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Graduate Studies Faculty

  • Jeffrey Amack, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests: Genetics and cell biology of organ morphogenesis during embryonic development.
  • David Amberg, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Regulation of actin dynamics and analysis of genomic influences on actin function.
  • David Auerbach, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Cellular, animal, and clinical approaches to investigate the susceptibility and mechanisms for electrical disturbances in both the brain (seizures) and heart (arrhythmias.)

    CURE Epilepsy Foundation: The Cameron Boyce Foundation and CURE Epilepsy Partner to Fund New SUDEP Research (1/2022)

    ABC News (Washington, DC): Victor and Libby Boyce raise epilepsy awareness in honor of late son Cameron (1/2022)

    Upstate News: Upstate Professor Auerbach receives International CURE Epilepsy award (11/2021)

    Upstate Health Link on Air and Upstate News: Scientist hopes study of electrical disturbances in the heart and brain could lead to new therapies (7/2020)

    Pediheart Podcast # 5: Antiseizure and AntiDepressants in LQTS (2/23/18)

    Eureka Alert: The heart-brain connection: The link between LQTS and seizures (7/29/16)

  • Alaji Bah, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Elucidate the structure, dynamics and functions of intrinsically disordered proteins and protein regions (IDPs/IDRs) and their biological regulation by Post-translational modifications.

  • Marie Bechler, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Mechanisms that drive central nervous system myelin sheath formation, and how myelin contributes to CNS function in neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disease 

  • Audrey Bernstein, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Fibrosis; Scarring; Protein degradation; ubiquitin; integrins; cytoskeleton; patient-derived model systems

  • Scott Blystone, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests: Actin Cytoskeletal Dynamics in the leukocyte inflammatory phenotype.
  • Karen Boschen, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Developmental neurobiology

    Molecular mechanisms of prenatal alcohol exposure

    Genetics and epigenetics in prenatal drug sensitivity

    Mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders

     

  • Dimitra Bourboulia, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:
    • Extracellular kinase signaling
    • Extracellular chaperone function 
    • Targeting extracellular signaling networks in urological cancers
  • Gennady Bratslavsky, MD
    Professor and Chair
    Research Interests:

    Basic, clinical, and translational prostate, bladder, and kidney research.   

  • William Brunken, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Research Interests:

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

  • Blair Calancie, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    CNS plasticity after trauma; intraoperative electrophysiology.

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

    Human cytomegalovirus pathogenesis and persistence. 

  • Xin Jie Chen, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Research Interests:

    Mitochondrial biology, stress signaling and aging-related degenerative diseases.

  • Michael Cosgrove, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Epigenetic regulation of chromatin, Mixed Lineage Leukemia, Structural Biology, Enzymology, Biophysical Chemistry, Rational drug design

  • Andrew Craig, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    My research focuses on treatment and relapse of maladaptive behavior, impulsive decision making, and drug self-administration.

  • Timothy Damron, MD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Radioprotectant strategies: pediatric growth plate. Treatment of Fractures in Pathology Bone, Reconstructive Alternatives: Limb-Sparing Sarcoma Surgery, Genetics of Pagetoid Osteosarcoma
  • Joseph Domachowske, MD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Pneumovirus pathogenesis.
  • Thomas Duncan, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    F-type ATP synthases; bioenergetics of pathogenic bacteria; enzymology; structural biology, membrane protein function.

  • Timothy Endy, MD, MPH
    Professor Emeritus
    Research Interests: Understanding the epidemiology and pathogenesis of viral hemorrhagic and encephalitic arboviruses and host-vector interactions.
  • Stephen Faraone, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Research Interests:

    Prof. Faraone studies the nature and causes of mental disorders in childhood and has ongoing research in psychiatric genetics, psychopharmacology, with a current focus on applications of data driven computational models (DDCMs) including classical machine learning and deep learning. His ongoing DDCM projects are: 1) predict neuro-developmental disorders and test hypotheses about brain differences in the disorders; 2) predict disorders from genome-wide association data and to test hypotheses about epistasis from such data; 3) predict comorbid psychiatric and somatic conditions among patients with ADHD and 4) to predict response to medications that treat ADHD. He also has a research program to create and disseminate quality measures for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in adults.

