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.
Alumni Emily Bossart2018

Investigation of EMT-like Phenotypes in Established and Novel Model Systems of Invasive Lobular Breast Carcinoma (2018)

Advisor: Steffi Oesterreich, PhD

Scientist at Cernostics, Inc

Rochelle Fletcher2018

The Role of NSAID-Induced ER Stress and Immunomodulation in the Suppression of Colorectal Tumorigenesis (2018)

Advisor: Lin Zhang, PhD

NCI Graduate Student Recruitment Program

Alison Nagle2018

Credentialing IGF1R pathway activation as a novel therapeutic target in E-cadherin deficient breast cancer (2018)

Advisor: Adrian Lee, PhD

Clinical and Research Liaison, Tempus Labs

Vera Procaccia2018


Advisor: Dr. Alessandro Bisello

Postdoc, Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh

Nolan Priedigkeit2017

Identification of acquired molecular dependencies in advanced breast and ovarian cancers (2017)

Advisor: Adrian Lee, PhD

Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh

Chen-Shan (Julia) Woodcock2017

Therapeutic Potential of Electrophilic Nitro-Oleic Acid for The Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (2017)

Advisor: Bruce Freeman, PhD

Post Doctoral Associate, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine at University of Pittsburgh

Courtney Andersen2016


Advisor: Steffi Oesterreich, PhD

Postdoc at AstraZeneca

Kenneth Drombosky2016


Advisor: Ronald Wetzel, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Mark Weir2016


Advisor: Thomas Smithgall, PhD

Postdoctoral researcher, EMD Serono

Christopher Barnes2016


Advisor: Guillermo Calero, MD

Post-doctoral, California Institute of Technology

Kyle Knickelbein2016

Mechanisms and Novel Therapeutic Approaches for KRAS-Mediated Resistance to Anti-EGFR Therapy in Colorectal Cancer Cells (2016)

Advisor: Lin Zhang, PhD

Noah Peyser2015


Advisor: Jennifer Grandis, MD

Coverage Analyst,Univ. California, San Fran.

Matthew Hedberg2015

Leveraging Next Generation Sequencing to Elucidate the Spectrum of Genetic Alterations Underlying Head and Neck Cancer and Identify Potential Therapeutic Targets (2015)

Advisor: Jennifer Grandis, MD

Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh

David Osei-Hwedieh2015


Advisor: Mark Gladwin, MD

PostDoc,Vascular Medicine Institute, University of Pittsburgh

Anny Treat (Caceres)2015


Advisor: Guillermo Romero, PhD

Teaching, Neighborhood Learning Alliance

Andrea Braganza2015

UBE3B is a mitochondria-associated E3 ubiquitin ligase whose activity is modulated by its interaction with Calmodulin to respond to oxidative stress (2015)

Advisor: Robert Sobol, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate, Vascular Medicine Institute, University of Pittsburgh

Atif Towheed2015

Allotopic RNA expression strategy to rescue an endogenous mitochondrial ATP6[1] mutation in Drosophila (2015)

Advisor: Michael Palladino, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania

Andrey Finegersh2014

Epigenetic Effects of Ethanol (2014)

Advisor: Gregg Homanics, PhD

Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh

Hilary Stevenson2014


Advisor: Guillermo Calero, MD

Post Doctoral Associate, Department of Structural Biology, University of Pittsburgh

Bartholomew Roland2014

An in vivo structure-function analysis of the pathogenesis of triosephosphate isomerase deficiency (2014)

Advisor: Michael Palladino, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar in Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Daniel Ranayhossaini2014

Rational Design and Therapeutic Potential of a Novel Nox1 Inhibitor for the Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension: In Vitro and In Vivo Effects of Nox1 Inhibition (2014)

Advisor: Patrick Pagano, PhD

Senior Scientist in Pharmacology & Toxicology at Mylan

Anne Lipton Keener2014

EAF2 Associates with FOXA1 and EAF2 Alleviates FOXA1-Mediated Repression of Androgen Receptor Transactivation (2014)

Advisor: Zhou Wang, PhD

Founder at PostOpWin, Pittsburgh PA

Wai Kan (Karen) Chiu2014

Mitochondrial Allotopic Gene Therapy Approaches Using a Drosophila Model with an Endogenous ATP6 Mutation (2014)

Advisor: Michael Palladino, PhD

Postdoctoral Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA

Rekha Gyanchandani2013

Molecular Determinants of Response to Antiangiogenic Therapies in Preclinical Models of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (2013)

