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GSBS Research Topics: GENE EXPRESSION/TRANSCRIPTION


Mikhail Anikin, Ph.D * - Stratford - Research in the laboratory is focused on the structure-function relationships in RNA polymerase transcription complexes. Our model transcription systems are based mostly on single-subunit enzymes, such as mitochondrial RNA polymerases and T7 RNA polymerase. Email: anikinmi@umdnj.edu

Vivian Bellofatto, Ph.D. * - Newark - Our laboratory is investigating the transcriptional mechanisms that trypanosomes use to direct and modulate gene expression. Trypanosomes are parasitic protozoa which cause a multitude of diseases around the world. We have identified novel transcription factors in these parasites.

Sergei Borukhov, Ph.D * - Stratford - We are focusing our studies on the structure and function of prokaryotic multisubunit RNA polymerase, and on analysis of molecular mechanism of action and biological role of transcription factors Gre and their homologs. Email: borukhse@umdnj.edu

Gary Brewer, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Identification and analyses of cis- and trans-acting factors controlling mRNA decay in cancer, heart disease and immune responses.

Salvatore J. Caradonna, Ph.D. * - Stratford - My laboratory is interested in the post-translational mechanisms that regulate proteins involved in base-excision repair of DNA. We are studying the aberrant pathways that lead to uracil misincorporation into DNA and strategies that may exploit these pathways for cancer drug development. We are also involved in the study of atypical cyclin-like proteins that affect cell-cycle phase transitions. Email: caradonn@umdnj.edu

Sylvia Christakos, Ph.D. * - Newark - The Vitamin D Endocrine System:Function and Regulation. Bone.

Nancy D. Connell, Ph.D. * - Newark - Using a combined approach of bacterial genetics and cell biology, we study the interaction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with its host cell, the macrophage. We use mutants of this important pathogen to study intracellular amino acid and peptide metabolism within mouse and human macrophages. Antibiotics.

Gill Diamond, Ph.D. * - Newark - Studies on the molecular biology and mechanisms controlling expression of antimicrobial peptides, especially under conditions of injury, stress and infection. These peptides are found in phagocytic cells and mucosal tissues and may help us better understand host defense mechanisms. Antibiotics.

Scott R. Diehl, Ph.D. * - Newark - Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) are analyzed to understand molecular causes of disease and individual differences in drug responses. High-throughput bioinformatics and complex statistical genetic methods are used for current research on oral cancer, periodontal disease, orofacial clefting; pharmacogenomics of pain and drug responses.

David Dubnau, Ph.D. * - Newark - Research concerns regulation of competence and mechanism of DNA transport in Bacillus subtilis.

Member, Public Health Research Institute and Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Located in ICPH building, 225 Warren Street, Newark, NJ 07103.

Richard H. Ebright, * - Piscataway - Our laboratory seeks to understand the structure, function, and regulation of transcription initiation complexes, and to develop gene-specific inhibitors of transcription initiation as potential gene-specific therapeutic agents.

Isaac Edery, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - We use Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to understand the molecular underpinnings governing circadian rhythms. Our main goals are to understand how a circadian oscillator is assembled and how it responds to environmental cues, most notably visible light and ambient temperature.

Ronald Ellis, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Control of Germ Cell Fate: Animals must produce sperm or eggs to reproduce. Although these cell types differ dramatically, they are produced from similar progenitors. Understanding how this process is controlled could revolutionize our ability to treat reproductive disorders and infertility in humans. Evolution of Hermaphroditism: Sexual traits are among the most rapidly changing features of each species. To learn how these changes take place, and how developmental pathways constrain which ones occur, we are studying the evolution of mating systems in nematodes. Email: ellisre@umdnj.edu

Marc R Gartenberg, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Large regions of eukaryotic chromosomes are heritably maintained in transcriptionally inactive states by repressive chromatin structures. Inappropriate expression of down-regulated genes can lead to cancers and other genetic diseases. We use budding yeast as a model to study how transcriptionally inactive domains are established, maintained, and propagated.

Celine Gelinas, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - The Rel/NF-kB transcription factors play fundamental roles in immune and inflammatory responses, and are implicated in many human hematopoietic and solid cancers. Our research aims at understanding their effects on cellular gene expression, cell growth control, apoptosis and oncogenesis.

Emanuel Goldman, Ph.D. * - Newark - research summary: This lab studies elongation of protein synthesis in bacteria, including: 1) effects of uncharged tRNA; 2) codon bias and 5`-translational blockage; and 3) programmed translational frameshifts and other recoding events such as readthrough of stop codons.

