Graduate Research Opportunities

Below you can see the broad array of funded research opportunities available with top researchers for Ph.D. students in biology at the University at Albany.

Researcher Research Topics

Paul Agris

RNA Target Development and Validation for Drug-Resistant Gram Positive Pathogens

How a Cdka11 mutation is related to an unprocessed insulin and type 2 diabetes

Marlene Belfort

One research project relates to intron dispersal under cell stress, and to the structure and function of a catalytic RNA that is related to mammalian introns and retrotransposons.

The second project researches inteins as biological sensors of cell stress, and their role in infectious disease and biotechnology.

Thomas Caraco

Spatial ecologies under temporal variation

Haijun Chen

Ion channel function and human diseases

Richard P. Cunningham

Biochemistry of DNA repair enzymes

Genetic and systems analysis of DNA repair pathways

Dan Fabris

Structural determinants of HIV – 1 5’- UTR in virions and infected cells

Paolo E. Forni

Projects in our lab focus on molecular signals defining cell identity and neuronal migration during embryonic development. Research opportunities are available for graduate students interested in developmental biology, molecular biology, imaging and use of genetically modified animal models.

Gary S. Kleppel

Ecosystems, land use and sustainable agriculture

Melinda Larsen

Opportunities are available for graduate students to contribute to cell-material interactions relevant to engineering an artificial salivary gland.

Pan Li

Single molecule study of alternative folding of a retroviral untranslated RNA

Greg Lnenicka

Current projects include the role of postsynaptic calcium in synaptic plasticity and homeostasis, the role of the postsynaptic SK channel in regulating synaptic strength and the effect of Pb on synaptic development.

Robert Osuna

Regulation of dksA in E. Coli

Cara Pager

Projects in our lab examine the interactions and mechanisms by which RNA viruses such as hepatitis C virus exploit host microRNAs and RNA granules to promote infection.

Prashanth Rangan

We want to define a dynamic RNA regulatory network for germ line development by determining structures of 3'UTRs in vivo and how they change during development.

George Robinson

Biodiversity distributions and forest, watershed and disease ecology

Annalisa Scimemi

Computer simulations to determine the biophysical mechanisms that regulate synaptic transmission

Electrophysiological recordings to determine how changes in neurotransmitter diffusion alter the firing properties of neurons in the brain

Optogenetic approaches to control activation of specific groups of cells and imaging tools to monitor calcium signals in distinct subcellular compartments.

Hua Shi

RNA aptamers and their application to protein modulation in health and disease

Ben Szaro

Research projects in the lab relate to embryonic axon development and the successful repair and resistance to neurodegeneration after traumatic injury to the central nervous system using an animal model system that successfully does it, namely the frog Xenopus laevis.

Ing-Nang Wang

Phylogeographic dynamics of a vector and pathogen in a natural environment

Sho-Ya Wang

We have recently found that a number of diverse pain therapeutics, including antidepressants, amitiptyline and duloxetine, antiarrhythmic flecainide, antiaginal ranolazine, anticonvulsant mexiletine, all block persistant late Na+ currents potently.  We hypothesize that these diverse drugs may all target the open state of Na+ channels via the LA receptor for their in vivo efficacy in pain therapy.

Our current project is to test a working hypothesis that these pain therapeutics selectively target Nav1.7 and/or Nav1.8 persistent late Na+ currents via their corresponding receptors within the inner cavity of the open Na+ channel.