Dr. Derek C. Braun
  • Ph.D., Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, 2002
  • B.A., Computer Science, Gallaudet University, 1995
Short Biography

Derek C. Braun, Ph.D. began teaching at Gallaudet in 1995 as an adjunct and has been tenure track since 2000.

As a graduate student, Dr. Braun was a NIH National Service Research Award (NRSA) fellow. His graduate research at the University of Maryland was on the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. He investigated and published on the genetics of its lipooligosaccharide antigenic variation. After graduation from the University of Maryland, Dr. Braun worked at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, from 2002 through 2006, where he studied signal transduction pathways important in cancer and pain. Dr. Braun was awarded a provisional patent for developing a fluorescent tool for high-throughput screening of potential anticancer drugs.

In 2006, Dr. Braun was selected to design and direct the Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Gallaudet's first biological research laboratory. This new laboratory was built on renovated space on the 4th floor of the Hall Memorial Building (HMB). Undergraduate students and summer interns perform research in the laboratory alongside deaf faculty.

In the laboratory, Dr. Braun currently leads the Genetics of Connexin 26 Deafness project and collaborates on the Cancer Research project. As one of the very few Deaf geneticists in the world, Dr. Braun was interviewed and featured in "Scientists with disabilities: Access in all areas" in Nature, "Science in Sign Language" in ASBMB Today, and in All in the Mind, a radio show by Australian Broadcasting Corp. He also presented at TEDxMidAtlantic 2013.

Dr. Braun teaches BIO 211 Genetics, BIO 221 Microbiology, BIO 321 Pathogenic Microbiology, and BIO 296 Research Experience, where undergraduate students receive course credit for performing genetics research with Dr. Braun.

Dr. Braun has been involved in the honors program for many years and was a honors student while enrolled at Gallaudet. He has taught Honors Introductory Biology, a Honors seminar in Bioterrorism, a Honors interdisciplinary course with Dr. Tonya Stremlau on nutrition science and American food marketing entitled 'The American Diet', and has served as an advisor and second reader for Honors senior capstone projects.

Selected Publications

  1. Braun DC, Gormally CL, Clark MD. The Deaf Mentoring Survey: A Community Cultural Wealth framework for measuring mentoring effectiveness with underrepresented students. CBE Life Sci Educ [in press].
  2. Czikora A, Lundberg DJ, Abramovitz A, Lewin NE, Kedei N, Peach ML, Zhou X, Merritt RC Jr, Craft EA, Braun DC, Blumberg PM. Structural Basis for the Failure of the C1 Domain of Ras Guanine Nucleotide Releasing Protein 2 (RasGRP2) to Bind Phorbol Ester with High Affinity. J Biol Chem. 2016 May 20;291(21):11133-47. Epub 2016 Mar 28. PMID: 27022025.
  3. Braun DC, Florence BL. Carderock [guidebook]. rakkup.com. 2015 Oct 16. [link]
  4. Braun DC. A Proposal for Deaf Science Education. Educ Update. 2013 Jan/Feb;18(3):6. [link]
  5. Kedei N, Lewin NE, Géczy T, Selezneva J, Braun DC, Chen J, Herrmann MA, Heldman MR, Lim L, Mannan P, Garfield SH, Poudel YB, Cummins TJ, Rudra A, Blumberg PM, Keck GE. Biological Profile of the Less Lipophilic and Synthetically More Accessible Bryostatin 7 Closely Resembles That of Bryostatin 1. ACS Chem Biol. 2013 Feb 1. [link]
  6. Solomon CM, Braun DC, Kushalnagar R, Ladner RE, Lundberg DJ, Painter R, Nuzzo RL. National Science Foundation. Workshop for Emerging Deaf and Hard of Hearing Scientists [White Paper]. 2013 Feb 15. Available from: http://doit-prod.s.uw.edu/accesscomputing/sites/default/files/WhitePaper-Final_Gallaudet_Emerging_Sci_2_15_13-1.pdf [link]
  7. Lazar J, Braun DC, Tóth A, Wang Y, Pearce LV, Pavlyukovets VA, Blumberg PM, Lee J. Kinetics of penetration influence the apparent potency of vanilloids on TRPV1. Mol Pharmacol. 2006 Apr;69(4):1166-73. Epub 2006 Jan 17. [link
  8. Pu Y, Perry NA, Yang D, Lewin NE, Kedei N, Braun DC, Choi SH, Blumberg PM, Garfield SH, Stone JC, Duan D, Marquez VE. A novel diacylglycerol-lactone shows marked selectivity in vitro among C1 domains of protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms alpha and delta as well as selectivity for RasGRP compared with PKC alpha.  J Biol Chem. 2005 Jul 22;280(29):27329-38. Epub 2005 May 27. [link
  9. Blumberg PM, Braun DC, Kedei N, Lazar J, Pavlyukovets VA, Pearce LV. Insights into TRPV1 pharmacology provided by non-capsaicin ligands. In: Malmberg AB, Bley KR, editors.  Turning up the Heat on Pain: TRPV1 Receptors in Pain and Inflammation. Switzerland: Birkhäuser Verlag Basell; 2005. p. 55-69. 
  10. Braun DC, Cao Y, Wang S, Garfield SH, Hur GM, Blumberg PM. Role of phorbol ester localization in determining protein kinase C or RasGRP3 translocation: real time analysis using fluorescent ligands and proteins. Mol Cancer Ther. 2005 Jan;4(1):141- 50. [link
  11. Braun DC, Garfield SH, Blumberg PM. Analysis by FRET of the interaction between ligands and protein kinase C delta in the intact cell. J Biol Chem 2005 Mar 4;280(9):8164-71.  Epub 2004 Dec 16. [link]
  12. Braun DC, Stein DC. The lgtABCDE gene cluster, involved in lipooligosaccharide biosynthesis in Neisseria gonorrhoeae, contains multiple promoter sequences. J Bacteriol 2004 Feb;186(4):1038-49. [link]

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