Irina Borovkov, PhD
Dr. Borovkov, who joined the faculty in 2005, has a broad research background as well as teaching experience. Her main research interests included mapping of disease resistance genes in plants and development of new molecular approaches to analysis of genetically engineered plants. She has more than 20 scientific publications.
Dr. Breen’s research interests concern the biogenesis of the mammalian mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation system, the regulation of eukaryotic gene expression and the characterization of the role of mitochondria in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Bulla’s research interests are in the area of invertebrate and microbial molecular biology with particular focus on the biochemical and biophysical characterization of insecticidal toxin receptors in insects.
John Burr, PhD
Associate Department Head
Dr. Burr’s research interests involve eukaryotic cell growth regulation and oncogensis. He is currently focusing his research on the oncogenic transformation of cells by Rous Sarcoma Virus (RSV).
Dr. Candas teaches courses in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, Biotechnology, Cellular Microbiology and Body Systems. Blending experience in academia and biotechnology industry, Dr. Candas has a broad-based research background with projects spanning the fields of aging, cancer and infectious diseases. His studies concern biochemical and genetic pathways involved in cellular responses to signaling molecules, microbial toxins, drugs and insecticides.
Vincent Cirillo, PhD
Dr. Cirillo joined the UT Dallas faculty after retiring from the State University of New York at Stony Brook as Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry. He received a B.A. in Biology from the University of Buffalo, an M.S. from New York University, and PhD in Zoology from UCLA. His major research interest on the mechanism of sugar transport ended with the publication of the complete DNA sequence of the yeast galactose transporter.
The goal of Dr. D’Mello’s laboratory is to understand how apoptosis (programmed cell death) is regulated in neurons of the mammalian brain.While apoptosis is a normal feature during early neurodevelopment, aberrant induction of apoptosis leading to undesirable neuronal loss occurs in several neurodegenerative diseases and following stroke or traumatic head injury.
Dr. DeJong’s research focuses on the factors and mechanisms responsible for the transcription of eukaryotic genes. Prior to joining the faculty at UTD, Dr. DeJong was a Postdoctoral Associate with Dr. Robert Roeder where he focused on RNA polymerase II transcription.
Dr. Draper’s research interests include the molecular pathogenesis of protein toxins, such as cholera toxin, membranes trafficking in eukaryotic cells, and the new field of bionanotechnology.
Dr. González focuses his research on the role of exopolysaccharides in the nodulation of legumes by rhizobia and the molecular genetics of plant-microbe interactions. Before joining the staff at UTD, Dr. González was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he focused his research on molecular signals.
Dr. Gray's research interests include the study of structures of polynucleotides and DNA-protein complexes by circular dichroism spectroscopy and other techniques.
Dr. Hannig’s research interests include protein-protein interactions, genetic and biochemical analysis of translation initiation factors, and protein synthesis and its regulation in eukaryotes.
- Stromal Fibroblasts within the Tumor Microenvironment
- Adipocyte hypoxic response in mammary tumor progression
- Role of HIFs in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers
Office - ECS 3.208
Mailstop - EC39
Dr. Levene’s research interests involve protein-DNA interactions in site-specific recombination and the structure and dynamics of nucleic acids in solution.
Wen-ju Lin, PhD
Dr. Lin joined the faculty in 2009 as a Senior Lecturer. Her instructional duties include teaching a Microbial World with Laboratory (BIO13120) for non-majors, and the Introductory Biology Laboratory (BIO2281). Dr. Lin received a B.S. in Biology from National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan (1986), a PhD (1996) in Molecular and Cell Biology from The University of Texas at Dallas. Her PhD thesis involved the study of chromosomal suppressors of a mutation in the mitochondrial tRNAASP gene of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae
Dr. Marsh’s research interests focus on subcellular structure. He is involved in projects concerning the identification and characterization of nuclear matrix proteins, cell surface lectins, and the protein cross-linking enzyme trans glutaminase which has multiple functions in cell physiology.
Dr. Miller’s research interests include the structure and organization of mitochondrial DNA, mitochondrial gene expression, RNA editing, and mitochondrial biogenesis.
Col. (ret) David Murchison, DDS, MMS
Pre-Dental Advisor, HPAC
Dr. Murchison joined the UT Dallas faculty in 2011after retiring from the Air Force where he served as Dean of the USAF Postgraduate Dental Programs and Assistant Deputy Surgeon General for Dental Services. He received a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Arkansas, his DDS from Baylor College of Dentistry, and an MMS from St. Francis University. He has conducted and mentored biomaterial and clinical dental research in Air Force Advanced Education in General Dentistry and Specialty Programs.
Dr. Palmer uses genomic, transcriptomic, and biochemical approaches to study antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria. Her research focuses on microorganisms contributing to significant mortality and cost burdens in the health care industry.
