2010
Rylaarsdam receives grant to study disorders caused by G-protein defects

Rylaarsdam receives grant to study disorders caused by G-protein defects
April 12, 2010

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094
pbrozynski@ben.edu

Robin Pals Rylaarsdam, an associate professor in the Biology department at Benedictine University, was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health for $178,672 over the next three years to support her research project titled "Intragenic Suppressors of McCune-Albright Syndrome Mutations." McCune-Albright Syndrome patients exhibit bone weakness in the weight-bearing skeleton, malformations of the facial bones, abnormally early beginning of puberty and patches of hyperpigmented skin. This syndrome is one of many diseases caused by the misregulation of G-proteins, cellular components that control the responses to many hormones and neurotransmitters. Rylaarsdam’s project aims to provide important basic science information that can be used in the rational design of drugs for McCune-Albright Syndrome and other disorders caused by G-protein defects. “Dr. Rylaarsdam’s grant has a significant impact on both Benedictine University and the wider community,” said Ralph Meeker, Ph.D., dean of the College of Science at Benedictine University. “Her work promotes one of the College of Science’s goals to provide opportunities for our students to engage in real-world research that contributes to the scientific knowledge base, and it also increases the visibility of our programs in the scientific community,” Meeker said. Rylaarsdam graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa) in 1992 and earned a PH.D. from Northwestern University in 1997. She served as a research associate at Children’s Memorial Hospital from 1999-2000, an assistant professor at Azusa Pacific University from 2000-2001 and an associate professor at Trinity Christian College from 2001-2007. Rylaarsdam is a resident of Lombard.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.