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Research Opportunities Available

Below are descriptions of research projects of faculty who are planning to accept new rotation students in the current academic year (2017 - 2018). This list is updated annually in the summer and may be referenced for students or others seeking a TTUHSC faculty research mentor. Importantly, rotating graduate students should take note of how likely the faculty members are to accept students into their laboratories, based on the availability of space and/or funding—or whether the experience is available for educational purposes only.

Faculty Name (Last, First)

Research Area/Project Title


Almodovar, Sharilyn

Molecular Mechanisms of HIV-associated Pulmonary Hypertension

HIV; pulmonary disease; humanized mouse models; CXCR4 signaling; vasculopathy

Altenberg, Guillermo

Structure, function and regulation of ATP-binding cassette proteins involved in cancer multidrug resistance. Design and development of new nanoparticle nanodiscs.

ABC protein; nanodiscs; molecular mechanisms; biotechnology; drug discovery

Artigas, Pablo

Pathophysiological role of the non-gastric H/K pump, ion selectivity, regulation and specific inhibitor's development. Importance of Na/K pump regulation for cardiovascular and nervous systems.

ion homeostasis, electrophysiolgy, protein biochemistry, kinases, palmitoylation, ventricular myocytes, brain slices

Benamar, Khalid


Bergeson, Susan

Pharmacology of the Analgesic and Abuse-related Effects of Opioids/Cannabinoids HIV-1-related Neuropathic Pain

Medications development for treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder


drugs of abuse; analgesia; pain; HIV-1


Alcohol Use Disorder, bioinformatics, epigenetics, innate immunue function in the CNS, medications development, molecular biology of addiction processes

Bhutia, Yangzom

Understanding molecular mechanisms associated with pancreatic cancer drug resistance; Identifying targets to be used either as a biomarker or as a therapeutic target to treat pancreatic/prostate cancer

pancreatic cancer; prostate cancer; biomarker; drug resistance; drug targets


Cornwall, Gail

Functional Amyloid in the Reproductive Tract

amyloid; spermatozoa; epididymis; extracellular quality control; protein folding

Dufour, Jannette

Use of Immune Privileged Sertoli Cells to Improve Treatment of Diabetes

Sertoli cells; immune privilege; transplantation; diabetes

Filleur, Stephanie

Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Taxane Drug Resisitance in Prostate Cancer; Role of the Tumor Microenvironment in Prostate Cancer Development and Progression; PEDF as a Novel Anti-tumor Factor to Block Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer; PEDF; macrophages; taxanes; next generation sequencing

Fralick, Joe



Gittner, Lisa

Antibiotic Resistance/Targeted Therapy



The Public Health Exposome Project: Health Risk Assessment Using Big Data

Phage Therapy, Combinatorial Chemistry, Phage Display, and anti-eptitopic peptides


Chronic Disease Risks, Prevention of Lifestyle Disease, Big Data


Guan, Lan

Molecular Mechanisms of Nutrient Transporters

DHA transport; sugar transport; molecular binding thermodynamics; membrane protein X-ray crystallography; protein biophysics

Guindon, Josee

Mechanisms of Modulating Pain Pathways Using Physiological Processes, Reference Compounds, and Endocannabinoid Modulators

pain models; behavioral pharmacology; immunohistochemistry; molecular biology

Hamood, Abdul

The Pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa During Sepsis Alternative (to Antibiotics) Novel Therapies to Treat Gram-positive and Gram-negative Wound Pathogens

severe burn; systemic infection; gene expression; topical antimicrobials; Next-ScienceR; pyocins

Hardy, Daniel

Evolution of protein structure and function in animal fertilization. Sex differences in connective tissue maintenance and repair underlying injury susceptibility. Sperm protein biotechnology

species-specificity; molecular evolution; cell adhesion; matrix metalloproteinases; gene expression profiling

Jansen, Michaela

Molecular mechanisms of clinically-used drugs on neurotransmitter-gated ion channels, structure and function studies of ion channels. Structure function studies of folate transporters for development of novel cancer drugs

Membrane transport proteins; ligand binding and interactions; structure; function; neuroscience; pharmacology; cancer

Kang, Min

Mechanisms of Drug Resistance in Pediatric Cancers

chemoresistance; pediatric cancers; molecular pharmacology; BCL-2; MYC

Karamyshev, Andrey

Molecular mechanisms of human diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, protein translation regulation, gene silencing, RNA/protein quality control in health and disease

molecular and cellular biology; human diseases; neurodegenerative disorders; gene silencing; protein translation; RNA stability and degradation; non-coding RNAs

Lawrence, J. Josh

Neuromodulation of GABAergic Circuits in Normal and Disease States

electrophysiology; multiphoton imaging; confocal imaging; transgenic mouse technology; acetylcholine; hippocampus; neurodegenerative diseases; neurodevelopmental disorders; autism

Liang, Henry

Membrane protein-mediated transport and recognition performance in artificial systems; Development of novel antimicrobials with high activity, low toxicity, and target specificity; Drug delivery

antibiotics and biofilms; drug delivery; biomembranes and biomimetic membranes; membrane protein bionanotechnology

Neugebauer, Volker

Brain Mechanisms of Pain, emotional dysregulation, vulnerability and resilience- Translational neuroscience 

neuroplasticity; emotions; cognitive control; electrophysiology; optical imaging; behavior; pharmacology;  optogenetics

Pruitt, Kevin

Screening for Novel Acetylated Proteins Involved in Tumor Promotion

cancer epigenetics; aromatase regulation; Wnt signaling

Reddy, Hemachandra

The Molecular and Cellular Bases of Aging in Age-related Neurodegenerative Diseases

neurogenetics; mouse models; neurodegenerative diseases; aging; mitochondria; oxidative stress; mitochondrial therapeutics

Reynolds, Patrick

Cancer Developmental Therapeutics

childhood cancers; telomere maintenance; immunotherapy; retinoids; targeting DNA repair

Rumbaugh, Kendra

Biofilm in Chronic Wounds; Polymicrobial Interactions in Necrotizing Skin and Soft Tissues Infections; Developing Alternative Antimicrobials
Research Page

wound infections; polymicrobial interactions; drug development of antimicrobials

Thomas, Jeffrey H.


Cell Shape Change and Movement in Development; Regulation of the Cytoskeleton; Src Signal Transduction


morphogenesis; embryonic development; cell shape change; actomyosin dynamics; cytoskeleton


Urbatsch, Ina


Understanding Polyspecific Drug Binding in P-glycoprotein


ABC transporter function; multidrug resistance; genetic disease

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