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SUCCESS Faculty Research Areas

T​here are two ways you can search for faculty: By last name, if known, and by research area if you do not know a faculty member's name but want to see who specializes in a chosen area of interest.

Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics

Bell, Chuck

Research Focus

  • The research focus of the Bell laboratory is to use x-ray crystallography and other biophysical methods to understand the mechanisms of DNA repair proteins.
  • Projects. SUCCESS students would typically be involved in projects involving crystallization of proteins and protein-DNA complexes. Obtaining well-ordered crystals is the key step in the x-ray structure determination process. Depending on the exact project, students could also be exposed to x-ray diffraction experiments, x-ray structure determination, recombinant DNA methods, and protein purification.

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Carbone, David

Research Focus

  • The laboratory has a focus on translational research in human lung cancer, including genetics, proteomics, and immunotherapeutics.

Projects

  • Patterns of somatic genetic alterations in subpopulations, African-Americans, Brazilians, young lung cancer patients. EGFR T790M germline carriers
  • Role of Notch3 in lung cancer biology, particularly in regulating lung cancer stemness and interaction with EGFR
  • Role of the Notch pathway in cancer-associated immunosuppression, development of a novel Notch-targeting therapeutic
  • Understanding the function of LKB1 in lung cancer, and its impact on targeted drug sensitivity
  • Predictive and prognostic signatures to guide therapy using label-free shotgun proteomics and RNAseq
  • Diagnostic signatures using exosomes, microRNA and SRM proteomics analysis
  • Clinical trial of PD-1 pathway targeted agents, STAT3 inhibitors, MEK inhibitors, and SINE inhibitors with correlative studies
  • Function of ARaf in lung cancer

Cripe, Timothy

Research Focus

  • The Cripe lab studies oncolytic viruses to fight cancer. We use a virus derived from the common cold sore to target and kill a variety of tumor types, including sarcomas and neuroblastomas.

Projects in the Lab

  • The studies of the Cripe lab are a combination of viorology, immunology, and cancer biology. Some of the active projects in the Cripe lab include: Investigating novel drugs to enhance oncolytic virus therapy, characterization of the immune response to oncolytic virus, modulation of the tumor microenvironment and its interaction with oncolytic viral therapy, and the production of novel oncolytic viruses via CRISPR/Cas-9 technologies.

Lab Website

Doseff, Andrea

Research Focus

  • Anti-cancer mechanisms: the role of cell death proteins in cell fate
  • Anti-inflammatory mechanisms of plant nutraceuticals: the role of functional foods in prevention and treatment of inflammatory diseases
  • Cell differentiation: the role of heat shock proteins and apoptotic regulators in cell fate determination

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Freitas, Michael

Research Focus

Targeted proteomic analysis of Histone H1 phosphorylations: Recently my research group has shown that H1 phosphorylation of threonine 146 on the H1 isoforms H1.2, H1.3 and H1.4 is a clinically informative marker for cellular proliferation. Using an immunohistochemistry grade polyclonal antibody that recognizes all three isoforms, we have shown that this phosphorylation site is better tat discerning tumor grade in bladder cancer than Ki67.

Projects

Student would develop a targeted mass spectrometry assay to monitor phosphorylation of Histone H1 isoforms. Given that not all three isoforms are observed in model cancer cell lines, they would develop a targeted proteomic strategy to obtain greater specificity for H1 T146 phosphorylation. The student will work directly with a graduate student in my laboratory. The student will be trained in techniques for protein purification, characterization, mass spectrometry, data analysis and statistics. The student will develop a targeted multiple reaction monitoring assay specific for H1 T146 phosphorylation of each isoform of H1.2, H1.3 and H1.4. The student will monitory the phosphorylation of these isoforms across the cell cycle in bladder, breast and prostate cancer model cell lines.

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Hai, Tsonwin

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Research Focus

Our laboratory is focused on revealing the genetic causes behind dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Our group chose this area of research following the 1992 report that 20% of patients with idiopathic cardiomyopathy had familial DCM in an effort to identify the genes that cause DCM when mutations are present, to better understand how the disease progresses, and to eventually devise new therapies for cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

Projects

As our studies are family based, we have a multitude of families whose DCM cause has not been attributed directly to one or more genes and further investigation, either by exome sequencing and/or zebrafish model studies is needed to elucidate genetic mutations which may underlie DCM pathology.

