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Thomas G. Wood, PhD

Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology,
Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine

Phone: (409) 747-0387
Thomas G. Wood, PhD

Research Summary

The goal of the Molecular Genetics Core (MGC) is to support research efforts focused on human disease and to contribute to the development of translational research initiatives at UTMB. The Molecular Genetics Core consists of five Core laboratories. The Molecular Genomics Laboratory (MGL), an established Core facility within the MGC, offers gene expression analysis using Affymetrix “Gene Chip” technology. In addition, the MGL provides real time microarrays, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis, and Sanger-based DNA sequence analysis. The Recombinant DNA Laboratory (RDL) offers technical support in molecular cloning with expertise in site-directed mutagenesis, plasmid design and construction and bacterial expression. The Transcription Analysis Laboratory (TAL) provides expertise in real time quantitative analysis of messenger RNA using both "Taqman" and SYBR green based assays. The Aptamer Development Laboratory (ADL) uses libraries of oligonucleotides, called "Aptamers", that are selected for high-specificity binding to protein or other molecular targets. In September 2011, the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Core began operations. NGS offers high-throughput, massively parallel nucleotide sequencing using an Illumina HiSeq 1000. The NGS Core will create the appropriate template library for RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq, genomic DNA or miRNA sequence analysis. The Illumina HiSeq 1000 is capable of producing three (3) billion reads representing 300 Gb of sequence data.

Selected Publications

  1. Zhao, Y., Widen, S.G., Jamaluddin, M., Tian, B., Wood, T.G., Edeh, C.B. and Brasier, A.R. Quantification of activated NF-kappaB/RelA complexes using ssDNA aptamer affinity-stable isotope dilution-selected reaction monitoring-mass spectrometry. Mol. Cell. Proteomics. 10: M111.008771, 2011. PMCID: PMC3108844

  2. Chao, C., Carmical, J.R., Ives, K.L., Wood, T.G., Aronson, J.F., Gomez, G.A., Djukom, C.D. and Hellmich, M.R. CD133+ colon cancer cells are more interactive with the tumor microenvironment than CD133- cells. Lab.Invest.92:420-436, 2012. PMCID: PMC3289715

  3. Ren J, Wang Q, Kolli D, Prusak DJ, Tseng CT, Chen ZJ, Li K, Wood TG, Bao X. Human Metapneumovirus M2-2 protein inhibits cellular signaling by targeting MAVS. J. Virol. 86:13049-61, 2012. PMCID: PMC3497653

  4. Denner, L. Rodriguez-Rivera, J., Haidacher, S., Jahrling, J., Carmical, J., Hernandez, C., Sadygov, R., Zhao, Y., Starkey, J., Spratt, H., Luxon, B., Wood, T. and Dineley, K. Cognitive enhancement with Rosiglitazone links hippocampal PPAR#x03B3 and ERK MAPK signaling pathways. J. Neuroscience. 32:16725-35, 2012. PMCID: PMC3574637

  5. Vasilakis, N., Forrester, N.L., Palacios, G., Nasar, F., Savji, N., Rossi, S.L., Guzman, H., Wood, T.G., Popov, V., Gorchakov, R., Vazques-Gonzalez, A., Haddow, A.D., Watts, D.W., Travassos da Rosa, A.P., Weaver, S.C., Lipkin, W.I. and Tesh, R. B. Negevirus-a proposed new taxon of insect-specific viruses with wide geographic distribution. J. Virol. 87: 2475-88, 2012. PMCID: PMC3571365

  6. Vasilakis, N., Widen, S., Travassos da Rosa, A.P., Wood, T.G., Walker, P.J., Holmes, E.C.and Tesh, R.B. Malpais spring virus is a new species in the genus vesiculovirus. Virol. J.10:69, 2013. PMCID: PMC3599451

