People

(Includes Name, Title, Research Interests)
Molec & Integrative Physiology
Research Interests:
The major goal of our research program is to determine the molecular mechanisms by which oxygen sensing transcription factors regulate gastrointestinal homeostasis, inflammation and cancer. Cellular oxygen level is an important systemic signal that modulates metabolic activities and disease in the liver and intestine. Low cellular oxygen also referred to as hypoxia is observed in several gastrointestinal diseases such as non-alcoholic and alcoholic fatty liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease and liver and colon cancers.

 

Professor of Pediatrics and Henry and Mala Dorfman Family Professor
Accepting new students?
Yes
Research Interests:

hematology, zebrafish, genome editing, genetics, modifier genes

Madeline Shay
Joined CMB:
2021
Mentor:
Dr. Nicole Koropatkin
Research Interests:

Structural biology, microbiomes, host-microbe interactions

Ariella Shikanov
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Accepting new students?
Yes
Trainings and Identities
MORE Mentor Training, Implicit Bias Training, Bystander Training, Gender Bias or Discrimination Training
Research Interests:

tissue engineering, reproduction, biomaterials

Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Accepting new students?
Possibly
DEI Statement:
Dr. Singer has a strong commitment to DE&I and actively works to promote a culture of DE&I which includes ongoing training and discussions within lab and through PIBS.
Trainings and Identities:
MORE Mentor Training, Implicit Bias Training, Change It Up!, Intercultural Training, Bystander Training, Gender Bias or Discrimination Training
Research Interests:

Research in the Singer lab is focused on understanding the influence of diet-induced obesity on hematopoiesis and the generation of activated macrophages that lead to metabolic disease.Current projects in the laboratory focus on (1) sexually dimorphic inflammatory responses responses to high fat diet and (2) mechanisms driving hematopoietic stem cell myeloid differentiation after high fat diet exposure. This work in mouse models uses bone marrow transplantation, stem-cell analysis techniques, and metabolic profiling.

Janet Smith
Department of Biological Chemistry
Accepting new students?
Yes
Research Interests:

protein structure-function, antiviral proteins, virulence factors, biosynthetic enzymes

Benedict Lucchesi Professor of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Accepting new students?
No
DEI Statement:
I am the DEI Lead and Rackham Faculty Ally for the Department of Pharmacology. I am committed to fostering equity and inclusion in my laboratory.
Trainings and Identitites:
MORE Mentor Training, Implicit Bias Training, Allyship Training, Anti-Racism Training, Intercultural Training, Disability Awareness Training, Bystander Training, Gender Bias or Discrimination Training
Research Interests:

G protein and Receptor Mediated Signal Transduction

Soleimanpour, Arash (Scott)
Internal Medicine
Research Interests:

The Role of Mitophagy in Diabetes 

All forms of diabetes share the common etiology of insufficient insulin release from pancreatic islet beta cells to meet peripheral insulin demand. Beta cells require mitochondrial function in order to maintain proper glucose stimulated insulin release.  Our lab focuses on the molecular and genetic regulation of the mitochondrial life cycle, with a focus on mitophagy, a pathway to dispose of unhealthy or damaged mitochondria. Our studies also focus on novel genetic targets affecting the mitophagy pathway, which are also associated with diabetes in...

Kaitlyn Speckhart
Mentor:
Dr. Billy Tsai
Joined CMB:
2020
Undergraduate Institution:
Blackburn College
Research Interests:

Understanding the mechanisms of HPV cellular entry.

Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Associate Residency Program Director
Accepting new students?
Not until 2022
DEI Statement:
We welcome, support, and advocate for community members from diverse backgrounds including those from different socioeconomic backgrounds, races and ethnicities, gender identities and sexualities, religions, disabilities, familial obligations, and other personal identities.
Trainings and Identities
MORE Mentor Training, Implicit Bias Training, Allyship Training, Anti-Racism Training, Everyday Bias in Healthcare (through OHEI), Intercultural Training, Disability Awareness Training, Gender Bias or Discrimination Training
Research Interests:

translational research, breast cancer, radiosensitization

Department of Internal Medicine
Research Interests:
Stem cells, developmental biology

 

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Accepting new students?
No
DEI Statement:
Research has shown that diverse teams are more creative and productive. Our lab thus welcomes the opportunity to mentor students and postdocs with diverse backgrounds who share our enthusiasm for science in general and especially virology! We are dedicated to high quality research in an environment where we are respectful and kind to each other, and in which motivated people with diverse backgrounds can succeed!
Trainings and Identities:
MORE Mentor Training, Implicit Bias Training, Bystander Training, Gender Bias or Discrimination Training, ADVANCE STRIDE trainer
Research Interests:

