Randall Roper, Ph.D.Biology Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering Adjunct Associate Professor, Biology Department, Neuroscience Program
B.S. Microbiology (Molecular Biology emphasis), Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Ph.D. Immunology and Genetics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
Postdoctoral Fellow, Genetics and Development, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Courses Taught / Teaching
BME 38100: Implantable Materials and Biological Response
BIOL 56400: Molecular Genetics and Development
Our research seeks to understand the genetic and developmental bases of phenotypes related to Trisomy 21 or Down syndrome (DS). We have examined skeletal malformations associated with DS including the typical craniofacial features seen in all individuals with DS as well as changes to the appendicular skeleton.
Using mouse models of Down syndrome, our work provided the first experimental evidence that trisomy adversely affects neural crest cells, precursors to the craniofacial skeleton.
Currently we are performing preclinical studies to test treatments for specific DS traits by targeting gene products that are overexpressed because of trisomy. Additionally, we are examining changes in expression of trisomic genes as well as others throughout the genome and correlating this information with phenotypic and developmental alterations. In collaboration with the Down Syndrome Clinic at Riley Hospital, we are also defining the co-occurrence and variability of debilitating traits in infants with DS.
Through our preclinical, genetic and phenotypic studies, we will better define how three copies of genes on human chromosome 21 cause traits associated with DS as well as understand how genetic variability affects the severity of DS traits. Our long term goal is to apply the knowledge of how and when trisomic genes affect developmental processes to ameliorate Trisomy 21 phenotypes.
Publications & Professional Activities
Stringer, M., C.R. Goodlett and R.J. Roper. 2017. Targeting trisomic treatments: Optimizing Dyrk1a inhibition to improve Down syndrome deficits. Mol Genet Genomic Med. 5:451-465. PMID: 28944229
Stringer, M., I. Abeysekera, J. Thomas, J, LaCombe, K. Stancombe, R.J. Stewart, K.J. Dria, J.M. Wallace, C.R. Goodlett, and R.J. Roper. 2017. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) consumption in the Ts65Dn model of Down syndrome fails to improve behavioral deficits and is detrimental to skeletal phenotypes. Physiol Behav. 177:230-241. Epub 2017 May 3. PMID: 28478033
Abeysekera, I., J. Thomas, T.M. Georgiadis, A.G. Berman, M.A. Hammond, K.J. Dria, J.M. Wallace, and R.J. Roper. 2016. Differential effects of Epigallocatechin-3-gallate containing supplements on correcting skeletal defects in a Down syndrome mouse model. Mol Nutr Food Res. 60:717-26. Epub 2016 Feb 11. PMID: 26748562
McElyea, S.D., J.M. Starbuck, D.M. Tumbleson-Brink, E. Harrington, J.D. Blazek, A. Ghoneima, K. Kula, and R.J. Roper. 2016. Influence of prenatal EGCG treatment and Dyrk1a dosage reduction on craniofacial features associated with Down syndrome. Hum Mol Genet. 25:4856-4869. Epub 2016 Feb 11. PMID:27599746
Blazek J.D., Abeysekera I., Li J., Roper R.J. Rescue of the abnormal skeletal phenotype in Ts65Dn Down syndrome mice using genetic and therapeutic modulation of trisomic Dyrk1a. Hum Mol Genet. 24:5687-96. Epub 2015 Jul 23. PMID: 26206885
Stringer M., Abeysekera I., Dria K.J., Roper R.J., Goodlett C.R. Low dose EGCG treatment beginning in adolescence does not improve cognitive impairment in a Down syndrome mouse model. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2015; 138:70-79. Epub 2015 Sep 10. PMID: 26363314
Goffinski, A., M.A. Stanley, N. Shepherd, N. Duvall, S.B. Stone, C. Davis, M.J. Bull, and R.J. Roper. 2015. Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Young Infants with Down Syndrome Evaluated in a Down Syndrome Specialty Clinic. Am J Med Genet A. 167:324-30. Epub 2015 Jan 13. PMID: 2560465
Blazek, J.D., A. Gaddy, R. Meyer, R.J. Roper, and J. Li. 2011. Disruption of bone homeostasis by trisomy in Ts65Dn Down syndrome mice. Bone 48:275-280. Epub 2010 Sep 24. PMID: 20503361
Roper, R.J., J.F. VanHorn, C. Cain, and R.H. Reeves. 2009. A neural crest deficit in Down syndrome mice is associated with deficient mitotic response to Sonic hedgehog. Mech Dev. 126:212-9. Epub 2008 Nov 21. PMID: 19056491
Roper, R.J. and R.H. Reeves. 2006. Understanding the basis for Down syndrome phenotypes. PLoS Genet. Mar;2(3):e50. PMID: 16596169
Roper, R.J., L.L. Baxter, N.G. Saran, D.K. Klinedinst, P.A. Beachy and R.H. Reeves. 2006. Defective cerebellar response to mitogenic Hedgehog signaling in Down syndrome mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 103:1452-6. Epub 2006 Jan 23. PMID: 16432181
Director, IUPUI Graduate Mentoring Center
President, IUPUI School of Science Faculty
Advisory Board, Center for Research and Learning, IUPUI
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Trisomy 21 Research Society
International Mammalian Genome Society
Indiana University Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine
Institutional Biosafety Committee, Butler University
Honors, Awards and Grants
"Development and treatment of skeletal deficits in a Down syndrome mouse model"
Alvin S. Bynum Mentoring Award for Faculty at IUPUI 2015
IUPUI Athletics Favorite Professor Award 2014
Director's Mentoring Award for Outstanding Leadership and Mentoring of Undergraduate Research, Center for Research and Learning, IUPUI 2011
IUPUI Trustees Teaching Award 2010
Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Mentor of the Year 2010
IUPUI Honors Program Research Fellow 2007-2010