Biomedical Sciences Faculty

Select a link, below, to find out more about faculty in the Department of Biomedical Sciences:


Featured Researchers
Infectious Disease Researchers
Structural Biology Researchers
Molecular Genetics Researchers
Neuroscience Researchers
Faculty Resources





Featured Researchers

Douglas Conklin (Molecular Genetics Track)


Nicholas Mantis (Immunology and Infectious Disease Track)

My laboratory studies mechanisms of antibody-mediated immune protection, with the long term goal of developing more effective vaccines and immunotherapies against enteric pathogens and biothreat agents. In the case of ricin toxin, for example, we have identified very specific regions (“epitopes”) on the toxin’s enzymatic and binding subunits that are the targets of protective antibodies. We are currently investigating at the molecular and cellular levels how these antibodies inactive the toxin. The other focus of my lab is secretory IgA (SIgA), a specific class of antibody found at mucosal surfaces. We are investigating how SIgA, alone and in combination with components of the innate immune system, inhibits pathogens such as Salmonella and Shigella from invading the intestinal epithelial cells, and how this activity can be exploited to develop better mucosal vaccines.


Janice Pata (Structural and Cell Biology)

We study DNA replication by Y-family DNA polymerases. These are "lesion-bypass" polymerases that replace the replicative polymerase when it is stalled at DNA lesions, allowing cells to copy damaged DNA. These polymerases are, however, very error-prone and make mutations that can lead to cancer in humans or to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. We use X-ray crystallography, as well as a variety of biochemical approaches, to determine how the polymerase structure relates to its function. Our goal is to understand, at the molecular level, the specificity and fidelity of lesion-bypass and how the different DNA polymerases in a cell are all coordinated so that replication is accurate and complete.


Gerwin Schalk (Neuroscience Track)

Dr. Schalk is interested in engineering, scientific, and commercial aspects of devices that interface the brain with external devices. This work encompasses study of the relationship between brain signals and relevant parameters of motor, cognitive, or language function. It also involves the use of the resulting brain signals for functional restoration (i.e., brain-computer interfaces) or for diagnosis. In this work, Dr. Schalk's group has pioneered the use of signals recorded from the surface of the brain (electrocorticography (ECoG)) in humans.


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Infectious Disease Research

NOTE: The faculty denoted with an asterisk (*), below, are not currently taking students.  As funding within the department is always changing, we advise students, who are interested in a particular lab, to ask the PI whether funding is currently available.

Sudha Chaturvedi
Fungal and parasite pathogeneses, protein transport and secretion mechanisms
schaturv@wadsworth.org

Vishnu Chaturvedi
Fungal pathogenesis, diagnostics, antifungals and molecular epidemiology.
vishnu.chaturvedi@wadsworth.org

*Jan Conn
Evolutionary genetics of mosquitoes that transmit infectious diseases
jconn@wadsworth.org

*Jan Keithly
Drug discovery against parasites; biochemistry and molecular biology of parasite metabolic pathways
keithly@wadsworth.org

Laura D. Kramer
Epidemiology, ecology and evolution of arthropod-borne viruses.
kramer@wadsworth.org

David A. Lawrence
Biochemistry of lymphocyte activation; differential sensitivities of lymphoid subsets; immunotoxicological effects of environmental factors.
lawrencd@wadsworth.org

*William T. Lee
T-cell development; phenotypic, developmental, and functional characterization of differences between virgin and memory T-helper cells.
leew@wadsworth.org

*Susan Madison Antenucci
Molecular Biology of Parasites, RNA editing in Pathogenic Parasites.
susanma@wadsworth.org

Nicholas Mantis
Mucosal immunity and vaccine development to enteropathogenic bacteria and toxins.
nmantis@wadsworth.org

Kathleen McDonough
Microbial pathogenesis; host parasite interactions; TB and plague.
mcdonoug@wadsworth.org

Adjunct Faculty:

Rama Ramani
Fungal diagnosis and taxonomy, antifungals,
development of rapid and new techniques for fungal diagnosis and antifungal studies.

