Research focuses on biochemical mechanisms of toxicity and hormone action, hormonal control of mammary gland development and function, influence of diet on atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis and fat deposition during pregnancy and lactation, and mechanisms of hypertension.
My research interests focus on the development of optical systems, and in turn, the application of novel optical system to address problems in biological and medical system.
Keywords: Raman spectroscopy, Full field of view Raman imaging, dental caries detection, water probing and analysis in biological tissues, skin hydration
Major instruments in my lab include all kinds of spectrometers and lasers, which allow us to customize Raman spectroscopy and imaging system operating with at different wavelengths. Students will be trained and challenged in the design in the optical setups, as well as instruments automation via LabVIEW coding.
Research focus is to elucidate the mechanisms by which cannabinoid compounds (i.e., those derived from marijuana) alter immune function. Interested in characterizing the mechanisms by which plant-derived compounds alter T cell function and examining the role of CB1 and CB2 in cannabinoid-mediated suppression of B cell function. Two different model systems are being utilized for these studies. The first model is a mouse-adapted influenza strain, A/PR8/34. The second model is the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Research focuses on characterizing the cellular response(s) induced in S. cerevisiae and Candida spp exposed to the antifungal, occidiofungin with the goal of understanding how this compound induces apoptosis at the molecular level. Specific areas of interest include: characterizing the impact of the antifungal on morphogenic switching; mapping the link between occidiofungin exposure, alterations in actin organization, and cell death; identification of fungal mutants with altered sensitivity to occidiofungin activity; determining the efficacy of occidiofungin in combinatorial drug studies.
Keywords: Antimicrobial compound, yeast, microbiology, cell biology
Depending on the project, students will be exposed to cellular, molecular, and microbiological techniques such as: Gel electrophoresis (agarose gel, SDS-PAGE), Western blot analysis, Microscopy (Immunofluorescence, Transmission light microscopy), Microbiological analysis of drug efficacy studies (Minimum inhibitory concentration assays, Colony forming unit assays, Plate drop assays), and Molecular cloning (PCR, bacterial transformation, restriction digest analysis, plasmid isolation).
Research focuses on both sides of the host-pathogen interaction by characterizing how the innate immune response functions to limit progression of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) infections and also how virulence mechanisms of the pneumococcus enable it to cause disease. The overall goal of our research is to identify new targets for intervention which will help to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with this pathogen.
My research focuses on developing improved biomaterial and biological treatments for bone injury and disease. In particular, we’re studying alternative antimicrobial therapies for combating Staph infection in bone, and we’re using 3D printing and design to create customized biomedical implants for applications such as bone fixation after traumatic injury.
Research focuses on how natural populations respond to changes in their environment. A major focus of his lab is to identify molecular mechanisms that increase phenotypic variation by altering gene expression. To do this, he preforms functional genomic analysis on variable, natural populations of sunflowers.
Dr. Nadorff studies the association between sleep problems, particularly insomnia and nightmares, and suicidal behavior across the lifespan. He also has current grant funding to implement youth suicide prevention programs across the state and is interested in validating the effectiveness of these programs.
Keywords: Nightmares, suicide, insomnia, youth, older adults, psychology
Part of what we do with our suicide grant is gatekeeper trainings (think of it like CPR for psychiatric emergencies) and postvention training and intervention (postvention is what is done in the immediate aftermath after a suicide). We have a licensed clinician leading both of these, and students would be able to accompany that clinician and aid in the training and some aspects of the postvention work.
Research focuses on understanding the relationship between a protein’s flexibility and its function, and in particular how proteins can use structural disorder to their advantage during catalysis. An additional research focus is understanding protein structure on nanoparticle surfaces.
Keywords: NMR biophysics protein biochemistry kinetics surface interactions
Students will be exposed to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, fluorescence, biophysical calorimetry, and spectroscopic approaches to studying protein interactions. In addition, students will learn how to express and purify proteins biochemically.
Research focuses on better characterizing the mechanisms that lead to the onset and progression of heart disease. My group is especially interested in the role of microenvironmental cues such as substrate stiffness, mechanotransduction, and biomolecules in cardiac tissue health. My second area of interest lies in enhancing our current understanding of the mechanisms that trigger sickle cell disease related co-morbidities.
