• Research Faculty

  • A photo of Bruce Aronow.

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

    works toward unraveling both the role and mechanism by which the functional capabilities of the human genome shape human health and our ability to adapt to stressful challenges. The lab’s current research focus is to find or support efforts to solve problems relevant to genomic medicine by developing, both independently and collaboratively, new algorithms, tools and methodologies in translational bioinformatics.
    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 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 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 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, 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 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 Raphael Kopan.

    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 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 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

    researches developmental processes at a quantitative and systems level. His team investigates fundamental mechanisms of development through a combination of quantitative experimental approaches and theoretical and simulation approaches.


    A photo of Christopher N. Mayhew.

    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.


    A photo of Rolf Stottmann.

    Rolf W. Stottmann, PhD

    is a developmental geneticist with an interest in using animal models to understand the genetic basis of human congenital defects. His lab is using both forward and reverse genetics to identify novel loci required for normal development. Further studies are then done to study the underlying molecular mechanism(s) leading to the defect. Specific areas of interest are cortical neuron development and craniofacial genetics.
    Visit the Stottmann Lab.


    A photo of Saulius Sumanas.

    Saulius Sumanas, PhD

    utilizes zebrafish as a model system to study molecular mechanisms of the embryonic vasculature formation.
    Visit the Sumanas Lab.


    A photo of Timothy Vogel.

    Timothy W. Vogel, MD Faculty Neurosurgeon, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery

    joined the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Cincinnati Children’s in 2013 as an assistant professor of neurosurgery and developmental biology within the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
    Visit the Vogel Lab.


    A photo of Joshua Waxman.

    Joshua S. Waxman, PhD

    uses genetic, molecular and cellular biological techniques to understand the underlying mechanisms of congenital heart defects and cardiomyocyte formation during development.
    Visit the Waxman Lab.


    A photo of Matthew Weirauch.

    Matthew T. Weirauch, PhD

    is a computational biologist. His lab seeks to understand the mechanisms of gene transcriptional regulation. Current projects focus on characterizing transcription factor binding specificities, and developing methods for modeling their interactions with DNA, both in vitro and in vivo. His lab applies insights from basic research on transcription factor-DNA interactions to study the mechanisms underlying complex diseases.

    Visit the Weirauch Lab.


    A photo of James Wells, PhD.

    James M. Wells, PhD Director, Basic Research, Division of Endocrinology

    researches the molecular mechanisms of endoderm organogenesis in mouse and humans. The goal of this work is to identify the molecular basis of congenital defects affecting the pancreas, liver, and biliary system and to direct the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) into therapeutic cells for replacement therapies, such as transplantable pancreatic beta cells for patients with type-1 diabetes.
    Visit the Wells Lab.


    A photo of Jeffrey Whitsett.

    Jeffrey A. Whitsett, MD Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

    investigates the hierarchy of transcriptional controls and signaling cascades which determine commitment of progenitor cells that produce the differentiated epithelial cells lining the primordial and mature respiratory tract. The goal of his research is to provide insight into the pathogenesis of acute and chronic lung disorders. The role of surfactant in innate host defense and lung function is also an ongoing interest.
    Visit the Whitsett Lab.


    A photo of Chunyue Yin.

    Chunyue Yin, PhD

    studies the cellular and molecular basis of liver development and disease pathogenesis. She focuses on hepatic stellate cells, the key cell type responsible for hepatic fibrogenesis. She utilizes the zebrafish model to investigate the regulation of hepatic stellate cells during liver development and alcoholic liver injury, and their function in liver regeneration. Research in congenital biliary diseases is a second lab focus.

    Visit the Yin Lab.


    A photo of Yutaka Yoshida.

    Yutaka Yoshida, PhD

    investigates the molecular mechanisms of neural circuit formation in the developing spinal cord, using many techniques including molecular biology, mouse genetics, biochemistry, and electrophysiology.
    Visit the Yoshida Lab.