Elizabeth Pickett, PhD
Dr. Pickett joined the faculty in 2011 as a Senior Lecturer. Her primary instructional duties include teaching Biochemistry Laboratory (BIOL 3380) and Introductory Biology Laboratory (BIOL 2281). Dr. Pickett received a B.S. in Genetics from Texas A&M University (2001) and a PhD in Genetics and Development from UT-Southwestern (2007). Her PhD thesis involved the study of PDGFR-alpha signaling in mouse embryonic development.
Prior to joining the faculty at UTD, Dr. Pickett was an instructor at Richland College in the Dallas County Community College District. In 2010 she received the district-wide Excellence in Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty. Dr. Pickett is a member of the Society for Developmental Biology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Science Teachers Association.
Dr. Reitzer’s research involves the regulation of gene expression and metabolism in Escherichia coli and pathogenic bacteria with a focus on responses to environmental stresses, such as nitrogen limitation. Work in progress is also analyzing pathways of the catabolism of polyamines, compounds which correlate with growth rate, and the function of transaminases, especially with respect to the function of their broad specificity.
Ruben D. Ramirez, MD, PhD
Dr. Ramirez joined the faculty in 2009 as a Senior Lecturer. His instructional duties include teaching a Medical Microbiology (BIOL 4350), Human Anatomy & Physiology I (BIOL 3455), and Introduction to Modern Biology II (BIOL 2312). Dr. Ramirez received an M.D. (1980) from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Monterrey, Mexico, and a PhD (1999) in Cell Regulation from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. His PhD thesis involved the study of "telomerase expression in rapid regenerative tissues: the epidermis and hair follicle."
Scott A. Rippel, PhD
Dr. Rippel joined the faculty in 1999 as a Senior Lecturer. His primary instructional duties include teaching a Biotechnology Laboratory BIO2V00) for non-majors,and the junior-level Biochemistry Laboratory (BIO4380).
Ilya Sapozhnikov, M.D., PhD
Dr. Sapozhnikov received his Diploma of a Medical Doctor as well as the PhD degree in Russia. He was the Head of the Research Group for the primary prevention and non-drug treatment of cardiovascular diseases at the USSR Research Cardiology Center for the Academy of the Medical Sciences in Moscow, Russia.
Stephen Spiro, PhD
Stephen Spiro is interested in the regulation of bacterial gene expression by environmental signals, and the consequences of gene regulation for the physiological adaptation to stress.
Uma Srikanth, PhD
Dr. Uma Srikanth received her B.S., and M.S., in Biochemistry from University of Madras, India. She received her PhD, in Molecular and Cell Biology under the guidance of Dr. Dennis Miller. Her doctoral thesis was titled "Evolution of Mitochondrial RNA editing in the SSU rRNA of Myxomyctes". Dr. Srikanth, then went on, to pursue clinical research during her post-doctoral training at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. During her stint at UT Southwestern, Dr. Srikanth researched Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis using both in vitro and in vivo models in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey Elliott (Director of Muscular Dystrophy Association - ALS, Dallas Chapter).
Dr.Srikanth has extensive experience in lab techniques and their applications. She has also trained a number of students and high school teachers during her career at UT Southwestern. Dr. Srikanth is very interested in topics related to neurodegenerative research and their implications. Dr.Srikanth currently teaches BIOL 2311- Introduction to Modern Biology (core course for BS in Biology and Biochemistry students), BIOL 3302 - Eukaryotic Cell and Molecular Biology and BIOL 6356 - Graduate section of Eukaryotic Cell and Molecular Biology. Dr. Srikanth also mentors students for BIOL 4390 - Independent Research writing. Dr.Srikanth has extensive teaching experience and enjoys interacting with students.
Dr. Xuan’s research involves detecting and interpreting genomic variations from high throughput data with computational biology methods.
Functional integration of genomic, proteomic and metabolomic studies to experimental models of human disease for discovery of novel drug targets.
Wen-Ho Yu, PhD
Dr. Yu’s primary responsibility is to teach human anatomy and physiology and biology II to the pre-professional health care and graduate students.
He received a Ph. D. in Physiology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in 1988. Prior to his joining the faculty in 2006, Dr. Yu was a member of the physiology faculty at UT Southwestern Medical School and assistant professor of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana State University.
He is interested in the research of neuroendocrinology, reproductive physiology and obesity.
Li Zhang, PhD
Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Systems Biology
Dr. Zhang’s research focuses on oxygen sensing, heme signaling and molecular actions of environmental neurotoxicants.
Michael Q. Zhang, PhD
Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair of Systems Biology Science
Dr. Zhang's research interests include computational biology and bioinformatics with a special focus on genomic and epigenomic regulation networks in normal and disease states.
Intermediate metabolism and its disorders, and using NMR spectroscopy to study hepatic energy production and gluconeogenesis in the liver and kidney.
Dr. Burguess has a strong life sciences background with particular focus in molecular biology, in-vivo drug target validation and genetic engineering.
Dr. Clegg's research has centered on the interaction between body adiposity, nutrients, and the hormones estrogen, insulin, and leptin and their influence on energy homeostasis. Specifically whether fatty acids are involved in the modulation of the major bioenergetic and/or biosynthetic pathways normally critical for hypothalamic energy homeostasis.
