Major Research Areas

Expand all

Cancer

Students and faculty contribute to significant, well-funded cancer research at the basic and clinical levels. These research projects reflect a single, goal-oriented approach that cuts across academic departments. In addition to basic science investigations in such areas as tumor cell invasion, oncogenes, immunotherapy and genetic inheritance, our scientists and physicians participate in national cancer trials.

  • David Amberg, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of actin dynamics and analysis of genomic influences on actin function.
  • Edward Berry, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Biological energy transduction by membrane protein complexes, with emphasis on oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis.
  • Scott Blystone, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Actin Cytoskeletal Dynamics in the leukocyte inflammatory phenotype.
  • Dimitra Bourboulia, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    * Cancer Biology and Cell Signaling

    * Molecular mechanisms of tumor invasion and metastasis 

    * Prostate cancer development and progression

  • Xin Jie Chen, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Mitochondrial biogenesis and inheritance, aging and aging-related degenerative diseases.
  • Michael Cosgrove, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Epigenetic regulation of chromatin, Mixed Lineage Leukemia, structural biology, enzymology.

  • Timothy Damron, MD
    Professor
    Radioprotectant strategies: pediatric growth plate. Treatment of Fractures in Pathology Bone, Reconstructive Alternatives: Limb-Sparing Sarcoma Surgery, Genetics of Pagetoid Osteosarcoma
  • Wenyi Feng, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Chromosomal DNA replication origins (location, timing and regulation), replication fork integrity and checkpoint regulation, genomic instability and chromosome fragility in both the yeast and human genome
  • Gerold Feuer, PhD
    Associate Professor
    HTLV pathogenesis and Tax function; Humanized SCID mouse models of hematopoiesis; lentivirus vectors; KSHV/HHV-8 infection and pathogenesis; SCID-hu immune responses against HIV envelope
  • Eileen Friedman, PhD
    Professor
    The role of the kinase Mirk/dyrk1B in solid tumors
  • Debashis Ghosh, MSc, PhD
    Professor
    Structure and function of enzymes in estrogen and androgen biosynthesis; rational design of enzyme modulators in hormonal breast and prostate cancers; characterization of interphotoreceptor retinol binding proteins.
  • Steven Hanes, PhD
    Professor
    Gene expression in development and disease, RNA pol II regulation, homeobox genes, prolyl isomerases
  • Ying Huang, MD, PhD
    Professor
    Oncogenic signaling in cellular transformation and apoptosis; tumor suppressor genes.
  • Patricia Kane, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Vacuolar H+ATPases (structure, function, assembly and regulation), cellular pH homeostasis, cellular stress responses, protein sorting, genomics, yeast as a model system
  • William Kerr, PhD
    Professor
    Transplant immunology and stem cell biology.
  • Dilip Kittur, MD, ScD, FACS
    Professor
    Xenotransplantation, Endothelial cell dysfunction, Use of herbal products in transplant biology
  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • Leszek Kotula, MD/PhD
    Associate Professor

    Cancer biology, cell signaling, the role of actin cytoskeleton in tumor progression, mouse models of cancer

  • Mira Krendel, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Physiological functions of myosin motors and their roles in diabetic kidney disease and cancer
  • Andrzej Krol, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Advanced tomographic reconstruction in PET and SPECT. Breast cancer detection and imaging using molecular, MR and x-ray imaging. Nonrigid multimodality breast image registration and fusion. Advanced breast cancer lumpectomy. Ultrafast laser-based x-ray source for biomedical imaging. Advanced tomographic reconstruction in cone-beam micro-CT.

  • Stewart Loh, PhD
    Professor

    Protein engineering, design, and folding

  • Hong Lu, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Gene regulation during liver development and carcinogenesis

    Drug metabolism, liver protection, cancer chemoprevention, and cancer therapy

  • Juntao Luo, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Nanomedicine, drug delivery, cancer imaging and cancer treatment; gene delivery and gene therapy, protein/peptide delivery. biomaterials in tissue engineering; combinatorial chemistry and drug discovery; High throughput screening; microarrays. 

  • Kenneth Mann, PhD
    Professor
    Micro-mechanics of implant interfaces; damage evolution of joint replacements and biomaterials; in vivo models of tumor osteolysis and prediction of fracture risk; general orthopedic biomechanics.
  • Bryan Margulies, MS, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Biology
    • Cell Migration and Cell Fate Choices
    • Endochondral Bone Growth
    • Orthopedic Tumor
  • Russell Matthews, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Role of glycoproteins in oncogenesis and brain development
  • Golam Mohi, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Stem cell biology, cell signaling, hematopoiesis and blood cancer 
  • Mehdi Mollapour, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Post-translational regulation of the Hsp90 molecular chaperone machinery in cancer

  • Andras Perl, MD, PhD
    Professor

    Genes and Viruses Predisposing to Autoimmunity, Genetics, Apoptosis, Endogenous Retroviruses, Transaldolase

  • Francesca Pignoni, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neurogenesis; Retinal Progenitor Cells Specification and Proliferation; Genetic Control of Stem Cell Identity and Maintenance; Disease Genes Analysis in Drosophila
  • Dawn Post, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Cancer treatments. My lab is currently investigating two different cancer therapy approaches: (1) oncolytic viruses and (2) inhibitors of the EGFR/Her pathway.

  • Michael Princiotta, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Antigen processing and presentation; Cytotoxic T lymphocyte response to viral and bacterial infections
  • Rosemary Rochford, PhD
    Professor
    Etiology of viral-associated malignancies, gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis.
  • Mark Schmitt, PhD
    Professor
    Ribonucleoprotein assembly and biogenesis; mitochondrial RNA import, mRNA degradation, cell cycle control
  • M Saeed Sheikh, MD, PhD
    Professor
    Apoptotic signal transduction and cancer biology.
  • Edward Shillitoe, PhD
    Professor

    Gene therapy for cancer; Bacterial causes of obesity, diabetes and periodontal disease

  • Vladimir Sirotkin, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Mechanisms of the actin cytoskeleton assembly and role of myosin-1 during endocytosis in fission yeast.
  • Steven Taffet, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of intercellular communication in the heart, gene expression during macrophage activation
  • Christopher Turner, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Regulation of cell migration by focal adhesion adapter proteins and their role in cancer cell metastasis.
  • Richard Veenstra, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of connexin-specific-gap-junctions; gap junction channel biophysics.
  • Stephan Wilkens, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Structure and Mechanism of Membrane Bound Transport Proteins
  • Richard JH Wojcikiewicz, PhD
    Professor and Interim Chair

    Intracellular signaling via InsP3 receptors and their regulation by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway and Bcl-2 family proteins.

Disorders of the Nervous System

Our research builds on current strengths in three areas: Neurobiology of Behavioral Disorders; Disorders of the Visual System; and Neural Injury, Neurodegeneration and Repair.

We have basic and clinical researchers with expertise in the neurosciences, molecular genetics and epigenetics, behavioral science and brain imaging as they relate to several behavioral disorders. These include ADHD, schizophrenia, autism, VCFS and FASD. Significant research is dedicated to retinal development and function, as well as practical treatments for blinding diseases. Work in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, is growing.

