The Christine Duarte Lab

Research Publications Cell Biology


Our group conducts a wide variety of research involving retrospective analyses of existing databases. We also perform extensive collaborative research both with basic science and clinical researchers as well as perform methodological research in big data methods. Some of our current projects are described below.

Fracture Risk in Nursing Home Residents

One current area of focus involves a study entitled "Beta blockers and their impact on fracture risk in nursing home residents taking atypical antipsychotics” that is part of a larger grant entitled “COBRE (Center of Biomedical Research Excellence) in Mesenchymal and Neural Regulation of Metabolic Networks” (Lucy Liaw, PI). Our project is a pharmacoepidemiological study of atypical antipsychotic use among elderly nursing home residents at risk for hip fractures and the potential mitigating impact of co-therapy with beta blockers. See Figure 1 for a description of the team members on the project.

Duarte Fig 1 

Figure 1. Project team members for “Beta blockers and their impact on fracture risk in nursing home residents taking atypical antipsychotics”.

Risperiodne and Bone Loss

We are also involved in a bioinformatics project in collaboration with fellow COBRE grant project leader Katherine Motyl investigating the effects of risperidone, an atypical antipsychotic (AA) drug, on bone loss in a mouse model. Data from the Motyl lab shows that co-therapy with the beta-blocker propranolol significantly curtailed bone loss, suggesting bone loss is due to metabolic consequences of sympathetic nervous system activation. We are collecting and analyzing multi-omics data including mRNA, proteomic, and lipidomic data to investigate how sympathetic activation leads to bone loss in risperidone-treated mice. We hope to also develop robust methods for integration of multi-omic data that may be applied to other datasets. Figure 2 shows a schematic of the relation between Dr. Motyl’s and my COBRE projects and Figure 3 shows an overview of the proposed bioinformatics pipeline we propose to develop.

Duarte Fig 2 

Figure 2. Project overview (left) and relation to mouse studies in collaborating project (Motyl, right).

Duarte Fig 3 

Figure 3. Proposed schematic for mutli-omics integration pipeline.

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research