UNMC_Acronym_Vert_sm_4c
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Faculty

Faculty Departments

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Integrative Physiology
  • College of Dentistry, College of Pharmacy
  • College of Public Health
  • Eppley Institute
  • Genetics Cell Biology and Anatomy
  • Internal Medicine
  • Munroe-Meyer Institute
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pathology and Microbiology
  • Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience
  • Radiation Oncology

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Faculty

Maher Abdalla

Maher Abdalla, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology

Research focus: Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), Heme Oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and immune cells in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and prostate cancer.

Yazen Alnouti

Yazen Alnouti, PhD
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Research focus: Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK), with a focus on the application of Bioanalytical Chemistry, in vitro and in vivo animal models to support ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity) and pharmacokinetic (PK) studies; Biomarkers for hepato-biliary diseases based on bile acid metabolism by sulfation.

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Vimla Band

Vimla Band, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy

Research focus: Delineate molecular mechanisms of early steps in transformation of mammary epithelial cells with the goal of identifying novel molecular diagnostic/prognostic markers and potential therapy targets of breast cancers.

Surinder Batra

Surinder K. Batra, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Structure/function analysis of tumor-associated genes; cancer diagnostics, cancer vaccines; monoclonal antibodies, genetic engineering of antibodies.

Robert Bennett

Robert Bennett, PhD
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (DEM)

Research focus: Antifibrotic effects of the hormone relaxin and related peptides; expression and signaling of relaxin receptors; internalization and degradation of relaxin, insulin and related hormones; the role of relaxin in adipose function.

Raymond Bergan

Raymond Bergan, MD
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Oncology & Hematology

Research focus: Understanding how cancer cells regulate transformation to a high motility metastatic phenotype, and how that process can be therapeutically modulated.

Kishor Bhakat, PhD

Kishor K. Bhakat, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy

Research focus: Mitotic gene bookmarking: A novel dimension of epigenetic memory in cancer for post-mitotic transcriptional reactivation; APE1 and its acetylation: A potential prognostic and predictive biomarker in cancer.

Piero Bianco

Piero Bianco, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Research focus: Stalled DNA replication fork rescue to maintain genome stability

Jennifer Black

Jennifer Black, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Colon cancer; endometrial cancer; pancreatic cancer; cell signaling (kinases and phosphatases) cell cycle regulation; control of protein translation in cancer; protein kinase C; PP2A.

Gloria Borgstahl

Gloria Borgstahl, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Structural biology, structure-based drug design, superoxide dismutase and double-strand DNA repair by homologous recombination.

Shilpa Buch

Shilpa Buch, PhD
Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience

Research focus: Therapeutic strategies that may enhance neural function and survival in NeuroAIDS, with possible implications in other neurodegenerative diseases.

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Steve Caplan

Steve Caplan, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Study of endocytic membrane trafficking, receptor recycling, vesicular transport, endosomes, mechanisms of mitochondrial fission/fusion, ciliogenesis and mechanisms by which primary cilia are generated, and centrosome biology.

Carol Casey

Carol A. Casey, PhD
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Research focus: Biochemistry of alcoholism and digestive system diseases.

Kishore Challagundla

Kishore Challagundla, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Role of extra cellular vesicles (EV's) and the non-coding RNAs in affecting immunotherapy response and escaping immune surveillance in pediatric cancers, in particular neuroblstoma and acute myeloid leukemia.

Pi-Wan Cheng

Pi-Wan Cheng, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Development of glycan-based strategies to treat malignant cancer as well as prevent and treat infections.

Vinai Chittezham Thomas

Vinai Chittezham Thomas, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology

Research focus: Staphylococcal physiology and metabolism; staphylococcus stress response.

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Suyong Choi, PhD
Assistant Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Phosphoinositide signaling pathways in cancer and immunology.

Martin Conda Sheridan

Martin Conda-Sheridan, PhD
Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy

Research focus: Design of complex multifunctional biomaterials and bioactive small molecules for medicinal applications.

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Kaustabh Datta

Kaustubh Datta, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Molecular mechanisms of cancer progression and metastasis.