    Stephen V. Faraone, PhD CV

  • Bart Farell, PhD
    Voluntary Faculty
    Research Interests: Mechanisms of visual perception of 3-D position, motion, color and object shape, investigated by psychophysical methods.
  • Robert Fechtner, MD
    Professor and Chair
    Research Interests:

    Glaucoma; pharmacology, diagnostic technology, clinical trials, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery

  • Wenyi Feng, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests: 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
  • George Fulk, PT, PhD, FAPTA
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Dr. Fulk’s research focuses on identifying barriers to recovery and interventions to promote locomotor function and mobility poststroke. In particular examining the link between sleep disorders and its impact on recovery after stroke.

  • Preethi Ganapathy, MD/PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Astrocyte mechanosensation and glial signaling pathways as they relate to neuronal strain in glaucoma

  • Diana Gilligan, MD/PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    My research includes studies of the role of microRNA in development of leukemia.

  • Stephen Glatt, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Dr. Glatt is Director of the Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology & Neurobiology Laboratory (PsychGENe Lab). The mission of the PsychGENe Lab is to develop and apply methods for finding the causes of mental health and mental illness. The vision of the lab is that we will discover those causes and use that information to design interventions that treat or prevent these disorders, or foster resilience to them. We are running numerous research projects aimed at finding the genes and environmental risk factors for a wide variety of disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and substance abuse disorders, among others. Our pipeline seeks to identify “risk genes” for these disorders by studying affected individuals and families and then to reveal how such genes alter brain biology leading to a vulnerability to mental illness.

    Stephen Glatt, PhD CV

  • Steven Hanes, PhD
    Research Scientist
    Research Interests: Gene expression in development and disease, RNA pol II regulation, homeobox genes, prolyl isomerases
  • Samuel Herberg, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Ocular tissue engineering to create biomimetic 3D hydrogel models of tissues affected in glaucoma.

  • Jonathan Hess, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    I direct a computational neuro-genomics laboratory, focused on pioneering and using innovative methods to discover genes and pathways that play a pivotal role in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Our goal is to identify genes contributing to susceptibility to disease, along with identifying factors of resilience that act as moderators against disease risk. Towards this goal, our lab developed the Brain Gene Expression and Network Imputation Engine (BrainGENIE) to allow researchers to noninvasively profile gene activity in the brain of living individuals based on gene activity measured in blood. Our BrainGENIE method, which is available as an open-source tool (https://github.com/hessJ/BrainGENIE), endeavors to fill a critical knowledge gap by providing a means to gain insight into molecular intricacies of the living human brain. Its primary aim is to identify and track molecular changes linked with brain health and disease, aging, as well as interventions. My lab was founded on three guiding principles: Our Mission (“We will decode the biological basis of risk and resilience for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.”), Our Vision (“Our scientific discoveries will provide a path toward reducing the burden of brain disease and achieving health equity.”), and Our Values (“We are at the forefront of scientific advancement, hence it is our responsibility to uphold the highest standards of integrity, accuracy, reliability, and transparency in our work. We conduct ourselves professionally with honesty and fairness. We treat others with courtesy, respect, and dignity.”).


    Jonathan L. Hess CV

  • Jason Horton, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Skeletal development, maturation and maintenance;  Mesenchymal stem cell biology;  Radiobiology of skeletal tissues; Radiosensitization of pediatric musculoskeletal sarcoma.

  • Brian Howell, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests: 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
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Mechanisms of brain malformations and retinal degeneration.  

  • Ying Huang, MD, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Oncogenic signaling in cellular transformation and apoptosis; tumor suppressor genes.
  • Tamara Jamaspishvili, MD/PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Dr Jamaspishvili is a Director of SUNY UpState PatholOgy REsearch Core & Digital Pathology (SUNY SPORE) located at the Department of Pathology. The Core mission is to provide efficient, high-quality histology and digital pathology services to internal and external researchers, including private sector companies and biopharma.

    Dr Tamara Jamaspishvili is a research pathologist, translational research scientist focusing on developing, evaluating, validating, and applying tissue-based prognostic and predictive biomarkers and models for improved disease prognostication and management of cancer patients. Dr Jamaspishvili conducts multi-disciplinary collaborative translational research projects with the goal to develop innovative strategies to advance biomarker assessment using quantitative digital pathology, computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI).  Dr Jamaspishvili has ongoing research interests in molecular and digital pathology of genitourinary cancers. She is now focusing on improving companion diagnostic biomarker testings for solid cancers in immuno-oncology using computer vision. She has ongoing collaborations with NCI/NIH and other national or international multi-disciplinary research groups. Dr Jamaspishvili and her team are open to academia-industry collaborations. 

