There are two main interests in our lab. First, we are interested in understanding the various biological functions regulated by glycogen synthase kinase-3 (Gsk-3) isoforms. We are utilizing a systems biology approach to understanding Gsk-3 function in embryonic stem cells, neuronal cells, mice, and humans. These studies have shown that Gsk-3 activity is important for regulating DNA methylation, and we are very interested in learning more about how signal transduction affects epigenetics.

Second, we are interested in understanding the mechanism of the ketogenic diet, which is used to treat epilepsy in children whose seizures are not controlled by drugs. Through an active collaboration with the Division of Neurology and the Ketogenic Clinic here at Nationwide Children's Hospital, we are making inroads into how this diet works. A fundamental understanding of the ketogenic diet could lead to better predictions of who will benefit most from the diet, and may eventually result in the development of better treatments.

In Press:

Dr. Phiel was recently featured in the Fall 2011 Ursinus Magazine, highlighting his studies on the roles of small molecules in DNA modification as it relates to diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer's Disease.

See the article here.

If you would like to contact us, please email Dr. Phiel at Christopher.Phiel@nationwidechildrens.org, or call at 614 722-5916.
Funding provided by NIH/NIA (R01) AG031883

The Research Institute at Nationwide Childrens Hospital
The Center for Molecular and Human Genetics
700 Children's Drive, W440, Columbus, OH 43205

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