Advisor: Seungwon Kim, MD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh

Mark Zimmerman2013

Targeted Deletion of Ptp4a3 Inhibits Colon Carcinogenesis and Angiogenesis (2013)

Advisor: Gregg Homanics, PhD

Research Fellow, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Pediatric Oncology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Mitchell Springer2013

Modulation of Synaptic Amplification in Sympathetic Ganglia (2013)

Advisor: John Horn, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher, Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, OH

Kristen Leslie (Balogh)2013

Exploring the Role of EBP50 in Vascular Inflammation (2013)

Advisor: Dr. Alessandro Bisello

Research Scientist,Camargo Pharmaceutical Services

Man Yan Wong2012

Delivery and Exocytosis of Neuropetide Vesicles at the Nerve Terminal (2012)

Advisor: Edwin Levitan, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Neurobiology Department, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Shoghag Panjarian2012

Investigating Allosteric Regulation of ABL and BCR-ABL Kinases: Implications for Small Molecule Inhibitors (2012)

Advisor: Thomas Smithgall, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Fels Institute for Cancer and Molecular Biology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Jeffrey Koenitzer2012

Electrophillic Nitro-Fatty Acid Regulation of Mitochondrial Function (2012)

Advisor: Bruce Freeman, PhD

Medical Resident, Internal Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

David Svilar2012

DNA Glycosylases as Modulators of Chemotherapeutic Response (2012)

Advisor: Robert Sobol, PhD

Medical Resident, Washington University, Children's Hospital, St. Louis, MO

Kelly Quesnelle2012

Intracellular Signaling Mechanisms of Resistance to TGFR-Targeting Agents (2012)

Advisor: Jennifer Grandis, MD

Assistant Professor, University of Western Michigan School of Medicine, Kalamazoo, MI

Serah Choi2011

Preclinical Studies on ATM Kinase Inhibitors As Anti-Cancer Agents (2011)

Advisor: Christopher Bakkenist, PhD

Resident, Radiation Oncology, University of California-San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, CA

Amy Furda2011

The role of mtDNA damage in mitochondrial dysfunction (2011)

Advisor: Ben Van Houten, PhD

Adjunct Professor, Biology, Robert Morris University / Allied Health/Nursing Instructor, Pittsburgh Technical Institute

Courtney LaValle2011

Targeting Protein Kinase D by Novel Small Molecule Inhibitors and RNA Interference in Prostate Cancer (2011)

Advisor: Qiming Jane Wang, PhD

Freelance medical writing and editing, Owner, CRL MedWrite, Auburn, WA

Carolyn Kitchens2011

Exploitation of Small Interfering RNA Methodology to Identify Novel Anticancer Treatments (2011)

Advisor: John Lazo, PhD

Visiting Assistant Professor, Bethany College

Eva Goellner2011

Demonstrating functional crosstalk between DNA base excision repair and cellular bioenergetics: A strategy for the treatment of chemotherapy resistant glioblastoma (2011)

Advisor: Robert Sobol, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of California-San Diego

Melanie Grubisha2011

TGFBeta-Dependent ROS Regulates a Local Endrocrine Communication Network Between Stromal and Epithelial Cells in the Prostate (2011)

Advisor: Donald DeFranco, PhD

Resident, Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

David Wheeler2010

The PDZ adaptor protein, NHERF1, organizes and regulates protein complexes at the cell membrane (2010)

Advisor: Guillermo Romero, PhD

Clinical Fellow, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Michigan

Sangeetha Iyer2010

Role of the Alpha 4-containing GABA A Receptors in anesthetic and Ethanol Antagonist Effects: Insights from a Global Knockout Mouse Model (2010)

Advisor: Gregg Homanics, PhD

Scientist, Perlstein Lab, San Francisco, CA

Nicholas Bateman2010

A Proteomic Analysis of Neoplastic Progression in Breast Cancer (2010)

Advisor: Thomas Conrads, PhD

Assistant Director of Basic Science DOD Gynecologic Cancer Center of Excellence

Austin Dulak2010

Analyzing the Impact of EGFR-induced c-Met Phosphorylation in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (2010)

Advisor: Jill Siegfried, PhD

Senior Scientist at Surface Oncology Inc.

