Creating a community of game-changers
is at the center of our department, exhibited not only in our expert faculty
but our future expert students.
- Andrew Koppisch
- Narendiran Rajasekaran:
My lab will study the
connection between inflammation and cancer to develop novel immunotherapies
against cancer. Inflammation is central to our fight against pathogens, but if
not under control the resulting chronic inflammation can contribute to
autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. A link between chronic
inflammation and cancer has long been suspected with studies showing that
susceptibility to cancer increases when tissues are chronically inflamed and
many solid tumors contain immune cells that are important in inflammation. Patients with
rheumatoid arthritis (RA), have a high risk of death from cancer - at least
double the risk of the general population. My lab will use the K/BxN mice a murine model
of rheumatoid arthritis and the mouse models of breast cancer and prostate
cancer to study the role chronic inflammation during arthritis on tumor growth,
migration and invasion. My lab is particularly interested in studying the role
of innate immune players like monocytes in this setting of autoimmunity and
cancer. In addition, my lab is interested in studying the interactions of
innate immune cells with the Extracellular Matrix (ECM) components in the tumor
microenvironment and its effect on their functions. Results from these studies
will lead to novel immunotherapies to treat cancer. My lab will use in-vivo
mouse models of autoimmunity and cancer, flow cytometry and in-vitro immunological
- Diane Stearns: Dr. Stearns is interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying how metals cause DNA damage and mutations that may lead to cancer. Stearns Lab website
- Archana Varadaraj: Molecular biochemistry of cancer.
is interested in Fibrillogenesis
in renal and cancer cell hypoxia and fibrosis. One area of interest in the
lab is to investigate the interplay between Fibronectin (FN) and VHL
in hypoxia. The VHL (Von Hippel Lindau) protein is a tumor suppressor that is either
mutated or lost in renal cancers. Another area of interest is the investigation
of VHL-mediated fibrosis resolution.
- Brandon Cruickshank
- Jennifer Duis: Dr. Duis is interested in exploring students' understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and developing valid and reliable tests to assess these understandings. She is also interested in curriculum improvement through systematic development of goals, implementation of research based practices, and assessment of the outcomes from these changes.
- Cindy Browder: Dr. Browder is interested in new approaches to the preparation of compounds of medicinal interest, and application of organic chemistry to the development of materials for alternate energy systems. Browder Group website
- Marin Robinson: Dr. Robinson is interested in the composition and transport of atmospheric particulate matter in forest fires and windblown dust.
Ciarra Greene, chemistry major – Ciarra led a three-year research study aiming to alleviate the harmful effects of uranium mines on the nearby Navajo reservation.