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© Thieme Medical Publishers
Nasser Chegini, Ph.D.
24 October 2008 (online)
Gene expression stability is highly complex and involves several transcriptional and translational modifications necessary for implementation of the biological functions of genes. Recent identification of small, non–protein-coding RNAs referred to as microRNAs (miRNAs) has added a new dimension into the regulatory mechanism of gene expression processes. It was not until recently that the expression of miRNAs was identified in human reproductive tract tissues and cells. These discoveries have opened a new area for detailed investigation of regulatory functions of miRNAs on the expression of a vast number of specific genes important to physiologic and pathologic functions of reproductive tissue. This area of basic science and transitional research is of a top priority to the readers of Seminars in Reproductive Medicine. I have asked Nasser Chegini, Ph.D., to serve as the guest editor for this issue on the implication of miRNA regulatory functions in various aspects of reproductive biology and medicine.
Dr. Nasser Chegini began his research career after he graduated from the National University of Tehran, Iran, in the field of cell biology. He continued his graduate training at the University of Southampton, England, where he received his Ph.D. in 1980 in the field of cell and molecular biology, with focus in the area of chromatin structural modification during erythropoiesis. Thereafter, from 1981 to 1988 he served as a postdoctoral fellow, instructor, and assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, where he studied the expression and action of human chorionic gonadotropin and epidermal growth factor receptors in several reproductive tract tissues, including the ovary and uterus. In 1988, he was appointed as an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Florida, at which institution he has continued to date in his career. He is currently a professor in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and at the Wound Healing Institute with research focused on the role of proinflammatory and profibrotic cytokines, more specifically TGF-β in several reproductive tract tissues and associated abnormalities such as leiomyoma, endometriosis, and peritoneal adhesions.
During his career, Dr. Chegini has served many times on National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sections and on several editorial boards including as associate editor of Molecular Human Reproduction and as a member of the editorial boards of Endocrine, Biology of Reproduction, and Fertility and Sterility. He has received several awards including the University Florida College of Medicine Faculty Research Award for Basic Science (2005) and the University of Florida Research Foundation Award (2004). He has been very productive in obtaining research grants, and currently he is the principal investigator on two NIH grants. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles in outstanding-quality journals and 27 book chapters. As such, his research group is well-recognized for their work on the implication of proinflammatory and profibrotic cytokines, more specifically TGF-β in several reproductive tract tissues and associated abnormalities such as leiomyoma, endometriosis, and adhesion formation. Recently, Dr. Chegini has published the first example of miRNA expression and regulation in human ovarian and uterine tissues.
Dr. Chegini has recruited several outstanding investigators as well as young talents to provide a comprehensive summary of what is currently known about the expression and function of miRNAs in human reproductive tract tissues to understand the complex regulatory function of miRNA that is required for optimal gene expression stability and the potential adverse consequences of benign gynecologic disease. This issue will serve as a reference for years to come for readers of Seminars in Reproductive Medicine.