b'2018-2019 YEAR BOOKTracing Lipoproteins Working with molecular biologist Steven Farber in Carnegies Department of Embryology, Johns Hopkins University graduate student James Thierer, now a postdoc in Farbers lab, developed an important new approach to studying Apolipoprotein-B (ApoB), the protein that shuttles fats and cholesterol through the circulatory system. Because ApoB is one of the largest protein complexes, it is difficult to study using traditional techniques. So, Thierer, in collaboration with the Mayo Clinics Stephen Ekker, used cutting-edge genome engineering to tag ApoB in zebrafish with a glowing11enzyme, similar to the one that lights up fireflies. The enzyme allows the researchers to monitor the movement of ApoB lipid complexes in larval zebrafish, which are entirely transparent. This highly sensitive approach has led to the discovery of a gene, called PLA2G12B, which seems to play a central role in packing lipids into lipoproteins before they are secreted into the bloodstream. The team is hopeful that this discovery will ultimately lead to effective new pharmaceutical treatments of high cholesterol and heart disease.James Thierer (middle) was a graduate student in Steve Farbers lab when he conducted the work. After he successfully defended his thesis, Illuminating cholesterol transport with larval zebrafish, he became a postdoc in the lab. Steve Farber (left), James Thierer, and department director Yixian Zheng (right) attend the celebration for Thierers recently earned Ph.D. Image courtesy Navid Marvi, Carnegie Institution for Science'