B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Antioquia School of Engineering & Health Sciences Institute, Colombia, 2003
M.S. in Biology, University of Antioquia, Colombia, 2009
Ph.D. in Physiology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 2014
I am currently studying the molecular machinery involved in the activity-dependent remodeling of the cytoskeleton in the inner ear sensory organelles, which are known as stereocilia. We recently found that the stability of these actin-filled projections depends on the constant influx of calcium through the mechano-electrical transduction (MET) channels that are located at the tips of stereocilia (Velez-Ortega, et al., eLife, 2017). We found that the blockage of MET channels or the breakage of their gating tip links leads to the shortening of stereocilia; but once the blockage is removed or the tip links regenerate, stereocilia are able to regrow. Based on the changes in stereocilia height in response to variations in the resting MET current, I hypothesize that the stereocilia actin cytoskeleton exhibits activity-dependent plasticity. This project (funded by NIDCD/NIH) constitues the first step in the search for the molecular players involved in this type of cytoskeleton remodeling.
- 2021/Jan - Caro's first first-author paper titled "Stereocilia Bundle Imaging with Nanoscale Resolution in Live Mammalian Auditory Hair Cells" has been published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments, JoVE.
- 2020/Jul - Cata receives a Grant Supplement from National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)!
- 2020/Jun - #VelezLab renovations are complete!
- 2020/Apr - New Paper published in the Journal of The Assocciation for Research in Otolaryngology: "Myosin-XVa Controls Both Staircase Architecture and Diameter Gradation of Stereocilia Rows in the Auditory Hair Cell Bundles".
- 2019/Aug - The #VelezLab is established!
- 2019/Jan - New Review published in Hearing Research.
- 2018/May - Cata receives a New Grant by NIDCD: an R21 Early Career Research Award!
- 2018/Apr - Cata receives a New Grant by the Hearing Health Foundation!
-2017/Nov - New publication in The Hearing Journal.
-2016/Dec - Cata is a finalist for the 2016 Kaluza Prizes for Excellence in Graduate Research by the American Society for Cell Biology
- 2016/Nov - Cata receives a New Grant by the American Hearing Research Foundation!
- 2016/May - Postdoctoral spotlight of Cata by the UK Office of Biomedical Education
- 2015/Dec - Cata receives Second Place at the UK College of Medicine Postdoctoral Poster Competition
- Myosin-XVa Controls Both Staircase Architecture and Diameter Gradation of Stereocilia Rows in the Auditory Hair Cell Bundles. Hadi S, Alexander AJ, Vélez-Ortega AC, Frolenkov GI.J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2020 Apr;21(2):121-135. PMID: 32152769
- Building and repairing the stereocilia cytoskeleton in mammalian auditory hair cells. Vélez-Ortega AC, Frolenkov GI. Hear Res. 2019; 376:47-57. PMID: 30638948
- Mechanotransduction current is essential for stability of the transducing stereocilia in mammalian auditory hair cells. Vélez-Ortega AC, Freeman MJ, Indzhykulian AA, Grossheim JM, Frolenkov GI. eLife. 2017; 6. PMID: 28350294
- Angular Approach Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy. Shevchuk A, Tokar S, Gopal S, Sanchez-Alonso JL, Tarasov AI, Vélez-Ortega AC, Chiappini C, Rorsman P, Stevens MM, Gorelik J, Frolenkov GI, Klenerman D, Korchev YE. Biophysical journal. 2016; 110(10):2252-65. PMID: 27224490
- Visualization of Live Cochlear Stereocilia at a Nanoscale Resolution Using Hopping Probe Ion Conductance Microscopy. Vélez-Ortega AC, Frolenkov GI. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2016; 1427:203-21. PMID: 27259929
- [Common variable immunodeficiency: Clinical and immunological characterization of patients and homogeneous subgroup definition by means of B lymphocyte subpopulation typing]. Vélez AC, Castaño DM, Gómez RD, Orrego JC, Moncada M, Franco JL. Biomedica : revista del Instituto Nacional de Salud. 2015; 35(1):101-16. PMID: 26148039
- Enhanced generation of suppressor T cells in patients with asthma taking oral contraceptives. Vélez-Ortega AC, Temprano J, Reneer MC, Ellis GI, McCool A, Gardner T, Khosravi M, Marti F. The Journal of asthma : official journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma. 2013; 50(3):223-30. PMID: 23259774
- Generation of induced regulatory T cells from primary human naïve and memory T cells. Ellis GI, Reneer MC, Vélez-Ortega AC, McCool A, Martí F. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. 2012; (62). PMID: 22525890
- TRPA1-mediated accumulation of aminoglycosides in mouse cochlear outer hair cells. Stepanyan RS, Indzhykulian AA, Vélez-Ortega AC, Boger ET, Steyger PS, Friedman TB, Frolenkov GI. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology : JARO. 2011; 12(6):729-40. PMID: 21879401
- Somatic mosaicism caused by monoallelic reversion of a mutation in T cells of a patient with ADA-SCID and the effects of enzyme replacement therapy on the revertant phenotype. Moncada-Vélez M, Vélez-Ortega A, Orrego J, Santisteban I, Jagadeesh J, Olivares M, Olaya N, Hershfield M, Candotti F, Franco J. Scandinavian journal of immunology. 2011; 74(5):471-81. PMID: 21671975
- Peripherally induced human regulatory T cells uncouple Kv1.3 activation from TCR-associated signaling. Reneer MC, Estes DJ, Vélez-Ortega AC, Norris A, Mayer M, Marti F. European journal of immunology. 2011; 41(11):3170-5. PMID: 21834013