  • Edward Berry, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Biological energy transduction by membrane protein complexes, with emphasis on oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis.
  • William Brunken, PhD
    Professor

    Epigenetic regulation of brain and ocular development; the role of extracellular matrix in ocular development and disease. 

  • Blair Calancie, PhD
    Professor
    CNS plasticity after trauma; intraoiperative electrophysiology.
  • Peter Calvert, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Molecular mechanisms of protein transport and localization in retinal neurons; mechanisms of retinal degenerative diseases
  • Xin Jie Chen, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Mitochondrial biogenesis and inheritance, aging and aging-related degenerative diseases.
  • Eric Deshaies, MD
    Associate Professor

    Neuroprotective strategies following subarachnoid hemorrhage, Cerebrospinal fluid proteomics, Cerebral aneurysm genetics, Ischemic stroke

  • Stephen Faraone, PhD
    Distinguished Professor

    Psych. Genetics; ADHD and BP Disorder; Endophenotype. For more detail, see CV

  • Bart Farell, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Mechanisms of visual perception of 3-D position, motion, color and object shape, investigated by psychophysical methods.
  • Stephen Glatt, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology & Neurobiology

  • Brian Howell, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    The signal transduction events that regulate the functional organization of neurons in the brain, and the phenotypes caused by defects in the genes that encode these signaling molecules.
  • Huaiyu Hu, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Molecular studies of brain malformations.
  • Burk Jubelt, MD
    Professor

    CNS acute and chronic polio- and entero-virus infections; Growth factors for Post-Polio Syndrome; Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Motor Neuron Gene Expression

  • Patricia Kane, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Vacuolar H+ATPases (structure, function, assembly and regulation), cellular pH homeostasis, cellular stress responses, protein sorting, genomics, yeast as a model system
  • Wendy Kates, PhD
    Professor
    Anatomic and functional imaging investigations of neurodevelopment in individuals with genetic or psychiatric disorders
  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • Paul Massa, PhD
    Professor

    Regulation of innate immune responses to viruses.

  • Russell Matthews, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Role of glycoproteins in oncogenesis and brain development
  • Frank Middleton, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Molecular basis of cortical-basal ganglia and cortical-cerebellar circuit formation and dysfunction in neurological and psychiatric disease.

  • Brad Motter, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Visual Neurophysiology; Visual Attention; Visual Search Behavior
  • Eric Olson, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Cellular and molecular mechanisms of cerebral cortex development.
  • Donna Osterhout, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Biology of oligodendroglia and myelin formation during development, remyelination and repair in spinal cord injury and MS"

  • Francesca Pignoni, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neurogenesis; Retinal Progenitor Cells Specification and Proliferation; Genetic Control of Stem Cell Identity and Maintenance; Disease Genes Analysis in Drosophila
  • Dawn Post, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Cancer treatments. My lab is currently investigating two different cancer therapy approaches: (1) oncolytic viruses and (2) inhibitors of the EGFR/Her pathway.

  • Daniel Tso, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neuronal mechanisms of visual perception, studied through physiological, anatomical and functional imaging techniques.
  • Mary Lou Vallano, PhD
    Professor
    Neuronal survival and development.
  • Richard Veenstra, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of connexin-specific-gap-junctions; gap junction channel biophysics.
  • Andrea Viczian, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Mammalian retinal stem cells formation; molecular mechanism of retinal cell fate decisions; using cell replacement therapy to heal the blinded eye.
  • Stephan Wilkens, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Structure and Mechanism of Membrane Bound Transport Proteins
  • Richard JH Wojcikiewicz, PhD
    Professor and Interim Chair

    Intracellular signaling via InsP3 receptors and their regulation by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway and Bcl-2 family proteins.

  • Yunlei Yang, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Deciphering and manipulating the cellular signaling circuits for feeding behaviors using approaches including electrophysiology, pharmacogenetics and optogenetics.

  • Steven Youngentob, PhD
    Professor
    In utero ethanol and nicotine exposures and chemsensory systems plasticity, olfactory biomarkers of ADHD, olfactory signal transduction, peripheral and central mechanisms of odorant quality coding.
  • Li-Ru Zhao, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Brain plasticity, Brain repair, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, CADASIL, Traumatic brain injury, Live brain imaging, Stem cell biology and therapy, Cell signaling, Cell-cell interaction.

  • Sijun Zhu, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Genetic mechanisms of Drosophila neural stem cell self-renewal and specification

  • Michael Zuber, PhD
    Associate Professor
    The molecular basis of retinal stem cell formation; regulating retinal stem/progenitor cell proliferation; using retinal stem/progenitor cells to heal the injured or degenerating retina.

Infectious Diseases

Our program focuses on three areas: host-pathogen interactions; global health and emerging pathogens; and animal model development.

Our mission is to share our expertise and resources worldwide to conduct research and develop products to promote global health, such as our work at an NIH-funded clinic in Kenya. On campus, the Center for SCID-hu Mouse Models is a unique facility created to foster interdisciplinary scholarship and research using the humanized severe combined immunodeficient (SCID-hu) mouse.

  • David Amberg, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of actin dynamics and analysis of genomic influences on actin function.
  • Joseph Domachowske, MD
    Professor
    Pneumovirus pathogenesis.
  • Thomas Duncan, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Bioenergetics, enzymology, structural biology, membrane protein function.
  • Timothy Endy, MD, MPH
    Professor
    Understanding the epidemiology and pathogenesis of viral hemorrhagic and encephalitic arboviruses and host-vector interactions.
  • Gerold Feuer, PhD
    Associate Professor
    HTLV pathogenesis and Tax function; Humanized SCID mouse models of hematopoiesis; lentivirus vectors; KSHV/HHV-8 infection and pathogenesis; SCID-hu immune responses against HIV envelope
  • Jerrie Gavalchin, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of pathogenic antibody production in autoimmune glomerulonephritis; Cell-surface receptors for retroviruses
  • Sandra Hayes, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Roles of B lymphoid kinase (Blk) in lymphocyte development and activation as well as in preventing autoimmunity

  • Bihchen Hwang, DDS, PhD
    Professor
    DNA replication of herpes viruses.
  • Burk Jubelt, MD
    Professor

    CNS acute and chronic polio- and entero-virus infections; Growth factors for Post-Polio Syndrome; Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Motor Neuron Gene Expression

  • William Kerr, PhD
    Professor
    Transplant immunology and stem cell biology.
  • Dilip Kittur, MD, ScD, FACS
    Professor
    Xenotransplantation, Endothelial cell dysfunction, Use of herbal products in transplant biology
  • Stewart Loh, PhD
    Professor

    Protein engineering, design, and folding

  • Paul Massa, PhD
    Professor

    Regulation of innate immune responses to viruses.

  • Jennifer Moffat, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Varicella zoster pathogenesis.
  • Andras Perl, MD, PhD
    Professor

    Genes and Viruses Predisposing to Autoimmunity, Genetics, Apoptosis, Endogenous Retroviruses, Transaldolase

  • Dawn Post, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Cancer treatments. My lab is currently investigating two different cancer therapy approaches: (1) oncolytic viruses and (2) inhibitors of the EGFR/Her pathway.

