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Faculty Members


The major focus of investigators in this area is the use of genetic and 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, and carcinogens.

Yong Chen Tumor suppressor genes; apoptosis; cell-cycle regulation; prostate cancer. Faculty Profile & PublicationsResearch Description

Zheng Cui Lipid signaling in apoptosis and carcinogenesis. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Waldemar Debinski Focus of the identification of molecular markers/targets that are specific to brain tumors. Faculty Profile & Publications

Cristina Furdui Research in our laboratory is directed towards applying advanced systems biology methodologies to i] investigate the timing of signaling events in the propagation of receptor tyrosine kinases signaling, ii] quantify the effect of oncogenic mutations or oxidation on the re-wiring of these signaling networks under pathogenic conditions, iii] apply clinical proteomics to identify molecular predictors of response to different  cancer therapies in an effort to create personalized therapies; and iv] interface time-resolved mass spectrometry with microfluidics technology and develop new nanokinetics platforms for quantitative monitoring of rapid enzyme kinetics/drug screening assays to further our understanding of potential drug targets at molecular level. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

William Gmeiner My lab is interested in understanding how efficacious anti-cancer drugs cause cancer cell death and in designing new drugs and novel drug delivery strategies. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Steven Kridel Proteases and Cancer: Proteases play pivotal roles in the progression of cancer. Fatty Acid Synthase and prostate cancer: Fatty acid synthase (FAS) has been established as a biomarker and prognostic indicator for prostate cancer. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Timothy Pardee My research focus is directed at understanding how Acute Myeloid Leukemia cells resist chemotherapy with the hope of using this information to design clinical trials and improve outcomes for patients with this devastating disease. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Fred Perrino Molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis during DNA replication in animal cells; use of in vitro model systems. Faculty Profile & PublicationsResearch Description

Alan Townsend Mechanisms of resistance to cytotoxic and mutagenic agents; enzymes of glutathione metabolism; chemoprevention of cancer; oxidative stress and antioxidant defenses. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description 

Functional Genomics and Physiology 

Studies in this area 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 animal models and cell-based systems and analyses of phenotypic consequences. 

Peter Antinozzi  Functional mapping of disease-susceptibility loci with emphasis on diabetes; cell-based functional assessment of disease-associated allelic variants; metabolism-secretion coupling in pancreatic beta-cells. Faculty Profile & PublicationsResearch Description

Ashok Hegde Molecular biological, electrophysiological, and behavioral approaches to study questions on long-term memory. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Doug Lyles Virus assembly; molecular pathogenesis of virus infection. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Charles McCall Neutrophil biology and biochemistry; inflammation of lung; signal transduction; phospholipid metabolism; expression of IL-1, TNFa and cyclooxygenase genes in phagocytes. Faculty Profile & Publications

Lance Miller  Transcriptional and genomic alterations of the "oncogenome" that drive tumorigenesis and predict patient outcomes. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Carol Milligan Neuronal development, degeneration, and plasticity after injury: identification and characterization of differentially expressed genes in motoneuron cell death. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Nila Mishra New therapeutic targets for the treatment and prevention of SLE. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Gloria Muday  Hormonal controls of physiological processes with a focus on transcriptional controls of gene expression using genome wide and individual gene approaches to study cross talk between steroid hormones, leptin, and insulin in adipocyte cells and auxin and ethylene in Arabidopsis thaliana. Faculty Profile & Publications

Barbara Nicklas  Research focuses on understanding the metabolic and hormonal adaptations to exercise and dietary interventions in older individuals, and the role of genetics in determining these adaptations. Faculty Profile & Publications  

Ron Oppenheim Developmental neurobiology; programmed cell death; growth factors and neurotrophic molecules. Faculty Profile & Publications

David Ornelles Molecular virology of adenovirus; the oncolytic and oncogenic potential of human adenovirus. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

John Parks High-density lipoprotein metabolism, inflammation, atherosclerosis and insulin resistance. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Tom Register Modulation of the expression of cytokines and connective tissue genes during early atherogenesis. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Mary Sorci-Thomas Regulation of apolipoprotein gene expression; structure-function relationships of apoprotein A-I. Research Description

Ann Tallant  Signal transduction; regulation of growth; hypertension; cancer treatment/prevention. Faculty Profile & PublicationsResearch Description: Molecular and Cell Biology Core Lab / Research Description: Hypertension Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory

Richard Weinberg Structure and function of human apolipoprotein A-IV (apo A-IV), an intestinal protein synthesized during lipid absorption and incorporated into the surface of nascent chylomicrons. Faculty Profile & Publications



Genetic & Genomic Analysis 

The major focus of investigators in this area is the use of statistical analysis of genetic approaches. 

