• Faculty Research

  • A photo of Yi Zheng.

    Yi Zheng, PhD Director, Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology

    studies the function and signaling mechanism of the Rho family GTPases and the mTor metabolic pathway, particularly in stem cell and cancer stem cell regulation.
    Visit the Zheng Lab.


    A photo of Paul Andreassen.

    Paul R. Andreassen, PhD

    focuses on the relationship of DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoints to the genetic instability that underlies the development of cancer. In particular, he studies basic cellular mechanisms that respond to DNA damage, including breast cancer susceptibility (BRCA) and Fanconi anemia (FA) genes and proteins.
    Visit the Andreassen Lab.


    A photo of Mohammed Azam.

    Mohammad Azam, PhD

    is interested in understanding molecular basis of human cancers, especially hematopoietic malignancies. His research group focuses on understanding the mechanisms of tyrosine kinase regulation, oncogene addiction and the development of cancer stem cells.


    A photo of Elisa Boscolo.

    Elisa Boscolo, PhD

    currently investigates vascular anomalies affecting children. She is devising a murine model of venous malformation. The goal of this research is to discover effective molecular therapies for this disfiguring vascular anomaly.


    A photo of Jose Cancelas Perez.

    Jose A. Cancelas Perez, MD, PhD Division Director of Research, Hoxworth Blood Center

    focuses on the study of blood-forming cells during the process of adult hematopoiesis. In particular, hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) attract clinical interest because of their potential use in stem cell and gene therapy, and because of their involvement in leukemia.
    Visit the Cancelas Lab.


    A photo of Lionel Chow.

    Lionel M. L. Chow, MD, PhD Member, Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program

    studies high-grade gliomas, which are aggressive brain tumors in adults and children with limited treatment options. Using a combination of novel and robust laboratory models coupled with the study of human tumor material, the lab’s goals are to better understand the cellular origins and molecular underpinnings of these diseases in order to design and test novel therapies that will hopefully improve patient outcome.
    Visit the Chow Lab


    A photo of Dr. Biplab Dasgupta.

    Biplab Dasgupta, PhD, MS Member, Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program

    focuses on the integration of metabolic and signaling pathways in neural cells including neural and brain cancer stem cells. He is particularly interested in understanding the link between cellular energy sensing pathways with cellular signaling circuits that are controlled by growth factors and their receptors. Mouse models are used to understand the development of high grade human and mouse brain tumor (glioma).
    Visit the Dasgupta Lab.


    A photo of Jay Degen.

    Jay L. Degen, PhD

    studies the mechanisms by which circulating and cell-associated hemostatic factors contribute to development, tissue reorganization, inflammatory processes and disease. He also focuses on defining the regulatory pathways by which thrombin and thrombin targets contribute to cancer biology, inflammatory joint disease, neuroinflammatory disease, bacterial virulence/host defense, and immunological disorders.  


    A photo of Marie-Dominique Filippi.

    Marie-Dominique Filippi, PhD

    is interested in dissecting the molecular mechanism of hematopoietic cell migration. Because hematopoietic cells are utilized for the therapy of multiple blood diseases and neutrophils are responsible for maintaining an immunocompetence status, understanding the molecular mechanism of normal hematopoietic cell functions is of potential therapeutic importance.
    Visit the Filippi Lab.


    A photo of Matthew J. Flick.

    Matthew J. Flick, PhD

    is working to understand how hemostatic factors in the blood that are responsible for clotting also drive inflammation in the context of infection and diseases such as arthritis and fatty liver disease.


    A photo of Hartmut Geiger.

    Hartmut Geiger, PhD Director, Mouse Core

    focuses on hematopoietic stem cells and their process of hematopoiesis. Blood cells are responsible for constant oxygen supply, broad and specialized immune protection, wound healing, and much more of which we might not be aware.
    Visit the Geiger Lab.


    A photo of Lee Grimes.

    H. Leighton (Lee) Grimes, PhD Director, Cancer Pathology Program, Division of Experimental Hematology & Division of Pathology

    focuses his research on the genetic development of cancerous cells and inherited blood diseases. His lab utilizes the Growth factor independent-1 transcription factor as a molecular probe to dissect hematopoiesis and leukemia. Dr. Grimes serves as the director of the Cancer Pathology Program of the Divisions of Experimental Hematology and Pathology.
    Visit the Grimes Lab


    A photo of Fukun Guo.