Yan Wang2010

Uncovering the Biological Functions of Phosphatase of Regenerating Liver-2 (2010)

Advisor: John Lazo, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Alison Groeger2009

Discovery and Characterization of Inflammation-induced Electrophilic Fatty Acid Derivatives (2009)

Advisor: Bruce Freeman, PhD

Line Manager in Regulatory Documentation, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA

Jonathan Beckel2009

Expression and Function of Urothelial Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors (2009)

Advisor: Lori Birder, PhD

Research Instructor, Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Univ. of Pittsburgh

Pierre Queiroz de Oliveira2009

Elucidating the role of Cdc25A in hypoxia-mediated cell cycle arrest (2009)

Advisor: John Lazo, PhD

Patent Agent, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Secretary and Treasurer, Nitromega Corporation

Neil Bhola2009

Investigation of the mechanisms and therapeutic implications of crosstalk between G-protein-coupled receptors and the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in HNSCC (2009)

Advisor: Jennifer Grandis, MD

Research Fellow, Hematology/Oncology Division, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University

Teodora Pene-Dumitrescu2009

Investigating the SRC kinase HCK functions in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia using chemical genetics methods (2009)

Advisor: Thomas Smithgall, PhD

Clinical Pharmacokineticist, GlaxoSmithKline, Raleigh-Durham, NC

Joshua Snyder2009

Epithelial Reparative Capacity Regulates Extracellular Matrix Dynamics and Innate Immunity (2009)

Advisor: Barry Stripp, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate, Anatomy/Cell Biology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC

Michael Hezel2009

LGMD-1C: Role of Caveolin-3 in Neuromuscular Junction Structure and Function (2009)

Advisor: Ferruccio Galbiati, PhD

Project Manager, Qrono, Inc, Pittsburgh, PA

Miranda Sarachine2009

Roles of the Estrogen Receptors and the Nuclear Matrix in Breast Cancer Development and Tamoxifen Resistance (2009)

Advisor: Billy Day, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Staff, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

Alexander Bank2008

The Role of SMAC in NSAID-induced Apoptosis (2008)

Advisor: Lin Zhang, PhD

Project Leader, CAR-T Biology, Cellectis, NY

Janine Bartholomew2008

Caveolin-1 mediated p53 activation in stress induced premature senescence and its antagonistic pleiotropic implications in cancer (2008)

Advisor: Ferruccio Galbiati, PhD

Assistant Professor, Biology, Carlow University

John Caltagarone 2008

Differential Localization of Hic-5 and Paxillin in the Brain of Alzheimer's Disease Subjects (2008)

Advisor: Donald DeFranco, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate, Cell Biology and Physiology, University of Pittsburgh

Dev Chandra2008

Extrasynaptic GABA Type A Receptors in the Mechanism of Action of Ethanol (2008)

Advisor: Gregg Homanics, PhD

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Dept. of Orofacial Sciences, University of California-San Francisco

Peter McDonald2008

Identification of Novel Potential Cancer Therapies by Synthetic Lethal Screening (2008)

Advisor: John Lazo, PhD

Research Associate, High Throughput Screening Lab, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

Robert Tomko2008

Cellular and Biochemical Regulation of Cdc25A Phosphatase by Nitrosative Stress (2008)

Advisor: John Lazo, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Florida State University

David Werner2007

Elucidating the Role of a i-Contacting Gaba (A) Receptors in Ethanol Action (2007)

Advisor: Gregg Homanics, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Center for Development & Behavioral Neuroscience, SUNY-Binghamton

Gregory Gan2007

Human REV3L Expression and Protein Interaction Studies (2007)

Advisor: Richard D. Wood, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico

Jenny Linnoila2007

T1di Mediates Agrin and Muscle Specific Kinase Signaling at the Neuromuscular Junction (2007)

Advisor: Zuo-Zhong Wang, PhD

Neurologist/neuroscientist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Pallavi Bansal2007

Induction of CD25B Following DNA Damage: Implications for Cell Cycle Resumption and Tumorgenesis (2007)

Advisor: John Lazo, PhD

Associate Director/Senior Project Manager, US Tasigna, Novartis Oncology, Greater New York Area, NY

Hirdesh Uppal2007

Regulatory Networks of PXR, Car and LXR in Cholesterol and Bile Acid Metabolism (2007)

Advisor: Wen Xie, MD, PhD

Scientist in Safety Assessment & Development Sciences, Genetech, San Francisco Bay Area

