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Name: Elizabeth Putnam

Title: Associate Professor


Phone: 406-243-4794

Office: SB 282


After completing undergraduate work in Biochemistry at Rutgers College in New Brunswick, NJ, Elizabeth Putnam earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston. Following postdoctoral fellowships at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Texas Medical School, she moved to the University of Montana as a Research Assistant Professor in 2000. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007.


Research Statement

Research in the Putnam laboratory focuses on the role of genetic variability in susceptibility to environmental insult. Inherited differences in DNA sequence contribute to phenotypic variation, influencing an individual’s risk of disease and response to the environment. Investigations into gene expression changes after exposure to environmental toxins provide insight into possible mechanisms of response, and the influence of genetic polymorphisms on expression of this response. Using the latest technologies for microarray analysis and automated DNA sequencing, these studies hold great promise for dissecting response to environmental toxins and identifying potential targets for therapeutic intervention.



Pershouse M.A., Smartt A.M., Schwanke C., and Putnam E.A. Differences in gene expression profiles from asbestos-treated SPARC-null and wild type mouse lungs. Genomics 2009 Aug;94(2):101-9. Epub 2009 May 13.

Smartt A.M., Brezinski M., Trapkus M., Gardner D., and Putnam E.A. Collagen accumulation over time in the murine lung after exposure to crocidolite asbestos or Libby amphibole. Env Toxicol, 2009 Feb 13 [epub ahead of print].

Putnam E.A., Smartt A.M., Brezinski M., Groves A., Schwanke C., and Pershouse M.A. Histologic and gene expression changes after amphibole exposures in a mouse model. J Immunotox. 2008 Apr;5(2):139-44.

Larson S.J., Putnam E.A., Schwanke C.M., and Pershouse M.A. Potential surrogate markers for gamma-hydroxybutyrate administration may extend the detection window from 12 hours to 48 hours. J. Analytical Tox. 31:15-22, 2007.

Pfau J.C., Pershouse M.A., and Putnam E.A. Conference Summary. Directions and Needs in Asbestos Research: New Insights. Inhalation Toxicology 18(12):921-925. 2006.

Pfau J.C., Sentissi J.J., Weller G., Putnam E.A. Assessment of autoimmune responses associated with asbestos exposure in Libby MT. Environ Health Perspect. Jan:113(1):25-30, 2005.

Wallis D.D., Putnam E.A., Cretoiu J.S., Carmical S.G., Cao S.-N., Thomas G., and Milewicz D.M. Profibrillin maturation by human dermal fibroblasts:Proteolytic processing and molecular chaperones. J. Cellular Biochem, 90:641-652, 2003.

Gupta P.A.*, Putnam E.A.*, Carmical S.G., Kaitila I., Steinmann B., Child A., Danesino C., Chin T., Metcalfe K., Berry S., Chen E., Vincente-Delorme C., Thong M.-K., Ades L., and Milewicz D.M. (*First two authors equal) FBN2 mutations in congenital contractural arachnodactyly: Delineation of the molecular pathogenesis and clinical phenotype. Human Mutation 19(1):39-48, 2002.

Guala A., Danesino C., Milewicz D.M., Putnam E.A., Franceschini P. The metacarpophalangeal profile in a family with congenital contractural arachnodactyly. Genet Couns 11:57-8, 2000.

Raghunath M., Putnam E.A., Ritty T., Hamstra D., Park E.-S., Tschodrich-Rotter M., Peters R., Rehemtulla A., and Milewicz D.M. Carboxy-terminal conversion of profibrillin to fibrillin at a basic site by PACE/furin-like activity required for incorporation in the matrix. J. Cell Science 112:1093-1100, 1999.

Hecht J.T., Deere M., Putnam E.A., Cole W., Vertel B.M., Chen H., Lawler J. Characterization of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) in human normal and pseudoachondroplasia musculoskeletal tissues. Matrix Biol 17:269-278, 1998.

Park E.-S.*, Putnam E.A.*, Chitayat D., Child A., Milewicz D.M. (*First two authors equal) Clustering of FBN2 mutations in patients with congenital contractural arachnodactyly indicates an important role of the domains encoded by exos 24-34 during human development. Am J Med Genet. 78:350-355, 1998.

Putnam E.A., Aalfs C.M., Hennekam C.M., Milewicz D.M. Parental somatic and germ-line mosaicism for a FBN2 mutation and analysis of FBN2 transcript levels in dermal fibroblasts. J Med Genet. 60: 818-827, 1997.

Putnam E.A., Cho M., Zinn A.B., Towbin J.A., Byers P.H., Milewicz D.M. Delineation of the Marfan phenotype associated with mutations in exons 23 through 32 of the FBN1 gene. Am J Med Genet . 62:233-242, 1996.

Putnam E.A., Zhang H., Ramirez F., Milewicz D.M. Fibrillin-2 (FBN2) mutations result in the Marfan-like disorder, congenital contractural arachnodactyly. Nature Genetics 11(4):456-468, 1995.

Horton W.A., Machado M.A., Ellard J., Campbell D., Putnam E.A., Aulthouse A.L., Sun X., Sandell L.J. An experimental model of human chondrocyte differentiation. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research. 383B:533-540, 1993.

Putnam E.A., Yen N., Gallick G.E., Steck P.A., Fang K., Akpakip B., Gazdar A.F., Roth J.A. Autocrine growth stimulation by transforming growth factor-? in human non-small cell lung cancer. Surgical Oncol. 1:49-60, 1992.

Schneider P.M., Hung M.-C., Ames R.S., Putnam E.A., Akpakip B., Roth J.A. A novel alteration in the epidermal growth factor receptor gene is frequently detected in human non-small cell lung cancer. Lung Cancer. 6:65-72, 1990.

The University of Montana-Missoula
The Department of Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
32 Campus Drive, Skaggs 395
Missoula, MT 59812-1552
Phone 406.243.4767 Fax: 406.243.5228

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