The images on this page are derived from studies of the mitotic process, which includes many proteins, structures and processes. Courtesy of Dr. Daniel R. Foltz.

Biochemists at UVA seek to identify biologically relevant molecules and study their synthesis, degradation, and role in biological processes.

Since molecules interact in complex ways in living organisms, modern biochemical research is a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort. Approaches that are used include molecular biology, genetics, epigenetics, bioinformatics, computational biology, structural biology, and many others.  More than 60 faculty from these areas form our robust and dedicated group of mentors in biochemistry.

Research in biochemistry at UVA ranges from computational analysis to clinical applications for cancer and cardiovascular disease. Biochemical studies of interacting proteins, DNA, and sub-cellular structures in normal and disease states provide a wide array of research opportunities.  This research, coupled with a broad collection of graduate courses, furnish our students with the skills and background necessary for successful careers in biomedical research and education.


  • Tarek A. Abbas
    The Ubiquitin System and Human Cancer
  • David T. Auble
    Molecular Mechanisms of Transcriptional Regulation
  • Stuart S. Berr
    Developing magnetic resonance (MR) techniques as a tool for basic biomedical research.
  • Sanchita Bhatnagar
    Epigenetic Silencing Mechanisms-Implications in Breast Cancer and Rett Syndrome
  • George S. Bloom
    Pathogenic mechanisms in Alzheimer's Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders
  • David L. Brautigan
    Protein Phosphorylation in Cell Signaling
  • John H. Bushweller
    Structural and Functional Basis for Oncogenesis; Targeted Drug Development; Structural Studies of Membrane Proteins
  • David S. Cafiso
    Molecular Mechanisms for Membrane Transport and Cell Signaling
  • Linda Columbus
    Biophysical Chemistry: Membrane protein structure, function, and dynamics
  • Carl E. Creutz
    Calcium-dependent, membrane-binding proteins and mechanisms of exocytosis
  • Janet V. Cross
    Contribution of the Inflammatory Microenvironment to Tumor Initiation, Progression and Metastasis; Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Chemoprevention; Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Dietary Nutrient Compounds
  • Christopher Deppmann
    Elucidating and Understanding the Mechanisms Underlying Nervous System Development
  • Zygmunt S. Derewenda
    Structure-function relationships in proteins
  • Daniel A. Engel
    Drug Discovery and Molecular Biology of Pathogenic RNA viruses: Influenza, Dengue and Ebola.
  • Sarah E Ewald
    Innate immunity, chronic disease, host-parasite interactions
  • Salem Faham
    Structural biology of membrane proteins; Structure/function and structure/stability relationships and the development of new tools for protein crystallization.
  • Robin A. Felder
    Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology. Medical Automation Research. Neurotransmitters, cell surface receptors and intracellular second messengers.
  • Jay W. Fox
    Basement Membrane Structure and Metalloproteinases
  • Zheng "John" Fu
    Cell signaling of protein kinases in development and disease
  • Andreas Gahlmann
    Bacterial cell biology at the molecular level
  • Barbie Ganser-Pornillos
    The Structural Biology of HIV assembly
  • Daniel Gioeli
    Signal transduction in cancer cells
  • Adam N. Goldfarb
    Hematopathology and Understanding the Molecular Basis of Hematopoiesis and Leukemogenesis
  • Patrick A. Grant
    Transcription; Chromatin Modifications, Neurodegenerative Disease, Cancer
  • Michael J. Guertin
    Transcription, Chromatin, Cancer, Molecular Biology, Genomics, and Computational Biology
  • William H. Guilford
    Molecular Mechanics of Muscle Contraction and Cell Movement
  • Jennifer Guler
    Cell Biology and Parasitology.
  • Thurl E Harris
    Molecular mechanisms controlling insulin signaling and fat synthesis.
  • Joel W. Hockensmith
    Novel antiprotozoan and anticancer compounds from antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Ku-Lung Hsu
    Lipid Metabolism in Inflammation and Immunity
  • David F Kashatus
    The Role of Mitochondrial Fusion and Fission in Tumorigenesis.
  • Peter M. Kasson
    Mechanisms of cell entry by influenza; Viral glycan recognition; drug resistance; molecular dynamics simulation; distributed computing.
  • Melissa M. Kendall
    Mechanisms used by Bacterial Pathogens to Integrate Host- and Bacterial-derived Signals to Sense their Environment, Coordinate Gene Expression, and Cause Disease
  • Mark Kester
    Nanotechnologies for targeted drug delivery
  • Robert H. Kretsinger
    Structure and Mechanism of Enzymes; Evolution of Ca-Modulated Proteins
  • Gordon W. Laurie
    Role of Prosecretory Mitogen 'Lacritin' in Epithelial Homeostasis, Secretion and Innate Defense
  • Norbert Leitinger
    Role of lipid oxidation products in inflammation and vascular immunology in atherosclerosis and diabetes
  • Hui Li
    Gene regulation in cancer, development and reproductive systems; Epigenetic modification.
  • John R. Lukens
    Neuroinflammatory disease
  • Kevin R. Lynch
    Chemical biology of sphingosine 1-phosphate
  • Marty W. Mayo
    Transcriptional Regulation by NFKB
  • Michael J McConnell
    The Cause and Consequence of Somatic Mosaicism in Neurons
  • Cameron Mura
    Structure, function & evolution of RNA-processing assemblies; structural and computational biology; molecular biophysics
  • Robert K. Nakamoto
    Structure-Function of Active Transporters
  • Eyleen Jorgelina O'Rourke
    Obesity and Aging
  • Bryce M. Paschal
    Nuclear Transport, Signaling, and Cancer
  • Lucy F. Pemberton
    Nuclear Transport in Chromatin Assembly and Transcriptional Regulation
  • Owen Pornillos
    Structure and assembly of HIV Virus/host interactions Structural biology of the innate immune system
  • Girija Ramakrishnan
    Iron-uptake mechanisms and Virulence Factors of Francisella tularensis; Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Kodi S. Ravichandran
    Apoptotic cell clearance mechanisms in health and disease
  • David M. Rekosh
    Human Immunodeficiency; Virus Gene Expression
  • Dorothy A. Schafer
    Mechanisms of actin assembly during cell migration and membrane traffic
  • Ira G. Schulman
    Regulation of transcription by nuclear hormone receptors, transcriptional control of metabolism, atherosclerosis, Small molecule approaches to drug discovery
  • Jung-Bum Shin
    Auditory Neurobiology
  • Jeffrey S. Smith
    Transcriptional Silencing and Aging in Yeast
  • Christopher Stroupe
    Biochemical, biophysical, structural, and cell biological studies of intracellular membrane tethering and fusion
  • P. Todd Stukenberg
    Mechanisms of chromosome segregation in Mitosis and generation of Chromosomal Instability in tumors
  • 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 P. Timko
    Gene regulation during host-parasite interaction
  • Yuh-Hwa Wang
    Genome instability in human disease
  • Judith M. White
    Virus Entry into Cells: Mechanisms and Development of Anti-Viral Therapeutics
  • 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
  • W. Michael Wormington
    Regulation of miRNA Processing and Function During Oogenesis and Embryogenesis
  • David Wotton
    Regulation of Gene Expression, Development and Tumor Progression by TGF beta Signaling
  • Scott O. Zeitlin
    Mechanisms of Huntington's Disease Pathogenesis
  • Jochen Zimmer
    Transport of biopolymers across biological membranes with a particular interest in polysaccharide and protein translocation.
  • Eli Zunder
    Stem Cell Behavior