Faculty in the Department of Biology at Drexel University
Research Interests: Understanding the mechanisms that govern epigenetic regulation of higher order brain function. Epigenetic-based mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders, and broad insights into HAT (histone acetyltransferase)-based drug design for early therapeutic intervention of cognitive deficits.
Research Interests: My laboratory focuses its research efforts on identifying and characterizing genes that are involved in pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We believe our efforts will lead to the identification of novel therapeutic strategies to delay or prevent onset of AD.
Research Interests: Regulation of cell metabolism and its relevance in major human diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disorders and diabetes.
Research Interests: Understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie the morphogenesis of epithelial and neuronal tissues; focus on regulation of the cytoskeleton and its functions by a novel family of GTP-binding proteins termed septins.
Adjunct Faculty at Fox Chase Cancer Center
Research Interests: Personalized medicine initiatives to impact early diagnosis and cancer treatment; identifying novel genetic risk factors that can be relevant to cancer risk assessment, biomarker development and potential optimization of personalized treatment; investigating the molecular circuits that govern DNA damage response and how changes in these can contribute to cancer.
Research Interests: Understanding how viruses interact with cells, trigger cell death, provoke innate immune responses, and induce disease; leveraging these discoveries to develop new therapies for virus infections and human cancers; identifying signaling nodes in antiviral innate immune pathways through CRISPR and other screening approaches.
Research Interests: Genetic and epigenetic alterations of cancer cells in an effort to understand normal gene function and pathogenesis of disease, with the ultimate goal of identifying critical regulatory molecules/pathways as targets for innovative approaches of cancer prevention and therapy.
Research Interests: Signal transduction by small G proteins and their effectors and the role of these proteins in regulating cytoskeletal structure, tumor invasion, and metastasis; regulation of insulin signaling.
Research Interests: Isolating primary fibroblasts from various murine and human cancers at different stages of tumorigenesis.
Research Interests: Computational structural biology, including homology modeling, fold recognition, molecular dynamics simulations, statistical analysis of the PDB and bioinformatics.
Research Interests: Research in my group focuses on the tissue and cellular dynamics during aging, chronic tissue damage and continuous regeneration leading to the development of cancer.
Research Interests: Understanding points of communication between the cell cycle machinery and cell shape controls, with particular reference to how these processes are simultaneously disrupted in cancer; the HEF1, HEI10, and HEI-C proteins, which function in cell cycle-cell attachment control pathways.
Research Interests: Protein quaternary structure dynamics; the morpheein model of allosteric regulation; quaternary structure as a basis for understanding disease and discovering drugs.
Research Interests: The Johnson laboratory studies mechanisms of DNA damage detection, repair, and signaling that occur in BRCA1 mutation-containing organisms and cancers. We use a range of approaches, including cell biology, mouse genetics, and therapy resistance modeling, to understand basic biological processes and their implications for tumorigenesis and chemotherapy sensitivity.
Research Interests: The goal of the Karanicolas laboratory is to develop structure-based approaches for modulating protein function using small-molecules. We apply these new approaches to re-activate disabled tumor suppressors, inhibit cancer-driving RNA-binding proteins, disable key oncogenic kinases, and tune the activity of antibodies used in cancer immunotherapy.
Research Interests: Uncovering immune-mediated mechanisms regulating cardiovascular disease (CVD) development, adipose tissue inflammation and cancer with particular emphasis on the role of cytokines in the regulation of intestinal microbiota, metabolites, stress hematopoiesis in the bone marrow, and anti-cancer immunity.
Research Interests: Molecular chaperone correction of missense mutations; genetic defects of methionine metabolic enzymes and human disease.
Research Interests: Our goal is to understand the mechanisms that control epithelial stem cell function in vivo. Since identifying novel signals that regulate stem cell function is technically challenging in mammalian tissues, we are focusing on Drosophila ovarian follicular epithelium stem cells (FSCs) as a model system for this analysis.
Research Interests: Understanding how the Rho family of signaling proteins function in normal cells and how their signaling is altered in cancer and metastasis.
