José Javier Otero, M.D., Ph.D. joins OSU as an Assistant Professor of Pathology on Oct 1, 2012
The mission of an experimental neuropathology laboratory is to seek fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of diseases affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems. Dr. Otero's particular focus is in the understanding of developmental and neoplastic disorders of the CNS. A major goal of a laboratory is to elucidate the etiologies of perinatal breathing disorders such as apnea of prematurity, CCHS, and, ultimately, the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is a tragic disorder affecting 1 in 2000 infants. It is the second most common cause of infant death in the U.S., and although its incidence has decreased since adopting the “back to sleep” campaign, our epidemic of prematurity (which increases SIDS risk) threatens to increase the incidence of this disease. Dr. Otero's goal of the laboratory is to develop a diagnostic screen that would be able to identify children at risk of perinatal breathing disorders such as apnea of prematurity or SIDS, and to triage their treatments most effectively. Dr. Otero proposes to use induced pluripotent stem cells to model development of human breathing neurons. This “disease in a dish” model will help us understand how these neurons develop and can give us a tool to study genetic causes of apnea such as CCHS. Additional approaches include next-gen sequencing and animal modeling (i.e., transgenic mouse technology) of these disorders.