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GSBS Research Topics: GENETICS

Steven Brill, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Research in the laboratory focuses on cellular mechanisms that control genome stability. We use genetics and biochemistry to identify and characterize enzymes involved in DNA replication, DNA repair and DNA recombination using yeast as a model system.

Kiran Chada, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Mammalian genetics developmental biology, functional genomics, transgenic mice, human diseases, cancer and obesity.

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.

Katrina Cooper, Ph.D * - Stratford - Following stress cells have to orchestrate a myriad of responses to survive or die. Incorrect choices can lead to deleterious outcomes, e.g. tumor formation. To study this, we use S. cerevisiae, human cells and mouse models. We focus on the conserved cyclin C protein that is destroyed in response to stress and plays a role in apoptosis. Our working hypothesis is that cyclin C is a novel stress related tumor suppressor. Email: cooperka@umdnj.edu

Kiron M. Das, M.D., Ph.D. * - Piscataway - A spectra of gastrointestinal disorders treated with state-of-the-art equipment and interdisciplinary approach. Various programs include: Esophagus, Stomach and Colon Cancer Prevention,Pancreas and Biliary Tract,Swallowing Disorders, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder, Peptic Ulcer and Liver Disease.

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.

Monica, A. Driscoll, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Our lab uses the facile C. elegans model system to investigate molecular and genetic mechanisms of necrotic cell death, aging and mechanical signalling.

Donald T. Dubin, Ph.D.,M.D. * - Piscataway - Antibiotic resistance of staphylococci and streptococci. Genetic and molecular bases of the evolution of bacterial species and strains.

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

Abram Gabriel, M.D. * - Piscataway - My laboratory focuses on the study of mechanisms and consequences of retrotransposon reverse transcription.

Grant Gallagher, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Key interests revolve around the regulation of Th2 responses in conditions such as asthma and the regulation of Th17 responses in conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and prostate cancer. There are developing interests in systemic lupus erythematosus and first-trimester miscarriage also. The work is directed towards the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to such conditions. Disease models are used, but primarily the research uses human cells from both healthy individuals and patients. Email: g.gallagher@humigen.org

Stephen Garrett, Ph.D. * - Newark - We are interested in mechanisms of cell sensing. Our studies are carried out in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and are currently directed toward elucidating the function of the second messenger cAMP, as well as understanding the mechanism of manganese homeostasis.

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.

William, N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Identification of genetic determinants of drug sensitivity in cancer; new targets, signal transduction pathways; oncogenes; translation into genomics based clinical trials.

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.

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.

David Kaback, Ph.D. * - Newark - Chromosome structure and function in yeast Meiotic chromosome pairing and segregation Control of meiotic recombination and chiasma interference.

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

Muriel W. Lambert, Ph.D. * - Newark - Research is ongoing on DNA repair mechanisms, in particular in cells from patients with genetic diseases with repair defects. The genes and proteins involved are being studied as is the interaction of these proteins with damaged DNA and damaged chromatin.

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.

Honghua L. Li, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - (1)Genome-scale understanding genetic basis of breast cancer by microdissecting individual invasive carcinoma components and accompanying proliferative lesions and by multiplex genotype analysis; and (2) understanding the mechanisms underlying human immunoglobulin VH gene complex diversification.

Leroy F. Liu, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Roles of topoisomerases mediating genome instability, carcinogenesis and tumor cell death investigated. Three areas are: a) Topoisomerase I a new molecular target for anticancer drugs. b) Repair topoisomerase I-mediated DNA damage. c) Role of topoisomerase II in tumor cell death and carcinogenesis.

Peter Lobel, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Our laboratory studies the role of lysosomal enzymes in normal and disease processes. Specific research interests include 1) the hereditary neurodegenerative disease late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis; 2) identification and characterization of novel lysosomal enzymes; and 3) intracellular targeting of lysosomal enzymes.

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.

Paul Manowitz, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Identification of genes predisposing to substance abuse and other human diseases of behavior. This research includes studies of tissue culture and animal models as well as humans to elucidate the genetic, molecular biological,and biochemical bases of these diseases.