Martin Grumet, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) in neural development & nerve regeneration; Structure & function analysis for L1, Nr-CAM, and neurofascin & in formation of node of Ranvier; Nr-CAM knockout mice; gene expression in radial glia using gene chip technology; glial cell transplantation in rat spinal cord.

Michael Hampsey, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Regulation of gene expression occurs primarily at the level of transcription. We are using a combination of yeast genetics and modern molecular biology to identify components of the RNA polymerase II transcriptional machinery and to determine how this machinery responds to environmental signals.

Hristo Houbaviy, Ph.D. * - Stratford - We are interested in the roles of microRNAs in embryonic stem (ES) cells and during the early development of the mouse. Specifically, we are applying biochemical and mouse model approaches to elucidate the functions of miR-290-295 / miR-371-373 which appear to be ES cell and early embryo specific. Email: houbavhr@umdnj.edu

M. Zafri Humayun, Ph.D. * - Newark - We study mechanisms of genetic variability in Escherichia coli and in the pathogen Helicobacter pylori. We have recently defined two novel transient mutator pathways termed UVM and TSM pathways. The TSM pathway reveals unanticipated links among translation, DNA replication and recombination. Antibiotics, helicase.

Kathryn Iacono, Ph.D. * - Stratford - The primary focus of our group is the development and validation of assays traditionally focused on the area of infectious disease. Our proposed research project will help elucidate the mechanism of bacterial vaginosis by focusing on the interplay among lactobacillus strains that result in fluctuations of vaginal pH. Clinically diagnosed patient specimen will be used to correlate our findings. Email: kiacono@mdlab.com

Sumiko Inouye, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Development-specific gene expression, signal transduction during differation, eukaryotic-like protein kinases, bacterial retroelements, reverse transcritase.

Fred R. Kramer, Ph.D. * - Newark - RNA replication, RNA structure, recombinant RNA, nucleic acid probes, molecular beacons, oligonucleotide arrays

Eldo, V. Kuzhikandathil, Ph.D. * - Newark - We are interested in the molecular analysis of dopamine receptor signaling mechanisms and their role in neurological diseases.Current research projects include structure-function analysis of dopamine receptors and the developmental regulation of dopamine receptor signaling pathways.

Michael Law, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Using S. cerevisiae as a model system, my work is aimed at determining how cell fate decisions are established. Differentiation requires temporal restrictions on transcription to be maintained. My work is interested in defining how post-translational protein modifications allow epigenetic regulation of transcriptional timing. Email: lawmj@umdnj.edu

Chee-Gun Lee, Ph.D * - Newark - The role of RNA helicase A (RHA) in transcription. Functioning as both DNA and RNA helicase, the RHA is also able to associate with dsDNA and nucleosome without any significant difference. Our findings implicate RHA in the development and/or progress of prostate cancer as a factor important for a crosstalk between STAT- and AR-mediated transcription pathways.

S. Joseph Leibovich, Ph.D. * - Newark - Role of macrophages, nitric oxide and oxygen in regulation of angiogenesis in wound healing and cancer. Analysis of VEGF expression in macrophages and its regulation by nitric oxide. Role of ADP-ribosylation of VEGF in macrophages and its role in regulation of angiogenesis.

Michael J. Leibowitz, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Study of therapeutic agents acting on RNA targets to inhibit Tat-mediated transactivation in HIV-1 and group I intron ribozymes of fungi; epigenetic regulation of viral gene expression; polymeric drug delivery systems. Antibiotics.

John Lenard, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Function of cholesterol in the development and reproduction of the multicellular organism C. elegans. A combination of genetic, biochemical and microscopic techniques are used to understand the processes of hormone biosynthesis, transport and action at a cellular and molecular level.

David M. Lukac, Ph.D. * - Newark - Molecular virology of Kaposi`s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (HHV-8) in the pathogenesis of Kaposi`s sarcoma and primary effusion lymphoma.

Carol S. Lutz, Ph.D. * - Newark - We are interested in how eukaryotic gene expression is regulated at the level of mRNA processing, particularly in splicing and polyadenylation. Some of the protein factors involved are autoantigens in patients with lupus, and we are also interested in understanding this phenomenon.

