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School of Medicine


Research Areas

Members of our faculty often receive national grants to support their research. As a student, you'll be able to choose a faculty mentor and work closely with them throughout your degree. 

Faculty Mentors

Our goal is to make sure every student is able to find a place in a particular faculty member's lab. Please be sure to explore all of our faculty research interests to help get a better idea who you would like to work with during your time at the School of Medicine

Biochemistry

Maksymilian Chruszcz
Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Structural biology
X-ray crystallography
Host-pathogen interactions
Immunology

Norma Frizzell
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Protein post-translational modification
Protein succination
Mitochondrial stress and disease
Metabolic disorders

Caryn Outten
Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Bioinorganic chemistry
Cytosolic and mitochondrial redox factors
Structure-function relationships of iron homeostasis proteins

F. Wayne Outten
Distinguished Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Bioinorganic chemistry
Microbial physiology and genetics
Metal trafficking and storage systems

Qian Wang
Robert L. Sumwalt Professor of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Characterization, modification and utilization of bionanoparticles
Engineering of programmable scaffolds using nanomaterials

Ho-Jin Koh
Assistant Professor, Arnold School of Public Health
Research Interests: 
Skeletal muscle metabolism and mass regulation 
Brown adipose tissue metabolism 
White adipose tissue and inflammation

Mythreye Karthikeyan 
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Growth factor-receptor signaling mechanisms and signal transduction pathways
Epithelial and tumor cell biology including cell survival mechanisms
Cell migration and invasion biology
Cell adhesion and mechanobiology

Thomas Makris
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Natural product biosynthesis
Non-ribosomal peptides
Bioinorganic and biophysical chemistry
Oxygen activation
Biofuels

Cancer

Frank Berger
Director of The Center for Colon Cancer Research and Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Molecular genetics of cancer chemotherapy response
Resistance to anti-neoplastic agents
Thymidylate synthase
Reactive oxygen species

Sondra Berger
Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests:
Anti-cancer drug discovery
Thymidylate synthase
Structure-function relationships in chemotherapeutics

Jim Carson
Professor, Arnold School of Public Health
Research Interests:
Integrative muscle biology
Cancer-induced cachexia
Physical activity, diet and cancer
Muscle regeneration

Hexin Chen
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Cancer stem cells
Tumor microenvironment
Tumor suppressor genes
Anti-cancer drugs

Kim Creek
Vice-Chair Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Science and Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests:
Human papillomavirus and carcinogenesis
Transforming growth factor-beta
Cervical cancer
Epidermal growth factor receptor

Lorne Hofseth
Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy 
Research Interests:
Inflammation
Complimentary and alternative medicine
Colitis and colon cancer

Lydia Matesic
Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Ubiquitin ligases in development and disease
Cancer and metastasis
Cardiac hypertrophy and sudden cardiac death

Campbell McInnes
Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests:
Anti-cancer drug development
Cell cycle regulation
Guided design of peptide inhibitors

Angela Murphy
Assistant Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Complimentary medicine and cancer
Macrophage-induced inflammation
High fat diet and breast cancer

Mitzi Nagarkatti,
Chair Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology and Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Cancer immunology and immunotherapy
Biodefense
Immunopharmacology of cannabinoids
Immunotoxicology

Prakash Nagarkatti
Vice President for Research and Carolina Distinguished Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Immunotoxicity of dioxin
Cannabinoids in cancer therapy
Complimentary medicine and inflammation

Maria Marjoret (Marj) Pena
Research Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Tumor microenvironment
Mechanisms of metastasis
Animal models of cancer

Lucia Pirisi-Creek
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Human papillomavirus and carcinogenesis
Mechanisms of cellular immortalization
Cervical cancer
Epidermal growth factor receptor

Douglas Pittman
Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests:
DNA repair mechanisms
Chromosome rearrangement

Swapan Ray
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration
Glioblastoma
Therapeutic approaches to spinal cord injury

David Reisman
Director for Colon Cancer Research Tissue Biorepository and Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
p53 gene regulation and carcinogenesis
p53 and HIV-1 infection
Transcription factors

Igor Roninson
Endowed Chair and Professor, College of Pharmacy 
Research Interests:
DNA-damaging drugs
Cancer therapy outcomes
Function-based genomics approaches to cancer therapy

Minsub Shim
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Cyclooxygenase (COX) signaling
Prostanoids
Embryonic development

Deanna Smith
Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Regulators of cytoplasmic dynein
Molecular motors
Neuroscience

Alan Waldman
Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Mechanisms of DNA repair
Genetic recombination

Mike Wyatt
Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests:
DNA repair and chromosome stability
Nanoparticles
DNA repair pathways and chemotherapy

