Endowed Scholars

Class 15: 2012-2016

Ryan Hibbs, Ph.D.

Ryan Hibbs, Ph.D.

Effie Marie Cain Scholar in Medical Research
Assistant Professor, Neuroscience
Dr. Hibbs studies atomic-scale mechanisms of synaptic proteins, with a current focus on ligand-gated ion channel structure and function, and mechanisms of ion selectivity and allosteric modulation, with a long-term goal of better informing rational therapeutic design for neurological disorders and addiction.
Lab website

Khuloud Jaqaman, Ph.D.

Khuloud Jaqaman, Ph.D.

Deborah and W.A. "Tex" Moncrief, Jr. Scholar in Medical Research
Assistant Professor, Biophysics
Dr. Jaqaman's lab studies protein function in cells at the single molecule level, with particular focus on cell surface receptor dynamics and organization in the context of transmembrane signal transduction. Her laboratory develops integrative approaches that combine light microscopy, computer vision and mathematical modeling. Understanding events occurring at the level of the plasma membrane could help in designing therapeutic antibodies that target cell surface receptors to manipulate cell signaling.
Lab website

Saikat Mukhopadhyay, M.D., Ph.D.

ikat Mukhopadhyay, M.D., Ph.D.

W.W. Caruth, Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research
Assistant Professor, Cell Biology
Dr. Mukhopadhyay is interested in understanding mechanisms of cellular signaling at the level of the primary cilia. These organelles play fundamental roles during cellular differentiation and cell cycle control. His laboratory is currently utilizing integrative approaches to dissect the role of primary cilia in sonic hedgehog signaling, both in cellular and organismal contexts.
Lab website

Yunsun Nam, Ph.D.

Yunsun Nam, Ph.D.

Southwestern Medical Foundation Scholar in Biomedical Research
Assistant Professor, Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Science
Dr. Nam is interested in the biochemical and structural mechanisms in gene regulation pathways important in development and cancer. Her laboratory investigates how non-coding RNAs, such as microRNAs, are processed and regulated.
Lab website

Todd Roberts, Ph.D.

Todd Roberts, Ph.D.

Thomas O. Hicks Scholar in Medical Research
Assistant Professor, Neuroscience
Dr. Roberts studies the brain circuits involved in avian song learning, to map the circuit mechanisms underlying this naturally learned complex behavior and to study structure-function relationships during a natural form of behavioral learning.
Lab website

John Schoggins, Ph.D.

John Schoggins, Ph.D.

Nancy Cain and Jeffrey A. Marcus Scholar in Medical Research, in Honor of Dr. Bill S. Vowell
Assistant Professor, Microbiology
Dr. Schoggins is interested in understanding the mechanisms by which the innate immune response controls viral infections. Working at the virus-host interface, the lab uses genetic, biochemical, and novel screening methods to uncover potentially new effector mechanisms in the antiviral interferon response. The lab is also interested in the technical development of fluorescent and bioluminescent viruses as tools to better probe virus-host interactions in vitro and in vivo.
Lab website

Zhigao Wang, Ph.D.

Zhigao Wang, Ph.D.

Virginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research
Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology
Dr. Wang is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of necrotic cell death, which has been implicated in many human diseases, including ischemic injuries, infections, neurodegeneration, and cancer. His lab is currently focused on dissecting the execution steps of the programmed necrosis using chemical biology, biochemistry and genetics.

Class 14: 2011-2015

Xin Liu, Ph.D.

Xin Liu, Ph.D.

W.W. Caruth, Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research
Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dr. Liu is interested in understanding the regulation of transcription and chromatin dynamics underlying many fundamental biological processes such as differentiation, development and oncogenesis. The research of his laboratory is focused on elucidating the molecular and biophysical basis of chromatin organization including chromatin loop and heterochromatin formation during transcriptional activation and repression.

Ryan Potts, Ph.D.

Ryan Potts, Ph.D.

Michael L. Rosenberg Scholar in Medical Research
Assistant Professor, Physiology and Pharmacology
Dr. Potts is interested in understanding the biochemical and molecular mechanisms behind fundamental cellular processes that when deregulated result in cancer. His lab is currently investigating the biochemical, molecular, and cellular functions of a family of ubiquitin ligases and how these proteins contribution to tumorigenesis.0
Lab website

Nan Yan, Ph.D.

