Affiliated Faculty

This list of affiliated investigators can help you identify potential research mentors at the University of Pittsburgh. PSTP students can, and do, work with mentors not on this list, but the investigators featured below have expressed interest in hosting PSTP students in their laboratories.

Elias Aizenman, PhD
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Cellular and Molecular Basis of Neurodegeneration

Howard Aizenstein, MD, PhD
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Cellular and Molecular Basis of Neurodegeneration

Zandrea Ambrose, PhD
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HIV infection and therapeutics

Carolyn Anderson, PhD
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The development of metal-based radiopharmaceuticals for diagnosis and targeted radiotherapy of cancer and other diseases

Gerard Apodaca, PhD
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Endocytic pathways and stretch-regulated endocytosis/exocytosis in bladder

Stephen Badylak, MD, PhD, DVM
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Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, emphasis upon clinical application; Cell:biomaterial interactions; Epimorphic regeneration in mammals

Ivet Bahar, PhD
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Biomolecular systems dynamics; Computer-aided drug discovery; Network models for protein-protein interactions

Christopher Bakkenist, PhD
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Identify phosphorylations, dephosphorylations and acetylations that regulate ATM activity in vivo

Carlton Bates, MD
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Role of FGF Receptors in the Developing Kidney, Genetic Model of Urogenital Development and Obstruction,and Role of fibroblast growth factor receptors (Fgfrs) in embryonic kidney development using conditional knockout mouse models

Aaron Batista, PhD
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Neurophysiology of sensory-motor coordination, brain-machine interfaces

Hülya Bayir, MD
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Clinical lipidomics and oxidative lipidomics; Imaging mass spectrometry; Redox mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal death

Takis Benos, PhD
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Multi-scale computational modeling of omics and clinical data to identify the causes of disease phenotypes and therapy outcomes

Sarah Berman, MD, PhD
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Role of mitochondrial dynamics in Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases

Kara Bernstein, PhD
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Repair of DNA damage is crucial to prevent mutations observed in cancer. Using live cell imaging, we study how double-strand breaks are repaired.

Timothy Billiar, MD
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The Billiar Lab focuses on the immune responses to acute systemic stresses of major clinical relevance including trauma and surgical sepsis

Robert Binder, PhD
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The mechanisms of cross-priming of antigens during immune responses to cancer, viruses and autoimmunity

Jennifer Bomberger, PhD
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Understanding the molecular mechanisms for viral-bacterial synergy in the lungs of chronic lung disease patients

Lisa Borghesi , PhD
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Demand adapted hematopoiesis in infection and inflammation

Grant Bullock, MD, PhD
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The molecular mechanisms of anemia and how iron deficiency and mitochondrial metabolic defects affect red blood cell production

Timothy F. Burns, MD, PhD
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Development of targeted therapies for KRAS mutant NSCLC; Reactivation of OIS and apoptosis; Mechanisms of acquired resistance to targeted agents

Lisa Butterfield, PhD
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The Butterfield lab focuses on cross-talk between tumor antigens and the immune system in melanoma and hepatocellular cancer (HCC) patients.

Craig Byersdorfer, MD, PhD
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The Byersdorfer lab seeks a deeper understanding of In vivo T cell metabolism, in order to develop therapies that separate pathologic effects from physiologic and beneficial responses following allogeneic blood and marrow transplantation.

Guillermo Calero, MD, PhD
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Reconstitution of multi-protein complexes (MPCs) for biochemical and X-ray crystallographic studies

Clifton W. Callaway, MD, PhD
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Improving recovery from brain injury after cardiac arrest

Geetha Chalasani, MD
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Understanding how memory T cells are generated in transplantation

Stephen Chan, MD, PhD
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Basic science and translational research studying the molecular mechanisms of pulmonary vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension

Yuan Chang, MD
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The study of human tumor viruses

Charleen Chu, MD, PhD
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Redox signaling & autophagy in neuroprotection and neurodegeneration; Mitochondrial phosphoproteomics; Genetic & toxin models of Parkinson’s disease