  • Patricia Kane, PhD
    Distinguished Teaching Professor
    Research Interests: Vacuolar H+ATPases (structure, function, assembly and regulation), cellular pH homeostasis, cellular stress responses, protein sorting, genomics, yeast as a model system
  • Mobin Karimi, MD/PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:
    • Immunoreceptor signaling during development, homeostasis, and effector function of T cells and NK cells.
    • T lymphocytes for adoptive cell therapy against hematological cancer.
    • The role of the transcriptional regulator in alternative signal pathways to assess’ T cells cytotoxic function of hematological cancer cells
    • The role of adaptor molecule SLP-76 in hematological malignancies and bone marrow transplantation
    • The role of Tec family tyrosine kinases (ITK) and the activation of PLC-γ, Ca2+ mobilization, and ERK activation
  • William Kerr, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    My research is primarily focused on defining the role of SHIP1 in immunity, obesity, stem cell biology and cancer. This research has revealed that SHIP1 is at the nexus of signaling pathways that regulate: (1) hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cell homeostasis, (2) terminal differentiation of myeloid cells, (3) acute BM graft rejection, (4) survival of T cells in the small intestine and (5) survival of hematologic cancer cells. More recently we developed SHIP1 and pan-SHIP1/2 inhibitors and showed they can expand stem cells in vivo, reverse obesity, eradicate certain cancers and boost tumor immunity. We are also attempting to better understand what LRBA does in immune cells. LRBA is a scaffold protein that coordinates intracellular vesicle trafficking with receptor signaling.

  • Barry Knox, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Visual transduction, Gene Expression, Membrane proteins
  • Bruce Knutson, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    RNA polymerase I transcription (structure, assembly, regulation), nucleolar biology, macromolecular architecture, crosslinking, proteomics, bioinformatics, modeling, molecular genetics, biochemistry, model systems

  • Leszek Kotula, MD/PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

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

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

    Development of:

    • Extremely low-dose and high-resolution tomographic reconstruction methods in PET and SPECT
    • Advanced ultrafast PET detector
    • Advanced very high-sensitivity and high-spatial resolution brain PET scanner
    • Ultrafast laser-based betatron microfocal x-ray source for very high-resolution biomedical imaging
    • PET bioprobe for detection and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and other cancers
    • Advanced breast cancer detection methods in mammography
  • Vladimir Kuznetsov, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Cancer systems biology, bioinformatics, big data and survival prediction analyses, predictive and personalized medicine, computational genome and transcriptome biology, non-B DNA structures, RNA:DNA hybrids, R-loops, G-quadruplexes, ncRNAs, clinical biomarker discovery and validation

  • Yamin Li, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Development of lipid nanoparticles for the delivery of small molecule drugs, proteins, and DNA/RNA for gene therapy, cancer immunotherapy, mRNA vaccines, etc.

  • Hui-Hao Lin, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Neural Circuits and Behaviors in Drosophila

  • Chunyu Liu, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Dr. Liu’s laboratory is studying how genetic variants impact gene expression, protein abundance and various levels of regulatory networks, ultimate influence the risks of developing major psychiatric disorders, treatment responses, as well as related psychological, behavioral traits. Funded by NIH, his current projects are about regulatory networks in genomics, epigenomics, and proteomics of postmortem brains. Multiple advanced sequencing-based technologies, cell biology and bioinformatics methods are commonly used in this lab to facilitate discovery of risk genes and pathways.

    Chunyu Liu , PhD CV

  • Stewart Loh, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Protein engineering, design, and folding

  • Hong Lu, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:
    • Nuclear receptors in regulation of hepatic gene expression and liver diseases
    • Progression of alcoholic/non-alcoholic fatty liver to steatohepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer
    • Development of liver-targeting prodrugs and liver-specific  delivery of genes/proteins
    • Liver-lung-dual-specific mRNA delivery for the treatment of ARDS and sepsis
  • Juntao Luo, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    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
    Distinguished Professor
    Research Interests: 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.
  • Paul Massa, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Neuroimmunology: Regulation of genes involved in innate immunity and chronic inflammation in the CNS

    Neurovirology: CNS-specific mechanisms involved in viral neurotropis, neuroinvasion, persistence, inflammation and anti-viral state.

