Pathobiology Track Faculty

 

The primary department of each Pathobiology track faculty member is listed.

*not accepting students as a major advisor

John M. Arthur, MD, PhD
Internal Medicine
Web profile
I am a physician-scientist with research and clinical interests in the prediction of outcomes in kidney disease. The research in my laboratory focuses on the discovery and validation of biomarkers in renal diseases including acute kidney injury, diabetic nephropathy, chronic kidney disease and glomerular diseases like IgA nephropathy. We use targeted analysis of candidate markers by multiplexed bead array, ELISA and mass spectrometry and proteomic discovery analyses by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify and qualify biomarkers in animal models and humans.

Steven Barger, PhD
Geriatrics
Web profile
My lab is focused on Alzheimer’s disease. Current research is examining the role of diabetes-related disruptions in glucose metabolism and the impact this has on brain function. Evidence indicates that both Alzheimer’s and diabetes involve processes connected to inflammation, which has been another of my longstanding areas of research.

Jon Blevins, PhD
Microbiology and Immunology
Web profile
We study the pathogenesis of the Borrelia spirochetes that cause Lyme disease and relapsing fever.

Marjan Boerma, PhD
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Web profile
The overall objective of my research is to elucidate biological mechanisms of cardiovascular injury from exposure to ionizing radiation, and to identify potential methods for intervention. We focus on radiation-induced heart disease as a side effect of radiation therapy to the chest and cardiovascular effects of exposure to space radiation. Our research is performed with animal models of whole body irradiation and image-guided localized irradiation combined with in vivo non-invasive echocardiography, ex vivo cardiac function measurements, and histological and molecular analyses.

Elisabet Borsheim, PhD
Pediatrics
Web profile
The overall aim of our program is to promote life-long health starting from the very beginning of a human’s life. Specifically, our research program is focused on studying the effects of physical activity, alone and in combination with nutrition, on optimal growth and development of children, including underlying biological mechanisms. We seek to understand the mechanistic consequences of inactivity and suboptimal nutrition on obesity and related metabolic disorders, and also how maternal physical activity during fetal development (i.e., training during pregnancy) and physical activity during childhood can prevent and/or reverse these conditions.

Gunnar Boysen, PhD
Environmental and Occupational Health
Web profile
My research focuses on how environmental and occupational exposure, nutrition, and genetic diversity influence cancer initiation, promotion and progress.

Alan Diekman, PhD
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Web profile
Structure and function of carbohydrate binding proteins in prostate cancer and reproduction

Craig Forrest, PhD
Microbiology and Immunology
Web profile
Virology, cancer biology, immunology! Gammaherpesviruses are cancer-causing viruses that infect the majority of humans. We are working to define functions of viral proteins in infection and disease, identify host factors that block viral infection and prevent virus-driven cancers, and understand immune responses to chronic viral infections. Our major goal is to comprehend the complex relationship between gammaherpesviruses and their hosts. PLUS, we get to do cool science and figure out how stuff works!

Lu Huang, PhD
Microbiology and Immunology
Web profile 
The overall goal of my laboratory is to define the protective immunity against Mtb. We focus on the biology of lung macrophages and aim to understand the ontogeny and immunometabolism of those cells during Mtb infection. Ultimately, this knowledge will inform the development of vaccines and novel therapeutic interventions against this pathogen. Moreover, these studies may also have a broad impact on other pulmonary diseases.

Behjatolah Karbassi, PhD
Pathology
Web profile
Cancer vaccine and immunotherapy; Tumor glycans; Tumor progression and metastasis; Cancer and metabolism.

Thomas Kelly, PhD
Pathology
Web profile
My lab is interested in tumor biology.  Our work has focused on extracellular matrix degrading proteases and their roles in facilitating tumor growth and metatstasis.

Samantha Kendrick, PhD
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Web profile 
Our overall research goal is to identify the molecular mechanisms behind the genomic instability at critical oncogenes in lymphoma and the role DNA secondary structures may play in facilitating these genomic alterations. We are also interested in the impact of HIV infection on the molecular oncogenesis of lymphoma. To address these important questions we integrate basic and translational science using in silico, ex vivo, cell-based and tissue-based genomic and proteomic approaches.

Soheila Korourian, MD
Pathology
I am interested in breast cancer classification and factors affecting breast cancer development and progression.

