Pharmacology Faculty

Joseph Albanesi

Joseph Albanesi, Ph.D.

Our lab investigates the dysregulation of dynamin in neuromyopathies, and the role of phosphoinositides in endocytic trafficking.

Yuh-Min Chook

Yuh-Min Chook, Ph.D.


We study how nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking of macromolecules coordinated by the Karyopherin-βs family of nuclear transport receptors contributes to overall cellular organization.

Space-filling diagram of a blue helical molecule with structural framework highlighted as a red line.

Melanie Cobb

Melanie Cobb, Ph.D.


The Cobb Lab studies signal transduction mechanisms, especially MAPKs, WNKs, and Ste20-related protein kinases. We focus on the relationship of nutrient regulation of pancreatic beta cells to neuroendocrine cancers.

Portion of the human kinome map, a feathery branching structure. ERK 1 and 2 is labeled on a left branch, WNK, OSR, TAOK, and SPAK on a right branch

Jim Collins

Jim Collins, Ph.D.


We seek to understand fundamental aspects of schistosome biology, including the biology of somatic and reproductive stem cells.

Stained tissue, showing cells in medium blue containing pale orange and yellow spots.

David Corey

David Corey, Ph.D.


We study how the chemical properties of synthetic nucleic acids affect recognition of RNA and DNA, investigating allele-selective recognition of disease genes that contain expanded repeat regions, and developing RNAi proteins to control splicing or transcription.

Joel Goodman, Ph.D.

Joel Goodman, Ph.D.

The Goodman lab studies trafficking and assembly of intracellular lipid droplets, with particular attention on the lipodystrophy proteins lipin and seipin.

A ribbon diagram of a molecule, shown from the top with five lobes, and from the side as a mostly flat base with the lobes projecting upward.

A smiling woman with dark hair wearing a black top.

Sarah Huen, M.D., Ph.D.


We study how metabolic adaption promotes survival during sepsis and how the kidneys contribute to systemic metabolism during inflammation.

Mark Lehrman

Mark Lehrman, Ph.D.

Dr. Lehrman serves as Assistant Dean for Academic Facilities and Resource Planning. His scientific expertise is synthesis and recognition of glycoconjugates—polysaccharides coupled to proteins and lipids—with focus on the stress-signaling pathways of the endoplasmic reticulum.

Siqi Liu

Siqi Liu, Ph.D.


We are broadly interested in injury sensing and tissue repair. Specifically, we seek to understand how our epithelial tissues sense injury and engage in a coordinated repair program to restore homeostasis.

Xuelian Luo, Ph.D.

Xuelian Luo, Ph.D.


We investigate the molecular mechanisms of intracellular signal transduction pathways focusing on the spindle checkpoint and the Hippo pathway.

A space-filling diagram of the human STRIPAK PP2A holoenzyme, with components highlighted in various colors. Four regulatory subunits form an elongated coiled-coil tetramer at the bottom.

David Mangelsdorf

David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D.


The Mango/Kliewer Lab studies the physiology of nuclear hormone receptors and fibroblast growth factors. We hope to exploit their signaling networks to create therapies for diseases such as atherosclerosis, cholestasis, obesity, cancer, and nematode parasitism.

A coiled nematode, colored purple, on a green background in front of a blurred image of a steroid molecule.

Elisabeth Martinez

Elisabeth Martinez, Ph.D.


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

Top left: A diagram of histone interaction with the demethylase KDM5B. The histones are shown as four colored lobes inside a loop of a DNA helix, while KDM5B is a red ovoid outside the loop. An arrow goes from the ovoid to a methyl group on one of the histones.
Top right: Two images of cells stained with green fluorescent protein. One labeled DMSO+IR is sparsely stained. One labeled JIB-04 + IR is more heavily stained.
Bottom: Three long, thin rows of pixelated black, red, and green rectangles. The three rows are labeled Normal, Cancer, and +JIB-04

Jihan Osborne

Jihan Osborne, Ph.D.


The Osborne lab focuses on understanding how RNA regulatory mechanisms (specifically miRNA and mRNA) regulate normal development and disease.