Nan Yan, Ph.D.

Rita C. and William P. Clements, Jr. Scholar in Medical Research
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine and Microbiology
Dr. Yan is interested in innate immunity, autoimmunity and antiviral responses. His laboratory is studying innate immune responses to HIV and other viruses, as well as pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases such as lupus and Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome (AGS).
Lab website


Yonghao Yu
, Ph.D.

Yonghao Yu, Ph.D.

Virginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry
Dr. Yu is interested in developing novel mass spectrometry technologies and applying them in the field of signal transduction. His lab is studying how cancer signaling networks wire in order to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms of tumorigenesis.

Class 13: 2010-2014

Ralf Kittler, Ph.D.

Ralf Kittler, Ph.D.

John L. Roach Scholar in Biomedical Research
Assistant Professor, Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development
Dr. Kittler is interested in the transcriptional regulatory pathways contributing to the development and maintenance of cancer. His laboratory employs genomic approaches to decipher the functions of transcription factors in breast, lung and prostate cancer and aims to translate this knowledge into new strategies for early detection and treatment.
Lab website

Laszlo Kurti, Ph.D.

Laszlo Kurti, Ph.D.

W.W. Caruth, Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry
The Kürti group focuses on the develpment of powerful new methods for the expedient enantioselective assembly of highly functionalized heterocycles and carbocycles. We are especially interested in applying our newly discovered reactions for the preparation of architecturally complex bioactive natural products and their derivatives.
Lab website

Daniel Rosenbaum, Ph.D.

Daniel Rosenbaum, Ph.D.

Eugene McDermott Scholar in Medical Research
Assistant Professor, Biophysics and Biochemistry
Dr. Rosenbaum's research focuses on the structure and function of eukaryotic integral membrane proteins involved in signal transduction. His lab is using biophysical methods to study the process of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation by hormones and neurotransmitters. GPCRs are key regulators of a broad range of physiological processes, and the superfamily includes many human therapeutic targets. Knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of GPCR activation will aid the design of novel small-molecule modulators.

Class 12: 2009-2013

Uttam Tambar, Ph.D.

W. W. Caruth, Jr. Scholar In Biomedical Research 2009-2013
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry

Dr. Tambar is interested in developing new strategies and concepts in synthetic chemistry for the construction of complex biologically active molecules. His group is specifically interested in discovering chemical transformations that will have broad applications for the assembly of pharmaceutical drugs.
Lab Website

Jen Liou, Ph.D.

Sowell Family Scholar in Medical Research 2009-2013
Assistant Professor, Physiology

Dr. Liou is interested in the signal transduction control of cellular calcium levels and the role of calcium in physiological functions. Her laboratory is studying molecular mechanisms underlying a novel calcium signaling pathway at the endoplasmic reticulum-plasma membrane junctions using quantitative live-cell imaging, high-throughput cell-based siRNA screens, and inducible perturbation approaches.

Jiang Wu, Ph.D.

Virginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research 2009-2013
Assistant Professor, Physiology
Dr. Wu is interested in chromatin regulation of mammalian neural development. Her laboratory is studying the function of chromatin remodeling complexes in key signaling pathways that regulate neural stem cell self-renewal, differentiation, as well as post-mitotic neuronal development.
Lab Website

Class 11: 2008-2012

Yihong Wan, Ph.D.

Virginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research 2008-2012
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology

Dr. Wan is interested in the transcriptional regulation of development, metabolism and cancer, currently focusing on how nuclear receptors regulate the differentiation and function of the bone-resorbing osteoclasts and the bone-forming osteoblasts. Her lab employs a wide spectrum of cutting-edge tools, including mouse genetic and disease models, molecular and cellular biology, genomics, metabolomics, stem cells and small molecules.
Lab Website

Chun-Li Zhang, Ph.D.

W.W. Caruth Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research 2008-2012
Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology
Dr. Zhang is interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating brain function, especially adult neural stem cells, neurogenesis, and psychological diseases, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and mental retardation. His laboratory is focused on nuclear hormone receptor signaling in these neurological processes.
Lab Website

Bing Li, Ph.D.

