Dr. Jenean O'Brien

Dr. Jenean O'Brien
Dr. Jenean O'Brien
Jenean O'Brien Dr. Jenean O'Brien
Assistant Professor, Biology
office. Barstow Hall 205A
hours.
MON. 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
TUES. 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
THURS. 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
University of Wisconsin-Superior

Most recent degrees:

2010 - Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) - Cancer Biology - University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center – Dissertation/thesis topic: Mammary gland involution as a target for pregnancy-associated breast cancer prevention: insights from NSAIDs and macrophages

2005 - Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) – Biology - College of St. Scholastica

Current licensures/certifications:

University of Colorado Denver: Teaching Scholars Certificate

Academic background:

Dr. Jenean O'Brien's PhD thesis research focused on studying why women diagnosed with breast cancer within five years of giving birth experience a more aggressive disease. During her post-doctoral fellowship, she investigated how some genes are normally turned off when we are born, with the hopes that we could try to design similar treatments to shut these genes off when they inappropriately turn back on in cancer. These experiences prepared Jenean to make real-world connections to the content we learn in class, and to create authentic research opportunities for our students. Students learn science by doing science.

Research interests:

Together, Jenean and her students are investigating how a set of genes contribute to promoting or protecting our muscle cells from developing into a cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. They are interested in how tumor cell genes often direct similar functions to those they promote in normal cells during development. This can provide insight into potential ways to treat cancer cells to stop these tumor-promoting actions. Specifically, they focus on the Eya protein family of transcriptional co-factors, asking if what they do in rhabdomyosarcoma, a pediatric muscle cancer, is similar to what Eya proteins do during muscle development in an embryo. We are also interested in potentially investigating if the Eya proteins have roles in the vertebrate immune system as well. They use zebrafish as their model organism.

Non-academic background:

Jenean loves to be outside doing something; hiking with her kids, cross-country skiing and tame mountain-biking are her current favorites.

Notable awards:

2017 UW-Superior's Spirit of Superior Faculty Award

Area of knowledge:

Supporting scientists in training

Recent accomplishments:

Received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R15 Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA), "Investigating roles for transcriptional co-activators Eya2 and Eya3 in normal development and rhabdomyosarcoma" to support student research experiences. Member of the Northwoods Women in Science. UW-Superior Innovation Proposal, “Strengthening the Pre-Health Focus”, and Association for Biology Laboratory Education - Roberta Williams Laboratory Teaching Initiative Grant, “Training data-wise science consumers through formatting lab reports into data figures”

Courses:

BIOL 123 – Concepts in Biology

BIOL 330 – Genetics

BIOL 335 – Microbes and Defense

BIOL 399 – Cancer Biology

BIOL 440 – Cell Biology

Ways to become involved include:

  • Take BIOL 330 – Genetics and BIOL 440 – Cell Biology to learn how to perform research techniques with zebrafish.
  • Work in the zebrafish lab – feeding, checking water chemistry and maintaining transgenic models.
  • Do an independent research project (BIOL 491) for a semester – or more.
  • Line up an internship with a local clinician (BIOL 496) for a semester.
  • Apply for a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF).

