Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences


Primary Training Faculty

Armen Akopian, Ph.D.  (Endodontics) – modulation of inflammatory and neuropathic pain

Swati Banerjee, Ph.D.  (Cellular & Integrative Physiology) – Drosophila as a genetic model for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders

Kelly Berg, Ph.D.  (Pharmacology) – G protein - coupled receptors, signal transduction, ligand functional selectivity

Manzoor Bhat, M.S., Ph.D.  (Cellular & Integrative Physiology) – molecular neuron-glia interactions, synaptic development and neurological disorders

Kevin Bieniek, Ph.D.  (Pathology) – traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative disorders, CTE

Andrew Brenner, M.D., Ph.D (Cancer Therapy and Research Center) – Neuro-oncology; overcoming resistance to cancer therapy driven by the hypoxic microenvironment

Sandeep Burma, Ph.D.  (Biochemistry and Structural Biology) - DNA repair and therapy resistance in glioblastoma

Jose Cavazos, M.D., Ph.D.  (Neurology) – hippocampal plasticity; mechanisms of neuronal hyperexcitability, epilepsy

Chu Chen, Ph.D. (Physiology) – endocannabinoid signaling and neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative disease and TBI

Lizhen Chen, Ph.D.  (Cell Systems and Anatomy) – Genetic regulation of neuronal responses to aging and injury

Ching-Kang Jason Chen, Ph.D. (Molecular Medicine) – mammalian vision and retinal physiology

William Clarke, Ph.D.  (Pharmacology) – molecular and cellular mechanisms of drug efficacy and differential signal transduction 

Greg Collins, Ph.D.  (Pharmacology) – determinants of drug-seeking and drug-taking of abused substances, such as “bath salts”

Marcel Daadi, Ph.D.  (Cell Systems and Anatomy) – develop neural stem cells for therapeutic use in Parkinson’s and other diseases

Lynette Daws, Ph.D.  (Cellular & Integrative Physiology) – regulation of monoamine transporters, psychotherapeutic drug effects 

Anibal Diogenes, D.D.S., Ph.D. (Endodontics) – Peripheral modulation of pain and inflammation; bioengineering and stem cells

Margaret Flanagan, Ph.D. (Pathology) – Use of human brain tissue to identify disease mechanisms, risk factors and protective factors for dementia

Bernard Fongang, Ph.D.  (Biochemistry and Structural Biology) – computational tools to study genetic and environmental factors in Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders

Peter Fox, M.D. (Research Imaging Institute) – Non-invasive functional and structural neuroimaging in humans, non-human primates and rodents 

Charles France, Ph.D.  (Pharmacology) – behavioral and pharmacological factors influencing the abuse liability of drugs

Bess Frost, Ph.D.  (Cell Systems and Anatomy) – mechanisms of neurodegeneration in drosophila models and Alzheimer’s Disease

Amy Garrett, Ph.D. (Psychiatry) – neuroimaging to understand changes in brain function with psychotherapy for youth with PTSD

Brett Ginsburg, Ph.D.  (Psychiatry) – Mechanisms of alcohol abuse and recovery; behavioral pharmacology of synthetic cannabinoids

Mark Goldberg, M.D.  (Neurology) – Brain injury and motor system recovery after stroke and cerebral amyloid angiopathy

Georgianna Gould, Ph.D. (Cellular & Integrative Physiology) – serotonin and social behavior

Xianlin Han (Biochemistry) –role of sulfatide and myelin lipids in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease and aging

Kenneth Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D.  (Endodontics) – neuropharmacology of primary nociceptors and pain sensitivity

Noboru Hiroi (Pharmacology) – genetic, cellular and molecular mechanisms of developmental neuropsychiatric disorders

Sarah Hopp (Pharmacology) – microglia and neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease; tau and calcium regulation

Nathan Jeske, Ph.D.  (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery) – biochemical modulation of peripheral pain in nociceptive neurons by regulation of TRPV1 channel function

Asma Khan, Ph.D.  (Endodontics) - extracellular vesicles in pain; new diagnostics; pain management

Yu Shin Kim, Ph.D. (Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery) - regulation of sensory modalities including pain, itch, and gentle touch

Oleg Klykov, Ph.D. (Biochemistry) - structural regulation of glutamate receptor function

Erzsebet Kokovay, Ph.D.  (Cell Systems and Anatomy) – molecular and cellular regulation of neural stem cells and adult neurogenesis