  • Michael Princiotta, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Antigen processing and presentation; Cytotoxic T lymphocyte response to viral and bacterial infections
  • Rosemary Rochford, PhD
    Professor
    Etiology of viral-associated malignancies, gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis.
  • Edward Shillitoe, PhD
    Professor

    Gene therapy for cancer; Bacterial causes of obesity, diabetes and periodontal disease

  • Allen Silverstone, PhD
    Research Scientist
    How dioxins and estrogens and estrogenic compounds affect the immune system.
  • Steven Taffet, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of intercellular communication in the heart, gene expression during macrophage activation
  • Gary Winslow, PhD
    Professor

    Host defense against intracellular pathogens, B cell responses, immunological memory


Diabetes/Metabolic Disorders/Cardiovascular Diseases

These diseases share basic molecular and cellular mechanisms. Our interdisciplinary approach brings together existing strengths in biochemical signaling, electrical signaling, arrhythmogenesis, high-resolution imaging (both in vitro and in vivo), developmental cell biology and environmental science.

A critical goal is to develop therapeutic approaches to reverse—and prevent—degenerative changes that develop with these diseases. Cell migration, tissue remodeling, immune surveillance, wound repair, angiogenesis and a better understanding of metabolic pathways are vital and under study.

  • Jeffrey Amack, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Genetics and cell biology of organ morphogenesis during embryonic development.
  • David Amberg, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of actin dynamics and analysis of genomic influences on actin function.
  • Edward Berry, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Biological energy transduction by membrane protein complexes, with emphasis on oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis.
  • Scott Blystone, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Actin Cytoskeletal Dynamics in the leukocyte inflammatory phenotype.
  • Xin Jie Chen, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Mitochondrial biogenesis and inheritance, aging and aging-related degenerative diseases.
  • Richard Cross, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Bioenergetics, enzymology, structural biology, membrane protein function
  • Dipak Dube, PhD
    Professor
    Molecular mechanism of cardiac myofibrillogenesis in vertebrates.
  • Thomas Duncan, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Bioenergetics, enzymology, structural biology, membrane protein function.
  • Steven Goodman, PhD
    Professor
    Proteomic assessment of sickle cell severity.
  • George Holz, PhD
    Professor
    Drug development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
  • Patricia Kane, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Vacuolar H+ATPases (structure, function, assembly and regulation), cellular pH homeostasis, cellular stress responses, protein sorting, genomics, yeast as a model system
  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • Mira Krendel, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Physiological functions of myosin motors and their roles in diabetic kidney disease and cancer
  • Arkadii Perzov, PhD
    Professor
    Biophysical mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias; fluorescence imaging.
  • Thomas Poole, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Vascular development and the alignment of growing nerves and blood vessels in quail and zebrafish embryos.
  • David Pruyne, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Biochemistry and cell biology of formins as actin cytoskeleton organizers, using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system.
  • Michael Roe, PhD
    Associate Professor
    The Roe laboratory studies signal transduction mechanisms that regulate pancreatic beta cell biology and the pathophysiology of diabetes.
  • Jean Sanger, PhD
    Professor
    Analysis of the assembly of the actin/myosin cytoskeleton in muscle and non-muscle cells.
  • Joseph Sanger, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Cellular analysis of the formation of myofibrils, stress fibers, and cleavage furrows in living cells.
  • Mark Schmitt, PhD
    Professor
    Ribonucleoprotein assembly and biogenesis; mitochondrial RNA import, mRNA degradation, cell cycle control
  • Christopher Turner, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Regulation of cell migration by focal adhesion adapter proteins and their role in cancer cell metastasis.
  • Richard Veenstra, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of connexin-specific-gap-junctions; gap junction channel biophysics.
  • Stephan Wilkens, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Structure and Mechanism of Membrane Bound Transport Proteins
  • Richard JH Wojcikiewicz, PhD
    Professor and Interim Chair

    Intracellular signaling via InsP3 receptors and their regulation by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway and Bcl-2 family proteins.

  • Yunlei Yang, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Deciphering and manipulating the cellular signaling circuits for feeding behaviors using approaches including electrophysiology, pharmacogenetics and optogenetics.

Cell Signaling

This research area investigates the signals emitted from a variety of cellular receptors following the binding of ligands. These receptors fall into several classes, controlling various cellular responses including signal transduction, cell migration, and cytoskeletal organization. The regulation and function of cytoskeletal elements and their interaction with cell surface receptors is a primary focus of several laboratories. Other areas of emphasis are the mechanism and consequences of calcium ion mobilization, signaling in neurons, light transduction, organogenesis, apoptosis, ion channels and steroid hormone action.

  • David Amberg, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of actin dynamics and analysis of genomic influences on actin function.
  • Scott Blystone, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Actin Cytoskeletal Dynamics in the leukocyte inflammatory phenotype.
  • Dimitra Bourboulia, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    * Cancer Biology and Cell Signaling

    * Molecular mechanisms of tumor invasion and metastasis 

    * Prostate cancer development and progression

  • William Brunken, PhD
    Professor

    Epigenetic regulation of brain and ocular development; the role of extracellular matrix in ocular development and disease. 

  • Peter Calvert, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Molecular mechanisms of protein transport and localization in retinal neurons; mechanisms of retinal degenerative diseases
  • Gary Chan, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Human cytomegalovirus pathogenesis and persistence. 

  • Michael Cosgrove, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Epigenetic regulation of chromatin, Mixed Lineage Leukemia, structural biology, enzymology.

  • Eileen Friedman, PhD
    Professor
    The role of the kinase Mirk/dyrk1B in solid tumors
  • Sandra Hayes, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Roles of B lymphoid kinase (Blk) in lymphocyte development and activation as well as in preventing autoimmunity

  • Brian Howell, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    The signal transduction events that regulate the functional organization of neurons in the brain, and the phenotypes caused by defects in the genes that encode these signaling molecules.
  • Huaiyu Hu, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Molecular studies of brain malformations.
  • Ying Huang, MD, PhD
    Professor
    Oncogenic signaling in cellular transformation and apoptosis; tumor suppressor genes.
  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • Leszek Kotula, MD/PhD
    Associate Professor

    Cancer biology, cell signaling, the role of actin cytoskeleton in tumor progression, mouse models of cancer

  • Paul Massa, PhD
    Professor

    Regulation of innate immune responses to viruses.

  • David Mitchell, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of ciliary dynein activity and assembly, and the role of the central pair complex in ciliary motility regulation.
  • Golam Mohi, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Stem cell biology, cell signaling, hematopoiesis and blood cancer 
  • Mehdi Mollapour, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Post-translational regulation of the Hsp90 molecular chaperone machinery in cancer

  • Eric Olson, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Cellular and molecular mechanisms of cerebral cortex development.
  • Andras Perl, MD, PhD
    Professor

    Genes and Viruses Predisposing to Autoimmunity, Genetics, Apoptosis, Endogenous Retroviruses, Transaldolase

