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Recommended Basic Science Mentoring Faculty

Faculty Contact Information Research Interests Medical Students Trained (2014-present)

Loren Gragert, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Bioinformatics: Population genetics and informatics for transplantation.  

Tianhua “Tim” Niu, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Bioinformatics: Population genetics, computational statistics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics.  

Sangkyu Kim, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medicine - Center for Aging

Bioinformatics: Building reliable predictive models of healthy aging and survival using various health data.  

Matthew Burow, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology and Oncology

Cancer Biology: Discovery of novel therapeutic targets and models for breast cancer

Margarite Matossian (MD-PhD, 2013-2019), Thomas Yan (MD,

2016-present), Tiffany Chang (MD, 2016-present), Henri Wathieu (MD, 2018-present), Thien Ninh (MD, 2016-2017), Joshua Pincus (MD, 2017)

Srikanta Dash, PhD, Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Cancer Biology: Biomarker development for early detection of liver cancer, especially in patients with cirrhosis.

Michelle McCarthy (2014-2015);

Robert Moore (2015-2016); Christine Lee (2016-2017) Wallace Wilson (2017-2018)

Wu-Min Deng, PhD, Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular biology

Cancer Biology: How disrupting interactions between cells and the cell-tissue microenvironment leads to tumorigenesis in the Drosophila model system.


Muthusamy Kunnimalaiyaan, PhD,  Assistant Professor, Surgical Oncology, Surgery

Cancer Biology: Identification of molecular targets based on the manipulation of signal transduction pathways in cancer.  

Sean Lee, PhD, Associate Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Cancer Biology: Desmoplastic small round cell tumors; tumor metabolism  

Hua Lu, MB, PhD, Professor and Chair, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Cancer Biology: Role of p53 and MDM2 in cancer Daniel Nguyen (MD-PhD, 2014- 2018)

Arthur Lustig, PhD, Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Cancer Biology: Chromosome structure and function  

Heather Machado, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Cancer Biology: Breast development and breast cancer progression  

Tong Wu, MD, PhD, Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Cancer Biology: The molecular mechanisms of inflammation and carcinogenesis, with a special emphasis on the pathogenesis of liver cancer and inflammatory liver diseases  

Zongbing You, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Structural and Cellular Biology

Cancer Biology: Inflammation and prostate cancer

Neil K. Patel (2014-2015), David Fralinger (2014-2015); Richard Tang (2014-2015); Victor Wu (2016-


Leland Chan (2016-2017); Brian Hannah (2016-2017)

Qiuyang Zhang, PhD,  Assistant Professor, Structural and Cellular Biology

Cancer Biology: Aging-related inflammation and prostate cancer  

Andrei V. Derbenev, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology

Cardiovascular Disease/Neuroscience: Central control of cardiovascular function, 

Neuroscience, Synaptic organization, Hypertension

Majid Safwan Dewan, M.D. (2012- 2015)

Olan Jackson-Weaver, PhD, Assistant Professor, Surgery and Physiology

Cardiovascular Disease: Regulatory mechanisms of the circulatory system, including endothelial Ca2+ signaling. Endothelial cell damage during shock and trauma.

Karim Mardeen, 2019-present Jacob Packer 2019-Present Robert Drury 2019-Present Marcus Hoof 2019

Laura Rodriguez 2019-Present Maribeth Harlan 2019-Present

T. Cooper Woods, PhD, Associate Professor, Physiology and Medicine

Cardiovascular Disease: Impact of co-morbidities, such as diabetes and chronic kidney disease, on the progression of cardiovascular disease Christin Tee (2018-) Thaidan Pham (2018-), Kenny Vongbunyong (2018-), Michael Kremer (2017-), Donald Wathieu (2017-), Aaron Brug (2016), Kayla Hudson (2016) Elizabeth Kream (2015), Sullivan Smith (2015)

