School of Medicine
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Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor and Professor of Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Biochemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch in this laboratory focuses on problems where deep insights into enzymology and metabolism can be harnessed to improve human health.
For the past two decades, we have studied and engineered enzymatic assembly lines called polyketide synthases that catalyze the biosynthesis of structurally complex and medicinally fascinating antibiotics in bacteria. An example of such an assembly line is found in the erythromycin biosynthetic pathway. Our current focus is on understanding the structure and mechanism of this polyketide synthase. At the same time, we are developing methods to decode the vast and growing number of orphan polyketide assembly lines in the sequence databases.
For more than a decade, we have also investigated the pathogenesis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, with the goal of discovering therapies and related management tools for this widespread but overlooked disease. Ongoing efforts focus on understanding the pivotal role of transglutaminase 2 in triggering the inflammatory response to dietary gluten in the celiac intestine.
George A. and Hilda M. Daubert Professor of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly Interests• Design of cell-permeable reagents for profiling, modifying, and controlling RNAs
• Developing fluorescent probes of DNA repair pathways, with applications in cancer, aging, and neurodegenerative disease
• Discovery and development of small-molecule modulators of DNA repair enzymes, with focus on cancer and inflammation
Philip W. Lavori
Professor of Biomedical Data Science, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsBiostatistics, clinical trials, longitudinal studies, casual inference from observational studies, genetic tissue banking, informed consent. Trial designs for dynamic (adaptive) treatment regimes, psychiatric research, cancer.
Natalie Shaubie Lui
Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery (Thoracic Surgery)
BioDr. Lui studied physics as an undergraduate at Harvard before attending medical school at Johns Hopkins. She completed a general surgery residency at the University of California San Francisco, which included two years of research in the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Laboratory and completion of a Master in Advanced Studies in clinical research. Dr. Lui went on to hold a fellowship in Thoracic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, during which she participated in visiting rotations at Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Lui’s surgical practice consists of general thoracic surgery with a focus on thoracic oncology and robotic thoracic surgery. Her research interests include intraoperative molecular imaging for lung cancer localization, increasing rates of lung cancer screening, and using artificial intelligence to predict lung cancer recurrence. She is the recipient of the Donald B. Doty Educational Award in 2019 from the Western Thoracic Surgical Association, the Dwight C. McGoon Award for teaching from the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association in 2020, and the Carolyn E. Reed Traveling Fellowship from the Thoracic Surgery Foundation and Women in Thoracic Surgery in 2022.
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly Interests1. Improvement of our newly discovered cancer prodrug regimen that permits noninvaisve visualization of drug activation. 2. Tracking tumors & cancer metastases using bacterial magnetite and newly developed single-cell tracking by MRI. 3. Molecular basis of bacterial planktonic and biofilm antibiotic resistance on Earth and under space microgravity -- development of new countermeasures; 4. Bioremediation.
George D. Smith Professor of Translational Medicine
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsTwo areas: 1. Using rationally-designed peptide inhibitors to study protein-protein interactions in cell signaling. Focus: protein kinase C in heart and large GTPases regulating mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegdenration. 2. Using small molecules (identified in a high throughput screens and synthetic chemistry) as activators and inhibitors of aldehyde dehydrogenases, a family of detoxifying enzymes, and glucose-6-phoshate dehydrogenase, in normal cells and in models of human diseases.
Professor of Neurology and, by courtesy, of Neurosurgery, of Pediatrics, of Pathology and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Monje Lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of postnatal neurodevelopment. This includes microenvironmental influences on neural precursor cell fate choice in normal neurodevelopment and in disease states.
Prithvi Mruthyunjaya, MD, MHS
Professor of Ophthalmology and, by courtesy, of Radiation Oncology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr Mruthyunjaya has maintained a broad research interest with publications in both ocular oncology and retinal diseases.
His focus is on multi-modal imaging of ocular tumors and understanding imaging clues that may predict vision loss after ocular radiation therapy. He coordinates multi-center research on the role of genetic testing and outcomes of treatments of ocular melanoma.
In the field of retinal diseases, his interests are in intra-operative imaging to enhance surgical accuracy.
Joel Neal, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Oncology)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am a thoracic oncologist who cares for patients with non-small cell lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma, and other thoracic malignancies. I design and conduct clinical trials of novel therapies in collaboration with other researchers and pharmaceutical companies. These generally focus on two areas, 1) targeted therapies against particular mutations in cancers (for example EGFR, ALK, ROS1, HER2, KRAS, MET, and others) and 2) the emerging field of immunotherapy in cancer, using anti PD-1/PD-L1 therapies in combination with other agents, and also developing cellular therapies. I also collaborate with other researchers on campus to apply emerging technologies to cancer therapy, for example, circulating tumor DNA detection. Additionally, in my role as the Cancer Center IT Medical Director, I coordinate projects relating to our use of the electronic health record to improve provider efficiency and facilitate patient care.
Susy Yuan-Huey Hung Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMolecular mechanisms of targeted therapy resistance in breast and other cancers