Molecular Medicine and Translational Science Graduate Program Faculty Research Interests

Click here for Molecular Medicine and Translational Science Graduate Program Faculty List    

Adjunct faculty identified by * are available for committee service but not lab rotations.

Cancer Biology

Investigators in cancer biology use molecular approaches to study the underlying mechanisms of cancer and factors that contribute to tumor progression. Examples include identification of cancer susceptibility genes, genetic variation in tumor formation, DNA damage and repair pathways, cancer immunology and carcinogens.


Cui, Zheng, PhD, MD – Lipid signaling in apoptosis and carcinogenesis; cancer resistance in murine models

Debinski, Waldemar, MD, PhD - Identification of molecular markers/targets that are specific to brain tumors and are pharmaceutically tractable

Dubey, Purnima, PhD – Cellular anti-tumor immune responses in mice/ prostate cancer biology

Furdui, Cristina, PhD - Dynamic analysis of signaling events (protein phosphorylation and oxidation) at molecular and cellular level using quantitative, mass spectrometry based proteomics experiments; rapid enzyme kinetics. http://www.signalingnetworks.com/

Gmeiner, William H., PhD– Developing novel cytotoxic oligodeoxynucleotides for treatment of prostate cancer, DNA structure in carcinogenesis and chemotherapy

Levi, Nicole, PhD -  Cancer/oncogenesis, cross(mult/tnslat/inter)discip, drugs/therapeutic agents pharm, engineering/bioengineering, instrument development, model development 

Mintz, Akiva MD, PhD, - Developing and delivering novel tumor-targeted scaffolding to deliver molecular radiation and immunotherapies to infiltrating brain tumor cells

Pasche, Boris C., PhD - Role of TGF-beta signaling pathway variants in tumor susceptibility and tumor progression.  Treatment of cancer with radiofrequency electromagnetic fields amplitude modulated at tumor-specific frequencies.

Poole, Leslie B., PhD - Biotechnology, cancer/oncogenesis, cell growth, differentiation,d, hormones/cytokines/signalling

Schwartz, Gary, PhD, MPH – Role of vitamin D in the etiology, treatment and prevention of prostate cancer; epidemiology of ovarian cancer 

Xu, Jianfeng, MD, MSc, MPH, DRPH – Prostate cancer gene mapping

Cardiovascular Health and Disease

These investigators use molecular methods to investigate mechanisms related to diseases of the heart and circulatory system, including those that affect specific organs such as the brain, kidney, or placenta. Research areas include hypertension, circulation, cardiac function, coagulation, atherosclerosis, and aging.

Brosnihan, K. Bridget, PhD, MS – Role of Ang 1-7 in normal pregnancy and preeclampsia 

Chappell, Mark, PhD – Regulatory role of renin-angiotensin system in development of salt-dependent hypertension and tissue organ injury

Cheng, Che-ping, MD, PhD – Cardiac dynamics, cellular signal transduction, and molecular alterations in CHF and alcoholic cardiomyopathy 

Ferrario, Carlos M, MD - New endocrine mechanisms and the renin-angiotensin system in hypertension 

Furdui, Cristina, PhD - Dynamic analysis of signaling events (protein phosphorylation and oxidation) at molecular and cellular level using quantitative, mass spectrometry based proteomics experiments; rapid enzyme kinetics 

Geary, Randolph, MD - Artery wall remodeling in response to atherosclerosis and arterial injury; Restenosis following vascular reconstruction; Bioengineering of blood vessels; Functional genomics in artery wall biology
Herrington, David, MD, MHS * - The role of estrogen in the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women 

Hundley, Gregory, MD * - Magnetic resonance imaging assessment of cardiac function

Kim-Shapiro, Daniel, PhD - The effects of Nitric Oxide and Aggregation in biological systems in relation to Sickle Cell Disease

King, Bruce, PhD - oxidative chemistry of N-hydroxyureas, formation of nitric oxide or nitroxyl (HNO)

Parks, John, PhD – High density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism; Lecithin:Cholesterol Acyltransferase, Lipids, Botanical Lipids, Triglyceride Metabolism and Atherosclerosis 

Smith, Thomas L., PhD - Effects of exercise and PPAR? agonists on myocardial performance; Tissue engineered peripheral nerve conduits in mice; Regulation of neuromuscular function at the cellular level 

Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders (lipids, proteins, vitamins, renal function)

Research in these laboratories investigate molecular mechanisms of diabetes, diabetes related genes, hyperlipidemic diseases, coagulation, obesity, and renal function, often applying knockout models to investigate gene function.

Antinozzi, Peter A., PhD - Functional mapping of diabetes-susceptibility genes; functional mapping of complex diseases.

