Researcher & Institution:Research Focus:Contact Information:
Nicole Ashpole, PhD
The University of Mississippi 
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. 

Office: 662-915-2407 
Faculty page link: 

Wellington Ayensu, PhD
Jackson State University
Research focuses on psychoneuroimmunology with areas of environmental health related to public health issues, and developmental issues affecting the
Office: (601) 979-1452
Dr. Ayensu's Faculty Page
Fengwei Bai, PhD
The University of Southern Mississippi
Research focuses on virology and
Office: (601) 266-4748
Dr. Bai's Faculty Page
Hamed Benghuzzi, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Research focuses on the development and applications of novel drug delivery
David Brown, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Research focuses on employing the techniques of molecular genetics to generate stable cell lines that over express normal or in vitro mutagenized H1
Office: (601) 984-1849
Dr. Brown's Faculty Page
Matthew Brown, PhD
Mississippi State University
Research focuses on genomics and
Office: (662) 325-2406
Dr. Brown's Faculty Page
Joseph Cameron, PhD
Jackson State University
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
Office: (601) 979-2470
Dr. Cameron's Research Page
Denise C. Cornelius, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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,
Office: (601) 815-1551
Dr. Cornelius's Faculty Page
Stephen Curran, PhD
The University of Southern Mississippi
Research focuses on taxonomy, systematics, biogeography and evolution is
Office: (228) 872-4237
Dr. Curran's Faculty Page
Lainy Day, PhD
University of Mississippi
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,
Office: (662) 915-5444
Dr. Day's Faculty Page
Heather Drummond, PhD
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
Office: (601) 984-1812
Dr. Drummond's Faculty Page
W. Neil Duggar, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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,
Office: (601) 815-6246
Roy Duhe, PhD
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
Office: (601) 984-1625
Dr. Duhe's Faculty Page
Lir-Wan Fan, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Research focused on investigating the long-term adverse effects of perinatal brain inflammation on late-onset neurodegenerative diseases, such as idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Studies: Perinatal hypoxic‐ischemia, Periventricular leukomalacia, Intrauterine growth restriction, Parkinson’s disease, Inflammatory and neuropathic pain, Sleep disturbances. Keywords: Neurotoxicity; Development, Inflammation, Cytokines, Neonate, Hypoxic‐ischemia, Neurodegenerative diseases, Neuronal behavior, Brain damage, Spinal cord injury, Motor dysfunction, Cognitive deficits, Inflammatory and neuropathic
Office: (601) 984-2345
Nick Fitzkee, PhD
Mississippi State University
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
Office: (662) 325-1288
Dr. Fitzkee's Faculty Page
Alex Flynt, PhD
The University of Southern Mississippi
Research broadly focuses on the role of RNA biology in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Current projects are focused on the biogenesis and function of non-coding, small regulatory
Office: (601) 266-4748
Dr. Flynt's Faculty Page
Kevin Freeman, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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
Michael Garrett, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Research focuses on understanding the genetic basis of complex diseases, including kidney disease, hypertension and
Office: (601) 984-4309
Dr. Garrett's Faculty Page
Christian Gomez, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Research focuses on hypoxia-regulated genes in carcinogenesis and prognosis, immunotherapy for cancer, and the effects of advanced age on inflammation, immunoregulation and
Donna M. Gordon, PhD
Mississippi State University
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
Office: (662) 325-9337
Dr. Gordon's Faculty Page
Bernadette Grayson, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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
Office: (601) 984-3809
Dr. Grayson's Faculty Page
YanLin Guo, PhD
The University of Southern Mississippi
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
Office: (601) 266-4748
Dr. Guo's Faculty Page
Nathan Hammer, PhD
University of Mississippi
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
Office: (662) 915-3989
Dr. Hammer's Faculty Page
Dr. Hammer's Lab Page
Renita Horton, PhD
Mississippi State University
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
Office: (662) 325-7345
Dr. Horton's Faculty Page
Amol Janorkar, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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
Office: (601) 984-6170
Dr. Janorhar's Faculty Page
Barbara Kaplan, PhD
Mississippi State University
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)
Office: (662) 325-1113
Dr. Kaplan's Faculty Page
Shahid Karim, PhD
The University of Southern Mississippi
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,
Office: (601) 266-4748
Dr. Karim's Faculty Page
Babette LaMarca, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Research focuses on identifying immune mechanisms that cause hypertension during
Office: (601) 815-1430
Dr. LaMarca's Faculty Page
Dmitri Mavrodi, PhD
The University of Southern Mississippi
Research focuses on the functional role of natural antibiotics. Mavrodi is a molecular microbiologist who is interested in the ecology of antibiotic-producing and plant-associated
Office: (601) 266-6926
Dr. Mavrodi's Faculty Page
Jose Javier Miguel-Hidalgo, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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
Office: (601) 984-5791
Dr. Miguel-Hidalgo's Faculty Page
Michael Nadorff, PhD
Mississippi State University
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,
Office: (662) 325-1222
Dr. Nadorff's Faculty Page
Ifedayo Victor Ogungbe, PhD
Jackson State University
Research focuses: Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products Drug Discovery Keywords: Protozoans, Trypanosomiasis, Natural Products, Drug Design, Drug Discovery, Medicinal Chemistry,
Office: (601) 979-3719
Dr. Ogungbe's Faculty Page

