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  • Samuel R. Denmeade Laboratory

    Lab Website

    The main research goals of my laboratory are: (1) to identify and study the biology of novel ca...ncer selective targets whose enzymatic function can be exploited for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes; (2) to develop methods to target novel agents for activiation by these cancer selective targets while avoiding or minimizing systemic toxicity; (3) to develop novel agents for imaging cancer sites at earliest stages. To accomplish these objectives the lab has originally focused on the development of prodrugs or protoxins that are inactive when given systemically via the blood and only become activated by tumor or tissue specific proteases present within sites of tumor. Using this approach, we are developing therapies targeted for activation by the serine proteases prostate-specific antigen (PSA), human glandular kallikrein 2 (hK2) and fibroblast activation protein (FAP) as well as the membrane carboxypeptidase prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). One such approach developed in the lab consists of a potent bacterial protoxin that we have reengineered to be selectively activated by PSA within the Prostate. This PSA-activated toxin is currently being tested clinically as treatment for men with recurrent prostate cancer following radiation therapy. In a related approach, a novel peptide-cytotoxin prodrug candidate that is activated by PSMA has been identified and is this prodrug candidate is now entering early phase clinical development. In addition, we have also identified a series of potent inhibitors of PSA that are now under study as drug targeting and imaging agents to be used in the treatment and detection of prostate cancer.
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    Research Areas: cancer therapies, prodrugs, cancer, protease inhibitors, protoxins, cancer imaging
  • Sarbjit Saini Lab

    Principal Investigator:
    Sarbjit Saini, M.D.
    Medicine

    The research in the Sarbjit Saini Laboratory focuses on IgE receptor biology and IgE receptor-m...ediated activation of blood basophils and mast cells. We have examined the role of IgE receptor expression and activation in allergic airways disease, anaphylaxis and chronic urticaria. Our research has been supported by the NIH, American Lung Association and the AAAAI. Our current research interests have focused mechanisms of diease in allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis and also translational studies in chronic idiopathic urticaria. view more

    Research Areas: anaphylaxis, airway diseases, cell biology, asthma, allergies, chronic idiopathic urticaria
  • Sean Leng Lab

    Principal Investigator:
    Sean Leng, M.D., Ph.D.
    Medicine

    The Sean Leng Lab studies the biology of healthy aging. Specific projects focus on chronic infl...ammation in late-life decline; immunosenescence and its relationship to the basic biological and physiological changes related to aging and frailty in the human immune system; and T-cell repertoire analysis. view more

    Research Areas: immunology, aging, inflammation, gerontology, T cells
  • Sean Taverna Laboratory

    The Taverna Laboratory studies histone marks, such as lysine methylation and acetylation, and h...ow they contribute to an epigenetic/histone code that dictates chromatin-templated functions like transcriptional activation and gene silencing. Our lab uses biochemistry and cell biology in a variety of model organisms to explore connections between gene regulation and proteins that write and read histone marks, many of which have clear links to human diseases like leukemia and other cancers. We also investigate links between small RNAs and histone marks involved in gene silencing. view more

    Research Areas: biochemistry, histone marks, cell biology, leukemia, cancer, epigenetics, eukaryotic cells, gene silencing, RNA
  • Shanthini Sockanathan Laboratory

    Lab Website

    The Shanthini Sockanathan Laboratory uses the developing spinal cord as our major paradigm to d...efine the mechanisms that maintain an undifferentiated progenitor state and the molecular pathways that trigger their differentiation into neurons and glia. The major focus of the lab is the study of a new family of six-transmembrane proteins (6-TM GDEs) that play key roles in regulating neuronal and glial differentiation in the spinal cord. We recently discovered that the 6-TM GDEs release GPI-anchored proteins from the cell surface through cleavage of the GPI-anchor. This discovery identifies 6-TM GDEs as the first vertebrate membrane bound GPI-cleaving enzymes that work at the cell surface to regulate GPI-anchored protein function. Current work in the lab involves defining how the 6-TM GDEs regulate cellular signaling events that control neuronal and glial differentiation and function, with a major focus on how GDE dysfunction relates to the onset and progression of disease. To solve these questions, we use an integrated approach that includes in vivo models, imaging, molecular biology, biochemistry, developmental biology, genetics and behavior. view more

