Courtney Andersen studies the role of estrogen receptor-alpha in ovarian cancer.
Chris Barnes investigates the structural details by which transcription factor activity regulates RNA Polymerase II during the universal process of eukaryotic gene expression.
Soma Jobaggy studies nitrated fatty acid pharmacology and the antioxidant response in hypertensive end-organ damage.
Allison Nagle studies growth factor receptor signaling in breast cancer.
Signal Transduction
The department is rich in research devoted to the analysis of signal transduction pathways and their role in normal physiological processes and disease. These include studies into the basic mechanisms of signaling by oxidizing and free radical inflammatory mediators, nitric oxide, steroids, parathyroid hormone, neurotransmitters, hypothalamic hormones, and rhodopsin. Various cell biological, forward and reverse genetic, molecular biological and biophysical approaches are used to dissect the molecular mechanisms utilized by intracellular mediators of signal transduction including cell surface receptors, nuclear receptors, caveolin, protein kinases, protein phosphatases and lipid kinases.

Graduate faculty who study Signal Transduction (Click to see their detailed research profile)

Daniel Altschuler - G-protein signaling mechanisms in mitogenesis and oncogenesis
Aaron Barchowsky - The main focus of the research in the Barchowsky laboratory is the cellular and molecular mechanisms for pathogenic tissue remodeling and metabolic dysfunction caused by environmental metals exposures. The core theme of the research has been on metal stimulated redox biology and discoveries over the past 30 years include demonstration of environmental arsenic exposures stimulating vascular angiogenesis and remodeling through G-protein-coupled receptor activation of NADPH Oxidases. Current studies focus on mechanisms through which arsenic or aging promote mitochondrial maladaptive responses that pathologically reprogram epigenetic regulation of skeletal muscle stem cell fate, tissue regeneration, and metabolism.
Alessandro Bisello - Structure, signalling and trafficking of G-protein-coupled receptors. Role of EBP50 in vascular remodeling and role of GLP-1 in pancreatic beata cell function.
Stephen Chan - We are a basic science and translational research group studying the molecular mechanisms of pulmonary vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension (PH) – an example of an enigmatic disease where reductionistic studies have primarily focused on end-stage molecular effectors. To capitalize on the emerging discipline of “network medicine,” our research utilizes a combination of network-based bioinformatics with unique experimental reagents derived from genetically altered rodent and human subjects to accelerate systems-wide discovery in PH. Our published findings were among the first to identify the systems-level functions of microRNAs (miRNAs), which are small, non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression, as a root cause of PH. Our lab developed novel in silico approaches to analyze gene network architecture coupled with in vivo experimentation. The results now offer methods to identify persons at-risk for PH and develop therapeutic RNA targets. This work is the cornerstone of our evolving applications of network theory to the discovery of RNA-based origins of human diseases, in general.
Donald DeFranco - Glucocorticoids and Neurodevelopment. Prostate cancer.
John Fernstrom - Control of neurotransmitter and neuropeptide synthesis and function.
Bruce Freeman - Cell Signaling; Redox Reactions
Peter Friedman - Parathyroid hormone receptor trafficking, regulation, signaling.
Ferruccio Galbiati - Signal transduction mechanisms in muscular dystrophy and ageing/cancer.
Angela Gronenborn - Biomolecular structure and its correlation to function in transcription factor compleses, HIV-2 proteins and signaling proteins.
Tija Jacob
Yu Jiang - Signaling mechanisms for cell growth control; Regulation of protein kinases and phosphatases
Valerian Kagan - Nitric oxide interactions with cellular components, redox status during cellular injury and repair
Lawrence Kane - The role of the Akt kinase in T cell activation; Immunilogic function and signaling of TIM proteins
Edwin Levitan - Neurotransmission, channels and signaling.
Michael Lotze - Tumor immunology; dendritic cell biology; cytokine biology; regulation of apoptosis in immune effectors; role of the nuclear protein HMGB 1 in promoting inflammation, mRNA role in regulating the translation of proteins in macrophages and other inflammatory cells; autophagy.
Carola Neumann
Patrick Pagano - Development of peptic, viral and small molecular inhibitors of NADPH oxidases and reactive species to assess NOX involvement in cardiovascular disease as well as to devise new therapies
Bruce Pitt - Role of oxidants and nitric oxide in affecting pulmonary endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cell function.
Sruti Shiva - The mechanisms by which reactive nitrogen species regulate mitochondrial function and signaling, particularly in conditions of hypoxia or ischemia.
Shivendra Singh - The Singh laboratory focuses on preclinical and clinical investigations of novel agents derived from dietary (eg, broccoli) and medicinal plants (eg, Withania somnifera) for chemoprevention of cancers.
Thomas Smithgall - Protein-tyrosine kinase structure, function, and drug discovery in cancer and infectious diseases.
Adam Straub - Redox signaling mechanisms in the microcirculation.
Jean-Pierre Vilardaga - Understanding molecular mechanisms of G protein-coupled receptor(GPCR) signalling and trafficking.
Qiming Jane Wang - Targeting protein kinase D by small molecular inhibitors for cancer therapy; signaling mechanisms of protein kinase D in cancer.
Zhou Wang - Mechanism of androgen receptor intracellular trafficking in prostate cancer cells. Roles of androgen-response genes in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Wen Xie - Nuclear hormone receptor-mediated gene regulation in endrocrinology, gastroenterology, and cancer. Nuclear hormone receptors as therapeutic targets for metabolic syndrome.
Cheng Zhang
Lin Zhang - Genetic basis of differential responses to anticancer drugs and mechanisms of drug-induced apoptosis.

Program Achievements

Molecular Pharmacology Graduate Program Ranked #2 in National Research Council Rankings


Time to dissertation Defense
, last five graduating classes:  4.6 years, Completion Rate: 86.49%

First Author Publications (All students, past 5 year mean):  2.03;   Total Publications: 5.10

F-series Grants (F30/F31) (All Students, past 5 year mean):  12/34 (35%) 

Ranked #9 in National of Institute of Health funding of departments of Pharmacology

Ranked in the top 15 in funding for twenty-four consecutive years

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