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MTSP Faculty

Participating Faculty

Faculty Member, 
Primary Department Affiliation

Research Interests



Carolyn Adler, Molecular Medicine

The Adler lab investigates stem cell biology in the context of regeneration and responses to radiation stress. We study the abundant stem cells that drive limitless regeneration in planarian flatworms. We use molecular, transcriptomic, and imaging approaches to evaluate stem cell behaviors.


Hector Aguilar-Carreno, Microbiology & Immunology

Entry, egress, and interactions of enveloped viruses with host cells, with emphasis on emerging paramyxoviruses, vaccine and antiviral strategies

Avery August, Microbiology & Immunology

Immunity/host; regulation of T-cell activation, development and function; T-cell differentiation; mast cell function and eosinophil function
Parminder Basran      

Parminder Basran, Clinical Sciences

My lab has 3 main areas of focus in Veterinary Medicine: Radiation Dosimetry and Treatment Planning; Medical Image Processing and Analysis; and Medical Physics Training and Education. I have keen interests in machine learning methods in radiation oncology, radiomics, and stereotactic ablative radiation therapies and hypo-fractionation.

Ilana Brito, Biomedical Engineering

Pioneering experimental and computational methods to explore host-microbiome interactions as it pertains to autoimmune disease and cancer, specifically with respect to direct protein-mediated interactions; Probing host-microbiome systems to understand the triggers of horizontal gene transfer and antibiotic resistance.

Jonathan Butcher, Biomedical Engineering

Mechanobiology of development; developmental signaling reactivation in adult cardiovascular diseases; tissue engineering and regeneration

Casey Cazer, Clinical Sciences

My research interests are broadly in the epidemiology of zoonotic diseases, evidence-based medicine, and One-Health. Recently, I have been developing methods to improve antimicrobial resistance surveillance and track multidrug resistance. I use classical statistical methods, mathematical modeling, and machine learning to answer research questions. 

Marta Castelhano, Clinical Sciences

Biospecimen science and quality impact on biomedical research. Mapping the genes that cause or contribute to inherited diseases and traits in domestic animals.


Richard Cerione, Molecular Medicine

Signal transduction growth factor receptors; protein structure; drug design and chemical biology; signaling cues that direct cell proliferation, differentiation and development


Jonathan Cheetham, Clinical Sciences

Peripheral nerve repair. Specifically, understanding the relationship between the immune response to nerve injury and recovery and modulating the immune response to improve functional outcome after injury. Restoring laryngeal function using regenerative medicine techniques combined with reinnervation.

Susan Daniel, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Dr. Daniel leads a research group of biomolecular engineers working to understand cell membrane functions and the biological processes that happen within them. Her group pioneered the use of “cell-free” biomembrane platforms for re-creating cellular processes on chip. Much of the work they do has impact in human health or advancing biotechnologies for the good of humankind.

Charles Danko, Biomedical Sciences

Medical genetics and genomics and cancer biology research. How do cells read and interpret DNA to regulate life? Understanding how evolution determines human and animal differences and how cancer cells use genes differently. 

Iwijn De Vlaminck, Biomedical Engineering

The mission of the De Vlaminck lab is to develop precision medicine technologies, including liquid biopsy and spatial transcriptomics technologies, to study and diagnose infectious, immune and microbiome-associated disease. Our research brings approaches from engineering, biophysics, and computational biology to genomics and medicine.


Michelle Delco, Clinical Sciences

Dr. Delco's research aims to understand how joint injury leads to arthritis in horses and humans. Specifically, she is investigating mitochondria, the energy-producing centers of the cell, as a link between cartilage trauma and osteoarthritis. The goal of her research is to develop new strategies to improve healing and prevent irreversigle joint disease and chronic pain in equine and human athlete who suffer orthopedic injuries. 
DeLisa Matthew DeLisa, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering The DeLisa laboratory is working to address this need by bridging fundamental biological and chemical concepts with new tools for interrogating and manipulating biological machinery directly in living cells. A major goal of the DeLisa group is to engineer the protein machinery of simple bacteria for solving complex problems in biology and medicine. They focus on the molecular machines of protein biosynthesis as both a target for understanding and reprogramming cellular function and as a toolbox for the creation of therapeutically and industrially relevant molecules. 
Diego Diel

Diego Diel, Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

Dr. Diel’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying virus-host interactions, more specifically on the mechanisms underlying viral immune evasion that contribute to virus virulence and disease pathogenesis. His lab focuses on emerging viral diseases of animal and human health relevance and involves studies on disease pathogenesis, infection immunity, and the mechanisms underlying virus host range, and species susceptibility to infection. His goal in studying virus-host interactions is to translate the basic knowledge generated with this research into improved vaccines and/or vaccine vectors for disease prevention and control.


