Research Program Members

Kate Adamala, PhD
Assistant Professor

kadamla@umn.edu

Building synthetic minimal cells as models of biological processes, for developing methods of controlling complex cellular mechanisms and for studying healthy and diseased processes

Full bio

Hideki Aihara, PhD
Associate Professor

612-624-1491
aihar001@umn.edu

Understanding how cancer-causing mutations are introduced by the APOBEC3B cytosine deaminase using x-ray crystallography and elucidating three-dimensional structure of the enzyme and enzyme-DNA complexes.

Full bio

Anja K. Bielinsky, PhD
Professor

612-624-2469
bieli003@umn.edu

Mechanism controlling genome stability using budding yeast and human cell lines; mutations that affect strand synthesis and have been directly linked to early-onset lymphoma

Full bio

Peter B. Bitterman, MD
Professor

612-624-5175
bitte001@umn.edu

Translational control mechanisms in cancer; use of genome-wide tools to assess gene expression in cancer and define mechanisms of pathological gene co-regulation at the level of ribosome recruitment to mRNA

Full bio

Ran Blekhman, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-624-4092
blekhman@umn.edu

Understanding the genetic basis of host-bacteria interactions using genomic approaches; the role of the microbial communities in the colonic tumor microenvironment in disease institution and progression.

Full bio

Colin Campbell, PhD
Associate Professor

612-625-8986
campb034@umn.edu

Molecular genetic mechanisms of DNA repair and recombination in mammalian cancer cells

Full bio

Ruifeng Cao, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor

218-726-7691
rcao@umn.edu

Molecular signaling mechanisms that orchestrate daily rhythms in our brain and how their dysregulation contributes to various neurological and psychiatric diseases. We are particularly interested in the role of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and mechanisms that control mRNA translation in the circadian clock.

Full bio

Clark Chen, MD, PhD
Professor, Lyle French Chair in Neurosurgery and Department Head

612-626-4748
ccchen@umn.edu

Full bio

Duncan Clarke, PhD
Associate Professor

612-624-3442
clark140@umn.edu

Cell cycle checkpoint controls. Chromosome segregation fidelity. Aneuploidy and genome instability

Full bio

Robert Cormier, PhD
Associate Professor

218-726-8625
rcormier@d.umn.edu

Mouse cancer genetics; ransposon mutagenesis in mouse models of GI cancer; mapping and characterization of cancer modifier genes;

functional studies of genes of the Mom1 locus including Pla2g2a

Full bio

Julia Davydova, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-625-8608
davyd003@umn.edu

Oncolytic virus therapy for cancer as well as combining this therapy with radiation and chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer

Full bio

Evidio Domingo-Musibay, MD
Assistant Professor

612-625-8942
musib024@umn.edu

Immune and virus based therapy for melanoma, sarcoma and brain tumors

Full bio

Levi Downs Jr, MD
Associate Professor

612-626-6499
downs008@umn.edu

Role of human papillomavirus in the growth and spread of cervical cancer and the development of new therapeutic options.

Full bio

Craig Eckfeldt, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor

612.-626-6019
eckf0002@umn.edu

Understanding the role of RAS signaling pathways in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) to provide a foundation for the rational development of novel targeted therapies for human AML.

Full bio

Aaron Engelhart, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-625-1950
enge0213@umn.edu

Nucleic acid imaging and roles for noncanonical nucleic acid structures in cancer and other disease states.

Full bio

Aaron Goldstrohm, PhD
Associate Professor

612-626-7497
agoldstr@umn.edu

Genetic mechanisms that control gene expression with a focus on post-transcriptional gene regulation mediated by specific regulatory factors including RNA-binding proteins, RNA degrading enzymes, and long non-coding RNAs. These regulators control expression of cancer genes and affect cell proliferation, genome stability, and other cancer-related processes.