Hong Liu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Cell Biology: Regulation of chromosome segregation and stability  

Hongju Wu, PhD, Associate Professor, Medicine and Physiology

Diabetes and Obesity: Pancreatic beta cell regeneration; regulation of glucagon secretion Stephen Arndt (2014); Thomas O’Malley (2014-2015)

Andrea Zsombok, PhD,  Associate Professor of Physiology

Diabetes and Obesity/Neuroscience: Central regulation of autonomic functions in diabetes and obesity. Neuroscience, Diabetes, Autonomic control of organ functions Courtney L Enix, M.D. (2014-2017) Cassidy D. Werner (2018-present) Stephanie McNamara (2019- present)

Diane A. Blake,  PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Adjunct in Ophthalmology

Drug/Vaccine Delivery: Drug delivery for ocular diseases, especially glaucoma Vaishali Oza (2019)

Louise Braud Lawson, PhD, Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty mentor, Bioinnovation Program

Drug/Vaccine Delivery: Tailored formulations for drug and vaccine delivery  

Dahlene Fusco, MD PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Adjunct in Tropical Medicine

Infection and Inflammation: How type I interferons impair viruses and how variability in host response influences viral pathology. William Loupe 2018-19

Jay K. Kolls, MD, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

Infection and Inflammation: Microbial- host interface in the gut and lung and mechanisms of primary immunodeficiency Patricia Castillo, MD, PhD, 2015- present; Taylor Eddens, MD, PhD, 2011-2015

Elizabeth Norton, PhD, Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology

Infection and Inflammation: Mucosal immunology; vaccines; therapeutics for inflammatory bowel disease Monica Blasek (2017); William Provosty (2018)

James E Robinson, MD Professor of Pediatrics; Section of Infectious Disease

Infection and Inflammation: Antibody responses to Cytomegalovirus, Dengue virus, and Lassa Fever Virus

Lindsey Bazzone (2009-2013)

Ben Bradley (2013-2015)

Chad Steele, PhD, Professor and Chair, Microbiology and Immunology

Infection and Inflammation/Lung Disease: Immune responses to lung pathogens; immunopathology in asthma associated with fungal exposure  

Solange Abdulnour-Nakhoul, PhD, Associate Professor, Medicine (Adjunct Physiology)

Gastroenterology: Cellular and molecular physiology of the esophagus Allison Posta

Gilbert Morris, PhD, Associate Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Lung Disease: Animal models of environmental lung disease  

Bruce Bunnell, PhD, Professor, Pharmacology: Director. Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative Medicine: Adult stem cell therapies and tissue engineering Marjorie “Betsey” Bateman (2013- 2017); Robert Jones (2015-2017) Ryan Hunter (2016-2018); Joseph Morand (2015-2017); Christian Hurst (2015-2017); Zachary Eagle (2015-2017); Paulina Giacomelli and Rafael Tongco, 2019

Mimi Sammarco, PhD, Assistant Professor, Surgery

Regenerative Medicine: Effect of oxygen and metabolic switching on bone and soft tissue regeneration after amputation.  

Hongbing Liu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics Nephrology

Renal Development and Disease: Roles of histone deacetylases in kidney formation and kidney diseases  

L. Gabriel Navar, PhD, Professor and Chair, Physiology; Director, Hypertension and Renal Center of Excellence

Renal Development and Disease: Renal Hemodynamics and Physiology, Experimental Hypertension, Renin- angiotensin System

Annie Bell, 2019-present

Co-mentored several medical students for more than 10 years

Ryosuke Sato, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physiology and Hypertension and Renal Center of Excellence

Renal Development and Disease: Molecular mechanisms underlying RAS regulation (Molecular Biology, Physiology, Organoids)

Harrison Penrose (2014-present) Ryan O’Leary (2014-2017)

Camille Bourgeois (2015-2018)

Joseph Garagliano (2015-2018) Stacy Yanofsky (2018-present)