Fang-Chi Hsu  Development and use of statistical methods in genetic epidemiology and longitudinal data. Faculty Profile & Publications  

Carl Langefeld  Research focuses on the mapping of complex genetic traits.   Faculty Profile & Publications

Maggie Ng  Genetic epidemiology of metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Faculty Profile & Publications   

Jielin Sun  Identification of genetic risk factors for cancer and prediction of individual risk of common diseases using genetic profiling. Faculty Profile & Publications


The major focus of investigators in this area is the use of genetic approaches to identify genes that contribute to human disease.  These include studies in families and populations and are facilitated by advanced, high-throughput technologies in combination with functional computational analysis. 

Don Bowden Genetics of common diseases with emphasis on type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Barry Freedman Molecular genetics of human renal disease, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Faculty Profile & Publications

Greg Hawkins Molecular genetics of complex diseases. Faculty Profile & Publications

Tim Howard  Identification of genes for complex diseases, asthma and allergy. Faculty Profile & Publications

Mark Pettenati Molecular cytogenetics. Faculty Profile & Publications

Immunology and Pathogenesis 

The major focus of investigators in this area is the use of genetic approaches to identify factors that are involved in determining the outcome of pathogen infection. The immune cells that respond to infection as well as proteins produced by pathogens (both bacterial and viral) that contribute to virulence are studied.

Martha Alexander-Miller Regulation of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes; control of functional avidity. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Rajendar Deora Bordetella pathogenesis. Faculty Profile & Publications /Research Description

Steven Mizel Vaccines against agents of bio-terrorism; flagellin signal transduction. Research Description

Griff Parks Molecular biology of paramyxoviruses. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Sean Reid  Streptococcal pathogenesis.  Research Description

Regenerative Medicine 

The mission of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) 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. More than 130 investigators, students, research fellows, and postdocs work on more than 80 formal research programs. The WFIRM is a truly multidisciplinary environment where biologists, engineers, chemists, materials scientists, and clinicians of all types work side-by-side in a large, open laboratory environment. The training philosophy stresses interactions between investigators with different backgrounds in a team-environment to solve challenging clinical problems.

Colin Bishop The overall focus of my laboratory concerns the genetics of primary sex determination, germ cell development and fertility. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Shay Soker Stem and progenitor cell biology and genomics, molecular biology, angiogenesis Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Mark Van Dyke Genomics-guided biomaterials development, interaction of stem and progenitor cells with biomaterials, keratin biomaterials Faculty Profile & Publications

Stephen Walker Dr. Walker is broadly interested in using and developing molecular tools, especially array-based and sequencing technologies, to better understand transcriptional control that underlies development and disease processes. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Patricia G. Wilson  Stem cell biology, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), genetic reprogramming, molecular biology, neurodevelopment, stem cell-mediated neural repair and restoration of function.  Faculty Profile & Publications

James Yoo Tissue engineering and clinical translation Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Structural Biology

Investigators in structural biology study the molecular structures and physical properties of proteins, nucleic acids and their complexes. The tools of molecular biology are used to synthesize proteins in large quantities suitable for physical analysis by X-ray crystallography, mass spectrometry, enzymology, and a variety of biophysical methods such as light scattering and sedimentation.

Rebecca Alexander Understanding protein-nucleic acid interactions at the molecular level. Faculty Profile / Publications / Research Description

Jacquelyn Fetrow Computational analysis of functional sites in proteins; development of methods to model biological networks from experimental time course data; and analysis of molecular dynamics and motion in proteins. Faculty Profile / Research Description

Roy Hantgan Molecular mechanisms of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis; conformation of proteins in solution. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Tom Hollis X-ray crystallographic studies of DNA repair proteins and Fanconi anemia-associated proteins. Faculty Profile & PublicationsResearch Description

Daniel Kim-Shapiro Nitrogen oxide signaling in hemoglobin and other heme proteins in normal physiology, disease and therapeutics using various spectroscopies including EPR, light scattering, and time-resolved absorption. Faculty Profile / Research Description

Mark Lively Analysis of protein structure and function using mass spectrometry, proteomics, and bioinformatics; proteolytic enzymes; cell biology and biochemistry of laryngopharyngeal reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Faculty Profile & Publications / Research Description

Todd Lowther X-ray crystallographic and biochemical analyses of enzymes that repair the oxidative damage to free and protein-incorporated methionine. Faculty Profile & PublicationsResearch Description

Derek Parsonage Enzymology of bacterial enzymes involved in defending against oxidative stress: enzymes that utilize flavin and cysteine residues at the catalytic site. Faculty Profile & Publications /Research Description

Leslie Poole Mechanistic enzymology of bacterial enzymes involved in protection against oxidative stress; novel roles of catalytic cysteine residues. Faculty Profile & PublicationsResearch Description

Quick Reference

Telephone 336-713-7005

Dr. Timothy Howard
Program Director

Dr. Nicholette Allred
Graduate Students Recruiting Director

Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1001
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Last Updated: 09-08-2017
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