• Research Faculty

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    Raphael Kopan, PhD Director, Division of Developmental Biology

    and his lab have the long-term goal of organogenesis in vitro. They focus their efforts on Notch signaling as their lead into mechanistic understanding of tissue diversity using genetic engineering, embryology and single cell profiling. They interrogate the mouse embryo to address critical questions regarding the circuit logic of Notch signaling in mammalian organogenesis and its integration in larger signaling context.

    Visit the Kopan Lab.


    A photo of Bruce Aronow.

    Bruce J. Aronow, PhD Co-director, Computational Medicine Center

    focuses his research on unraveling the role and mechanism by which the functional capabilities of the human genome shape human health and the body’s ability to adapt to stressful challenges. With the co-leadership of Anil Jegga, DVM, his lab is using a variety of available data on structural and functional genomics and biological systems to form models of how biological systems assemble, adapt and become impaired in disease.
    Visit the Aronow/Jegga Lab.


    A photo of Samantha Brugmann.

    Samantha A. Brugmann, PhD Member, Division of Plastic Surgery

    is a developmental biologist who aims to understand craniofacial development and elucidate the molecular basis for diseases that affect the craniofacial complex. Furthermore, Dr. Brugmann attempts to understand the forces that help pattern the face during normal and abnormal development she utilizes various model systems with unique facial morphologies.

    Visit the Brugmann Lab.


    A photo of Kenneth Campbell.

    Kenneth J. Campbell, PhD

    studies the molecular genetic control of mouse forebrain development with a particular focus on the generation of neuronal diversity in the ventral telencephalon.


    A photo of Sang-Wook Cha.

    Sang-Wook Cha, PhD

    investigates how Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) signaling between lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) and endoderm regulates apicobasal polarity (ABP) of intestinal epithelium and controls radial-intercalation and gut elongation. Dr. Cha uses both amphibian and mouse/human organoids as the model systems.


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    Vaughn G. Cleghon, PhD

    is interested in understanding the role of protein kinases in development and disease. His lab uses molecular biology, tissue culture, Drosophila genetics and bioinformatics to better understand fundamental mechanisms involved in the regulation of protein kinase activity. 
    Visit the Cleghon Lab.


    A photo of Tiffany Cook.

    Tiffany Cook, PhD

    studies cell type specification using the Drosophila eye as a model. The lab focuses on gene regulation, and uses a combination of developmental genetics and biochemistry to understand the role of various transcription factors during photoreceptor and lens development.
    Visit the Cook Lab.


    A photo of Roger Cornwall.

    Roger Cornwall, MD Clinical Director, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery

    investigates the neurological control of postnatal muscle growth and development. The goal of his research is to identify novel physiological treatments for pediatric neuromuscular contractures.

    Visit the Cornwall Lab.


    A photo of Steven Crone.

    Steven A. Crone, PhD

    focuses his research around understanding how neurons form functioning motor circuits during development and how the function (or dysfunction) of motor circuits impacts neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy.
    Visit the Crone Lab.


    A photo of Andrew Dauber.

    Andrew Dauber, MD, MMSc Program Director and Director of Translational Research, Cincinnati Center for Growth Disorders

    investigates the genetic etiology of growth disorders and other pediatric endocrine conditions. His research employs the latest in genomic technologies to discover novel genetic causes of growth disorders in patients with previously undiagnosed conditions. Further laboratory investigations are then performed to understand the underlying perturbations to growth biology.
    Visit the Dauber-Hwa Lab.


    A photo of Tony De Falco.

    Tony J. De Falco, PhD

    has basic research programs in gonad differentiation and homeostasis. His lab investigates how the initially undifferentiated gonad primordium transforms into a testis or ovary, as well as how the adult testis maintains sperm production over a long reproductive lifespan. His specific interests are in the novel and diverse roles of myeloid immune cells in reproductive biology.

    Visit the De Falco Lab.


    A photo of Sandra Degen.

    Sandra J.F. Degen, PhD Associate Chair for Academic Affairs

    studies the regulation of expression of proteins in blood coagulation and growth control: prothrombin and hepatocyte growth factor-like protein, and its membrane tyrosine kinase receptor (Ron).


    A photo of Prasad Devarajan.

    Prasad Devarajan, MD Director, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension

    researches acute kidney injury mechanisms, biomarkers and novel therapies. He also studies focal segmental glomerulosclerosis pathogenesis and biomarkers; and lupus nephritis molecular pathways and biomarkers. For each condition, his team employs an integrated approach of genomic and proteomic discovery in animal and human models, followed by translation, and validation in the human disease states.
    Visit the Devarajan Lab.


    A photo of SK Dey.

    SK Dey, PhD Lova Riekert Chair and Professor of Pediatrics, Cancer and Cell Biology

    investigates the paracrine, autocrine and juxtacrine signaling networks that influence uterine biology in the context of embryo-uterine interactions during pregnancy. He also works on the effects of endocannabinoids on periimplantation events. Studies involving the molecular and genetic regulation of epithelial ovarian cancer and uterine carcinoma are also of interest.
    Visit the Dey Lab.


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    Brian Gebelein, PhD

    studies how the Hox genes specify distinct cell fates within the nervous system using the fruit fly as a model organism. His long-term goal is to use a combination of genetic and biochemical approaches to understand how Hox factors interact with neuronal transcription factors to regulate downstream target genes that pattern the nervous system and ultimately control cellular function and behavior.
    Visit the Gebelein Lab.


    A photo of Geraldine Guasch.

    Geraldine Guasch, PhD

    uses the mouse as a model system to investigate the role of stem cells in tumor development. The long-term goal of the lab is to understand whether skin cancers arise from stem cells and whether tumors maintain stem cells, using a combination of genetics and biochemical studies.
    Visit the Guasch Lab.


