Participating Faculty

MCDB currently has over 78 affiliated faculty members from 15 participating university departments. 

Name Department Research Interests
Linda Ambrosio BBMBA Studying how Raf activity is converted to biological function in the organism
Amy Andreotti BBMBS Nuclear magnetic resonance; Macromolecular structure and recognition
Kyaw (Joe) Aung GCDB Cell Biology at the Plant-Microbe Interface
Hua Bai GDCB Cellular and molecular mechanisms of aging
Diane Bassham GDCB Signal transduction during nutrient stress; role of vacuolar autophagy
Thomas Baum Plant Pathology Molecular biology of the interaction between cyst nematodes and their hosts
Gwyn Beattie Plant Pathology Genetics, physiology and ecology of plant-associated bacteria; bacteria as biosensors
Phil Becraft GDCB Developmental genetics of plants, cell interactions, cell fate acquisition, signal transduction
Donald Beitz Animal Science & BBMB Improving animal-derived foods; Lipid metabolism; Cholesterol homeostasis
Madan Bhattacharyya Agronomy Soybean-Phytophthora interaction; soybean disease resistance; phosphoinositide signalling
Bradley Blitvich VMPM Molecular determinants of arthropod-borne virus-vector interactions; apoptotic regulation in mosquito vectors; epidemic potential of West Nile virus in Mexico
Byron Brehm-Stecher FSHN Food safety and biosecurity. Rapid molecular detection of foodborne pathogens and food spoilage organisms. Flow cytometry and other single cell analytical methods
Baoyu (Stone) Chen BBMB We study the fundamental mechanisms by which cells control the actin cytoskeleton to drive diverse normal and disease-related processes, including cell morphogenesis, cell migration, and pathogen infections.
Michael Cho BMS Development of a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), the virus that causes AIDS. In connection with this research, we characterize biochemical and immunological properties of viral envelope glycoprotein, develop and evaluate novel vaccine vectors, and examine virus-host interactions at various levels.
Peter Clark FSHNH

The impact of nutrition and physical activity status on neural plasticity, mood, and cognitive performance; Brain metabolic adaptations to exercise that buffer the harmful consequences of stress;The effects of acute stress on diet choice and willingness to engage in physical activity; The functions of exercise-enhanced adult hippocampus neurogenesis

Clark Coffman GDCB Cell migration; programmed cell death; cell fate; Drosophilia development
Drena Dobbs GDCB Bioinformatics and computational biology; protein and nucleic acid interactions
N. Matthew Ellinwood Animal Science Companion animal models of human genetic disease, pathogenesis and therapy for neuropathic lysosomal storage diseases, brain targeted gene therapy, enzyme replacement therapy, pharmacoperone therapy, novel enzyme constructs.
Jeffrey Essner GDCB Genomics approach using zebrafish to model migration of and formation of blood supply for cancer cells and identify genes that are required at specific steps in cancer progression
Raquel Espin PalazonGDBC

Our team is working on deciphering the cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to blood formation. These are the same mechanisms that are disrupted in human blood disorders, therefore a better understanding of the basic biological mechanisms that operate naturally in the vertebrate organism will translate to the improvement of blood disorders.

Hongqing GuoGDCB 

Mohan Gupta

GDCB We study microtubule cytoskeleton driven processes to understand fundamental principles of biology and to improve treatment strategies for cancer and other diseases. We exploit experiments in live cells and with purified proteins using an interdisciplinary approach including cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, biophysics, and high-resolution microscopy.
David Hannapel Horticulture Control of vegetative meristem development by transcription factors
Eric Henderson GDCB Scanning probe microscopy; nanotechnology
Jorgen Johansen BBMB Molecular basis for neuronal cell recognition and axonal guidance
Kristen Johansen BBMB Regulation of nuclear architecture and chromatin structure during the cell cycle
Doug Jones Vet Path Immune response to the protozoal parasite Leishmania and bacteria intracellular parasites
Russell Jurenka Entomology Moth sex pheromones; synthesis of polyunsaturated fatty acids and prostaglandins in insects
Anumantha Kanthasamy BMS Parkinsons disease and its related movement disorders
Aileen KeatingAnimal ScienceReproductive Physiology & Toxicology
Dior Kelley GDCB

