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NameEmailPhD ProgramResearch InterestPublications
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.

Hwang, Janice

EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Aging/Alzheimer's, Diabetes, Human Subjects Research, Medical Imaging, Metabolism, Neurobiology, Physiology, Translational Medicine

My group is interested in understanding the effects of obesity and diabetes on the brain, particularly related to cerebral function and energetics. We conduct physiology based, mechanistic human and rodent studies to investigate fundamental questions such as how does the brain sense various nutrients (sugar, fat, etc), how does metabolic disease, sleep, aging impact brain function and metabolism? Using classic human metabolic techniques including hyperinsulinemic and hyper/hypoglycemic clamps coupled with advanced neuroimaging modalities including 1H and 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy, functional MRI, and PET-CT imaging, my group has shown that glucose transport capacity into the human brain can be modified by factors such as obesity and insulin resistance as well as hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia and glycemic variability. We also have interests in using novel human imaging modalities to understand how obesity and diabetes impact neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.

McCauley, Heather
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Developmental Biology, Gastrointestinal Biology, Metabolism, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, Physiology, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells

The McCauley Lab is interested in how the food we eat changes our physiology. Rare, nutrient sensing cells in the intestine called enteroendocrine cells secrete hormones in response to environmental cues that orchestrate systemic metabolism. How these cells regulate their neighbors in the gut is not well understood. We use mouse models which lack enteroendocrine cells and human pluripotent stem cell derived intestinal organoids to discover new roles for these master metabolic cells in the regulation of intestinal physiology and function. Enteroendocrine cells are dysregulated in inflammatory bowel disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, and loss of enteroendocrine cells results in malabsorptive diarrhea with poor survival. Our research has the potential to improve human health for a wide segment of the global population.

Guardia, Charly
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Developmental Disorders, Disease, Metabolism, Microscopy/Imaging, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, Physiology, Structural Biology

The human placenta is the first organ to develop after fertilization and is the least studied! We hope to change this by using a multidisciplinary approach. From iPSC-derived trophoblasts in culture to mouse models and human placenta tissue, the Placental Cell Biology Group at NIEHS answers fundamental questions about placenta cell and developmental biology. Our lab uses a range of microscopy (cryo-EM, fluorescence), recombinant protein production, and -omics techniques. The goal of our research is to understand how autophagy controls placenta development, differentiation, and function.

Kim, Boa
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology, Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cardiovascular Biology, Cardiovascular Disease, Cell Biology, Metabolism, Microscopy, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, Physiology

Endothelial cells, which comprise the innermost wall of all blood vessels, are involved in a broad range of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases that represent a global challenge with high morbidity. Endothelial cell metabolism is an active process, and altered endothelial metabolism drive disease progression. The research in my lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms of endothelial cell metabolism and how they affect cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Williams, Morika
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Neuroscience, Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Behavior, Neurobiology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Translational Medicine

Early life and adult pain can have drastic effects on neurodevelopment and overall quality of life. In the Williams’ Pain, Aging, and Interdisciplinary Neurobehavioral (P.A.I.N.) Lab, our research focuses on behavioral neuroscience and the mechanisms of neurobiology and neurophysiology of pain processing, with a special emphasis on the neonatal. The ultimate research goal is to better understand, recognize, and alleviate pain in the newborn to improve the quality of life in adulthood by uncovering new assessment tools and interventional strategies. Our research interests include the mechanisms of neurobiology and neurophysiology of pain processing, neonatal pain, chronic pain, neurobehavior, osteoarthritis, translational medicine, anesthesia/analgesics, and evoked and non-evoked pain assessment tools. The P.A.I.N. Lab has both pre-clinical and clinical studies to help close the gap in translation.

Hantman, Adam

EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology, Neuroscience

RESEARCH INTEREST
Behavior, Neurobiology, Physiology

The Hantman Lab is interested in how functions emerge from network activity in the nervous system. Particularly, we study how the nervous system generates patterns of activity that control our bodies in the world. Our approach combines genetics, anatomy, physiology, perturbations, and a dynamical systems approach.

Mock, Jason
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Microbiology & Immunology, Pathobiology & Translational Science

RESEARCH INTEREST
Immunology, Physiology, Translational Medicine

Our research interests focus on investigating the reparative processes critical to the resolution of acute lung injury. Acute events such as pneumonia, inhalational injury, trauma, or sepsis often damage the lung, impeding its primary function, gas exchange. The clinical syndrome these events can lead to is termed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is a common pulmonary disease often seen and treated in intensive care units. Despite decades of research into the pathogenesis underlying the development of ARDS, mortality remains high. Our laboratory has built upon exciting observations by our group and others on the importance of how the lung repairs after injury. One type of white blood cell, the Foxp3+ regulatory T cell (Treg), appears essential in resolving ARDS in experimental models of lung injury–through modulating immune responses and enhancing alveolar epithelial proliferation and tissue repair. Importantly, Tregs are present in patients with ARDS, and our lab has found that subsets of Tregs may play a role in recovery from ARDS.

Christoffel, Dan
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Neuroscience

RESEARCH INTEREST
Behavior, Neurobiology, Physiology, Translational Medicine

Dr. Christoffel aims to understand how chronic exposure to particular stimuli (i.e. stress, food, drugs) alters the functioning of specific neural circuits and investigates the mechanisms that regulate these experience-dependent changes. Current studies focus on 1) how experience-dependent plasticity in the nucleus accumbens regulates reward processing, with a focus on the consumption of palatable foods and stress modulation of food intake, and 2) examine the regulatory role of neuromodulators in hedonic feeding.

The ultimate goal of the Christoffel Lab’s research is to understand how adaptive changes in brain function occur and how this can lead to the development of psychiatric disorders. We employ cutting-edge technologies to understand the complex interactions of multiple neural systems that allow us to adapt to our environment and regulate motivated behavior.

Walsh, Jessica
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Neuroscience, Pharmacology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Behavior, Neurobiology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Translational Medicine

Social behavior is composed of a variety of distinct forms of interactions and is fundamental to survival. Several neural circuits must act in concert to allow for such complex behavior to occur and perturbations, either genetic and/or environmental, underlie many psychiatric and neurodevelopment disorders. The Walsh lab focuses on gaining an improved understanding of the biological basis of behavior using a multi-level approach to elucidate the molecular and circuit mechanisms underlying motivated social behavior. The goal of our research is to uncover how neural systems govern social interactions and what alterations occur in disease states to inform the development of novel therapeutics or treatment strategies.

One of the major focuses of the Walsh lab is on understanding how genetic mutations, as well as experience, lead to circuit adaptations that govern impaired behavior seen in mouse models of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Our systems level analysis includes: 1) modeling these disorders with well described genetic markers, 2) defining causal relationships between activity within discrete anatomical structures in the brain that are critical to the physiology of the symptom under investigation (e.g. sociability), 3) performing deep characterization of the physiological profiles of these circuits and using that information to target specific receptors or molecules that may not have been considered for the treatment of specific ASD symptoms.