Virology, pathogenesis

Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Accepting New Students?
No
DEI Statement
Science, like all human endeavors, can only benefit from a diverse range of perspectives and backgrounds. I support the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in scientific training and practice.
Trainings and Identities:
Implicit Bias Training, Anti-Racism Training, Bystander Training
Research Interests:

virus-cell interaction, positive-strand RNA viruses, flaviviruses, cell biology of RNA virus infeciton

Greg Tall
Pharmacology
Research Interests:

G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) activate heterotrimeric G proteins to control myriad signaling pathways and physiological processes. Our lab broadly studies these signaling circuits with current emphasis on delineating the function of adhesion GPCRs and Ric-8 proteins (folding chaperones for all G protein alpha subunits).  Adhesion GPCRs appear to couple extracellular shear force events to intracellular G protein signaling.  We use a wide range of approaches, including purified protein structure/function, cell culture models, GPCR drug screening, and transgenic animal models. 

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Accepting new students?
Yes
Research Interests:

Retroviruses RNA HIV epigenetics

Professor of Neurology
Accepting new students?
Yes
DEI Statement:
The Todd lab actively supports DEI efforts both within the lab itself and in conjunction with on-campus and in-community outreach events. As lab PI, I am firmly committed to building and supporting an inclusive environment that encourages participation in science by people of diverse backgrounds. Our lab has actively participated in many programs aimed at providing opportunities for junior scientists, including the UM- PREP program, UM-SMART program, UROP/SROP, and most recently by creating a direct support line from our lab discretionary funds to foster participation in the lab by summer students from HBCUs.
Trainings and Identities:
MORE Mentor Training, Implicit Bias Training, Anti-Racism Training, Gender Bias or Discrimination Training, member, DEI recruitment and retention committee, Neurology
Research Interests:

Nucleotide Repeat expansions; protein translation; neurodegeneration; RNA biology; ALS/FTD; Ataxia.

Biological Chemistry
Research Interests:

Our laboratory is interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying chromatin modifications that regulate gene expression and other chromatin-associated functions. Our studies are primarily focused on the enzymes that dynamically control the methylation status of lysines in histones and non-histone proteins using structural and biochemical approaches.

CMB Mentor:
Jillian Pearring
Joined CMB:
2017
Honors:
Rackham Merit Fellowship
Research Interests:

Studying the photoreceptor specific role of the transition zone in ciliogenesis and outer segment formation.

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Accepting new students?
Yes
Trainings and Identities:
Implicit Bias Training, Intercultural Training
Research Interests:

The Truttmann laboratory studies molecular chaperone functions in the context of proteostasis, aging and aging-associated diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Ataxias, etc.). We are particularly interested in the regulation and functions of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) family proteins (e.g. HSC70, Grp78/BiP, etc.). We employ numerous genetic, biochemical as well as behavioral approaches in conjunction with several model systems (tissue culture, Caenorhabditis elegans, mice, primary human tissue) to address our research questions in a holistic fashion.

Corydon Ford Collegiate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Accepting new students?
Yes
DEI Statement:
Anyone interested in our research are welcome!
Research Interests:

virus-host interactions, protein quality control, endoplasmic reticulum,

Mentor:
Peter Todd, M.D., Ph.D.
Joined CMB:
2019
Undergraduate Institution:
Tunghai University, Taiwan
Mentor:
Dr. Scott Leiser
Joined CMB:
2020
Undergraduate Institution:
Drexel University
Honors:
Senior Second Honors Award (Drexel University)
Service:
Representative of Rackham Student Government, Representative of Ann Arbor Student Advisory Committee
Research Interests:

Aging and stress response pathways

Mentor:
Dr. Matthias Truttmann
Joined CMB:
2019
Honors:
Nu Rho Psi - The National Honors Society in Neuroscience, former chapter president (2017); Nancy Robell Memorial Prize in Neuroscience (2018)
Research Interests:

Protein aggregation dynamics in C. elegans polyglutamine disease models; Behavior and function of physiological polyglutamine-containing proteins

Nicholas Vangos
Joined CMB:
2021
Mentor:
Dr. Michael Cianfrocco
Research Interests:

Investigating the mechanism behind recognition/regulation of modified microtubules using cryo-EM. 

Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology-Department of Pathology
Research Interests:

The aims of our research are to understand the core mechanisms that drive brain cancers such as diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas( DIPG) and ependymomas in children, as well as gliomas in adults. With this knowledge we aim to develop treatments and cures for these deadly tumors.We study the relationship between cancer metabolism and epigenetics in brain tumors. Oncogenes in primary brain tumors in adults and children reprogram uptake and metabolism of nutrients such as glucose and glutamine to modulate many cellular functions including epigenetics. We evaluate the effects of altered...