John Davis

John S. Davis, PhD
Professor, Director of Research and Development - Olson Center for Women's Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Research focus: Reproductive endocrinology and oncology.

Rebecca Oberley-Deegan

Rebecca Oberley-Deegan, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Role of free radicals signaling to transform fibroblasts and inflammatory cells in normal tissue, which results in damage to these tissues; understanding the mechanisms by which ROS promote radiation induced fibrosis and prostate cancer progression.

Paul Denton, PhD

Paul Denton, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology (UNO)

Research focus: Improving immunotherapies to treat malignancies.

Punita Dhawan

Punita Dhawan, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Development of novel therapeutic targets for Gastrointestinal Cancer progression and chemoresistance; Role of signaling pathways and cancer stem cells involved in this process using cell culture, mouse and organoid models.

Jixin Dong

Jixin Dong, PhD
Associate Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Hippo signaling and cancer; Chemotherapeutic drug resistance.

Andrew Dudley

Andrew Dudley, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy

Research focus: Mechanisms that regulate the development and homeostasis of musculoskeletal tissue using methods from embryology, molecular biology, cell biology, genetics and tissue engineering, with the goal of generating novel therapies for regenerative medicine.

Anna Dunaevsky

Anna Dunaevsky, PhD
Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences

Research focus: Synaptic plasticity and neuron-glia interactions in neurocognitive disorders.

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Dalia ElGamal, PhD

Dalia Elgamal, PhD
Assistant Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Pathogenesis of B-cell malignancies and evaluating novel targeted therapeis for B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and Richter's transformation.

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Howard Fox, MD, PhD

Howard Fox, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences

Research focus: Neurodegeneration, brain dysfunction and viral infections of the brain.

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Jered Garrison

Jered Garrison, PhD
Professor, College of Pharmacy

Research focus: Targeted molecular imaging and radiotherapeutic agent design; development of cancer-specific prodrugs; polymer based drug delivery systems.

Howard Gendelman

Howard E. Gendelman, MD
Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience

Research focus: Development and testing of HIV-1 cure strategies; Basic and clinical studies on novel medicines to treat Parkinson's disease.

Gargi Ghosal, PhD

Gargi Ghosal, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy

Research focus: Understand the basic science underlying replication stress response in cancer and aging, identify new targets and bio-markers for cancer therapy and facilitate the development of strategies to overcome drug resistance and improve cancer therapies.

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Tony Hollingsworth

Michael A. (Tony) Hollingsworth, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Basic and transactional research in pancreatic cancer, including investigation of the biology of tumor progress, discovery and validation of biomarkers of early detection and disease progression, development and testing of novel therapeutics, including targeted therapies and immunotherapies.

Sarah Holstein

Sarah Holstein, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Oncology and Hematology

Research focus: Development of novel agents for the treatment of multiple myeloma and pancreatic cancer, with a particular focus on Rab inhibitors of the isoprenoid biosynthetic.

Kate Hyde

R. Katherine (Kate) Hyde, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Understand the mechanisms that regulate leukemia development; develop treatments for hematological malignancies.

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Maneesh Jain

Maneesh Jain, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Development of genetically engineered antibody fragments for improved radioimmunotherapy for solid tumors; development of serum assays for the early diagnosis of lethal pancreatic cancer.

Keith Johnson

Keith R. Johnson, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: The role the cell adhesion molecules (cadherins) play in metastasis.

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Sukhwinder Kaur

Sukhwinder Kaur, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Combinatorial diagnostic and prognostic marker(s) for cancer and associated pathologies; implication of ocogenes in tumor progression and metastasis.

Kusum Kharbanda

Kusum Kharbanda, PhD
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Research focus: Alcohol liver injury with emphasis on alcohol's deleterious effect in altering the methionine metabolic pathway and lowering the ratio of the methyl dontor, SAM, to its product, SAH.

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So-Youn Kim, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Research focus: Oncofertility, cachexia, ovarian cancer.

