Biological Sciences

Learn About Our Faculty's Research Interests:

Please click on a faculty member name below to go directly to their profile page for contact information, publications and more.

Faculty Member

Area of Research:

Dr. Avidor-Reiss

Dr. Tomer Avidor-Reiss

Centriole & Cilia in Fertility in Development
Many cases of infertility and miscarriages remain unexplainable and are poorly understood. Our lab aims to identify a mechanism that contributes to these diseases by discovering the role of paternal centrioles in fertility and embryonic development. We perform basic and pre-clinical studies in fruit flies, bovines, rabbits and humans.

Dr. Bamber

Dr. Bruce Bamber
Associate Professor

Molecular Neuroscience
My lab studies how sensory perception leads to action. At its simplest, impulses from sensory neurons directly stimulate motor neurons, leading to reflexive responses. By relating network activity patterns to behavioral outcomes, we will generate an in-depth understanding of sensory motor processing in the simple C. elegans model which will help generate insightful hypotheses to test in morecomplex vertebrate brains.

Dr. Chadee

Dr. Deborah Chadee

Cell Biology/Signal Transduction
Research in the Chadee Lab is focused on understanding how a group of proteins called the Mixed Lineage Kinases (MLKs) are activated by extracellular stimuli and regulate MAPK cell signaling pathways to control biological responses. We are particularly interested in how the MLKs and MAPK signaling pathways are deregulated in ovarian and colon cancer cells to promote cell proliferation, invasion and survival.

Dr. Chen

Dr. Qian Chen

Actin Cytoskeleton and Cell Division
Our lab studies cell division, one of the most essential biological processes. We are particularly interested in the last step of cell division called cytokinesis when two daughter cells separate. Using genetics and advanced microscopy, we are examining how the cellular force can drive cytokinesis.

Dr. Conti

Dr. Heather Conti
Associate Professor

Fungal Immunity
We study the immune response during infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans. We have identified the central role the proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin-17, plays in protection against this infection. We are interested in how different forms of immunosuppression, including radiotherapy and thrombocytopenia, affect the interleukin-17 pathway and lead to fungal susceptibility.

Dr. Crawley

Dr. Scott Crawley
Associate Professor

Cytoskeleton; Cell Biology; Biochemistry
In the Crawley Lab, we work on the actin cytoskeleton and the motor proteins that use this type of cytoskeleton as “roadways” to deliver cargo around the cell. We strive to understand how these motor proteins work, how they fail in human disease, and what we can do to fix them when they are broken.

Dr. Diakonova

Dr. Maria Diakonova

Signal Transduction and Actin-Dependent Cellular Funtions
Our lab investigates how signals, activated by hormones or growth factors, regulate cell cytoskeleton and how its disregulation may lead to human cancer. We want to know how particular proteins work together in response to two human hormones – prolactin and estrogen – to regulate cell motility, cell invasion and finally breast cancer cell metastasis.

Dr. Fan Dong

Dr. Fan Dong

Hematopoiesis and Hematopoietic Malignancies
Research in my lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms involved in the
regulation of blood cell development, including the roles of transcription factors and hematopoietic cytokines. Furthermore, we are interested in why disruption of these regulatory mechanisms may lead to the development of leukemia.

Dr. Garcia-Mata

Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata

Cell Adhesion, Migration, Invasion and Metastasis
The research in the Garcia-Mata Lab is centered in understanding the mechanisms of regulation of Rho family of small GTPases. Rho GTPases control many aspects of cell behavior, such as the organization of the cytoskeleton, cell migration, cell–cell and cell–matrix adhesion, cell cycle progression, gene expression and cell polarity. Our lab is particularly interested in the role of Rho GTPases during cell adhesion, migration and cell invasion in both normal and cancer cells.

Dr. Gray

Dr. John Gray

Plant Molecular Biology
My research foci is in the area of regulomics using the model crop Corn (Zea mays or maize). In particular, we are interested in dissecting the complex regulation of the phenylpropanoid pathway which is a key biosynthetic pathway in all plant species. The corn model system is important not only because it is the main economic crop in the State of Ohio and the U.S., but also around the world. In addition, for over 100 years corn has served as a model system for genetics with discoveries that translate to all eukaryotic species

Dr. Krishnamurthy

Dr. Malathi Krishnamurthy

Anti-Viral Innate Immunity and Inflammation
Our lab studies how host cells respond to viral infections by activating antiviral
signaling pathways. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of how the body defends itself is critical for the development of new treatment strategies against viruses. Our goal is to identify targets that are common to many viruses that can be used to combat a broad range of viral infections and improve human health.

Dr. Leisner

Dr. Scott Leisner

Cell/Molecular Biology/Virology
My lab is engaged in two research directions. The first research direction studies how fertilizing plants with the element silicon helps them to overcome stress and grow better. The second research direction examines how plant viruses construct factories involved in virus particle assembly, with the goal of disrupting the process and inhibiting infection.

Dr. Guofa Liu

Dr. Guofa Liu

Axon Guidance, Neuronal Migration and Signal Transduction
The formation of proper neural circuitry relies on appropriate migration, axon guidance and synapse formation during neural development and following injury. Defects in axon guidance and neuronal migration are implicated in a variety of brain disorders, such as lissencephaly, double cortex, periventricular heterotopia, epilepsy, autism, schizophrenia, dyslexia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. We are interested in studying the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal guidance with a goal of providing better therapeutic interventions for central nervous system disorders such as stroke and spinal cord injury.

Dr. Song-Tao Liu

Dr. Song-Tao Liu
Professor and Dept. Chair

Cell Proliferation and Differentiation
We are a basic cancer research lab with focus on the cell biology of mitosis. Mitosis is not simply a cell proliferation process. The connections with cell signaling pathways can help generate daughter cells of different fates through a single cell division. We are particularly interested in how cancer cells gain genetic, epigenetic and functional heterogeneity through interfering with mitosis.

Wei Niu

Dr. Wei Niu
Assistant Professor

Stem Cell, Neuroscience and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the most common and complex human brain disorders. Although our knowledge of the genetic mutations associated with ASD has advanced through the next generation sequencing (NGS), it remains poorly understood how a specific gene variant leads to ASD. Our lab employs stem cells, CRISPR/CAS9 genome editing, and human brain organoid models for testing gene variants that are highly associated with ASD. Our research fills a critical need to develop specific mechanistic-based therapeutic strategies to treat this brain disorder.

Dr. Shemshedini

Dr. Lirim Shemshedini

Cell/Molecular Biology/Transcription Regulation
My lab studies the role of androgen receptor (AR) in prostate cancer. One part of
this work has focused on proteins regulating the activity of AR and this led to the
identification AP-1 components and p53 as important regulators of AR activity.

Dr. Taylor

Dr. William Taylor
Professor and Dept. Associate Chair

Cell Cycle and Tumor Biology
We are focused on uncovering the mechanisms responsible for cancer formation, in particular, the errors that occur during mitotic cell division. Our research asks questions regarding two key mitotic proteins, Borealin and Sororin, revealing how they coordinate chromosome movement and separation during mitosis. We are also involved in a collaborative project in which we have developed a new class of molecules that we call CETZOLEs. These molecules kill certain types of cancer cells by inducing catastrophic
accumulation of reactive oxygen species and we are in the process of evaluating the potential of these compounds as novel chemotherapeutic agents.


For a full list of Faculty and Staff in the Department of Biological Sciences, please see our main contact page.
Last Updated: 5/1/24