  7. Vasilakis, N., Widen, S., Mayer, S.V., Seymour, R., Wood, T.G., Popov, V., Guzman, H.,Travassos de Rosa, A.P., Ghedin, E.. Holmes, E.C., Walker, P.J. and Tesh, R.B. Niakha virus: A novel member of the Rhabdoviridae isolated from phlebotomine sandflies in Senegal.  Virology, 444: 80-9, 2013. PMC3755043

  8. Ghedin, E., Rogers, M.B., Widen, S.G., Guzman, H., Travassos da Rosa, A.P., Wood, T.G., Fitch, A., Popov, V., Holmes, E.C., Walker, P.J., Vasilakis, N. and Tesh, R.B. Kolente virus, a rhabdovirus species isolated from ticks and bats in the Republic of Guinea. J. Gen. Virol. 94: 2609-2615, 2013. PMC3836499

  9. Kalita, M., Tian, B.,  Gao, B., Choudhary, S., Wood, T.G., Carmical, J.R., Boldogh, I., Mitra, S., Minna, J.D. and Brasier, A.R. Systems approaches to modeling chronic mucosal  inflammation. Biomed. Res. Int. 2013: ID 505864, 17 pages, 2013. PMCID: PMC3818818

  10. Auguste, A.J., Carrington, C.V., Forrester, N.L., Popov, V.L., Guzman, H., Widen, S.G.,  Wood, T.G., Weaver, S.C. and Tesh, R.B. Characterization of a novel Negevirus and a novel Bunyavirus isolated from Culex (Culex)declaratory mosquitoes in Trinidad. J.Gen.Virol., 95:481-485, 2014. PMC3917067

  11. Beck, A., Tesh, R.B., Wood, T.G., Widen, S.G., Ryman, K.D. and Barrett, A.D. Comparison       of the live attenuated Yellow Fever vaccine 17D-204 strain to its virulent parental strain Asibi by deep sequencing. J. Infect. Dis. 209: 334-344, 2014.  PMC3883177

  12. Vasilakis, N., Castro-Llanos, F., Widen, S.G., Aguilar, P.V., Guzman, H., Guevara, C.,Fernandez, R., Auguste, A.J., Wood, T.G., Popov, V., Mundal, K., Ghedin, E., Kochel, T.J. Holmes, E.C., Walker, P.J. and Tesh, R.B. Arboretum and Puerto Almendras viruses: two novel rhabdoviruses isolated from mosquitoes in Peru. J.Gen.Virol. 95: 781-792, 2014 PMC3973475

  13. Mrazek, A.A., Carmical, J. R., Wood, T.G., Hellmich, M.R., Eltorky, M., Bohanon, F.J. and Chao, C. Colorectal Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts are Genotypically Distinct. Curr. Cancer Ther. Rev.10: 97-218, 2014. PMC4270051

  14. Vasilakis, N., Guzman, H., Firth, C., Forrester, N.L., Widen, S.G., Wood, T. G., Rossi, S.L., Ghedin, E., Popov, V., Blasdell, K.R., Walker, P.J. and Tesh, R.B. Mesoniviruses are mosquito-specific viruses with extensive geographic distribution and host range. Virol. J. 2014.PMC4038087

  15. Williams, M., Mayer, S.V., Johnson, W.L., Chen, R., Volkova, E., Vilcarromero,  S., Widen, S.G., Wood, T.G., Suarez-Ognio, L., Long, K.C., Hanley, K.A., Morrison, A. C., Vasilakis, N.and Halsey, E.S. Lineage II of Southeast Asian/American DENV-2 is associated with a severe dengue outbreak in the Peruvian Amazon. Am. J. Med.Hyg. 91: 611-20, 2014. PMC4155568

  16. Blasdell, K.R., Widen, S.G.,  Diviney, S.M., Firth,, C., Wood, T.G., Guzman, H., Holmes, E.C., Tesh, R.B., Vasilakis, N. and Walker, P.J. Koolpinyah and Yata viruses: Two newly recognized ephemeroviruses from tropical regions of Australia and Africa. Vet. Microbiol, 174: 547-53, 2014.  PMC4274224

