DVM seeking PhD


Training is offered in a variety of disciplines. All of the participating faculty trainers are nationally competitive research scientists with current active external funding. All of the trainers are accomplished mentors. The research interests of each faculty member can be obtained by accessing their websites.

Prospective DVM seeking PhD students who wish to be considered for appointment should rotate through three laboratories of the participating faculty prior to settling on a home laboratory. Because of the nature of their scientific projects or their funding, not all faculty members within the BBS program are eligible to be trainers on this NIH-funded program.

Faculty wishing to be considered as Trainers should contact the Program Director, Dr. John S. Parker (jsp7@cornell.edu).

Participating Faculty

List of our faculty and their research areas
Faculty Member
Department Affiliation
Research Interests
Dr. Hector Aguilar-Carreno
Hector Aguilar-Carreno

Microbiology and Immunology

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

Dr. Craig Altier

Craig Altier

Population Medicine & Diagnostic Sciences

Regulation of Salmonella virulence within the intestinal environment

Dr. Adam Boyko

Adam Boyko

Biomedical Sciences

Genomic studies of the evolutionary forces that determine traits and disease in dogs

Dr. Brito

Ilana Brito

Biomedical Engineering 

The Brito lab develops experimental and computational methods to understand how organisms in the gut microbiome elicit their effects on host health. In addition, they develop new technologies to understand gene flow within the gut microbiome to inform efforts to combat antibiotic resistance

Dr. Jonathan Butcher

Jonathan Butcher

Biomedical Engineering

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

Clinical Sciences

Epidemiology of zoonotic diseases, evidence-based medicine, and One-Health; developing methods to improve antimicrobial resistance surveillance and track multidrug resistance

Dr. Richard Cerione

Rick Cerione

Molecular Medicine

Characterizing signaling systems involved in cell growth, neurogenesis, and cancer
Pamela Chang

Microbiology and Immunology

The Chang lab seeks to understand how the host immune system is regulated by the gut microbiota through their secretion of small molecule metabolites. The lab has two primary areas of interest: (1) the identification of metabolites produced by the gut microbiota that regulate the host immune system and, building on these discoveries, (2) the development of chemical tools to (a) modulate the immune response and (b) probe metabolic reactions catalyzed by the gut microbiome

Dr. Theodore Clark

Ted Clark

Microbiology and Immunology

Host-pathogen interactions; evolution of the adaptive immune response in vertebrates; mechanisms of membrane fusion during fertilization; and the use of Tetrahymena thermophila


Paula Cohen 

Biomedical Sciences

The Cohen lab studies mammalian meiosis and gametogenesis, with a focus on regulation of meiotic recombination by DNA repair protein complexes. They use mouse, human, and other mammalian systems to study the evolutionary control of these processes and the impact of genetic and environmental alterations on the genesis of meiotic errors across the animal kingdom. In addition, they are leveraging their unique insight into meiotic events to identify novel entry points for contraceptive targeting for men
Pic of Michelle Delco
Michelle Delco

Clinical Sciences

The Delco lab studies how injury leads to arthritis and related orthopedic diseases. Our focus is understanding the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the initiation and early pathogenesis of disease in order to develop new strategies to improve healing after injury.
Pic of Matt DeLisa
Matt DeLisa

Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

The DeLisa lab engineers the protein machinery of simple bacteria to solve complex problems in biology and medicine. The lab reprograms the physiology of bacteria to harness the protein biosynthetic machinery for the design and synthesis of complex biopharmaceuticals.

Image result for Iwijn De Vlaminck

Iwijn De Vlaminck

Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering

Genomic medicine tools to monitor infectious and immune-related disease

Dr. Diego Diel

Diego Diel

Population Medicine & Diagnostic Science

Molecular and basic aspects of virus-host interactions and viral vector and vaccine development

Dr. Julia Felippe

Julia Felippe

Clinical Sciences

The study of developmental immunology, response to vaccines, and immunodeficiencies

Pic of Cedric Feschotte

Cedric Feschotte

Molecular Biology & Genetics 

Impact of transposons and endogenous viruses on host biology, disease, and evolution  

Dr. Julia Finkelstein
Julia Finkelstein

Division of Nutritional Sciences

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

Population Medicine & Diagnostic Sciences 

I am an environmental scientist and epidemiologist, and my research aims to understand the interactions among environmental change and livelihood, food, and nutrition security. My work is focused on global fisheries and the households that are reliant on the environment to access food and income. I use interdisciplinary methods and my work aims to foster a deeper understanding of how ecological and social systems interact, the ways communities and households adapt to and mitigate environmental change, and the links between human well being and ecological sustainability. 

