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Bradley Undem Lab
Research in the Bradley Undem Lab centers around the hypothesis that the peripheral nervous system is directly involved in the processes of inflammation. This hypothesis is being studied primarily in the central airways and sympathetic ganglia. We are addressing this in a multidisciplinary fashion, using pharmacological, electrophysiological, biochemical and anatomical methodologies.
The long-term goal of the Caren L. Freel Meyers Laboratory is to develop novel approaches to kill human pathogens, including bacterial pathogens and malaria parasites, with the ultimate objective of developing potential therapeutic agents.
Toward this goal, we are pursuing studies of bacterial isoprenoid biosynthetic enzymes comprising the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway essential in many human pathogens. Studies focus on understanding mechanism and regulation in the pathway toward the development of selective inhibitors of isoprenoid biosynthesis. Our strategies for creating new anti-infective agents involve interdisciplinary research in the continuum of organic, biological and medicinal chemistry. Molecular biology, protein expression and biochemistry, and synthetic chemistry are key tools for our research.
Charles W. Flexner Laboratory
A. Laboratory activities include the use of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) techniques to measure intracellular drugs and drugs metabolites. AMS is a highly sensitive method for detecting tracer amounts of radio-labeled molecules in cells, tissues, and body fluids. We have been able to measure intracellular zidovudine triphosphate (the active anabolite of zidovudine) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy volunteers given small doses of 14C-zidovudine, and have directly compared the sensitivity of AMS to traditional LC/MS methods carried out in our laboratory.
B. Clinical research activities investigate the clinical pharmacology of new anti-HIV therapies and drug combinations. Specific drug classes studied include HIV reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, entry inhibitors (selective CCR5 and CXCR4 antagonists), and integrase inhibitors. Scientific objectives of clinical studies include characterization of early drug activity, toxicity, and pharmacok...inetics. Additional objectives are characterization of pathways of drug metabolism, and identification of clinically significant harmful and beneficial drug interactions mediated by hepatic and intestinal cytochrome P450 isoforms. view more
Craig W. Hendrix Lab
Research in the Craig W. Hendrix Lab concentrates on the chemoprevention of HIV infection, clinical pharmacology of antiviral drugs, drug interactions, and oral, topical and injectable HIV microbicide development. Our lab conducts small, intensive sampling studies of PK and PD of drugs for HIV prevention with a focus on developing methods to better understand HIV and drug distribution in the male genital tract, female genital tract and lower gastrointestinal tract. We also support numerous HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis development studies from phase I to phase III, largely as leader of the Pharmacology Core Laboratory of both the Microbicide Trial Network and HIV Prevention Trials Network.
Research in the Dermot Maher Lab focuses on cancer pain management. We aim to characterize the immunosuppression that occurs with the use of certain pharmacologic pain therapies, including opioids. We also study the relationship between this pharmacologically induced immunosuppression and the rate of manifestation and recurrence of certain types of malignancies. Our goal is to gain a broader understanding of the benefits and side effects of pain medication pharmacology in order to help patients suffering from painful and complex conditions, such as cancer, manage their symptoms more effectively.
The Gabelli lab research is focused on structural, mechanistic and functional aspects of enzyme activation that play a role in the biology of human diseases such as cancer, parasitic infection and cardiovascular disease. Their work seeks to:
1. Understand how molecular events at the recognition level coordinate and trigger events in the cells
2. Translate structural and mechanistic information on protein:protein interactions at the cytoplasmic level into preventive and therapeutic treatment for human disease.
To achieve a comprehensive understanding, they are studying cytoplasmic protein-protein interactions involved in regulation of pathways such as PI3K and Sodium Voltage gated channels. Their research integrates structural biology and chemical biology and it is focused on drug discovery for targeted therapies.
The Jun O. Liu Laboratory tests small molecules to see if they react in our bodies to find potential drugs to treat disease. We employ high-throughput screening to identify modulators of various cellular processes and pathways that have been implicated in human diseases from cancer to autoimmune diseases. Once biologically active inhibitors are identified, they will serve both as probes of the biological processes of interest and as leads for the development of new drugs for treating human diseases. Among the biological processes of interest are cancer cell growth and apoptosis, angiogenesis, calcium-dependent signaling pathways, eukaryotic transcription and translation.
