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The School of Graduate Studies

Faculty Research in Molecular and Cellular Biology

View our recent publications profiling faculty research

Burton M. Altura, Role of magnesium, sphingolipids and lipid messengers in vascular biology and disease processes, such as stroke, diabetes mellitus and atherogenesis. Role of alcohol and substances of abuse in stroke etiology.

Randall Barbour, Optical tomographic imaging methods for the evaluation of tissue function.

Olcay A. Batuman, Molecular level studies of the role of vascular endothelium in pathogenesis of hematopoietic cancers; Molecular mechanisms by which hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulates behavioral responses in primates.

Peter J. Bergold, Analysis of the pathophysiology of neuronal disorders.

Stacy Blain, The role of cyclin-cdks and their inhibitors, the Cip/Kips and Ink4s, in cell cycle progression. These G1 phase regulators are oncogenes and tumor suppressors, respectively, involved in cancer development and progression.

Janice Brissette, Development and diseases of the skin. Mechanisms by which cells create and regenerate tissues, develop and function as units, terminate tissue development, and prevent uncontrolled growth.

Cesar Boggiano, Characterization of protective mucosal immune responses induced by HIV/SIV infection or vaccine candidates.

Mohamed Boutjdir, Autonomic regulation of native and heterologously expressed ion channels, intracellular signaling, arrhythmias during ischemia and hypertrophy. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of Congenital Heart Block in infants born to mothers with autoimmune diseases. Electrophysiological and molecular biological techniques are used.

Steven M. Carleton, Epidemiology and virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the cause of tuberculosis (TB). Development of a PCR-based assay that generates distinct DNA fingerprints that are automatically compared to a database for identification. Granuloma formation in Mycobacterium marinum infecting zebrafish.

Robert P. Carty, Theoretical calculations of protein conformation, enzyme mechanisms.

Brahim Chaqour, Study of how mechanical forces regulate normal physiological functions, pathophysiological changes in cardiovascular diseases and tissue morphogenesis. Investigate the regulation and function of mechano-sensitive genes such as the angiogenic factor Cyr61 and the profibrotic protein, CTGF using recombinant DNA transfer, transgenesis and other molecular biological and biochemical approaches.

William J. Chirico, Biogenesis of angiogenic factors and their role in cardiovascular disease and cancer. Mechanism of chaperone-dependent protein folding and translocation into organelles.

Eva B. Cramer, Early inflammatory response in intestinal and urinary tract infections. Mucosal immunity and the role leukocytes, epithelial cells and/or cytokines play in this process.

John Danias, Gene expression and gene therapy in glaucoma; neuroprotection; neuroregeneration

Helen G. Durkin, Immune responses in HIV-1 disease. Regulation of allergic/IgE responses in humans and rodents. Neural regulation of immune responses.

Miriam H. Feuerman, Identification of genes regulating gene expression during liver regeneration. These genes may be important for susceptibility to liver tumorigenesis in both mice and humans.

Gregory G. Gick, Molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of mammalian Na, K-ATPase subunit gene expression in response to hormones and ionic stimuli.

Alan R. Gintzler, Biochemistry of addiction/narcotic tolerance; G protein signaling cascades gender-dependent (e.g. estrogen, progesterone) regulation of opioid activity and pain sensitivity.

Christopher U. Hellen, Defining the mechanism of initiation of protein synthesis by characterizing roles of eukaryotic initiation factors (eIFs) in each stage of this process. Research into the canonical initiation mechanism used by most cellular mRNAs is complemented by analysis of non-canonical initiation mechanisms used by viral mRNAs.

Simon Hoffenberg, Development of an HIV vaccine inducing broadly neutralizing bodies.

Chongmin Huan, Functional studies of secretory proteins that regulate inflammation, regeneration and cancer development in the pancreas and other gastrointestinal organs. We apply experimental disease models in genetically modified mice to analyze the pathogenesis of these disorders in order to develop innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

Ellen Hsu, Molecular mechanisms involved in the generation of antibody diversity and the evolution and role of DNA rearrangement and somatic hypermutation in vertebrates.

M. Mahmood Hussain, Molecular mechanisms of intestinal lipoprotein assembly and resistance to statins. Studies involve protein-protein interactions, cell and molecular biology, and biochemistry.

Xiang-Chen Jiang, Creation and development of mouse models (transgenic and gene knock-out) for the study of the relationship between lipid metabolism and heart disease. Use of transgenic approach to perform functional studies of two lipid transfer proteins: phospholipid transfer and cholesteryl ester transfer proteins.

Ira S. Kass, Mechanisms of hypoxic and ischemic neuronal damage. Of particular interest are the cellular electrophysiologic, biochemical and molecular biological changes that occur during ischemia and how anesthetics and other pharmaceutical agents influence these changes.

Richard Kollmar, Molecular genetics of otolith formation in the zebrafish. Regeneration of the recurrent laryngeal nerve in the rat.

