Pharmacology Faculty

Joseph Albanesi, Ph.D. •

Research projects in our lab are investigating the dysregulation of dynamin in neuromyopathies and the role of phosphoinositides in endocytic trafficking.

Yuh-Min Chook, Ph.D. • Lab Website •

Yuh Min Chook

Research in our lab is directed toward understanding the physical and cellular mechanisms of nuclear trafficking by the Karyopherin-β family of proteins. We would like to understand how the macromolecular nuclear traffic patterns coordinated by the 19 human Karyopherin-βs contribute to overall cellular organization.

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Melanie Cobb, Ph.D.Lab Website •

Yuh Min Chook

The Cobb Lab studies signal transduction mechanisms with a focus on protein kinase pathways, especially MAPKs, WNKs, and Ste20-related protein kinases. We focus on nutrient regulation of pancreatic beta cells and the relationship to neuroendocrine cancers in rodent cell lines, human islets, and human tumor material.

Jim Collins, Ph.D.Lab Website  •

Schistosomes are parasitic flatworms that cause significant disease and disability in more than 200 million of the world’s poorest people. Using a variety of functional genomic approaches we seek to understand fundamental aspects of schistosome biology, including the biology of somatic and reproductive stem cells.

David Corey, Ph.D. • Lab

The Corey Laboratory is interested in understanding how the chemical properties of synthetic nucleic acids affect recognition of RNA and DNA inside cells and how that recognition can be used to investigate problems in basic biology and drug development. Current projects include: 1) investigating allele-selective recognition of disease genes encoding expanded repeat regions; and 2) elucidating the potential for RNAi proteins to help control splicing or transcription in mammalian cell nuclei.

Joel Goodman, Ph.D.  • Lab

The general lab interest is the intracellular trafficking of proteins and formation of organelles. The lab is currently focusing on the assembly of intracellular lipid droplets. A yeast screen identified 60 proteins involved in droplet morphogenesis, and we have targeted our interest in the role of lipodystrophy proteins on the assembly and maintenance of droplets. Droplets originate from the endoplasmic reticulum, and we are pursuing the hypothesis that the lipodystrophy proteins lipin and seipin are responsible for initiating and controlling droplet formation.

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Mark LehrmanLab

We study processes in health and disease which depend upon the synthesis and recognition of glycoconjugates, which are polysaccharides coupled to proteins and lipids. Our focus is on the stress signaling pathways of the endoplasmic reticulum, a major site for glycoconjugate production.

Xuelian Luo, Ph.D. • Lab Website •

We investigate the molecular mechanisms of intracellular signal transduction pathways using a combination of structural and biochemical approaches. Our current research focuses on the spindle checkpoint and the Hippo pathway.

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David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D. • Lab Website •

The Mango/Kliewer Lab is interested in understanding the physiologic role of nuclear hormone receptors and endocrine fibroblast growth factors in regulating metabolic processes. A further goal of our work is to exploit the signaling networks governed by these factors to discover novel therapeutic options for diseases such as atherosclerosis, cholestasis, obesity, cancer, and nematode parasitism.

Elisabeth Martinez, Ph.D.  • Lab

We are interested in understanding the deregulation of transcriptional pathways in human disease and in finding small molecules to normalize or modulate these gene expression patterns.

Michael Reese, Ph.D. • Lab Website •

Our laboratory studies the mechanisms by which the ubiquitous parasite Toxoplasma gondii co-opts the cellular signaling of its hosts, with an aim to understanding how evolutionary competition has shaped the signaling of both organisms.

Elliott Ross, Ph.D. • Lab Website •

We are interested in how cells process information, particularly through G protein signaling modules. We study the molecular mechanisms used to sort, amplify, and convey information; and how these mechanisms are regulated to provide adaptability and diversity. 

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Dean Smith, Ph.D.  • Lab Website •

We are using a combination of genetics, biochemistry, electrophysiology, cell biology, and molecular biology to undertake a molecular dissection of chemosensory behavior in Drosophila. This relatively simple model system allows us to correlate expression of signal transduction molecules with specific subsets of olfactory neurons so we can understand chemical information processing by the brain. Most recently we have been focusing on pheromone signal transduction and how these special odorants elicit behavioral responses.

Paul Sternweis, Ph.D. •

Our research focuses on elucidation of pathways and mechanisms by which cell surface receptors regulate intracellular function. Current studies, which center on G protein pathways, combine biochemical, structural, fluorescent, and cell-based techniques to gain better understanding of both molecular mechanisms and physiological impact of these pathways.


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Ronald Taussig, Ph.D. •

Research in my laboratory focuses on signal transduction processes that are mediated by heterotrimeric G proteins. We employ a variety of approaches including biochemical, genetic, and cell-based assays toward understanding the regulation of adenylyl cyclase and intracellular cyclic AMP.

Yihong Wan, Ph.D. • Lab Website •

The research in the Wan Lab focuses on the differentiation of osteoclasts and osteoblasts from hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells in the context of skeletal physiology and bone regeneration, with the goal of a better prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and bone metastasis of cancers. These investigations reveal how hormones, transcription factors, and pharmacological agents impact bone health. Another research focus in the Wan Lab relates to the metabolic regulation of breast milk and neonatal inflammation. These studies reveal that genetic or dietary defects in the mothers can turn the good milk bad that triggers systemic inflammation in the nursing newborns. These findings will illuminate new knowledge for infantile disorders and inflammatory diseases.

Yihong Wan Research

Dawn Wetzel, M.D., Ph.D. • Lab Website •

We study how the obligate intracellular parasite Leishmania interacts with, enters into, and survives within host macrophages. Our ultimate goal is to develop new drugs for leishmaniasis that inhibit these processes.

Yihong Wan Research

Thomas Wilkie, Ph.D. • Lab Website •

We study G protein coupled receptor signaling regulating pancreas development, beta cell regeneration in diabetes, and aberrant cell growth and metastasis in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Hongtao Yu, Ph.D.  • Lab Website •

My lab studies cellular mechanisms that govern chromosome inheritance and integrity using a combination of cell biological, biochemical, and biophysical methods.

Xuewu Zhang, Ph.D. • Lab Website •

We study signaling mechanisms of cell surface receptors by using X-ray crystallography in combination with other approaches. The current focus of the lab is the neuronal axon guidance receptor plexin.

Cell signalling diagram