Cell and Molecular Biology Faculty

Program Chair

Angelique Whitehurst, Ph.D.
Angelique Whitehurst, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: The role of ectopically activated gametogenic programs in supporting tumor cell proliferation and survival

Faculty

Joseph Albanesi, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Mechanisms of membrane fusion; role of lipids in membrane trafficking; membrane vesiculation of dynamin

Joseph Albanesi, Ph.D.
Neal Alto, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: The intersection between human signal-transduction and bacterial pathogenesis; use of biochemical and cell biological analysis to define molecular mechanisms of microbial infectious disease

Neal Alto, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Chen, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Cell-cell fusion, actin cytoskeletal dynamics, muscle development and regeneration

Elizabth Chen, Ph.D.
Cheng-Ming Chiang, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Mechanisms of transcriptional regulation and epigenetic control; chromatin remodeling and histone tail modification; sumoylation and ubiquitination; functional interplay between oncoproteins and tumor suppressor proteins; general transcription factors and cofactors

Cheng-Ming Chiang, Ph.D.
Melanie Cobb, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Protein kinase cascades; MAP kinases; signal-transduction mechanisms

Melanie Cobb, Ph.D.
James Collins, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Germ cells, immunology, parasite biology, pathogenesis, regeneration, stem cells

James collins, Ph.D.
Anthony Davis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Uncover mechanisms that modulate the cellular response to DSBs

Anthony Davis, Ph.D.
Russell DeBose-Boyd, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Regulation of HMG-CoA reductase and sterol metabolism

Russell DeBose-Boyd, Ph.D.
Konstantin Doubrovinski, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests:

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Jonathan R. Friedman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Mitochondria, cristae biogenesis, organelles, membrane organization, inter-organelle contacts

Jonathan Friedman, Ph.D.
Joel Goodman, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Intracellular sorting of newly synthesized proteins; organelle biogenesis and membrane structure and function; the yeast peroxisome as a model of organellar assembly

Joel Goodman, Ph.D.
Carla Green, Ph.D

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of circadian rhythms and how they control metabolism

Carla Green, Ph.D.
Mike Henne, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of membrane sculpting; formation and dynamics of inter-organelle membrane contact sites (MCSs) in human health and disease

Mike Henne, Ph.D.
Joseph Hill, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular signaling processes in cardiac hypertrophy and failure; mechanisms of structural, functional, and electrophysiological remodeling, using genetic and surgical mice models

Joseph Hill, M.D., Ph.D.
Jay Horton, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Hepatic steatosis; lipid metabolism

Jay Horton, Ph.D.
Lily Huang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Cytokine receptor; signal transduction; hematopoiesis; structure-function analysis of protein; cancer

Jun-Shen 'Lily' Huang, Ph.D.
Sarah Huen, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Renal metabolism; inflammation and sepsis; acute kidney injury

Sarah Huen, M.D., Ph.D.
Rodney Infante, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests:  Cancer Cachexia, Obesity, Adipocyte biology

Rodney Infante, M.D., Ph.D.
Steven Kliewer, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Physiology of nuclear receptors

Steven Kliewer, Ph.D.
Xiaochun Li, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Structural and biochemical characterization of cholesterol biosynthesis, transport and signaling

Xiaochun Li, Ph.D.
Jen Liou, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Spatial and temporal regulation of cellular signaling events; mechanisms and physiological roles of store-operated calcium signaling

Jen Liou, Ph.D.
Mala Mahendroo, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Parturition (the process of labor); cervical ripening; male and female reproductive biology

Mala Mahendroo, Ph.D.
James Malter, M.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Post-transcriptional gene regulation and signaling in the immune and nervous system

James Malter, M.D.
David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Mechanism of nuclear hormone receptor action; role of retinoids in cancer; transcriptional regulation of lipid metabolism

David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D.
Denise Marciano, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Regulation of cell-cell adhesion during tubule and glomerular formation and in polycystic kidney disease

Denise Marciano, M.D., Ph.D.
Carole Mendelson, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms in tissue-specific, developmental, and hormonal regulation of eukaryotic gene expression

Carole Mendelson, Ph.D.
John Minna, M.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular genetics of human cancer; growth factors and signal transduction in human tumors

John Minna, M.D.
Prashant Mishra, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Molecular mechanical force field development; virtual screenings for drug lead identification; Molecular dynamics simulations of protein folding and drug delivery; and rational protein design

Prashant Mishra, M.D., Ph.D.
Ayaz Najafov, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Immunogenic Cell Death, Necroptosis Signaling, Anti-tumor Immunity, Immunotherapy

Ayaz Najafov, Ph.D.
Daniela Nicastro, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Three-dimensional structures and functions of organelles and macromolecular complexes, with special emphasis on cytoskeletal assemblies and molecular motors

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Dayoung Oh, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: GPRs in diabetes and obesity

Dayoung Oh, Ph.D.
Jihan Osborne, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Developmental Biology, Cancer Biology, RNA Regulatory Programs and Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Feedback Loops

Jihan Osborne, Ph.D.
Michael Reese, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Biochemistry; biophysics; cell signaling, kinases, pseudokinases; host-pathogen interaction; co-evolution; immunology; structural biology