Bowden, Donald W., PhD - Identification of genes contributing to type 2 diabetes and the renal and cardiovascular complications of type 2 diabetes

Chilton, Ski, PhD- The role of fatty acid metabolism in human diseases; function of botanical lipids as dietary supplements

Poole, Leslie B., PhD -  Biotechnology, cancer/oncogenesis, cell growth, differentiation,d, hormones/cytokines/signalling
Weinberg, Richard B., MD - Structure and function of human apolipoprotein A-IV (apo A-IV); biophysical aspects of lipid-protein interactions, lipoprotein metabolism, dietary effects on human lipid metabolism, diet-gene interactions

Genomics and Clinical Genetics

These scientists explore the contribution of specific genes to both physiologic and pathophysiologic processes. A major focus is on the experimental manipulation of genes and gene expression in human populations, animal models, and cell-based systems with analyses of phenotypic consequences. All studies are facilitated by advanced, high-throughput technologies in combination with functional computational analysis.

Antinozzi, Peter A., PhD - Functional mapping of diabetes-susceptibility genes; functional mapping of complex diseases 

Bleecker, Eugene, MD - Genetics of allergy, asthma and complex diseases; Pathogenesis of asthma and chronic air flow obstruction, airways hyperresponsiveness and bronchial inflammation; Pharmacologic interventions in obstructive pulmonary diseases

Bowden, Donald, PhD - Genetics of common diseases with emphasis identification of genes contributing to type 2 diabetes and the renal and cardiovascular complications of type 2 diabetes

Christ, George, PhD - Functional Genomics; establishing a verifiable link between changes in gene expression and alterations in cell/organ/tissue function/dysfunction applied to understanding, diagnosis and treatment of smooth muscle diseases/disorders

Fetrow, Jacquelyn S., PhD - Computational biophysics, structural genomics of proteins, redox signal transduction pathway modeling, systems biology

Hawkins, Greg, PhD * - Molecular genetics of complex diseases; severe asthma risk and pharmacogenomics

Howard, Timothy D., PhD - Identification of genes for complex diseases, with a focus on cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases (asthma and allergy) 

Jewett, Tamison, MD * - Genetic disorders of connective tissue, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Dysmorphology

Meyers, Deborah, PhD - Gene mapping in common complex diseases and Mendelian disorders, ascertainment and characterization of relevant families, DNA genotyping, linkage and association analyses, positional cloning

Pettenati, Mark, PhD * - Molecular cytogenetics

Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases

These investigators utilize molecular, genetic, and biochemical approaches to identify the processes that mediate host defense against invasive microbial or viral pathogens and similar mechanisms involved in inflammatory tissue injury. This includes identifying mechanisms by which immune cells respond to infection, host cell-pathogen interaction, and regulation of inflammatory mediators.

Alexander-Miller, Martha, PhD  - Regulation of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes; control of functional  avidity

Chilton, Ski, PhD - The role of fatty acid metabolism in human diseases; function of botanical lipids as dietary supplements

Daniel, Larry, PhD - Metabolic pathways responsible for forming lipid-derived second-messengers and the mechanism of action of these mediators in cancer and inflammation 

Feldman, Steve, MD, PhD - Patients' adherence to treatment, health care delivery research, psoriasis treatment

Ferguson, Cristin, MD - Molecular Biology of Cartilage, Meniscus, Ligament Repair and Regeneration; Tissue Engineering; Growth Factors and Cell Signaling 

High, Kevin P., MD - Translational research of age-related changes in immune function, termed immune senescence

McCall, Charles E., MD - The molecular events that control the inflammatory components of innate immunity
Mishra, Nilamadhab, MD - Epigenetics, chromatin remodeling, transcriptional regulation, gene expression and identifying therapeutic targets by proteomics in lupus

Poole, Leslie B., PhD -  Biotechnology, cancer/oncogenesis, cell growth, differentiation,d, hormones/cytokines/signalling

Seeds, Michael C., PhD - Inflammation and host defense in the lung; regulation of secretory phospholipases A2; differential regulation of granulocyte apoptosis 

Swords, W. Edward, PhD - Understanding how commensal bacteria and the host develop and maintain a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship; Cellular Microbiology of Airway Infections

Yammani, Ragunatha, PhD - S100 proteins and cartilage physiology; role of S100A4 in the development of osteoarthritis

Yoza, Barbara, PhD * - Deciphering the molecular events associated with the onset and progression of septic shock, particularly as it relates to the synthesis inflammatory mediators from cells of the blood

Neurological and Neuromuscular Function and Disorders

Faculty investigate molecular mechanism of stroke, neuromuscular disease, epilepsy, pediatric neurology and development, movement disorders, neuroplasticity, and neuro-rehabilitation. These laboratories employ a variety of genomic, physiologic, biochemical, pharmacological, dietary, and tissue engineering approaches to study disease treatment and prevention.