Dmitriy Markov, Ph.D. * - Stratford - My research is focused on regulation of mitochondrial transcription and transcription-coupled processes and how they change in response to oxidative stress in neuronal tissue. Email: markovdm@umdnj.edu

William McAllister, Ph.D * - Stratford - Molecular basis of transcription. Work in our laboratory concerns the structure and function of RNA polymerase, the enzyme that carries out the first step in gene expression, using a combination of biochemical, genetic, and structural methods. Email: mcalliwt@umdnj.edu

Randall D. McKinnon, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Oligodendrocyte development; transplantation analysis of primary OL progenitor cells engineered to be non-responsive to specific factors using dominant-negative receptor constructs; signal transduction by receptors with intrinsic catalytic protein tyrosine kinase activity; gene expression analysis using microarray chip technology.

Nicholas Megjugorac, Ph.D. * - Stratford - My work is currently focused on three aspects of the IL-17 axis of inflammation. (I) Defining the role of IFN-lambda on Th17 differentiation and cytokine expression. (II) Characterizing differences in IL-17 signaling in normal and malignant prostate cells. (III) Identifying mRNA expression profiles in the whole blood of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Email: N.Megjugorac@Humigen.org

Joachim Messing, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - We study gene expression during plant seed development. We are interested in seed storage functions to enhance the nutritional value of maize. We also use maize genetics to study genomic imprinting and loss of heterozygosity.

Carlos A. Molina, Ph.D. * - Newark - We are interested in the regulation of gene expression during the cell cycle by the tumor suppressor and transcriptional repressor, Inducible cAMP Early Repressor (ICER). Circadian rhythm.

Stephen, J. Moorman, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Using zebrafish as a model system, we study the development of the vestibular system and the effects of microgravity on gene expression during development.

Eric G. Moss, Ph.D. * - Stratford - We study developmental timing, microRNAs and translational control in C. elegans and the mouse. The worm heterochronic gene lin-28 is regulated by microRNAs and encodes a specific mRNA-binding protein. Its human homologue, Lin28, appears also to be a microRNA-controlled developmental regulator. Email: mosseg@umdnj.edu

Susan Muller-Weeks, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Research in the laboratory focuses on the repair of uracil in DNA, which is critical for the maintenance of genomic integrity. Specifically we are elucidating transcriptional and post-translational pathways that regulate expression of uracil-DNA glycosylase under normal cellular conditions and in response to anti-tumor agents. Email: muller@umdnj.edu

Joseph Nickels, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Our research uses proteomic/genomic methods and mouse models to understand the biology of diseases, such as cancer initiation and metastasis, cardiovascular disease, and infectious mycoses. Our goal is discovering novel genes that can be used as biomarkers and drug targets, thus allowing us to diagnose and treat these diseases. Email: jnickels@mdlab.com

Wilma K. Olson, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Theoretical and computational studies of the relationship of chemical architecture to the conformation, properties and interactions of biological macromolecules, with major emphasis on nucleic acids.

Andrew R. Pachner, M.D. * - Newark - We focus on detection of pathogen and characterization of host immune response in infections of the nervous system, particularly Lyme borreliosis. We extensively use molecular biological tools, such as PCR and microarrays.

Nicola C. Partridge, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Parathyroid hormone signal transduction pathways regulating transcription of collagenase or stimulating osteoblast cell proliferation. Endocytotic receptors mediating the degradation of secreted collagenase. Mechanisms for enhancing the degradation of collagenase in osteoarthritic chondrocytes.

Smita Patel, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Understanding the enzymatic mechanisms of DNA helicase, RNA helicase, primase, and RNA polymerase proteins.

Garth I. Patterson, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - We study a TGF-beta pathway that controls C. elegans larval development. We wish to learn how this pathway controls a neuroendocrine signal, as well as how this signal is transduced.

Stuart W. Peltz, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Identifying the cis-acting sequences and trans-acting factors involved in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Analysis of post-transcriptional control mechanisms.

Lyndi Rice, Ph.D. * - Stratford - The focus of our group is to elucidate the molecular regulation of several tumor suppressors and oncogenes in the onset of gynecological cancers, using cell culture, primary tissues, and mouse model systems. Through our research, we will identify novel biomarkers to aid in early detection and potential drug targets that modulate tumor progression. Email: lrice@mdlab.com

Melissa B. Rogers, Ph.D. * - Newark - Retinoids control cell cycle, apoptosis, & differentiation. We study how retinoic acid controls key genes like BMP-2. We use enhancer traps to isolate RA response elements. Our functional genomics approach should identify RA-regulated genes that initiate critical signaling cascades in development.