Anushka Dongre, Biomedical Sciences Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition as a driver of resistance to anti-tumor immunity 

Julia Finkelstein, Nutritional Science

To elucidate the role of iron, vitamin B12, and folate in the etiology of anemia and adverse pregnancy outcomes, and inform the development of interventions to improve the health of mothers and young children

Kathryn Fiorella, Public and Ecosystem Health

Planetary Health/One Health, fisheries, livelihoods, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, environmental change

Deborah Fowell, Microbiology & Immunology

Spatiotemporal regulation of T cell immunity at tissues sites of infection and inflammation.
goodman Laura Goodman, Public & Ecosystem Heatlh

Population and clinical studies; Pathogen discovery and surveillance, with focus areas on tick-borne disease and antimicrobial resistance; exploring the underlying mechanisms of infectious disease emergence and identifying biomarkers to detect and prevent emerging threats to humans and animals
Fenghua Hu

Fenghua Hu, Molecular Biology & Genetics

The Hu lab is interested in investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurodegeneration, particularly how the misregulation of lysosomal activities affects the function of neurons and glial cells in frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. We hope that our studies will not only enhance our understanding of how our brain functions, but also provide insight into developing novel therapeutics to treat neurodegenerative diseases.


Kelly Hume, Clinical Sciences

I am a veterinary medical oncologist with a special interest in molecular oncology and a long-term career goal of establishing an independent research program in cancer genetics. My research has focused on determining roles for the essential DNA damage checkpoint protein Hus1 in tumor suppression and physiological DNA damage responses. I have also worked collaboratively with the Webb Laboratory in the School of Applied and Engineering Physics to develop multiphoton microscopy as a diagnostic tool for lung cancer.  Ultimately, I want to determine how the genetics of a given tumor can be used to best manipulate therapeutic combinations. 

Renata  Ivanek, Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

Epidemiology and ecology of infectious and foodborne diseases; mathematical modeling; spatial epidemiology; risk assessment; public health

Toshi Kawate, Molecular Medicine

Extracellular signaling plays a central role in cell-to-cell communication for all multicellular organisms, orchestrating various life processes from body formation to brain function.  This diverse and important signaling is exquisitely controlled by a variety of membrane proteins.  We investigate how these dynamic and fine-tuned proteins are built, how they release/receive signals, and how they integrate and convey these signals across the cell membrane.


Natasza Kurpios, Molecular Medicine

Keeping your organs in shape: Transcriptional and cellular control of tissue morphogenesis. Organ shape acquisition requires intricate coordination of the morphogenetic repertoire during which tissues are bent, pulled, and moved. One striking example is the formation of the digestive system where complex looping and bending events shape the gut tube as it elongates. Our laboratory takes advantage of the chicken embryo as a classical embryological model to understand the molecular and cellular events that direct the formation of tissues and organs during vertebrate embryogenesis. Specifically, we seek to learn how information received from cell signaling is integrated to ultimately determine distinct cellular behaviors and cell shape during development.

Siu Sylvia Lee, Molecular Biology & Genetics

Molecular genetic and genomic dissections of aging and age-dependent degenerations; roles of major transcriptional and chromatin regulators; germline stem cells; and mitochondrial signaling in longevity and neurodegeneration of Caenorhabditis elegans

Cynthia Leifer, Microbiology & Immunology

The Leifer lab studies innate immune responses and novel immunotherapies. We have projects to investigate innate immune receptor signaling in host defense and autoimmunity as well as projects on developing chimeric antigen receptors for feline diseases. For more information go to our website

Sabine Mann

Sabine Mann, Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

The research focus of the Mann lab is on the intersection of metabolism, nutrition, and immunology, particularly in relation to disease epidemiology and nutritional strategies and interventions to improve host resilience in newborn calves and postpartum cows. The lab applies a breadth of methods from bench top work to field trials. 


