An interdisciplinary approach employing advanced methods of molecular biology and structural biophysics is the hallmark of modern scientific research, whether fundamental, clinical or translational. Our research-intensive program aims to promote, at all levels, the understanding of the function of living systems while training students to identify significant biological problems and use the most advanced and modern methods for solving them. The emphasis of our department and expertise in molecular physiology and biophysics provide a unique environment for interdisciplinary training of PhD trainees.

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Program Faculty

  • Huiwang Ai
    Spatiotemporal Regulation of Biological Signaling; Protein Engineering for Imaging, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics
  • John H. Bushweller
    Structural and Functional Basis for Oncogenesis; Targeted Drug Development; Structural Studies of Membrane Proteins
  • Zygmunt S. Derewenda
    Structure-function relationships in proteins
  • Brent A. French
    Novel Therapies for Treating and Preventing Ischemic Heart Disease
  • Jeffrey W. Holmes
    Healing after myocardial infarction, cardiac growth and remodeling, and image-based modeling and diagnosis.
  • Brant Isakson
    Intercellular communication as it relates to blood pressure regulation
  • Peter M. Kasson
    Mechanisms of cell entry by influenza; Viral glycan recognition; drug resistance; molecular dynamics simulation; distributed computing.
  • Kimberly Kelly
    Advancement in the design of imaging agents; molecular imaging and radiological sciences.
  • Christopher M. Kramer
    Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, myocardial disease, atherosclerotic plaque imaging, peripheral arterial disease
  • Victor E. Laubach
    Translational research into understanding cell and molecular mechanisms of lung ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury following transplantation and defining new therapeutic targets to prevent such injury.
  • Michael B. Lawrence
    Vascular and Molecular Engineering
  • Coleen A. McNamara
    Atherosclerosis, Obesity, Diabetes
  • Wladek Minor
    Structure-Function Relationships in Proteins; Structural Genomics; Bioinformatics
  • Robert K. Nakamoto
    Structure-Function of Active Transporters
  • Gary K. Owens
    Epigenetic Control of Perivascular and Stem Cell Plasticity/Trans-Differentiation during Injury-Repair and in Disease
  • Jason Papin
    Systems biology, infectious disease, cancer, toxicology, metabolic engineering
  • Shayn M. Peirce-Cottler
    Tissue Engineering and Regeneration, Computational Systems Biology, Vascular Growth and Remodeling, Stem Cell Therapies
  • Owen Pornillos
    Structure and assembly of HIV Virus/host interactions Structural biology of the innate immune system
  • Jeffrey J. Saucerman
    Roles of complex signaling networks involved in the regulation of cardiovascular function and disease
  • Margaret A. Shupnik
    Hypothalamic Peptide and Steroid Regulation of Pituitary Gene Transcription; Estrogen Action in Neuroendocrine and Reproductive Tissues; Estrogen Action in Breast Cancer
  • Avril V. Somlyo
    Novel signal transduction pathways in smooth muscles that regulate contractility and impact diseases of the vasculature, airway and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Swapnil Sonkusare
    Microcirculation, vascular ion channels, calcium signaling mechanisms, endothelial cells, hypertension
  • Lukas K. Tamm
    Biomembrane Structure and Function; Cell Entry of Enveloped Viruses; Neurosecretion by Exocytosis; Structure of Bacterial Pathogen Membrane Proteins; Lipid-Protein Interactions
  • Michael C. Wiener
    Structural biology (esp. crystallography) of integral membrane proteins; TonB-dependent active transport across the bacterial outer membrane; cancer-related membrane proteins; crystallization methods development
  • Matthew J Wolf
    Identification of genes and pathways that cause or modify cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.
  • Zhen Yan
    Molecular and Signaling Mechanisms of Skeletal Muscle Plasticity
  • Mark Yeager
    Cardiac Gap Junction Membrane Channels / Integrins Water Channels / Rotavirus / Reovirus / Retrovirus
  • Jochen Zimmer
    Transport of biopolymers across biological membranes with a particular interest in polysaccharide and protein translocation.