Dr. Kristen Verhey
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Accepting new students?
No
DEI Statement:
I believe that all differences – including field of study, lived experiences, culture, gender and ethnicity – widen our perspectives and help us to find the most innovative and impactful solutions to scientific questions. I am committed to an inclusive lab environment to which all their trainees may bring their whole selves.
Trainings and Identities
MORE Mentor Training, Implicit Bias Training, Bystander Training, Gender Bias or Discrimination Training
Research Interests:

cytoskeleton, intracellular trafficking, microtubules, kinesin motor proteins, cilia

Maria Virgillo
Mentor:
Kathy Collins
Joined CMB:
2018
Undergraduate Institution:
William Smith College
Alex Vizurraga
Mentor:
Gregory Tall
Joined CMB:
2018
Undergraduate Institution:
Michigan Technological University
Gunseli Wallace
MSTP Student
Joined CMB:
2020
Undergraduate Institution:
University of Michigan
Faculty Mentor:
Gabriel Corfas, Ph.D.
Research Interests:

The mechanisms of myelin targeting in the inner ear.

Carolyn Walsh
Student Services Representative
Dr. Nils Walter
Francis S. Collins Collegiate Professor of Chemistry, Biophysics & Biological Chemistry; Founding Co-Director, Center for RNA Biomedicine
Accepting new students?
Yes
DEI Statement:
As long-time Rackham Diversity Ally in Chemistry, I built an understanding of the unique challenges that students from diverse backgrounds encounter during graduate school, before and beyond. A preview program I implemented has helped expand the diversity of the Chemistry graduate program. Still, more needs to be done, and I stand ready to help.
Trainings and Identities:
MORE Mentor Training, Implicit Bias Training, Allyship Training, Intercultural Training, Bystander Training
Research Interests:

The Walter group studies the cellular and molecular biology of ubiquitous non-coding RNAs, composing perhaps 90% of the human genome and broadly responsible for the regulation of gene expression, by mechanistic single molecule and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy tools inside and outside of live cells. Applications of this leading-edge, highly interdisciplinary work include the identification and optimization of novel RNA-targeting drugs for gene therapy and of RNA and DNA as diagnostic biomarkers.

Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Accepting New Students?
Yes
Research Interests:

Golgi biogenesis, function, and defects in diseases

Associate Director of Cardiac Surgery
Accepting new students?
Yes
DEI Statement:
We, in the Department of Cardiac Surgery, are committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment with regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and religious beliefs. We aim to create a supportive environment regardless of background and firmly believe our Department is stronger with this welcoming, accepting view.
Trainings and Identities:
MORE Mentor Training, Everyday Bias in Healthcare (through OHEI), Department DEI committee member; NIH and AHA DEI training
Research Interests:

Heart regeneration using a combination of stem cells, small molecules, bioengineering, and large animal models.

Lois Weisman
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Accepting new students?
Yes
DEI Statement:
Throughout my career I have strived to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. While these ideas have just begun to be discussed broadly, I have always sought to provide support to people who want to develop as scientists. I have served as the Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) Faculty Ally for Diversity. I currently serve on the NGP Diversity committee and am a member of the NGP Climate task force. I also served on the Academic Affairs Diversity Planning Group (AADPG) for the LSI, and served on the LSI DEI Strategic Planning Team. In addition to these broad efforts, I have also worked to increase the diversity of conferences that I have organized. As the chair of the 2018 Lysosomes and Endocytosis Gordon Conference, I succeeded in greatly increasing gender equity and made inroads in increasing the number of speakers from diverse backgrounds. In my own laboratory, I have sought out opportunities to mentor postdoctoral fellows, graduate, undergraduate and high school students from diverse backgrounds. Moving forward, I am continuing to work at the local and national level to increase diversity.
Research Interests:

We seek to understand essential cellular processes — using cultured neurons, cell lines and yeast — in order to shed new light on neurodegeneration, cancer and other diseases.

Internal Medicine
Research Interests:

Normal as well as neoplastic cell populations remodel the extracellular matrix by regulating the expression of complex gene programs that control cell motility, proteolytic activity, proliferation and morphogenesis. However, the identity of the upstream and downstream gene products that regulate these activities in normal or pathologic states remain unclear, especially within the context of the 3-dimensional matrix. Current efforts focus on identifying the regulation of transcription factors that control epithelial-mesenchymal transitions in carcinomatous states as well as the genetic...

