Current Projects

  • Cytotoxic factors produced by cultured shark immune cells: The goal of this project is to isolate and characterize the bioactive factors produced by short-term cultures of shark immune cells. Studies by Mote Marine scientists have shown that these immune cell derived factors can inhibit the growth of human tumor cell lines. Studies also focus on understanding the cellular pathways activated by these factors that result in tumor cell death. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Carl Luer of Mote’s Marine Biomedical Program and Dr. A.B. Bodine of Clemson University. The project is funded by the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation, a Florida High Tech Corridor Industry Seed Grant and numerous matching grants.
  • Novel antimicrobial compounds from epidermal mucus: The focus of this project is on investigating the microbial composition of the surface mucus produced by stingrays to determine potential antibiotic properties that could benefit human health. Dr. Walsh is a co-investigator on this multi-institution project that includes Mote scientists, Lead Investigator Dr. Carl Luer of the Marine Biomedical Program and Co-Investigator Dr. Kim Ritchie of the Marine Microbiology Program; Daemen College scientists, Dr. Laura Edsberg and Dr. Jennifer Wyffels; USF Center for Biological Defense Scientists, Dr. Andy Cannons and Dr. Vicki Luna; and Clemson University Scientist Dr. A.B. Bodine. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • Wound healing in stingrays: In this project, controlled experimental wounding is being used to characterize the healing process of wounds penetrating the epidermal and dermal layers of skin in stingrays. Anecdotal reports of relatively rapid and infection-free healing of wounds in sharks and rays are common, yet studies to characterize the healing process are rare. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Carl Luer of Mote’s Marine Biomedical Program and Dr. Laura Edsberg and Dr. Jennifer Wyffels at Daemen College. This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • Using a freshwater turtle as a model of physiological effects of red tide toxin exposure in sea turtles: A project funded by NOAA ECOHAB entitled “Brevetoxin metabolism and physiology – a freshwater model of morbidity in endangered sea turtles” is a collaborative project with FAU (Dr Sarah Milton, Lead PI), Mote (Dr. Walsh, Dr. Deb Fauquier), Florida Fish Wildlife Research Institute (Dr. Leanne Flewelling) and Georgia Aquarium (Dr. Greg Bossart). Goals of this project are to investigate effects of brevetoxins on turtle physiology, including effects on immune function, using a freshwater turtle (T scripta) as a model for potential effects of brevetoxins on physiology of endangered or threatened marine turtle populations.
  • Effects of red tide on manatee health: In a project funded by NOAA/NOS/CSCOR Harmful Algal Bloom Event Response Program, entitled “Health Impacts from Red Tide Toxin Exposure in Manatees,” we investigated impact of sublethal exposure of red tide toxins on health of rescued manatees in collaboration with Ray Ball at Lowry Park Zoo, Leanne Flewelling at FWRI and manatee rescue staff at FWRI.

Other Mote Research Programs View All