Faculty

Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology Faculty

The Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology (MGCB) doctoral program includes faculty members from the following colleges, departments and institutes: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cellular and Integrative Physiology, two College of Dentistry departments, College of Pharmacy, four College of Public Health departments, Eppley Institute, Genetics Cell Biology and Anatomy, four Internal Medicine departments, Munroe-Meyer Institute, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Pathology and Microbiology, Pediatrics, Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, Radiation Oncology and Surgery.

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Lorena Baccaglini Lorena Baccaglini, DDS, PhD
Associate Professor, College of Public Health - Epidemiology
Research focus:  Clinical research; evidence-based medicine; systematic reviews; epidemiological methods; genetic epidemiology, oral and systemic diseases; wound healing; growth factors; head and neck injuries.

Hamid Band

Hamid Band, MD, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  Regulation of receptor signaling by endocytic traffic; Cbl-family and CHIP ubiquitin ligases; EHD-family endocytic recycling regulators; mouse genetic models; cancer and stem cell biology.


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.


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.

Bessho Tadayoshi Bessho, PhD
Associate Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  Molecular mechanism of DNA interstrand crosslink repair in mammalian cells.

Kishor Bhakat 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.

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.

Shannon Buckley Shannon Buckley, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Research focus:  Utilize genomic and proteomic approaches to identify key ubiquitin ligases and their substrates that regulate mechanisms hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal, differentiation, and malignant transformation (i.e. Leukemia and Lymphoma).

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Mark Carlson Mark Carlson, MD, FACS
Professor, Department of Surgery
Research focus:  Cancer; regenerative medicine; hemostasis; wound healing.

Challagundla 2017.jpg 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 and escaping immune surveillance in pediatric cancers, in particular neuroblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia.

Pi-Wan Cheng Pi-Wan Cheng, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research focus:  Mechanism of altered glycosylation in cancer development/progression and alcohol abuse, and development of altered glycans-based markers for identification and targeted therapy of advanced cancers.

Pawel Ciborowski Pawel Ciborowski, PhD
Professor and Director of Mass Spectometry and Proteomics Core Facility, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience
Research focus:  Protein structure and functions; proteomics.

Leah Cook Leah Cook, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology
Research focus:  Investigation of immune interactions within the tumor bone microenvironment that contribute to bone metastatic prostate cancer; identifying novel immunotherapeutic targets for treating and curing metastatic cancers.

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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.

Rebecca Deegan, PhD Rebecca Deegan, PhD
Associate 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.

Bin Duan Bin Duan, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Cardiology
Research focus:  Integrate novel biomaterials, advanced biofabrication of tissue engineering to create multi-scale complexity within engineered tissue to understand the fundamentals of cell-material interactions and mimic the native tissue for tissue regeneration.

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:  Learning induced structural and functional synaptic plasticity, neuron glia interactions and neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Jim Eudy James Eudy, PhD
Associate Professor, Director of UNMC DNA Microarray and Sequencing Core Facility, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Research focus:  Next Generation DNA Sequencing strategies for rare Mendelian disease gene identification and functional genomic technologies; biomedical interest in cancer, cardiovascular disease and virology.

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Kai Fu Kai Fu, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology
Research focus:  Hematopathology, lymphoma research.

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Gargi Ghosal 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.

Karen Gould Karen Gould, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Research focus:  Estrogen receptor alpha regulation of lupus; identification of the Mom5 modifier of intestional tumorigenesis.

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Kyle Hewitt, PhD

Kyle Hewitt, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology & Anatomy
Research focus:  Multidisciplinary approaches to identify gene regulation networks and cell signaling mechanisms that control blood production during development and/or regeneration following disease or injury.  Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms that cause hematologic disorders and mechanisms that regulate the function of hematopoietic stem and projenitor cells.


Steve Hinrichs Steven H. Hinrichs, MD
Chair and Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology
Research focus:  Molecular pathogenesis and diagnostics of infectious organism, antimicrobial drug discovery and bioterrorism preparedness information technology.

Tony Hollingsworth Michael A. (Tony) Hollingsworth, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  Basic and translational 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.

Sung Ho Huh Sung-Ho Huh, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences
Research focus:  Understanding mechanisms by which signaling pathways regulating sensory and nephron progenitor cells generation and maintenance during development and regeneration and use these findings as tools for regenerative medicine.

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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Keith Johnson Keith R. Johnson, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  The role the cell adhesion molecules (cadherins) play in metastasis.

Shantaram Joshi Shantaram S. Joshi, PhD
Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Research focus:  Improve therapy for human B lymphocytic malignancies and pediatric cancers by means of translational research involving molecular characterization of progressive/therapy resistant malignant cells.

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Georgette Kanmogne Georgette D. Kanmogne, PhD, MPH
Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience
Research focus:  HIV/AIDS, vascular biology and cell signaling.

Adam Karpf Adam R. Karpf, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  Ovarian cancer biology and therapeutics; Cancer epigenetics.

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 donor, SAM, to its product, SAH.

kim-hyung-joon.jpg

Hyung Joon Kim, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Research focus:  Measuring the pathophysiologically relevant molecular and cellular deficits in human brain diseases.


Kim_SoYoun.jpg

So-Youn Kim, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Research focus:  Oncofertility, cachexia, ovarian cancer.


David Klinkebiel David Klinkebiel, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research focus:  Dynamics associated with changes in the genome and epigenome of human disease.

