Faculty Areas of Research

Our faculty who provide mentored thesis research opportunities in the BMM MS program. You can find their areas of interest below.

Hooman Allayee, PhD uses integrative and systems genetics approaches in human populations and mouse models to understand complex disease traits.

Frank Attenello, MD studies the role of metabolism and chromatin state in glioma chemoresistance and brain injury using patient-derived cells.

Woojin An, PhD uses multi-disciplinary biochemical and cellular approaches to understand fundamental concepts and mechanisms of action of epigenetic histone remodeling in cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis and transformation.

Oliver Bell, PhD uses synthetic biology approaches in mouse embryonic stem cells to study the dynamic regulation of chromatin modifications and their contribution to epigenetic inheritance of gene silencing.

Berenice Benayoun, PhD studies the impact of sex differences in immunity throughout life by leveraging the power of big data.

Michael Bonaguidi, PhD investigates how stem cells act to adapt and repair the adult brain, focusing on the reciprocal interaction between neural stem cells and their surroundings during normal, aging, injured, and diseased states.

Paula Cannon, PhD studies viruses, stem cells and gene therapy, specifically entry and exit of enveloped RNS viruses (HIV and other arenaviruses) into and out of host cells.

Jianfu Chen, PhD uses genetically modified mice and induced pluripotent stem cell to model neurological disorders, followed by mechanistic studies at the molecular, cellular, circuit, and behavioral levels.

David Cobrinik, MD, PhD studies how normal development is altered by oncogenic changes to give rise to cancer, using the development of retinoblastoma from cone photoreceptor
precursors as a model.

Lucio Comai, PhD studies the molecular basis of human aging and focuses on the analysis of cellular processes that are altered in genetic diseases of premature aging diseases.

Yali Dou, PhD leverages the biochemistry, chemical biology and epigenomics approaches to study chromatin modifying enzymes in transcription regulation and cell fate determination, with the ultimate goal of developing epigenetic therapies for cancer treatment.

Peggy Farnham, PhD studies the transcriptomic and epigenomic changes that occur during neoplastic transformation, using genome-wide technologies.

Mark Frey, PhD studies the molecular mechanisms of intestinal inflammation, repair, and tumorigenesis, with the long-term goal of finding novel targets for treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases and colitis-associated cancer.

Amir Goldkorn, MD characterizes the ability of tumor cells to shift to a drug-resistant phenotype independently of new DNA mutations, using in cellular and mouse models, along with liquid biopsies to track these phenotypic changes in patients.

Joseph Hacia, PhD develops therapies for inherited peroxisomal disorders that have profound impacts on visual, auditory, liver, and neurological functions of affected children and adults and leads bioinformatics projects aimed at accelerating the implementation of novel therapies into the clinic.

Young-Kwon Hong, MD, PhD studies the molecular mechanisms underlying the role of Kaposi Sarcoma-associated Herpes Virus in abnormal lymphangiogenesis.

Ralf Langen, PhD is interested in the folding and misfolding of membrane-associated proteins, studying fibril formation and structure in neurodegenerative diseases.

Heinz-Josef Lenz, M.D. performs translational studies aimed at developing novel colorectal cancer therapies.

Ellen Lien, PhD studies the molecular mechanisms of heart regeneration, coronary vessel development and re-vascularization using zebrafish as a model with a long-term goal of translating the findings to enhance mammalian heart regeneration.

Yifan Liu, PhD studies epigenetic mechanisms of transcription regulation, including RNA interference, Polycomb repression, and DNA methylation.

Crystal Marconett, PhD studies the role that long non-coding RNAs play in epithelial cancers.

Amy Merrill-Brugger, PhD investigates the etiology of congenital skeletal disorders with the long-term goal of advancing innovative molecular-based therapies to treat both rare and common bone diseases.

Ite Offringa, PhD studies lung cancer, including small cell lung cancer immunotherapy and the peripheral lung epigenome as it relates to cancer, cancer predisposition and the effects of tobacco smoke.

Sita Reddy, PhD studies the role of the Muscleblind-like RNA binding proteins in the development of the neuromuscular disorder, Myotonic Dystrophy and is developing small molecule therapeutics for this disease.

Suhn Rhie, PhD uncovers molecular mechanisms of human diseases using molecular biology techniques coupled with next generation sequencing and bioinformatics approaches.

Judd Rice, PhD elucidates the function of histone tail modifications in development and disease.

Evanthia Torres, MD, PhD studies immune-oncology with a specific interest in breast cancer and the tumor immune suppressive microenvironment.

Bodour Salhia, PhD conducts translational research studies in the following focus areas:  1) cell-free DNA methylation liquid biopsies, 2) epigenomic regulation in cancer, and 3) experimental therapeutic studies of brain metastasis and their cancer associated fibroblasts.

Ansgar Siemer, PhD investigates the differences between functional and pathological amyloid fibrils and the importance of intrinsic disorder for the formation and structure of amyloid fibrils.

Tobias Ulmer, PhD studies the three-dimensional structure of membrane proteins by solution NMR spectroscopy.

Marc Vermulst, PhD focuses on the role of mutations and DNA damage in the human aging process.

Jian Xu, PhD, focuses on how protein methylation regulates signal transduction and transcriptional reprogramming and the role of protein methylation in cardiac and craniofacial development and disease.