Jean Spencer, PhD
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Biochemistry & Cell Biology

PhD, Carnegie Mellon University
MS, Carnegie Mellon University
MS, University of Colorado Boulder
BS, Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Spencer is interested in the underlying mechanisms and functional consequences of heparan sulfate proteoglycan interference in various disease pathways, including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, emphysema, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. Her quantitative approach to these problems is based on a combination of biochemical, biophysical, and computational techniques.

In a current project on glaucoma, she is using in vitro testing to examine the feasibility of protecting the optic nerve from elevated pressure by modifying the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix through injections of replacement materials (proteoglycans, growth factors, etc.). She is also involved in the development of an innovative computational technique for predicting patterns of domain organization within a population of heparan sulfate chains that could lead to new strategies in understanding heparan sulfate-protein interactions and to new drugs for those interactions associated with disease.

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Using molecular dynamics simulations to understand mechanisms of neovascularization
08/01/2014 - 10/31/2014 (PI)
Fight for Sight, Inc.


Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Spencer JL, Bhatia VN, Whelan SA, Costello CE, McComb ME. STRAP PTM: Software Tool for Rapid Annotation and Differential Comparison of Protein Post-Translational Modifications. Curr Protoc Bioinformatics. 2013 Dec; 44:13.22.1-36.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25422678; PMCID: PMC4240648; DOI: 10.1002/0471250953.bi1322s44;
  2. Nugent MA, Zaia J, Spencer JL. Heparan sulfate-protein binding specificity. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2013 Jul; 78(7):726-35.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24010836; PMCID: PMC4108213; DOI: 10.1134/S0006297913070055;
  3. Araújo AD, Majumdar A, Parameswaran H, Yi E, Spencer JL, Nugent MA, Suki B. Dynamics of enzymatic digestion of elastic fibers and networks under tension. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jun 7; 108(23):9414-9.View Related Profiles. PMID: 21606336; PMCID: PMC3111325; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1019188108;
  4. Guarnieri F, Spencer JL, Lucey EC, Nugent MA, Stone PJ. A human surfactant peptide-elastase inhibitor construct as a treatment for emphysema. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jun 8; 107(23):10661-6.View Related Profiles. PMID: 20534582; PMCID: PMC2890802; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1001349107;
  5. Spencer JL, Bernanke JA, Buczek-Thomas JA, Nugent MA. A computational approach for deciphering the organization of glycosaminoglycans. PLoS One. 2010; 5(2):e9389.View Related Profiles. PMID: 20186334; PMCID: PMC2826411; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009389;
  6. Nugent MA, Mitsi M, Spencer JL. Proteins and Peptides: Pharmacokinetic, Pharmacodynamic, and Metabolic Outcomes(eds: Mrsny RJ, Daugherty A). In vitro/in vivo correlations of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and metabolism for extracellular matrix-binding growth factors. Informa Healthcare. New York. 2009; 53-79.
  7. Spencer JL, Stone PJ, Nugent MA. New insights into the inhibition of human neutrophil elastase by heparin. Biochemistry. 2006 Aug 1; 45(30):9104-20.View Related Profiles. PMID: 16866356
  8. Rawls HR, Lentz DL, Cobb GW, Bailey MS, Spencer J, Williams DA, Walley D, Vidra J. Interproximal penetration of commercial toothbrushes as determined by static and dynamic tests using recommended brushing techniques. J Clin Dent. 1993; 4:88-95.
  9. Spencer, JL,Brown, LF. Experimental observations of gas phase-adsorbed phase interactions during counterdiffusion in porous alumina. J Chem Physics. 1975; 63(7):2882-9.

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 8 publications over 6 distinct years, with a maximum of 2 publications in 2010 and 2013


Contact for Mentoring:

72 E. Concord St Instructional (L)
Boston MA 02118
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