Research foucus: bacterial pathogens of fish including Edwardsiella ictaluri and Aeromonas hydrophila and I have research in the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. I aim to understand the molecular pathogenesis and identify virulence factors. I employ comparative genomics, functional genomics, and molecular microbiology techniques, as well as next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics to evaluate the host-microbe interactions and answer bacterial pathogenesis questions.
The Roper lab studies air pollution, specifically fine particulate matter (PM2.5). We use chemistry and toxicology methods to study air pollutants that are collected from outdoors or inside homes. We remove air pollutants from filters using different extraction methods and measure the chemical components as well as investigate the potential of the pollutants to create reactive oxygen species. Ultimately our work will help create a better understanding of air pollution and the potential health effects related to it.
air sampling equipment, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, spectrophotometry, extraction methods, custom absorbance instruments, gravimetric analysis, pipetting, statistical analysis and software, calibration curves
One of the most debilitating aspects of advanced age is the accompanying cognitive decline. Patients that experience cognitive deficits are faced with the loss of independence, decreased healthspan, and increased financial burden. Studies suggest that age-related cognitive decline is potentially reversible, but the underlying mechanistic changes have yet to be fully elucidated. My research program focuses on identifying how reduced neuroendocrine signaling impacts the function of neurons, astrocytes, and the supporting vasculature in the aging brain. Using genetic and pharmacological tools, we are able to manipulate growth hormone and IGF-1 signaling within these cells and examine how learning and memory is affected. We then examine the ensuing structural, biochemical, and genetic changes within the brain to understand which signaling cascades are contributing to the observed alterations in learning and memory. We are particularly interested in identifying which kinase signaling cascades are altered by the loss of these endocrine signals in advanced age. By characterizing these changes, we hope to uncover pharmacological targets that may delay or avert the onset of age-related cognitive decline.
Research Focus: Our research aims to understand molecular mechanisms underlying toxicity and/or shed light on the potential adverse outcomes due contaminant exposure using zebrafish models. For example: 1) Mechanisms of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) toxicity- The goal of this project is to characterize the transcriptomic and epigenetic changes associated with preconceptional exposure to BaP. Specifically, we are studying the role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in BaP-induced multigenerational adverse outcomes; and 2) Toxicity of cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - The goal of this project is to understand the relative morphological, neurobehavioral, reproductive and multigenerational phenotypes that result after developmental exposures to CBD and THC.
The Xu lab has three major research focuses:
1) We are interested in understanding specific protein-protein interactions and protein-lipid interactions that lead to membrane fusion, which is required for intracellular traffic, hormone secretion and neurotransmission. To achieve that, we exploit a multifaceted approach which includes biochemical analysis, biophysical measurements and in vitro reconstitution.
2) We are interested in unraveling the regulation of mast cell degranulation, which is the culprit of allergic inflammation. We exploit cell-based secretion assays developed in the Xu lab to interrogate the function of specific proteins in the release of different mast cell mediators, from histamine to TNF. We routinely use RNAi to knock down gene expression or CRISPR technology to knock out a target gene. Our goal is to establish functional assays for proteins that are potential drug targets for the control of allergic inflammation.
3) We are interested in host-viral interactions that play central roles in the survival/propagation of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus in host cells. At the moment, we are investigating the biochemical and functional relationship between SNAREs and previously overlooked tegument proteins. This line of investigation is conducted in collaboration with colleagues in other universities
Keywords: Membrane fusion; secretion; protein traffic; mast cell degranulation; allergy; host-viral interaction
Molecular cloning including PCR, restriction digestion, ligation, DNA isolation; Protein expression and purification; SDS-PAGE; western blotting; preparing proteoliposomes; FRET-based vesicle fusion assay; cell culture; RNAi; CRISPR
Research focuses on the arthropod vectors of deadly infectious disease agents and attempts to use functional genomics tools to identify tick-derived proteins required for prolonged blood-feeding and pathogen infection in the mammalian host.
