Maria E. Teves, Ph. D. Maria E. Teves, Ph.D.

  Assistant Professor
  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  School of Medicine
  Virginia Commonwealth University
  1101 E. Marshall Street
  Box 980034
  Richmond, Virginia 23298-0034
  Office: (804) 628-3278 Room: 11-008A 
  Lab: (804) 827-9924 Room: 11-010, 11-008


Research Interests

My  research studies are in the area of molecular cell biology. The microtubules are critical for a variety of cellular processes. My lab explores the role that several proteins play in the organization and nucleation of microtubule arrays, and how they are related to development, fertility, and the pathology of several diseases. My primary research studies are directed towards understanding the role of the Spag17 gene during embryonic development as well as its role in the pathology of several diseases. The Spag17 gene is a complex gene that encodes for several protein isoforms that are associated with microtubules and have tissue/cell specific expression patterns. My biomedical research studies involve molecular and cellular biology techniques, genetics, biochemistry, and microscopy.


Current Projects

  • Multitasking roles of ciliary proteins in non-cilia sites
  • Is systemic sclerosis a novel ciliopathy?
  • Trafficking of proteins: relevance to male fertility
  • The role of Spag17 in skeletal dysplasia and bone development
  • The role of Spag17 in microtubule organization and nucleation
  • The role of Spag17 in fertility
  • Spag17 gene and the pathophysiology of brain development

Five color picture series including x-rays and a picture of a fetus

Research Methods

  • Molecular and cellular biology: PCR, qRT-PCR, Western blot, engineering of plasmid vectors, cell culture, sperm motility assays, immunohistochemistry, etc.
  • Genetics: RNAseq, DNA sequencing.
  • Microscopy: confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, light microscopy.
  • Animal models: knockout mice.

Selected Publications 

  • Teves ME, Strauss JF 3rd, Sapao P, Shi B, Varga J. “The Primary Cilium: Emerging Role as a Key Player in Fibrosis". Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2019 May 21;21(6):29. doi: 10.1007/s11926-019-0822-0. PMID:31115730
  • Elizabeth Kazarian, HyunYoung Son, Paulene Sapao, Wei Li, Zhibing Zhang, Jerome F. Strauss III and Maria E. Teves. “SPAG17 Is Required for Male Germ Cell Differentiation and Fertility” Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Apr 21;19(4). pii: E1252. doi: 10.3390/ijms19041252. PMID:29690537
  • Teves ME, Nagarkatti-Gude DR, Zhang Z, Strauss JF 3rd. “Mammalian axoneme central pair complex proteins: Broader roles revealed by gene knockout phenotypes”. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2016 Jan;73(1):3-22.  PMID: 26785425. 
  • Teves ME, Gobalakrishnan S, Cohen DJ, Hyzy SL, Kajan I, Maczis M, Zhang Z, Costanzo RM, Zweit J, Schwartz Z, Boyan BD and Strauss III JF. “Spag17 Deficiency Results in Skeletal Malformations and Bone Abnormalities”. PLoS One. 2015 May 27;10(5):e0125936. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125936. eCollection 2015. PMID:26017218
  • Maria Eugenia Teves, Zhibing Zhang, Richard M. Costanzo, Scott C. Henderson, Frank D Corwin, Jamal Zweit, Gobalakrishnan Sundaresan, Mark Subler, Fadi N. Salloum, Bruce K Rubin and Jerome F. Strauss III. “Spag17 is Essential for Motile Cilia Function and Neonatal Survival”. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013 Jun;48(6):765-72. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2012-0362OC. PMID:23418344  

Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography:

Lab Members

  • Paulene Sapao (Ph.D. student)
  • Olivia Choi (Master of Physiology student)
  • Virali M Bhagat (Master of Physiology student)
  • Gervyn Fajardo-Franco (undergraduate student)
  • Vania Emmela (undergraduate student)
  • Jordan Foxwell (undergraduate student)
  • Madina Nooristani (undergraduate student)
  • Lamisa Hassan (undergraduate student)
  • Nancy Umana (undergraduate student)
  • Tristan Daniel (undergraduate student)