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Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Melissa Rogers, Ph.D.


Medical Science Building (MSB)
185 South Orange Avenue Room E627
Newark, NJ 07101
Phone: (973) 972-2984



Melissa B. Rogers, Ph.D., is a tenured Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
at Rutgers-NJ Medical School (NJMS) in Newark, NJ. Dr. Rogers received her B.S. from RPI in
Troy, NY, and Ph.D. from Brandeis Univ. in Waltham, MA. She further trained at Dana Farber
Cancer Inst. with Dr. L. Gudas (1985-1991) and in the Dept. of Genetics, Harvard Med. School
with Dr. J. Seidman (1992). In 1993, she was appointed as Assist. Professor in Biology at the
Univ. of S. FL (USF) in Tampa and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1999. At
USF, Dr. Rogers received awards for both research and teaching.
In 2001, Dr. Rogers moved to Rutgers – NJMS (previously UMDNJ). Her research has been
continuously funded since 1993 by external sources that include the National Institutes of
Health (NIH), American Heart Assoc. (AHA), March of Dimes, NJ State Commission on Cancer
Research, and Leukemia Research Found., Inc. Dr. Rogers has reviewed for the NIH, National
Science Foundation (NSF), AHA, Alzheimer's Assoc., and Philip Morris External Research Program
and various journals. She now chairs the AHA Genetics & Epigenetics 3 Review Panel.
Dr. Rogers' teaching duties include directing Molecular & Genetic Medicine, the first course of
the NJMS curriculum. She also lectures in Grad. School of Biomed. Sciences (GSBS) courses. Dr.
Rogers is a member of the Society for Developmental Biol., the NJMS – UH Cancer Center
Community, and the AHA.



Ph.D., 1985, Brandeis University, Biology


Curriculum Vitae

View CV




Relevant Publications:

Kruithof, BPT, Xu J, Fritz, DT, Cabral CS, Gaussin, V, and Rogers, M. B. (2011) An In Vivo Map of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 Post-transcriptional Repression in the Heart, genesis, The Journal of Genetics and Development 49:841–850.
Kruithof, BPT, Fritz, DT, Liu, Y, Garsetti, DE, Frank, DB, Pregizer, SK, Gaussin, V, Mortlock, DP, and Rogers, M.B (2010) An Autonomous BMP2 Regulatory Element in Mesenchymal Cells, J. Cell. Biochem. 112: 666 - 674. PMID: 21136487
Jiang, S, Fritz, DT, and Rogers, MB (2010) A Conserved Post-Transcriptional Bmp2 Switch in Lung Cells, J. Cell. Biochem. 110: 509 – 521. PMID: 20432245
Jiang, S, Chandler, RL, Fritz, DT, Mortlock, DP, Rogers, MB (2010) Repressive BMP2 Gene Regulatory Elements Near the BMP2 promoter Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 392: 124 - 128. PMID: 20060812
Devaney JM, Tosi LL, Fritz DT, Gordish-Dressman HA, Jiang S, ........ Hoffman EP, and Rogers MB (2009) Differences in Fat and Muscle Mass Associated With a Functional Human Polymorphism in a Post-transcriptional BMP2 Gene Regulatory Element. J. Cell Biochem. J. Cell Biochem. 107: 1073 - 1082. PMID: 19492344


Courses Taught


BIOC 5007Q Foundations in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1 cr Spring The objective of this course is to provide a historical overview of selected fundamental molecular biological and biochemical principles that underlie modern biological science. Lectures will be based on review articles in such as the Annual Review series, the Trends series, and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Evaluation will be by means of a take-home essay.


BIOC5070 Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids. 4 cr. Fall This course covers many aspects of structural and biosynthetic properties of DNA, RNA and proteins. In addition, regulatory mechanisms governing biosynthesis of these macromolecules in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems is also covered.

BIOC5240Q   Molec Biol of the News

BIOC5240 Molecular Biology of the News. 1 cr. Spring -- only occurs in Spring of odd years (2009, 2011 etc). The objective of this course is to discuss fundamental biochemical principles underlying recent developments that have received attention in the lay press (e.g., New York Times, Time Magazine).

EDUC6002K   Molecular&Genetic Medicine

Molecular & Genetic Medicine is taught during the fall semester of the first year. The teaching format consists of lectures, group conferences of two kinds (team based learning and small group conferences with faculty facilitators), and review sessions. Lectures are of 1 hour duration; conferences and review sessions are approximately 2 hours. Additional information is available on the course website and in the assigned textbooks. Case histories introduced throughout the course will illustrate how knowledge of biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics can aid the understanding of disease processes.

GSND5200Q   Intro to Biomedical Sciences

GSND5205Q   Genes & Molecules in Medicine

Current Research

Regulating the Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2)

Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) is an essential signal. We focus on the regulation of
BMP2 in three contexts:
1. In EMBRYOGENESIS, because abnormal BMP2 levels cause birth defects, including lethal
congenital malformations of the heart and other organs.
2. In the adult VASCULATURE AND CARDIAC VALVES, because excessive BMP2 levels in the
blood vasculature and coronary valves promote pathological calcification (e.g.,
atherosclerosis and calcific aortic valve disease).
3. In LUNG TUMORS, because BMP2 levels are abnormally elevated in human lung tumors
relative to non-malignant lung tissue and in vitro and in vivo experiments and patient
studies indicate that elevated levels of BMP2 that BMP2 promotes lung tumor tumorigenesis
and bone metastases.

We discovered a sequence within the regulatory part of the gene that has been largely
unchanged since fishes and mammals diverged, the “ultra-conserved sequence” (UCS). The
extraordinary conservation of this sequence supports a fundamental role in animal
development and function. One role of the UCS is to turn off BMP2 synthesis in clinically
relevant cell types (e.g., heart valves, vascular cells, and healthy lungs). We
hypothesize that the ability of the UCS to block BMP2 synthesis is compromised in tissues
that express pathological levels of BMP2.

New preventative and therapeutic targets are needed for these pathologies. Therefore we
seek to identify regulatory proteins and microRNAs that can pharmacologically reawaken
BMP2 repression.

STUDENT PROJECTS: A student would analyze the expression of BMP2 reporter genes
or BMP2 itself in cells and mice that model these diseases. Potential methods: tissue
culture of primary and immortalized cells, transfection of plasmids and microRNAs into
cells, the generation of reporter gene plasmids, biochemical characterization of
regulatory processes, transgenic mouse analyses.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 1R01HL114751, “BMP2 Gene Regulation in Calcific
Aortic Valve Disease”, 07/01/2012 – 06/31/2016
Foundation of UMDNJ and Dean’s Biomedical Research Support Program, #PC53-12, “BMP2
Repression and Embryogenesis and Adult Physiology”, 04/01/2012-03/30/2014

Melissa B. Rogers, Ph.D., Associate Professor,
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
UMDNJ - NJ Medical School, Bldg. MSB, Room E627
Phone 973 972 2984
Fax 973 972 5594



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