Department and Program Affiliation of Mentors


Yong Chen, PhD (Professor of Cancer Biology)

  • Research Interests: cancer/oncogenesis, genetics/genome , hormones/cytokines/signaling

Floyd (Ski) Chilton, PhD (Professor of Physiology/Pharmacology)

  • Research Interests: fatty acid metabolism, gene-nutrient interactions, growth & development, immunology/allergy/inflammation , maternal & child health , minority health  issues , nutrition

Suzanne Craft, PhD (Professor of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine)

  • Research Interests: diabetes, Alzheimer's disease

Cristina Furdui, PhD (Associate Professor of Internal Medicine-Molecular Medicine, Biochemistry, Translational Sciences, Cancer Biology)

  • Research Interests:  integrating redox effects in analysis of biological systems, lipid rafts signaling, sterol metabolism and response to cancer therapies (e.g., radiation, targeted therapies against receptor tyrosine kinases).
  • Trainees: Revati Wani (2007-2012); Jade Mims (present)

Allyn Howlett, PhD (Professor of Physiology/Pharmacology, Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease Research Center)

  • Research Interests: biochemical pharmacology, signal transduction, cell biology, cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids
  • Trainees: Erica Lyons (present)

Steven Kridel, PhD (Associate Professor of Cancer Biology, Urology)

  • Research Interests: fatty acid and lipid metabolism in cancer

 Doug Lyles, PhD (Professor and Chair, Biochemistry)

  • Research Interests: virus assembly, viral membrane structure, viral pathogenesis, oncolytic viruses, viral vaccine vectors

Charles E. McCall, MD (Professor of Internal Medicine-Section on Molecular Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology and Translational Science)

  • Research Interests: The molecular events that control the inflammatory components of innate immunity
  • Trainees: Patrick Millet (present), Ayana Martin (present)

Donald A. McClain, MD, PhD (Professor of Internal Medicine-Section on Endocrinology and Metabolism; Director, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Center)

  • Research Interests: Structure and function of the insulin receptor; Metabolic signaling by the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway mediated by protein O-linked glycosylation; Prevalence and mechanism of diabetes in hereditary hemochromatosis; Effects of dietary iron on diabetes risk; Hypoxia and metabolism

John S. Parks, PhD (Professor of Internal Medicine-Section on Molecular Medicine, Biochemistry, Translational Science)

  • Research Interests: The role of tissue-specific expression of ABCA1 in lipid metabolism, inflammation, and insulin resistance. The role of apoA-IV in hepatic lipid mobilization and hepatosteatosis. Atheroprotective mechanisms of botanical oils (borage and echium). The role of apoL1 risk variants in end-stage renal disease in African Americans. 
  • Trainees:  Alex Bashore (2014-present); Helen Cuffe (2012-2015); Lolita Forrest (2008-2010)

Lawrence Rudel, PhD (Professor of Internal Medicine-Section on Molecular Medicine, Biochemistry; Translational Science)

  • Research Interests: cholesterol esterification; lipoprotein and hepatic cholesterol metabolism; intestinal cholesterol absorption; nutritional regulation of hepatic gene expression and experimental atherosclerosis; mouse and nonhuman primate models of cardiovascular disease.
  • Trainee:  John Melchior  (2009-2011)

    Raghunatha Yammani, PhD (Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine-Section on Molecular Medicine)

    • Research Interests: S100 proteins and cartilage Physiology; role of S100A4 in the development of osteoarthritis

    Associate Mentors

    Martha Alexander-Miller, PhD (Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular Medicine, Molecular Genetics)

    • Research Interests:  anti-viral T cell response

    Mark Brown, PhD (Cleveland Clinic, Lerner Research Institute)

    Michael Fessler, MD (Clinical Investigator; Laboratory of Respiratory Biology - Host Defense, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences - NIH)

    • Research Interests:  innate immunity; host defense; macrophage biology; lipid rafts; proteomics

    Barry Freedman, MD (Professor of Internal Medicine - Nephrology)

    • Research Interests:  genetic susceptibility to kidney and cardiovascular disease

    Jason Grayson, PhD (Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology)

    • Research Interests:  regulation of CD8+ T cell responses
    • Trainees:Zachariah McIver, DO (2013-present)

    Greg Hawkins, PhD (Associate Professor of Genomics and Personalized Medicine Research)

    • Research Interests:  genetic and functional effects of IL6 trans signaling on lung function in subjects with severe asthma and COPD

    Kerry Link, MD (CBI Center Director and Professor of Radiology, Cardiology, Regenerative Medicine, Translational Science)

    • Research Interests:  advancement of imaging technologies for use in animal and translational research, with an emphasis on biomarker development 

      Nilamadhab Mishra, MD PhD (Associate Professor of Internal Medicine - Rheumatology and Immunology)

      • Research Interests:  epigenetic mechanisms of atherosclerosis development,  use of isoform specific  histone deacetylase inhibitor for the prevention of atherosclerosis, histone acetylation and lipid metabolism

      Robert Murphy, PhD (University Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology; University of Colorado School of Medicine)

      • Research Interests:  lipid biochemistry and mass spectrometry, leukotriene biosynthesis, eicosanoid metabolism and profiling, tissue lipid imaging by MALDI IMS

      Richard Weinberg, MD (Professor of Internal Medicine-Section on Gastroenterology)

      • Research Interests:  Biochemistry of human apolipoprotein A-IV; biophysics of protein-lipid interactions; dietary and genetic regulation of human lipid metabolism; intracellular assembly of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; intestinal modulation of appetite and body composition

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