  • Francesca Pignoni, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neurogenesis; Retinal Progenitor Cells Specification and Proliferation; Genetic Control of Stem Cell Identity and Maintenance; Disease Genes Analysis in Drosophila
  • Thomas Poole, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Vascular development and the alignment of growing nerves and blood vessels in quail and zebrafish embryos.
  • Mark Schmitt, PhD
    Professor
    Ribonucleoprotein assembly and biogenesis; mitochondrial RNA import, mRNA degradation, cell cycle control
  • M Saeed Sheikh, MD, PhD
    Professor
    Apoptotic signal transduction and cancer biology.
  • Allen Silverstone, PhD
    Research Scientist
    How dioxins and estrogens and estrogenic compounds affect the immune system.
  • Vladimir Sirotkin, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Mechanisms of the actin cytoskeleton assembly and role of myosin-1 during endocytosis in fission yeast.
  • Steven Taffet, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of intercellular communication in the heart, gene expression during macrophage activation
  • Christopher Turner, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Regulation of cell migration by focal adhesion adapter proteins and their role in cancer cell metastasis.
  • Mary Lou Vallano, PhD
    Professor
    Neuronal survival and development.
  • Richard Veenstra, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of connexin-specific-gap-junctions; gap junction channel biophysics.
  • Andrea Viczian, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Mammalian retinal stem cells formation; molecular mechanism of retinal cell fate decisions; using cell replacement therapy to heal the blinded eye.
  • Richard JH Wojcikiewicz, PhD
    Professor and Interim Chair

    Intracellular signaling via InsP3 receptors and their regulation by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway and Bcl-2 family proteins.

  • Steven Youngentob, PhD
    Professor
    In utero ethanol and nicotine exposures and chemsensory systems plasticity, olfactory biomarkers of ADHD, olfactory signal transduction, peripheral and central mechanisms of odorant quality coding.
  • Li-Ru Zhao, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Brain plasticity, Brain repair, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, CADASIL, Traumatic brain injury, Live brain imaging, Stem cell biology and therapy, Cell signaling, Cell-cell interaction.

Cytoskeleton

In addition to providing the structural support for cells, dynamic remodeling of the cytoskeleton is required for numerous cellular events including migration, mitosis, exocytosis and endocytosis, adhesion, growth control, and others.

Researchers at Upstate are working to understand the regulation and function of the three primary cytoskeletal networks: intermediate filaments, microtubules, and actin as well as the molecular motors, adaptor proteins, activation pathways, and inherent biochemical properties involved in cytoskeletal regulation and function.

Scientific approaches to cytoskeletal study vary greatly and include molecular cloning and mutagenesis, model organisms, light, video, electron, and fluorescent microscopy, protein biochemistry and numerous in vitro assays of cellular behavior.

  • David Amberg, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of actin dynamics and analysis of genomic influences on actin function.
  • Scott Blystone, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Actin Cytoskeletal Dynamics in the leukocyte inflammatory phenotype.
  • Dipak Dube, PhD
    Professor
    Molecular mechanism of cardiac myofibrillogenesis in vertebrates.
  • Steven Goodman, PhD
    Professor
    Proteomic assessment of sickle cell severity.
  • Ying Huang, MD, PhD
    Professor
    Oncogenic signaling in cellular transformation and apoptosis; tumor suppressor genes.
  • Leszek Kotula, MD/PhD
    Associate Professor

    Cancer biology, cell signaling, the role of actin cytoskeleton in tumor progression, mouse models of cancer

  • Mira Krendel, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Physiological functions of myosin motors and their roles in diabetic kidney disease and cancer
  • David Mitchell, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of ciliary dynein activity and assembly, and the role of the central pair complex in ciliary motility regulation.
  • Eric Olson, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Cellular and molecular mechanisms of cerebral cortex development.
  • Thomas Poole, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Vascular development and the alignment of growing nerves and blood vessels in quail and zebrafish embryos.
  • David Pruyne, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Biochemistry and cell biology of formins as actin cytoskeleton organizers, using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system.
  • Jean Sanger, PhD
    Professor
    Analysis of the assembly of the actin/myosin cytoskeleton in muscle and non-muscle cells.
  • Joseph Sanger, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Cellular analysis of the formation of myofibrils, stress fibers, and cleavage furrows in living cells.
  • Vladimir Sirotkin, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Mechanisms of the actin cytoskeleton assembly and role of myosin-1 during endocytosis in fission yeast.
  • Christopher Turner, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Regulation of cell migration by focal adhesion adapter proteins and their role in cancer cell metastasis.

Developmental Biology

The control of developmental events is tightly linked to cell adhesion, cellular receptor signaling, and cytoskeletal organization. Investigators use various systems approaches to understand the contributions of signaling and structural proteins during development, including cultured cells and transgenic animals. Particular strengths include studies of vascular cells and angiogenesis, retinal development, cardiac and skeletal muscle cell differentiation, formation of left-right asymmetry during embryogenesis, and development of the nervous system.

  • Jeffrey Amack, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Genetics and cell biology of organ morphogenesis during embryonic development.
  • Scott Blystone, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Actin Cytoskeletal Dynamics in the leukocyte inflammatory phenotype.
  • William Brunken, PhD
    Professor

    Epigenetic regulation of brain and ocular development; the role of extracellular matrix in ocular development and disease. 

  • Dipak Dube, PhD
    Professor
    Molecular mechanism of cardiac myofibrillogenesis in vertebrates.
  • Steven Hanes, PhD
    Professor
    Gene expression in development and disease, RNA pol II regulation, homeobox genes, prolyl isomerases
  • Sandra Hayes, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Roles of B lymphoid kinase (Blk) in lymphocyte development and activation as well as in preventing autoimmunity

  • Brian Howell, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    The signal transduction events that regulate the functional organization of neurons in the brain, and the phenotypes caused by defects in the genes that encode these signaling molecules.
  • Huaiyu Hu, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Molecular studies of brain malformations.
  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • Mira Krendel, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Physiological functions of myosin motors and their roles in diabetic kidney disease and cancer
  • Hong Lu, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Gene regulation during liver development and carcinogenesis

    Drug metabolism, liver protection, cancer chemoprevention, and cancer therapy

  • Bryan Margulies, MS, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Biology
    • Cell Migration and Cell Fate Choices
    • Endochondral Bone Growth
    • Orthopedic Tumor
  • Paul Massa, PhD
    Professor

    Regulation of innate immune responses to viruses.

  • Russell Matthews, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Role of glycoproteins in oncogenesis and brain development
  • Frank Middleton, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Molecular basis of cortical-basal ganglia and cortical-cerebellar circuit formation and dysfunction in neurological and psychiatric disease.

  • Megan Oest, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Orthopedic tissue engineering; angiogenesis & graft/implant viability; fetal basis of adult disease; intrauterine stem cell programming.
  • Eric Olson, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Cellular and molecular mechanisms of cerebral cortex development.
  • Donna Osterhout, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Biology of oligodendroglia and myelin formation during development, remyelination and repair in spinal cord injury and MS"

  • Andras Perl, MD, PhD
    Professor

    Genes and Viruses Predisposing to Autoimmunity, Genetics, Apoptosis, Endogenous Retroviruses, Transaldolase

