Faculty Profiles: CAB
Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Our research focuses on cell cycle transitions in the developing nervous system. Our multi-disciplinary approach utilizes whole genome siRNA, cDNA, and small molecule cell-based screens. The latter target kinases, ubiquitin ligases, and epigenetic modulators to design therapies for cancer and neurological diseases.
Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology
My laboratory is focused on understanding the role of microbiome in inflammation, under multiple insults of HIV, clinical/recreational use of drugs and opportunistic infections. We are also studying the role of normal and dysbiotic microbiota on host metabolism in health and disease. All these studies are done using appropriate murine models, including NSG-BLT humanized mice.
Associate Chair of Pediatrics for Basic Research
Director, Children’s Cancer Programs at UM SCCC
Director, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Toppel Family Professor of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Associate Director for Education and Training
Professor, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology
The Burnstein lab studies steroid hormone / nuclear receptor signaling in prostate cancer and how receptor cross-talk pathways can be targeted therapeutically. In particular, the roles of androgen receptors (wild type, mutant and constitutively active variants) in driving prostate tumor growth and vitamin D receptors in cancer inhibition are longstanding interests. In recent work, we are examining the therapeutic use and mechanisms of a metastasis-suppressing microRNA cluster in prostate cancer.
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
My laboratory studies immunological mechanisms and interventions of cancer and diabetes. We build animal models to mimic the genetic and genomic risks of human diseases. We use the in vivo models to examine the cause and effect of disease biology at cellular and molecular levels, identify potential biomarkers for disease progression, and test potential interventions for disease prevention and treatment.
Chief, Frankel Family Division of Melanocytic Tumors
Director, Anna Fund Melanoma Program
Member, Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute
Professor, Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery
In the clinic we focus on the use of imaging technologies to increase accuracy of early skin cancer detection. In the laboratory we are interested in genetic pathways that drive the different types of melanocytic tumors, causes of genomic instability and agents that prevent the transition of melanoma cells between mesenchymal/stem cell and more differentiated and proliferative states.
Associate Professor, Ophthalmology
We study the cellular mechanism of photoreceptor degeneration, the role of inflammation in photoreceptor survival signaling and neuronal-glial interactions and ocular tumor stem cells.
Director, Ocular Oncology
Mark J. Daily Chair, Ophthalmology
Vice Chairman, Translational Research
Clinical Trials for High Risk Uveal Melanoma and Retinoblastoma, Intraocular Lymphoma, Hereditary Eye Tumors, Ocular Biopsy, Using Genetic and Genomic Methods to Develop New Diagnostic, Prognostic and Therapeutic Technologies for Eye Cancers.
Associate Director, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Public Health
As a trans-disciplinary cancer researcher, Dr. Hu has training in basic sciences and cancer epidemiology. Her research mainly focuses on the molecular and genetic mechanisms of breast cancer etiology and survival disparities as well as implication of DNA repair in precision medicine.
Associate Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Associate Professor, Cell Biology and Anatomy
The research in the lab focuses on: (1) Molecular pathways that regulate self-renewal and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and cancer stem cells, (2) Novel multi-target immunosuppressive approaches to treat immune-mediated Aplastic Anemia and bone marrow failure, (3) Characterization and mitigation of long-term effects of cancer chemotherapy on HSC function, hematopoiesis and immune system function, (4) Characterization and mitigation of acute and delayed effects of ionizing radiation on the hematopoietic system and HSC function, and (5) Characterization of molecular and cellular pathways regulating emergency hematopoiesis in response to bacterial and viral infections.
Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
Our experimental approaches include in vivo experiments using gene-targeted mice, ex vivo analysis of immune cells by flow cytometry, cell adhesion and migration, global gene expression (NGS) and in vitro biochemical analysis of posttranslational modification of signaling proteins. Identification and functional relevance of critical molecules in immunity, autoimmunity and lymphoid malignancies will facilitate the development of next generation of biological and more precise therapeutics.
Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The laboratory studies mechanisms involved in the cellular adaptation to the adverse environmental conditions commonly found within the tumor microenvironment (hypoxia and extracellular acidosis). These extracellular stimuli alter fundamental cellular pathways by 1) activating an alternate translation apparatus that synthesizes proteins only in the absence of oxygen and 2) inducing a new class of long noncoding RNAs that regulate protein function. Ongoing projects blend basic and translational scientific research from the identification of novel stress-induced long noncoding RNA to discovery of drug as small molecular inhibitors for these essential tumor biology pathways.
Professor, Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology
Director, MD/PhD Program
Membrane Transport: Sorting and regulation of protein traffic in the endocytic and secretory pathways and during Autophagy
Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
My laboratory’s research objective is to understand the biology of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) which are utilized to treat patients with hematologic disorders (ex. leukemia / lymphoma) and enzyme deficiencies. We employ experimental HSCT models involving defined genetic differences reflecting clinical donors and recipients to study mechanisms underlying the major immunological complication, i.e. graft vs. host disease as well as immune reconstitution and anti-tumor immunity in an effort to develop therapeutic approaches (i.e. Treg cells / IL-2 / epigenetic regulation) to translate into the clinic here at UM/ Sylvester.