Lab's Website

Huang, Kun

Research Focus

The research focus of my group is to develop computational approaches for analyzing and integrating heterogeneous biomedical data and knowledge in both basic science and translational medicine studies with the goals to quantitatively characterize phenotypes, predict new gene functions, and identify new disease markers. The methods we develop and deploy include network mining, statistical learning, pattern recognition, and data fusion/integration. The specific disease applications include cancers (breast, lung, colon, oral cancers, leukemia), neurological diseases and fibrosis.

Projects

  1. Characterize condition specific gene networks for different subtypes of breast cancer.
  2. Identify functional genetic variants for neurological diseases by combining gene network mining and eQTL analysis using large transcriptome data of human brain samples.

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Huebner, Frances Kay

The Huebner laboratory research focuses in two main areas:

1) An in depth studies of the functions of tumor suppressor genes that encompass chromosome fragile regions

The FHIT gene

Genomic instability drives tumorigenesis, but how it is initiated in sporadic neoplasias is not known. In early preneoplasias, alterations at chromosome fragile sites arise due to DNA replication stress. A frequent, perhaps earliest, genetic alteration in preneoplasias is deletion within the fragile FRA3B/FHIT locus, leading to loss of Fhit protein expression. Because common chromosome fragile sites are exquisitely sensitive to replication stress, it has been proposed that their clonal alterations in cancer cells are due to stress sensitivity rather than to a selective advantage imparted by loss of expression of fragile gene products. But we have shown in normal, transformed and cancer-derived cell lines, that Fhit-depletion causes replication stress-induced DNA double-strand breaks (Saldivar et al, PLoS Genetics, in press). Using DNA combing, we found a defect in replication fork progression in Fhit-deficient cells that stemmed primarily from fork stalling and collapse. The likely mechanism for the role of Fhit in replication fork progression is through regulation of thymidine kinase expression and thymidine triphosphate pool levels; notably, restoration of nucleotide balance rescued DNA replication defects and suppressed DNA breakage in Fhit-deficient cells. Depletion of Fhit did not activate the DNA damage response nor cause cell cycle arrest, allowing continued cell proliferation and ongoing chromosomal instability, in accord with in vivo studies, as Fhit knockout mouse tissue showed no evidence of cell cycle arrest or senescence, yet exhibited numerous somatic DNA copy number aberrations at replication stress-sensitive loci. Furthermore, cells established from Fhit knockout tissue showed rapid immortalization and selection of DNA deletions and amplifications, including amplification of the Mdm2 gene, suggesting that Fhit loss-induced genome instability facilitates transformation. We have proposed that loss of Fhit expression in precancerous lesions is the first step in the initiation of genomic instability, linking alterations at common fragile sites to the origin of genome instability. We are following these studies with research to understand a) why the S-phase checkpoint is not turned on, ie why is Chk1 not activated by phosphorylation, to stop the cell cycle and allow repair of the accumulating DNA damage? b) how the genome-wide instability in Fhit-deficient cells and mice contributes to the increased susceptibility to malignant transformation?

The WWOX gene

The WWOX gene, another fragile gene, encompasses a chromosomal fragile site at chromosome region16q23.2, and encodes the 46-kDa Wwox protein, with WW domains that interact with a list of interesting proteins. If the function of a protein is defined by the company it keeps, then Wwox is involved in numerous important signal pathways for bone and germ-cell development, cellular and animal growth and death, transcriptional control and suppression of cancer development. Because alterations to genes at fragile sites are exquisitely sensitive to replication stress-induced DNA damage, there has been an ongoing scientific discussion questioning whether such gene expression alterations provide a selective advantage for clonal expansion of neoplastic cells, and a parallel discussion on why important genes would be present at sites that are susceptible to inactivation (Salah et al. Future Oncol, 2010).

We are working to find answers to some of these questions by a) examining the function of Wwox in mice with tissue specific knockout of Wwox expression; b) determining if Wwox, like Fhit, has a role in protection of genome integrity using methods similar to those used in the Fhit investigation.

2) Ongoing translational studies of breast cancer. In collaboration with oncologist, bioinformaticians, pathologists, we define the expression profiles of specific proteins and of microRNAs in specific subtypes of breast cancer, to find prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers and to eventually identify therapeutic targets.

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Johnson, Amy J.

Research Focus

My laboratory examines promising new treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia developed by pharmaceutical companies, OSU and collaborators with the intention of elucidating mechanisms of action and optimizing clinical outcomes before going to clinical trials. Targeting signaling pathways such as BTK and PI3-kinase have shown significant translational successes. Our laboratory uses in vitro models such as cell lines and primary leukemia cells and in vivo models such as the Eu-TCL1 transgenic mouse as tools for drug discovery.