  • Francesca Pignoni, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neurogenesis; Retinal Progenitor Cells Specification and Proliferation; Genetic Control of Stem Cell Identity and Maintenance; Disease Genes Analysis in Drosophila
  • Thomas Poole, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Vascular development and the alignment of growing nerves and blood vessels in quail and zebrafish embryos.
  • David Pruyne, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Biochemistry and cell biology of formins as actin cytoskeleton organizers, using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system.
  • Jean Sanger, PhD
    Professor
    Analysis of the assembly of the actin/myosin cytoskeleton in muscle and non-muscle cells.
  • Joseph Sanger, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Cellular analysis of the formation of myofibrils, stress fibers, and cleavage furrows in living cells.
  • Allen Silverstone, PhD
    Research Scientist
    How dioxins and estrogens and estrogenic compounds affect the immune system.
  • Christopher Turner, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Regulation of cell migration by focal adhesion adapter proteins and their role in cancer cell metastasis.
  • Richard Veenstra, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of connexin-specific-gap-junctions; gap junction channel biophysics.
  • Andrea Viczian, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Mammalian retinal stem cells formation; molecular mechanism of retinal cell fate decisions; using cell replacement therapy to heal the blinded eye.
  • Steven Youngentob, PhD
    Professor
    In utero ethanol and nicotine exposures and chemsensory systems plasticity, olfactory biomarkers of ADHD, olfactory signal transduction, peripheral and central mechanisms of odorant quality coding.
  • Sijun Zhu, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Genetic mechanisms of Drosophila neural stem cell self-renewal and specification

  • Michael Zuber, PhD
    Associate Professor
    The molecular basis of retinal stem cell formation; regulating retinal stem/progenitor cell proliferation; using retinal stem/progenitor cells to heal the injured or degenerating retina.

Genetics of Disease

  • Jeffrey Amack, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Genetics and cell biology of organ morphogenesis during embryonic development.
  • Xin Jie Chen, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Mitochondrial biogenesis and inheritance, aging and aging-related degenerative diseases.
  • Wenyi Feng, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Chromosomal DNA replication origins (location, timing and regulation), replication fork integrity and checkpoint regulation, genomic instability and chromosome fragility in both the yeast and human genome
  • Stephen Glatt, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology & Neurobiology

  • Steven Hanes, PhD
    Professor
    Gene expression in development and disease, RNA pol II regulation, homeobox genes, prolyl isomerases
  • Wendy Kates, PhD
    Professor
    Anatomic and functional imaging investigations of neurodevelopment in individuals with genetic or psychiatric disorders
  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • Frank Middleton, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Molecular basis of cortical-basal ganglia and cortical-cerebellar circuit formation and dysfunction in neurological and psychiatric disease.

  • Golam Mohi, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Stem cell biology, cell signaling, hematopoiesis and blood cancer 
  • Eric Olson, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Cellular and molecular mechanisms of cerebral cortex development.
  • Andras Perl, MD, PhD
    Professor

    Genes and Viruses Predisposing to Autoimmunity, Genetics, Apoptosis, Endogenous Retroviruses, Transaldolase

  • Mark Schmitt, PhD
    Professor
    Ribonucleoprotein assembly and biogenesis; mitochondrial RNA import, mRNA degradation, cell cycle control
  • M Saeed Sheikh, MD, PhD
    Professor
    Apoptotic signal transduction and cancer biology.

Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

With the genomes of many model organisms as well as humans completely sequenced, the challenge of the future is to relate sequence information to biological function and develop new ways to manipulate genomes for both investigative and therapeutic purposes. To stay at the forefront of this second renaissance in genetics, SUNY Upstate has collected necessary expertise and equipment, including: state-of-the-art facilities for whole genome genetic interaction analysis, protein microarrays and sensitive mass-spectrometry for protein complex analysis, DNA microarrays for gene expression and human linkage analysis, and the computer core facilities and bioinformatics expertise to analyze the resulting large datasets. As a result, our investigators are internationally recognized for contributions in the areas of transgenic animals, gene expression systems and gene replacement strategies, gene function discovery, human gene disease mapping and discovery, and genetic network discovery. Approaches include site-specific recombinases, viral gene delivery vectors, microarray analysis, proteomics, whole genome protein interaction analysis, and mass spectrometry.
  • David Amberg, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of actin dynamics and analysis of genomic influences on actin function.
  • Edward Berry, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Biological energy transduction by membrane protein complexes, with emphasis on oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis.
  • Eric Deshaies, MD
    Associate Professor

    Neuroprotective strategies following subarachnoid hemorrhage, Cerebrospinal fluid proteomics, Cerebral aneurysm genetics, Ischemic stroke

  • Wenyi Feng, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Chromosomal DNA replication origins (location, timing and regulation), replication fork integrity and checkpoint regulation, genomic instability and chromosome fragility in both the yeast and human genome
  • Stephen Glatt, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology & Neurobiology

  • Steven Goodman, PhD
    Professor
    Proteomic assessment of sickle cell severity.
  • Steven Hanes, PhD
    Professor
    Gene expression in development and disease, RNA pol II regulation, homeobox genes, prolyl isomerases
  • Ying Huang, MD, PhD
    Professor
    Oncogenic signaling in cellular transformation and apoptosis; tumor suppressor genes.
  • Patricia Kane, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Vacuolar H+ATPases (structure, function, assembly and regulation), cellular pH homeostasis, cellular stress responses, protein sorting, genomics, yeast as a model system
  • Stewart Loh, PhD
    Professor

    Protein engineering, design, and folding

  • Hong Lu, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Gene regulation during liver development and carcinogenesis

    Drug metabolism, liver protection, cancer chemoprevention, and cancer therapy

  • Andras Perl, MD, PhD
    Professor

    Genes and Viruses Predisposing to Autoimmunity, Genetics, Apoptosis, Endogenous Retroviruses, Transaldolase

  • Arkadii Perzov, PhD
    Professor
    Biophysical mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias; fluorescence imaging.
  • Francesca Pignoni, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neurogenesis; Retinal Progenitor Cells Specification and Proliferation; Genetic Control of Stem Cell Identity and Maintenance; Disease Genes Analysis in Drosophila
  • Mark Schmitt, PhD
    Professor
    Ribonucleoprotein assembly and biogenesis; mitochondrial RNA import, mRNA degradation, cell cycle control
  • Allen Silverstone, PhD
    Research Scientist
    How dioxins and estrogens and estrogenic compounds affect the immune system.
  • Andrea Viczian, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Mammalian retinal stem cells formation; molecular mechanism of retinal cell fate decisions; using cell replacement therapy to heal the blinded eye.
  • Richard JH Wojcikiewicz, PhD
    Professor and Interim Chair

    Intracellular signaling via InsP3 receptors and their regulation by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway and Bcl-2 family proteins.

  • Michael Zuber, PhD
    Associate Professor
    The molecular basis of retinal stem cell formation; regulating retinal stem/progenitor cell proliferation; using retinal stem/progenitor cells to heal the injured or degenerating retina.

Immunology

Immunology research at SUNY Upstate covers a broad range of topics, with the central theme being the understanding of how the immune system prevents or causes disease pathogenesis. Studies include how cells of the immune system fight pathogens; how microbes evade immunity; how the immune system becomes activated and destroys self tissues (autoimmunity); and how dioxin and estrogen affect cellular development of the immune system. Investigators use animal models and humans to study T cells, B cells, and macrophages in human diseases.

  • Scott Blystone, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Actin Cytoskeletal Dynamics in the leukocyte inflammatory phenotype.
  • Gary Chan, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Human cytomegalovirus pathogenesis and persistence. 