Jessica McArt, Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

The McArt Dairy Cow Lab focuses on the identification, epidemiology, and economics of periparturient diseases in dairy cows. As such, we investigate potential on-farm methods, such as Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, that estimate energy-related metabolites, macromineral concentrations, and important biological markers to improve detection and treatment of early lactation disorders. Understanding the epidemiology of physiological dynamics during this early lactation period is an important antecedent in determining management factors and preventative measures that improve the welfare and success of high-functioning dairy cows.


Heidi Reesink, Clinical Sciences

Our lab investigates the pathophysiology and treatment of musculoskeletal disease, leveraging spontaneous veterinary disease models—such as dogs and horses—to study cruciate ligament injury, osteoarthritis, and other inflammatory and degenerative joint conditions in animals and humans.  We seek to advance ‘One Health’ therapeutic design and interventional strategies aimed at restoring cartilage health, improving comfort, and prolonging joint longevity and patient mobility. 


Brian Rudd, Microbiology & Immunology

Towards a better understanding of the development and function of the adaptive immune system

David Russell, Microbiology & Immunology

Dr. Russell’s laboratory’s research focuses on the interplay between the macrophage and the intracellular pathogens Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). 

Praveen Sethupathy, Biomedical Sciences

Functional genomics; gene regulation; molecular genetics; gastrointestinal physiology; stem cell biology; metabolic disease
Sevier Carolyn Sevier, Molecular Medicine Research in the Sevier lab focuses on characterization of the signaling pathways that sense and respond to cellular redox imbalances to alleviate oxidative stress. Specifically, research efforts focus on how the cell maintains a redox environment in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen appropriate for oxidative protein folding. We study the molecular mechanisms regulating cellular oxidative folding and stress pathways using a combination of molecular, genetic, and biochemical techniques. Normal cell function relies on an ability of the ER to efficiently fold proteins
Van de WAlle

Gerlinde Van de Walle, Microbiology & Immunology

The objective of Dr. Gerlinde Van de Walle’s research is to open up new avenues towards therapeutic intervention by better understanding the pathogenesis of diseases important to veterinary and human medicine. To this end, our lab uses various model systems, including in vitro 2D cell cultures, ex vivo 3D explant and organoid models, and in vivo rodent and large animal models.

Brian VanderVen, Microbiology & Immunology

M. tuberculosis causes human tuberculosis and is responsible for approximately one-million deaths each year. Partly why M. tuberculosis is such a successful pathogen is that this bacterium can survive inside macrophages, an immune cell that kills most other bacteria. Additionally, M. tuberculosis infections typically persist in human beings for decades in the face of a functional immune response.

Robert Weiss, Biomedical Sciences

Molecular mechanisms for the maintenance of genomic stability; cellular responses to DNA damage; mouse models of human cancer
Andrew White

Andrew White, Biomedical Sciences

Our lab 1) studies cancer biology with the aim to prevent or delay the onset of targeted therapy resistance in melanoma using synergistic immunotherapies, 2) seeks to improve the outcomes of phototherapy for vitiligo patients using regenerative medicine approaches with melanocyte stem cells, and 3) understand the early stages of melanoma initiation in order to devise novel prevention strategies.


Gary Whittaker, Microbiology & Immunology

Dr. Gary Whittaker is a cell biologist and virologist studying viral entry and pathogenesis with a focus on human and animal coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, feline coronaviruses including FIP).  The lab specializes in proteolytic cleavage activation as well as viral genomics and evolution. In addition to basic research, the lab is involved in clinical studies, novel vaccine design, and diagnostic test development.  


Martin Wiedmann, Food Science

My group focuses on the ecology, evolution, pathogenesis, and transmission of zoonotic and foodborne pathogens with a particular interest in Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, as well as antimicrobial resistant pathogens in general. I also have a specific research interest in niche adaptation and evolution of host specificity of bacterial pathogens and application of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to study the transmission, evolution, ecology and epidemiology of different zoonotic and foodborne pathogens. \A common connecting theme of our research efforts is the development of an improved understanding of zoonotic and foodborne pathogen transmission and application of this knowledge to reduce disease transmission.


Mariana Wolfner, Molecular Biology & Genetics

Genetic, molecular, developmental, and evolutionary studies of seminal proteins' functions in fertility, and of mechanisms of egg activation and initiation of embryogenesis; investigate conserved phenomena in reproductive biology, using primarily the Drosophila model system