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NameEmailPhD ProgramResearch InterestPublications
Iweala, Onyinye
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Immunology, Pathogenesis & Infection, Translational Medicine

Individuals with alpha-gal syndrome, characterized by delayed anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions) to mammalian meat, have been reported across the globe, yet we have limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying this condition. My lab explores the role of glycolipids interacting with different cells within our innate and adaptive immune systems in the pathogenesis of this allergy. Our vision is to broaden understanding of glycolipids and their role in hypersensitivity disorders. We also want to understand why tick exposure, which is associated with the development of alpha-gal meat allergy, can promote allergic immune responses and how epigenetic dysregulation may influence allergic immune responses. PhD Program: Pathobiology and Translational Science.

Flick, Matthew

EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cell Biology, Genetics, Immunology, Metabolism, Pathogenesis & Infection

Our laboratory studies the role of the blood coagulation system in inflammatory, infectious, and malignant disease. Specifically, we are interested in better defining the roles of factors such as prothrombin, fibrinogen and plasminogen in driving disease processes in the contexts of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), Staphylococcus aureus infection, and obesity/metabolic syndrome. Current studies suggest that coagulation factors drive mechanisms of disease both dependent and independent of their traditional roles in hemostasis and thrombosis. Our overall goal is to translate this knowledge into novel approaches for treating these common yet deadly diseases.

Li, Feng
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Nutrition, Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Molecular Medicine, Translational Medicine

Our research is focused on the genetics and molecular pathology of complex multi-factorial conditions in humans –hypertension especially pregnancy related hypertension such as preeclampsia. We have identified that endothelin-1 plays a causative role in developing preeclampsia. Now we are focusing on elucidating the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, particularly on how the endothelin system affects the embryonic implantation on the early stage of pregnancy.

Nagarajan, Shanmugam
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cardiovascular Biology, Immunology, Metabolism, Pathogenesis & Infection, Pathology, Translational Medicine

The main goal of the Nagarajan lab research program focuses on how the innate branch of the immune system regulates adaptive immunity, as it relates to the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-induced cardiovascular disease.   IgG-Fcgamma receptor (FcgR)-mediated signaling is critical for mediating host defense against infectious disease, but they also mediate disease pathology in autoimmunity and atherosclerosis. Specifically, we are studying the role of IgG-Fcgamma receptor (FcgR) signaling network in innate immune cells activation that contributes to autoantibody production and T cell subset activation associated with autoimmune, and cardiovascular diseases.  We are using a repertoire of relevant knockout mouse and humanized FcgR mouse models to address the questions of how FcgR-mediated signaling promotes autoimmune disease-induced atherosclerosis. As a translational component, we are collaborating with rheumatologists and cardiologists to analyze changes in innate and T cell subsets in patients with lupus or RA, who has premature atherosclerosis.

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.

Williams, David C. Jr.
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Drug Discovery, Structural Biology

The overall objective of our research is to understand the connection between structure of protein-DNA complexes, protein dynamics and function.  We currently focus on the methyl-cytosine binding domain (MBD) family of DNA binding proteins.  The MBD proteins selectively recognize methylated CpG dinucleotides and regulate gene expression critical for both normal development and carcinogenesis.  We use a combination of NMR spectroscopy and biophysical analyses to study protein-DNA and protein-protein complexes involving the MBD proteins.  Building on these studies, we are developing inhibitors of complex formation as potential molecular therapeutics for b-hemoglobinopathies and cancer.

Liu, Jiandong
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology, Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cardiovascular Biology, Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Developmental Biology, Genetics

Congenital heart diseases are one of the most common birth defects in humans, and these arise from developmental defects during embryogenesis.  Many of these diseases have a genetic component, but they might also be affected by environmental factors such as mechanical forces. The Liu Lab combines genetics, molecular and cell biology to study cardiac development and function, focusing on the molecular mechanisms that link mechanical forces and genetic factors to the morphogenesis of the heart.  Our studies using zebrafish as a model system serve as the basic foundation to address the key questions in cardiac development and function, and could provide novel therapeutic interventions for cardiac diseases.

Gordon-Larsen, Penny
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Nutrition, Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Behavior, Bioinformatics, Cardiovascular Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology

Gordon-Larsen’s work integrates biology, behavior, and environment to understand, prevent and treat obesity, cardiovascular and cardiometabolic diseases. She works with biomarker, microbiome, metabolome, genetic, weight, diet, and environment data using multilevel modeling and pathway-based analyses. She works with several longitudinal cohorts that span more than 30 years. Most of her work uses data from the US and China. Her research teams include a wide variety of scientists working in areas such as genetics, medicine, bioinformatics, biostatistics, microbiology, nutrition, and epidemiology.

Falk, Ronald J.
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology, Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cell Biology, Pathology, Physiology, Translational Medicine

As the Director of the UNC Kidney Center, the scope of Dr. Falk’s research interests spans many disciplines, including molecular biology, immunology, genetics, pathology, cell biology, protein chemistry, epidemiology, pharmacokinetics and biostatistics. Dr. Falk is recognized world wide as a leader in research on kidney diseases related to autoimmune responses. He works closely with the basic research scientists within the UNC Kidney Center, including Dr. Gloria Preston, thus this research program provides an environment for Translational Research within the UNC Kidney Center.

Doerschuk, Claire M.
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Immunology, Molecular Medicine, Pathology

We study host defense mechanisms in the lungs, particularly the inflammatory and innate immune processes important in the pathogenesis and course of bacterial pneumonia, acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome, and cigarette smoke-associated lung disease. Basic and translational studies address mechanisms of host defense, including recruitment and function of leukocytes, vascular permeability leading to edema, bacterial clearance and resolution.  Cell signaling pathways initiated by binding of leukocyte-endothelial cell adhesion molecules and molecular mechanisms underlying the functions of neutrophils are two particular areas.