Projects:

  • Preclinical characterization of next-generation BTK and PI3K inhibitors.
  • Understanding of mechanisms of resistance to BTK and PI3K inhibitors and discovering ways to overcome.

Website

Lesinski, Gregory

Research Focus

  • Small molecule inhibitors of signal transduction in melanoma and biliary cancer.
  • Determining the immunomodulatory effects of dietary natural products.

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Kirschner, Lawrence

Research Focus

  • My lab focuses on understanding the tumor promoting effects of PKA activation in endocrine and related tissues. This work originates from the study of the human tumor syndrome Carney Complex, which is caused by mutations in the PRKAR1A gene, which encodes a PKA Regulatory subunit.
  • The lab uses a combination of mouse modeling and tissue culture work using primary and established cell lines. This combined approach allows us to study tumor formation in a living animal and then perform mechanistic studies using cells. Data from one system is used to develop the next set of experiments, with the eventual goal towards the development of new therapeutic agents.
  • We currently have 3 projects in 3 different tissues:
    • Thyroid: Understanding signaling pathways that cause follicular thyroid cancer
    • Schwann cells: Interactions of PKA signaling with the Neurofibromatosis gene products
    • Bone: The relationship between bone tumor formation and bone differentiation

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Ma, Jianjie

Research Focus

  • Regenerative medicine, cancer biology, muscle physiology and cardiovascular diseases

Projects

  • MG53-mediated cell membrane repair in regenerative medicine, targeting apoptosis for cancer treatment, novel genes involved in calcium signaling in muscle physiology and cardiovascular diseases

Lab website

Ostrowski, Michael

Research Focus

  • Research interests have been in understanding how signaling pathways modulate transcriptional programs in cells during differentiation and cancer
  • Recent research focuses on the role tumor suppressors Pten and p53 and Ets-factors in modulating breast tumor growth and spread in a cell non-autonomous fashion from the tumor microenvironment.
  • Recently focused on developing mouse genetic models that accurately reflect the human breast tumor microenvironment both at the cellular and molecular levels. An ongoing shift is to translate findings from the mouse genetic studies to human breast cancer, with the goal of making a difference in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer patients.

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Parthun, Mark

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Parvin, Jeffrey

Research Focus

  • ​Research focus: Breast cancer susceptibility genes
  • The breast cancer specific tumor suppressors, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are found to be defective in less than half of familial breast cancer cases. Though genetics analyses indicate there are no other highly penetrant "BRCA" genes, we hypothesize that the missing BRCA genes are multiple and have low penetrance. We identify candidates using a variety of informatics approaches including analysis of gene expression and analysis of mutants found in exome sequences from breast tumors. In this project, candidate genes are tested by RNA interference using tissue culture based assays for functions related to BRCA1 and BRCA2.
  • One of the key functions of BRCA1 is to regulate the repair of DNA associated with replication stress. This project defines the roles of BRCA1 in this process.

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Ringel, Matthew

Research Focus

  • ​Signaling pathways that regulate tumor invasion and metastasis focused on thyroid cancer
  • Mechanisms of Metastatic Dormancy
  • Mechanisms of resistance to kinase inhibitors in thyroid cancer
  • Translational studies in thyroid cancer diagnosis and management

Sadee, Wolfgang

Research Focus

  • Lab and the Program is now a College of Medicine Center for Pharmacogenomics
  • Discovery of regulatory genetic variants as biomarkers predicting disease risk and treatment outcomes
  • Testing the influence of genetic variants on complex disorders and therapy outcomes in CNS and cardiovascular diseases
  • Application of large-scale next generation sequencing to study the biology of complex disorders and drug response
  • Developing novel approaches to evaluating existing large-scale clinical databases, including GWAS

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Lab Spotlight

Symer, David

Research Focus

  • The Symer research group uses state-of-the-art methods in genetics, genomics and molecular biology to study the impacts of human papillomavirus (HPV), endogenous transposable elements and aberrant RNA splicing in causing human diseases including numerous cancers. They develop and use new techniques and assays using next generation sequencing, long-read sequencing, mouse models, targeted mutagenesis and custom bioinformatics tools.

Potential Summer Projects:

  • Using new methods of mutagenesis to develop and study new models of viral-host genome interactions
  • Using new methods of transcript profiling to assess biological impacts of aberrant pre-mRNA splicing

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Toland, Amanda

Research Focus

The Toland laboratory focuses on the identification of genetic risk factors for colon and skin cancer.