Nathan Clark, PhD
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Comparative genomics to determine the genetic regions that control medically important phenotypes, ranging from vision to oxidative stress

Paula Clemens, MD
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Models of muscle disease causing muscular dystrophy and muscle atrophy; Translational research for treatment of muscle disease

Gilles Clermont, MD
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Big data analytics, predictive modeling, and dynamic modeling of disease

Lan Coffman, MD, PhD
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Stomal Interactions critical to the survival, growth, and spread of ovarian cancer

Greg M. Cooper, PhD
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Developing therapeutics to control bone growth and healing in pediatric patients with craniofacial malformations

Carolyn Coyne, PhD
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Virology, immunology, and cell biology to dissect various aspects of host virus interactions, with a particular focus on polarized cell types

X. Tracy Cui, PhD
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The intersection of neural engineering and biomaterials with specific focus on neural electrode-tissue interface, neural tissue engineering, biosensor and drug delivery

Lance Davidson, PhD
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Our group combines experimental and theoretical approaches to reverse-engineer the inherently mechanical processes of cell and tissue development.

Brian Davis, PhD
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Cellular and molecular mechanisms of central and peripheral nervous system development and plasticity

Marie DeFrances, MD, PhD
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HGF-MET-PI3K signaling in liver development, growth, regeneration and cancer. She has identified a novel regulator of the catalytic subunit of PI3K (p110) called PI3K interacting protein 1 (PIK3IP1)

Donald DeFranco, PhD
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Steroid hormone action in neural stem cells and cancer

Greg Delgoffe, PhD
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The metabolic regulation of T cell function, with a specific focus of those T cells that infiltrate the nutrient-poor tumor microenvironment

Neal DeLuca, PhD
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HSV gene expression in productive and persistent infections

Terence Dermody, MD
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Research in the Dermody laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms of Mammalian Orthoreovirus (reovirus) and Chikungunya virus infections

Thomas Diacovo, MD
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Role of class I PI3Ks in innate and adaptive immunity; Thrombosis prevention in neonates preoperatively

Alexandre Dombrovski, MD
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Decision processes in late-life suicidal behavior and in borderline personality

Chris Donnelly, PhD
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The molecular pathogenesis of neurodegeneration and aging

Umamahefwar Duvvuri, MD, PhD
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The molecular landscape of head and neck cancers; Tying this to technical innovations that improve surgical care for these patients

Jonathan D’Cunha, MD, PhD
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Molecular mechanisms of non-small cell lung cancer tumorigenesis

Louis Falo, MD, PhD
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Developing a better understanding of cutaneous biology and skin immune function, and leveraging that evolving understanding to develop new skin-targeted strategies to modulate local and systemic immune responses

William Federspiel, PhD
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Respiratory assist and blood processing devices for critical care medicine; Cardiovascular and pulmonary transport phenomena

Fabio Ferrarelli, MD, PhD
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The neurobiology of schizophrenia and neurophysiological abnormalities during wakefulness and sleep in early course psychosis

Robert Ferris, MD, PhD
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Mechanisms of immune escape and clinical translation to therapeutic cancer immunotherapy trials

Toren Finkel, MD, PhD
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Intersection of mitochondrial function, metabolism and aging

Kenneth N. Fish, PhD
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Functional consequences of altered connectivity in schizophrenia; The early secretory pathway’s role in neurodevelopment and synaptogenesis

Joanne Flynn, PhD
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Immunology and Pathogenesis of Tuberculosis

Bruce Freeman, PhD
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The production and signal transduction properties of oxidizing and free radical mediators in metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases

Zach Freyberg, MD, PhD
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Dopaminergic signal transduction in the central nervous system, dopamine role in regulating peripheral pancreatic insulin secretion

Robert Friedlander, MD
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The study of the basic mechanisms of apoptosis, as mediated by the caspase apoptotic family in neurologic diseases

