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MCB Faculty Research Areas

Learn about faculty research in the following departments and institutes that comprise the MCB program.

College of Arts & Sciences

Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Russ College of Engineering & Technology

College of Arts & Sciences

Biological Sciences Department

Ronan Carroll

  • Molecular mechanisms employed by bacteria that allow them to cause disease in humans with a focus in regulation of bacterial virulence gene expression

Robert A. Colvin

  • Zinc and Calcium transport in neurons; mechanisms of neural degeneration in Alzheimer's disease and stroke; receptor-ligand interactions

Janet S. Duerr

  • Use a simple model organism, the nematode C. elegans, to study the roles of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in behavior.
  • Use genetics and molecular biology to examine protein and neurotransmitter trafficking at synapses.

Shawn Kuchta

  • Integrate population genetics, phylogeography, and phylogenetics to study the evolution of biodiversity, including species formation, biogeography, natural selection, and taxonomy.
  • Current studies focus with salamanders, turtles, and damselflies.

Daewoo Lee

  • Functional dissection of molecular elements mediating central synaptic transmission in Drosophila
  • Molecular and cellular bases of neuromodulation and synaptic plasticity. Mechanisms of selective dopaminergic cell loss in Parkinson's disease

Corinne Nielsen

  • Genetic regulation of mammalian neurovascular development, physiology and pathophysiology

Tomohiko Sugiyama

  • Biochemical study of DNA recombination: Meiotic recombination and DNA double-strand-break repair.

Soichi Tanda

  • Gene regulation and signal transduction during Drosophila development
  • Drosophila hamatopoiesis
  • Biological functions of pre-mRNA secondary structures

Matthew M. White

  • Evolutionary genetics, fisheries genetics, conservation genetics, molecular systematics of fishes

Nathan Weyand

  • Bacterial pathogenesis, complement evasion, asymptomatic carriage, horizontal gene transfer of antimicrobial resistance, biofilm formation.

Chemistry & Biochemistry Department

Stephen Bergmeier

  • We broadly define medicinal chemistry as the study of drug design, drug synthesis, and drug action.
  • Our research seeks to advance the areas of drug design as well as drug synthesis.

Michael Held

  • The biochemistry of plant cell wall biosynthesis
  • Vesicle trafficking of nascent plant cell wall cargo
  • Plant cell walls as sources of lignocellulosic bioenergy feedstocks

Jennifer V. Hines

  • Structural biology and medicinal chemistry of nucleic acids
  • RNA as a therapeutic target for the treatment of cancer as well as viral and bacterial infections.

Justin Holub

  • Research in the Holub Laboratory focuses on the development of chemical tools to investigate biological processes.

Mark McMills

  • Synthesis of bioactive natural products; development of novel synthetic methodology

Tadeusz Malinski

  • Biological and medical nanosensors
  • Nitric oxide signaling in the vasculature. Ischemia/reperfusion injury 
  • The role of superoxide and peroxynitrite in Parkinson and Alzheimer disease, aging of cardiovascular system, arteriosclerosis and diabetes

Shiyong Wu

  • Regulation of eukaryotic protein synthesis initiation and endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-stress. Molecular mediators of UV-induced apoptosis. Natural biological therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer therapy.

Environmental & Plant Biology Department

Harvey E. Ballard

  • Molecular phylogenetic relationships of populations, species and genera, especially in the Violet family; molecular data in conservation genetics, adaptive radiation and speciation processes

Ahmed Faik

  • Study of plant cell wall polysaccharides biosynthesis and metabolism using functional genomics approaches (Bioinformatics, Genomics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology)

Allan M. Showalter

  • Molecular biology and biochemistry of hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins in plant cell walls; structure and function of arabinogalactan-proteins; molecular adaptations of halophytes to saline environments.

Morgan L. Vis

  • Molecular systematics and population biology of freshwater algae.

Sarah E. Wyatt

  • Plant growth and development with an emphasis on the use of molecular and genetic tools to study plant responses to environmental stimuli.