  • Joseph Domachowske, MD
    Professor
    Pneumovirus pathogenesis.
  • Jerrie Gavalchin, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of pathogenic antibody production in autoimmune glomerulonephritis; Cell-surface receptors for retroviruses
  • Sandra Hayes, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Roles of B lymphoid kinase (Blk) in lymphocyte development and activation as well as in preventing autoimmunity

  • William Kerr, PhD
    Professor
    Transplant immunology and stem cell biology.
  • Dilip Kittur, MD, ScD, FACS
    Professor
    Xenotransplantation, Endothelial cell dysfunction, Use of herbal products in transplant biology
  • Andras Perl, MD, PhD
    Professor

    Genes and Viruses Predisposing to Autoimmunity, Genetics, Apoptosis, Endogenous Retroviruses, Transaldolase

  • Dawn Post, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Cancer treatments. My lab is currently investigating two different cancer therapy approaches: (1) oncolytic viruses and (2) inhibitors of the EGFR/Her pathway.

  • Michael Princiotta, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Antigen processing and presentation; Cytotoxic T lymphocyte response to viral and bacterial infections
  • Rosemary Rochford, PhD
    Professor
    Etiology of viral-associated malignancies, gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis.
  • Allen Silverstone, PhD
    Research Scientist
    How dioxins and estrogens and estrogenic compounds affect the immune system.
  • Steven Taffet, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of intercellular communication in the heart, gene expression during macrophage activation
  • Gary Winslow, PhD
    Professor

    Host defense against intracellular pathogens, B cell responses, immunological memory


Membrane Biology and Biophysics

Membranes and membrane proteins play central roles in signaling, compartmentalization, motility, and energy conversion in all cells, and many diseases are linked to dysfunction of membrane proteins. SUNY Upstate boasts some of the leaders in the field of proton pumps, energy conversion and cell motility. Approaches range from high-resolution structural studies of membrane proteins through X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, and fluorescence spectroscopy to in vivo genetic approaches in model systems such as E. coli and yeast.

  • Edward Berry, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Biological energy transduction by membrane protein complexes, with emphasis on oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis.
  • Xin Jie Chen, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Mitochondrial biogenesis and inheritance, aging and aging-related degenerative diseases.
  • Richard Cross, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Bioenergetics, enzymology, structural biology, membrane protein function
  • Thomas Duncan, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Bioenergetics, enzymology, structural biology, membrane protein function.
  • Debashis Ghosh, MSc, PhD
    Professor
    Structure and function of enzymes in estrogen and androgen biosynthesis; rational design of enzyme modulators in hormonal breast and prostate cancers; characterization of interphotoreceptor retinol binding proteins.
  • Steven Goodman, PhD
    Professor
    Proteomic assessment of sickle cell severity.
  • Patricia Kane, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Vacuolar H+ATPases (structure, function, assembly and regulation), cellular pH homeostasis, cellular stress responses, protein sorting, genomics, yeast as a model system
  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • Arkadii Perzov, PhD
    Professor
    Biophysical mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias; fluorescence imaging.
  • Vladimir Sirotkin, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Mechanisms of the actin cytoskeleton assembly and role of myosin-1 during endocytosis in fission yeast.
  • Stephan Wilkens, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Structure and Mechanism of Membrane Bound Transport Proteins

Microbiology and Virology

This group of researchers works on a broad range of microorganisms. Interests include: infectivity; gene regulation; DNA replication and pathogenesis of human viruses such as HTLV, HSV, EBV, KSHV, VZV, and DENV; as well as microbes such as tuberculosis and the sexually transmitted Trichomonads and Chlamydia. Both in vitro and in vivo models are applied. Investigators are engaged in fundamental studies at the molecular, biochemical and genetic levels, as well as studies aimed toward the development of viral gene therapy delivery vectors and vaccines and toward the treatment of disease.

  • Gary Chan, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Human cytomegalovirus pathogenesis and persistence. 

  • Joseph Domachowske, MD
    Professor
    Pneumovirus pathogenesis.
  • Timothy Endy, MD, MPH
    Professor
    Understanding the epidemiology and pathogenesis of viral hemorrhagic and encephalitic arboviruses and host-vector interactions.
  • Gerold Feuer, PhD
    Associate Professor
    HTLV pathogenesis and Tax function; Humanized SCID mouse models of hematopoiesis; lentivirus vectors; KSHV/HHV-8 infection and pathogenesis; SCID-hu immune responses against HIV envelope
  • Bihchen Hwang, DDS, PhD
    Professor
    DNA replication of herpes viruses.
  • Burk Jubelt, MD
    Professor

    CNS acute and chronic polio- and entero-virus infections; Growth factors for Post-Polio Syndrome; Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Motor Neuron Gene Expression

  • Paul Massa, PhD
    Professor

    Regulation of innate immune responses to viruses.

  • Jennifer Moffat, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Varicella zoster pathogenesis.
  • Andras Perl, MD, PhD
    Professor

    Genes and Viruses Predisposing to Autoimmunity, Genetics, Apoptosis, Endogenous Retroviruses, Transaldolase

  • Dawn Post, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Cancer treatments. My lab is currently investigating two different cancer therapy approaches: (1) oncolytic viruses and (2) inhibitors of the EGFR/Her pathway.

  • Michael Princiotta, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Antigen processing and presentation; Cytotoxic T lymphocyte response to viral and bacterial infections
  • Rosemary Rochford, PhD
    Professor
    Etiology of viral-associated malignancies, gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis.

Model Systems

Studies in classical model systems such as yeast, E. coli and fruit flies have formed the basis for many seminal biomedical discoveries of the last 30 years through combined use of classical genetics and modern molecular biology. The richness of resources available in some of these systems continues to grow at a rapid pace. Researchers at SUNY Upstate continue to utilize these and other classic model systems in the study of both basic molecular processes and complex diseases. Systems in use include the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the Zebra fish Danio rerio, the frog Xenopus laevis, the flagellate Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and transgenic mice in their laboratories.

  • Jeffrey Amack, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Genetics and cell biology of organ morphogenesis during embryonic development.
  • David Amberg, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of actin dynamics and analysis of genomic influences on actin function.
  • Xin Jie Chen, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Mitochondrial biogenesis and inheritance, aging and aging-related degenerative diseases.
  • Richard Cross, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Bioenergetics, enzymology, structural biology, membrane protein function
  • Dipak Dube, PhD
    Professor
    Molecular mechanism of cardiac myofibrillogenesis in vertebrates.
  • Thomas Duncan, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Bioenergetics, enzymology, structural biology, membrane protein function.
  • Wenyi Feng, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Chromosomal DNA replication origins (location, timing and regulation), replication fork integrity and checkpoint regulation, genomic instability and chromosome fragility in both the yeast and human genome
  • Gerold Feuer, PhD
    Associate Professor
    HTLV pathogenesis and Tax function; Humanized SCID mouse models of hematopoiesis; lentivirus vectors; KSHV/HHV-8 infection and pathogenesis; SCID-hu immune responses against HIV envelope
  • Steven Hanes, PhD
    Professor
    Gene expression in development and disease, RNA pol II regulation, homeobox genes, prolyl isomerases
  • Patricia Kane, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Vacuolar H+ATPases (structure, function, assembly and regulation), cellular pH homeostasis, cellular stress responses, protein sorting, genomics, yeast as a model system
  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • David Mitchell, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of ciliary dynein activity and assembly, and the role of the central pair complex in ciliary motility regulation.
  • Golam Mohi, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Stem cell biology, cell signaling, hematopoiesis and blood cancer 
  • Francesca Pignoni, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neurogenesis; Retinal Progenitor Cells Specification and Proliferation; Genetic Control of Stem Cell Identity and Maintenance; Disease Genes Analysis in Drosophila
  • Thomas Poole, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Vascular development and the alignment of growing nerves and blood vessels in quail and zebrafish embryos.
  • Mark Schmitt, PhD
    Professor
    Ribonucleoprotein assembly and biogenesis; mitochondrial RNA import, mRNA degradation, cell cycle control
  • Allen Silverstone, PhD
    Research Scientist
    How dioxins and estrogens and estrogenic compounds affect the immune system.
  • Vladimir Sirotkin, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Mechanisms of the actin cytoskeleton assembly and role of myosin-1 during endocytosis in fission yeast.
  • Michael Zuber, PhD
    Associate Professor
    The molecular basis of retinal stem cell formation; regulating retinal stem/progenitor cell proliferation; using retinal stem/progenitor cells to heal the injured or degenerating retina.