A graphic illustration that normal embryogenetic genes can be activated in disease. On the left, a line drawing of an embryo is next to a round, blue circle with a solid blue arrow labeled stem cell. On the right, an outline of an adult human is next to a red neural cell with the label homeostatis. In between is an outline of a red circle with a dashed red arrow.

Michael Reese

Michael Reese, Ph.D.


Our laboratory studies how the ubiquitous parasite Toxoplasma gondii co-opts the cellular signaling of its hosts, and how evolutionary competition has shaped the signaling of both organisms.

Left: An electron micrograph of the Toxoplasma parasite’s cytoskeleton, a cone with a diamond-grid texture on the narrow top and lengthwise stripes on the wider bottom.
Middle:  A model of the Toxoplasma pseudokinase BPK1, mixing ribbon diagrams with a space-filling structure.
Right: Fluorescence micrograph of replicating Toxoplasma gondii, showing as bright blue U-shaped outlines with bright orange, pink, and green spots.

Elliott Ross

Elliott Ross, Ph.D.

We study the molecular mechanisms used to sort, amplify, and convey information—particularly through G protein signaling modules. I recently became Associate Dean for Basic Research.

On the left is a photo of a stained cell with a rectangle highlighting a section of the membrane, connected by lines to an enlargement on the right, showing a diagram of a cell-membrane receptor with arrows to a series of intracellular molecules.

Courtney Schroeder

Courtney Schroeder, Ph.D.


The Schroeder lab studies non-canonical cytoskeletal genes that are rapidly evolving and have novel biological functions. We want to know what drives this evolutionary diversification and how it affects fertility, development, and cancer.

Stained actin cones, which appear as four roughly triangular shaped, stained in fuchsia with white highlights on the wider ends to the right.

Dean Smith

Dean Smith, Ph.D.

We study the link between pheromones and behavior in Drosophila as a model system for information processing by the brain.

Paul Sternweis, Ph.D.

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.

Erdal Toprak

Erdal Toprak, Ph.D.


We investigate genetic and molecular basis of phenotypic diversity using whole genome sequencing, transcriptome analysis, fluidics, fluorescence, long-term evolution experiments, large-scale combinatorial mutagenesis, computational methods, and other tools.

A ribbon diagram of a protein, with coils on the left and beta-sheets on the right.

Boyuan Wang, Ph.D.

Boyuan Wang, Ph.D.


The Wang Lab uses chemical biology tools to study the molecular mechanisms underlying interesting bacterial behaviors. We are particularly interested in (p)ppGpp, a universally conserved, starvation-induced nucleotide messenger.

A diagram of guanosine tetra- and penta-phosphate, with the phosphate groups projecting away from the guanosine center.

Ben Weaver, Ph.D.

Ben Weaver, Ph.D.


The Weaver lab studies non-canonical roles of caspases acting with other proteolytic factors to execute diverse cellular functions, particularly signaling pathways, gene expression dynamics, and cell-fate decisions.

Left: A diagonal line of cells stained blue and magenta, with a box around three in the middle. 
Right: An enlarged view, showing blue outlines and solid magenta circles inside.

Angelique Whitehurst, Ph.D.

Angelique Whitehurst, Ph.D.


The Whitehurst Lab uses RNAi-based functional genomics to identify gene products that support viability and/or modulate chemotherapeutic sensitivity in tumor cells. Using this strategy, we discovered that tumor cells can depend on aberrantly activated gametogenic genes for survival.

Thomas Wilkie

Thomas Wilkie, Ph.D.


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.

Two images of cells, under the header GPCR-Gq-RGS [ca2+]. The left cell has a thick inner ring stained green and is labeled PDA. The right cell has a diffuse red-stained interior and is labeled Diabetes.

Xuewu Zhang, Ph.D.

Xuewu Zhang, Ph.D.


We study signaling mechanisms of transmembrane receptors in neural and immune systems via X-ray, cryo-EM and other approaches.

A ribbon diagram of a molecule shaped like an inverted V. At the peak are vertical yellow helices; to the right and left are roughly symmetric arms.