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NameEmailPhD ProgramResearch InterestPublications
Sekelsky, Jeff
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biology, Genetics & Molecular Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cancer Biology, Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Biology

Genome instability is a major cause of cancer. We use the model organism Drosophila melanogaster to study maintenance of genome stability, including DNA double-strand break repair, meiotic and mitotic recombination, and characterization of fragile sites in the genome.  Our primary approaches are genetic (forward and reverse, transmission and molecular), but we are also using biochemistry to study protein complexes of interest, genomics to identify fragile sites and understand the regulation of meiotic recombination, fluorescence and electron microscopy for analysis of mutant phenotypes, and cell culture for experiments using RNA interference.

Slep, Kevin
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biology, Genetics & Molecular Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Structural Biology

Our lab examines cytoskeletal dynamics, the molecules that regulate it and the biological processes it is involved in using live cell imaging, in vitro reconstitution and x-ray crystallography.  Of particular interest are the microtubule +TIP proteins that dynamically localize to microtubule plus ends, communicate with the actin network, regulate microtubule dynamics, capture kinetochores and engage the cell cortex under polarity-based cues.

Strahl, Brian D.
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biochemistry & Biophysics, Genetics & Molecular Biology

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

Our laboratory is examining the role of histone post-translational modifications in chromatin structure and function.  Using a combination of molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry, we are determining how a number of modifications to the histone tails (e.g. acetylation, phosphorylation, methylation and ubiquitylation) contribute to the control of gene transcription, DNA repair and replication.

Sullivan, Patrick
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Genetics & Molecular Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Bioinformatics, Genetics, Genomics, Organismal Biology, Pharmacology, Systems Biology

I study complex traits using linkage, association, and genetic epidemiological approaches.  Disorders include schizophrenia (etiology and pharmacogenetics), smoking behavior, and chronic fatigue.

Swanstrom, Ronald
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

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

RESEARCH INTEREST
Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Pathogenesis & Infection, Virology

First, we study the complex HIV-1 population that exists within a person.  We use this complexity to ask questions about viral evolution, transmission, compartmentalization, and pathogenesis.  Second, we are exploring the impact of drug resistance on viral fitness and identifying new drug targets in the viral protein processing pathway.  Third, we participate in a collaborative effort to develop an HIV-1 vaccine.  Fourth, we are using mutagenesis to determine the role of RNA secondary structure in viral replication.

Ting, Jenny
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology, Genetics & Molecular Biology, Microbiology & Immunology, Neuroscience

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Immunology, Molecular Biology

Topics include gene discovery, genomics/proteomics, gene transcription, signal transduction, molecular immunology.  Disease relevant issues include infectious diseases, autoimmune and demyelinating disorders, cancer chemotherapy, gene linkage.

Vaziri, Cyrus
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Genetics & Molecular Biology, Pathobiology & Translational Science, Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Molecular Biology, Toxicology

Our broad long-term goal is to understand how mammalian cells maintain ordered control of DNA replication during normal passage through an unperturbed cell cycle, and in response to genotoxins (DNA-damaging agents).  DNA synthesis is a fundamental process for normal growth and development and accurate replication of DNA is crucial for maintenance of genomic stability.  Many cancers display defects in regulation of DNA synthesis and it is important to understand the molecular basis for aberrant DNA replication in tumors.  Moreover, since many chemotherapies specifically target cells in S-phase, a more detailed understanding of DNA replication could allow the rational design of novel cancer therapeutics.  Our lab focuses on three main aspects of DNA replication control:  (1) The S-phase checkpoint, (2) Trans-Lesion Synthesis (TLS) and (3) Re-replication.

Weeks, Kevin
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Chemistry, Genetics & Molecular Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Biophysics, Chemical Biology, Computational Biology, Drug Discovery, Quantitative Biology, Structural Biology, Virology

One of the most amazing discoveries of recent years has been the profound role of RNA in regulating all areas of biology. Further, the functions of many RNA molecules require that an RNA fold back on itself to create intricately and complexly folded structures. Until recently, however, we had little idea of the broad contributions of RNA structure and function because there simply did not exist rigorous methods for understanding RNA molecules in cells and viruses. The vision of our laboratory is therefore, first, to invent novel chemical microscopes that reveal quantitative structure and function interrelationships for RNA and, second, to apply these RNA technologies to broadly important problems in biology. Mentoring and research in the lab are highly interdisciplinary. Students learn to integrate ideas and concepts spanning chemical and computational biology, and technology development, and extending to practical applications in virology, understanding biological processes in cells, and discovery of small molecule ligands targeted against medically important RNAs. Each student has a distinct project which they drive to an impactful conclusion, but do so as part of the lab team which, collectively, has shown an amazing ability to solve big problems in RNA biology. The overarching goal of mentoring in the lab is to prepare students for long-term leadership roles in science.

Weiss, Ellen
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

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

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology

The vertebrate retina is an extension of the central nervous system that controls visual signaling and circadian rhythm.  Our laboratory is interested in how the retina adapts to changing light intensities in the natural environment.  We are presently studying the regulation of 2 G protein-coupled receptor kinases, GRK1 and GRK7, that participate in signal termination in the light-detecting cells of the retina, the rods and cones.  Signal termination helps these cells recover from light exposure and adapt to continually changing light intensities.  Recently, we determined that GRK1 and GRK7 are phosphorylated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA).  Since cAMP levels are regulated by light in the retina, phosphorylation by PKA may be important in recovery and adaptation.  Biochemical and molecular approaches are used in 2 model organisms, mouse and zebrafish, to address the role of PKA in retina function. Keywords:  cAMP, cone, G protein-coupled receptor, GPCR, GRK, kinase, neurobiology, opsin, PKA, retina, rhodopsin rod, second messenger, signal transduction, vision.

Weissman, Bernard E.
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Genetics & Molecular Biology, Pathobiology & Translational Science, Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Cancer Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology

How the loss of different components of the SWI/SNF complex contributes to neoplastic transformation remains an open and important question. My laboratory concentrates on addressing this question by the combined use of biological, biochemical and mouse models for SWI/SNF complex function.