W.A. “Tex” Moncrief Jr. Scholar in Medical Research 2008-2012
Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology
Dr. Li is interested in understanding the epigenetic events that regulate transcription initiation and elongation in normal and diseased cells. In particular, the research in his laboratory will focus on the molecular mechanism by which chromatin related complexes help the transcription machinery overcome the nucleosomal barriers while maintaining genome integrity.
Lab Website

Steven Patrie, Ph.D.

John L. Roach Scholar in Biomedical Research 2008-2012
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine
Dr. Patrie's lab is developing the state of the art in state-of-the-art in mass spectrometry and protein biochip technologies to discover and characterize the function of post-translational modifications (PTMs) in autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular diseases and cancers. We are particularly interested in understanding how PTMs drive interactions between chromatin-associated proteins in gene transcription. We are also developing a translational proteomics pipeline that rapidly identifies and validates PTM-based biomarkers thereby enabling a new class of early detection or prognostic tools for hospital laboratories.
Lab Website

Class 10: 2007-2011

Neal Alto, Ph.D.

Rita C. and William P. Clements, Jr. Scholar in Medical Research 2007-2011
Assistant Professor
, Microbiology
Dr. Alto is interested in understanding the biochemical and cellular basis of host/pathogen interactions with a particular emphasis on mechanisms by which bacteria hijack eukaryotic signal transduction systems. More specifically, the lab studies human Rho GTPase signaling to the actin-microtubule cytoskeleton and determines how pathogens co-opt this critical cellular system via bacterial Type III effector proteins.
Lab Website

Michael Buszczak, Ph.D.

E.E. and Greer Garson Fogelson Scholar in Medical Research 2007-2011
Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology

Dr. Buszczak uses several different types of Drosophila stem cells to study how chromatin organization promotes self-renewal in vivo. The Buszczak lab also seeks to characterize how this intrinsic program changes during the process of differentiation.
Lab Website

Nicholas Conrad, Ph.D.

Southwestern Medical Foundation Scholar in Biomedical Research 2007-2011
Assistant Professor, Microbiology

Dr. Conrad is interested in the mechanisms of post-transcriptional gene regulation of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and its human host cells. Uncovering how unique KSHV factors exploit the host cell machinery to promote viral gene expression will yield a greater understanding of this important pathogen and the fundamental processes involved in human gene expression.
Lab Website
Research Interests

Chandrashekhar Pasare, Ph.D.

Louise W. Kahn Scholar in Biomedical Research 2007-2011
Assistant Professor, Immunology
Dr. Pasare's research interest is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the immune system deals with pathogens. Specifically, he is investigating how receptors of the innate immune system, particularly Toll-like receptors, influence activation of the adaptive immune responses.
Lab Website

Luke Rice, Ph.D.

Thomas O. Hicks Scholar in Medical Research 2007-2011
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry
Dr. Rice's research is focused on microtubules, dynamic cellular polymers made from alpha/beta-tubulin subunits. Microtubules have essential roles in chromosome segregation, vesicular trafficking, and organelle positioning. His laboratory is integrating biophysical studies of alpha/beta-tubulin, kinetic measurements of microtubule behavior, and computational models of microtubule assembly to discover the molecular mechanisms underlying dynamic microtubule behavior and its regulation.

Adrian Rothenfluh, Ph.D.

Effie Marie Cain Scholar in Medical Research 2007-2011
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
Dr. Rothenfluh is investigating genes that contribute to the behavioral responses to alcohol. His laboratory is particularly interested in the dynamic control of the actin cytoskeleton, and how it affects drug responses.
Lab Website
Research Interests

Benjamin Tu, Ph.D.

W. W. Caruth Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research 2007-2011
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry
Dr. Tu is interested in the study of biological cycles and understanding how fundamental biological processes are coupled to changes in cellular metabolic and redox state.
Lab Website

Felix Yarovinsky, Ph.D.

Nancy Cain and Jeffrey A. Marcus Scholar in Medical Research, in Honor of Dr. Bill S. Vowell 2007-2011

Assistant Professor, Immunology
Dr. Yarovinsky is exploring molecular and cellular mechanisms of innate immunity to parasitic infections of global importance. He seeks to understand how dendritic cells can initiate and regulate host resistance to Toxoplasma gondii and malaria infections.

Xuewu Zhang, Ph.D.

Virginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research 2007-2011
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Dr. Zhang's lab is studying regulation mechanisms for signaling proteins, especially cell surface receptors, through structural and biochemical analyses.