Ira F. Salkin
Fungal taxonomy; applied techniques for identification of medical mycoses; fungal pathogenesis; clinical laboratory evaluation and administration.
irasalkin@aol.com

Linda Styer
Development of molecular diagnostic assays for blood-borne viruses.
lms24@health.state.ny.us

Robert Webster
Immunopathology of acute lung injury; Inflammatory responses involving acute phase proteins, neutrophils and complement.

Gary Winslow
Immunity to intracellular bacteria.
winslow@wadsworth.org

William Wolfgang
Identification of new bacterial species associated with human disease
wwolfgan@wadsworth.org

David Woodland
T cell immunity to pathogens that infect the respiratory tract.
dwoodland@trudeauinstitute.org

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Structural Biology Research

NOTE: The faculty denoted with an asterisk (*), below, are not currently taking students.  As funding within the department is always changing, we advise students, who are interested in a particular lab, to ask the PI whether funding is currently available.

Rajendra Agrawal
Structure and function of macromolecular assemblies.
agrawal@wadsworth.org

Nilesh Banavali
Computational modeling of macromolecular machinery dynamics.
banavali@wadsworth.org

Richard Cole
Advanced Imaging and analysis technologies, LED technology, confocal multi-photon intra-vital imaging studying microvessel angiogenesis in skin.
rcole@wadsworth.org

*James Dias
Structure-function relationships of pituitary glycoprotein hormones; biochemical endocrinology; reproductive immunology.
JDias@uamail.albany.edu

Andrea Habura
Molecular phylogenetics, evolution, structural biology and biogeography of rhizopod protists.
habura@wadsworth.org

Joachim Jaeger
Structure/function studies of viral replication complexes using X-ray crystallography, solution scattering, imaging techniques, mutagenesis and kinetics.
jjaeger@wadsworth.org

Hongmin Li
Crystal structure of macromolecular complexes in bacterial or viral infection and host response.
lih@wadsworth.org

David LeMaster
Protein structure and dynamics; enzyme catalysis; NMR spectroscopy.
lemaster@wadsworth.org

*Carmen Mannella
Mitochondrial structure and metabolite transport.
carmen@wadsworth.org

Janice D. Pata
Structure-function studies of specialized cellular and viral polymerases.
jpata@wadsworth.org

Robert Rej
New biochemical tests for diagnosis and estimation of severity of disease.
rej@albany.edu

*Erasmus Schneider
New mechanisms of multi-drug resistance in cancer cells; cooperation between drug metabolism and drug transport.
schneid@wadsworth.org

Stewart Sell
Stem cells in tissue renewal and carcinogenesis. Chemical hepatocarcinogenesis.
ssell@wadsworth.org

Haixin Sui
Structure and function of macromolecular assemblies in their cellular context.
hsui@wadsworth.org

Terence Wagenknecht
Structure and assembly of macromolecular complexes including ribosomes, multienzyme complexes, and ion channels.
terry@wadsworth.org

Faculty with Secondary Appointments:

*Jan Keithly
Drug discovery against parasites; biochemistry and molecular biology of parasite metabolic pathways.
keithly@wadsworth.org

Martin P.R. Tenniswood
Studies on the molecular regulation of cell survival and death in prostate and breast cancer to identify new targets for the development of adjuvant therapies for hormone-dependent and refractory cancers.
mtenniswood@albany.edu

JoEllen Welsh
Nutrition, nuclear receptors, genomics and cancer using cellular and whole animal approaches; the molecular mechanisms by which dietary-derived nuclear receptor ligands reduce the risk of breast cancer development.
jwelsh@albany.edu

Adjunct Faculty:

Griselda Hernandez
Protein structure, stability and flexibility; NMR spectrocopy.
griselda@wadsworth.org

Qishan Lin
Application proteomics and mass spectrometry for the study of systems biology.
linq@albany.edu

Linda Mayerhofer
Comparative genomic distribution of archaeal and bacterial repeat-containing cell surface proteins using a bioinformatic approach.
mayerhof@wadsworth.org

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Molecular Genetics Research

NOTE: The faculty denoted with an asterisk (*), below, are not currently taking students.  As funding within the department is always changing, we advise students, who are interested in a particular lab, to ask the PI whether funding is currently available.

