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NameEmailPhD ProgramResearch InterestPublications
Williams, Scott E.
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology, Genetics & Molecular Biology, Oral & Craniofacial Biomedicine, Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Pathology, Stem Cells

Interest areas: Developmental Biology, Cell Biology, Cancer Biology, Stem Cells, Genetics

PhD programs: Pathobiology & Translational Sciences, Genetics & Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Physiology, Oral Biology, Biology

Tissue development and homeostasis depend on the precise coordination of self-renewal and differentiation programs. A critical point of regulation of this balance is at the level of cell division. In the Williams lab, we are interested in stratified epithelial development, stem cells, and cancer, with a particular interest in how oriented cell divisions contribute to these processes. Asymmetric cell divisions maintain a stable pool of stem cells that can be used to sustain tissue growth, or mobilized in response to injury. However, dysregulation of this machinery can lead to cancer, particularly in epithelia where tissue turnover is rapid and continuous. Using the mouse epidermis and oral epithelia as model systems, we utilize cell biological, developmental and genetic approaches to study the molecular control of oriented cell divisions and mitotic spindle positioning, and how division orientation impacts cell fate choices in development, homeostasis, injury, and disease.

Wang, Greg Gang
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biochemistry & Biophysics, Genetics & Molecular Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Cancer Biology, Developmental Biology, Genomics, Molecular Biology

With an emphasis on chromatin biology and cancer epigenetics, our group focuses on mechanistic understandings of how chemical modifications of chromatin define distinct patterns of human genome, control gene expression, and regulate cell proliferation versus differentiation during development, and how their deregulations lead to oncogenesis. Multiple on-going projects employ modern biological technologies to: 1) biochemically isolate and characterize novel factors that bind to histone methylation on chromatin, 2) examine the role of epigenetic factors (chromatin-modifying enzymes and chromatin-associated factors) during development and tumorigenesis using mouse knockout models, 3) analyze epigenomic and transcriptome alternation in cancer versus normal cells utilizing next-generation sequencing technologies, 4) identify novel oncogenic or tumor suppressor genes associated with leukemia and lymphoma using shRNA library-based screening. We are also working together with UNC Center of Drug Discovery to develop small-molecule inhibitors for chromatin-associated factors as novel targeted cancer therapies.

Griffith, Jack
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biochemistry & Biophysics, Genetics & Molecular Biology, Microbiology & Immunology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology, Structural Biology, Virology

We are interested in basic DNA-protein interactions as related to – DNA replication, DNA repair and telomere function.  We utilize a combination of state of the art molecular and biochemical methods together with high resolution electron microscopes.

Goldstein, Bob
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biology, Cell Biology & Physiology, Genetics & Molecular Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biophysics, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology

We address fundamental issues in cell and developmental biology, issues such as how cells move to specific positions, how the orientations of cell divisions are determined, how the mitotic spindle is positioned in cells, and how cells respond to cell signaling – for example Wnt signaling, which is important in development and in cancer biology. We are committed to applying whatever methods are required to answer important questions. As a result, we use diverse methods, including methods of cell biology, developmental biology, forward and reverse genetics including RNAi, biochemistry, biophysics, mathematical and computational modeling and simulations, molecular biology, and live microscopy of cells and of the dynamic components of the cytoskeleton – microfilaments, microtubules, and motor proteins. Most experiments in the lab use C. elegans embryos, and we have also used Drosophila and Xenopus recently. C. elegans is valuable as a model system because of the possibility of combining the diverse techniques above to answer a wide array of interesting questions. We also have a project underway to develop a new model system for studying how cellular and developmental mechanisms evolve, using little-studied organisms called water bears. Rotating graduate students learn to master existing techniques, and students who join the lab typically grow their rotation projects into larger, long term projects, and/or develop creative, new projects.

Franco, Hector L.
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Genetics & Molecular Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Bioinformatics, Cancer Biology, Computational Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology

My lab has a long-standing interest in gene regulation, epigenetics, chromatin and RNA biology, especially as it pertains to cancer. We are interested in studying the formation and function of transcriptional enhancers and the non-coding RNAs that are actively produced at enhancers, known as enhancer RNAs, which are involved in modulating several aspects of gene regulation. In addition, we aim to understand how transcriptional enhancers help orchestrate responses to external stimuli found in the tumor microenvironment. We address these research aims by using an interdisciplinary approach that combines molecular and cellular techniques with powerful genomic and computational approaches.

Errede, Beverly
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biochemistry & Biophysics, Genetics & Molecular Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular Biology

Yeast molecular genetics; MAP-Kinease activation pathways; regulation of cell differentiation.

Emanuele, Michael
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology, Genetics & Molecular Biology, Pharmacology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Systems Biology

Our lab applies cutting edge genetic and proteomic technologies to unravel dynamic signaling networks involved in cell proliferation, genome stability and cancer. These powerful technologies are used to systematically interrogate the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), and allow us to gain a systems level understanding of the cell at unparalleled depth. We are focused on UPS signaling in cell cycle progression and genome stability, since these pathways are universally perturbed in cancer.

Duronio, Bob
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biology, Genetics & Molecular Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Biology

My lab studies how cell proliferation is controlled during animal development, with a focus on the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that regulate DNA replication and gene expression throughout the cell cycle. Many of the genes and signaling pathways that we study are frequently mutated in human cancers. Our current research efforts are divided into three areas:  1) Plasticity of cell cycle control during development  2) Histone mRNA biosynthesis and nuclear body function  3) Epigenetic control of genome replication and function.

Dittmer, Dirk
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Genetics & Molecular Biology, Microbiology & Immunology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cancer Biology, Genomics, Pathogenesis & Infection, Translational Medicine, Virology

Our lab tries to understand viral pathogenesis. To do so, we work with two very different viruses – West Nile Virus (WNV) and Kaposi¹s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8).

Der, Channing
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology, Genetics & Molecular Biology, Pharmacology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Genetics, Translational Medicine

Our research centers on understanding the molecular basis of human carcinogenesis. In particular, a major focus of our studies is the Ras oncogene and Ras-mediated signal transduction. The goals of our studies include the delineation of the complex components of Ras signaling and the development of anti-Ras inhibitors for cancer treatment. Another major focus of our studies involves our validation of the involvement of Ras-related small GTPases (e.g., Ral, Rho) in cancer. We utilize a broad spectrum of technical approaches that include cell culture and mouse models, C. elegans, protein crystallography, microarray gene expression or proteomics analyses, and clinical trial analyses.