Holly A. Stessman, PhD

Holly A. Stessman, PhD

Holly A. Stessman, PhD

Assistant Professor
School of Medicine, Omaha Campus

Expertise/Specializations

  • Human genetics
  • Genomics
  • Molecular biology
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Tissue culture
  • Intellectual disability
  • Cancer
  • Animal model systems

Academic Appointments

Department

  • Pharmacology and Neuroscience

Position

  • Assistant Professor

Publications and Presentations

Articles

  • , 8, 206
  • , 3(4), 31
  • , 80(16), 3279-3291
  • , 13(8), 1286-1299
  • , 19
  • , 8(1), 101
  • , 104(3), 530-541
  • , 8(1)
  • , 85(4), 287-297
  • , 51(1), 106-116
  • , 102(5), 985-994
  • , 101(5), 768-88
  • , 20(8), 1043-51
  • , 9, 24
  • , 100(4), 689
  • , 49(4), 515-26
  • , 1(3), 69
  • , 1492, 95-106

Presentations

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • The focus of the Stessman laboratory is to identify and functionally characterize genetic “drivers” of complex human diseases to find new drug targets that may stop disease progression and improve patient quality of life. Specifically we focus on genetic diversity in two disease systems, autism spectrum disorder and cancer. As a functional genomics laboratory, we utilize a diverse array of tools, including next-generation sequencing technologies, mouse modeling, human cell line modeling, CRISPR genome-engineering, high-throughput small-molecule screening, and classical molecular and cell biology approaches. Computational resources also play a central role in multiple aspects of our research.

Current Research Projects

  • The major objective of our current work is to determine the functional relevance of disease-associated mutations that we have identified in autistic patients moving beyond genetic subtypes to understand the biology of the disease. Using CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering technology, we are modeling two classes of mutations in human cell lines: (1) early truncating mutations (a model of haploinsufficiency) and (2) specific mutations that have been observed in patients. By modeling these types of mutations in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), we can observe what effects these variants have on neural precursors and during neuronal differentiation which can be studied in the cell culture dish.

Grant Funding Received

  • Identifying High-Risk Genetic Variation in Familial Breast & Ovarian Cancer
  • The Dr. George F. Haddix President’s Faculty Research Fund, Creighton University (Role: Co-I), Capturing the Gaps in Patients with Autism Through Collaborative Care (03/01/18 – 02/28/19)

Awards and Honors

  • PCORI Engagement/Educational Project (EAIN-3885), 2017