Keywords: RNA interference, Genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, recombinant protein expression, vaccine, Alpha-Gal Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Rickettsiosis, ticks, Acari
RNA interference, western blotting, PCR, real time quantitative PCR, confocal imaging, bioinformatics, ELISA, Mass spectrometry, cell culture
Research focuses on protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions and molecular recognition, specifically delineating the underlying molecular mechanisms that dictate protein aggregation and amyloid formation. Research also focuses on developing structure-bases design of ‘conformation-specific’ molecules that are directed towards recognizing pathogenic ‘cross-beta sheet’ polypeptide structures.
Research focuses on the study of molecular mechanisms by which endothelial cells assemble into blood vessels and the roles of p38 MAP kinases in the regulation of endothelial cell physiology and vascular biology.
Research focuses on understanding the evolution, function and neuroendocrinology of brain regions involved in spatial and motor learning, principally the hippocampus and cerebellum. Projects revolve around steroid induced neuroplasticity and neurogenesis in the avian brain with some work in non-avian vertebrate models as well.
Keywords: Spatial ability, neuroscience, cognition, behavior, neurobiology, endocrinology, neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, birds, avian, psychology, behavioral neuroscience, hormones, hippocampus, cerebellum, motor
Histotechniques - dissecting, preserving, cutting, mounting tissue on slides, and using stains for morphological, protein, or RNA analyses, Transcriptomics, Animal Behavior Analysis Software, Animal Behavior Learning Assays, Highspeed videography and analysis, Avian Husbandry
When molecules interact noncovalently through hydrogen bonding or other electrostatic interactions, pi-pi interactions, or Van der Waals forces, their physical properties change. We study the physical properties of interacting molecules in environments ranging from the single molecule to the bulk using different laser-based spectroscopic methods and computational modeling. Our spectroscopic capabilities include high resolution Raman spectroscopy, the study of size-selected clusters in the gas phase, the use of single molecule techniques such as surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy, and other laser-based spectroscopies to study interacting molecular architectures. These include excited state lifetime, time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) studies, ns, ps, and fs transient absorption spectroscopy, and quantum yield determinations. Such studies help answer long-standing questions involving the effects of intermolecular interactions on biologically relevant systems and also in developing devices such as solar cells that incorporate conjugated organic molecules. Both as team members and individually, we work to make new strides in the overall understanding of how molecules interact with each other and how their structure affects their resulting properties.
Keywords: Raman spectroscopy, Fluorescence spectroscopy, Computational Chemistry
Students participating in this program with use computational chemistry and laser-based molecular spectroscopic methods such as Raman spectroscopy to elucidate the effects of noncovalent interactions on important biological building blocks or newly developed emissive or catalytic materials.
Our lab employs an interdisciplinary approach lying at the interface of materials chemistry, bioengineering, and the biological sciences to discover and implement next-generation cancer therapies. We design environmentally-responsive drug delivery systems to improve the therapeutic index of existing drugs or generate novel drugs against previously “undruggable” targets. We develop therapies that target specific genes or proteins crucial to cancer cell growth to precisely assail cancerous tissue while sparing healthy tissue. And we elucidate cellular and molecular processes that impact a) drug delivery efficiency and b) cancer progression, resistance to therapy, and metastasis.
Keywords: Nanotechnology, Cancer, Immunotherapy, Metastasis, Drug Delivery, Bioengineering
Polymer synthesis, polymer characterization (NMR, GPC, HPLC, Mass Spectrometry), nanoparticle fabrication and characterization (Light scattering and electron microscopy), cell culture, molecular analysis (PCR, western blot, fluorescent microscopy), animal models of cancer
Development of new chemical entities as future drugs by molecular modification methods – Synthesis of small and large biologically active molecules, heterocycles, peptides, fatty acids, steroids, organometallic complexes- Chemistry and analysis of chiral compounds
Current focus is on the study of interactions between neutralizing antibodies and the glycoprotein coat of HIV; characterization of chemokines and the structural factors mediating their oligomerization and function; and the identification of glycosaminoglycan structures with potential biomedical applications for a wide variety of fields including anti-microbial agents, anti-cancer therapies, and anti-inflammatory therapies.