    Research Areas: glia, biochemistry, neurons, imaging, developmental biology, genomics, spinal cord, behavior, molecular biology
  • Shawn Lupold Laboratory

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Shawn Lupold, Ph.D.
    Urology

    The Shawn Lupold Laboratory studies the biology of urologic malignancies, like prostate cancer,... to create new experimental diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic agents. view more

    Research Areas: prostate cancer, urologic cancers
  • Stivers Lab

    Lab Website

    The Stivers Lab is broadly interested in the biology of the RNA base uracil when it is present ...in DNA. Our work involves structural and biophysical studies of uracil recognition by DNA repair enzymes, the central role of uracil in adapative and innate immunity, and the function of uracil in antifolate and fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy. We use a wide breadth of structural, chemical, genetic and biophysical approaches that provide a fundamental understanding of molecular function. Our long-range goal is to use this understanding to design novel small molecules that alter biological pathways within a cellular environment. One approach we are developing is the high-throughput synthesis and screening of small molecule libraries directed at important targets in cancer and HIV-1 pathogenesis. view more

    Research Areas: biophysics, enzymes, cell biology, uracil, cancer, HIV, DNA, RNA
  • Stuart C. Ray Lab

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Stuart Ray, M.D.
    Medicine

    Chronic viral hepatitis (due to HBV and HCV) is a major cause of liver disease worldwide, and a...n increasing cause of death in persons living with HIV/AIDS. Our laboratory studies are aimed at better defining the host-pathogen interactions in these infections, with particular focus on humoral and cellular immune responses, viral evasion, inflammation, fibrosis progression, and drug resistance. We are engaged in synthetic biology approaches to rational vaccine development and understanding the limits on the extraordinary genetic variability of HCV. view more

    Research Areas: immunology, Hepatitis, AIDS, HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, liver diseases, synthetic biology
  • Susan Michaelis Lab

    Principal Investigator:
    Susan Michaelis, Ph.D.
    Cell Biology

    The Michaelis Laboratory's research goal is to dissect fundamental cellular processes relevant ...to human health and disease, using yeast and mammalian cell biology, biochemistry and high-throughput genomic approaches. Our team studies the cell biology of lamin A and its role in the premature aging disease Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS). Other research focuses on the core cellular machinery involved in recognition of misfolded proteins. Understanding cellular protein quality control machinery will ultimately help researchers devise treatments for protein misfolding diseases in which degradation is too efficient or not enough. view more

    Research Areas: biochemistry, cell biology, protein folding, lamin A, aging, genomics, Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, yeast
  • Systems Biology Laboratory

    The Systems Biology Lab applies methods of multiscale modeling to problems of cancer and cardio...vascular disease, and examines the systems biology of angiogenesis, breast cancer and peripheral artery disease (PAD).

    Using coordinated computational and experimental approaches, the lab studies the mechanisms of breast cancer tumor growth and metastasis to find ways to inhibit those processes.

    We use bioinformatics to discover novel agents that affect angiogenesis and perform in vitro and in vivo experiments to test these predictions. In addition we study protein networks that determine processes of angiogenesis, arteriogenesis and inflammation in PAD. The lab also investigates drug repurposing for potential applications as stimulators of therapeutic angiogenesis, examines signal transduction pathways and builds 3D models of angiogenesis.

    The lab has discovered over a hundred novel anti-angiogenic peptides, and has undertaken in vitro and in vivo studies testing their activity under different conditions. We have investigated structure-activity relationship (SAR) doing point mutations and amino acid substitutions and constructed biomimetic peptides derived from their endogenous progenitors. They have demonstrated the efficacy of selected peptides in mouse models of breast, lung and brain cancers, and in age-related macular degeneration.