We currently have 3 projects in different areas.

  1. Characterization of mutations that may be therapeutic targets for metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
  2. Characterization of the role of aberrantly expressed microRNAs in metastasis of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
  3. Evaluation of the interaction between germline DNA variants and tumor mutations in colon and skin cancer.

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Woyach, Jennifer

Research Focus

  • The goal of my research is to improve the treatment for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia through translational research involving novel therapeutics in this disease and other hematologic malignancies. Current projects are focused on Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) and BTK inhibitors.

Projects

  • Potential projects include investigating genes involved in resistance to BTK inhibitors; investigating the role of BTK in the CLL microenvironment; investigating the relationship between Myc and BTK in CLL.

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Neuroscience

Askwith, Candice

Research Focus

  • Ongoing research projects in the Askwith Lab seek to elucidate potential novel therapeutic targets to limit permanent neurological damage following traumatic injury or stoke: Currently, we are using electrophysiology, molecular biology, and cell biology to (1) determining how activation of specific opioid receptors prevents central neuronal damage and (2) understanding how endogenous opioid peptides interact directly with specific ion channels to alter cellular susceptibility to neuronal death.

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Boyd, Thomas

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DeVries, A. Courtney

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Godbout, Jonathan

Research Focus

  • Laboratory focus is in Neuroimmunology (Neuroscience and Immunology)
  • Research objective is to determine the degree to which the bi-direction communication between the immune system and the brain is affected by normal aging, psychological stress, traumatic CNS injury, and peripheral infection.
  • Research Objective 2: aim to delineate the mechanism by which inflammatory cytokine pathways cause long-lasting behavioral/cognitive complications
  • Godbout laboratory uses molecular, cellular, and behavioral approaches to address these outlined objectives
  • These projects are supported by the NIH

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Huang, Kun

Research Focus

The research focus of my group is to develop computational approaches for analyzing and integrating heterogeneous biomedical data and knowledge in both basic science and translational medicine studies with the goals to quantitatively characterize phenotypes, predict new gene functions, and identify new disease markers. The methods we develop and deploy include network mining, statistical learning, pattern recognition, and data fusion/integration. The specific disease applications include cancers (breast, lung, colon, oral cancers, leukemia), neurological diseases and fibrosis.

Projects

  1. Characterize condition specific gene networks for different subtypes of breast cancer.
  2. Identify functional genetic variants for neurological diseases by combining gene network mining and eQTL analysis using large transcriptome data of human brain samples.

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Kaur, Balveen

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Kolb, Stephen

Research Focus

  • Interested in molecular basis of motor neuron cell vulnerability and death in motor neuron diseases
  • Summer Project 1: Our lab discovered a novel mutation in a small heat shock protein, HSPB3. We are currently expressing this mutation in cells to determine the functional consequence of this mutation
  • Summer Project 2: We are measuring the expression of specific proteins and genes from blood samples taken from patients with spinal muscular atrophy

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Lerch, Jessica

Research Focus

  • My laboratory focuses on gene expression and regulation of gene expression in the molecular processes involved in nerve-injury induced pain (e.g. peripheral nerve injury associated allodynia & spinal cord injury associated pain).

Projects

  • There are multiple ongoing projects in the lab. One current project examines gene expression in sensory neurons after corticosteroid exposure and nerve injury to identify the glucocorticoid-glucocorticoid receptor interactions and downstream gene expression changes involved sensory processing after nerve injury. Another project is examining gene expression regulation by non-coding RNAs in sensory neurons after corticosteroid exposure and injury.

Lovett-Racke, Amy

Research Focus

  • My laboratory studies the role of T cells in multiple sclerosis.
  • Potential project 1 - Study the role of microRNA in T cells from MS patients.
  • Potential project 2 - Study the role of infection on the activation of autoreactive T cells.

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McTigue, Dana

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Research Focus

  • Gliogenesis in the injured adult nervous system
  • Recovery from spinal cord injury
  • Interaction between macrophages and adult progenitor cells

Oberdick, John

Research Focus

Our lab is interested in understanding the development and function of the cerebellum, both in its own right as a key brain center for sensorimotor control, and as a simple and well-studied model for understanding the brain as a whole. The main approach is using genetically modified mouse models. There are four main projects: 1) Analysis of mechanisms underlying Purkinje cell-specific gene expression, 2) mechanisms and function of mRNA trafficking in Purkinje cell dendrites, 3) mechanisms underlying cerebellar zone formation, and 4) physiological and behavioral analysis of the signal-tuning properties of the GoLoco protein, L7/Pcp2. The goal of the latter project is to unravel a novel gating mechanism of the cerebellum that affects dynamic aspects of cerebellar-mediated sensorimotor learning, as well as emotional and other non-motor behaviors.