  17. Bolling, B.G., Vasilakis, N., Guzman, H., Widen, S.G., Wood, T.G., Popov, V.L.,Thangamani, S and Tesh, R.B. Insect-specific detected in laboratory mosquito colonies and their potential implications for experiments evaluating arbovirus vector competence. Am. J.Trop. Med. Hyg. 92:422-428, 2014. PMC4347351

  18. Blasdell, K.R., Guzman, H., Widen, S.G., Firth, C., Wood, T.G., Holmes, E.C., Tesh, R.B.,Vasilakis, N. and Walker, P.J. Ledantevirus: A proposed new genus in the Rhabdoviridae has a strong ecological association with bats. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg.92:405-410, 2015.PMC4347348

  19. Maharaj, P.D., Widen, S.G., Huang, J., Wood, T.G. and Thangamani, S. Discovery of mosquito saliva microRNAs during CHIKV infection. Negl. Trop. Dis. 9: e0003386, 2015. PMC4303268

  20. Walker, P.J., Firth, C.,  Widen, S.G., Blasdell, K. R., Guzman, H., Wood, T.G., Paradkar, P.N., Holmes, E.C., Tesh, R. B. and Vasilakis, N. Evolution of genome size and complexity in the rhabdovirdae. PLos Pathog. 11: e004664, 2015. PMC4334499

  21. Jacob, S., Zhu, Y., Kraft, R., Cotto, C., Carmical, J.R., Wood, T. G., Enkhbaatar, P., Herndon, D.N., Hawkins, H.K. and Cox, R.A. Physiologic and molecular changes in the tracheal epithelium of rats following burn injury. Int. J Burns Trauma. 5: 36-45, 2015. PMC4448086

  22. Aguilera-Aguirre, l., Hosoki, K., Bacsi, A., Radak, Z., Wood, T. G., Widen, S. G., Sur, S.,Ameredes, B. T., Saavedra, A., Brasier, A. R., Ba, X. and Boldogh, I. Whole transcriptome analysis reveals an 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase-1-drven DNA repair-dependent gene expression linked to essential biological processes. Free Radic. Biol. Med. 10: 107-118, 2015. PMC4359954

  23. Hontz, G.C., Halsey, E.S., Silvas, J., Santiago, F.W., Widen, S.G., Wood, T.G., Cassanova,W., Vasilakis, N., Watts, D.M., Kochel, T.J., Ebihara, H. and Aguilar, P.V .Itaya virus, a novel orthobunyavirus associated with human febrile illness Peru. Emerg. Infect. Dis.21: 781-8,     2015. PMC4412221

  24. Illinykh, P. A., Lubaki, N. M. Widen, S. G. Renn, L.A., Theisen, T.C., Wood, T. G. and Biukreyev, A. Different temporal effects of Ebola Virus VP35 and VP24 proteins on global expression in human dendritic cells. J Virol. 89: 7567-83, 2015. PMC4505630

  25. Tian, B., Li, X., Kalita, M., Widen, S.G. Yang, J., Bhavnani, S. K., Dang, B., Kudlicki, A.,Sinha, M., Kong, F., Wood, T.G., Luxon, B.A. and Brasier, A.R. Analysis of the TGFbeta-  induced program in primary airway epithelial cells shows essential role of NF-KB/RelA signaling in type II epithelial mesenchymal transition. BMC Genomics. 16:529-51, 2015. PMC4506436

  26. Shi, M., Lin, X.D., Vasilakis, N., Tian, J.H., Chen,L.J., Eastwood, G., Chen, M.H., Chen, X., Qui, X.C., Widen ,S.G., Wood, T.G., Tesh, R.B., Xu, J., Holmes, E.C. and Zhang, Y.Z. Divergent viruses discovered in arthropods and vertebrates revise the evolutionary history of the Flaviviridae and related viruses. J Virol. JVI 02036-15, 2015. PMC4702705