John G. Kral, Integration of basic science with clinical studies. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, early-life stress, fetal origins of adult disease, eating behavior, adipose tissue, body composition, fatty liver, animal models, vagus nerve physiology, gastro-intestinal surgery, food insecurity.

Christopher S. Lange, Cellular radiation lethality in terms of DNA DSB rejoining/repair kinetics. Chromosome structure - DNA/chromatin organization; physical chemical/biophysical methods for DNA/chromatin size measurement. Bystander effects. Tumor and normal tissue radio- and chemo-sensitivity assays. The cellular basis of organismal radiation lethality and aging.

Jonathan Marmur, Interventional Cardiology, atherosclerosis. Coronary pathophysiology, thrombosis and hemostasis.

Josef Michl, Study of cells in host defense against infections and tumors. Carcinogenesis in the exocrine pancreas in in vitro and in vivo models to identify disease-specific molecules and develop early diagnostic and effective therapeutic tools using cellular, molecular, biochemical and immunological approaches.

Donald R. Mills, Conformations of RNA virus genomes as they relate to the regulation of viral gene expression and virus infectivity; RNA virus protein/protein interactions and protein/RNA interactions.

Gavin Morrow, Studying the innate immune responses that are induced in the blood and at mucosal surfaces following the application of HIV vaccine candidates. In particular, investigating the role played by natural killer (NK) cells and dendritic cells (DC) during vaccination.

Allen J. Norin, Role of the novel gene, "HAYMAKER", in growth and differentiation of normal and malignant cells. Receptor-ligand interactions involved in cytolytic lymphocyte destruction of tumor cells and organ grafts.

Maja Nowakowski, Immune system-pathogen interactions. Effects of viral infection on macrophage physiology and immune functions. Systemic and local lung immunity in HIV-1 disease, tuberculosis and chronic inflammatory lung diseases. Regulation of nitric oxide generation by human macrophages and other cell types.

Christopher Parks, Development and testing of vectors for delivery of HIV-1 vaccines.

Tatyana Pestova, Mechanism of initiation of eukaryotic protein synthesis.

Matthew R. Pincus, Oncogenesis, oncoprotein structure, mitogenic signal transduction, design of anti-cancer agents.

Edward V. Quadros, Molecular, genetic and biochemical aspects of Vitamin B12 metabolism. Purification and cloning of vitamin B12 binding proteins and their receptors. Transcobalamin II and the receptor for Transcobalamin II-Cobalamin as targets for new cancer therapeutics.

Christopher A. J. Roman, The molecular biology of lymphocyte development and renal cancer. We study transcription factors and cell-surface receptors that are essential for the immune response, and whose dysregulation and/or mutation underlie multiple human pathologies including autoimmune disease, immune deficiency, allergy/asthma, and cancer. Experimental approaches include genetically modified mice as models for human disease.

Julie I. Rushbrook, Muscle development and differentiation, in particular myosin heavy chain gene expression and protein post-translational modification. Allosteric enzyme structure and function: characterization of the subunits of NAD+-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase; tissue-specific and developmental expression.

Todd C. Sacktor, Protein kinase C isozymes, PKMζ, long-term potentiation, long-term depression, synaptic plasticity, hippocampus, learning and memory.

Frank R. Scalia, Development of the visual system and regeneration of the optic nerve.

Sheryl S. Smith, Investigation of neurosteroid effects on GABA-A receptor plasticity and its relevance for altered hippocampal physiology, as well as anxiety and epilepsy.

Gladys N. Teitelman, Cellular and molecular analysis of pancreatic islet cell differentiation; isolation of insulin precursor cells and characterization of the signals that control their maturation.

Henri Tiedge, Regulation of neuronal gene expression; RNA transport in neurons; mechanisms of local protein synthesis; long-term synaptic plasticity; Alzheimer's disease; tumor biology.

Mario Vassalle, Cardiac electrophysiology, using different techniques from transmembrane potential recording to single cell patch clamp; normal and abnormal automaticity in different cardiac tissue; ionic mechanisms and control in relation to impulse formation under normal and abnormal conditions.

Rajendra Wadgaonkar, Gene function study on a molecular and cellular level using several vascular injury models, including pulmonary artery ligation, endotoxin induced sepsis and lung injury models. We are studying several pathways, including endothelial sphingolipid signaling, apoptosis and NFkB dependent inflammatory and survival pathways during vascular injury.

Michael A. Wagner, Molecular mechanisms underlying neurogenesis in early vertebrate development. The role of tumor suppressor genes in early events of cardiogenesis and neurogenesis.

Youping Xiao, Neural mechanism of visual perception and development of visual prosthesis.

Ming Zhang, Innate immunity and ischemia, reperfusion (I/R) injury. Animal models of I/R injury; clinical research of I/R injury in cardiovascular diseases and transplant rejection.

Xinsheng Zhang, Molecular biology, pathogenesis, and immune responses of paramyxoviruses. Evaluation of recombinant paramyxoviruses as delivery vectors for HIV vaccines.



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