With his training and experience in the field of biomaterials and tissue engineering over the past 19 years, Dr. Amol Janorkar leads a research group that focuses on cell-biomaterial interactions to direct cell morphology and ultimate cell function. The Janorkar Lab uses chemical and physical modification of biopolymer substrates to create three-dimensional in vitro tissue models that achieve enhanced survival and biological function versus conventional cultures for liver, adipose, and bone tissue engineering. With his research funded by the NIH, NSF, and USDA, Dr. Janorkar has published 27 journal articles and 27 conference proceedings, and made 44 conference presentations in the past 5 years. Recognizing these research accomplishments the University of Mississippi Medical Center has awarded Dr. Janorkar the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medallions for Research Excellence.
Dr. Janorkar serves as the Director of the summer research program that has trained 140+ dental and undergraduate students over past 11 years. Recognizing his contributions to dental research, he has been inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society, which rarely inducts non-dentist faculty members. Dr. Janorkar has supervised graduate (6), undergraduate (32), dental and medical (10), and post-docs (2). His students have won 32 awards for outstanding research at local and national levels. Recognizing his teaching and mentoring, Dr. Janorkar was awarded the TEACH (Toward Educational Advancement in Care and Health) Prize, the highest award given to an educator by the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He has also been inducted into the Nelson Order of Teaching Excellence.
Keywords: Tissue engineering, Drug delivery, Polymeric biomaterials
Materials synthesis and characterization, Cell culture, Biological responses
Research focuses on development and testing of new imaging biomarkers for detection and staging of cancer, chronic liver disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. These are clinical and/or translational research projects that are run through the Department of Radiology. The projects often involve patient images and data and are aimed at development of new tools for use in clinical practice.
Research focuses on central and peripheral control of obesity and diabetes using rodent models. Research also focuses on the hormonal and dietary effects of maternal in utero environment on the transmission of metabolic disease to offspring.
Dr. Cornelius’s laboratory has research focus in two major areas. The first is related to understanding how immune system activation mechanistically promotes the pathogenesis of hypertension and intrauterine growth restriction during pregnancy. Using multiple experimental models of preeclampsia, Dr. Cornelius’s lab investigates the renal and vascular mechanisms during preeclampsia and how they are influenced by inflammatory and cytotoxic immune cells and mediators. The second is related to understanding mechanisms that lead to the development of multi-organ injury during sepsis. Patients with sepsis have increased platelet activation are prone to develop multi-organ failure and have poor clinical outcomes. Dr. Cornelius’s laboratory uses a modified cecal ligation and puncture model that mimics characteristics of sepsis to investigate an important role for activated platelets in the development of multi-organ injury in sepsis.
Keywords: Sepsis, Preeclampsia, Immunology
ELISA, Flow Cytometry, Western Blot, Cytotoxicity Assay, Immune Cell isolation, Placental explant culture, Doppler Ultrasound, Small animal surgery, renal function assays, PCR
Dr. Frank T. Spradley is an assistant professor of surgery and physiology. His research program focuses on assessing mechanisms whereby obesity, a global health burden, increases the risk for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases including hypertension and fatty liver injury. Hypertension is the number 1 risk factor for cardiovascular-related morbidity and mortality. Obesity reaches to impact blood pressure regulation pregnancy. His lab is currently examining how obesity impacts blood pressure regulation during pregnancy. His research interests have expanded to explore how obesity increases the risk for liver ischemia/reperfusion injury during transplantation.
Keywords: Blood pressure, hypertension, pregnancy, women’s health, liver, transplantation
My laboratory uses a wide range of techniques to examine experimental questions related to hypertension and vascular disease and also liver injury during transplantation. We have expertise in maintaining colonies of genetically-manipulated rodents and generating timed-pregnant rats to assess blood pressure regulation and isolated blood vessel function during pregnancy. We are able to induce placental ischemia, which is a major driver in promoting hypertension during pregnancy. These animal models are useful to assess the molecular basis of disease with methods to assess mRNA and protein expression. We also have ways to induce liver ischemia/reperfusion in fatty livers in order to assess mechanisms of tissue injury following liver transplantation.
Research focuses on the development and applications of novel drug delivery systems.
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Research focuses on identifying proteins that form mechanosensitive ion channels in sensory neurons and vascular smooth muscle, understanding how mechanosensitive channels transduce force, and seeing how these channels are affected by disease states such as hypertension.