  27. Carrera, J.P., Guzman, H., Beltran, D., Diaz, Y., Lopez-Verges, S., Torres-Cosme, R., Popov, V. Widen, S.G., Wood, T.G., Caceres-Carrera, L., Vasilakis, N. and Tesh, R.B. Mercadeo    Virus: A novel mosquito-specific Flavivirus from Panama. Am. J Trop Med Hyg. 93: 1014-9, 2015. PMC4703282

  28. Chakraborty, A., Wakamiya, M., Venkova-Vanova, T., Pandita,  R. K., Aguilera-Aguirre, L., Sankar, A. H., Singh, D.K., Hosoki, K., Wood, T.G., Sharma, G., Cardenas, V., Sankar, P.S.,Sur,  S.,  Pandita, T. K., Boldogh, I. and Hazra, T.K. Neil2-null mice accumulate oxidized    DNA bases in the transcriptionally active sequences of the genome and are susceptible to innate inflammation. J Biol Chem.  290: 24636-48, 2015. PMC4598976

  29. Walker, P.J., Widen, S.G., Firth, C., Blasdell, K.R., Wood, T.G., Travassos da Rosa, A.P.,Guzman, H., Tesh, R.B. and Vasilakis, N. Genomic characterization of Yogue,  Kasokero, Issyk-Kul,  Keterah, Gossas and Thiafora  viruses: Nairoviruses naturally infecting bats, shrews and ticks. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 93: 1041-51, 2015. PMC4703270

  30. 30. Schroeder, C.L., Narra, H.P., Rojas, M., Sahni, A., Patel, J., Khanipov, K., Wood, T.G., Fofanov, Y. and Sahni, S.K. Bacterial small RNAs in the Genus Rickettsia. BMC Genomics.16: 1075-23, 2015. PMC4683814

  31. Auguste, A.J., Kaelber, J.T., Fokam, E.B., Guzman, H., Carrington, C.V., Erasmus, J.H., Kamgang, B., Popov, V,L., Jakana, J., Liu, X., Wood, T.G., Widen, S.G., Vasilakis, N., Tesh, R.B., Chiu, W. and Weaver, S.C. A newly isolated reovirus has the simplest genomic and structural organization of any reovirus. J Virol. 89: 676-87, 2015. PMC4301156

  32. Walker, P.J., Widen, S.G., Wood, T.G., Guzman, H., Tesh, R.B. and Vasilakis, N. A global genomic characterization of Nairoviruses identifies nine discrete genogroups with distinctive structural characteristics and host-vector associations. Am. J Trop. Med. Hyg.94: 1107-22, 2016. PMC4856612

  33. Guerbois, M., Fernandez-Salas, I., Azar, S. R., Danis-Lozano, R., Alpuche-Aranda, C.M., Leal, G., Garcia-Malo, I.R., Diaz-Gonzalez, E.E., Casas-Martinez, M., Rossi, S.L., Del Rio- Galvan, S.L., Sanchez-Casas, R.M., Roundy, C.M., Wood, T.G., Widen, S.G., Vasilakis, N. and Weaver, S.C. Outbreak of Zika virus infection, Chiapas State, Mexico, 2015, and first confirmed transmission by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the Americas. J Infect Sis 214: 1349-1356, 2016.PMC5079363

  34. Chen, Y., Deng, X., Deng, J., Ren, Y., Prusak, D.J., Wood, T.G. and Bao, X. Functional motifs responsible for human metapneumovirus M2-2- mediated innate immune invasion. Virology. 499: 361-368, 2016. PMC5102771

  35. Contreras-Gutierrez, M.A., Nunes, M.R., Guzman, H., Uribe, S., Gallego Gomez, J.C., Suaza Vasco, J.D., Cardoso, J.F., Popov, V.L., Widen, S.G., Wood, T.G., Vasilakis, N.and Tesh, R.B. Sinu virus, a novel and divergent orthomyxovirus related to members of the genus Thogotovirus isolated from mosquitoes in Columbia. Virology. 501: 166-175, 2016   PMC5201441