Prajakta Sonalker2006

The Renal Bumetaride-Sensitive Na-K-2Cl Cotransporter BSC-1/NKCO2 in Essential Hypertension and Its Regulation by Norepinephrine (2006)

Advisor: Edwin Jackson, PhD

New York University, Intellectual Property Manager

John Dubinion2006

Modulation of Angiotensin II-Induced Renal Vascular Presponses by PP-Fold Peptides (2006)

Advisor: Edwin Jackson, PhD

Pharmacologist, FDA

Maria Santos2006

Mitochondrial DNA in neurons and its modulation by neurotoxins (2006)

Advisor: Ian Reynolds, PhD

Medical Writer, Spain

Elena Sirbu2006

Screening Assay for Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (2006)

Advisor: Mark Nichols, PhD

Qing Zhang2005

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Activation by Gastrin Releasing Peptide (GRP) in Head and Neck Cancer: Mechanisms and Clinical Implications (2005)

Advisor: Jennifer Grandis, MD

Latha Malaiyandi 2005

Interactions between Zinc and Mitochondria in Neuronal Injury (2005)

Advisor: Ian J. Reynolds, Phd

Assistant Professor, Anatomy, Midwestern University-Downers Grove, IL Campus

Diane T.W. Chang2005

Mitochondrial Trafficking in Healthy and Injured Neurons (2005)

Advisor: Ian J. Reynolds, PhD

Catherine Kraft 2005

Lipid Binding and the Scaffolding function of the Kinase Suppressor of Ras (2005)

Advisor: Guillermo Romero, PhD

Customer Application Specialist at ZEISS Microscopy

Lori Emert-Sedlak 2005

Meditation of Chemotherapy-Induced Apoptosis by the Lysosomal Protease Cathespin D (2005)

Advisor: Daniel Johnson, PhD

Research Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh, MMG

Julie Myers-Irvin 2005

Characterization of Nuclear Matrix Alterations Involved in Bladder Cancer Progression (2005)

Advisor: Robert Getzenberg, PhD

Grants Developer, School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

Susana Montoya 2004

Evaluation of the Physiological Functions of Bleomycin Hydrolase in the Murine CNS (2004)

Advisor: John Lazo, PhD

Research Associate, Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh

Alex Ducruet 2004

Regulation of CDC25A in Human Tumor Cells by Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2 (2004)

Advisor: John Lazo, PhD

Technology Licensing Manager, Office of Technology Management, University of Pittsburgh

Haibing Jiang2003

Mechanisms of Polyglutamine Expanded Huntingtin Induced Toxicity (2003)

Advisor: Donald DeFranco, PhD

Lefteris Zacharia 2002

Protective Role of the 2-Hydroxyesteradiol Methylation Pathway in the Cardiovascular and Renal Systems: Interaction with Catecholamines (2002)

Advisor: Edwin Jackson, PhD

Post-Doc, Clinical Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh

Brad Andresen2002

Angiotensin II Signaling to Phospholipase D in a Model of Genetic Hypertension (2002)

Advisor: Edwin Jackson & Guillermo Romero

Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences

Kirk Dineley 2002

An Investigation of the Neurotoxic Properties of Zinc (2002)

Advisor: Ian J. Reynolds, PhD

Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Midwestern University

Ron Bernardi 2002

Vitamin D in Cancer Therapy: Mechanistic Studies and Novel Combinations (2002)

Advisor: Candace S. Johnson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital

Yadi Tan 2001

Overcoming the Inflammatory Toxicity in Cationic Lipid Vector Mediated System Gene Delivery (2001)

Advisor: Leaf Huang, PhD

Associate Professor, Central China Agriculture University, Wuhan, China

Yuen-Keng Ng 2001

Enhancement of Neuropeptide Release by Increasing the Mobility of Secretory Granuler (2001)

Advisor: Edwin Levitan, PhD

Research Instructor, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology

Ting-Ting Zhang 2001

Regulation of KU4.3 and KV1.5KV Potassium Channel Expression in Cardiac Mycytes and GH3 Pituitary Cells (2001)

Advisor: Edwin Levitan, PhD

Post-Doc, Harvard University, Mclean Hospital

Mark Rizzo 2000

The Role of Phospholipase D in the Regulation of the Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Cascade (2000)


Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Maryland

Mark Whitmore2000

Antitumor Activity of the LPD Lipopolyplex Prepared with Immunostimulatory CpG DNA (2000)