Yi Pang, PhD 
The University of Mississippi Medical Center 

Focus on neurodevelopmental disorders including perinatal brain injury and autism 


Donna Platt, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Drug and alcohol addiction, behavioral pharmacology, pharmacogenetics Keywords: Substance abuse, addiction, alcohol, rat,
Office: (601) 984-5896

Dr. Sorina Popescu PhD. 
Mississippi State University

Phone:  (662) 325-2640
Faculty page: 

Lauren Priddy, PhD
Mississippi State University
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
Office: (662) 325-5988
Dr. Priddy's Faculty Page
Vijay Rangachari, PhD
The University of Southern Mississippi
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
Office: (601) 266-6044
Dr. Rangachari's Lab Page
Drazen Raucher, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Research focuses on developing an approach that allows peptide therapeutics to be delievered specifically to the tumor
Office: (601) 984-1510
Dr. Raucher's Faculty Page
Jane Reckelhoff, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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,
Office: (601) 984-1502
Dr. Reckelhoff's Faculty Page

Gregg Roman, Ph.D. 

The University of Mississippi

The Roman laboratory studies the molecular and neural mechanisms of behavioral plasticity. We are currently investigating ethanol tolerance and self-administration, olfactory learning and learning and memory formation, and exploration and neophilic behaviors. We use Drosophila melanogaster as our model system. The application of the large number of genetic tools available in Drosophila allows us to finely dissect the molecular events and the underlying neural circuits that drive the plasticity in these behaviors. 

Office: 662-915-7026
Faculty Page Link:

Courtney Roper, Ph.D.
The University of Mississippi

Over 4.2 million people die prematurely from air pollution exposure each year. 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. 

Instrumentation and techniques:  air sampling equipment, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, spectrophotometry, extraction methods, custom absorbance instruments, gravimetric analysis, pipetting, statistical analysis and software, calibration curves 

Office: +1-662-915-1273 

Dr. Kurtis C Showmaker PhD. 
The University of Mississippi Medical Center 

Pharmacology/Toxicology Office: 601-984-1377 
James Shaffery, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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
Office: (601) 984-6684
Dr. Shaffery's Faculty Page
C. LaShan Simpson, PhD
Mississippi State University
Research focuses on cardiovascular disease, target therapies (cell and gene therapies) and nanotechnology to treat cardiovascular
Office: (662) 325-8279
Dr. Simpson's Faculty Page
Andrew Smith, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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
Dr. Smith's Faculty Page
Stanley Smith, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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
Office: (601) 815-1268
Dr. Smith's Faculty Page

James A. Stewart, Jr., PhD 

The University of Mississippi 

The current focus of my laboratory is to investigate the role of cardiac fibroblasts in type 2 diabetes mellitus‐induced cardiomyopathic conditions. Using knockout mice with a targeted gene deletion for the leptin receptor (db/db) mice, alterations in basal activation of signaling cascades and expression of pro‐fibrotic markers within the myocardium of diabetic (db/db) mice compared to non‐diabetic (Db/db) littermates are being examined Ongoing studies have been undertaken to examine the effects of increased mechanical load, increased oxidative stress, and anti‐oxidant therapy on fibroblast function and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling in the diabetic heart. Another focus of the Stewart laboratory is the role extracellular matrix plays in diabetic remodeling. By utilizing three dimensional matrix technologies, we can simulate in vivo matrix‐cell interactions in an in vitro environment to understand cardiac cellular responses.

