Calvin Carter

Calvin  Carter
Staten Island, NY
Hofstra University, 2009 BS - Biology
Current projects: 

The primary theme of my work is understanding the role of cilia and neural progenitor cells in health and disease. Cilia are tiny hair-like structures located on almost every cell and play a role in nearly every process in the body. These structures have been thought to be vestigial organelles with no current function, however, our work in addition to other labs have shown that these structures are required for normal tasks including learning and memory, body weight/feeding behaviors, renal function among many well documented functions such as vision.

I am also studying the role of cilia in human diseases such as hydrocephalus, obesity and cognitive functioning. So far, we have identified a novel biological mechanism involving neural progenitor cells underlying a common developmental disease called hydrocephalus. We have identified novel therapeutic targets for this disease and have successfully targeted the defective pathways using an FDA approved drug. We are currently investigating the use of additional drug compounds to treat this disease. We are also actively studying the role of cilia and neural progenitor cells in other neurological/cognitive disorders.

Research interests: 

The human mind is fascinating. How we think, how we remember and how our brains change over time. Underneath all these “routine” processes lies complex biological mechanisms that are constantly changing. I am interested in studying these biological mechanisms that underlie “basic” human tasks such as learning and memory. I am also interested in how dysfunction of these mechanisms leads to disease with the ultimate goal of being able to prevent/treat these diseases.

Ph.D. Advisor: 
Thesis project: 

"Characterizing the role of primary cilia in neural progenitor cell development and neonatal hydrocephalus"

Defense date: 
Friday, April 25, 2014
Current position: 
Postdoctoral Researcher, Dept. of Pediatrics, UIOWA
Living in Iowa City: 

Being from New York City, I can tell you that Iowa is… fantastic! Although everything you thought about Iowa is probably true, there are tons of farms, cornfields, soyfields and wheatfields just outside the city, the actual town of Iowa City is very cozy and the people are what make this place special. The eateries are common and fantastic, there is a Coop grocery store that sells all your organic, free-range treats and there are a ton of bars to check out. Come gameday, expect to see everyone in town wearing black and gold. Shopping downtown is great but if you want more, the outlet stores are 30 min drive. Chicago is 4hr drive (3hrs for me J), Twin cities and St. Louis about the same so if you miss big cities you can take a short trip to be in one. If you play sports (football, basketball, hockey) then I can tell you that you WILL NOT find another school/program like Iowa where literally every week we play sports with our program director (Dr. Tranel) on his home professional, 100 yard field, painted b-ball courts and frozen pond (in the winter). This town is friendly and will make you feel at home.

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