Dr. Claudia Fiscbach-Teschl

Claudia Fischbach-Teschl

Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering

Engineering approaches to study tumor stroma interactions in cancer
Dr. Goldberg
Jesse Goldberg

Neurobiology & Behavior 

The Goldberg lab studies neural mechanisms of motor learning in songbirds, parrots and mice

Dr. Yrjo Grohn

Yrjo Grohn

Population Medicine & Diagnostic Sciences

Mathematical modeling of zoonotic infectious diseases and optimization of health and management decisions

Dr. Renata Miojevic Ivanek

Renata Ivanek

Population Medicine & Diagnostic Sciences

Epidemiology and public health of infectious and foodborne diseases

Toshi Kawate

Toshi Kawate 

Molecular Medicine

Structure and function of membrane proteins mediating cell-cell communication in the nervous system

Dr. Natasza Kurpios

Natasza Kurpios

Molecular Medicine

Vertebrate embryogenesis and genetics and morphogenesis of organogenesis
Siu Sylvia Lee 

Molecular Biology & Genetics 

The Lee lab studies the molecular basis of aging and age-dependent pathologies. They use C. elegans to identify and functionally characterize the conserved molecular pathways important for longevity. Pathways identified in C. elegans are then explored in mammalian cells

Dr. Cynthia Leifer

Cynthia Leifer 

Microbiology and Immunology

Initiation and regulation of immune responses, Toll-like receptors (TLRs),  immunoengineering approaches to regulate immune responses and vaccines, and mechanoregulation of TLR signaling.

Hening Lin 

Chemistry & Chemical Biology 

We are an HHMI chemical biology lab that works at the interface to chemistry, biology, and medicine. We carry out biochemical studies to understand the function of human enzymes, design small molecule inhibitors for those enzymes, and test the therapeutic potential of these inhibitors in animal models of cancer and immune diseases. We work on many enzymes that control protein post-translational modifications, including ADP-ribosylation, lysine acylation, cysteine palmitoylation, and glycine myristoylation.

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Sabine Mann

Population Medicine & Diagnostic Sciences

The Mann lab studies metabolism, physiology, and the interplay with nutritional immunology in transition phases. The lab aims to understand the beneficial as well as maladaptive mechanisms that operate during negative nutrient balance, with the goal of improving physiological and immune functions during stress

Mandy McGeachy 

Microbiology and Immunology

Th17 cells gained notoriety for driving autoimmune inflammation, but they are also important regulators of normal microbiota and healing at tissue barrier sites. Fascinated by how the immune system maintains balance, we study activation of Th17 cells and the functions of IL-17 during both beneficial and damaging immune responses. We have uncovered surprising roles for IL-17 acting on stromal cells in lymph nodes to promote antibody production and in some contexts reduce inflammation. Hence interactions between Th17 cells and fibroblastic reticular cells has become one of the major topics of interest in our lab. There is still much to discover, we are looking for curious minds to join us! 

Katharyn Mitchell

Clinical Sciences 

The Mitchell Lab studies cardiovascular conditions, including valvular and myocardial dysfunction, congenital cardiac defects and arrhythmogenesis, particularly occurring in large animal species.

Dr. Alexander Nikitin
Alexander Nikitin

Biomedical Sciences

Stem cells and cancer; pathogenesis of ovarian and prostate cancers; modeling of human disease in genetically modified mice and human organoids


Nozomi Nishimura

Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering

The Nishimura lab studies the contribution of multiple physiological systems to complex dynamics during diseases with in vivo animal models using two- and three-photon imaging. On-going work includes innovation in methods to image disease in vivo, in the brain, the beating heart and the small intestine

Dr. John Parker

John Parker

Microbiology and Immunology & Baker Institute for Animal Health 

Host-pathogen interactions of the mammalian orthoreoviruses and feline caliciviruses

Dr. Colin Parrish

Colin Parrish

Microbiology and Immunology & Baker Institute for Animal Health 

Evolutionary, structural, and functional studies of the determinants of virus host range


Heidi Reesink 

Clinical Sciences 

Pathophysiology, epidemiology and treatment of orthopedic disease—osteoarthritis and fracture.  