Zeljka Korade

Zeljka Korade, DVM, PhD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Research focus: Cholesterol metabolism in the central nervous system; study of an inborn error of metabolism Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome; desmosterolosis; development of neuronal cell lines with defects in different enzymes of cholesterol biosynthesis pathway and their characterization.

Sushil Kumar, PhD

Sushil Kumar, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Tumor microenvironment; Pancreatic pathologies including pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis using multiple murine models, organoid, and 3D cell culture-based technologies.

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Marilynn Larson

Marilynn Larson, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology

Research focus: Host and intracellular pathogen interactions, and determining the mechanisms that allow the Tier 1 select agent Francisella tularensis to persist and rapidly replicate within infected macrophages.

Oksana Lockridge

Oksana Lockridge, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Transglutaminase levels are high in pancreatic ductal carcinoma. By crosslinking proteins, transglutaminase alters their stability and function; protein identification through mass spectrometry.

Brian Lowes

Brian Lowes, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Cardiology

Research focus: Novel education clinical trainees and education program with a goal to develop clinicians and scientists in sub-Saharan Africa.

Xu Luo

Xu Luo, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways in cell death and survival in cancer cells.

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 Sidharth Mahapatra

Sidharth Mahapara, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Research focus: Elucidating pathophysiologic mechanisms triggering aggressive pediatric brain tumors using transcriptomic analyses to hone in on essential signaling pathways and to test synthetic inhibitors of these pathways; Repurposing FDS-approved drugs for treatment of aggressive pediatric brain tumors.

Luis Marky

Luis Marky, PhD
Professor, College of Pharmacy

Research focus: Biophysical chemistry and molecular forces that control the conformational stability and flexibility of nucleic acids, including Okazaki fragments, hairpin loops, intramolecular triplexes, G-quadruplexes, C-quadruplexes, and three- & four-arm DNA junctions and their interaction with drugs.

Benita McVicker

Benita McVicker, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology-Hepatology

Research focus: Alcohol liver injury and mechanisms.

Jane Meza

Jane Meza, PhD
Professor, College of Public Health - Biostatistics

Research focus: Statistical issues related to small-area estimation. These methods have been extended to disease mapping applications and combining national and state data to estimate the probability of a rare event.

Karoly Mirnics

Karoly Mirnics, MD, PhD
Director, Munroe-Meyer Institute

Research focus: Animal models of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders; effects of Gene-Environmental-Drug interactions on the developing brain; role of disrupted cholesterol biosynthesis of brain function - all using genetic, molecular, cellular and biochemical tools in our studies, coupled with drug screening and mouse behavioral assessments.

Justin Mott

Justin L. Mott, PhD, MD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Receptor tyrosine kinase and microRNA regulation of apoptosis in liver cancer and bile duct injury.

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Praba Narayanasamy

Prabagaran (Praba) Narayanasamy, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology

Research focus: Drug design, discovery and development (including drug delivery by nanomedicine) for infectious diseases; study of physiology and pathogenesis of bacteria and virus towards drug discovery; design, synthesis and characterization of substrates, inhibitors, intermediates, products and mechanisms for drug discovery and development.

Naava Naslavsky

Naava Naslavsky, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Development of new strategies to treat diseases involving traffic and recycling events related to the control of receptor localization to the plasma membrane that is central to normal cell function, and dysregulation as the underlying cause for diseases as diverse as atherosclerosis, diabetes and cancer.

Wasim Nasser, PhD

Wasim (Mohd) Nasser, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Research focus: Novel therapeutic strategies for immunosuppressive and tumor-supportive microenvironments of metastatic breast and lung cancers.

Amar Natarajan

Amarnath (Amar) Natarajan, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Developing novel target and mechanism specific therapeutics.

Caroline Ng

Caroline Ng, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Microbiology

Research focus: Biology and pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum, genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying drug resistance.

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Michael Ouellette

Michael M. Ouellette, PhD
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Research focus: Molecular mechanisms that determine the lifespan of human cells, including telomeres and telomerase.  Role of the small GTPases K-Ras and Rac1 in the development of pancreatic cancer and its response to conventional therapies.