Periodontics and Oral Medicine
Research Interests:

Our lab profiles the mechanisms by which multi-nucleated osteoclasts stimulate osteoblastic bone formation in order to identify novel therapeutic targets to promote bone formation in aging and cancer-induced bone disease. We use cell culture and animal models to dissect out osteo-immunology signaling pathways differentially regulated in osteoclast resorption and stimulation of bone formation. We are working across disciplines (engineering, materials science, pharmacy, medicine) to develop novel tools to study resorption and single cell osteoclast dynamics.

Associate Professor of Cardiac Surgery
Accepting new students?
No
DEI Statement:
I welcome a diverse workplace in my laboratory. I believe inclusion of diversity is critical for the success and advancement of research and education at the University of Michigan. Members of my laboratory are encouraged to pursue research and educational opportunities to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
Research Interests:

Cardiac myocyte; Sarcomere; Post-translational Modifications; Protein kinase C

Internal Medicine
Research Interests:
Effects of extracellular matrix components on cell growth and differentiation. Cancer stem cells.

 

Jonathan Williams
Joined CMB:
2021
Mentor:
Dr. Jayakrishnan Nandakumar
Research Interests:

meiosis, protein structure

Tom Wilson
Professor of Pathology; Faculty Director, Advanced Genomics Core
Accepting new students?
No
DEI Statement:
We actively encourage research training by individuals of all backgrounds. We recently helped transition people with lesser or older experience to become active in research, and had successful graduates move on to diverse roles with their degree. Throughout, we insist on rigorous academic training in your degree program as the foundation for success.
Research Interests:

DNA repair, mutagenesis, transcription, genomics, bioinformatics

CMB Faculty - Christiane Wobus, PhD
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Accepting new students?
Yes
DEI Statement:
I am committed to building an equitable and inclusive work environment where cultural diversity is celebrated and valued. I believe that every member on our team makes important contributions that enrich and improve the scientific discoveries in our lab.
Trainings and Identities:
MORE Mentor Training, Bystander Training, Immigrant-Identified
Research Interests:

virus-host interactions in the intestine, norovirus, astrovirus, human intestinal organoids

Associate Professor of Dermatology
Accepting new students?
Yes
Research Interests:

cancer biology, stem cell biology, skin, epithelial tissue

Josephine Wu
Joined CMB:
2021
Mentor:
Dr. Sami Barmada
Undergraduate Institution:
University of Maryland, College Park
Research Interests:

Mechanism of neurodegeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Assistant Professor of Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Accepting new students?
Yes
Research Interests:

diabetes, obesity, thermogenic fat, alcoholic liver disease

Professor of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
Research Interests:

The current research in our laboratory is focused on ion channels in the lysosome and  their roles in the pathogenesis  of lysosome storage diseases, metabolic diseases, and common neurodegenerative diseases.  We use an integrative approach with state-of-art techniques including molecular biology, bioinformatics, biochemistry, immunochemistry, electrophysiology, fluorescence imaging, spinning-disk confocal microscopy,  mouse genetics, and genome editing technologies. 

Professor of Life Sciences Institute; Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Accepting new students?
Yes
Research Interests:

Neuroscience; Sensory Biology; Aging; Behavior; Neural Circuits

Biological Chemistry
Research Interests:

We study the molecular mechanisms regarding protein folding and protein trafficking within eukaryotic cells.

Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Accepting new students?
Yes
Trainings and Identities:
Immigrant scientist
Research Interests:

Neuroscience, Cell Biology, Live imaging, Circadian Rhythms, Genome Organization

Bing Ye
Burton L. Baker Professor of the Life Sciences, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Accepting new students?
Yes
DEI Statement:
I am committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, and providing safe and supportive research environments. My lab has regular meetings for discussing DEI, particularly on what we can do to make our lab a welcoming and nurturing environment in which everyone feels encouraged to speak out their thoughts.
Trainings and Identities:
MORE Mentor Training, Implicit Bias Training, Anti-Racism Training
Research Interests:

Neuron development, neural circuits, neurological disorders, Down syndrome, Drosophila and mice

Associate Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Accepting new students?
Yes
DEI Statement:
I firmly believe the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in my laboratory. I believe that not only my students and research staff have a job, but they have the same ability to get promoted, to contribute and have the same impact — in the world and in the workplace — as their peers.”
Trainings and Identities:
MORE Mentor Training, CMB DEI Month Book Club, Bystander Training, Self-Identified: Female, Working Mother
Research Interests:

Hepatic lipid metabolism; Circadian rhythm; post-translational modifications; Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease

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