Research Interests: Immune regulatory pathways in human lymphoid malignancies. We are interested in the immune signaling pathways, particularly key transcriptional factors and ubiquitin-mediated signaling, required for lymphoma pathogenesis and immunotherapy. We have established an unbiased high-throughput CRISPR library screening technology to rapidly and accurately identify key pathways that are suitable for targeted therapy and immunotherapy.
Research Interests: The mechanisms that regulate genome stability and how these processes are disrupted in cancer cells; mechanisms in cancer cells that promote their survival in response to chemotherapy using hi-throughput siRNA and small molecule screens; development of assays including imaging and biochemical assays.
Adjunct Faculty at Lankenau Institute for Medical Research
Research Interests: Understanding molecular and genetic interactions that exist between tumors and the host environment as the basis for developing novel approaches for achieving effective therapeutic intervention.
Adjunct Faculty at the Wistar Institute
These faculty members are available for MCBG master's students.
Dario Altieri, MD*
Research Interests: The mechanisms that underlie how tumor cells survive and proliferate in cancer, in particular how tumor cells evade the normal processes that cause cells with genetic faults to self-destruct.
Qing Chen, MD, PhD*
Research Interests: The molecular mechanisms of brain metastasis originating from primary tumors like breast cancer, and the interplay between cancer cells and the stromal cells that populate the brain microenvironment.
Alessandro Gardini, PhD
Research Interests: The epigenetic control of transcription during cell differentiation and oncogenesis.
Paul Lieberman, PhD
Research Interests: How certain viruses, including Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's sarcoma–associated herpesvirus, establish a long-term latent infection that can lead to cancer.
Luis Montaner, DVM, DPhil*
Research Interests: Mechanisms of disease in HIV-1 infection, and explores new ways to boost the natural function of the immune system in order to combat infection or viral-associated disease.
Maureen Murphy, PhD
Research Interests: The most frequently mutated gene in human cancer, the tumor suppressor protein p53, especially how genetic polymorphisms in the p53 tumor suppressor gene that are more common in African Americans affect the ability of this protein to induce apoptosis and growth arrest, and hence combat tumor development.
Yulia Nefedova, MD, PhD*
Research Interests: Her research focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms by which the bone marrow microenvironment promotes tumor survival and progression.
Joseph M. Salvino, PhD
Research Interests: Medicinal chemistry, lead optimization and drug development, organic synthesis, design and synthesis of chemical biology tools to assist in mechanistic studies.
Kavitha Sarma, PhD
Research Interests: Dr. Sarma studies the mechanisms of RNA-mediated epigenetic gene regulation to understand how the loss of chromatin modifier-RNA interactions impacts cellular function.
Zachary Schug, PhD
Research Interests: Dr. Schug is interested in investigating metabolic adaptation in cancer cells through the use of cell biology, biochemistry, and metabolomics.
David Speicher, PhD
Research Interests: The use of proteomics, computational methods and biophysical approaches to characterize the roles of normal and mutant proteins in cancers and other human diseases. One approach uses systems biology strategies to better understand tumor progression and resistance to cancer therapeutics.
Jessie Villanueva, PhD
Research Interests: Our lab studies the molecular pathways that become deregulated in melanoma aiming at identifying suitable targets for therapy, particularly for tumors with limited treatment options, such as those driven by oncogenic NRAS. Our research goals are to dissect the mechanisms mediating drug resistance and identifying new targets or vulnerabilities that can be therapeutically exploited to combat melanoma drug resistance.
Rugang Zhang, PhD
Research Interests: The mechanisms that underlie how normal mammalian cells age and how tumor cells evade the process and become transformed, in particular how alterations in epigenetics lead to the evasion of the aging process during tumor development.
Jane Azizkhan-Clifford, PhD
Professor Emerita; Associate Dean for Medical Student Research; Course Director, Cancer Biology
Research Interests: Cellular response to DNA damage, regulation of gene expression, cellular proliferation and the cell cycle
Bradford Jameson, PhD
Research Interests: Medical and graduate student education; previous research focused on structure-based drug design studies for development of immune-regulatory compounds
Marilyn Jorns, PhD
Research Interests: Use of structure-based drug design to develop a new class of drugs to treat heart failure, based on modulation of the gasotransmitter hydrogen sulfide; structure and mechanism of membrane-bound oxidoreductases
* Physician's practice is independent of Drexel Medicine and Drexel University.