James Funderburgh, PhD
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Stem cells and stem cell therapy, wound healing, tissue regeneration, biological roles of extracellular matrix

Mark Gladwin, MD
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Biophysical and biochemical measures and mouse models to investigate a novel therapeutic intervention for carbon monoxide poisoning

Anthony Grace, PhD
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Neurophysiology of basal ganglia system related to psychiatric disorders

Timothy Hand, PhD
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Understand the causes of diseases with disruptions between immune system and the microbiota, such as Crohn’s Disease and Environmental Enteropathy

Teresa Hastings, PhD
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Oxidative mechanisms associated with neurodegeneration

Jackie Ho, MD
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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing public health burden that results in significant morbidity and increased risk of mortality for individual patients

Sohail Husain, MD
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Pathogenesis of pancreatic injury at the epigenetic level; Drug-induced pancreatitis

Edwin K. Jackson, PhD
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The biochemistry, molecular/cell biology, and physiology/pharmacology of adenosine

Jon Johnson, PhD
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The Johnson lab studies the physiology, biophysics, structure, pharmacology, and regulation of glutamate receptors

Lawrence Kane, PhD
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Signal Transduction; The role of the Akt kinase in NF-kB and T cell activation; Role of TIM proteins in T cell activation

Daniel Kaplan, MD, PhD
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Role for nerves in the skin as modulators of immune responses

Ata Murat Kaynar, MD, MPH
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Long-term outcomes following sepsis using a Drosophila as well as murine model of sepsis

Erin Kershaw, MD
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The role of intracellular lipid metabolism and adipose tissue biology in normal metabolism and disease using basic and translational approaches

Kang Kim, PhD
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Develop & translate state of the art noninvasive imaging technologies to improve disease diagnosis, guide therapy, and evaluate therapeutic efficacy

Thomas Kleyman, MD
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Cellular, structural and molecular studies of epithelial ion channels

Eric Lagasse, PhD, PharmD
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Our research is focused primarily on stem cell biology and cell-based therapy for a variety of diseases including cancer and organ failure

Fadi Lakkis, MD
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Innate and adaptive immune response to transplanted organs and the mechanisms of transplantation tolerance

Janet Lee, MD
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Host susceptibility to lung injury and the factors that promote persistence of inflammation

Adrian Lee, PhD
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Molecular profiling (genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic) of women’s cancers, mouse modeling, and predictive biomarkers for targeted therapy

David Lewis, MD
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Functional architecture of the prefrontal cortex and schizophrenia

Philana Lin, MD, MSC
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Our lab is focused on the host protective immune responses to M. tuberculosis, a major factor in outcome of infection.

Steven Little, PhD
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Drug Delivery, Biomimetics, Immunotherapeutics, Tissue Engineering, Biomaterials, Synthetic Systems

Youhua Liu, PhD
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The cellular and molecular pathways leading to chronic renal fibrosis, and exploring novel strategies for therapeutic interventions

Peter Lucas, MD, PhD
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The relationship between chronic inflammation and the development of vascular, metabolic, and neoplastic diseases

Beatriz Luna, PhD
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Brain basis of cognitive maturation through adolescence to adulthood

Rama Mallampalli, MD
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Pulmonary molecular & cell biology as it relates to acute lung injury (ALI) & the mechanisms of sepsis

Mellissa Mann, PhD
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Molecular Regulation of Genomic Imprinting in Gametes and Early Embryos

Mioara Manole, MD
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Vascular pathways involved in cerebral vascular dysregulation and therapeutic strategies that improve neurological outcome after pediatric asphyxial cardiac arrest

Kacey G. Marra, PhD
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Tissue engineering (peripheral nerve and soft tissue), wound healing, and adipose stem cell therapies

Wendy Mars, PhD
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Understanding how cytokines and proteases controlling normal liver growth become deviant, leading to the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer

Linda McAllister-Lucas, MD, PhD
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Mechanisms by which dysregulated intracellular signaling promotes inflammation and neoplasia

Colleen Mcclung, PhD
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We are interested in the molecular mechanisms of psychiatric disorders with a particular focus on the role of the circadian clock in these disorders.