Lee Ann MacMillan-Crow, PhD
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Web profile
Elucidation of biochemical mechanisms involved with kidney damage during sepsis and transplantation. Focus on mitochondria, cell death, and oxidant generation as well as novel therapies to reduce damage.

Melanie MacNicol, PhD*
Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences
Web profile
I am working on identification of the cellular mechanisms that control cell growth and development.  I am particularly interested in the role and regulation of stem cells in neural development and in cancer.

Mark Manzano, PhD
Microbiology and Immunology
Web profile
We are interested in studying primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), an aggressive B cell cancer caused by the Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus or human herpesvirus 8 (KSHV/HHV8). PEL tumor cells rely on the constitutive expression of virally encoded genes that globally reprogram host gene expression to create a conducive environment optimal for tumor cell proliferation and survival.

Roy Morello, PhD
Physiology and Biophysics
Web profile
We utilize genetically modified mouse models to understand the function of poorly characterized genes that have a function in skeletal development, homeostasis or disease. A special interest is in proteins that post-translationally modify collagens and in osteogenesis imperfecta.

Mayumi Nakagawa, PhD
Pathology
Web profile
Cell-mediated immunity against human papillomavirus (HPV), HPV therapeutic vaccine development, cancer immunotherapy.

Ganesh Narayanasamy, PhD
Radiation Oncology
Web profile
I am a medical physicist with interests in improving the outcome of radiation therapy in treatment of cancer. In particular, we are interested in prediction of outcome of radiation therapy and specifically, stereotactic radiation. Image-guided radiation therapy and extraction of features in images (CT/MRI/PET) using Radiomic features are our current focus. 

Intawat Nookaew, PhD
Biomedical Informatics
Web profile
My research focuses on the area of applied bioinformatics/computational biology and systems biology for biomedical research. I have developed novel advanced algorithms and frameworks to accelerate the utilization and mining for biological interpretation of omics data (genome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome) for biomedical research translation (cancer, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disease, metabolic dysfunction, etc.). In addition, I also focus on the impact of human gut microbiome on diseases progression and development.

Charles O’Brien, PhD
Internal Medicine/Endocrinology
Web profile
We want to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that cause bone loss with aging, estrogen-deficiency, and glucocorticoid excess.

Melda Onal, PhD
Physiology and Biophysics
Web profile 
We are interested in autophagy in osteoblast lineage cells in efforts to understand the role of autophagy in bone remodeling and age-related bone loss.

Craig Porter, PhD
Pediatrics
Web profile
The overall goal of our research program is to better understand the role of the mitochondrion in health and disease. Areas of focus include studying the role of mitochondrial proton leaks in the regulation of metabolic rate, as well as studying the impact of lifestyle (i.e. diet/exercise) and pharmacological interventions on bioenergetics in several settings including developmental programming, obesity, and trauma. With a strong focus on metabolic physiology, we use a wide range of techniques such as respiratory gas exchange and stable isotope approaches to determine the metabolic rate and substrate metabolism at a whole-body level, as well as laboratory techniques including high-resolution respirometery, flurometry and spectrophotometry to assay tissue and cell mitochondrial function.

Steven Post, PhD
Pathology
Web profile
We are interested in understanding the mechanisms by which scavenger receptors regulate macrophage function in chronic inflammatory disease.

Zhiqiang Qin, MD, PhD
Pathology
Web profile
My research interest focuses on using Kaposi’s sarcoma-related herpesvirus (KSHV) as a model pathogen to study the mechanisms of viral oncogenesis and identify the key viral and/or host factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of this oncogenic virus.

Charles Quick, MD
Pathology
Web profile
Pathogenesis of vulvar squamous carcinogenesis and pathognesis and classification of endometrial carcinoma.