Zhihua Hua

  • Multidisciplinary molecular approaches, included but not limited to molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, omics, and evolutionary biology to tackle the roles of protein ubiquitylation in plant growth and development.

Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Including Biomedical Sciences Department and Diabetes Institute

Huzoor Akbar

  • Biochemistry and molecular biology of signal transduction in platelets
  • Role of methylation/demethylation and phosphorylation/ dephosphorylation of ras-related G proteins in cellular signaling

Fabian Benencia

  • My research explores the capability of antigen presenting cells (dendritic cells and macrophages) to act as inducers or suppressors of immunity responses in different diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis or infections. Investigating the factors governing the plasticity of these cells may unhide new targets for immune therapies.

Mark Berryman

  • Roles of the actin cytoskeleton in epithelial cell morphogenesis; regulation of membrane-cytoskeletal interactions; characterization of a new family of human chloride channel proteins.

Xiaozhuo Chen

  • In vitro and in vivo antidiabetic and anti-obesity activities and signaling pathways of novel compounds and their use in treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes; anti-cancer and apoptosis-inducing activities and mechanisms of natural and synthetic compounds.

Karen Coschigano

  • Identification of genes involved in the development of diabetes and its complication, especially in the kidney, using molecular tools and mouse models that mimic human disease.

Peter W. Coschigano

  • Genetics and molecular biology of microorganisms that degrade toxic compounds, regulation of gene expression, elucidation of metabolic pathways.

Mario J. Grijalva

  • Molecular diagnosis, immunology and epidemiology of Tropical diseases

Frank M. Horodyski

  • Molecular biology of insect neuropeptides and their roles in development and metamorphosis

Sharon Inman

  • Research involves understanding the mechanisms underlying the protective role of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors in renal transplantation and ischemia/reperfusion injury

Calvin James

  • Molecular biology of adenoviruses: study of those aspects of signal transduction pathways relevant to both viral and cellular gene regulation.

John Kopchick

  • We are interested in the molecular and cellular events involved in growth, obesity, and diabetes. We use transgenic and gene disrupted mice as well as genomic and proteomic approaches to study these areas. Overall we would like to determine the mechanisms that result in mammalian growth. Additionally, we would like to determine the genetic defects that result in abnormal growth phenotypes or improper meabolic function.

Yang Li

  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neural transmission, plasticity, and intracellular signaling

Kevin Lee

Chunmin Lo

  • My research interest focuses on control of energy intake and expenditure, gluscose homeostasis, and lipid transport / metabolism.

Ramiro Malgor

  • Understanding how inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of chronic disease. Our goal is to elucidate the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, diabetes and cancer.


Kelly McCall

  • Research topis: Diabetes, inflammation, autoimmune disease, tumor biology, innate immunity, small molecule therapeutics. Toll-Like receptors and their involvement in the pathogenesis and progression in cancers: thyroid, pancreatic, prostate, breast, colon and malignant melanoma.

Erin Murphy

  • My research focuses on understanding the regulatory mechanisms governing the expression of genes encoding bacterial virulence determinants. In particular I am interested in gene expression controlled by non-coding RNA molecules in response to environmental signals.

Craig Nunemaker

Vishwajeet Puri

Russ College of Engineering & Technology

Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department

Lonnie Welch

  • Bioinformatics Computational regulatory genomics Machine learning Hih performance computing Bioinformatics Laboratory

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Department

Monica Burdick

  • Glycoconjugate mediators of cell trafficking in cancer metastasis.
  • Biochemical and biophysical regulation of cancer stem cell phenotype.
  • Adhesion of tumor cells to endothelium and vascular cells under hydrodynamic shear stress.

Amir Farnoud

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Nanoparticle-mediated Drug Delivery
  • Biological Membranes and Interfaces
  • Fungal Infections.

Douglas Goetz

  • Research in biomedical engineering, with expertise in cell to cell adhesion with an emphasis on adhesion events that occur in the circulation

Tingyue Gu

  • Preparative and large-scale purification of recombinant proteins; dynamics of liquid chromatography; fermentation