    Fukun Guo, PhD

    studies Rho GTPases and T and B lymphocyte development and function.


    A photo of Gang Huang.

    Gang Huang, PhD

    focuses on genetic and epigenetic regulations of normal blood cell development and leukemia. His team demonstrated that AML1/CBFβ and Mixed-Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein form a regulatory complex, which is important for normal blood development and acts as a tumor suppressor in leukemia.


    A photo of Theodosia A. Kalfa.

    Theodosia A. Kalfa, MD, PhD

    focuses on the study of intracellular signals in erythropoiesis and mature red blood cells, specifically the signals conducted by Rho GTPases regulating terminal erythroid maturation and enucleation. Her lab also studies the role of Rac GTPases in generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within red blood cells from patients and animal models with sickle-cell disease along with the signaling mechanisms and consequences of increased ROS in sickle cells.
    Visit the Kalfa Lab.


    A photo of Kakajan Komurov.

    Kakajan Komurov, PhD Member, Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program

    focuses on computational systems biology. His specific research interests include: 1) the development of novel computational methodology and software for efficient network-based data analyses and 2) computational analyses of dynamic organizational principles in intracellular molecular networks and their specific alterations that contribute to disease phenotypes.
    Visit the Komurov Lab.


    A photo of Ashish Kumar.

    Ashish R. Kumar, MD, PhD

    is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist who has a research program investigating the biology of leukemia caused by MLL-fusion genes. These leukemias are most common in infants and frequently fatal. The research in Dr. Kumar's lab is focused at identifying downstream targets of MLL-fusion proteins that could be exploited to develop novel therapies. Currently, the Kumar lab is investigating the role of MEIS1 in MLL-leukemia.
    Visit the Kumar Lab.


    A photo of Adam Lane.

    Adam Lane, PhD

    has methodological research interests in designs for phase I/II clinical trials, survival analysis and structural equation modeling. Dr. Lane is also a dedicated collaborator with both clinical and basic science researchers in bone marrow transplantation, hematology, oncology and cancer biology.


    A photo of Qing Richard Lu.

    Qing Richard Lu, PhD Scientific Director, Brain Tumor Center

    and his lab study the transcriptional and signaling regulatory networks that control gliogenesis (oligodendrocyte, astrocyte and Schwann cell), brain cancer stem/initiating cell growth and myelinogenesis. Dr. Lu lab utilizes transgenic and gene targeting mouse models to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying demyelinating diseases and brain tumorigenesis and to develop new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases and brain cancers.

    Visit the Lu Lab.


    A photo of Carolyn Lutzko.

    Carolyn M. Lutzko, PhD

    studies the regulation of human pluripotent stem cells, somatic cell reprogramming in iPSC, human embryonic stem cell physiology and differentiation, hESC, and cystic fibrosis.


    A photo of Punam Malik.

    Punam Malik, MD Marjory J. Johnson Chair of Gene and Cell Therapy

    works to correct the gene responsible for sickle cell anemia. One of our lab’s major projects uses gene therapy to treat sickle cell disease. His lab is also interested in gene therapy for other diseases. He has developed various methods for delivering corrective genes to cells, improving methods for gene therapy in general.


    A photo of Ruhikanta Meetei.

    Ruhikanta A. Meetei, PhD

    focuses on functional analysis of Fanconi anemia gene products. The major research focus includes identification of new FA genes and signal transduction pathways that regulate DNA-damage-induced activation of the FA-core complex.


    A photo of Benjamin Mizukawa.

    Benjamin E. Mizukawa, MD

    is trained in pediatric hematology/oncology with a research emphasis in leukemia biology and novel therapeutics. His work is focused on understanding the role of small Rho GTPases in myeloid leukemia development and progression, with the translational goal of identifying new targets for drug development.


    A photo of James Mulloy.

    James C. Mulloy, PhD

    focuses on using human hematopoietic stem cells to model leukemia. His lab is expressing the fusion protein, AML1-ETO, in human CD34+ stem cells by retroviral transduction and characterizing the genetic and functional alterations that occur due to expression of this oncogene.
    Visit the Mulloy Lab.