Michele Caggana
Molecular studies identifying how human genetic variation influences both disease susceptibility and outcome.
michele.caggana@wadsworth.org

Douglas S. Conklin
Functional genomics of cellular proliferation regulation, mammalian cell genetics. dconklin@albany.edu

M. Joan Curcio
Interactions between eucaryotic host genes and mobile retroelements in the formation of RNA-mediated genomic rearrangements.
joan.curcio@wadsworth.org

Keith M. Derbyshire
Mobile DNA elements: the molecular basis of transposition and conjugation in bacteria.
derbysh@wadsworth.org

Xinxin Ding
Function and regulation of xenobiotic-metabolizing cytochromes P450 and implications in human toxicology.
dingx@wadsworth.org

*Michael Fasullo
DNA recombination, DNA repair, yeast genetics, cell cycle checkpoints, molecular biology.
mfasullo@ordwayresearch.org

Robert L. Glaser
Genetics of host:arbovirus interactions; Batten Disease; chromatin structure; Drosophila genetics.
glaser@wadsworth.org

Todd Gray
Epigenetics and genomic imprinting in mammals;genetics and function of the MAKORIN zinc-finger protein family.
gray@wadsworth.org

Bruce J. Herron
Functional analysis of the mouse genome: Investigation of defects in mammalian organogenesis.
bherron@wadsworth.org

*Paul S. Masters
Molecular virology of coronaviruses; structure and function of viral ribonucleo-proteins.
masters@wadsworth.org

Randall H. Morse
Transcription and chromatin in yeast.
randall.morse@wadsworth.org

Haydeh Payami
Genetics of aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
hpayami@wadsworth.org

*Pei-Yong Shi
Molecular biology and biochemistry of flavivirus replication.
ship@wadsworth.org

Derek Symula
Chemical mutagenesis in mouse embryonic stem cells; microarray-based transcriptional profiling to discover and characterize genes involved in heart disease.
symula@wadsworth.org

Norma Tavakoli
Molecular detection and typing of viral agents, investigation of viral etiologies of central nervous system infections, diagnostic assay development. norma.tavakoli@wadsworth.org

Martin P.R. Tenniswood
Studies on the molecular regulation of cell survival and death in prostate and breast cancer to identify new targets for the development of adjuvant therapies for hormone dependent and refractory cancers.
mtenniswood@albany.edu

Joseph T. Wade
Regulation of gene expression in bacteria.
jwade@wadsworth.org

JoEllen Welsh
Nutrition, nuclear receptors, genomics and cancer using cellular and whole animal approaches; the molecular mechanisms by which dietary-derived nuclear receptor ligands reduce the risk of breast cancer development.
jwelsh@albany.edu

Faculty with Secondary Appointments in MG:

Valerie Bolivar
Genetics of complex behaviors (e.g., learning and memory, anxiety) in the mouse. Development of mouse models of autism.
bolivar@wadsworth.org

*James A. Dias
Structure/function relationships of pituitary glycoprotein hormones; biochemical endocrinology; reproductive immunology.
james.dias@wadsworth.org

*William T. Lee
T-cell development; phenotypic, developmental, and functional characterization of differences between virgin and memory T-helper cells.
leew@wadsworth.org

*Carmen Mannella
Studies of the permeability and structure of mitochondrial membranes; three-dimensional electron microscopy.
carmen.mannella@wadsworth.org

Kathleen McDonough
Microbial pathogenesis; host parasite interactions; TB and plague.
mcdonoug@wadsworth.org

Anne Messer
Studies of the development and degeneration of mouse brain using neurological mutants and cell culture.
anne.messer@wadsworth.org

Sridar V. Chittur
Application of high throughput technologies in functional genomics; chemical biology and drug discovery.
schittur@albany.edu

Yu-Fen Chou
Tissue Engineering and Stem Cell Biology in Regenerative Medicine.
yxc10@health.state.ny.us

Denise Kay
Gene-Environment Interaction in Complex Disease.
dmk11@health.state.ny.us

Matthew Kohn
Developmental and stem cell biology, preimplantation mammalian development, and cell cycle regulation.
mjk09@health.state.ny.us

Brian Parr
The Role of Wnt Signaling in Mouse Development and Stem Cell Biology.
bparr@albany.edu

James Figge
Thyroid Cancer, Radiation-Induced Thyroid Cancer Post Chernobyl
figgj@nehealth.com

Trent Gemmill
Biochemical characterization using yeasts as model organisms.