Publications

  1. Powell, D.R., Williams, J.S., Hernandez-Lagunas, L., Salcedo, E., O’Brien, J.H, Artinger, K.B, Cdon promotes neural crest migration by regulating N-cadherin localization. Developmental Biology, 407(2): 289-99, 2015. PMID 26256768
  2. O'Brien, J.H., Hernandez-Lagunas, L., Artinger, K.B., Ford, H.L. MicroRNA-30a regulates zebrafish myogenesis through targeting the transcription factor Six1, Journal of Cell Science, 127(10): 2291-301, 2014. PMID 24634509
  3. Powell, D.R., O’Brien, J.H. (co-first author), Ford, H.L., Artinger, K.B. Chapter 16: Neural crest cells and cancer: insights into tumor progression in Neural Crest Cells: evolution, development and disease, P.A. Trainor, (Ed.), San Diego, CA: Elsevier, 2014.
  4. Harvell, D.M., Kim, J., O’Brien, J., Tan, A.C., Schedin, P., Borges, V.F., Jacobsen, B.M., Horwitz., K.B. Genomic signatures of pregnancy-associated breast cancer epithelia and stroma and their regulation by estrogens and progesterone hormones, Hormones and Cancer, 4(3):140-53, 2013. PMID 23479404
  5. O’Brien, J., Vanderlinden, L.A., Schedin, P., and Hansen, K.C. Rat mammary extracellular matrix composition and response to ibuprofen treatment during postpartum involution by differential GeLC-MS/MS analysis, Journal of Proteome Research, 11(10): 4895-905, 2012. PMID 22897585
  6. O’Brien, J., Martinson, H., Durand-Rougely, C., and Schedin, P. Macrophages are crucial for epithelial cell death and adipocyte repopulation during mammary gland involution, Development, 139(2): 269-75, 2012. PMID 22129827
  7. O’Brien, J., Hansen, K., Barkan, D., Green, J., and Schedin, P. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs target the pro-tumorigenic extracellular matrix of the postpartum mammary gland, International Journal of Developmental Biology, 55(7-8-9): 745-755, 2011.  PMID 22161831
  8. Lyons, T.R., O’Brien, J. (co-first author), Borges, V., Conklin, M.W., Keely, P.J., Elicieri, K.W., Marusyk, A., Tan, A.C., and Schedin, P. Postpartum mammary gland involution drives progression of ductal carcinoma in situ through collagen and COX-2, Nature Medicine, 17(9): 1109-15, 2011. PMID 21822285
  9. O’Brien, J., Fornetti, J., Schedin P. Isolation of mammary-specific extracellular matrix to assess acute cell-ECM interactions in 3D culture, Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia, 15(3): 353-64, 2010. PMID 20680416
  10. O’Brien, J., Lyons, T. (co-first author), Monks, J., Lucia, M.S., Wilson, R.S., Hines, L., Man, Y.G., Borges, V., and Schedin, P. Alternatively activated macrophages and collagen remodeling characterize the post-partum involuting mammary gland across species. American Journal of Pathology, 176(3): 1241-55, 2010. PMID 20110414
  11. O’Brien, J. and Schedin, P. Macrophages in breast cancer: do involution macrophages account for the poor prognosis of pregnancy-associated breast cancer? Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia, 14(2): 145-57, 2009. PMID 19350209
  12. Hansen, K.C., Kiemele, L., Maller, O., O’Brien, J., Shankar, A., Fornetti, J., Schedin, P. An in-solution ultrasonication assisted digestion method for improved extracellular matrix proteome coverage. Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, 8(7):1648-57, 2009. PMID 19351662
  13. Schedin, P., O’Brien, J., Rudolph, M., Stein, T., and V. Borges, The microenvironment of the involuting mammary gland mediates mammary cancer progression. Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia, 12(1): 71-82, 2007. PMID 17318269
Jenean teaches in the subject:
Jenean is involved with these committees:
Jenean is a member of:

UW-Superior Schedule of Classes for O'Brien, Jenean H
Spring Semester 2019

For up to date information on all schedules, please refer to the class search page in the E-Hive portal.

Note: the Class Schedule information below reflects data as of October 20, 2018 11:45 AM.

Class Section Identifier Key

Spring Semester 2019
Class Nbr.Catalog Nbr.Course Title/Course TopicsClass Sect.CreditsBldg.RoomDaysTimeSeats Open
BIOL - Biology
1780BIOL 330Genetics
View Books for this Class
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
All Natural Science classes will be assessed a program fee of $12 per credit
101 4.00  SWEN 1056 MWF 1:00PM- 1:50PM 40 of 40 open
Wait List:
10 of 10
  
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
All Natural Science classes will be assessed a program fee of $12 per credit
1781BIOL 330Genetics Lab
View Books for this Class
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
501 0.00  BARS 0102 Th 10:00AM- 11:50AM 20 of 20 open
Wait List:
5 of 5
  
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
1782BIOL 330Genetics Lab
View Books for this Class
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
502 0.00  BARS 0102 Th 1:00PM- 2:50PM 20 of 20 open
Wait List:
5 of 5
  
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
1786BIOL 399Cancer Biology
View Books for this Class
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
All Natural Science classes will be assessed a program fee of $12 per credit
001 3.00  SWEN 1055 MW 3:00PM- 4:15PM 24 of 24 open
Wait List:
15 of 15
  
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
All Natural Science classes will be assessed a program fee of $12 per credit
1791BIOL 491Research in Biology
View Books for this Class
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
Instructor Consent Required
All Natural Science classes will be assessed a program fee of $12 per credit
004 1.00 - 4.00     ARR 5 of 5 open
  
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
Instructor Consent Required
All Natural Science classes will be assessed a program fee of $12 per credit
1801BIOL 496Internship
View Books for this Class
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
Instructor Consent Required
All Natural Science classes will be assessed a program fee of $12 per credit
004 1.00 - 4.00     ARR 5 of 5 open
  
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
Instructor Consent Required
All Natural Science classes will be assessed a program fee of $12 per credit
2179BIOL 497Senior Year Experience
View Books for this Class
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
All Natural Science classes will be assessed a program fee of $12 per credit
001 1.00  BARS 0102 1:00PM- 2:50PM 24 of 24 open
Wait List:
15 of 15
  
01/23/2019 - 05/10/2019
All Natural Science classes will be assessed a program fee of $12 per credit