Advisor: Leaf Huang, PhD

Research Fellow, Cancer Biology, Lerner Research Institution

Joelle Scanlon 2000

The Role of Mitochondria in Glutamate-Induced Neuronal Injury (2000)

Advisor: Ian J. Reynolds, PhD

Research Associate, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh

Chialin Cheng1999

Relationship Between the Concentration of Intracellular Divalent Cations and Excitotoxicity (1999)

Advisor: Ian J. Reynolds, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Vollum Institute, Oregon Health Sciences University

Marni Brisson 1999

Development of an Improved Cytoplasmic Expression System for Gene Therapy (1999)

Advisor: James Perel, MD

Senior Genomic Science Liaison, Genomic Health, Pittsburgh, PA

Edwina Lerner1997

Targeting Ras Prenylation in Anti-Cancer Therapy (1997)

Advisor: Said M. Sebti, PhD

Research Instructor, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh

Dung Luong Thai1997

Asymmetric Synthesis, Pharmacology, and Pharmacokinetics of the Three Enantiomers of methyphenidate and their Para-Substituted Analogues (1997)

Advisor: James Perel, MD

James White, III1996

A Complex Interrelationship between Cyctoplasmic Calcium Homeostasis and Mitochondrial Physiology in Cultured Forebrain Neurons (1996)

Advisor: Ian J. Reynolds, PhD

Lina Khalil Charles Rudolf Sovan1996

Aspects of B Cell Differentiation and Apoptosis (1996)

Advisor: Christine Milcarek, PhD,Justus Cohen, PhD, Ronald Goldfarb, PhD

Karl Rene Hoyt1996

Dopamine and Glutamate Interactions in Cultured Neurons (1996)

Advisor: Ian J. Reynolds, PhD

James Michael Rusnak1995

Protein Kinase Ce Modulation of Higher Order Chromatin Cleavage in Apoptotic Androgen-Independent Human Prostatic Carcinoma Cells (1995)

Advisor: John Lazo, PhD

Sunita Rajdev1995

Glutamate-Induced Changes in Intracellular Calcium and Magnesium in Rat Forebrain Neurons in Bitro: Relationship to Excitotoxicity (1995)

Advisor: Ian J. Reynolds, PhD

Jianhua Zhou1994

Clinical Variability in Inerited Sodium Chennelopathies: Studies of heterogeneity at the Gene and Gene Expression Levels (1994)

Advisor: Eric P. Hoffman, PhD

Susan C. Croll1992

Role of Mesage Turnover in Influencing the Abundance of B Cell mRNAs During Ontogeny (1992)

Advisor: Christine Milcarek, PhD

Ann Marie Mackway Wells1984

The Effects of Methylphenidate and amphetamine on Synaptosomal Uptake, Prolactin, and Linear Growth in Rat Pups-A Model of Pharmacological Effects (1984)

Advisor: James Perel, MD

Charles R. Mantione1983

Ethylcholine Aziridinum: A New Cholinergic Specific Presynaptic Toxin (1983)

Advisor: Israel Hanin, PhD

Gary Leopold Nieder1981

Lactate and Pyruvate Levels in the Mouse Oviduct (1981)

Advisor: Robert H. Connamacher, PhD

Jacob Krier1977

Autonomic Control of the Colon of the Cat (1977)

Advisor: William de Groat, PhD

John Mark Braughler1977

Studies on the Sodium-Potassium Dependednt Adenosine Triphosphate from Human Renal Tissue (1977)

Advisor: Clinton N. Corder, PhD

Jackson Thomas Wright Jr.1977

Isolation, Partial Characterization, and Distribution of Rat Kidney NAD+-Dependent/5-Hydroxyprostaglandin Dehydrogenase (1977)

Advisor: Clinton N. Corder, PhD

William H. Thies1972

An Investigation of the Cholinergic System of the Isolated Electroplaque from Electrophorus Electrices (1972)

Advisor: Henry B. Higman, PhD

Dale Bernard Evans1967

Stimulatory Effects of Acetylcholine on Rate of the Intact Atropinized Cat Heart (1967)

Advisor: Paul L. McLain, PhD

Richard J. Schneider

The Effects of Leisons of the Posterior Funiculi of Macaca Mulatta ()



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Program Achievements

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

Outcomes:  Time to disseration, last five graduating classes:  4.5 years, Completion Rate: 84.8%

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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