Musculoskeletal Science

Faculty in the Musculoskeletal Science Research Center conduct basic and applied research in bone biology and skeletal biomechanics. Current areas of funded research include cellular and molecular biology of the growth plate, novel therapies for bone tumors, and strategies for enhancing the longevity of total joint replacement implants.

  • Timothy Damron, MD
    Professor
    Radioprotectant strategies: pediatric growth plate. Treatment of Fractures in Pathology Bone, Reconstructive Alternatives: Limb-Sparing Sarcoma Surgery, Genetics of Pagetoid Osteosarcoma
  • Dipak Dube, PhD
    Professor
    Molecular mechanism of cardiac myofibrillogenesis in vertebrates.
  • Kenneth Mann, PhD
    Professor
    Micro-mechanics of implant interfaces; damage evolution of joint replacements and biomaterials; in vivo models of tumor osteolysis and prediction of fracture risk; general orthopedic biomechanics.
  • Bryan Margulies, MS, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Biology
    • Cell Migration and Cell Fate Choices
    • Endochondral Bone Growth
    • Orthopedic Tumor
  • Christopher Neville, PT, PhD
    Associate Professor
  • Megan Oest, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Orthopedic tissue engineering; angiogenesis & graft/implant viability; fetal basis of adult disease; intrauterine stem cell programming.
  • David Pruyne, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Biochemistry and cell biology of formins as actin cytoskeleton organizers, using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system.
  • Jean Sanger, PhD
    Professor
    Analysis of the assembly of the actin/myosin cytoskeleton in muscle and non-muscle cells.
  • Joseph Sanger, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Cellular analysis of the formation of myofibrils, stress fibers, and cleavage furrows in living cells.

Neuroscience

The Nervous system regulates virtually every organ in the body. It is responsible for our perceptions, thoughts, and responses to the world around us. Using molecular, cellular, and systems-level approaches, neuroscientists at SUNY Upstate aim to improve our understanding of normal and abnormal nervous system function. Major research areas include the mechanisms of nervous system development and regeneration, the organization and plasticity of neuronal connections, the genetic bases of neurological and psychiatric disorders, neural processing in the living nervous system, and the neurobiology of disease.

  • William Brunken, PhD
    Professor

    Epigenetic regulation of brain and ocular development; the role of extracellular matrix in ocular development and disease. 

  • Blair Calancie, PhD
    Professor
    CNS plasticity after trauma; intraoiperative electrophysiology.
  • Peter Calvert, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Molecular mechanisms of protein transport and localization in retinal neurons; mechanisms of retinal degenerative diseases
  • Eric Deshaies, MD
    Associate Professor

    Neuroprotective strategies following subarachnoid hemorrhage, Cerebrospinal fluid proteomics, Cerebral aneurysm genetics, Ischemic stroke

  • Bart Farell, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Mechanisms of visual perception of 3-D position, motion, color and object shape, investigated by psychophysical methods.
  • Stephen Glatt, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology & Neurobiology

  • Brian Howell, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    The signal transduction events that regulate the functional organization of neurons in the brain, and the phenotypes caused by defects in the genes that encode these signaling molecules.
  • Huaiyu Hu, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Molecular studies of brain malformations.
  • Burk Jubelt, MD
    Professor

    CNS acute and chronic polio- and entero-virus infections; Growth factors for Post-Polio Syndrome; Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Motor Neuron Gene Expression

  • Wendy Kates, PhD
    Professor
    Anatomic and functional imaging investigations of neurodevelopment in individuals with genetic or psychiatric disorders
  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • Andrzej Krol, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Advanced tomographic reconstruction in PET and SPECT. Breast cancer detection and imaging using molecular, MR and x-ray imaging. Nonrigid multimodality breast image registration and fusion. Advanced breast cancer lumpectomy. Ultrafast laser-based x-ray source for biomedical imaging. Advanced tomographic reconstruction in cone-beam micro-CT.

  • Paul Massa, PhD
    Professor

    Regulation of innate immune responses to viruses.

  • Russell Matthews, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Role of glycoproteins in oncogenesis and brain development
  • Frank Middleton, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Molecular basis of cortical-basal ganglia and cortical-cerebellar circuit formation and dysfunction in neurological and psychiatric disease.

  • Brad Motter, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Visual Neurophysiology; Visual Attention; Visual Search Behavior
  • Eric Olson, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Cellular and molecular mechanisms of cerebral cortex development.
  • Donna Osterhout, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Biology of oligodendroglia and myelin formation during development, remyelination and repair in spinal cord injury and MS"

  • Francesca Pignoni, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neurogenesis; Retinal Progenitor Cells Specification and Proliferation; Genetic Control of Stem Cell Identity and Maintenance; Disease Genes Analysis in Drosophila
  • Dawn Post, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Cancer treatments. My lab is currently investigating two different cancer therapy approaches: (1) oncolytic viruses and (2) inhibitors of the EGFR/Her pathway.

  • Daniel Tso, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neuronal mechanisms of visual perception, studied through physiological, anatomical and functional imaging techniques.
  • Mary Lou Vallano, PhD
    Professor
    Neuronal survival and development.
  • Richard Veenstra, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of connexin-specific-gap-junctions; gap junction channel biophysics.
  • Richard JH Wojcikiewicz, PhD
    Professor and Interim Chair

    Intracellular signaling via InsP3 receptors and their regulation by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway and Bcl-2 family proteins.

  • Yunlei Yang, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Deciphering and manipulating the cellular signaling circuits for feeding behaviors using approaches including electrophysiology, pharmacogenetics and optogenetics.

  • Steven Youngentob, PhD
    Professor
    In utero ethanol and nicotine exposures and chemsensory systems plasticity, olfactory biomarkers of ADHD, olfactory signal transduction, peripheral and central mechanisms of odorant quality coding.
  • Li-Ru Zhao, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Brain plasticity, Brain repair, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, CADASIL, Traumatic brain injury, Live brain imaging, Stem cell biology and therapy, Cell signaling, Cell-cell interaction.

