Advising Faculty
FacultyDepartmentResearch interests
Kate AdamalaMolecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, and GeneticsWe are combining top-down and bottom-up approaches to synthetic biology; we use tools of protein engineering and molecular biology, together with novel synthetic cell technologies, to understand and modulate biological processes in complex systems.
Hideki AiharaBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsDNA rearrangement systems relevant to human health
Emilyn AlejandroIntegrative Biology and PhysiologyRoles of nutrient sensor proteins OGT and mTOR in pancreatic beta-cell function/development and placental regulation of fetal programming of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Grant AndersonPharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Dulth campusThyroid Hormone, Brain Development, Blood Brain Barrier, Drug Transport and Metabolism, Lipid Metabolism
Edgar A. ArriagaChemistryExplore and characterize organelles to elucidate the complexities of biological systems and to address current biomedical problems
David A. BernlohrBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsAdipose Biology and Obesity Linked Insulin Resistance, Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Function, Adipokine Biology and Insulin Resistance
Daniel R. BondMicrobiology and ImmunologyBacteria can transfer electrons to metals and other organisms, powering global geochemical cycles and industrial processes. Microbial electrochemical technologies harness this ability, using electrodes as electron sources and sinks for metabolism. We aim to discover conductive pathways at the core of this electron flow, and understand how organisms sense redox conditions that require different electrical pathways.
Christina CamellImmune-metabolic interactionsCellular and molecular changes within tissue resident immune cells that drive metabolic imapirments in tissues.
Erin CarlsonChemistry The Carlson lab is pursuing the discovery of the master regulators of bacterial growth and communication and ultimately, the identification of new antibiotics through the application of diverse tools at the interface of chemistry and biology. 
Clay CarterPlant BiologyPlant-microbe and plant-animal interactions, protein trafficking in plant cells
Yue ChenBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsFunctional proteomics and protein posttranslational modification networks in diseases.
Benjamin ClarkeBiomedical Sciences at the Duluth campusImmunoendocrinology, with an emphasis on the role of neuroendocrine peptide hormones as autocrine regulators of immune function
Robert CormierBiomedical Sciences at the Duluth campusIdentification and characterization of susceptibility genes for colorectal cancer including analysis of both human cancer tissues and mouse models of colorectal cancer (CRC)
Naomi CourtemancheMolecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, and GeneticsStructure, assembly and dynamics of actin-based cytoskeletal network
Peter CrawfordBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsObesity and cardiovascular disease are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Our research focuses on the interplay between intermediary metabolism and these disease processes. 
Scott Dehm
Laboratory Medicine and PathologyRole of the androgen receptor (AR) and alterations in AR signaling in prostate cancer development and progression
Lester R. DrewesBiomedical Sciences at the Duluth campusMolecular characterization of the blood-brain barrier/neurovascular unit with an emphasis on nutrient and drug transport in health and disease. 
Mikael EliasBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsCellular phosphate uptake and bacterial virulence, chemical bonds to phenotypes, Molecular engineering of enzymes and biotechnological applications
Aaron EngelhartMolecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, and GeneticsThe research in the Engelhart laboratory is directed towards better understanding nucleic acid folding and function in order to advance two broad themes: 1) the development of novel nucleic acid-based imaging, analytical, and diagnostic technologies and 2) the elucidation of unanticipated roles for nucleic acids in vivo.
James M. ErvastiBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsDefine the function of dystrophin in striated muscle to understand how its absence or abnormality leads to the pathologies observed in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies
Tanya FreedmanPharmacologyImmune-cell signaling, including kinase-mediated feedback regulation of macrophages and other myeloid cells
Michael FreemanBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsNatural product biosynthesis, Microbial genetics, Targeted metagenomics
Melissa GardnerGenetics, Cell Biology, and DevelopmentBiophysical Studies of Mitotic Microtubule Dynamics and Spindle Function
Aaron GoldstrohmBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsPrinciples and mechanisms that control expression of genes
Wendy Gordon
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsHow cell surface receptors convert signals from extracellular stimuli like mechanical force into a biological response
Jeffrey GralnickMicrobiologyUnderstanding the physiology ofShewanella, a species of gram-negative bacteria found throughout the world in aquatic environments
Timothy J. GriffinBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsDevelopment and application of mass spectrometry-based tools to study proteins and proteomes
Susan HafensteinBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsAn expert in cryoEM, utilizing local reconstruction approaches to solve atomic resolution maps of viruses
Daniel HarkiMedicinal ChemistryDesign, synthesis and biophysical characterization of small molecules that influence cellular function
Thomas HaysGenetics, Cell Biology, and DevelopmentApplying genetic, molecular and biochemical approaches in Drosophila to study the molecular regulation of motor proteins and intercellular transport
Anne HinderliterChemistry and Biochemistry at the Duluth campusMembrane-localized phenomena
Fumiaki KatagiriPlant BiologyPlant immune network
Romas J. KazlauskasBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsProtein engineering for biocatalysis
Do-Hyung KimBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsBiological networks that coordinate metabolism and growth
Ryan A. LangloisMicrobiology and ImmunologyImmunity to influenza virus infections
Michael LathamBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsOur research program focuses on understanding the interplay of protein structure, dynamics, and function, particularly in large macromolecular assemblies. Our current emphasis is the characterization of an essential protein complex that recognizes double-strand breaks in our DNA.