John Mellors, MD
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Mechanisms of HIV-1 persistence at the single cell level and evaluating strategies to cure HIV-1 infection, including latency reversing agents, monoclonal antibodies, cellular immunotherapy and therapeutic vaccines

Stephen D. Meriney, PhD
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Focuses on mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the neuromuscular system in both normal and disease conditions

George Michalopoulos, MD, PhD
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Liver regeneration and carcinogenesis, exploring the effects of growth factors and associated signaling pathways

Pam Moalli, MD, PhD
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Use of novel regenerative materials in repair of pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence

Satdarshan (Paul) Monga, MD
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Aimed at elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms of liver pathophysiology

Patrick S. Moore, MD, MPH
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The study of human tumor viruses

Ana Mora, MD
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The pathogenic mechanisms of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) in aging; Mitochondrial-targeted therapies in animal models of lung fibrosis

Penelope Morel, MD
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Autoimmunity & the control of T cell immune responses; Systems biology approaches to immune response to infectious organisms

Adrian Morelli, MD, PhD
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The role of donor- and recipient-derived antigen-presenting cells (i.e. dendritic cells) and extracellular vesicles (i.e. exosomes, microvesicles) during allo-sensitization, graft rejection, and induction of donor-specific immunosuppression / tolerance, following transplantation

Alison Morris, MD, MS
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HIV-associated lung disease; HIV-associated emphysema; Role of Pneumocystis in COPD

Radhika Muzumdar, MD
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GH, insulin-like growth factors and a novel mitochondria-associated peptide on glucose homeostasis, energy metabolism, cardiovascular health and aging

Matthew Neal, MD
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The mechanisms of hemostasis and coagulation following trauma and hemorrhagic shock

Vishwajit Nimgaonkar, PhD
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Genetics of schizophrenia/bipolar disorder; functional genomics using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) based models; gene/environment interactions

Robert O'Doherty, PhD
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The association between states of over nutrition and resulting metabolic disturbances, most notably obesity, NAFLD, and Type 2 Diabetes

Steffi Oesterreich, PhD
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Hormone response and treatment resistance in breast and ovarian cancer, including the analysis of aberrant genetic and epigenetic changes

Patricia Lynn Opresko, PhD
Research Summary

Mechanisms for preserving telomeres in healthy cells to delay aging-related diseases including cancer, or that conversely deplete telomeres in cancer cells to stop their proliferation

Kyle Orwig, PhD
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Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) and male germ lineage development

Tim Oury, MD, PhD
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Oxidative mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis, acute lung injury, inflammation, and pneumonia; The laboratory also studies the role of RAGE in the lung.

Quasar Padiath, MDBS, PhD
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Molecular mechanisms underlying various neurological disorders using human genetic approaches as well as research on animal and cell culture models

Patrick Pagano, PhD
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NADPH oxidase (Nox) & reactive oxygen species in signaling, vascular dysfunction and cardiopulmonary disease; Nox drug therapy development

Udai Pandey, PhD
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Molecular mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Marta Pecina, MD, PhD
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Neuroimaging biomarkers of antidepressant treatment response in humans; Molecular bases of depression

Mary Phillips, MD
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Identification of neural correlates that underlie the symptoms of specific abnormalities in emotion processing in people with mood disorders

Edward Prochownik, MD, PhD
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Metabolic, molecular and biochemical changes in animal models of pediatric and adult liver cancers and how best to capitalize on these for therapeutic purposes

Anthony Richardson, PhD
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Immunometabolism at the host:pathogen interface using Staphylococcus aureus as a model pathogen

R. Mark Richardson, MD, PhD
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Cortical and subcortical neurophysiology in patients undergoing surgery for epilepsy and movement disorders

James Roberts, MD
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Our current work addresses preeclampsia and it pathophysiology in high and low resource