James Lechleiter, Ph.D.  (Cell Systems and Anatomy) – mitochondrial calcium regulation in cell death and survival in the aging process

Hye-Young Lee, Ph.D.  (Cellular & Integrative Physiology) – ion channel dysregulation in mouse models of FXS and other developmental disorders

Senlin Li, M.D.  (Medicine) – Hematopoietic stem cell-derived macrophage gene therapy for neurodegenerative diseases 

Daniel Lodge, Ph.D.  (Pharmacology) – Hippocampal and other afferent regulation of mesolimbic dopamine activity

Liang Ma, Ph.D.  (Pharmacology) – Functional genomics of neuropsychiatric and neurologic diseases; human iPS cell models

David Maguire, Ph.D.  (Pharmacology) - Behavioral pharmacology; abuse potential of drugs; treatment of substance use disorders

David Morilak, Ph.D.  (Pharmacology) – Effect of stress on behavior and brain function; novel therapeutics; cancer therapy-induced cognitive impairment

Jason O'Connor, Ph.D.  (Pharmacology) – Tryptophan metabolism and mechanisms linking neuroinflammation and depression 

Juan Pablo Palavicini, Ph.D. (Barshop Institute) – lipidomics; role of ceramides in Alzheimer’s Disease

Martin Paukert, Ph.D.  (Cellular & Integrative Physiology) – Role of calcium signaling and neuron-astroglial interactions in neuromodulation and arousal

Jason Pugh, Ph.D.  (Cellular & Integrative Physiology) – Axonal plasticity, cellular computation and signal processing in neural circuits

Qitao Ran, Ph.D.   (Cell Systems and Anatomy) – role of mitochondrial oxidative stress in aging and Alzheimer’s Disease

Nikita Ruparel, D.D.S., Ph.D. (Endodontics) – Pain, analgesia, inflammation; Stem cells and regenerative endodontics in pain modulation

Shivani Ruparel, Ph.D.   (Endodontics) – mechanisms and novel treatment approaches for oral cancer pain

Muralidhan Sargurupremraj, Ph.D. (Biggs Inst.) – genetic mechanisms in Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias

Naomi Sayre, Ph.D.   (Neurosurgery) – role of astrocyte lipoprotein metabolism in recovery from stroke and traumatic brain injury

Mark Shapiro, Ph.D.  (Cellular & Integrative Physiology) – ion channel physiology; regulation by intracellular signaling pathways and excitability 

Qian Shi, Ph.D.  (Cellular & Integrative Physiology) – role of mTOR signaling in oligodendrocyte development and diseases of myelination

Gek-Ming Sia, Ph.D.   (Pharmacology) – neurodevelopment, cortical synapse and circuit formation, synaptogenesis

James Stockand, Ph.D.  (Cellular & Integrative Physiology) – structure, function and regulation of ENaC/Degenerin sodium ion channels

Randy Strong, Ph.D.  (Pharmacology) – role of catecholamines in aging; regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase gene expression

Habil Zare (Cell Systems & Anatomy) – computational biology, applying machine learning to gene network analysis

Affiliated Faculty

Yidong Bai, Ph.D.   (Cell Systems and Anatomy) – mitochondrial deficits and mtDNA mutations in neurodegeneration and aging

Flavia Carreno, PhD.  (Pharmacology) – novel therapies for stress-related psychiatric disorders 

Robert Clark, M.D.  (Medicine) – Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neutrophil signal transduction and activation; transcriptional regulation of genes relevant to biology of aging 

Peter Hornsby, Ph.D.   (Cellular & Integrative Physiology) – pluripotent stem cells and regenerative medicine in neurodegenerative disease models

Jean Jiang, Ph.D.  (Biochemistry and Structural Biology) – function and regulation of gap junctions; connexins in cell signaling and development

Bruce Nicholson, Ph.D.  (Biochemistry and Structural Biology) – structure of gap junctions; genetic and structural diversity of connexins in disease

Luiz Penalva, Ph.D.   (Cell Systems and Anatomy) – RNA binding proteins and miRNA regulating gene expression in neuronal stress

Charles Szabo, M.D.  (Neurology) – genetic, neuroimaging and behavioral aspects of epilepsy

Ratna Vadlamudi, Ph.D.   (Ob/Gyn) – co-regulators of steroid and nuclear receptor signal transduction

Kristine Vogel, Ph.D.  (Cell Systems and Anatomy) – mechanisms of tumorigenesis and neural development in neurofibromatosis