Dr. Feng performs research in craniofacial, tooth and bone developmental biology, with a particular interest in understanding the roles of Dentin matrix protein-1, Bmp receptor 1A, beta-catenin, periostin and mechanical loading during development. In addition, Dr. Feng is interested in understanding tooth root formation using a naturally occurring osteoporosis mouse model. Lastly, Dr. Feng is interested in understanding the mechanism by which Pax-9 in mutation in exon 3 leads to tooth agenesis.
Our lab takes genomics approaches to decipher the functions of cancer-relevant transcription factors in breast, lung and prostate cancer and to translate this knowledge into new approaches for detection and treatment of cancer:
- We combine analyses of the genomic binding sites of cancer-relevant transcription factors, epigenetic, gene expression and clinical outcome data to make specific predictions about the role of transcription factors and functional interaction of multiple transcription factors in the regulation of cancer-relevant gene networks
- We use RNAi screening to identify druggable modulators of transcription factors whose direct therapeutic targeting is challenging as molecules for targeted therapies.
- We analyze the expression of the target genes of oncogenic transcription factors in tissues and serum of cancer patients to identify novel biomarkers.
Understanding the molecular basis of neural stem cell differentiation and myelinating cell formation in the mammalian nervous system. Particular interest is genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of glial cell formation and their related diseases such as demyelinating diseases and brain tumors (gliomas).
Dissecting the molecular pathways that lead to pathogenesis of illness, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, lupus). It is the most complex and mysterious of all systemic autoimmune diseases, where the immune system attacks its self. Research focuses on:
- genetic origins of lupus
- novel biomarkers of lupus
- pathogenic cascades leading to lupus
- therapeutic targets in lupus
- other studies in autoimmunity and arthritis
Dr. Ober's research has focused on biological problems and the development of technology to advance the capabilities of biological research. Currently, the main research interests center on high resolution fluorescence microscopy analyses of processes in living cells. Ober's research group is involved in both the development of methods (hardware, software, image processing and analysis) and in carrying out of experiments to address problems of biological interest.
elucidating mechanisms of fetal hemoglobin induction through p38 MAPK cell signaling. Approaches used include DNA microarray analysis to characterize the transcriptome in erythroid progenitors during the gamma to beta hemoglobin switch as well as to identify gamma globin trans-activators. The molecular work is complimented by high throughput drug screens to identify novel fetal hemoglobin inducing agents as a treatment strategy for sickle cell disease.
Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year, causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty. While each anxiety disorder has different symptoms, all the symptoms cluster around excessive, irrational fear. Currently the neurobiological basis for these disorders remains poorly understood and treatments for these disorders remain inadequate. Therefore research in my laboratory focuses on identifying the molecular and biochemical mechanisms that contribute to the development of fear and the maintenance of fear.
Collectively my laboratory utilizes a myriad of molecular, biochemical and behavioral approaches to study learned fear (cue-induced anxiety) and innate fear. In particular we manipulate gene expression within the rodent brain utilizing recombinant viruses to establish respective roles for individual genes/proteins in neural plasticity, memory formation and anxiety.
Mouse genetics to delineate the genetic basis for autoimmune disease pathogenesis. Our primary focus has been on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a debilitating autoimmune disease initiated via a profound loss of immunologic tolerance to nuclear antigens. We have used genetic manipulation of the lupus-prone NZM2410 murine model of SLE to dissect SLE pathogenesis into a series of discrete stages.
We are currently in the process of identifying the individual susceptibility genes and defining the genetic pathways responsible for the initiation and progression of systemic autoimmunity in lupus-prone mouse models of SLE. Additional projects within the laboratory include genetic dissections of autoimmune diabetes and the analysis of a variety of polymorphisms in normal immune functions. The use of microarray technology in combination with genetic fine mapping to identify polymorphic genes with potent immunologic effects is a major new thrust within the laboratory.
There are currently six postdoctoral fellows, five graduate students, and eight technicians in our research group. I strongly encourage all postdoctoral fellows and students to obtain research fellowships as a component of their training.
Our efforts to understand how lymphocyte polarization regulates cellular activation contain three elements.
- role of spatiotemporal patterning in the function of distinct groups of T and NK cell signaling intermediates. This includes Tec family tyrosine protein kinases and phosphatidyl inositol lipid kinases in T cell activation and Rho GTPases in NK cell function.
- develop methods to quantify spatiotemporal patterning in T cell signaling at the systems scale. This includes biochemical and computer-based image analysis approaches. The goal is to generate mathematical models of T cell signal transduction inside live T cells. In collaboration with Dr. Michael Rosen, we thus address the regulation of T cell actin dynamics. The application of new insight from these studies to disease is often straightforward. In collaboration with Dr. Edward Wakeland, we analyze biochemical and cell biological features of T/B cell interactions in systemic lupus erythematosus.
- Updated: April 23, 2013