-2001       Associate Research Scientist, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Honors and Awards:
Member, American Heart Association Peer Review Committees, 2007, 2009, 2012
Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
NRSA F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, NICHD
Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association

History of Research Funding (Augusta University):
NIH R01, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 2004-2009, NCE to 9/12
     Spatial control of proteolysis in dorsoventral polarity
ARRA Supplement to above R01, 2009-2010, NCE to 9/11
March of Dimes Research Grant, 2010-2013
     Glycan spatial regulators of extracellular signals in oogenesis and early embryo patterning 
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, Charles R. Silbereisen Fund, 2002-present
     Developmental signaling in embryonic patterning and organogenesis
Augusta University Pilot Study Research Program Grant, 2/14-1/15
     Early craniofacial defects associated with reduced zTINAGL1, the zebrafish ortholog of a secreted Wnt-binding protein
     (PI, Ellen LeMosy; Co-I, David Kozlowski)
Augusta University Pilot Study Research Program Grant, 10/09-3/11
     Function of a conserved matricellular cathepsin B-like protein in fruitfly and zebrafish models (PI, Ellen LeMosy; Co-I, Jeffrey Mumm)
MCG/UGA Seed Grant Initiative on Diabetes, Obesity and Related Disorders, 9/03-6/04
     Functional analysis of the prohormone processing protease amontillado (amon) during insulin signaling in Drosophila
     (equal co-investigator with Michael Bender, Dept. of Genetics, UGA)

Trainee support
Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (to Michael B. Dinkins, Biomedical Sciences PhD. Program Student),
      American Heart Association, Greater Southeast Affiliate, 2008-2010
      Functional role of a conserved cathepsin B-like extracellular matrix protein during development
MCG, Dean’s Summer Research Fellowship (to Bennett Gardner, medical student), 2007
      Extracellular matrix TIN-ag: functions in epithelial morphogenesis and repair
MCG, Dean’s Summer Research Fellowship (to Tambrea Ellison, medical student), 2005
      Role of a Drosophila hemolymph protein in innate immunity and in embryo patterning

See list of research articles and invited reviews at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=lemosy+ek

Dr. LeMosy has experienced a significant break in publications secondary to illness. In 2015, she is working diligently toward publishing a backlog of manuscripts on studies performed in recent years.


Key Meeting Presentations Since 2009:
By Dr. LeMosy


Glycobiology Gordon Conference, Ventura, CA – January 2009
The continuing saga of Pipe and glycosaminoglycans in Drosophila embryonic axis patterning: new input from biochemical and functional approaches. (Talk)

SE Society for Developmental Biology Meeting, UAB – March 2009
Spatial cues in the extracellular matrix for early embryonic development.

Invited Session Chair Talk, Patterning and Morphogenesis Session
7th Annual Glycosymposium: Emerging paradigms in glycobiology, CCRC, UGA – October 2012
What does Pipe do? Finding a function and glycan target for a modifying enzyme important for Drosophila embryo patterning.

Invited Plenary Talk, Developmental Glycobiology Session
11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics, Madison, WI – 6/2014
Early craniofacial defects occur following knockdown of the extracellular matrix protein, TINAGL1. (Poster)

By Trainees in LeMosy Lab

SE Society for Developmental Biology Meeting, UGA – May 2010
A candidate Pipe target regulates Toll signaling during dorsoventral axis establishment in otherwise wild-type Drosophila embryos.
Talk by Hannah Neiswender, Research Associate, Spring Developmental Biology Symposium, UGA – April 2011

Regulation of proteolysis in the dorsoventral axis development of Drosophila embryos.
Talk by Dr. Pamela Steen, Postdoctoral Fellow, SE SDB Meeting 2013, Vanderbilt – May 2013

Exploring properties of in vitro point mutations in the Drosophila protease Gastrulation Defective.
Poster by Rachel Roberts, Undergraduate from USC-Aiken SE SDB Meeting 2013, Vanderbilt – May 2013

Level of glycosaminoglycans shapes the TGF-a Gurken gradient.  Poster by Haesung Lee, Undergraduate from UGA (STAR program participant)