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Otero, Jose Javier

Research Focus

The broad theme of the laboratory is developmental neurobiology. The two sub-branches of this lab are elucidating the pathophysiological mechanisms of developmental disorders and in brain cancer research. 

  • Potential Summer Project 1: Patient specific modeling of pediatric breathing disorders using induced pluripotent stem cells and transgenic mice.
  • Potential Summer Project 2: Cell cycle control and regulation of neural stem cells

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Popovich, Phillip

Research Focus

  • My lab studies traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). We use rodent models to understand how the immune system interacts with the injured nervous system to affect CNS repair and recovery of function after SCI.  
  • We are currently funded by the NIH, the Department of Defense and several private SCI foundations. Potential research projects would include studies with a focus on:
    • miRNA regulation of macrophage inflammation after SCI (NINDS)
    • TREM2 regulation of macrophages in spinal cord injury and CNS endogenous repair (NINDS)
    • Lymphocyte and autoantibody functions in the injured spinal cord (NINDS)

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Pyter, Leah

Research Focus

  • The Pyter Lab studies the intersection of neuroscience, cancer biology, and immunology. Our research goal is to improve the mental and bodily health of cancer patients and cancer survivors. We study in vivo models of cancer in order to ask basic science questions about how cancer influences behavior and immune function. We use primarily molecular, cellular, and behavioral lab techniques.

Projects

  • 1. Effects of Cancer on Psychoneuroimmunology
  • 2. Effects of Cancer on wound healing and inflammation

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Quan, Ning

Research Focus

  • Neuroimmune communication pathways, cell type specific actions mediated by IL-1R1
  • Potential Projects​: Euflammatory modulation of cancer

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Weil, Zachary

Research Focus

  • The biology and long term consequences of traumatic brain injuries. Our lab has two major areas of interest. First, we investigate the way in which traumatic brain injuries, that occur during development, render animals more susceptible to substance abuse disorders, Secondly our lab studies the way in which metabolic dysfunction after traumatic brain injury impairs neuronal recovery and makes the brain more vulnerable to repeated insults.

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Zhou, Min

Research Focus

  • Astrocytes connect each other through intercellular gap junction to form the largest network in the brain. Our research aims at the mysterious function hidden in this network. To achieve this goal, CLARITY, confocal and series scanning electron microscopy are used to unveil the architectural characteristics of this network in developing and adult brain. Double patch-clamp recording, fluorescent tracer and ion sensitive dye are used to uncover the communication mechanisms occurring in astrocyte network. We also study how dysfunction of network is involved in neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. Research project is supported by National Institute of Neurological disorders and stroke (NINDS).

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Infection & Immunity

Amer, Amal

Research Focus

  • The Research Focus in the Amer lab:Research in the Amer lab focuses on the innate immune response to respiratory pathogens such as Legionella pneumophila and Burkholderia cenocepacia. Legionella causes pneumonia (Legionannaire’s Diseases) in the elderly and immune compromised individuals. Legionella establishes biofilms in air conditioners and droplets spread to infect several individuals at a time but there is no patient to patient transmission. Burkholderia causes pneumonia in cystic fibrosis patients. Burkholderia is transmitted from patient to patient and is resistant to almost all antibiotics.
  • Potential Summer Project 1: Determine how Legionella establishes biofilms. Legionella will be allowed to form biofilms, and then bacteria will be extracted from the biofilm and added to human phagocytic cells to see their innate immune response. This project will allow the study of bacterial techniques, biofilm formation, confocal microscopy, extraction of human phagocytes from blood samples and determination of innate immune responses in human phagocytic cells.
  • Potential Summer Project 2: Determine the effect of drug candidates on the outcome of Burkholderia infection in a cystic fibrosis mouse model. We have several candidate drugs that will be administrated to the mice before or after Burkholderia delivery to the lungs. Then the innate immune response will be determined in the presence or absence of the drug to see if it is a good candidate for clinical trials in the future. This project will allow the study of drug delivery and handling of live mice models for pneumonia infection in addition to techniques on handling bacteria, performing lung sections, histology studies, cytokine evaluation and monitoring in vivo progress of infection.