Robert Reis, PhD
Geriatrics
Web profile 
My research focuses on the molecular genetics of longevity and age-associated diseases. I was trained in genetics, and turned to C. elegans as a model system in which to define and characterize genes that govern longevity.  Using novel gene-mapping methods we developed, we discovered over 27 highly-significant loci for lifespan, resistance to stresses, and Darwinian fitness.  Using chromosomal fine-mapping, we identified one longevity gene as REC-8, a meiotic cohesin that helps hold tetrads together and was thought to be silent in mitotic cells.  However, we showed that it actually makes somatic tissues more vulnerable to diverse stresses, while stabilizing the meiotic genome, and its depletion in C. elegans or knockout in haploid yeast increases lifespan.  My group was the first to identify the Pirin gene on the human X chromosome as a regulator of post-menopausal bone loss in women, a discovery confirmed in a Chinese population.  We also pioneered the role of homologous recombination in the development and progression of myeloma, prostate, and breast cancers. We were the first to note that cells from many different cancer types feature very high levels of homologous recombination, and high expression of the Rad51 recombinase complex that mediates it.  We are now working chiefly on genetic factors that regulate lifespan, and that contribute to protein aggregates — key toxic intermediates in neurodegenerative diseases.  We have identified proteins in specific aggregate types that are highly enriched in Alzheimer’s cortex, and many of them play functional roles in aggregate formation in C. elegans models. Their toxic effects turn out to be mediated in large part by blockage of proteasomes and autophagosomes.  We are combining exploratory proteomics and immunochemistry in human cortex and cultured neurons, with the facile genetics of nematodes, to better understand how aggregates begin, grow, and ultimately disrupt proteostasis.

Maria Schuller Almeida, PhD
Internal Medicine-Endocrinology
Web profile
The overall goal of my research is to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the loss of bone mass with aging. Work from my lab, has revealed critical mechanisms of action of the anti-aging FoxO transcription factors on the skeleton. In addition, we have elucidated seminal cellular targets of action of estrogens and androgens on bone.

Sara Shalin, MD, PhD*
Pathology
Web profile
Skin cancer and inflammatory skin disease. Primary a clinical physician, but interested in and collaborate with translational research efforts.

Rosalia Simmen, PhD
Physiology and Biophysics
Web profile
My research is focused on defining the mechanisms underlying the dynamics and combinatorial relationships of regulatory pathways implicated in the biology and pathobiology of the mammary gland and the uterus.  We have a specific interest in elucidating the signaling pathways by which steroid hormone receptors, growth factors, cytokines and dietary components are engaged in the pathogenesis of breast cancer and uterine-associated diseases.  We employ diverse cellular and molecular techniques and experimental models including gene arrays for gene discovery, cell lines for analyses of signaling pathways, and human and mouse models of diseases to address basic goals with translational potential.

Alan Tackett, PhD
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Web profile
My laboratory focuses on histone epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene transcription and that are coupled to melanoma progression. We utilize a suite of techniques in our studies including proteomics of human biopsies, immunohistochemistry, cell culture, tumorigenicity assays, ChIPseq, biochemical and proteomic approaches for analyses of protein complexes, and cutting-edge mass spectrometry for the analysis of histone post-translational modifications.

David Ussery, PhD
Biomedical Informatics
Web profile
We are using ‘third generation sequencing technology’ (such as Oxford Nanopore flow cells) to do metagenomics of clinical isolates and environmental samples.

Jerry Ware, PhD
Physiology and Biophysics
Web profile
The role of circulating blood platelets, in thrombosis, inflammation, and cancer.

Tiffany Weinkopf, PhD
Microbiology and Immunology
Web profile
According to the CDC, more than 1 billion people, or one-sixth of the world’s population, is suffering from one or more Neglected Tropical Diseases with many of these diseases affecting the poorest populations in the developing world. Our lab focuses on the parasitic disease that results from Leishmania infection. We use a combination of mouse models and in vitro culture to define the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are important in the development of disease and the resolution of inflammation. More specifically, we are interested in the balance between the vascular and immune responses that lead to parasite control and those that promote lesion pathology.

Fen Xia, MD, PhD
Radiation Oncology
Web profile
In my lab, I conduct federally funded research that focuses on the Replication stress response and DNA damage repair mechanisms in normal and tumor cells after radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Understanding the interplay between defective DNA repair and cancer cell growth, as well as normal cell injury could lead to new avenues for both cancer prevention and personalized cancer treatment. My research team and I are motivated by an unyielding desire to find answers.

Donghoon Yoon, PhD
Myeloma Institute
Web profile
We are interested in the pathophysiology of multiple myeloma (MM), a B cell cancer characterized by proliferation of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow, presence of a monoclonal serum immunoglobulin, and osteolytic lesions. We are investigating roles/mechanisms of PTH axis (PTH signal transduction) in MM development and therapeutic agents that target this axis. Additionally we are exploring the roles of Hypoxia (low oxygen tension) and microRNA (miRNA) in MM.

Fenghuang “Frank” Zhan, PhD
Internal Medicine
Web profile
Dr. Zhan is interested in understanding how the genetic alterations in cancer cells contribute to tumor progression, alter treatment response and create vulnerabilities that may be targeted therapeutically.