My area of research is focused upon the role that rapid eye movement sleep appears to play in brain development. We aim at understanding the changes initiated when sleep, especially rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, is suppressed in early life that lead to negative outcomes later in life. Additionally, recently my research interests have expanded to investigate the role of gamma aminobutyric acid (type A) (GABAA) receptor modulators (benzodiazepine-like compounds) with high affinities for specific GABAA receptor subtypes in producing and regulating more naturalistic sleep profiles compared to those currently in medical usage.
Keywords: REM sleep, electrophysiology, EEG, benzodiazepine, GABA receptors, brain development
My lab uses primarily rodents to explore the alterations in sleep EEGs and standard behavioral tests in untreated and treated (benzodiazepine-like compounds, and / or sleep disruptions) animals.
Research focuses on postmenopausal hypertension, polycystic ovary syndrome, and sex steroids and renal injuries. Interested in studying the mechanisms of hypertension and increasing blood pressure to determine treatments for such conditions.
Keywords: Women’s health, kidney, blood pressure, androgens
Conscious radiotelemetry, western blots, real time qPCR, various assays
Molecular pathogenesis of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). Mechanism(s) of colonization of the upper airways. Molecular epidemiology of pneumococcal disease. Acquisition of antibiotic resistance.
Keywords: Bacterial infections, pneumococcal disease, bacterial pathogenesis, bacterial genetics, antibiotic resistance, vaccines
PCR and Real-time PCR assays
Protein electrophoresis and Western-blot
TaqMan array cards
Bacterial cultures and Cell cultures
Fluorescence microscopy and confocal microscopy
Gene expression studies, RT-PCR, and RNA-Seq
DNA and RNA purification
Research focuses on the neurobiology of alcoholism with an especial emphasis on the role of glial cells in the vulnerability and maintenance of alcohol dependence. This research uses animal models of alcohol preference and human postmortem tissue and applies immunohistochemical, biochemical and pharmacological methods to the study of changes in morphology, cell proliferation and the expression of proteins related with crucial functions mediated by glia such as glutamate transport.
Research focuses on the role of T cells in contributing to the breakdown of the blood brain barrier in women with hypertensive pregnancies. Our lab studies both the acute affects and the long-term consequences of BBB damage during pregnancy.The gynecology section of our laboratory examines the relationship between hypertension and uterine fibroid smooth muscle cell proliferation. We also examine how women’s health conditions such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis affect quality of life, depression and anxiety among women with these disorders.
Keywords: Women’s health, hypertension, mental health, neuroscience, obstetrics, gynecology
Students rotating through my lab may participate in a variety of techniques ranging from rodent behavior to brain cellular dissection to flow cytometry preparation to the more common enzyme and protein based assays.
Research focuses on investigation of the determinants of drug choice over non-drug alternatives and interventions for decreasing drug choice. The study of drugs as punishers with the aim of developing abuse-deterrent technologies for prescription medications. The study of interactions between obesity/eating disorders and drug abuse.
Research focuses on understanding disease models and mechanisms, characterization of biomarkers for human illness, prevention of adverse drug response, disparities in health treatment and outcomes, and drug metabolism and pharmakinetics.
Research focuses on virus evolution, using influenza virus as a model, and developing virus-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer
Keywords: influenza, virus evolution, cancer therapy, protein purification, virus assembly
‘Flu project: computational analysis of databases, classic virology techniques (hemagglutination, virus growth, plaque reduction assay, chemical neuraminidase assay), in vitro virus evolution. Cancer therapy project: cell growth retardation assays, cytotoxicity assays, cell cycle analysis, bacterial protein expression and purification, in vitro virus-like particle assembly, mass spectrometry.
Dr. Duggar research interests are in clinically applied research in the field of Radiation Oncology. This may include the handling of CT, MRI, PET, or other patient imaging as well as the harvesting of dosimetric data from patient treatment plans treated with external beam radiation therapy, Gamma Knife, or even High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy. Huge interest lies in the application of big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning technologies to further clinical quality at the University of MS Medical Center, though this is a developing infrastructure.
Keywords: Radiation Oncology, Machine Learning, DICOM, Radiosurgery
The student will be exposed to many aspects of Radiation Therapy such as treatment planning systems, linear accelerators, Gamma Knife Icon, HDR Afterloaders.
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