Beth Roman, PhD
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Understanding how endothelial cells integrate molecular and biomechanical signals to determine cell behavior during vascular development and disease

Caterina Rosano, MD, MPH
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Brain adaptation, neuroepidemiological approaches to the causes, biomarkers and consequences of brain aging, advanced data reduction analyses

Sarah Ross, PhD
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Understanding the functional organization of spinal microcircuits using molecular genetic, electrophysiological, optogenetic & behavioral approaches

David Rothstein, MD
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Immunoregulation: Focusing on regulatory and inflammatory B cells in transplant and autoimmune models, and their use as biomarkers in transplantation; as well as pathways by which regulatory T cells can be enhanced relative to Teffector cells

Maria Rubio, MD, PhD
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Understanding the functional organization of spinal microcircuits using molecular genetic, electrophysiological, optogenetic & behavioral approaches

Ulka Sachdev, MD
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Endogenous danger signals promoting recovery following ischemic muscle injury; Inflammatory biomarkers in patients with venous disease

Yoel Sadovsky, MD
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Our lab focuses on molecular mechanisms underlying placental development and its function in supporting fetal growth and maternal-fetal communication.

Saumendra Sarkar, PhD
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Two related aspects involved in interferon production in the context of infectious disease and cancer: Modulation of IFN induction during RNA and DNA virus infections; Mechanisms and consequences of interferon induction in specific tumors

Francisco Schopfer, PhD
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Lipid signaling mediators associated with inflammation

Melanie Scott, MD, PhD
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Innate immune responses to sterile injury and infection with a focus on inflammasome activation and immune activation by endogenous danger signals

Sruti Shiva, PhD
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Understanding the mechanisms by which mitochondrial function is regulated, particularly by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and the contribution of these mechanisms to cardiovascular health and disease pathogenesis

Mark Shlomchik, MD, PhD
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My lab is interested in the establishment of long term B cell immunity and in pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases and graft vs host disease.

Sanjeev Shroff, PhD
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Cardiac structure-function: contractile/regulatory proteins, post-translational regulation, dyssynchrony

Michael Shurin, MD, PhD
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Understanding of biological and clinical significance of tumor innervation and revealing neuroimmunological pathways controlling tumor spreading and metastasis formation

Marc Simon, MD, MS, FACC
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Study of right ventricular structural and functional adaptation to pressure overload in pulmonary hypertension and heart failure

Thomas Smithgall, PhD
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Non-receptor protein-tyrosine kinase structure, regulation and signal transduction in cancer, AIDS, and embryonic stem cell biology

Alexander Sorkin, PhD
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Mechanisms and functional role of endocytic trafficking of EGF receptor in cancer cells and the dopamine transporter in the brain

Gwendolyn Sowa, MD, PhD
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Biomarker discovery, beneficial effects of mechanical loading, & implementation in targeted exercise therapies for musculoskeletal conditions

Cynthia St. Hilaire, PhD
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Characterizing the underlying pathobiology of vascular disease, concentrating on defining the mechanisms that drive vascular and valvular calcification and remodeling during aging and disease states

Richard Steinman, MD, PhD
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Mechanisms of white blood cell differentiation & its inhibition in leukemias; Mechanisms of stem cell differentiation & growth control

George Stetten, MD, PhD
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Image-guided surgery, medical image analysis, medical robotics, haptics, augmented reality, devices for visually impaired, music engineering

Donna Stolz, PhD
Research Summary

Angiogenesis and vascularization events in liver regeneration and remodeling

Adam Straub, PhD
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The Straub laboratory investigates redox cell signaling mechanisms that control endothelial and smooth muscle biology in the microcirculation.

