For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Molecular Medicine (MMED) Research Opportunities

As a requirement for completion of the Master of Science in Molecular Medicine program, students will complete laboratory-based or other forms of research activity in the broad field of molecular medicine. Projects typically will focus on basic, translational or clinical biomedical research.

Recent student projects have involved assay development for drug detection, cancer immunotherapy, characterization of DNA modification in pathogenic bacteria and early stage assay development for drug discovery. Research projects are also under way to apply new gene excision therapies to cure viral infections and other human diseases. Students will also gain experience with analyzing data that they help to generate or discovered from the literature, as well as presenting that information in written and oral formats. Internship hosts will be selected on the basis of their research, as well as student interests and future career goals.

While emphasis will be placed on laboratories within Drexel University, internships may also be completed at other academic institutions or at company sites outside of Drexel University with programs in the area of molecular medicine and related disciplines. A list of Drexel program faculty with specific research interests is provided below.

More information about faculty research interests can be found at Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease Members. Please note that internship opportunities are not limited to these research groups.

  • Carol Artlett, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Inflammasome signaling; IL-1 mediated fibrosis; collagen export from the endoplasmic reticulum; miR-155; small molecule therapeutic development

  • Jane Azizkhan-Clifford, PhD

    Professor and Chair; Associate Dean for Medical Student Research
    Department: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    Research Interests: Cellular response to DNA damage, regulation of gene expression, cellular proliferation and the cell cycle

  • Joris Beld, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Chemical biology and microbiology of secondary metabolism in various organisms

  • Lawrence Bergman, PhD

    Professor Emeritus
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Malaria, invasion, global gene expression, merozoite, sporozoite, actin-myosin, microarray, Plasmodium

  • Elizabeth Blankenhorn, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Genetic foundations for inherited susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, including diabetes, scleroderma and multiple sclerosis; impact of genetics on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  • Michael Bouchard, PhD

    Director, Division of Biomedical Science Programs; Professor
    Department: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    Research Interests: Liver cancer; hepatocyte transformation; calcium signaling; apoptosis; cell proliferation; alcohol; novel liver models; hepatitis B virology and hepatic cancer; HBx protein and hepatitis viral replication; calcium signaling and its role in cellular transformation; fatty liver disease and the gut microbiome axis

  • James M. Burns Jr., PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Development of protective immunity against blood-stage malaria induced by immunization with defined subunit vaccines.

  • Simon Cocklin, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    Research Interests: Macromolecular interaction analysis, HIV-1 replication, strucuture-function relationships, ligand-receptor interactions

  • Mary Ann Comunale, EdD, MS

    Assistant Professor; Director, Center for Scientific Communications and Outreach
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Scientific: Proteomic and glycoproteomic analysis to identify early markers of disease, analytical and clinical assay development.
    Educational: Innovative learning technologies including gamification and game based learning.

  • Will Dampier, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Exploring patterns of HIV genetic variation, its influences on disease progression and impacts on excision therapy

  • Garth D. Ehrlich, PhD

    Professor of Microbiology & Immunology; Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology, Otolaryngology
    Research Interests: Use of large-scale comparative genomic technologies to explore the molecular pathogenesis of chronic infectious diseases and the human genetics of susceptibility and resistance to infection.

  • Itzhak Fischer, PhD

    Professor and Chair
    Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy
    Research Interests: Cellular and molecular strategies in promoting regeneration; structure and function of neuronal cytoskeleton

  • Richard Huneke, DVM

    Professor; Executive Director, ULAR
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology

  • Pooja Jain, PhD

    Professor; Co-Director, Master of Science in Immunology Program
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Dendritic cell-based immunotherapy against ATLL induced by the human retroviral infection HTLV-1 as well as against neuroinflammatory diseases induced by infection (HAM/TSP) or inflammation (multiple sclerosis, MS)

  • Stephen Jennings, PhD

    Professor; Co-Director, Master of Science in Immunology Program
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Optimal protection from HSV-1 infection provided by interactions between innate and acquired immune responses.

