Program Faculty/Dissertation Advisors

The PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences provides students with access to renowned researchers who will provide state-of-the-art graduate training in their fields of expertise and develop students into world-class researchers capable of ascertaining employment in competitive job markets.

Alexander Agoulnik, Ph.D.
Director, Graduate Program, Professor, Department of Human and Molecular Genetics
Research interests: Germ cell biology, male and female reproductive tract development, tumorigenesis, and the roles played by peptide and steroid hormones in these processes

Karen Abbott, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Translational Medicine
Research interests:  Translational glycoscience and glycoproteomics; biomarker discovery

Irina Agoulnik, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Human and Molecular Genetics
Research interests: Tumor progression and metastasis

Charles Dimitroff, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Translational Medicine
Research Interests: Understanding how sugars or ‘glycans’ regulate immune and cancer cell functions with the goal of developing new approaches to boost the immune system to fight diseases and to treat cancer progression

Nazira El-Hage, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Immunology
Research Interests: Mechanisms by which HIV and drug abuse or drug pharmacotherapy cause toxicity and injury to the central nervous system leading to neurological dysfunction and neuro-AIDS; interactive effects of Hepatitis C/HIV co-infection on host immune response and cell function

Nagesh Kolishetti, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology and Nano-Medicine
Research interests: Polymer science and nano-medicine with applications in cancer and HIV/AIDS

Madepalli K. Lakshmana, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, 
Department of Immunology and Nano-Medicine
Research interests: Alzheimer's disease and regenerative medicine.  Target complex pathways that are able to simultaneously modulate the multiple processes of neurodegenerative cascade triggering a synergistic response for a viable therapeutic approach. Since microglia activation-induced neuroinflammation or loss of synapses correlates better with cognitive dysfunction in AD than Aβ or plaque load, multifactorial and heterogeneous diseases like AD require the simultaneous modulation of multiple targets for curative treatment.

Kalai Mathee, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Human and Molecular Genetics
Research interests: Bacterial pathogenicity; bioinformatics; comparative genomics; microbiome and metagenomic profiling

Madhavan Nair, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Department of Immunology
Research interests: Roles of drugs of abuses (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, morphine, methamphetamine) on neuro-AIDS; nanotechnological approaches for the delivery of drugs to the brain

Andrea D. Raymond, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Immunology and Nano-Medicine
Research Interests: Studying the initiation and regulation of anti-viral immunity; understanding molecular mechanism HIV/AIDS and substance abuse, specifically opiates and cocaine; investigating the role of HIV Negative factor(Nef) and Exosomal Extracellular Vesicles(xEVs) in HIV-associated neuropathology/neurocognitive impairment(NCI); identifying xEV-based biosignatures/biomarkers of NCI HIV-associated NCI and cancers; develop a personalized Nanomedicine approach to treat HIV neuropathology/AIDS-associated cancers using an xEV-based nanotherapeutic

Barry P. Rosen, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Department of Cellular Biology and Pharmacology
Research interests: Mechanisms of arsenic detoxification and resistance; genetically engineering plants to improve food safety and drinking water quality; rational design of drugs to treat drug-resistant microbes and cancer cells

Robert Sackstein, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Translational Medicine
Research Interests: Stem cell-based "regenerative" medicine, immunology, and glycobiology

Hoshang Unwalla, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Immunology
Research interests: Mucociliary dysfunction in smokers and HIV patients

Masafumi Yoshinaga, D.Sc
Assistant Professor, Department of Cellular Biology and Pharmacology
Research Interests: Understand the biotransformation of environmental organoarsenicals