Denvir, James

James Denvir, PhD

(304) 696-7327

Research Interest

Advances in technology, combined with new discoveries at the molecular level, have significantly changed the nature of biomedical research during the past two decades. New tools give investigators the opportunity to perform experiments that generate many millions of data points. Developments in our understanding of molecular mechanisms of gene expression – for example, in actions of microRNA and in epigenetic modification – have both provided new methods of experimental analysis and added to the complexity of our understanding of the molecular basis of biological function. In pursuing the understanding of complex disease, its prevention, and treatment, we typically address several different questions: Are there genetic signatures that predispose individuals to the disease? Are there environmental factors that alter gene expression in such a way as to increase an individual’s risk of disease, and if so, what is the molecular mechanism of this increased risk? Once an individual contracts a disease, what is the mechanism of progression of the disease? The ultimate aims of the research are to use answers to these interrelated questions to develop prognostic tests, interventions, and behavioral modifications to prevent, slow progression of, and treat the disease.