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Carson, William


Research Focus

  • The use of immune-modulating agents in combination with targeted agents to treat malignant melanoma tumors.
  • The use of cytokines to enhance the actions of anti-tumor monoclonal antibodies (mAb).
  • The effects of stress on the immune system of patients diagnosed with cancer.
  • The role of microRNAs in melanoma immune evasion.

Potential Projects

  • Evaluate immune cells for their response to novel stimulatory compounds and subsequent ability to eliminate cancer cells.
Website​


Drew, Mark

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Gunn, John

Research Focus

  • My lab focuses on understanding Francisella tularensis (tularemia; biodefense agent) and Salmonella sp. (gastroenteritis; typhoid fever) response to the in vivo environment that allows it to overcome host defenses.
  • The lab uses a combination of mouse models of disease, tissue culture and bacterial genetics. We strive to understand the mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions that allow colonization and disease progression so that we may target them with vaccines and therapeutics.
  • Our current projects involve:
    • Mechanisms of gallbladder carriage by Salmonella ("Typhoid Mary's")
    • Salmonella biofilm formation, with a focus on proteins and carbohydrates that make up the bacterial-produced extracellular matrix that holds the biofilm together
    • In vivo-induced signal transduction pathways that alter the bacterial cell surface and hence its interaction with the host
    • Francisella tularensis host-pathogen interactions and the regulation of its virulence factors
    • Small molecule therapeutic approaches to treat Salmonella and Francisella infections

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Symer, David

Research Focus

  • The Symer research group uses state-of-the-art methods in genetics, genomics and molecular biology to study the impacts of human papillomavirus (HPV), endogenous transposable elements and aberrant RNA splicing in causing human diseases including numerous cancers. They develop and use new techniques and assays using next generation sequencing, long-read sequencing, mouse models, targeted mutagenesis and custom bioinformatics tools.

Potential Summer Projects:

  • Using new methods of mutagenesis to develop and study new models of viral-host genome interactions
  • Using new methods of transcript profiling to assess biological impacts of aberrant pre-mRNA splicing

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Wozniak, Daniel

Research Focus

  • Research activities are focused on the pathogenesis of several bacteria that cause chronic, devastating infections in humans. In chronic airway infections and wounds. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Acinetobacter are the most common nosocomial pathogens isolated and are consistently associated. These infections are extremely with high mortality rates. Difficult to control since the bacteria exhibit a biofilm-mode of growth rendering them resistant to antimicrobials and phagocytic cells.

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Biomedical Engineering

Dean, David


​General Research Interest

The Dean Lab focuses on providing tools for the surgical reconstruction or regeneration of craniofacial skeletal tissues. Our research includes the use of locally developed implant Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to prepare patient-specific implants, implant components, and surgical devices that are rendered via additive manufacturing (3D printing). We have used these techniques to prepare restorative but inert (i.e., non-resorbing) cranial implants for patients. However, a major focus of our preclinical research program has been the 3D printing of resorbable tissue engineered scaffolds. Our tissue engineering approach currently involves seeding cells, for example Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and/or vascular progenitor cells, onto those solid, 3D printed polymer scaffolds or within hydrogels. Those constructs may then be cultured, perhaps in a bioreactor, before implantation. The intent of pre-culturing scaffolds is to fill and/or coat them with tissue that the body perceives as a “tissue engineered bone graft”.

Projects

  • ​Computer aided design and 3D printing of musculoskeletal implants
  • Bioreactor culture (nutrients and growth factors) of cell-seeded resorbable scaffolds to facilitate bone extracellular matrix deposition
  • Animal model research on implant success at regenerating tissue and restoring function

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Gooch, Keith

Research Focus

  • Designing biomaterials to direct stem cell differentiation.
  • Modeling (mathematical and computational modeling) of cell-matrix interactions.

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Hansford, Derek


Research focus

My research group is focused on the applications of micro- and nanotechnology to cell biology studies for the development of new therapies and diagnostics for medical care.

Potential projects

We have several ongoing research projects that would be applicable for undergraduate researchers:
  • ​Microfluidic labeling and separation of circulating tumor cells for diagnosis of potential metastases
  • Digital placement of cells in a microwell array for running cell biology experiments with highly controlled inputs
  • The effects of micro/nanotexture on cellular attachment and migration to surfaces
  • Using tumor cell migration rates and behaviors as a tool for prognosis of tumor spread in vivo

Website​

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Payne, Philip


Biomedical informatics is concerned with the optimal use of information, aided by the use of technology and people, to improve individual health, healthcare, public health and research.