Scot Ouellette

Scot Ouellette, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology & Microbiology

Research focus: Chlamydial microbiology: bacterial cell division, gene regulation, host-pathogen interactions.

David Oupicky

David Oupicky, PhD
Professor, College of Pharmacy

Research focus: Design of multifunctional nanoparticles and polymers with application in the treatment of metastatic cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and acute kidney injury.

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Youri Pavlov

Youri Pavlov, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Cellular systems of mutagenesis and antimutagenesis.

Aimin Peng

Aimin Peng, PhD
Professor, College of Dentistry

Research focus: Cell cycle regulation and the DNA damage response (DDR); cellular recover process from DNA damage; protein phosphatase-dependent cell cycle and DDR regulation and its implication for cancer progression and therapy.

Armen Petrosyan

Armen Petrosyan, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Mechanism of Golgi alteration in advanced prostate cancer: focus on aberrant glycosylation; role for non-muscle Myosin IIA in alcohol-induced Golgi fragmentation.

Moorthy Ponnusamy

Moorthy Ponnusamy, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Cancer stem cells; metastasis; progression of pancreatic cancer.

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Rachagani

Satyayanarayana Rachagani, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Pathogenesis and targeting strategies for pancreatic and colorectal cancers through miRNA, natural agents and other novel combination therapies.

William Rizzo

William Rizzo, MD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Research focus: Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome and other inherited metabolic diseases.

Don Ronning

Don Ronning, PhD
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Research focus: Discovery and development of anti-infective and anti-cancer compounds.

Shyamal Roy

Shyamal K. Roy, PhD
Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Cellular & Integrative Physiology

Research focus: Endocrine regulation of follicular development, growth factors, signal transduction in ovarian cells and biochemistry of granulosa cells.

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Micah Schott

Micah Schott, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Research focus: Cell biology of lipids in metabolic disease.

Polina Shcherbakova

Polina Shcherbakova, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Mechanisms controlling genome stability in eukaryotic cells, particularly the functions of DNA polymerases, DNA replication fidelity and the relationship between DNA polymerase defects and cancer.

Jawed Siddiqui

Jawed Siddiqui, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Bone metastasis, bone microenvironment, chemokines and cytokines, osteoimmunology, bone-muscle cross-talk, and cancer therapeutics.

Amar Singh

Amar Singh, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Molecular mechanisms inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer; renal pathobiology.

Rakesh Singh

Rakesh K. Singh, PhD
Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology

Research focus: Tumor growth and metastasis, angiogenesis, tumor immunology, cytokine biology.

Joyce Solheim

Joyce Solheim, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Mechanisms regulating the immune response to tumors and infectious pathogens, and development of new immunotherapies.

Paul Sorgen

Paul Sorgen, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Advancing our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of gap junction regulation in the heart, with particular interest and expertise in protein-protein interactions mediated by the carboxylterminal domain of connexins.

Kelly Stauch, PhD

Kelly Stauch, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences

Research focus: Role of mitrochondrial dysfunction and altered energy metabolism in the context of neurodegerative diseases and aging.

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Melissa TeohFitzgerald

Melissa Teoh-Fitzgerald, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research focus: Role of oxidative tumor microenvironment in regulating the reciprocal tumor-stroma interactions.

Geoffrey Thiele

Geoffrey M. Thiele, PhD
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Rheumatology

Research focus: Autoimmunity, immune system disorders, immunopathology; infectious diseases/agents; Rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, breast cancer and the immune system, bone loss and erosion, alcoholic liver disease.

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Saraswathi Viswanathan

Saraswathi Viswanathan, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolism

Research focus: Determine the role of obesity in modulating the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, alcohol-associated liver injury, and pancreatic cancer.

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Gus Wang

Guangshun (Gus) Wang, PhD
Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology

Research focus: host defense antimicrobial peptides; structural bioinformatics; biomolecular NMR.

Nicholas Woods

Nicholas Woods, PhD
Assistant Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute

Research focus: Systems biology based analysis of cancer signaling pathways.

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