Catherine Gebhart, Ph.D.

Department Affiliations
Assistant Professor 
Director of Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Laboratory
Technical Director of Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory

Molecular Diagnostics, Infectious Disease Monitoring of Transplant Patients, Nucleic Acid Stabilization

My clinical responsibilities include overseeing the technical aspects of molecular testing involving infectious diseases, genetics, and hematology for the Nebraska Medical Center. I guide research and development efforts for clinical molecular diagnostics testing, as well as research testing in support of the academic center. The UNMC Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory offers a variety of molecular tests in support of the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory and other laboratories. The cell processing GMP facility benefits from these and other contributions of molecular testing, such as mycoplasma and adenovirus testing.

Current focus in the molecular diagnostics clinical laboratory is on expansion of our genetic testing menu. In anticipation of legislation requiring Cystic Fibrosis (CF) testing as part of newborn screening, the laboratory is in the process of validating a test to screen for a number of mutations associated with CF. Another area of genetic testing we are adopting is pharmacogenomics. Pharmacogenomic testing will evaluate a person's ability to metabolize a variety of drugs, enabling physicians to tailor appropriate treatment protocols for individual patients.

My research interests include various aspects of development, improvement and mainstreaming of molecular diagnostics technology in order to provide patients with the best possible health care. This is achieved through collaborative efforts of both academic centers and private industry. A partnership with Streck Laboratories (a leading manufacturer of hematology and flow cytometry products) aims to aid in the development of products to stabilize whole blood for T-cell counts and viral load assays in HIV patients. In cooperation with The University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering and Technology and Megabase Research Products, our laboratory is also involved in the development of a FastJet PCR thermal cycler for rapid detection of infectious disease targets

I am very interested in the challenges of infectious disease monitoring in immunocompromised patients. This is a continuously evolving field as we struggle to keep pace with rapidly increasing genetic variability of pathogens and evolution of drug-resistant strains. Our laboratory is committed to maintaining the flexibility necessary to rapidly develop and validate new tests in response to clinical demands. Retrospective analysis of current technology is also an important aspect of research in the laboratory. We are also working on a retrospective study of the current Enterovirus assay to ensure it is detecting appropriate strains for our geographic testing regions. Other projects on the horizon include a new quantitative Cytomegalovirus assay and testing to determine drug resistant mutations in CMV.

Education and Training
B.S., Creighton University, 1992
Ph.D., Pathology & Microbiology, UNMC, 1998
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pediatrics, Creighton University, 1998
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pharmaceutical Sciences, UNMC 1998-2000
Technologist in Molecular Pathology, MP (ASCP) 2005

Teaching Activities
Undergraduate Students: Molecular Biology (UNO)
Pharmacy Students: Immunology Lectures (UNMC)
Medical Students: Small group facilitator (UNMC)

National Activities
Member, Association for Molecular Pathology
Member, American Society for Clinical Pathology

Notable Publications
Yang Z, Zhu J, Sriadibhatla S, Gebhart CL, Alakhov V, Kabanov AV. Promoter- and strain-selective enhancement of gene expression in a mouse skeletal muscle by a polymer excipient Pluronic P85. J. Cont. Rel. 2005, 108: 496-512.

Gebhart CL, Sriadibhatla S, Vinogradov S, Lemieux P, Alakhov V, Kabanov AV. Design and Formulation of Polyplexes Based on PluronicÒ-polyethyleneimine Conjugates for Gene Transfer. Bioconj Chem 2002, 13, 937-944.

Gebhart CL, Kabanov AV. Evaluation of Polyplexes as Gene Transfer Agents. J. Contr. Rel. 2001, 73, 401-416.

Nguyen HK, Lemieux P, Vinogradov S, Gebhart CL, Guérin N, Paradis G, Bronich T, Alakhov V Yu, Kabanov AV. Evaluation of Polyether-polyethyleneimine Graft Copolymers as Gene Transfer Agents. Gene Therapy 2000, 7, 126-138.

Lemieux P, Vinogradov SV, Gebhart CL, Guérin N, Paradis G, Nguyen H-K, Ochietti B, Suzdaltseva YG, Bartakova EV, Bronich TK, St-Pierre Y, Alakhov V Yu, Kabanov AV. Block and Graft Copolymers and NanogelÔ Copolymer Networks for DNA Delivery into Cell. J. Drug Targeting 2000, 8, 91-105.

For a detailed list of publications, click here.

Catherine Gebhart, Ph.D.
Catherine Gebhart, MD
Email Address

Mailing Address
985454 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5454

Office Address
MMI 20109D

Phone Numbers
Office: 402-559-7660