Using a systems integration of large-scale omics approaches to explore how auxin signaling modules control diverse developmental processes in roots

Jinoh Kim BMS My laboratory studies physiology of the endoplasmic reticulum with emphasis on protein trafficking and stress responses. We use various approaches involving biochemistry and genetics to understand human diseases caused by aberrant ER physiology.
Michael Kimber BMS Neuromuscular biology of parasitic worms, and in particular the role played by neuropeptide transmitters, in an effort to identify novel targets for antiparasitic drugs.
Dennis Lavrov EEOB Animal evolution, phylogenetics and mitochondrial genomics; use of gene order data for the analysis of ancient relationships; comparative and population mitochondrial genomics of lower (non-bilaterian) animals.
Lee, Michael AGRON Developing and utilizing genetic technics and principals in order to complement and exploit the programs in maize breeding and genetics and oat breeding with the most recent advances in applied plant molecular genetics.
Gustavo MacIntosh BBMB Gene expression and metabolic changes during plant defense responses to pests; RNA decay and functional genomics of plant nucleases
Gunnar Mair BMS Research Description Coming Soon
Richard Martin BMS Electrical properties of cells and their responses to drugs; mode of action of antiparasite drugs and mechanisms of resistance. The neuropharmacology and toxicology of nematode ion channels studied using patch-clamp techniques. Development of new target sites for anthelmintic drugs
Maura McGrail GDCB Molecular basis of animal development and the mechanisms underlying cancer in humans.
Elizabeth McNeill FSHN The role of microRNAs in neuromuscular junction (NMJ) development and plasticity in response to neuronal stimulus.
Cathy Miller VMPM How reoviruses commandeer cellular space for replication, translation and virion assembly
W. Allen Miller Plant Path Plant RNA virus replication and genomics; translation mechanisms; RNA structure
F. Chris Minion VMPM Mycoplasma pathogenesis; molecular vaccines; persistance of Salmonella and E. coli O 157:H7
Walter Moss BBMB Discovery and characterization of noncoding and regulatory RNAs involved in viral pathogenesis.
Alan Myers BBMB Mechanisms of cellular morphogenesis; mechanisms of starch biogenesis
Basil Nikolau BBMB Biochemistry and functional genomics of plant metabolism
Marit Nilsen-Hamilton BBMB Growth factors; tissue remodeling; RNA aptamer probes for medical applications
Reuben Peters BBMB Investigation of natural products biosynthesis and physiological function, spanning a range of systems that include cereal crop plant defense, rhizobacteria-legume symbiosis, the plant pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola, and the human pathogen Mycobactericum tuberculosis.
Greg Phillips VMPM Bacterial membrane protein biogenesis and localization; antimicrobial persistence in bacterial pathogens
Jo Anne Powell-Coffman GDCB C. elegans development; aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling; hypoxia signaling
Jim Reecy Animal Science Gene expression during vertebrate development; genes controlling skeletal muscle growth
Julien Roche BBMB Study of protein folding, intrinsically disordered proteins and amyloid peptides by solution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscop.
Jason Ross Animal Science Identification and the study of the effects miRNAs have on transcriptome and proteome during oocyte maturation, early embryonic development and implantation in the pig. These mechanisms are studied in vivo, in vitro and SCNT derived embryos.
Matthew Rowling FSHN Nutrient and hormone transport mechanisms in relation to chronic disease. Health protective effects of nutritional supplementation relevant to chronic disease
Randy Sacco NADC & VMPM Host immune response to bovine respiratory pathogens; regulation of cytokine signaling pathways; marine mammal immunology.
Don Sakaguchi GDCB Stem cell transplants for CNS repair, development of vertebrate visual systems
Dipali Sashital BBMB Mechanisms of bacterial adaptive immunity; CRISPR-Cas technology; RNA-protein structure and function
Kevin Schalinske FSHN Nutritional biochemistry; folate-dependent one-carbon pool and metabolism of methyl groups
Pat Schnable Agronomy & GDCB Plant genetics and genomics: cytoplasmic male sterility and meiotic recombination
