Ph.D. Graduate Research Opportunities

Below you can see the broad array of 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.


Haijun Chen

Ion channel function and human diseases


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.


Gaby Fuchs


Melinda Larsen

The Larsen lab studies organ development and regeneration using the salivary gland as a model. Opportunities are now available to study salivary gland organ development using organoids and salivary gland regeneration in an in vivo regeneration model using transgenic animals


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.


Morgan Sammons

Projects in our lab focus on understanding the role of chromatin structure in controlling the p53 tumor suppressor across different cell lineages.


Annalisa Scimemi

We are interested in understanding how the brain functions, using a variety of experimental and theoretical approaches including: electrophysiology, imaging and optogenetics, computer modeling and behavioral approaches. We currently have three main areas of active investigation:

(1) Determine the biophysical mechanisms that regulate synaptic transmission in the brain

(2) Study the function of neuronal circuits implicated with neuropsychiatric disorders

(3) Determine how stroke affects the functional properties of brain cells 


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.


Wendy Turner

The Turner lab studies the ecology and evolution of wildlife diseases, with a focus on environmentally transmitted infections.

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.