Peter Strick, PhD
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The control of voluntary movement by the cerebral cortex; The functional organization of the basal ganglia and cerebellum; Unraveling the circuitry of the central nervous system

Dandan Sun, MD, PhD
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Understanding the role of ion transporter proteins (sodium-potassium-chloride cotransporter, sodium/proton exchanger, and sodium/calcium exchangers) in ionic dysregulation and neurodegeneration associated with stroke and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy

Alan Sved, PhD
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Central neural control of the autonomic nervous system and cardiovascular function; neurobiology of nicotine pharmacology

Robert Sweet, MD
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Loss and altered plasticity of auditory cortex synapses in schizophrenia; Mediators of vulnerability to psychosis in Alzheimer disease

Changfeng Tai, PhD
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Neural control of low urinary tract and neuromodulation of bladder dysfunction

Angus Thomson, PhD, DS.c.
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Regulation of the immune response; role of dendritic cells and T cells in tolerance induction; mechanism of action of novel immune suppressants

Allan Tsung, MD
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Innate immunity and the damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) danger response, specifically, the role of DAMPs and pattern recognition receptors in injury-induced inflammation and tumorigenesis of primary and metastatic liver cancer

Edith Tzeng, MD
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Clinical applications of nitric oxide and carbon monoxide in the setting of vascular therapies

Thanos Tzounopoulos, PhD
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We study synaptic mechanisms and their role during normal and pathological sensory processing (tinnitus).

Ken Urish, MD, PhD
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The focus of the Urish laboratory is on understanding implant biofilm dynamics during an infection and identifying new treatment strategies.

Patrick van der Wel, PhD
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Misfolding, aggregation and amyloid formation in disease; Membrane protein structure and lipid interactions; Solid-state NMR spectroscopy; Biophysics

Ben Van Houten, PhD
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Repair of DNA damage in nuclear and mitochondrial genomes; Structure and function of nucleotide excision repair proteins

Flordeliza Villanueva, MD
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The development of medical diagnostic and therapeutic strategies that are based on ultrasound and ultrasound contrast agents (microbubbles)

Shyam Visweswaran, MD, PhD
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Computer-aided diagnosis and patient-specific prediction, genomic and precision medicine, clinical decision support, research data warehouse

Jerry Vockley, MD, PhD
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Structure/function relationship in the acyl-CoA dehydrogenases (ACDs)

David Volk, MD, PhD
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Abnormalities that underlie the devastating clinical features of schizophrenia using molecular biology techniques

David Vorp, PhD
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Vascular bioengineering in the context of vascular tissue engineering, aortic aneurysm, and regenerative medicine

William Wagner, PhD
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Cardiovascular engineering with projects that address medical device biocompatibility and design, tissue engineering, and imaging

William Walker, PhD
Research Summary

Regulation of mammalian sperm

Kurt Weiss, MD
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Basic science laboratory dedicated to the study of sarcomas--cancerous tumors that arise in the musculoskeletal tissues

Ora Weisz, PhD
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Regulation of protein traffic in polarized epithelial cells

Alan Wells, MD, DMS
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Integrative biology of wound healing and tumor metastasis, from molecules and cells through tissues and animals to humans

Sally Wenzel, MD
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Focuses on asthma phenotypes and the molecular mechanisms, particularly in the airway epithelium that control them

Clayton Wiley, MD, PhD
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Pathogenesis of Neuroinflammation, Neurodegeneration and Neurovirology

John Williams, MD
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The cell entry, immunity, and pathogenesis of human metapneumovirus (HMPV)

Peter Wipf, PhD
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Drug discovery and drug development, employing organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and molecular modeling to develop new therapeutic agents for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases in a highly collaborative environment

Yan Xu, PhD
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Designed receptors as therapeutic targets for pain; Mechanisms of low-affinity drug action; Mapping of unconscious brain; Stem cell therapy for stroke

Judith Yanowitz, PhD
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Pathways that control the maintenance of genome integrity across generations using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

Lin Zhang, PhD
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Genetic basis of differential sensitivity to anticancer drugs; Genetic alterations that cause drug resistance; Mechanisms of drug-induced apoptosis

Brian Zuckerbraun, MD
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Mitochondrial and metabolic responses to trauma and sepsis ad their influence on inflammation and immunity