Michael Reese, Ph.D.
Danielle Robertson, O.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Epithelial cell biology, cornea, ocular surface, dry eye, Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, exosomes, corneal neuropathy, infectious disease

Danielle Robertson, O.D., Ph.D.
Elliott Ross, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Mechanisms and regulatory behavior of G-protein signaling; regulated protein-protein interactions in signal transduction

Elliott Ross, Ph.D.
Beverly A. Rothermel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Internal medicine; control of muscle remodeling during development and disease; circadian control of cardiac function and the role of RCAN1 (Down Syndrome Critical Region 1), a regulator of the calcium-dependent phosphatase calcineurin

Beverly Rothermel, Ph.D.
Philipp Scherer, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Identification and physiological characterization of novel secretory proteins that serve as potential links between the adipocyte and the processes of whole body energy homeostasis; inflammation and cancer; beta cell biology

Philipp Scherer, Ph.D.
Joachim Seemann, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Biogenesis of the Golgi apparatus

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Dean Smith, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Sensory transduction in Drosophila melanogaster

Dean Smith, M.D., Ph.D.
Anju Sreelatha, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Se!O, AMPylation, mitochondria, selenoproteins, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species, selenocysteine

Anju Sreelatha, Ph.D.
Vincent Tagliabracci, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Kinases in the secretory pathway and the extracellular space; secreted protein and peptide hormone phosphorylation; CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing

Vincent Tagliabracci, Ph.D.
Lance Terada, M.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Vascular biology; oxidant biochemistry; signal transduction; acute lung injury

Lance Terada, M.D.
Fei Wang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Membrane protein trafficking and function; autophagy and its developmental roles; organelle biogenesis and communication

Fei Wang, Ph.D.
Zhao Wang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Unfolded protein response and metabolic regulation of pathological cardiac remodeling in hypertensive and ischemic heart diseases

Zhao Wang, Ph.D.
Benjamin Weaver, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Proteolytic mechanisms in cell fate, signaling and gene expression. Roles of caspases, E3 ubiquitin ligases and MAPK signaling in development and stress responses.

Benjamin Weaver, Ph.D.
Dawn Wetzel, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cellular and molecular pathogenesis of leishmaniasis and other parasitic infections; host-pathogen interactions; development of novel antiparasitics

Dawn Wetzel, M.D, Ph.D.
Jeffrey Woodruff, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Understand oocyte ageing, embryogenesis and cancer onset by use of live-cell microscopy, nano-rheology and synthetic biology

Jeffrey Woodruff, Ph.D.
Jun Wu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Harnessing stem cell derived interspecies chimeras for studying developmental biology in an evolutionary context, probing species’ specific traits, and uncovering molecular basis of species barriers

Jun Wu, Ph.D.
Gang Yu, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Biochemistry of signal transduction, gene regulation, and membrane protein complexes; molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, and neurodegeneration

Gang Yu, Ph.D.
Xing Zeng, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Mechanism of Bi-d\Directional Communication between Sympathetic Neurons and Adipocytes, Role of Mitochondria in Adipose Thermogenesis and Neurogenesis, Novel Pathways Regulating Adipose Thermogenesis

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Associate Members

These faculty members do not accept graduate students. They participate in teaching, co-mentoring, exam and dissertation committees, and all other program responsibilities.

Perry Bickel, M.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Diabetes, obesity, metabolic imaging, and tracer techniques

Perry Bickel, Ph.D.
Luke Engelking, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cholesterol and fat metabolism

Luke Engelking, M.D.
Thomas Gillette, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of heart disease, cellular pathways involved in cardiac growth, function and response to stress

Thomas Gillette, Ph.D.
Joseph Goldstein, M.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Genetics and biochemistry of lipoprotein and cholesterol metabolism; cell-surface receptor function; regulation of gene expression

Joseph Goldstein, M.D.
Jer-Tsong (J.T.) Hsieh, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Human cancer gene therapy; signaling defects in urogenital cancers

Jer-Tsong (J.T.) Hsieh, Ph.D.
Mark Lehrman, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Informational carbohydrates in the endoplasmic reticulum: roles in protein folding, stress responses, and human disease

Mark Lehrman, Ph.D.
Kate Luby-Phelps, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Light microscope imaging of structure and function in living cells and tissues

Kate Luby-Phelps, Ph.D.
Marcel Mettlen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests:  Cell biology, microscopy, computer-based image analysis and quantification

Marcel Mettlen, Ph.D.
Joyce Repa, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests:  Bile acids, cholesterol; diabetes; lipidomics; LXR, FXR, PXR, beta-cell, islet

Joyce Repa, Ph.D.
Michael Roth, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Recognition and sorting of cell-surface glycoproteins

Michael Roth, Ph.D.
David Russell, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Steroid and bile-acid metabolism; molecular genetics; gene regulation; protein structure-function

David Russell, Ph.D.
Ronald Taussig, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: G protein-mediated signaling

Ronald Taussig, Ph.D.
Matthias Wolf, M.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Renal channelopathies, magnesium and calcium homeostasis, inherited kidney diseases, cystic kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrolithiasis

Matthias Wolf, M.D.
Helen Yin, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Mechanisms for signal transduction through the actin cytoskeleton

Helen Yin, Ph.D.