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    Research Areas: peripheral artery disease, breast cancer, systems biology, computational biology, cancer, cardiovascular, age-related macular degeneration, bioinformatics, angiogenesis, microcirculation
  • The Pathak Lab

    Lab Website

    The Pathak lab is within the Division of Cancer Imaging Research in the Department of Radiology... and Radiological Science. We develop novel imaging methods, computational models and visualization tools to ‘make visible’ critical aspects of cancer, stroke and neurobiology. Our research broadly encompasses the following areas: Functional and Molecular Imaging; Clinical Biomarker Development; Image-based Systems Biology and Visualization and Computational Tools. We are dedicated to mentoring the next generation of imagers, biomedical engineers and visualizers. Additional information can be found at www.pathaklab.org or by emailing Dr. Pathak. view more

    Research Areas: microscopy, vasculature, tumors, systems biology, functional magnetic resonance imaging, 3D imaging, biomarkers, optical imaging, angiogenesis, cancer imaging
  • Translational Neurobiology Laboratory

    Lab Website

    The goals of the Translational neurobiology Laboratory are to understand the pathogenesis and c...ell death pathways in neurodegenerative disorders to reveal potential therapeutic targets for pharmaceutical intervention; to investigate endogenous survival pathways and try to induce these pathways to restore full function or replace lost neurons; and to identify biomarkers to mark disease function or replace lost neurons; and to identify biomarkers to mark disease progression and evaluate therapeutics. Our research projects focus on models of Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease. We use a combination of cell biology and transgenic animal models of these diseases. view more

    Research Areas: Huntington's disease, neurodegenerative disorders, neurobiology, cell biology, Parkinson's disease
  • Venu Raman Research Lab

    The Raman laboratory is within the Division of Cancer Imaging Research in the Department of Rad...iology and Radiological Science. The focus of the laboratory is bench-to-bed side cancer research. We integrate molecular and cellular biology, developmental biology, cancer biology, molecular imaging techniques to study cancer formation and progression. Many of the projects in the lab investigate dysregulated genes in cancer and the translatability of this information to a clinical setting. One such project is to functionally decipher the role of a RNA helicase gene, DDX3, in the biogenesis of multiple cancer types such as breast, lung, brain, sarcoma, colorectal and prostate. Additionally, using a rational drug design approach, a small molecule inhibitor of DDX3 (RK-33) was synthesized and its potential for clinical translation is being investigated. view more

    Research Areas: breast cancer, cancer, in vitro findings, molecule inhibitors
  • Wei Dong Gao Lab

    Lab Website

    Work in the Wei Dong Gao Lab primarily focuses on heart failure and defining molecular and cell...ular mechanisms of contractile dysfunction. We use molecular biology and proteomic techniques to investigate the changes that myofilament proteins undergo during heart failure and under drug therapy. We're working to determine the molecular nature of nitroxyl (HNO) modification of tropomyosin. view more

    Research Areas: heart disease, contractile dysfunction, heart failure, cardiovascular diseases, molecular biology
  • Welling Laboratory

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Paul Welling, M.D.
    Medicine

    Dr. Paul A. Welling and his research team explore the genetic and molecular underpinnings of el...ectrolyte physiology, potassium balance disorders, hypertension and kidney disease. A major thrust of current research activity is devoted to understanding how faulty genes and environmental stresses drive hypertension. The research is providing new insights into how the Western diet triggers deleterious responses of salt-sensitivity genes. The Welling laboratory employs a multidisciplinary approach, spanning from gene discovery, molecular biology, genetically engineered mouse models to translational studies in humans. By illuminating pathophysiological mechanisms and translating the discoveries to develop more effective diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, Welling’s group is striving to improve the health of at-risk individuals and patients with kidney disease and hypertension.



    Dr. Welling is the Joseph S. and Esther Hander Professor of Laboratory Research in Nephrology. He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 25 years. Currently he serves as Coordinator of a Global Research Network, funded by the LeDucq Foundation. More about his research can be found at https://www.wellinglab.com/
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    Research Areas: genetic and molecular underpinnings of electrolyte physiology, kidney diseases, hypertension, potassium balance disorders
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