  • Suresh Joshi, MD, PhD, MSc

    Faculty
    Research Interests: Bacterial pathogenesis and biofilms; wound infection and healing

  • Santosh Katiyar, PhD

    Research Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Molecular genetics and antimicrobial therapy of opportunistic fungal infections, with major emphasis on molecular mechanisms of antifungal drug resistance

  • Zafar Khan, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Transgenic and humanized mouse modeling of neuroinflammation; target-based high-throughput screening (HTS) and pre-clinical studies on development of novel antiviral molecules with focus on mechanism(s) of action; INDO-US collaborative program under the Center for International Translational Medicine of the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease (IMMID)

  • Sandhya Kortagere, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Biased signaling of dopamine D3 receptor agonists; developing symptomatic and disease-modifying therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease; etiology of mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease; role of dopamine receptors in neurocognitive impairment in HIV and other neuronal infections

  • Fred Krebs, PhD

    Associate Professor; Co-director, Interdisciplinary and Career-Oriented Programs
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: HIV-1 immunopathogenesis and neuropathogenesis, plasma medicine (biomedical applications of non-thermal plasma)

  • Kirsten Larson, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Development of educational activities, flipped classroom experiences and peer evaluation

  • Patrick Loll, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    Research Interests: X-ray crystallography and protein biophysics; integral membrane protein structure; antibiotic resistance; mechanism of anesthetic action; protein homeostasis

  • Julio Martin-Garcia, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Macrophage tropism and neurotropism of HIV-1; cellular senescence during HIV-1 infection and HIV-1 neuropathogenesis; innate immune responses to HIV-1 infection in macrophages, microglia and dendritic cells; microRNAs and HIV-1

  • Michael Mather, PhD

    Research Assistant Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Physiology of malaria parasites, especially mitochondrial functions and energy metabolism

  • Joshua Chang Mell, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Using genomics to investigate the mechanism, consequences and evolution of genetic recombination, especially in pathogenic bacteria.

  • Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD

    Professor & Chair
    Department: Pharmacology & Physiology
    Research Interests: HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders and drug abuse, chemokine-based therapeutics, neuroprotective pathways in neuroinflammation

  • Joanne Morrisey

    Research Instructor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology

  • Sonia Navas-Martin, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Innate immunity, toll-like receptors, neuroimmunology, neuroinflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, blood brain barrier, microglia, astrocytes, neurons, macrophages, viral encephlalitis, demyelination, molecular pathogenesis of neurotropic RNA viruses, cellular senesce, microRNAs, animal models, therapeutic targets

  • Michael Nonnemacher, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: HIV-1 genetic variation in disease progression; role of viral accessory proteins in pathogenesis; impact of HIV-1 and drugs of abuse on the blood-brain barrier

  • Pamela Norton, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Characterization of glycoproteomic biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma, induction of novel immune responses by agents that alter N-glycan processing

  • Shendra Passic, MS

    Research Instructor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Variation in HIV-1 genetic and immune markers during disease progression; HIV-1 drug development and microbicides

  • Vanessa Pirrone, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Impact of HIV infection on colorectal cancer, and the role of the HIV-1 Nef protein; impact of age and HIV/HCV coinfection on HIV-1 replication, pathogenesis and immune activation profiles

  • Richard Rest, PhD

    Professor Emeritus
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis and Bacillus anthracis

  • Donna Russo, PhD

    Interim Vice Dean for Educational Affairs, Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Curriculum, William Maul Measey Chair in Medical Education
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Senior associate dean of the medical school curriculum; department thread director for microbiology

  • Laura Steel, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Disruptions to metabolic homeostasis in hepatitis B virus–infected hepatocytes; development of RNA silencing–based therapies for HBV

  • Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann, MD, PhD, MBA

    Professor; Director, Center for Business and Program Development
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Game-based learning and other emerging learning technologies in higher education; industry trends and market analysis within biomedical higher education

  • Akhil Vaidya, PhD

    Professor; Director, Center for Molecular Parasitology
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Understanding basic molecular functioning of malaria parasites with a view to developing new antimalarial drugs.

  • Brian Wigdahl, PhD

    Professor and Chair; Director, Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Immunopathogenesis and neuropathogenesis of HIV-1 and HTLV-I infection; transcriptional regulation of retroviral expression; viral sequence diversity and correlations to disease; development of microbicidal agents

Students walking down the hall at the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease at Drexel University College of Medicine.