Delbono, Osvaldo, MD, PhD - Aging of the Neuromuscular System; reciprocal interaction between muscle cells and brain and spinal cord motor neurons

Eisenach, James, MD - Understanding neuroplasticity in the spinal cord as it relates to the pharmacology of analgesia

Mintz, Akiva MD, PhD, - Developing and delivering novel tumor-targeted scaffolding to deliver molecular radiation and immunotherapies to infiltrating brain tumor cells

Tytell, Michael, PhD, - Stress protein response mediated by heat shock proteins as a mechanism that prevents damaged neurons from dying

Voytko, Mary Lou, PhD * - Neural basis of age-related cognitive dysfunction; women’s health; effects of ovarian hormones on cognitive and neurobiological profiles

Pulmonary Function and Disease 

Research in pulmonary medicine includes programs in airway smooth muscle and epithelial cell signal transduction, sequencing of genes associated with asthma and inflammation, disease-related phenotypes, and the response to medications used to treat these diseases. Other studies include phospholipase-mediated surfactant injury in asthma and ARDS and mechanisms regulating cell injury and death. Many of these studied involve human subjects.

Bleecker, Eugene, MD  - Genetics of allergy, asthma and complex diseases; Pathogenesis of asthma and chronic air flow obstruction, airways hyperresponsiveness and bronchial inflammation; Pharmacologic interventions in obstructive pulmonary diseases

Hawkins, Greg, PhD * - Molecular genetics of complex diseases; severe asthma risk and pharmacogenomics 

Howard, Timothy D., PhD - Identification of disease genes for complex diseases, with a focus on cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases

Meyers, Deborah, PhD - Gene mapping in common complex diseases as well as in Mendelian disorders, ascertainment and characterization of relevant families, DNA genotyping, linkage and association analyses, positional cloning and in analytical methods 

Morris, Peter, MD - The mechanisms of acute lung inflammation; clinical study design and administration

Seeds, Michael C., PhD - Inflammation and host defense in the lung; regulation of secretory phospholipases A2; differential regulation of granulocyte apoptosis

Swords, W. Edward, PhD - Understanding how commensal bacteria and the host develop and maintain a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship; Cellular microbiology of airway infections

Regenerative Medicine 

The mission of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is to harness the body’s ability to heal itself. Using biomaterials, genetic engineering, stem and progenitor cells, and tissue engineering modalities, the Institute investigates translational approaches ranging from gene and cell therapy to the replacement of damaged organs with engineered tissues.

Atala, Anthony, MD - Tissue Engineering, Reconstructive Urology, Stem cells

Christ, George, PhD - Functional Genomics; establishing a verifiable link between changes in gene expression and alterations in cell/organ/tissue function/dysfunction applied to understanding, diagnosis and treatment of smooth muscle diseases/disorders 

Ferguson, Cristin, MD - Molecular Biology of Cartilage, Meniscus, Ligament Repair and Regeneration; Tissue Engineering; Growth Factors and Cell Signaling 

Geary, Randolph, MD - Artery wall remodeling in response to atherosclerosis and arterial injury; Restenosis following vascular reconstruction; Bioengineering of blood vessels; Functional genomics in artery wall biology

Lee, Sang Jin, PhD

Levi, Nichole, PhD - Cancer/oncogenesis, cross(mult/tnslat/inter)discip, drugs/therapeutic agents pharm, engineering/bioengineering, instrument development, model development

Smith, Thomas L, PhD - Effects of exercise and PPAR? agonists on myocardial performance; Tissue engineered peripheral nerve conduits in mice; Regulation of neuromuscular function at the cellular level

Soker, Shay, PhD - Molecular and cellular biology of the vascular system; Stem and progenitor cell biology and genomics; angiogenesis 

Wagner, William D., PhD - Biotechnology, cross (mult/tnslat/inter)discip, surgery/trauma/burns/trauma

Wilson, Patricia G., PhD  - Immunology/allergy/inflammation, model development, health services/training, animals, whole, basic mechanisms, human, cells only, cell growth, differentiation, nervous/sensory system/behavior, transplantation, epidemiology, gastrointestinal system, translational research, neurosciences/behavior 

Rheumatic Diseases

These investigators incorporate biochemical inhibitors, gene knockout technologies and transgenic approaches to human tissues and cell models to determine mechanisms of injury related to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), gout, scleroderma, and inflammatory muscle disorders.

McGee, Maria, MD - Cell-mediated inflammation with emphasis on the biology of monocytes and macrophages 

Mishra, Nilamadhab, MD - Epigenetics, chromatin remodeling, transcriptional regulation, gene expression and identifying therapeutic targets by proteomics in lupus

Surgery/Therapeutic Agents

     Levi, Nicole, PhD - Cancer/oncogenesis, cross(mult/tnslat/inter)discip, drugs/therapeutic agents pharm, engineering/bioengineering, instrument development, model development

     Wagner, William D., PhD - Biotechnology, cross (mult/tnslat/inter)discip, surgery/trauma/burns/trauma  

 

 

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Contact Information
Molecular Medicine and Translational Science Graduate Program

Office 336-713-4259

Kay Collare

336-713-4259

kcollare@wakehealth.edu

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