Peisheng Xu
Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests:
Biomedical applications of engineered biomaterials
Central nervous system-targeting of nanomaterials 
Nanoparticles as cancer treatment

Jason Stewart
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
DNA replication and cancer

Cardiovascular

Wayne Carver
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Intersts:
Regulation of fibrosis
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
Fibroblast development and differentiation

Taixing Cui
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Obesity, diabetes and heart disease
Ubiquination
Transgenic models
Oxidative stress

Daping Fan
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Mechanisms of atherosclerosis
Complimentary medicine
Inflammation
microRNAs in atherogenesis

Edie Goldsmith
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Extracellular matrix in heart development and disease
Nanomaterials as therapeutics
Diabetes-induced heart disease

Susan Lessner
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Atherosclerosis
Biomechanical properties of atherosclerotic plaques
Vasculogenesis

Lydia Matesic
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Ubiquitin ligases in development and disease
Cancer and metastasis
Cardiac hypertrophy and sudden cardiac death

Martin Morad
Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Health and Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Calcium channels and heart function
Conduction system
Engineering a biological pacemaker

Jay Potts
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Heart valve development
Signal transduction
Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Francis Spinale
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Heart failure
Matrix metalloproteinases
Myocardial infarction
Cardiovascular disease biomarker development

Xuewen Wang
Assistant Professor, Arnold School of Public Health
Research Interests: 
Energy expenditure adaptive changes 
Insulin sensitivity 
Cardiometabolic disease prevention and treatment 
Lifestyle interventions

Mark Sarzynski 
Arnold School of Public Health
Research Interests:
Exercise genomics and other exercise -omics (e.g., metabolomics, proteomics, transcriptomics) 
Physical activity and lipids and lipoproteins
HDL function, exercise and cardiovascular disease risk factors
Personalized exercise medicine

Cellular and Molecular Biology 

Bert Ely
Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Medical genetics
Bacterial genome evolution
Bioinformatics

Roger Sawyer
Professor and Executive Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Integument development
Evolution off epidermal appendages
Genomics

Ho-Jin Koh
Assistant Professor, Arnold School of Public Health
Research Interests: 
Skeletal muscle metabolism and mass regulation 
Brown adipose tissue metabolism 
White adipose tissue and inflammation

Mark Sarzynski 
Arnold School of Public Health
Research Interests:
Exercise genomics and other exercise -omics (e.g., metabolomics, proteomics, transcriptomics)
Physical activity and lipids and lipoproteins
HDL function, exercise and cardiovascular disease risk factors
Personalized exercise medicine

Jeffery L. Twiss
Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Molecular and cellular mechanisms of brain development and regeneration

Complementary Medicine

Taixing Cui
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Obesity, diabetes and heart disease
Ubiquination
Transgenic models
Oxidative stress

Daping Fan
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Mechanisms of atherosclerosis
Complimentary medicine
Inflammation
microRNAs in atherogenesis

Angela Murphy
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Complimentary medicine and cancer
Macrophage-induced inflammation
High fat diet and breast cancer

Mitzi Nagarkatti
Professor and Chair Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Cancer immunology and immunotherapy
Biodefense
Immunopharmacology of cannabinoids
Immunotoxicology

Prakash Nagarkatti
Carolina Distinguished Professor and Vice President for Research, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Immunotoxicity of dioxin
Cannabinoids in cancer therapy
Complimentary medicine and inflammation

Ho-Jin Koh
Assistant Professor, Arnold School of Public Health
Research Interests: 
Skeletal muscle metabolism and mass regulation 
Brown adipose tissue metabolism 
White adipose tissue and inflammation

Developmental Biology

Wayne Carver
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Regulation of fibrosis
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
Fibroblast development and differentiation

Edie Goldsmith
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Extracellular matrix in heart development and disease
Nanomaterials as therapeutics
Diabetes-induced heart disease

Richard Goodwin
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Greenville
Research Interests:
Cardiovascular development
Three-dimensional in vitro models
Tissue engineering

Jay Potts
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Heart valve development
Signal transduction
Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Roger Sawyer
Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Integument development
Evolution off epidermal appendages
Genomics

Minsub Shim
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Cyclooxygenase (COX) signaling
Prostanoids
Embryonic development

Deanna Smith
Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Regulators of cytoplasmic dynein
Molecular motors
Neuroscience

Drug Design and Delivery

Campbell McInnes
Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests:
Anti-cancer drug development
Cell cycle regulation
Guided design of peptide inhibitors

Igor Roninson
Endowed Chair and Professor, College of Pharmacy 
Research Interests:
DNA-damaging drugs
Cancer therapy outcomes
Function-based genomics approaches to cancer therapy

Michael Shtutman
Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests:
DNA-damaging drugs
Cancer therapy outcomes
Function-based genomics approaches to cancer therapy