Deputy Director, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Kathleen & Stanley Glaser Professor
Our lab studies the mechanisms by which macro-environmental influences such as depression, obesity and diabetes modulate the tumor microenvironment via inflammation, immune suppression and cancer associated fibroblasts to alter tumor progression and metastatic behavior. Our studies are done in animal models and in clinical trials.
Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Dr. Mesri’s laboratory is currently working on: 1) Identifying the cell progenitor of KS. 2) Novel anti-viral interventions in KS 3) Novel use of a mouse infectious model for a KSHV like virus (MHV-68) to understand in vivo biology 4) Identifying normal genetic polymorphisms that predispose to KS 5) Using next generation sequencing to study KS pathogenesis and response to therapy 6) Study KSHV and HIV oncogenic interactions.
Our lab studies the molecular basis of mitochondrial defects in metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases and in normal aging, using genetically-modified mouse models. Three major funded projects are: 1) Development of genetic therapies for mitochondrial diseases. 2) Development of animal models to study the pathogenesis of mitochondrial disorders. 3) Compensating for a defect in oxidative phosphorylation by increasing mitochondrial biogenesis.
Director, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Dr. Nimer has spent several decades conducting basic science and clinical research into the genetic basis and treatment of hematological malignancies. His laboratory has been trying to decipher the normal and abnormal regulatory mechanisms that control the expression of genes implicated in hematopoiesis and the biological mechanisms that control the formation of blood cells. The ultimate goal of his research is to identify new critical, cellular mechanism implicated in leukemogenesis and develop molecularly targeted therapies.
Professor, Marine Biology
My research interests are in marine animal models of disease processes, with an emphasis on cancer. Ongoing research includes: 1) a unique virus-like agent which causes peripheral nervous systems and pigment cell tumors in bicolor damselfish on Florida reefs, 2) vector design and optimization of transgenesis in zebrafish, 3) the effect of toxins from agal blooms using zebrafish and 4) health and husbandry of California sea hares, Aplysia californica, used in neurobiological research.
Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Uncontrolled activation of innate immune receptors by the pathogens can cause chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases. My laboratory focuses on understanding the mechanisms of negative regulation of the transcription factor NF-κB activated by the innate immune receptors. Activation of NF-κB is critical to eliminate pathogens and to maintain tissue homeostasis. NF-κB activation needs to be tightly regulated after the danger is eliminated. The ubiquitin-editing enzyme A20 complex tightly regulates NF-κB activation. The mechanisms of the ubiquitin-editing enzyme A20 complex activation are not known. Thus, we wish to understand the mechanisms that activate the A20 complex and lead to termination of NF-κB activation and maintenance of tissue homeostasis.
Associate Director, Translational Research
Director, Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute
Dr. Slingerland’s research interests include: breast cancer, molecular mechanisms of signal transduction and hormone effects on cell cycle regulation and breast cancer cell growth, breast cancer stem cells as targets for therapy and the role of estrogen receptors in breast cancer.
Assistant Professor, Medicine
Co-Chair, Clinical Research Services Advisory Committee
Co-Leader, Leukemia/Lymphoma/Myeloma Site Disease Group
Member, Epigenetics Working Group
Member, Molecular Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics
Member, Phase I Clinical Trials Program
Research Associate Professor
Chronic inflammation and cancer. The role of macrophages in cancer; impairment in macrophage inflammatory functions as a result of tumor-induced immune suppression; breast cancer in obesity; breast cancer and high fat diets in the absence of obesity: macrophages in breast adipose tissue and their role in breast cancer.
Associate Dean, Therapeutic Innovation
Director, Center for Therapeutic Innovation
Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
We study the role of the noncoding RNAs in schizophrenia, the role of microRNA in the mechanisms of drug dependency, regulatory RNA’s as mediators and biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease, the discovery and development of nociception receptor ligands in alcohol dependence, noncoding RNAsepigenomic modulators in Alzheimer’s Disease, the discovery of a potent and selective neuropeptide YY2 receptor antagonist probes, and comprehensive analysis of FRM1 locus transcriptional landscape.
Assistant Professor, Human Genetics
Co-Director, Center for Molecular Genetics, Hussman Institute
We focus on epigenetic mechanisms regulating CNS function; mouse models of neurological diseases.
Assistant Professor, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology
Our lab is one of the less than ten labs in the world with demonstrated expertise working on posttranslational protein arginylation. Our research focuses on the effects of arginylation on cellular behaviors including cell migration and adhesions, stress response, and programmed cell death. We have a strong interest in the relevancy of arginylation in cardiac development and cancer progression. Test models include bacteria, yeast, mammalian cell lines, mouse, and actual human samples.