Michael B. Mathews, Ph.D. * - Newark - Double-stranded RNA binding proteins. Highly structured RNA is an important mediator of several processes, including gene expression and anti-viral defense mechanisms. We study the biochemical properties and biological roles of proteins that function as transcriptional and translational regulators.

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

Kim S. McKim, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - My laboratory is characterizing genes with important roles in either meiotic recombination or segregation of chromosomes using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Many of these genes are also involved in DNA repair and we are characterizing their functions during Drosophila development.

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.

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.

James H. Millonig, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - The lab is interested in developmental neuroscience, using the mouse as a genetic system. The goal is to apply this research to elucidate the genetic causes of autism, a common human disease.

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.

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

Carol S. Newlon, Ph.D. * - Newark - Studies on the mechanism of eukaryotic chromosome replication, using the budding yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Cryptococcus neoformans, as model systems. Our current focus is on the structure and regulation of chromosomal DNA replication origins.

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.

Harvey Ozer, M.D. * - Newark - Carcinogenesis and Regulation of Cellular Aging. We have been studying human diploid fibroblasts (HF) and introduction of genes from the DNA tumor virus SV40 to understand the mechanism of multi-step carcinogenesis ("transformation") in culture and its effect on bypassing cellular aging and facilitating immortalization.

Richard W. Padgett, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Transforming growth factor-beta (TGFb) signal transduction, especially identification of new signaling components of the pathway and the developmental outputs from TGFb signals. We use biochemical, genetic and developmental tools to study this pathway in model systems of C. elegans and Drosophila.

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

Lynn S. Ripley, Ph.D. * - Newark - Studies in the lab focus on frameshift mutagenesis mechanisms, especially how enzymes go wrong. Special emphasis is on spontaneous mutations in vitro, in model prokaryotic systems and the mutations responsible for human disease (both germline and somatic).

Christopher Rongo, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - We study how different neurotransmitter receptor types are sorted to the appropriate synapses in a neuron and how synapses in the central nervous system change in the growing animal. By using genetic screens, behavioral analysis, and molecular and cell biological techniques in C. elegans, we hope to identify the proteins that build and regulate synapses.

Amrik Sahota, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - (1) molecular genetics of adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT) deficiency, a disorder that often leads to kidney stone disease; (2) molecular pathophysiology of stone disease in a knockout mouse model for APRT deficiency; (3) microchimerism in transplant tolerance following organ transplantation; and (4) genetics and epidemiology of late-onset Alzheimer disease.

Andrew Singson, Ph.D. - Piscataway - The goal of research in the lab is to understand the molecular events that mediate sperm-egg interactions. The genetic and molecular dissection of these events will also provide insights relevant to other important cell-cell interactions in multicellular organisms.

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.

William Wadsworth, * - Piscataway - Our laboratory is studying axon guidance and the development of the extracellular matrix. Using genetics and molecular biology techniques, we are discovering molecules that function to direct the formation of a nervous system. We use primarily the nematode C. elegans as a model organism.

Nancy Walworth, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Studies on cell cycle checkpoints: signal transduction pathways that control cell cycle progression in response to DNA damage or DNA replication blocks, using the genetically tractable fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe as a model system. Checkpoint defects are apparent in cells of patients with the cancer-prone genetic disorder ataxia telangiectasia (AT).

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.

Lizhao Wu, Ph.D. * - Newark - We use a combination of molecular, cellular, and genetic approaches to identify key molecules that are important for cancer. Both cell culture systems and mouse models are used to delineate various tumor suppressor/oncogenic pathways in the hematopoietic system, prostate gland, and mammary gland.

Mengqing Xiang, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Our research interests center on understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern the determination and differentiation of the highly specialized sensory neurons. We employ molecular genetic approaches in animal models to identify and study transcription factors that are required for programming development of the retina, inner ear, and somatosensory ganglia.

* GSBS Faculty Return to Topics list

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