Publications by authors named "Monica L Gonzalez"

3 Publications

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Disparities in Remote Learning Faced by First-Generation and Underrepresented Minority Students during COVID-19: Insights and Opportunities from a Remote Research Experience.

J Microbiol Biol Educ 2021 31;22(1). Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Center for Educational Assessment, Center for the Advancement of Teaching, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced an unprecedented shift to remote instruction across higher education, reducing access to critically important undergraduate research experience and potentially magnifying inequities faced by first-generation and underrepresented minority (URM) students in higher education. Through a novel course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) at UCLA, delivered completely online, results of a unique, student-generated survey showed that the transition to remote learning was challenging for all students, increasing student workload, decreasing ability to focus on school, and limiting their ability to succeed. However, results showed significant disparities in remote learning that disproportionately impacted URM and first-generation students. These students had significantly greater expectations to help siblings with remote learning,; URM and first-generation students also suffered greater economic and food insecurity related to COVID-19. At the same time, this study demonstrates how student voices in survey development provide novel and actionable insights. While access to CUREs is often limited by laboratory space, by focusing on the research process, rather than specific laboratory skills, this study provides a scalable pedagogical model for remote undergraduate research experiences. Importantly, this model fostered student engagement and increased interest in further undergraduate research, including topics not directly related to the subject of this study, suggesting that online CUREs can be effective and impactful.
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March 2021

Expedient synthesis of highly potent antagonists of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) with unique selectivity for ML-IAP.

ACS Chem Biol 2013 Apr 5;8(4):725-32. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Program in Apoptosis and Cell Death and NCI Designated Cancer Center, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

A series of novel, potent antagonists of the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) were synthesized in a highly convergent and rapid fashion (≤6 steps) using the Ugi four-component reaction as the key step, thus enabling rapid optimization of binding potency. These IAP antagonists compete with caspases 3, 7, and 9 for inhibition by X chromosome-linked IAP (XIAP) and bind strongly (nanomolar binding constants) to several crucial members of the IAP family of cancer pro-survival proteins to promote apoptosis, with a particularly unique selectivity for melanoma IAP (ML-IAP). Experiments in cell culture revealed powerful cancer cell growth inhibitory activity in multiple (breast, ovarian, and prostate) cell lines with single agent toxicity at low nanomolar levels against SKOV-3 human ovarian carcinoma cells. Administration of the compounds to human foreskin fibroblast cells revealed no general toxicity to normal cells. Furthermore, computational modeling was performed, revealing key contacts between the IAP proteins and antagonists, suggesting a structural basis for the observed potency.
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April 2013

Successful treatment with bortezomib of a refractory humoral rejection of the intestine after multivisceral transplantation.

Clin Transpl 2009 :465-9

Department of Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.

Graft rejection is a serious complication after intestinal and multivisceral transplantation. Classic anti-rejection strategies often focus on addressing the cellular component, however mounting evidence suggests that antibody mediated rejection may also play an important role in patient and graft survival. Bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor used in the treatment of multiple myeloma, has been found to be useful in treating antibody mediated rejection in kidney transplant recipients. The following case illustrates how bortezomib was used to successfully reverse refractory rejection in a patient following multivisceral transplantation. While the rejection was able to be controlled, this patient's course was complicated by an aggressive viral infection after bortezomib therapy. Bortezomib may be a useful agent in the treatment of rejection after intestinal and multivisceral transplantation; however more data is needed to assess its impact on infectious complications in this complex group of patients.
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July 2010