Nicholas LevinsonPharmacologyHow protein-protein interactions induce conformational changes at a distance, a phenomenon termed allostery
Fang LiVeterinary and Biomedical SciencesStructural and molecular basis of human diseases including virus infections and cancer
Hinh LyVeterinary and Biomedical SciencesMolecular mechanisms of Lassa fever virus replication and host immune suppression
Louis ManskyMicrobiology and ImmunologyCell and molecular biology of HIV and HTLV; Antiviral drug target identification; Antiviral drug resistance; HIV genetic variation, evolution and population genetics; Viral quasispecies; Virus assembly; Evolution of emerging viruses; Paleovirology
Douglas MashekBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsCharacterizing the alterations in metabolism that define diseases such as fatty liver disease and Type 2 Diabetes
Kevin H. MayoBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsStructural biology is aimed at understanding cell adhesion at the molecular level where protein-protein and protein-carbohydrate interactions ae critical
Luiza MendonçaBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsMy research interests lie at the intersection of virology, structural biology and cellular biology. In particular, I am an expert in RNA viruses (such as HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2), cryoelectron microscopy and tomography (cryoEM/ET), cellular cryoET, correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) and multimodal imaging approaches.
Joseph M. MetzgerIntegrative Biology and PhysiologyIntegrative systems biology of cardiovascular function; Cardiac gene therapy; Transgenic models of heart disease; Molecular mechanisms of sarcomere function; Human iPS cell cardiac myocytes
Sharon E. MurphyBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsMetabolism of nicotine and nitrosamines, characterize the enzymes involved in nicotine metabolism
Chad MyersComputer Science and EngineeringBioinformatics and Computational Biology
Hai Dang NguyenPharmacologyOur lab focuses on two main areas: 1) developing tools and assays to dissect the crosstalk between RNA biology and DNA damage response in normal and cancer cells, and 2) developing new therapeutic strategies to target cancers harboring RNA splicing factor mutations.
Laura NiedernhoferBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsMy research is focused on discovering fundamental mechanisms that drive aging and age-related diseases. In particular, we are interested in determining how spontaneous endogenous DNA damage contributes to aging. We use transgenic mice, primary cells and patients with rare genome instability disorders to study senescence and aging.
Laurie ParkerBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsAssay development for post-translational modifications (PTMs), with a focus on protein phosphorylation by tyrosine kinases
William C. PomerantzChemistryResearch in our group focuses on modulating protein-protein interactions through the use of small molecules and bio-inspired peptide scaffolds. By controlling such processes using synthetic molecules that we make in the laboratory, we seek to develop new chemical probes for understanding the underlying biology of protein-protein interactions in disease and ultimately novel therapeutics. 
Juan Carlos Rivera-MuliaBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsResearch in our lab is focused in understanding the mechanisms that control the genome organization and function during development, as well as their alterations in human diseases. We are exploiting differentiation protocols of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from patients to model disease progression and genomic technologies to characterize nuclear organization
Paul RobbinsBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics 
Daniel SchmidtGenetics, Cell Biology, and DevelopmentInvents and applies protein engineering technologies to study fundamental functional principles of natural and artificial living systems at a cellular level
Claudia Schmidt-DannertBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics


Synthetic biology, biosynthetic pathway/enzyme engineering and discovery, cell-free biosynthesis/biocatalysis, design of protein-based nanoarchitectures.

Burckhard SeeligBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsSynthetic biology – artificial proteins – origin of life: We generate novel enzymes for synthetic biology and biomedical applications. We study the origin and evolution of functional proteins. We investigate the history of the genetic code.
Michael SheedloPharmacologyResearch in the Sheedlo lab is focused on defining the mechanisms that govern interactions at the host-pathogen interface. Specifically, we are interested in using structural biology (cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography) to obtain a framework that we can then probe in a physiologically relevant context.
Sivaraj (Shiv) SivaramakrishnanGenetics, Cell Biology, and DevelopmentOur lab at the University of Minnesota is focused on engineering protein interactions in vitro, in live cells, and in whole organisms, in order to bridge the gap between our structural understanding of proteins and their emergent cellular function.
Michael SmanskiBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsNatural products discovery in the post-genomics era, Precision engineering of diverse bacterial species
David D. ThomasBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsFundamental molecular motions and interactions that are responsible for cellular movement, to determine the molecular bases of muscle disorders, and to devise novel therapies based on these discoveries
Stefani ThomasLaboratory Medicine and PathologyThe Thomas lab applies mass spectrometry-based proteomics methods to elucidate the biology of ovarian cancer. Protein function is studied in the context of altered pathways that contribute to disease pathogenesis and treatment response
Margaret TitusGenetics, Cell Biology, and DevelopmentUnderstand how the actin cytoskeleton and its associated motors, myosins, and actin binding proteins that link the cytoskeleton to adhesion receptors are used to generate amoeboid motility and how cells interpret extracellular cues to move directionally
Natalia TretyakovaMedicinal ChemistryInvestigate the structural basis for carcinogenic and anticancer activity of DNA- and protein-modifying agents
Thu TruongBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsMy laboratory research is focused in the areas of cancer stem cells and cancer metabolism. Our current objectives are focused on defining how steroid receptors (e.g., estrogen receptor [ER], progesterone receptor [PR]) and their associated co-activators mediate the survival and expansion of breast CSCs with emphasis on altered signaling pathways and metabolic reprogramming.
Lawrence P. WackettBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsEnzyme transformations for biotechnological applications
Kendall B. WallaceBiomedical Sciences at the Duluth campusMechanisms by which foreign chemicals, including drugs and industrial and environmental pollutants, interfere with mitochondrial metabolism and genetics to bring about various metabolic diseases
Carrie M. WilmotBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsUnderstand the mechanisms of post-translational modification required for protein enzyme activity
Jeongsik YongBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsFunction of RNA-binding proteins and non-coding RNAs in post transcriptional gene regulation mechanisms
Lei ZhangBiochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsThe general interest of the Zhang Laboratory focuses on genome and epigenome instability in aging and longevity applying single-cell multi-omics technologies.