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Nancy R. Cox, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Dr. Nancy R. Cox, interim director of the Scott-Ritchey Research Center, received her BS (1971) and DVM (1972) degrees from Texas A&M University. She interned at the Small Animal Clinic at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, receiving her MS degree in 1975. Dr. Cox was a small animal practitioner in Greenville, South Carolina, before joining the faculty of the Department of Comparative Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), as a clinical laboratory animal veterinarian. She served as Director of the Experimental Animal Resources Program (1978-80) prior to entering a PHS-supported pathology training program jointly administered by UAB and Auburn University. Dr. Cox was named a Fellow, Infectious Disease Training Grant at UAB, in 1984 and received her PhD in Experimental Pathology (1987) from UAB. Dr. Cox joined the SRRC faculty in 1985 as a neuropathologist. She served from 1996-98 as the Interim Director of the Institute for Biological Detection Systems (now the Canine Detection and Research Institute.) She currently is a Professor in the Department of Pathobiology and serves as the Interim Director of the SRRC. Her current research focuses on 1) gene and cellular therapies for inherited diseases affecting the central nervous system of cats; 2) targeted therapies and 3) development of contraceptives for dogs and cats.


Research Interests

Dr. Cox is a veterinary neuropathologist studying the pathologic changes in diseases of the central nervous system of cats and dogs.  An interdisciplinary research group led by Center Scientists identifies and characterizes genetic abnormalities of cats that result in neurologic diseases, primarily focusing on lysosomal storage diseases. These diseases in the cat are almost identical models of similar diseases in human patients so that findings from research are not only important in veterinary medicine, but also are important for developing therapies for human patients. A second area of research interest is in targeted therapies for disease.  Dr. Cox has teamed with Dr. Tatiana Samoylova to use phage display technology to select peptides which can be used to target particular populations of cells such as cancer cells. Both the phage bearing the targeting peptide and the peptide itself have potential for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic reagents. Drs. Cox, Samoylova, and Baker have formed interdisciplinary teams with other investigators and commercial entities to develop contraceptives for the control of dog and cat overpopulations.

Selected Publications

Samoylova TI, Cox NR, Cochran AM, Samoylov AM, Griffin B, Baker HJ.  ZP-binding peptides identified via phage display stimulate production of sperm antibodies in dogs.  Anim. Reprod. Sci.  2010 120(1-4):  151-157.  Epub 2010 Apr 13. 

Wang L, Shi J, van Ginkel FW, Lan L, Niemeyer G, Martin DR, Snyder EY, Cox NR. Neural stem/progenitor cells modulate immune responses by suppressing T lymphocytes with nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2.  Experimental Neurology 2009 16 (1):177-83, epub 2008 Dec

Bradbury AM, Morrison NE, Hwang M, Cox NR, Baker HJ, Martin DR. Neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disease in European Burmese cats with hexosaminidase beta-subunit deficiency.  Mole. Genet Metab.2009.  97(1): 53-59. Epub ahead of print Feb 23, 2009.

Baek RC, Martin DR, Cox NR and Seyfried TN. Comparative Analysis of Brain Lipids in Mice, Cats, and Humans with Sandhoff Disease. Lipids, 2009 44(3) :197-205. epub 2008 Nov 26.

Wooten MW, Geetha T, Babu JR, Seibenhener L, Peng J, Cox N, Diaz-Meco M-T, Moscat J.  Essential role of SQSTM1/p62 in regulating accumulation of Lys63-ubiquitinated proteins.  Journal of Biological Chemistry.  2008 Mar 14;283(11):6783-9.Published online 3 January 2008, 10.1074/jbc.M709496200

Babu JR, Seibenhener L, Peng J, Strom AL, Kemppainen R, Cox N, Zhu H, Wooten MC, Diaz-Meco M-T, Moscat J, Wooten MW.  Genetic Inactivation of p62 leads to accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau and neurodegeneration.  J Neurochem. 106(1):107-20 2008;  July 1, 2008. [Epub ahead of print]

Samoylova TI, Martin DR, Morrsion NE,  Hwang M, Cochran AM,Samoylov AM, Baker HJ, Cox NR.  Generation and characterization of recombinant feline beta-galactosidase for preclinical enzyme replacement therapy studies in GM1 gangliosidosis.  Metabolic Brain Diseases, 2008 Jun;23(2):161-73;  2008 April 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Hudson, JA and Cox NR.  Topic sections on Brain and Spine.  Atlas of Small Animal Ultrasonography.  D. Penninck and M-A d’Anjou, Editors, Blackwell Publishing Company, Ames, Iowa, February 1, 2008. ISBN: 9780813828008

Samoylova T.I., Morrison N.E., Globa L.P., Cox N.R. 2006. Peptide phage display:  Opportunities for development of personalized anti-cancer strategies. Anti-Cancer Agents – Med. Chem., 2006, 6(1):9-17.

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