Participating Faculty

The research in our graduate program aims to investigate molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie human disease, with the ultimate goal of identifying therapeutic targets and developing new drugs that improve human health. Our program is well-aligned with the mission of the Department, which aims to leverage analyses of basic cellular mechanisms and model organisms to identify molecular targets that will help guide translational interventions. The educational and research opportunities, as well as the environment of our graduate program, encompass several aspects of biomedical research related to this mission, and are envisioned as a central hub to link basic research findings with the clinical enterprise. Our faculty have expertise in systems biology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacogenomics, genomics, epigenetics and metabolism. 

Basic Cellular Mechanisms

Concepcion-Crisol, Carla

Cornish, Virginia

The Cornish Lab studies the translation of synthetic biology and chemical biology to human health.

Fan, Qing

Gonzalez, Ruben

The Gonzalez Lab studies the molecular mechanisms of translation and translational control and their impact on human health and disease, using a combination of single-molecule fluorescence imaging, cryogenic electron microscopy, and in vitro and in vivo biochemistry.

Ju, Jingyue

Shah, Neel

The Shah Lab investigates the interaction specificities and regulatory mechanisms of phosphotyrosine signaling proteins, using a combination of synthetic chemistry, high-throughput biochemistry, biophysics, and cell biology.

Sims, Peter

The Sims Lab develops single-cell genomics technology with applications in cancer, immunology, and neuroscience.

Sternberg, Samuel

The Sternberg Lab studies the vast diversity of bacterial CRISPR-Cas systems and transposable elements, and apply our findings to develop next-generation genome engineering tools.

Stockwell, Brent

The Stockwell Lab explores links between ferroptosis, metabolism and disease using small molecule probes and mass spectrometry tools.

Zhang, Chaolin

The Zhang Lab focuses on understanding mechanisms and functions of neuronal RNA regulation which can ultimately translate into treatments of neurological disorders.


Cancer Pharmacology

Abate-Shen, Cory

The Abate-Shen Lab focuses on prostate and bladder cancer and encompasses mechanism-based studies, analyses of genetically-engineered mouse models, and state-of-the-art systems biology approaches.

Baer, Richard 

The Baer Lab aims to elucidate the biological functions of the BRCA1/BARD1 pathway, particularly in the maintenance of genome stability, and how loss of these functions promotes breast and ovarian cancer.

Bass, Adam

The Bass Lab studies the intersection of genomic aberrations in gastric and esophageal cancer with development of robust in vivo and in vitro models and then exploring therapeutic vulnerabilities with the use of functional genomics and pharmacologic tools linked to deep studies of pharmacodynamic effects with multi-omic tools.

Califano, Andrea

The Califano Lab uses systems biology principles to understand cancer tumorigenesis, drug resistance and cellular heterogeneity, and identify effective strategies for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Chio, Christine

The Chio Lab applies chemical proteomic and metabolomic approaches on ex vivo organoid models to study redox-dependent metabolic circuits in pancreatic cancer.

Ciccia, Alberto

The Ciccia Lab studies the mechanisms by which DNA repair proteins promote genome stability using innovative genome editing technologies.

Ferrando, Adolfo

The Ferrando Lab seeks to gain mechanistic fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of transformation and therapy resistance for the development of novel targeted therapies.

Gautier, Jean

The Gautier Lab studies the mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of genome integrity and how these mechanisms are altered in cancer.

Izar, Ben

The Izar Lab develops and implements single-cell genomics and genome-editing tools in patient tissues and patient-derived models to dissect niche-specific mechanisms of metastasis, chromosomal instability and resistance to immunotherapies. 

Lu, Chao

The Lu Lab employs high-throughput genetic and epigenomic technologies to understand the mechanisms by which misregulation of chromatin modifications drive tumor development and to develop novel precision epigenetic therapy for cancer.

Olive, Kenneth

The Olive Lab takes a multi-disciplinary approach to translational research on pancreatic cancer, including efforts in systems biology/precision medicine, metabolism, paracrine intercellular communication within the tumor microenvironment, and preclinical therapeutics studies.

Viny, Aaron

The Viny Lab aims to understand how 3D chromatin structure regulates hematopoietic stem cell fate decisions in normal and malignant contexts.

Yu, Yonghao

The Yu lab focuses on the chemical biology of novel covalent protein modifications and on therapeutically targeting the undruggable proteome using covalent chemistry.

Zha, Shan

The Zha Lab investigates the mechanism of DNA repair and DNA damage responses in the context of cancer therapy and immune therapy.

Zhang, Zhiguo

The Zhang Lab is interested in determining how epigenetic states are inherited during S phase of cell cycle and how epigenetic alterations contribute to tumorigenesis and the development of drug resistance.


Pharmacology of Human Disease

Colecraft, Henry

Cremers, Serge

The Cremers Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology Lab investigates clinical pharmacology of drugs, especially in cancer, osteoporosis, transplantation, opioid use disorder and contraception.

Diano, Sabrina

The Diano Lab focuses on intracellular nutrient sensing mechanisms in brain cells regulating energy and glucose metabolism, and how their derangement promotes development of metabolic disorders.

Harrison, Neil

Hen, Rene

Javitch, Jonathan

The Javitch Lab focuses on molecular mechanisms of G protein-coupled receptors and neurotransmitter transporters and their roles in neuropsychiatric disorders and their treatment. 

Kass, Robert

The Kass Lab focuses on ion channels in the cardiovascular system and on the physiological and pharmacological consequences of inherited disease-causing mutations in ion channel genes.

Kellendonk, Christoph

The Kellendonk Lab studies neuronal mechanisms underlying cognitive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

Marx, Steven

Miller, Gary

Prince, Alice

The Prince Lab studies the immunometabolic interactions of host and bacterial pathogens in the airway.

Sharma, Nikhil

The Sharma Lab studies the structure and function of peripheral sensory neurons.

Steinberg, Susan

Sulzer, David

The Sulzer Lab works on the normal function of brain synapses and synaptic diseases including autism, Parkinson’s and addiction.

Troy, Carol

The Troy Lab studies the regulation of the neurovascular unit in development and disease.

Yan, Shirley

The Yan Lab focuses on investigating cellular and molecular mechanisms and therapeutic mitochondrial target of mitochondrial and synaptic degeneration relevant to aging, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Zeltser, Lori

The Zeltser Lab explores how developmental influences on neural circuits exert lasting impacts on energy balance and body weight regulation.