    Neurodegeneration: Neuron-specific regulation of apoptotic genes by NF-kappa B and mechanisms regulating CNS-specific mitochondrial bioenergetics.

  • Russell Matthews, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests: Role of glycoproteins in oncogenesis and brain development
  • Frank Middleton, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:
    • Genetic, epigenetic, and neuroanatomical basis of neurological and psychiatric disorders
    • Basal ganglia and cerebellar circuitry in normal and disease states
    • Neural-immune and gut-brain interactions
    • Machine learning approaches for biomarker discovery
    • Next generation sequencing for multiomic data analysis (genome, transcriptome, microbiome, methylome) 
  • Jennifer Moffat, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests: Varicella zoster pathogenesis.
  • Mehdi Mollapour, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Role of molecular chaperone Hsp90 in cancers

    Kidney Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Breast Cancer

    Tuberous Sclerosis Complex syndrome (TSC)

    Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHD)

     

  • Brad Motter, PhD
    Emeritus
    Research Interests: Visual Neurophysiology; Visual Attention; Visual Search Behavior
  • Megan Oest, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Radiation damage to bone and progenitor cells; mechanical regulation of bone cell behavior; osteoclast lineage cells; orthopedic tissue engineering.

  • Eric Olson, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Cellular and molecular mechanisms of cerebral cortex development.

    Lissencephaly / neuronal migration disorders; Dendritogenesis and early cortical wiring; Reelin-Dab1 signaling; Adaptor proteins; Fetal Alcohol Syndrome;  Intellectual disability

  • Donna Osterhout, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

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

  • Andras Perl, MD, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Research Interests:

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

  • Arkadii Perzov, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Biophysical mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias; fluorescence imaging.
  • Francesca Pignoni, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Research Interests:

    Neurogenesis; Retinal Progenitor Cells Specification and Proliferation; Genetic Control of Stem Cell Identity and Maintenance; Disease Genes Analysis in Drosophila

  • Tarun Podder, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:
  • David Pruyne, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Understanding how muscle cells organize their actin cytoskeleton into efficient contractile units, using a combination of in vitro biochemistry, and analysis of cultured muscle cells and genetic models C. elegans and zebrafish.

  • Jeffrey Pu, MD/PhD
    Clinical Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Pu’s laboratory is currently focusing on clonal bone marrow failure diseases translational research, small cell lymphocytic malignancy diseases combination target therapy research, cellular therapy, and hematopoietic stem cell transplant outcome study.

  • Jessica Ridilla, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:
    • Regulation of actin filament polymerization
    • Mechanisms of actin-microtubule crosstalk
    • Role of actin and microtubules in neurodegenerative diseases, particularly amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
    • Single-molecule super-resolution microscopy techniques (i.e. TIRF, STED, STORM).
     
  • Jean Sanger, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Analysis of the assembly of the actin/myosin cytoskeleton in muscle and non-muscle cells.
  • Joseph Sanger, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Cellular analysis of the formation of myofibrils, stress fibers, and cleavage furrows in living cells.
  • Mark Schmitt, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Ribonucleoprotein assembly and biogenesis; mitochondrial RNA import, mRNA degradation, cell cycle control
  • M Saeed Sheikh, MD, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Apoptotic signal transduction and cancer biology.
  • Brittany Simone, DO
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Tumor metabolism and the use of metabolism-based therapies to improve response to radiation therapy in both clinical and preclinical settings.

  • Vladimir Sirotkin, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests: Mechanisms of the actin cytoskeleton assembly and role of myosin-1 during endocytosis in fission yeast.
  • Eduardo Solessio, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Photoreceptor electrophysiology and visual behavior.

  • Steven Taffet, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Investigate the role of Cx43 gap junctions and hemichannels in immunity

  • Daniel Tso, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Neuronal mechanisms of visual perception, studied through physiological, anatomical and functional imaging techniques. Adult cortical plasticity.