Biagio Saitto, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Our research program is focused on understanding molecular mechanisms involved in cell lineage differentiation potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from human cord blood. Using these adult stem cells, we are developing tissue-specific bioscaffolds for models of muscle injury repair. Email: saittabi@umdnj.edu

Aaron Shatkin, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Mechanisms of eukaryotic gene expression: initiation of viral and cellular transcription and translation; roles of mRNA 5`terminal cap and cap-binding proteins; protein:protein interactions linking capping to protein transport and mRNA biogenesis.

Zoltan Spolarics, M.D., Ph.D. * - Newark - The project investigates the effects of genetic polymorphisms of metabolic enzymes and cytokines (IL-6, IL-10, IFN-γ) on the immune response. We employ genetically modified mice using experimental models of infection in vivo. We also investigate macrophage and T-cell responses in vitro. The human component of the project investigates the effects of genetic polymorphisms on the immune response in trauma patients. Infection, immunity, T-cells, macrophages, red blood cells, chemokines, polymorphism, flow cytometry, injury, host-response, malaria.

Victor Stollar, M.D. * - Piscataway - Replication of mosquito-transmitted RNA viruses in cell-fusing agent); viral genetics, host-range viral mutants; expression and characterization of virus-coded methyltransferases.

Randy Strich, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Our laboratory focuses on understanding how the transcription program is coupled to meiotic progression in budding yeast. A second project investigates the activity of the conserved C-type cyclin in directing the oxidative stress response and apoptosis in yeast and mammalian systems. Email: strichra@umdnj.edu

Dmitry Temiakov, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Our laboratory research is focused on studies of molecular mechanisms of transcription as carried out by different RNA polymerases. In particular, we are interested in function and structure of the human mitochondrial RNA polymerase and mechanisms of mitochondrial transcription regulation. Email: temiakdm@umdnj.edu

Thresia Thomas, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Development of therapeutics for breast cancer based on polyamines and estrogens. Molecular mechanism(s) of estrogenic function through the estrogen receptor. Transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Role of environemntal estrogens in breast cancer. Estradiol metabolic pathways

Ellen Townes-Anderson, Ph.D. * - Newark - Using primary cultures, we are trying to understand mechanisms of regeneration, degeneration, and synaptic plasticity in photoreceptors and other types of retinal neurons. Techniques used include microscopy, optical tweezers, time lapse recording, immunocytochemistry, and molecular biology.

Jason Trama, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Our laboratory uses proteomic and genomic data to identify biomarkers for gynecologic and urologic cancers. Our goal is to develop noninvasive methods for diagnosis and monitoring. We also study the mechanisms of tumorigenesis, metastasis and drug resistance in order to identify targets for therapy. Email: jtrama@mdlab.com

Sanjay Tyagi, Ph.D. * - Newark - We study the intracellular dynamics of single messenger RNA molecules in live cells, explore mRNA export from the nucleus to cytoplasm, sites of splicing, and non-sense mediated decay. We recently discovered that cells of higher eukaryotes express their genes in stochastic bursts of synthesis.

John-Paul Vermitsky, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Our research uses proteomic and genomic methods to understand the mechanisms of antifungal drug resistance in a variety of Candida species. Our goal is discovering new markers to detect resistance and potential drug targets which will be used in our high-through put screens. Email: jvermitsky@mdlab.com.

Ian P. Whitehead , Ph.D. * - Newark - Our laboratory examines mammalian signal transduction and its relationship to cancer. More specifically, we utilize highly efficient, retroviral-based expression systems to identify and characterize oncogenes whose expression contribute to the metastatic potential of human breast tumors.

Nancy, A. Woychik, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - RNA polymerases and transcription regulation in cancer and other diseases; Alterations in host cell transcription upon smallpox virus infection; Transcription mechanisms important for Chlamydia pathogenesis; Chlamydia infection and heart disease.

Nancy A. Woychik, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Functional dissection of the molecular machinery responsible for regulated eukaryotic gene expression. Biochemical and geneticanalysis of RNA polymerase II.

Hua Zhu, Ph.D. * - Newark - My lab is studying cytomegalovirus, including host responses to viral infection, i.e. changes of signal transduction, and to understand how these responses influence viral replication and pathogenesis, and use microarray and mass spectrometry technologies to study viral and cellular gene expression.

* GSBS Faculty Return to Topics list


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