Research focuses on clinical pharmacology of new anti-tuberculosis regimens with an emphasis on: (1) Phase I clinical trials of new or existing anti-TB drugs including dose escalation trials and studies of drug-drug interactions between anti-TB agents and antiretrovirals to treat HIV; (2) Use of PK/PD analysis and modelling in Phase II tuberculosis clinical treatment trials to determine concentration-effect relationships that will allow for optimization of dosing; and (3) Evaluation of TB and HIV drug concentrations in special populations, such as pregnant women and children; (4) Evaluation of treatment-shortening regimens for drug-sensitive TB and investigational regimens for treatment of multidrug-resistant TB; and (5) Translational work involving novel animal models of cavitary pulmonary TB disease to understand drug distribution in diseased lung.
Kelly Metcalf Pate Lab
The Kelly Metcalf Pate Lab focuses on the role of platelets in the innate immune response to viral infection, and how modulating the response of platelets to infection alters the course of disease.
Platelets are known to participate in innate immunity through cytokine signaling and direct interactions with other cells, and the platelet has the potential to significantly influence disease outcomes. However, platelet immunology is still a relatively new discipline, and the downstream effects of platelet interactions with other immune cells have yet to be determined in the context of viral infection.
Current research in our lab aims to further characterize the platelet-monocyte interaction during acute viral infection with the goals of establishing methods of pharmacologically manipulating this association, and establishing how platelet binding to a monocyte influences the monocyte's susceptibility to lentiviral infection and the monocyte's interactions with endothelium.
Additio...nally, we are interested in the effect of physiologic stress on the platelet's future immune response to infection, and in the development and optimization of novel in vitro systems that better model in vivo conditions.
Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology
The Marshall Shuler Laboratory aims to understand the means by which brain reward systems convey reward value, expectancy, quality, probability and utility, and the rules by which such activity is used to affect synaptic weight within brain networks to encode stimulus-action associations. We use an interdisciplinary approach combining multisite recordings of neural activity, targeted pharmacological manipulation, viral-mediated gene transfer and behavior to study the neural mechanisms of reward-based interval learning in the primary visual cortex.
The Bumpus Laboratory uses mass spectrometry and molecular pharmacology-based approaches to study the biotransformation of clinically used drugs by the cytochromes P450s. Specifically, we are studying ways to define a role for cytochrome P450-dependent metabolites in the drug-induced acute liver failure that is associated with certain antiviral drugs used to treat HIV and hepatitis C. Our long-term goal is to gain information that can be used to develop therapies that are devoid of toxic events by preventing the formation of a toxic metabolite or by developing strategies for preventing toxicity using concomitant therapy.
Robert Siliciano Laboratory
Research in the Robert Siliciano Laboratory focuses on HIV and antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART consists of combinations of three drugs that inhibit specific steps in the virus life cycle. Though linked to reduced morbidity and mortality rates, ART is not curative. Through our research related to latently infected cells, we've shown that eradicating HIV-1 infection with ART alone is impossible due to the latent reservoir for HIV-1 in resting CD4+ T cells.
Our laboratory characterized the different forms of HIV-1 that persist in patients on ART. Currently, we are searching for and evaluating drugs that target the latent reservoir. We are also developing assays that can be used to monitor the elimination of this reservoir. We are also interested in the basic pharmacodynamic principles that explain how antiretroviral drugs work. We have recently discovered why certain classes of antiretroviral drugs are so effective at inhibiting viral replication. We are using this discovery along w...ith experimental and computational approaches to develop improved therapies for HIV-1 infection and to understand and prevent drug resistance. Finally, we are studying the immunology of HIV-1 infection, and in particular, the ability of some patients to control the infection without ART. view more
The Seth Blackshaw Lab uses functional genomics and proteomics to rapidly identify the molecular mechanisms that regulate cell specification and survival in both the retina and hypothalamus. We have profiled gene expression in both these tissues, from the start to the end of neurogenesis, characterizing the cellular expression patterns of more than 1,800 differentially expressed transcripts in both tissues. Working together with the lab of Heng Zhu in the Department of Pharmacology, we have also generated a protein microarray comprised of nearly 20,000 unique full-length human proteins, which we use to identify biochemical targets of developmentally important genes of interest.
Theresa Shapiro Laboratory
The Theresa Shapiro Laboratory studies antiparasitic chemotherapy. On a molecular basis, we are interested in understanding the mechanism of action for existing antiparasitic agents, and in identifying vulnerable metabolic targets for much-needed, new, antiparasitic chemotherapy. Clinically, our studies are directed toward an evaluation, in humans, of the efficacy, pharmacokinetics, metabolism and safety of experimental antiparasitic drugs.