    A photo of Ronald Hathaway.

    Ronald R. Hathaway, DDS, MS, MS Director, Craniofacial and Surgical Orthodontics, Division of Plastic Surgery

    has research interests in craniofacial morphology, clinical outcomes for craniofacial treatment protocols and evidence based practices. He is a co-investigator for the Americleft Project, an inter-center North American cohort study for evaluating cleft palate outcomes and identifying best practices. He serves an editorial consultant and reviewer for journals in his discipline.


    A photo of Rashmi Hegde.

    Rashmi S. Hegde, PhD

    studies molecular mechanisms involved in embryonic organ development and how the aberrant functioning of these processes can lead to developmental disorders as well as adult disease states such as cancer. This knowledge is then utilized in the rational design of therapeutic strategies. We use a variety of experimental techniques including biochemistry, cell biology and structural biology.
    Visit the Hedge Lab.


    A photo of Stacey Huppert.

    Stacey S. Huppert, PhD

    investigates the cellular contribution and molecular factors required for assembly of the three-dimensional hepatic architecture, during liver development, homeostasis and regeneration. Defining the critical elements involved in formation and repair processes of the liver are necessary not only to understand biology, but also to identify the cellular and molecular targets involved in congenital and chronic liver diseases.

    Visit the Huppert Lab.


    A photo of Rulang Jiang.

    Rulang Jiang, PhD Member, Division of Developmental Biology

    is a developmental biologist directing research programs in craniofacial biology. His lab generates and uses mutant mouse models to investigate the genetic and developmental basis of craniofacial birth defects, including cleft lip, cleft palate, tooth defects, and other craniofacial deformities. His lab also studies development of joints, including long bone joints in the limb and the temporomandibular joint of the jaw.

    Visit the Jiang Lab.


    A photo of Vladimir Kalinichenko.

    Vladimir V. Kalinichenko, MD, PhD

    is investigating the transcriptional regulation of epithelial and endothelial cell functions during lung embryonic development and lung carcinogenesis. He studies the winged helix/forkhead box (Fox) proteins and their role in regulating cell signaling pathways required for cellular proliferation, differentiation, motility and survival, ultimately identifying novel mechanisms that cause human lung malformations and promote lung cancer formation.

    Visit the Kalinichenko Lab.


    A photo of Matthew Kofron.

    J. Matthew Kofron, PhD Research Associate, Division of Developmental Biology


    A photo of Yu Lan.

    Yu Lan, PhD Member, Division of Plastic Surgery

    is interested in understanding the genetic basis and developmental mechanisms of structural birth defects. Specifically, Dr. Lan investigates the molecular pathways governing normal palate development in laboratory mice. Her ongoing investigations focus on delineating the molecular pathways involving these factors in palate development using a combination of genetic, embryological, and biochemical approaches.

    Visit the Lan Lab.


    A photo of Richard Lang.

    Richard A. Lang, PhD Director, Visual Systems Group

    has two major research interests. First, the lab is interested in mechanisms of signaling and morphogenesis in early eye development. Second, they investigate the role macrophages play in regulating vascularity during development and homeostasis.
    Visit the Lang Lab.


    A photo of James Lessard.

    James L. Lessard, PhD

    assesses the functional and developmental significance of the four distinct forms of muscle actins. His lab also studies the regulation of visceral smooth muscle growth and differentiation.


    A photo of Xinhua Lin.

    Xinhua Lin, PhD

    is interested in cell-cell signaling mechanisms that control tissue patterning during development. His lab focuses on the role of heparan sulfate proteoglycans in morphogen distribution and signaling. The Lin Lab also studies the molecular mechanisms of Wnt signaling in development.


    A photo of Jun Ma.

    Jun Ma, PhD

    investigates fundamental mechanisms of development through a combination of quantitative experimental approaches and theoretical and simulation approaches. One major focus of Ma’s lab concerns the questions of how morphogen gradients are established, and how precise positional information is encoded by these gradients and interpreted by cells in developing tissues.



    Christopher N. Mayhew, PhD Co-Director, Pluripotent Stem Cell Facility

    is co-director of the Pluripotent Stem Cell Facility. His lab functions as a core facility providing access for Cincinnati Children's / University of Cincinnati investigators to highly quality controlled human pluripotent stem cells, including human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. In addition, the lab provides training in the culture and manipulation of human pluripotent stem cells to investigators. 


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    Masato Nakafuku, MD, PhD Ohio Eminent Scholar

    is focused on the development and regeneration of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). He is seeking to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying normal development of the CNS and is also interested in applying advancement of knowledge on neural development for developing novel therapeutic strategies to cure neurological diseases.
    Visit the Nakafuku Lab.


    A photo of Takahisa Nakamura.

    Takahisa Nakamura, PhD

    Research goal is to address questions concerning why and how inflammatory responses are initiated, coordinated, and thus involved in the development of obesity-induced metabolic diseases.


    A photo of Satoshi Namekawa.

    Satoshi H. Namekawa, PhD

    examines the mechanisms and evolution of epigenetic events during mammalian reproduction, using a male germ cell model.
    Visit the Namekawa Lab.


    A photo of Joo-Seop Park.

    Joo-Seop Park, PhD

    is interested in understanding how progenitor cells maintain their multi-potent status and how they differentiate into different types of cells during organogenesis of the mammalian kidney and bladder. His lab studies transcriptional and epigenetic controls of cis-regulatory modules that act downstream of various signaling pathways.

    Visit the Park Lab.


    A photo of Steven Potter.

    S. Steven Potter, PhD

    is interested in kidney and craniofacial development and disease. He uses a combination of laser capture microdissection, microarrays, and next generation sequencing, applied to both mouse models and human biopsy disease samples.
    Visit the Potter Lab.