Dilip Nag
Genetic recombination; yeast genetics and meiosis.
dilip.nag@wadsworth.org

Ann Willey
Elucidation of human gene structure through utilization of classical and molecular cytogenetic methodology; clinical genetics.
ann.willey@wadsworth.org

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Neuroscience Research

NOTE: The faculty denoted with an asterisk (*), below, are not currently taking students.  As funding within the department is always changing, we advise students, who are interested in a particular lab, to ask the PI whether funding is currently available.

Valerie Bolivar
Genetics of complex behaviors (e.g., learning and memory, anxiety) in the mouse. Development of mouse models of autism. more info
bolivar@wadsworth.org

David Carpenter
Neurotoxicity of metals (Pb, Hg) and PCBs using electrophysiological and flow cytometric techniques. more info
carpent@uamail.albany.edu

Xiang Yang Chen
Spinal reflex conditioning. more info
chenx@wadsworth.org

Barbara Corneo
Differentiation of hES cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into cell lineages of the eye for both cell therapy and eye disease modeling

Chris Fasano
Using embryonic stem cells to model human brain development
chrisfasano@nstemcell.org

Anne Messer
Gene therapy of brain disorders. more info
messer@wadsworth.org

Gerwin Schalk
Brain-Computer Interface technology for communication and diagnosis. more info
schalk@wadsworth.org

Richard Seegal
Neurotoxicity of halogenated hydrocarbons; development of in vitro measures of neurotoxicity. more info
seegal@wadsworth.org

*Abigail Snyder-Keller
Developmental neuroanatomy and neurotoxicology; effects of prenatal drug exposure. more info
snykell@wadsworth.org

Jonathan Wolpaw
Neuronal and synaptic substrates of memory; EEG-based communication. more info
wolpaw@wadsworth.org

Jun Yan
Isolating, purifying, and characterizing active molecules and optimizing endothelial support for neural stem cells

Sally Temple
Nervous system stem cells, CNS development, and use of stem cells in neurodegenerative diseases and spinal cord injury. more info
SallyTemple@nynsci.org

Faculty with Secondary Appointments:

Xinxin Ding
Function and regulation of xenobiotic-metabolizing cytochromes P450 and implications in human toxicology. more info
xding@wadsworth.org

Derek Symula
Chemical mutagenesis in mouse embryonic stem cells; microarray-based transcriptional profiling to discover and characterize genes involved in heart disease.more info
symula@wadsworth.org

Matthew Kohn
Developmental and stem cell biology, preimplantation mammalian development, and cell cycle regulation.
mjk09@health.state.ny.us

Adjunct faculty:

Richard Keller
Mechanisms of stroke damage in neonates; role of glutamate and freeradicals in neonatal tissue tissue damage produced by ischemia. more info
kellerr@mail.amc.edu

Joseph Mazurkiewicz
Cell biology; membrane structure and function. more info
mazurkj@mail.amc.edu

Norman Strominger
CNS mechanisms of the area postrema which mediate emesis. Slice studies of spinal cord motoneurons and of brain motor centers.
astrominger@pol.net

Adjunct Faculty with Secondary Appointment:

Denise Kay
Gene-Environment Interaction in Complex Disease.
dmk11@health.state.ny.us

William Wolfgang
Identification of new bacterial species associated with human disease
wwolfgan@wadsworth.org

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Faculty Resources

University at Albany Resources

Academic Calendar
Graduate Bulletin
SPH Graduate Handbook 2013-2014
Useful Links for Faculty
Wiki

Department of Biomedical Sciences Resources

BMS Course Descriptions
BMS Department Committee Membership
BMS Faculty Resource Directory
BMS Schedule of Classes (Fall 2014)
Department Forms

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