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Tricia LeVan

Tricia LeVan, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep & Allergy
Research focus:  Genetic and pathogen associated microbial product influences on respiratory diseases, functional genomic studies, gene by environment association studies, host pathogen interactions with bronchial epithelial cells.


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.


Richard Lutz Richard Lutz, MD
Associate Professor, Munroe-Meyer Institute
Research focus:  Birth defects; mental retardation; autism; enzyme replacement therapy; pediatric growth problems.

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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.

Paras Kumar Mishra Paras Kumar Mishra, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Research focus:  MicroRNomics of cardiovascular diseases and diabetic cardiomyopathy.

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Amar Natarajan

Amarnath (Amar) Natarajan, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  Developing novel target and mechanism specific therapeutics.


Ali Nawshad Ali Nawshad, PhD
Associate Professor, College of Dentistry
Research focus:  Transforming Growth Factor (TGF) ß signaling during palate development; mechanisms of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) by TGFß in HNSCC; role of TGFß signaling during dentinogenesis.

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.


Robert Norgren Robert B. Norgren, PhD
Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Research focus:  Use of nonhuman primate genomics to better understand human genetic disease.

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Ann Olney Ann Haskins Olney, MD
Professor, Munroe-Meyer Institute
Research focus:  Dysmorphology; molecular etiology of multiple congenital anomaly syndromes; overgrowth syndromes; syndrome delineation.

Michael Ouellette Michael M. Ouellette, PhD
Associate 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.

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Babu Padanilam Babu Padanilam, PhD
Professor, Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Research focus:  Cellular, biochemical and molecular analysis of the pathophysiology of acute ischemic renal injury and chronic kidney disease.

Youri Pavlov Youri Pavlov, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  Cellular systems of mutagenesis and antimutagenesis.

Gurudutt Pendyala, phD Gurudutt N. Pendyala, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology
Research focus:  Animal models of addiction, sex differences in drug abuse; Synaptic biology; Epigenetic regulation, role of microRNA's at the synapse in drug addiction, mechanisms and role in gene regulation; Prenatal drug exposure and synaptic development; Integrative Systems Biology approach to understand synaptic aberrations in chronic drug abuse; High input technologies-genomics, mass spectrometry-based proteomics and metabolomics.

Aimin Peng Aimin Peng, PhD
Associate 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.

Sundaralingam Premaraj Sundaralingam Premaraj, BDS, MS, PhD, FRCD(C)
Associate Professor, College of Dentistry
Research focus:  Cranial suture biology; (TGF) ß cell signaling in osteoblasts; molecular biology of tooth movement.

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Awaiting Photo Sutapa Ray, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Research focus:  Molecular mechanisms of pediatric brain and central nervous system tumors initiation, maintenance, progression and drug resistance.

William Rizzo William Rizzo, MD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Research focus:  Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome and other inherited metabolic diseases.

Kerry Rodabaugh Kerry Rodabaugh, MD
Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Research focus:  Gynecologic oncology.

Don Ronning, PhD Don Ronning, PhD
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Research focus:  Discovery and development of anti-infective compounds with particular interest on compounds possessing efficacy for treating Tuberculosis.

Jordan Rowley, Phd Jordan Rowley, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology & Anatomy
Research focus:  3D organization of DNA within the nucleus.

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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John Sharp John (Graham) Sharp, PhD
Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Research focus:  Research on stem cells in normal tissue and tumors, particularly pediatric tumors.

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.

Pankaj Singh Pankaj Singh, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  Cancer metabolism, immuno-metabolism, signal transduction in cancer, tumor-microenvironment interactions, therapy resistance, metastasis, cancer cachexia, personalized cancer medicine, and multi-omics systems biology.

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.

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Tahir Tahirov Tahir Tahirov, PhD
Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  Reveal the structure basis of the mechanisms covering the key stages in the expression and duplication/repair of genes and to learn how the disease-related mutations in proteins disrupt these key processes.

Wallace Thoreson Wallace B. Thoreson, PhD
Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Research focus:  Visual information processing by the retina; electrophysiology and optical imaging techniques to study transmission at ribbon synapses of rod and cone photoreceptors.

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James Wahl James Wahl, PhD
Professor, College of Dentistry
Research focus:  Understand the role of desmosomes play in maintaining the normal phenotype of squamous epithelial tissues and to determine if their alteration during tumorigenesis influences cell motility, metastasis and signaling.

Hanjun Wang, PhD Hanjun Wang, MD
Associate Professor, College of Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Research focus:  Cardiovascular reflexes during exercise; neural control mechanisms underlying the exaggerated cardiovascular response and hyperventilation during exercise in the chronic heart failure state.


Nicholas Woods Nicholas Woods, PhD
Assistant Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  Systems biology based analysis of cancer signaling pathways.

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Jingwei Xie Jingwei Xie, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery-Transplant
Research focus:  Synthesis, surface modification, self-assembly of materials at nanometer scale to address problems in the field of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and drug/gene delivery.

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Ying Yan Ying Yan, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Research focus:  Rac1 as a therapeutic target in triple negative breast cancer; protein phosphatase 2A in pancreatic cancer.

Sowmya Yelamanchili, PhD Sowmya Yelamanchili, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology
Research focus:  MicroRNAs in neurodegenerative diseases, HIV, Parkinson's Disease.

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Jialin Zheng Jialin Zheng, MD
Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience
Research focus:  Chemokines and neural chemokine receptors in neuropathogenesis of HIV-associated dementia.

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