Dr. Brian Rudd

Brian Rudd

Microbiology and Immunology

Mechanisms limiting the development of immunity in early life

Dr. David Russell

David Russell

Microbiology and Immunology

The host/pathogen interplay in tuberculosis and HIV

Dr. Chris Schaffer

Chris Schaffer

Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering

In vivo optical imaging to elucidate the cellular interactions that underlie neurological disease
Dr. Schang
Luis Schang

Microbiology and Immunology & 
Baker Institute for Animal Health 

The Schang lab studies interactions between viruses and infected cells focused on uncovering commonalities among unrelated viruses by identifying or developing small molecules that inhibit the infectivity or replication of multiple viruses. The group has identified broad spectrum antiviral compounds active against multiple unrelated pathogenic viruses (including HSV-1 and 2, HCV, influenza A virus and emerging viruses such as Zika virus

Dr. John Schimenti

John Schimenti

Biomedical Sciences

Functional genomics of mammalian reproduction, development and cancer
Vimal Selvaraj

Animal Sciences 

Cholesterol-mediated regulation of lipid metabolism in mammalian model systems to understand the pathophysiology of fatty liver disease and adiposity. By investigating both cellular mechanisms and integration of systemic regulation we aim to understand the basis of lipid/steroid homeostasis in animals and humans.

Praveen Sethupathy

Biomedical Sciences 

The Sethupathy lab is focused on understanding the role of non-coding RNAs (in particular microRNAs) in genetic, microbial, dietary, and environmental control of metabolic health and disease. The disease areas of focus are diabetes, dyslipidemia, Crohn's disease, and liver/gastrointestinal cancers

Dr. Carolyn Sevier

Carolyn Sevier

Molecular Medicine

Studies of the cellular pathways that alleviate oxidative stress

Dr. Kenny Simpson

Kenny Simpson

Clinical Sciences

Interplay between enteric bacteria and the host that leads to inflammatory bowel disease

Dr. Paul Soloway

Paul Soloway

Biomedical Sciences

Epigenetic phenomena in mammals; understanding how it is that epigenetic states are controlled
Dr. Song
Jeongmin Song

Microbiology and Immunology

Salmonella A2B5 Toxins: Biology, Pathogenesis, and Neutralization
Dr. Alex Travis
Alex Travis

Biomedical Sciences & 
Baker Institute for Animal Health

 Fundamental cell biology of fertilization
Dr. Brian VanderVen
Brian VanderVen

Microbiology and Immunology

Physiology of the intracellular pathogen M. tuberculosis
Dr. Gerlinde Van de Walle
Gerlinde Van de Walle

Microbiology and Immunology & 
Baker Institute for Animal Health

Seeking ways to treat cancer, fight viruses and to improve wound healing

Dr. Lorin Warnick

Lorin Warnick

Population Medicine & Diagnostic Sciences

Emergence and dissemination of antimicrobial resistant enteric pathogens

Robert S. Weiss, PhD

Robert Weiss

Biomedical Sciences

Genome maintenance mechanisms and metabolic pathways in cancer and other diseases
Dr. Gary Whittaker
Gary Whittaker

Microbiology and Immunology

Pathogenesis of influenza viruses, coronaviruses and arenaviruses; host range and receptors; activation of membrane fusion; macrophage- and neuro-tropism; anti-viral therapeutics; diagnostic tests; virus-bacteria co-infections
Dr. Andrew White
Andrew White

Biomedical Sciences

Understanding the role of adult stem cells in cancer initiation, cancer relapse, age-related decline in tissue homeostasis, and regenerative medicine
Martin Wiedmann
Martin Wiedmann

Food Sciences 

Microbial food safety; microbial food spoilage; Listeria monocytogenes; genomics and transcriptomics of food associated microbes  
Mariana Wolfner

Molecular Biology and 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