Full bio

Perry Hackett, PhD
Professor

612-624-6736
hacke004@umn.edu

Gene engineering and human gene therapy; use of transposons as vectors for gene therapy as well as tagging and mapping genes in vertebrate chromosomes, focusing on Sleeping Beauty-mediated therapy in humans

Full bio

Reuben Harris, PhD
Professor

612-624-0457
rsh@umn.edu

The role of human cytidine deaminases (AID and the APOBEC family of proteins) in immunology, retrotransposon restriction, and cancer mutation

Full bio

Eric Hendrickson, PhD
Professor

612-624-5988
hendr064@umn.edu

Use of biochemical and molecular biology techniques to study mammalian double-strand break repair and telomere maintenance in human cells

Full bio

Mark C. Herzberg, DDS, PhD
Professor

612-625-8404
mcherzb@umn.edu

Mechanistic studies in the Herzberg lab are elucidating how calprotectin high directs a more favorable prognosis for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC).

Full bio

Betsy Hirsch, PhD
Professor

612-273-4952
hirsc003@umn.edu

Human DNA instability syndromes; chromosomal translocations in leukemia

Full bio

Mahmoud Khalifa, MD, PhD
Professor

612-273-3668
mkhalifa@umn.edu

Clinical and translational research in gynecologic, hepato-biliary and gastrointestinal disease including cancer using immunohistochemical techniques; antibodies and biomarkers as prognosticators of how a tumor may progress and respond to treatment

Full bio

Mark Kirstein, PharmD
Associate Professor

612-624-5689
kirst002@umn.edu

Oncology, clinical pharmacology of anti-cancer agents; cell culture models to evaluate administration schedules for anti-cancer agents with the goal of optimizing chemotherapy administration through assessment of drug pharmacokinetics in human subjects

Full bio

Molly Klein, MD
Assistant Professor

612-273-5848
meklein@umn.edu

Surgical pathologist with interest in breast and gynecologic cancers

Full bio

Robert Kratzke, MD
Associate Professor

612-624-0123 Robert
kratz003@umn.edu

Molecular abnormalities in lung cancer and mesothelioma, focusing primarily on cell cycle regulator genes and their loss of function in cancer; detection of micrometastatic disease in lung cancer and the acquired molecular abnormalities in micrometastases.

Full bio

Rui Kuang, PhD
Associate Professor

612-624-7820
kuang@cs.umn.edu

Computational biology, biomedical informatics and machine learning; developing machine-learning algorithms for problems in cancer genomics, biological network analysis and protein function/structure analysis.

Full bio

David Largaespada, PhD
Professor

612-626-4979
larga002@umn.edu

Cancer genetics, insertional mutagenesis, transposons, Sleeping Beauty, murine leukemia viruses, brain tumors, sarcoma, myeloid leukemia, colorectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, neurofibromatosis type 1

Full bio

Robert Madoff, MD
Professor

612-625-7992
madoff@umn.edu

Establishing a clinical and research registry for patients at high risk for hereditary cancer and use of a family cancer screening tool for individual risk assessment. Optimizing preoperative imaging of rectal cancer using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); using magnetic resonance spectroscopy to identify residual rectal cancer following neoadjuvant therapy.

Full bio

Louis M. Mansky, PhD
Professor

612-626-5525
mansky@umn.edu

Cell and molecular biology of HIV and HTLV; antiviral drug discovery and development; antiviral drug resistance; HIV genetic variation, evolution and population genetics; viral quasispecies; virus assembly; evolution of emerging viruses

Full bio

R Scott McIvor, PhD
Professor

612-626-1497
mcivo001@umn.edu

Use of recombinant retroviral and lentiviral vectors for gene transfer into hematopoietic stem cells to treat cancer and inherited disorders; introduction of drug-resistance genes into normal hematopoietic cells to protect against toxic side effects of cancer chemotherapy; use of adeno-associated virus for treatment of storage diseases and as a vector for gene transfer into the central nervous system for treatment of neurological disorders; adaptation of a novel vertebrate transposon Sleeping Beauty to viral and non-viral delivery systems for gene therapy.

Full bio

Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD
Professor

612-625-7436
modiano@umn.edu

Breed specific genetic effects on cancer susceptibility in dogs as well as the genetic basis of specific cancers in dogs using comparative oncology approaches

Full bio

Branden Moriarity, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-625-2226
mori0164@umn.edu

Genetic origins of the development and progression of childhood cancers including sarcomas, leukemia, and brain tumors; utilizing novel technologies to more accurately model cancer to test new treatments and validate mechanisms of disease development and progression such as Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases and the CRISPR/Cas9 system.

