Dr. Joshua M. Muia serves as an Instructor in the Department of Medicine at Washington University. Dr. Muia graduated with a B. Sc. (Chemistry) degree from the University of Nairobi in 2004, and went on to attain his Ph.D in Bioinorganic Chemistry from |Western Michigan University.
His doctoral thesis investigated the copper-transporting ATPase (ATP7B) that is deficient in Wilson disease, during this period he developed skills in the use of DNA recombinant technology to express and purify recombinant proteins on a large scale, and biophysical characterization of proteins using circular dichroism, light scattering and gel chromatography techniques. He was invited to present his findings at several scientific meetings including the Bioinorganic Chemistry Gordon Research Conference (2007) and the Annual Experimental Biology Conference (2010).
In 2010 as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of J. Evans Salder, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Muia studied two blood proteins – von Willebrand factor and ADAMTS13 – that work together to prevent bleeding and thrombosis. Dr. Muia designed and synthesized a new fluorogenic substrate for ADAMTS13 that allows measurement of this protease in blood samples with unprecedented sensitivity. His first-author manuscript describing the assay was published in Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis in 2013, and a patent for it was issued in early 2014.
Dr. Muia’s improved assay is being used to enroll patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (a frequently fatal disease) in a multicenter clinical trial that is open at Washington University, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Centre (Harvard) and Emory University. Dr. Muia has also made fundamental contributions by discovering an unsuspected allosteric mechanism by which ADAMTS13 is regulated. He has published these results and presented his work on ADAMTS13 enzymology at several major national and international meetings, additionally his research has involved mentorship of high school students through the Young Scientists Program this has seen one of this recent students highlighted in the local newspaper at the St. Louis Dispatch. His work has earned him two young investigator awards to attend ISTH meeting, as well as an invite to speak about his research at the National Institutes of Health in 2014.
Dr. Muia’s long term goal is to decipher how regulatory mechanism of ADAMTS13 contributes to hemostasis, and how defects in it can cause bleeding or thrombosis.
Dr. Joshua Muia’s research while at KU will be on ‘Research Collaborations on Assays of Hemostatic Proteins ADAMTS13 and VWF and Strengthening of Medical Curriculum in Coagulation Biochemistry’.
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