MOLECULAR, CELLULAR, DEVELOPMENTAL, AND COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY

Faculty Members and Research

capelluto

Daniel Capelluto
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Biochemistry and structural biology of protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions; protein domains engaged in Wnt signaling, protein domains that control blood clotting, multimodular proteins that control inflammation processes, lipid-binding proteins that mediate entry of oomycetes in plant cells

Jing Chen

Jing Chen
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

We build mathematical models to study cell biology, especially how spatial, temporal and mechanical regulations couple with biochemical signals to control cellular functions. We typically work in close collaboration with experimental groups. Current research projects in the lab include: Circadian gene expression, bacterial motility, and pattern formation in bacterial colony

Daniela Cimini

Daniela Cimini
Professor of Biological Sciences

The role of mechanics and dynamics of mitotic apparatus components in ensuring  accurate chromosome segregation during cell division; causes and consequences of aneuploidy (abnormal chromosome numbers) in normal and cancer cells.

     

Finkielstein

Carla Finkielstein
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Cell, molecular, and structural biology, regulation of cell division process, molecular basis for breast cancer incidence; circadian control of cell proliferation, tumor resistance to radiation therapies, regulation of gene expression by circadian proteins, control of metastatic processes

Michael Fos

Michael Fox

Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC; Director, Center for Neurobiology Research; Professor, Biological Sciences

Biological Machinery; Developmental Disorders; Synaptic Function; Synaptic Plasticity; Visual System

Friedlander

Michael Friedlander
Executive Director, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC; Vice President for Health Sciences and Technology, Virginia Tech; Senior Dean for Research, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine; Professor of Biological Sciences, College of Science, Virginia Tech; Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, College of Engineering, Virginia Tech; Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Biological Machinery; Synaptic Function; Synaptic Plasticity

Hauf

Silke Hauf
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

The more complex a machine is - the more likely it is to break, simply because there are more potential breaking points. Yet, cells are highly complex entities and are extremely robust. We want to understand the underlying basis: what makes biological systems reliable? Which design principles are used? Do they resemble the principles that humans use in engineering?  To study these questions, we look at cell division, a process that is essential for life. When cells divide, a multitude of changes need to happen in a very short timeframe, and any error can be fatal. Hence, reliability is crucial. We use fission yeast in our experiments to identify general principles that have made cells successful in populating the earth for the past 3.5 billion years. 

Shihoko Kojima

Shihoko Kojima
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Circadian rhythmicity is a fundamental aspect of temporal organization in essentially every cell in the body, and modulates much of physiology, biochemistry, and behavior. In order to maintain daily cycles, cell-autonomous circadian oscillators drive rhythmic expression of approximately 5-10% of mRNAs to ultimately drive a wide range of rhythmic biological processes. We are interested in understanding 1) how the circadian clock regulates the rhythms of thousands of mRNAs and proteins to regulate rhythmic physiology and behavior. We use the mouse as an animal model system and integrate diverse approaches - genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, neuroscience, and molecular/cellular biology - to answer these questions.

lazar

Iulia Lazar
Professor of Biological Sciences

Cancer is a disease of the cell cycle that results in uncontrolled proliferation of cells. In our laboratory, we explore the molecular mechanisms of breast cancer cell cycle regulation by using holistic, mass spectrometry-based systems biology approaches. We develop proteomic technologies for investigating the pathways that enable cancer cells to bypass tightly regulated molecular checkpoints, proliferate in an unrestrained manner, metastasize and hijack normal biological function. Further, we capitalize on the power of our proteomic data to identify novel therapeutic drug-targets, and to develop microfluidic architectures for targeted detection of biomarkers indicative of disease.

Liwu Li

Liwu Li
Professor of Biological Sciences

Molecular pathways controlling innate immunity and inflammation; dynamic programming of innate immune leukocytes; pathogenesis of acute chronic inflammatory diseases such as sepsis and atherosclerosis

Florian Schubot

Florian Schubot
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Structural and biophysical basis for virulence mechanisms in bacterial pathogens; regulation of the type III secretion system and biofilm formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa; structural studies of chlamydial Inc proteins and their role in host invasion

Smyth

Jamie Smyth
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences / FBRI at VTC / VTCSOM

The heart sets the pace.  If it's too quick or two slow, it's catastrophic for the rest of the body. Our lab is researching heart failure and the development of effective anti-arrhythmic treatments.

Tholl

Dorothea Tholl
Professor of Biological Sciences

The Tholl Lab employs biochemical, molecular, and genomic tools to study the biosynthesis of plant chemical defenses, especially volatile compounds, and explores their physiology and ecological significance in above- and below-ground plant tissues. Current research includes: 1) Biochemistry and molecular biology of volatile compounds as messengers in above-ground plant-organism interactions; 2) Metabolic organization and function of chemical defenses in plant roots.

James Tokuhisa

Jim Tokuhisa
Assistant Professor of Practice, Biological Sciences

Biochemical and molecular mechanisms of chemical defense fitness in higher plants

John Tyson

John Tyson
University Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences

Cell cycle regulation in budding yeast; estrogen responsiveness in breast cancer cells; innate immune responses; stochastic modeling of protein regulatory networks; cell division control in alpha-proteobacteria

Brenda S. J. Winkel

Brenda S.J. Winkel
Professor of Biological Sciences

Characterization of the architecture and localization of the Arabidopsis flavonoid enzyme complex using a variety of molecular, biochemical, and cell biological techniques