Full bio

Rebecca Morris, PhD
Professor

507-437-9630
rmorris@hi.umn.edu

Stem cells and non-melanoma skin cancer

Chad Myers, PhD
Associate Professor

612-624-8306
cmyers@cs.umn.edu

Toxicological studies to identify specific anti-cancer drug targets

Full bio

Zohar Sachs, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-626-7055
sachs038@umn.edu

Dependence of leukemic cells on oncogenic signaling. Using a model of AML driven by Mll/AF9 and NRAS, we integrate signaling data with gene expression data to study the signals critical for leukemia maintenance and how to pharmacologically inhibit these signals for therapeutic effect.

Full bio

Davis Seelig, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVP
Assistant Professor

612-626-0471
dseelig@umn.edu

Comparative neuropathology with interest in brain bystander effects of cancer treatment (principally radiation)

Full bio

Naoko Shima, PhD
Associate Professor

612-626-7830
shima023@umn.edu

Development of new approaches in viral and transposon-mediated gene transfer and the use of retroviral cDNA libraries for genetic screens cultured cells.

Full bio

Alexandra Sobeck, PhD
Associate Professor

612-624-1343
asobeck@umn.edu

The Fanconi anemia pathway, a cancer predisposition syndrome that leads to genome instability and results in bone marrow failure using biochemistry in the Xenopus laevismodels system and human cells in tissue culture

Full bio

Tim Starr, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-625-4425
star0044@umn.edu

Genetic basis of ovarian, lung, and colon cancer with the goal of developing individualized, targeted therapies

Full bio

Clifford Steer, MD
Professor

612-625-8999
steer001@umn.edu

Gene transfer/gene therapy for the liver; role of microRNAs in colon cancer

Full bio

Subbaya Subramanian, PhD
Associate Professor

612-626-4330
subree@umn.edu

MicroRNA mediated gene regulation in human sarcomas; gene expression profiles; developing novel diagnostic markers and identification of therapeutic targets in sarcomas and other cancers

Full bio

Bharat Thyagarajan, MD, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor

612-624-1257
thya0003@umn.edu

Genetic susceptibility to breast cancer; the role of DNA repair pathways in determining outcomes after chemotherapy and hematopoietic cell transplants

Full bio

Brian Van Ness, PhD
Professor

612-624-9944
vanne001@umn.edu

Genetics of multiple myeloma; role of specific mutations (RAS, Rb, and p530 in the biology of myeloma; therapeutic responses and changes in gene expression profiles; utilization of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis to identify genetic associations with myeloma risk and response to therapy

Full bio

Jinhua Wang, PhD
Director, Bioinformatics

612-626-7010
wangjh@umn.edu

Computational analysis of high-throughput cancer genomics data, as it relates to high-throughput data mining and modeling, heterogeneous genomics data integration, comparative genomics, integrating copy number variation, gene expression profiling, sequence somatic mutations and proteomic data, and novel methods development.

Full bio

Christine Wendt, MD
Professor

612-624-0999
wendt005@umn.edu

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); identification of biomarkers of chronic allograft rejection and causal pathways in COPD leading to lung cancer; co-director of Lung Volume Reduction Surgery Program and participant in NIH COPD Clinical Research Network

Full bio

Boris Winterhoff, MD, MS
Assistant Professor

612-624-9904
bwinterh@umn.edu

Clinical application of cancer genomics to ovarian and endometrial cancers

Full bio

Masato Yamamoto, MD, PhD
Professor

612-624-9131;
yamam016@umn.edu

Cancer gene therapy with Adenovirus Vector; conditionally replicative adenovirus for the treatment of cancer; non-invasive in vivo molecular imaging; gene therapy of gastrointestinal diseases, cancers of pancreas, esophagus, prostate, breast, and multiple myeloma

Full bio

Jeongsik Yong
Assistant Professor

612-626-2420
jyong@umn.edu

Noncoding RNAs and RNA binding proteins in cancer

Full bio

Lin Zhang, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-624-0624
zhan0048@umn.edu

Statistical ares of variable selection, graphical modeling, factor analysis and function data analysis with application to genomics studies of different cancers, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, and multiple myeloma

Full bio

Heather Zierhut, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-626-6743
zier0034@umn.edu

Genetics in public health screening programs, implementations of whole genome sequencing, and outcomes of genetic counseling

Full bio

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