Biomedical informatics researchers pursue a broad range of basic and applied Biomedical Informatics innovations, spanning a continuum from the basic sciences to clinical practice to public health. A cornerstone of these endeavors is the conduct of interdisciplinary team science, among complimentary health sciences disciplines including but not limited to biological, mathematical, engineering, medicine, public health, cognitive, and management disciplines and programs found throughout the campus of The Ohio State University.

Most of Dr. Payne’s research is in the clinical and translational informatics domains with research interests in:

  • ​Conceptual knowledge engineering
  • Design and evaluation of clinical research data management systems
  • Human factors and human-computer interaction in biomedicine
  • Federated query tools for clinical, research, and bio-repository management systems
  • Hypothesis generation and phenotype modeling in multi-dimensional biomedical data sets

PROJECT EXEMPLARS

The Cytogenetics Project:

For this project, we are building an informatics pipeline to enable discovery of chromosomal aberration patterns with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from Computer Science, Engineering, Hematology, Cytogenetics, and Biomedical Informatics.

Mobile Clinical Knowledge Test (MoCK Test):

IOS Mobile Medical Educational Tool developed targeting the Latin American medical student population. We studied the adoption process of such a tool, assessing details about the users’ behavior (categories, success rate, times, preferred areas, life span of a question data set).

Time Capture Tool (TimeCaT):

We present the development of a comprehensive Time Capture Tool: a web application developed to support data capture for Time Motion Studies. Ongoing and continuous development of TimeCaT includes the development and validation of a realistic inter-observer reliability scoring algorithm, the creation of an online clinical tasks ontology, and a novel quantitative workflow comparison method.

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Winter, Jessica

Research Focus

  • cell and molecular separations, cell migration, and cell mechanics with applications in cancer

Projects

  • Development of magnetic quantum dot nanoparticles as new labels to efficiently isolate cells and molecules for diagnostic purposes. Specifically, we are developing labels for liquid and solid tissue biopsy samples to isolate circulating tumor cells from breast cancer patients via characteristic marker expression and to evaluate efficacy of drug targets in gliomas.
  • We are studying the influence of pressure and fluid flow on cancer cell migration in gliomas. Specifically, we are employing 3D hydrogel and electrospun fiber models to evaluate how mechanics, pressure, flow and topography all play a role in the dispersion of glial cells.
  • We are developing models of the developing brain, using electrospun fibers decorated with strategic proteins, to evaluate sleep disorders such as SIDS, that arise because of migration defects that occur during development.

Lab website

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Xu, Ronald

Research Focus

Medical device design and innovation, biomedical optics, micro/nanoencapsulation, image-guided therapy.

Projects

  • Multimodal imaging of tissue structural, functional, and molecular characteristics
  • Microfabrication of multifunctional drug-loaded microparticles and nanoparticles for image-guided drug delivery.
  • Multimodal intraoperative assessment of disease margin and therapeutic margin in cancer resection surgery.

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Cellular, Development & Cardiac Physiology and Cardiovascular Genetics

Biesiadecki, Brandon

Research Focus

  • Our laboratory investigates the effect of cardiac muscle regulatory protein (troponin, tropomyosin) post-translational modifications (phosphorylation, nitration, ect.) to modulate muscle regulation and their resultant effect on cardiac muscle contraction and heart function in the normal and diseased state (myocardial infarction and heart failure). Research approaches employed to address this question are broad and include genetic, biochemical, muscle level, proteomic and in vivo experimentation.

Current Projects

  1. To determine the effects of troponin I Ser-23/24 and Ser-150 phosphorylation when isolated and upon integration on muscle regulation, cardiac muscle contraction and in vivo heart during normal and following myocardial infarction.
  2. To determine the signaling and functional effects of novel troponin I Tyr phosphorylation on muscle regulation, cardiac muscle contraction and in vivo heart during normal and following myocardial infarction.

