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Emerging Research Areas of Strength

Imaging Research

Erik Shapiro heads the Molecular and Cellular Imagiong Laboratory (MCIL) that is focused on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and x-ray computed tomography (CT) for molecular and cellular imaging of biological phenomena, regenerative medicine, and early detection of disease. Working at the intersection of chemistry, physics and biology, Dr. Shapiro’s laboratory has three main cores: developing novel nanoparticle contrast agents for MRI and CT; using molecular and cellular imaging for monitoring cell migration, such as after stem cell transplant; and using targeted contrast agents to detect specific molecular epitopes, such as in cancer.

Jill McMahon has been NIH funded to investigate the effects of exercise on reversing diabetic peripheral neuropathy and the effects of statin medications on muscle function using MRI  to examine muscle size and muscle damage and Magnetic resonance spectroscopy to examine phosphorus metabolites. She also explores the influence of age and exercise on vascular function using MRI to examine microvascular function with fMRI, MRI CINE PC and ultrasound to examine blood flow in the leg artery and veins.

Chunqi Qian's research is focused on the development of advanced detection technologies for MRI and biosensing, and the development of multiphysical theranostic methods to study vasculature diseases related to kidney, heart and brain.

Applied Immunology

Applied Immunology Center for Education and Research (AICER)

Andrea Amalfitano's lab has focused on genetic based therapies by using Adenovirus to develop improved gene transfer vector and studying innate immune system pathways to allow for safer gene transfer as well for improved use of these vectors in vaccine application targets such as HIV, malaria, and C. difficile, and cancers.

Andrew Olive's lab studies the role of IFNg mediated mechanisms for host resistance and tolerance immune pathways during chronic infections caused by on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Chlamydia trachomatis.

Karen T Liby's lab studies the role of inflammation in cancer and has been NIH funded for investigating Nrf2 pathway in cancer, and PARP Inhibitors for cancer chemoprevention.

Yasser Aldhamen's lab studies SLAM family of receptors signaling in immune cells to develop next generation of immunotherapeutics for applications in HIV and cancers.

Erik Martinez Hackert's lab has been NIH funded to investigate TGFß family signaling pathways. He also works on the role Nodal inhibitor (Cereberus) in metastatic cancers.

Julia Busik's lab works on diabetic retinopathy; n6 fatty acids (linoleic18:2n6 and arachidonic20:4n6 ) have a pro-inflammatory effect and the major n3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in the retina, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA22:6n3), has a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect on human Retinal Vascular Endothelial cells.

Kin Sing Stephen Lee's lab studies dietary lipids and environmental chemicals; the molecular mechanism on how the omega-3 (DHA, EPA, Fish oil, etc) to omega-6 (Arachidonic acid, Soybean oil, etc) ratio in our diet affects human diseases.