Ian Schneider CBE Cell migration, paracrine loops, proteases, fluorescence microscopy and mathematical modeling
Joshua Selsby Animal Science Muscle physiology with a particular emphasis on mechanisms of pathology in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and disuse atrophy as well as the development of interventions for these conditions.
Yeon-Kyun Shin BBMB Structure and function of selected membrane proteins; Mechanisms of secretory vesicle fusion with membranes
Michael Shogren-Knaak BBMB Role and establishment of histone modifications; chromatin structure
Ravindra Singh BMS Role of alternative splicing in human and animal diseases
Ryan Smith Entomology Focus on host-parasite interactions between the mosquito vector and malaria parasites using a multi-disciplinary approach to examine how the mosquito innate immune system limits parasite infection.
Robert Thornburg BBMB Regulation of plant defense genes; nectar proteins
Christopher Tuggle Animal Science Spatial gene expression in vertebrate development; animal gene identification and mapping
Geetu Tuteja GDCB Our lab is broadly interested in transcriptional regulation, which is directed in part by the binding of sequence-specific transcription factors (TFs) to enhancer regions.   Identifying cell-type specific enhancers is crucial for understanding the genetic architecture underlying development and disease.
Rudy Valentine Kinesiology Improving our understanding of bio-behavioral factors linking excess body fat and sedentary lifestyle with risk for cardiometabolic diseases. As both a basic and applied exercise physiologist, my work probes into mechanistic pathways and addresses public health issues associated with obesity, diabetes, and aging. To tackle these challenges, we use a variety of methods, including cell culture, rodent models, and clinical human studies.
David Verhoeven V MPM Defining immune responses to mucosal pathogens, respiratory bacterial vaccines, viral/bacterial co-infections of the lungs, viral induced immunopathology (influenza and RSV), pediatric immunology, CD4 T-cell responses to respiratory pathogens and HIV.
Erik Vollbrecht GDCB Molecular genetics of plant development, plant genomics, evolution of plant development, cellular mechanisms of plant reproduction
Justin Walley Plant Pathology & Microbiology Research in my lab is focused on enhancing our understanding of the molecular basis of plant-microbe interactions. We combine systems biology approaches to analyze global transcriptome and proteome datasets with directed biochemical and genetic experiments.
Kan Wang Agronomy Provide services in genetic transformation of corn, soybean and rice for academic researchers. Develop advanced technology for genetic transformation. Develop corn-based edible vaccines for livestock. Elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which plants respond to environmental stress and hormonal signals. Develop stress-tolerant crops. Develop cellulase producing corn for biorenewable material.
Xuefeng Wang Physics & Astronomy Study cell mechanics with single molecule approach. Develop molecular force sensors to measure cellular forces. Regulate cell adhesion, migration and differentiation with a global molecular force control. Utilize single molecule imaging microscopy to study protein aggregation in live cells.
Eve Wurtele GDCB Plant development, metabolic networking and computational biology
Marna Yandeau-Nelson GDCB My research interests integrate classical and molecular genetics with biochemical, metabolomic and computational approaches to study the biosynthetic and regulatory genetic networks of metabolic traits, to increase both the fundamental knowledge of metabolism and to use that knowledge for practical applications.
Bing Yang GDCB The long term goal of research in my laboratory is to better understand the plant disease, and gain knowledge to aid the design of more intelligent breeding strategies for disease control by blocking the host disease susceptibility pathway in addition to deployment of genetic disease resistance genes in crop plants.
Yanhai Yin GDCB Vascular differentiation in Arabidopsis; function of brassinosteroid receptors
Olga Zabotina BBMB Plant Cell Wall Structure; Polysaccharide Biosynthesis, Modification and Degradation; Bioactive Carbohydrates
Qijing Zhang VMPM Molecular and cellular basis of pathogen-host interaction, antimicrobial resistance mechanism, and horizontal gene transfer in bacterial pathogens.