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Lee Cantrell

Whitworth University

Kevin Schey lab

Throughout life, fiber cells are continuously differentiated to the outer cortex of the lens. These cells are not degraded – providing an intrinsic temporal gradient from the outer cortex to the inner nucleus. As fiber cells mature and compacted towards the nucleus they undergo loss of de novo protein synthesis, loss of organelles, extensive protein modification and cell morphology changes. It is the goal of the Schey lab to use mass spectrometry (MS) instrumentation to answer questions about lens biochemical changes and inherited pathologies – especially those related to age-related cataract formation. I look to employ LC-MS/MS, imaging mass spectrometry, RT-qPCR, and bioinformatic tools to provide a systems level analysis of these phenomena in various populations. In addition to characterizing distinct cell populations, I hope to identify novel biomarkers in the development of age-related cataracts.