Qian Wang
Robert L. Sumwalt Professor of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Characterization, modification and utilization of bionanoparticles
Engineering of programmable scaffolds using nanomaterials

Genetics

Mark Sarzynski 
Arnold School of Public Health
Research Interests:
Exercise genomics and other exercise -omics (e.g., metabolomics, proteomics, transcriptomics)
Physical activity and lipids and lipoproteins
HDL function, exercise and cardiovascular disease risk factors 
Personalized exercise medicine

Inflammation/Immunology

Wayne Carver
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Regulation of fibrosis
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
Fibroblast development and differentiation

Maksymilian Chruszcz
Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Structural biology
X-ray crystallography
Host-pathogen interactions
Immunology

Daping Fan
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Mechanisms of atherosclerosis
Complimentary medicine
Inflammation
microRNAs in atherogenesis

Angela Murphy
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Complimentary medicine and cancer
Macrophage-induced inflammation
High fat diet and breast cancer

Mitzi Nagarkatti, 
Chair Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology and Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Cancer immunology and immunotherapy
Biodefense
Immunopharmacology of cannabinoids
Immunotoxicology

Prakash Nagarkatti
Vice President for Research and Carolina Distinguished Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Immunotoxicity of dioxin
Cannabinoids in cancer therapy
Complimentary medicine and inflammation

Carole Oskeritzian
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Mast cells
Sphingolipids
Regulation of mast cell enzymes and cytokines

Neuroscience

James Fadel
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Aging and neurodegenerative diseases
Orexin 
Nicotine

Janet Fisher
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Ligand-gated ion channels
Structure- function relationships in ion channels
Epilepsy

Alexander McDonald
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Anatomy and neurochemistry of the amygdale
Electrophysiology of amygdalar neurons

David Mott
Associate Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Cellular mechanisms of learning and memory
Synaptic transmission and plasticity
Epilepsy and anxiety disorders
Neuropharmacology

Larry Reagan
Professor and Vice Chair Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Hippocampus
Glucocorticoids and synaptic remodeling
Metabolic stress and the nervous system

Swapan Ray
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration
Glioblastoma
Therapeutic approaches to spinal cord injury

Deanna Smith
Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Regulators of cytoplasmic dynein
Molecular motors
Neuroscience

Marlene Wilson
Professor and Chair Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Neurochemical mechanisms of anxiety-related disorders
Gender differences in brain physiology and pathology
Virus-mediated gene transfer

Peisheng Xu
Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests:
Biomedical applications of engineered biomaterials
Central nervous system-targeting of nanomaterials 
Nanoparticles as cancer treatment

Jun Zhu
Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests:
Dopaminergic pathways in brain function
Dopamine transporter in HIV-1-induced brain dysfunction
Nicotine dependence

Troy Herter
Assistant Professor, Arnold School of Public Health
Research Interests: 
Brain-behavior relationships 
Integrative neuroscience 
Neurological assessment 
Neurorehabilitation

Daniel I. Speiser
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests: 
Evolution of nervous systems
Visual neuroscience

Jill Stewart
Assistant Professor, Arnold School of Public Health
Research Interests:
Neural control of movement
Motor recovery after stroke
Motor learning and rehabilitation

Fabienne Poulaine
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests: 
Neurodevelopment
Neurodegenerative disorders
Zebrafish models

Sofia Lizarraga
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests: 
Neurodevelopment
Pathology of neuronal connectivity disorders
Stem cell models

Jill Turner
Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests: 
Effects of chronic nicotine administration and withdrawal
Genomic mechanisms of nicotine dependence

Susan Wood
Assistant Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Social Stress
Animal models of depression and PTSD
Neuroinflammatory mechanisms of stress susceptibility

Jeffery L. Twiss
Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:

Molecular and cellular mechanisms of brain development and regeneration

Plant Biology

Lewis Bowman
Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
RNA silencing
Host defense

Beth Krizek
Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Flower development
Meristem development
Stem differentiation

Johannes Stratmann
Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests:
Plant-herbivore interactions
Signal transduction
Ubiquitin-proteasome system

Zhengqing Fu
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Research Interests: 
Salicyclic acid signaling in plant-pathogen interactions

Virology and Bacteriology

Kim Creek
Vice-Chair Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Science and Professor, College of Pharmacy
Research Interests:
Human papillomavirus and carcinogenesis
Transforming growth factor-beta
Cervical cancer
Epidermal growth factor receptor

Lucia Pirisi-Creek
Professor, School of Medicine Columbia
Research Interests:
Human papillomavirus and carcinogenesis
Mechanisms of cellular immortalization
Cervical cancer
Epidermal growth factor receptors