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NameEmailPhD ProgramResearch InterestPublications
Barry, Aure

EMAIL

PHD PROGRAM

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics

“I am interested in understanding the epigenetic mechanisms that control cell fate determination, and how the dysregulation of these mechanisms can influence human health and disease.”

Balasubramanian, Kavya

EMAIL

PHD PROGRAM

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Pharmacology

“Broadly, I am interested in the neurobiological mechanisms that differentiate normal and dysregulated circuit function in neurological conditions like substance use disorders and neurodegenerative disease. Specifically, I would like to better understand how intrinsic factors and environmental stressors interact to drive pathological processes in the above conditions.”

Peng, Aimin
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

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

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Cancer Biology, Cancer Preclinical Models, Cancer Signaling & Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Cell Cycle, Drug Discovery

Our overarching goal is to delineate how cells respond to cancer therapeutics that induce DNA damage, and, accordingly, to develop new strategies that overcome treatment resistance in cancer, including head and neck cancer. To achieve this goal, we study new mechanisms of the cell cycle and DNA repair using comprehensive experimental systems; we investigate the involvement of these mechanisms in oral cancer progression and resistance; and we develop new therapeutics using cellular, biochemical, and pharmacological approaches.

Cho, Rae
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cell Biology, Chemical Biology, Developmental Biology, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, Systems Biology

We study proteases that induce rapid changes in cell morphology, behavior, and identity. We are particularly interested in ones that play a role in myotube formation, muscular dystrophies, rhabdomyosarcoma, and cachexia. Our model systems include C2C12 cells, primary myoblasts, patient-derived iPSCs, and zebrafish. In addition to standard cell biology approaches, we make use of chemical biology and advanced microscopy techniques. Ultimately, we seek to identify a combination of protease inhibitors/activators that can cure musculoskeletal diseases.

Chen, Jiakun
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biology, Cell Biology & Physiology, Neuroscience

RESEARCH INTEREST
Brain Development, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Model Organisms, Neurobiology, Neurodevelopmental Disorders

The goal of our research is to understand how astrocytes develop and how they interact with neural elements during nervous system formation, function, and maintenance. Our lab uses fruit fly Drosophila and zebrafish Danio rerio to explore fundamental aspects of astrocyte biology. We leverage the powerful genetics and unparalleled molecular toolsets in flies to uncover gene function, and we exploit the advanced live-imaging techniques in zebrafish to study astrocyte-neuron interactions in vivo.

Corteselli, Elizabeth

EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, Pulmonary Research, Toxicology, Translational Medicine

Dr. Corteselli’s research aims to uncover the mechanisms by which exposure to air pollutants causes lung injury. Her lab uses advanced in vitro models, including lung organoids and precision cut lung slices, to investigate the effects of inhaled toxicants on airway epithelial cell function, with a focus on redox homeostasis and signaling.

Pruitt, Kevin
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Pharmacology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Bioinformatics, Cancer Biology, Cancer Genomics, Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Epigenetics & Chromatin Biology, Immunology, Pharmacology

Pruitt lab research involves 3 broad areas. Interest in the first area (cancer epigenetics) stemmed from discoveries made during postdoctoral training assessing how tumor progression disrupts epigenetic mechanisms of control. The second area (Wnt pathway regulation) was the result of early screens as an Assistant Professor at LSU Health Sciences Center. We uncovered novel regulators of oncogenic Wnt signaling and published the first observation that epigenetic enzymes regulate a critical mediator of Wnt signaling (Dishevelled). The third project involves elucidating mechanisms of aromatase regulation which emerged from the obsession of early trainees in the lab with understanding mechanisms cancer-associated estrogen biosynthesis. Within the context of these three projects, I have mentored and guided multiple trainees at every level over the course of 17 years.

Azizoglu, Berfin
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cardiovascular Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Disease, Neurobiology, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells

Our lab studies body-wide control of organ growth and regeneration. The mammalian body is reticulated by blood vessels and neurons. How these networks communicate with organ cells to orchestrate local and body-wide decisions is obscure. We study this question with a focus on the mouse liver, the uniquely regenerative visceral organ. Current projects in the lab include 1-researching the role of a novel vascular progenitor network in liver regeneration, 2-determining the mechanisms of injury perception by liver innervation, and 3-in vitro assembly of reticulated, responsive liver tissue.

Khan, Shahzad
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Aging/Alzheimer's, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, Neurobiology, Signal Transduction

Maintaining health and reducing disease-risk requires the brain to properly transduce signals across specialized regions and cell types. My lab studies neural signaling at the primary cilium, an antenna-like organelle that helps cells sense and respond to environmental cues. The function of primary cilia in the adult brain remains enigmatic. To probe cilia function, the lab will utilize mouse models, neural cultures, human brain samples, single-cell transcriptomics, proteomics, and microscopy. Ultimately, we aim to identify therapeutic targets for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Xi, Gang
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Autoimmune Disorders, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Diabetes, Physiology, Signal Transduction, Translational Medicine

My research focuses on signal transduction, proteins posttranslational modification, and protein/protein interaction under varieties of stress/disease conditions. One of my major research areas is vascular smooth muscle signal transduction under hyperglycemic and oxidative stress conditions. Most recently, regulation of vascular smooth muscle cells phenotypic switch under hyperglycemic/uremic conditions was funded by NIH. In addition, I investigate autoantigens that are responsible for autoimmune diseases, such as MCD/FSGS, which make the precise diagnosis and individualized treatment plan possible.