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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Rebecca Anderson Rebecca Anderson, JD, MS, CGC
Associate Professor, College of Public Health
Research focus:  Legal and ethical issues in clinical genetics; religious traditions and medical care; medical jurisprudence/public health law.

Jyothi Arikkath

Jyothi Arikkath, PhD
Assistant Professor, Munroe-Meyer Institute
Research focus:  Molecular mechanisms that regulate neuronal structure and plasticity and elucidate how these mechanisms influence neural circuit formation and function.


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Lorena Baccaglini Lorena Baccaglini, DDS, PhD
Associate Professor, Collge 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.


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 insulin-degrading enzymes in diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and other amyloidoses.

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; cell signaling; cell cycle regulation; protein kinase C.

Shannon Buckley Shannon Buckley, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Research focus:  Molecular mechanisms regulating stem cell fate decisions that may also be linked to cancer.

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

Pi-Wan Cheng Pi-Wan Cheng, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research focus:  Regulation of mucin glycan biosynthesis in lung diseases and cancer metastasis; Golgi structure and function: Golgi targeting and retention, and recycling of glycosyltransferases; mechanism of stress-induced Golgi fragmentation.

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.

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Kaustabh Datta Kaustabh Datta, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research focus:  Molecular mechanisms of cancer progression and metastasis.

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, Munroe-Meyer Institute
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:  Replication stress response in cancer and premature ageing.

Karen Gould Karen Gould, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Research focus:  The role of estrogen receptor alpha signaling in autoimmunity and intestinal tumorigenesis.

Babu Guda Chittibabu (Babu) Guda, PhD
Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Research focus:  Development and application of computational methods for genomic data analyses including cancer genomics, functional annotation of proteins, pathways, networks and systems in biomedical research.

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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:  The molecular biology and genetics of MUC1 glycoproteins in pancreatic cancer.

Sung Ho Huh Sung-Ho Huh, PhD
Assistant Professor, Munroe-Meyer Institute
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
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research focus:  Control of gene expression in leukemia and normal hematopoiesis.

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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:  Biology and therapy of human B-Cell malignancies.  Functional genomics of human chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and cellular/immunotherapy of human mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

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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
Associate Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  Cancer epigenetics and DNA methylation, ovarian cancer.

Kusum Kharbanda Kusum Kharbanda, PhD
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Research focus:  Alcohol liver study.

Woo-Yang Kim Woo-Yang Kim, PhD
Associate Professor, Munroe-Meyer Institute
Research focus:  Brain development, particularly neural stem cell/neurogenesis, neuron migration and differentiation; pathogenic mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders including autism and intellectual disability.

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.

Jiangtao Luo Jiangtao Luo, PhD
Assistant Professor, College of Public Health - Biostatistics
Research focus:  Statistical genetics and genomics; statistical methods in clinical genetics and genetic epidemiology; statistical and mathematical modeling; optimal treatment in clinical trials, esp. application of optimization and optimal control; longitudinal data analysis and functional data analysis; Bayesian statistics.

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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Muzafar Macha Muzafar Macha, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research focus:  Awaiting information.

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.

Parmender Mehta Parmender P. Mehta, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research focus:  Connexins and cell-to-cell contact-dependent intercellular communication.

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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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.

Robert Norgren Robert B. Norgren, PhD
Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Research focus:  Genomics; neurogenetics; developmental neurobiology; neurodegeneration.

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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.

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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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.

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
Associate 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:  Signal transduction in cancer, tumor-microenvironment interactions, therapy resistance, cancer metabolism and systems biology.

Shelley Smith Shelley D. Smith, PhD, FACMG
Professor, Munroe-Meyer Institute
Research focus:  Identification of genetic influences on developmental language and learning disorders in children.

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
Associate 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.

Jenny Wang Jing (Jenny) Wang, PhD
Associate Professor, Eppley Cancer Institute
Research focus:  Molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets of colon cancer metastasis and chemoresistance.

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:  Rho family of GTPases in cancer therapy resistance; Serine/Threonine phosphatase 2A in tumorigenesis and metastasis.

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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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