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Davis, Jon

Research Focus

  • The research focus:Every physiological function of the human body requires a change in intracellular calcium concentration. We are studying the roles calcium-binding proteins play in controlling cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction/relaxation. Our laboratory focuses on determining the rules that govern calcium binding to proteins and then applying these rules to re-engineer an assortment of key calcium binding proteins to alter pathophysiological muscle function. We utilize tools and skills in the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, mathematics and physiology.
  • Potential Summer Project 1:Calmodulin is a universal calcium dependent "switch-like" protein that interacts with hundreds of different proteins involved in every element of cellular function, especially in the heart. Humans only have one form of calmodulin, whereas plants utilize many different types of calmodulin that differentially regulate target proteins. We plan to use the plant's design strategies to modify human calmodulin to "rewire" cardiac function to treat disease. We need to clone, express, purify and characterize numerous plant calmodulins and human/plant chimeras.
  • Potential Summer Project 2: Unlike skeletal muscle, the heart does not have the small calcium buffering protein parvalbumin to help remove calcium from the contractile apparatus to aid relaxation. We are designing parvalbumin to work in the heart. We need to design mutants, express, purify and characterize different parvalbumin constructs that will then be placed in viral vectors to test their effects on the heart.

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Hershberger, Ray

Research Focus

Our research focus is two-pronged:

  • To understand how rare variants, either singly or multiply, cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), the most common heart muscle disease that leads to heart transplantation, and
  • To translate our findings into the practice of cardiovascular genomic (or precision) medicine.

Our research group is comprised of cardiovascular physicians with expertise in cardiomyopathy, heart failure, transplantation and other advanced therapies, faculty genetic counselors, and PhD scientists with expertise in statistical genetics, next generation sequencing including analysis, and functional studies.

Projects

  • Our discovery program is fueled by our collection of now more than 700 DCM families (~3000 research participants) over 20 years, leveraging exome sequencing of and zebrafish model studies. Our current NIH grant funds the multisite DCM Consortium, where we will collect an additional 1300 DCM probands and their 5200 family members.
  • Our translational science program is focused on studies in cardiovascular precision medicine.

Ma, Jianjie

Research Focus

  • Regenerative medicine, cancer biology, muscle physiology and cardiovascular diseases

Projects

  • MG53-mediated cell membrane repair in regenerative medicine, targeting apoptosis for cancer treatment, novel genes involved in calcium signaling in muscle physiology and cardiovascular diseases

Lab website

Mykytyn, Kirk

Research Focus

  • The research goals of my laboratory are to define the roles of primary cilia in cellular function and disease pathogenesis. Primary cilia are a class of cilia that are typically solitary, immotile appendages present on nearly every mammalian cell type. Primary cilia provide specialized sensory and signaling functions that are essential for normal development and cellular homeostasis. Disruption of ciliary structure or function causes a number of human diseases. These diseases are collectively termed ciliopathies and are associated with numerous clinical features, including obesity, blindness, cognitive deficits, hypogonadism and kidney disease.

Project

  • Determine the mechanisms of ciliary protein trafficking and signaling. The student will gain experience in molecular biology, cell culture, immunofluorescence and cutting edge microscopy techniques.

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Weisleder, Noah

Research focus

Our laboratory studies several different aspects of skeletal muscle and cardiovascular physiology, principally focusing on changes in plasma membrane repair, cellular metabolism and calcium homeostasis in normal physiology and disease states. Membrane repair is a conserved cellular process where intracellular vesicles actively patch membrane disruptions to allow survival of the cell. While relevant in normal physiology, disruption of this process results in diseases, including muscular dystrophy, ischemic damage to the heart and neurodegeneration.

Projects

We are currently examining how aberrant store-operated calcium handling can contribute to the progression of muscular dystrophy and developing methods to block this calcium entry. Additionally, efforts in heart failure models will determine the mechanisms that contribute to uncoupling of intracellular calcium homeostasis in the failing cardiomyocytes. Further studies examine the role of tripartite motif (TRIM) family proteins in the membrane repair process. Our group is examining the role of novel TRIM family proteins in regulating membrane repair and how these can be targeted as therapeutic interventions in a number of different diseases.

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Wharton, Robin


Research Focus

The lab focuses on the role of post-transcriptional gene regulation using Drosophila as a model system

Potential Projects: Current research centers on the role of Pumilio and Nanos, two translational repressors, in maintenance of germ line stem cell identity. We also study the role of Smaug, a key determinant of the switch from maternal to zygotic gene regulation, in early embryonic development​.

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Wold, Loren


Research Focus

The Wold laboratory is interested in triggers of cardiovascular disease, both extrinsic and intrinsic. The lab is currently funded by multiple NIH grants, and collaborates with a host of investigators worldwide. We use combined in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro approaches to examine cardiovascular disease.

Projects

The laboratory is currently investigating two major projects. The first project is focused on understanding the role of air pollution in the exacerbation of cardiac dysfunction. The other project is investigating the role of cancer cachexia on cardiac dysfunction. While disparate, these projects are both interested in extrinsic triggers of cardiac dysfunction.

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