Office: 662-915-2309
Faulty Page Link: 

Frank Spradley, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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,
Office: (601) 815-3114
Dr. Spradley's Faculty Page
Stephen Stray, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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
Office: (601) 984-1735
Dr. Stray's Faculty Page
Justin Thornton, PhD
Mississippi State University
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
Office: (662) 325-8020
Dr. Thornton's Faculty Page
Michelle Tucci, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Jorge E. Vidal, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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,
Office: (601) 815-1236
Dr. Vidal's Lab Page
Dr. Vidal's Faculty Page
Parminder Vig, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
For the past several years, the major focus of the lab was to understand the molecular mechansims of nerve cell degeneration in dominantly inherited cerebellar ataxias in order to develop treatment strategies for human patients with SCA1 or other ataxias. The current studies are looking at alterations in glia-neuron crosstalk and to determine if abnormal interactions between Bergmann glia and Purkinje cells affect Purkinje cell differentiation and function in the cerebellum. Students joining the lab learn different techniques from basic histology, immunohistochemistry and protein biochemistry to molecular biology methodologies like RT-PCR and gene-array analysis. Both in vitro cell lines and slice cultures and in vivo mouse models are being used. Based on the knowledge gained using in vitro and in vivo models of SCA1, in collaboration with Drs. Raucher and Bidwell novel elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) based therapeutic peptides (TPs) have been designed and being tested. Currently, we are optimizing the slice culture models to study the pathologic mechanisms in traumatic brain injury and multiple
Office: (601) 984-5513
Dr. Vig's Faculty Page
Kedra Wallace, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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,
Office: 601-984-5396
Ian Webb, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Research focuses to understand the mechanisms underlying diurnal rhythms in drug reward and their influences on the development and expression of drug addiction. Currently using a DREADD approach to examine the effects of mPFC glutamatergic neuron inhibition on daily rhythms in psychostimulant-induced CPP and
Mark Welch, PhD
Mississippi State University
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
Office: (662) 325-7564
Dr. Welch's Lab Page
Thomas Werfel, PhD
University of Mississippi
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,
Office: 662-915-8969
Dr. Werfel's Faculty Page

Kristie Willett, Ph.D. 
The University of Mississippi 

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,weare 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.
 Office- (662)915-6691
Faulty page link: 

Jan Williams, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Research focuses on renal physiology and diabetes and hypertension-induced
Office: (601) 984-1634
Dr. William's Faculty Page
Hao Xu, PhD
The University of Southern Mississippi
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
Office: (601) 266-4748
Dr. Xu's Faculty Page
Shan Yang, PhD
Jackson State University
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
Office: (601) 979-3611
Dr. Yang's Lab Page
Clement Yedjou, PhD
Jackson State University
Research focuses on pharmacology, toxicology and
Office: (601) 979-0215
Dr. Yedjou's Faculty Page
Xinchun Zhou, PhD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Research focuses on exploring lipid markers in diagnosis and prognosis of cancers, as well as on the metabolic pathways of identified lipid
Noha M. Elsayed
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Long-term consequences of hyper-androgenemic pregnancy on
Dr. Elsayed's Faculty Page
Lorena M. Amaral
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Progesterone as a treatment option for superimposed
Phone:(601) 815-1401
Dr. Amaral's Faculty Page
Rama Gadepalli
University of Mississippi
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
Suresh Sulochana
University of Mississippi
Bio-analysis by using UPLC-MS/MS, in-vitro studies and in-vivo PK
Dr. Sulochana's Faculty Page
Kenneth J. Sufka
University of Mississippi
(662) 915-7728
Dr. Sufka's Faculty Page
Erin Taylor
University of Mississippi Medical Center
The Role of Leptin in Autoimmune-Associated

Alan Mouton
University of Mississippi Medical Center
myocardial infarction, cardiac remodeling, macrophage 
(601) 984- 1819
Mouton's Faculty Page
Dr. Joshua Sharp
University of Mississippi
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
Dr. Sharp's Faculty Page
Hossam Abdelhamed
Mississippi State University
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
(662) 325-7726
Dr. Abdelhamed's Faculty Page