    A photo of Nicolas Nassar.

    Nicolas Nassar, PhD

    is a structural biologist interested in understanding the structure/function of signaling proteins, how they specifically bind and recognize regulators and targets, and in finding ways to inhibit their signaling in disease. His lab combines X-ray crystallography, site-directed mutagenesis, enzyme kinetics, and other biophysical techniques in its studies.


    A photo of Dao Pan.

    Dao Pan, PhD

    has long term research interests in combining translational and basic research on virus-mediated gene transfer and disease treatment for mucopolysaccharidoses disorders, which are often associated with systemic and central nerve system abnormalities, and early childhood death.
    Visit the Pan Lab.


    A photo of Quishen Pang.

    Qishen Pang, PhD

    The Pang laboratory is focused on elucidating the mechanisms by which the Fanconi proteins regulate hematopoietic stem cells in the context of bone marrow failure and leukemia development. The goal of the research is to identify novel pharmaceutical targets for the treatment of patients with Fanconi anemia and other bone marrow failure syndromes. Several current projects will utilize cellular, genetic, and molecular techniques to identify and characterize critical pathways that regulate hematopoietic stem cells function, using knockout mice and xenotransplant models.
    Visit the Pang Lab.


    A photo of Nancy Ratner.

    Nancy Ratner, PhD Beatrice C. Lampkin Chair, Cancer Biology

    is working to define the interactions between glial cells and axons during nervous system development and how those interactions go awry in disease. Her goal is to develop novel therapies for patients with nervous system diseases.

    Visit the Ratner Lab.


    A photo of Damien Reynaud.

    Damien Reynaud, PhD

    is an experimental hematologist interested in dissecting the cell-intrinsic and micro-environmental cues that regulate normal and pathological blood production. His research is focused on the molecular mechanisms that control normal B cell lymphopoiesis and how corruption of these mechanisms contributes to the development of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children and adults.


    A photo of Daniel Starczynowski.

    Daniel T. Starczynowski, PhD

    is a cancer biologist who has a basic research programs with a translational emphasis in myeloid hematological malignancies. His lab’s major effort is studying the molecular and cellular basis of myelodysplastic syndromes, bone marrow failure syndromes and acute leukemia. The goal is to identify candidate genes and understand their contribution to myeloid malignancies.
    Visit the Starczynowski Lab.


    A photo of Johannes van der Loo.

    Johannes van der Loo, PhD Director, Aseptic Processing Laboratories

    is director of the Aseptic Processing Laboratories, director of the Viral Vector Core and chair of the Institutional Biosafety Committee. His team continues to provide both GMP and Research-grade viral vector products to investigators locally, nationally and internationally using a fee-for-service model.


    A photo of Ronald Waclaw.

    Ronald R. Waclaw, MS, PhD Member, Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program

    is a developmental neurobiologist who has a research program in forebrain development and function. His lab studies the molecular genetic mechanisms in forebrain progenitor cell differentiation. One focus of his lab is to determine the effect of known “RASopathy” genes, which result in abnormalities in RAS/MAPK signaling, on brain development and brain tumor formation. 


    A photo of Susanne Wells.

    Susanne Wells, PhD Director, Epithelial Carcinogenesis and Stem Cell Program

    focuses on new targets of the HPV E6/E7 oncogenes, and characterizing these as potential risk factors for HPV infection and transformation. Research approaches include bioinformatics; analyses of primary, transformed and 3D cell culture systems; and mouse tumor models to facilitate translational endeavors. 
    Visit the Wells Lab.


    A photo of Jianqiang Wu.

    Jianqiang Wu, MD, MS Member, Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program

    focuses on preclinical therapeutic trials studying neurofibroma and cancer stem cell(s) in neurofibroma.


    A photo of Mei Xin.

    Mei Xin, PhD

    studies the mechanisms of heart growth, regeneration and vascular development. Dr. Xin’s research focuses on the identification and characterization of critical transcriptional and post-transcriptional molecules, as well as the signaling networks that control cardiovascular development and disease. These studies may provide insight towards therapeutic interventions for cardiovascular disorders.