  • Sijun Zhu, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Genetic mechanisms of Drosophila neural stem cell self-renewal and specification

  • Michael Zuber, PhD
    Associate Professor
    The molecular basis of retinal stem cell formation; regulating retinal stem/progenitor cell proliferation; using retinal stem/progenitor cells to heal the injured or degenerating retina.

Sensory Biology

Sensory biology examines the mechanism by which the nervous system learns about the environment. Particular strengths at SUNY Upstate are vision and olfaction research.

Investigators associated with the Center for Vision Research employ model organisms such as Xenopus and Limulus, as well as cell culture systems to study degenerative disease, neural coding and photoreceptor biology.

Olfactory topics investigated include: how the olfactory system discriminates odors, how nasal senses affect behavior, how sensory information received from the nose is encoded in the brain, the generation of olfactory neurons in the fetus, adolescent and adult, and diseases associated with the inability to smell.

  • Peter Calvert, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Molecular mechanisms of protein transport and localization in retinal neurons; mechanisms of retinal degenerative diseases
  • Bart Farell, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Mechanisms of visual perception of 3-D position, motion, color and object shape, investigated by psychophysical methods.
  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • Russell Matthews, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Role of glycoproteins in oncogenesis and brain development
  • Brad Motter, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Visual Neurophysiology; Visual Attention; Visual Search Behavior
  • Francesca Pignoni, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neurogenesis; Retinal Progenitor Cells Specification and Proliferation; Genetic Control of Stem Cell Identity and Maintenance; Disease Genes Analysis in Drosophila
  • Daniel Tso, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neuronal mechanisms of visual perception, studied through physiological, anatomical and functional imaging techniques.
  • Steven Youngentob, PhD
    Professor
    In utero ethanol and nicotine exposures and chemsensory systems plasticity, olfactory biomarkers of ADHD, olfactory signal transduction, peripheral and central mechanisms of odorant quality coding.
  • Michael Zuber, PhD
    Associate Professor
    The molecular basis of retinal stem cell formation; regulating retinal stem/progenitor cell proliferation; using retinal stem/progenitor cells to heal the injured or degenerating retina.

Stem Cells

Stem cells must divide and maintain flexible lineage-options, options that become increasingly restricted during development. As lineage-options change, cells respond in different ways to the same signaling cues. Our research investigates intrinsic and extrinsic factors that regulate development and differentiation of neural stem cells of the brain and the eye. These studies include teratology of alcohol, retinal cell determination, and glycobiology of neural stem cells. Research results are directly tested using in vivo and in vitro models of neurodegenerative disease and cell replacement therapies.

  • Michael Cosgrove, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Epigenetic regulation of chromatin, Mixed Lineage Leukemia, structural biology, enzymology.

  • Gerold Feuer, PhD
    Associate Professor
    HTLV pathogenesis and Tax function; Humanized SCID mouse models of hematopoiesis; lentivirus vectors; KSHV/HHV-8 infection and pathogenesis; SCID-hu immune responses against HIV envelope
  • Huaiyu Hu, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Molecular studies of brain malformations.
  • William Kerr, PhD
    Professor
    Transplant immunology and stem cell biology.
  • Bryan Margulies, MS, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Biology
    • Cell Migration and Cell Fate Choices
    • Endochondral Bone Growth
    • Orthopedic Tumor
  • Russell Matthews, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Role of glycoproteins in oncogenesis and brain development
  • Frank Middleton, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Molecular basis of cortical-basal ganglia and cortical-cerebellar circuit formation and dysfunction in neurological and psychiatric disease.

  • Golam Mohi, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Stem cell biology, cell signaling, hematopoiesis and blood cancer 
  • Megan Oest, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Orthopedic tissue engineering; angiogenesis & graft/implant viability; fetal basis of adult disease; intrauterine stem cell programming.
  • Eric Olson, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Cellular and molecular mechanisms of cerebral cortex development.
  • Francesca Pignoni, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Neurogenesis; Retinal Progenitor Cells Specification and Proliferation; Genetic Control of Stem Cell Identity and Maintenance; Disease Genes Analysis in Drosophila
  • Andrea Viczian, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Mammalian retinal stem cells formation; molecular mechanism of retinal cell fate decisions; using cell replacement therapy to heal the blinded eye.
  • Li-Ru Zhao, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Brain plasticity, Brain repair, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, CADASIL, Traumatic brain injury, Live brain imaging, Stem cell biology and therapy, Cell signaling, Cell-cell interaction.

  • Sijun Zhu, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Genetic mechanisms of Drosophila neural stem cell self-renewal and specification

  • Michael Zuber, PhD
    Associate Professor
    The molecular basis of retinal stem cell formation; regulating retinal stem/progenitor cell proliferation; using retinal stem/progenitor cells to heal the injured or degenerating retina.

Structural Biology

Relating protein structure and macromolecular complexes to their function in living cells is a major area of interest for many faculty. These groups encompass research on the structure of nucleic acids, membrane proteins, protein folding, assembly of macromolecular complexes, chromatin structure, and cytoskeletal architecture. Various tools employed are X-ray crystallography, NMR, cryo-electron microscopy, UV-spectroscopy, confocal microscopy, mass spectrometry, and computational analysis.

  • David Amberg, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of actin dynamics and analysis of genomic influences on actin function.
  • Edward Berry, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Biological energy transduction by membrane protein complexes, with emphasis on oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis.
  • Scott Blystone, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Actin Cytoskeletal Dynamics in the leukocyte inflammatory phenotype.
  • Michael Cosgrove, PhD
    Associate Professor

    Epigenetic regulation of chromatin, Mixed Lineage Leukemia, structural biology, enzymology.

  • Richard Cross, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Bioenergetics, enzymology, structural biology, membrane protein function
  • Thomas Duncan, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Bioenergetics, enzymology, structural biology, membrane protein function.
  • Debashis Ghosh, MSc, PhD
    Professor
    Structure and function of enzymes in estrogen and androgen biosynthesis; rational design of enzyme modulators in hormonal breast and prostate cancers; characterization of interphotoreceptor retinol binding proteins.
  • Steven Goodman, PhD
    Professor
    Proteomic assessment of sickle cell severity.
  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • Stewart Loh, PhD
    Professor

    Protein engineering, design, and folding

  • David Mitchell, PhD
    Professor
    Regulation of ciliary dynein activity and assembly, and the role of the central pair complex in ciliary motility regulation.
  • Arkadii Perzov, PhD
    Professor
    Biophysical mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias; fluorescence imaging.
  • Mark Schmitt, PhD
    Professor
    Ribonucleoprotein assembly and biogenesis; mitochondrial RNA import, mRNA degradation, cell cycle control
  • Christopher Turner, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Regulation of cell migration by focal adhesion adapter proteins and their role in cancer cell metastasis.
  • Stephan Wilkens, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Structure and Mechanism of Membrane Bound Transport Proteins
Eric Wohlford

Eric Wohlford

Eric Wohlford received a 2012 travel award from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and spent two months in Kenya working in the lab of Rosemary Rochford, PhD, professor and chair of Upstate’s Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Eric studied the effects of malaria on B cells (producers of antibodies that fight infection) and Epstein-Barr Virus infection in the region. “Tropical medicine is unique, in that small, focused improvements in patient care make dramatic improvements in the well-being of patients,” he said.

Read More >

Download the MD/PhD 2013-14 Brochure. PDF document