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Department of Pharmacology

Department of Pharmacology

Department of Pharmacology Faculty Members

Secondary and Training

Timothy A. Benke
Associate Professor
M.D./Ph.D., 1995, Baylor College of Medicine

Mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and impacts of development and epilepsy.

Associate Professor
M.D./Ph.D., 1995, University of Pennsylvania
The overall focus of my laboratory is the study of oncogenic gene fusions in lung cancer including ALK, ROS1, RET and NTRK1. We use molecular, cellular, genetic, and translational approaches to elucidate both the sensitivity and cellular resistance to oncogene-targeted therapy. We utilize cell line and animal models of lung cancer and have derived several new cell lines from tumors harboring oncogenic fusions. This research is facilitated by two IRB-approved protocols that support our translational research in oncogene-directed therapies in lung cancer: (1) that directs analysis of pre- and post-targeted therapy tumor samples to study mechanisms of tumor cell resistance to targeted therapies and (2) that allows collection of clinical data on lung cancer patients who have undergone molecular testing. Ultimately, our goal is to advance personalized medicine through the identification and analysis of driver oncogenes in lung cancer in order to improve the clinical outcomes of patients with this disease.

Elan Z. Eisenmesser
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., 1998, Purdue Univ.

Viral protein/host protein interactions, enzyme dynamics, and ligand/receptor interactions involved in cancer progression.

Patricia Ernst
Ph.D., 1996, Uni. of California, Los Angeles
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Development and Maintenance: The Role of the "Mixed Lineage Leukemia" Gene in Normal Blood Cell Development, Differentiation and Leukemia.

Paul V. Fennessey
Ph.D., 1968, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Solutions to clinical problems using stable isotopes and mass spectrometry.

Curt R. Freed
M.D., 1969, Harvard Univ.

The dynamic role of dopamine in movement; neural transplantation for Parkinson’s disease.

Robert M.D. Freedman
M.D., 1972, Harvard Univ.

Central nervous system physiology and pharmacology and its application to clinical psychiatry.

Anthony N. Gerber
M.D., Ph.D., 1998, Univ. of Washington

Targeting the glucocorticoid receptor for the treatment of inflammatory disorders of the lung such as asthma.

Lynn E. Heasley
Ph.D., 1985, Univ. of California, San Diego

Investigating the role of MAP kinases and specific receptor tyrosine kinases in normal and transformed growth of lung epithelial cells using techniques of molecular and cell biology in lung epithelial cells and human lung cancer cell lines.

Peter M. Henson
Ph.D., 1967, Cambridge Univ., UK

Inflammatory process as a paradigm of complex interacting cell networks and communication molecules and as a component of human diseases.

Paco Herson
Associate Professor
Ph.D., 1999, Univ. of Aberdeen, UK

Basic translational research using neurophysiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, histology and neuro-behavior to elucidate the mechanisms of neuronal injury and identify therapeutic targets for protection and repair.

Robert S. Hodges
Ph.D., 1971, Univ. of Alberta

Structure-function studies of multi-protein complexes; de novo design of model proteins to test our understanding of protein folding and structure and to design proteins with the desired biological/immunological activities; synthetic peptide vaccines and .

John W. Kappler
Ph.D., 1970, Brandeis Univ.

The study of the interaction between the T cell receptor and its signal ligands.

Jeffrey S. Kieft
Associate Professor
Ph.D., 1997, Univ. of California, Berkeley

The way by which viral RNAs, with their diverse and dynamic structures, can hijack the machinery of an infected cell and using this information to understand basic biological processes..

Christina C. Leslie
Ph.D., 1975, Univ. of Georgia

Signal transduction mechanisms regulating phospholipase A2 activation and the production of lipid mediators of inflammation.

Chuan-Yuan Li
Ph.D., 1993, Harvard Univ.

Molecular mechanisms of tumor response to therapy; roles of stem cells in tumor response to therapy.

Timothy A. McKinsey
Associate Professor
Ph.D., 1998, Vanderbilt Univ.

Epigenetic regulation of heart failure; signaling and transcriptional mechanisms of muscle disease.

Raphael A. Nemenoff
Ph.D., 1977, Cornell Univ.

Signaling pathways controlling growth and differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells; Role of eicosanoids in lung cancer.

Dennis R. Petersen
Ph.D., 1974, Univ. of Wyoming

Molecular mechanisms of chemical and drug toxicity.

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., 1998, Thomas Jefferson Univ.

The various biological functions regulated by glycogen synthase kinase-3 (Gsk-3) isoforms, and the ketogenic diet, which is used to treat epilepsy in children.

​J. David Port
Ph.D., 1989, Univ. of Utah

G-protein linked receptors and their regulation; regulation of mRNA stability.

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., 1999, Colorado State Univ.

We are interested in the cellular and molecular machinery responsible for cardiac pacemaking and its regulation by the autonomic nervous system.

David W.H. Riches
Ph.D., 1979, Univ. of Birmingham

Signal transduction by TNF receptor family members and their involvement in macrophage development; Regulation of myofibroblast and macrophage apoptosis and survival in pulmonary fibrosis and cystic fibrosis.

Natalie J. Serkova
Associate Professor
Ph.D., 1996, Univ. of Bremen

Animal Imaging (MRI, PET, CT); Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) based metabonomics; Cancer Metabolism and Physiology; Anti-Cancer Drugs; Ischemia/Reperfusion in Organs.

James M. Sikela
Ph.D., 1983, Case Western Reserve Univ.
Neurogenomics; disease gene discovery; human genome evolution and variation.
Kunhua Song
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., 2007, Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Using stem cells as a tool in the treatment of heart disease.

Carmen Sucharov

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., 1997, University of Pennsylvania/Universidale Federal do Rio de Janerio

Transcription regulation in cardiac hypertrophy

Dan Theodorescu
Professor and Director of the Univ. of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center
M.D., 1986, Queen's Univ. Faculty of Health Sciences; Ph.D., 1993, Univ. of Toronto
I'm a physician scientist. Our translational molecular biology laboratory focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms leading to bladder cancer metastasis and their potential applications to patients with this disease. Our group is at the forefront of the development of biomarkers and therapeutics in bladder cancer. My clinical practice is limited to bladder cancer management including surgery such as radical cystectomy using state of the art robotic techniques (i.e. da Vinci).

​​Rubin Tuder
M.D., 1979, São Paulo University of Medicine
Overall goals are to define the mechanisms of COPD pathogenesis and the molecular, cellular, and histopathological features of Pulmonary Hypertension. Our lab studies the pathogenesis of cigarette smoke induced emphysema and its underlying mechanisms, including the role of RTP-801 and adipocytokine, as well as his investigation in the pathogenesis of schistosomiasis-related pulmonary hypertension and development of targeted methods and treatment of pulmonary hypertension.
Dennis R. Voelker
Ph.D., 1978, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Phospholipid transport processes in eukaryotic cells. Pulmonary surfactant proteins – structure and function.
Xiao-Jing Wang
M.D., 1984, Beijing Medical Univ.
TGF-beta signal transduction, molecular mechanisms of cancer development and progression, functions of tumor suppressors and oncogenes.

Mary Weiser-Evans
Associate Professor
Ph.D., 1992, Colorado State Univ.

Defining the molecular signaling mechanisms regulating vascular smooth muscle cell function in the setting of vascular fibroproliferative diseases, including restenosis and pulmonary hypertension.