  • Christopher Turner, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Research Interests: Regulation of cell migration by focal adhesion adapter proteins and their role in cancer cell metastasis.
  • Norifumi Urao, MD/PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Mechanism of wound healing and tissue repair/bone marrow stem cell reactivity to stress and injury/oxidative stress and epigenetic gene regulation

  • Mary Lou Vallano, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Neuronal survival and development.
  • Richard Veenstra, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests: Regulation of connexin-specific-gap-junctions; gap junction channel biophysics.
  • Mariano Viapiano, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Brain cancer therapies; tumor microenvironment; tumor invasion; extracellular matrix; nano-therapeutics; immunotherapies

  • Andrea Viczian, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Mammalian retinal stem cells formation; molecular mechanism of retinal cell fate decisions; vascular development in the CNS; using cell replacement therapy to heal the blinded eye.

  • Adam Waickman, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    My group is dedicated to understanding how the interactions between infectious organisms and the human immune system result in pathogenesis and/or durable immunity. Our work is primarily focused on viral pathogens, and leverages "next generation" technologies such as single cell RNA sequencing, multi-parametric flow cytometry, and computational modeling.

  • Guirong Wang, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Innate immunology; host defense; inflammatory regulation; Surfactant Protein expression, regulation and function; humanized transgenic mice;  Bacterial and SARS-CoV-2 induced pneumonia and sepsis; acute lung injury and ARDS; lung stem cell and differentiation; PM2.5 induced pulmonary disease 

  • Cynthia Weickert, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    I research the Neurobiology of Mental Illness with a focus on Schizophrenia. My research also involves projects on Primate Neurogenesis, Neuroinflammation, and Molecular Human Brain Development.

  • Thomas Weickert, PhD
    Sr Research Scientist
    Research Interests:

    Our Clinical Research Laboratory uses molecular neurobiological findings to guide our research using brain stimulation techniques and the novel application of existing medications as add-on therapy to antipsychotics to improve thinking ability and reduce symptom severity in people with schizophrenia.

  • Stephan Wilkens, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests: Structure and Mechanism of Membrane Bound Transport Proteins
  • Gary Winslow, PhD
    Emeritus
    Research Interests:

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

  • Richard JH Wojcikiewicz, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Research Interests:

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

  • Ma-Li Wong, MD, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Research Interests:

    The long-term goals of Dr. Wong's research are to develop a translational research program that spans the bench and the clinic to understand the molecular, cellular and circuit bases of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, particularly those comorbid with metabolic disorders. Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic consequences of obesity are associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety and dementia. The ongoing focus on Dr. Wong's lab include: Characterization of novel biomarkers in major depression and the role of specific genes or pathways in depression, including the inflammasome signaling, epigenetic markers, alternative splicing, and the gut microbiome.

    We have 4 current projects: 

    1) To determine the specific role(s) of PHF21B (plant homeodomain finger protein 21B) in neuronal function relevant to social recognition impairment; this is relevant because social cognitive impairments are a central feature of several neurodegenerative, neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental (e.g., autism spectrum and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) conditions, and also occur following acute brain damage after traumatic brain injury and stroke.

    2) A innovative research line focused on investigating the interface between neuroinflammation and serotonin signaling in chronic stress.

    3) A line of research focusing on the role of pre-mRNA splicing in the pathophysiology of chronic stress.

    4) A line of research focused on the role of alternative splicing in the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and aging.

  • Mark Woodford, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Heat shock proteins (Hsps) are a subset of molecular chaperones that function in all subcellular compartments both constitutively and in response to stress. The Hsp90 chaperone TRAP1 is primarily localized to mitochondria and controls both cellular metabolic reprogramming and mitochondrial apoptosis. TRAP1 upregulation facilitates growth and progression of many cancers by promoting glycolytic metabolism and antagonizing the mitochondrial permeability transition that precedes cell death. TRAP1 attenuation or inhibition induces apoptosis in cellular models of cancer, identifying TRAP1 as a potential therapeutic target in cancer.

  • Wei-Dong Yao, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Research Interests:

    Dopamine; synaptic plasticity and remodeling; prefrontal cortex; neural mechanisms of addiction and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

     

    Wei-Dong Yao, PhD CV

  • Li-Ru Zhao, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Brain plasticity; molecular, cellular and functional mechanisms of brain repair in traumatic brain injury, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and CADASIL. Pathological mechanisms underlying the development and progression of brain injury, neurodegenerative and genetic diseases.

  • Sijun Zhu, MD, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Genetic mechanisms of Drosophila neural stem cell specification and sub-cellular specific targeting of dendrites.

  • Michael Zuber, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests: 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.
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