The administration of the program is managed by the Graduate Training Committee (GTC). The GTC is one of the most active committees in the department. The Committee administers all aspects of a student’s training, including student recruiters, individual program design, review and approval of laboratory rotation proposals, scheduling of the preliminary and comprehensive examinations, and selection of a thesis advisory committee. The Committee maintains an active role in overseeing the training in its entirety, making sure that curriculum, research experiences, and seminars provide an integrated and complete training experience. Entering students choose an advisor from the GTC to help guide them through their first year of training.
Current GTC members
J. David Port, PhD, Chairman
Mair E.A. Churchill, PhD
Scott Cramer, PhD
Mark L. Dell’Acqua, PhD
Tatiana Kutateladze, PhD
Timothy McKinsey, PhD
Raphael Nemenoff, PhD
Nancy Zahniser, PhD
Current Training Faculty members
Bayer, K. Ulrich Molecular memory mechanisms in cellular signal transduction and neuronal function; CaMKII and Ca2+ signaling
Benke, Timothy A. Mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and impacts of development and epilepsy
Churchill, Mair E. A. Structure and mechanism in gene regulation; biophysical and structural studies of protein-nucleic acid and protein-protein complexes in chromatin and bacterial pathogenesis
Cramer, Scott D. The molecular dissection of signaling pathways in prostatic cells, the identification of prostate progenitor or stem cells, and understanding epithelial-stromal interactions in normal and abnormal ductal morphogenesis.
Dell’Acqua, Mark L. Organization of signaling complexes by protein kinase and phosphatase anchoring proteins; mechanisms regulating neuronal second messenger signaling in synaptic plasticity
Eisenmesser, Elan Z. Viral protein/host protein interactions, enzyme dynamics, and ligand/receptor interactions involved in cancer progression
Ford, Heide L. My laboratory studies the parallels between normal development and tumorigenesis/metastasis with a focus on the role of the Six1/Eya transcriptional complex in TGF-beta signaling, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, cancer stem cells, and metastasis
Freed, Curt R. The dynamic role of dopamine in movement; neural transplantation for Parkinson’s disease
Freedman, Robert M. D. Central nervous system physiology and pharmacology and its application to clinical psychiatry
Gerber, Anthony N. Targeting the glucocorticoid receptor for the treatment of inflammatory disorders of the lung such as asthma.
Heasley, Lynn E. 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
Heidenreich, Kim A. Signal transduction pathways that regulate neuronal survival and apoptosis
Henson, Peter M. Inflammatory process as a paradigm of complex interacting cell networks and communication molecules and as a component of human diseases
Hodges, Robert S. 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 antimicrobial therapeutics
Hoffman, Paula L. Neuropharmacology; mechanisms of alcohol tolerance, dependence, and craving; genetic aspects of alcohol dependence and affective disorders; biochemical/molecular biological/genetic analysis of CNS receptors and signal transduction systems
Hunter, Lawrence E. Development and application of advanced computational techniques for biomedicine, particularly the application of statistical and knowledge–based techniques to the analysis of high–throughput data and of biomedical texts
Jones, David N. M. Molecular mechanism of alcohols and anesthetic actions; structure and function of biomolecules; NMR spectroscopy, x-ray crystallography, biophysics and molecular biology
Kennedy, Matthew J. Molecular mechanisms of activity-triggered synaptic remodeling.
Kieft, Jeffrey S. 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
Kutateladze, Tatiana G. Biochemistry and structural biology, NMR and crystal structures of proteins implicated in cancer, structure based drug design
Leonard, Sherry S. Molecular neurobiology of nicotine addiction in mental illness
Leslie, Christina C. Signal transduction mechanisms regulating phospholipase A2 activation and the production of lipid mediators of inflammation
Li, Chuan-Yuan Molecular mechanisms of tumor response to therapy; roles of stem cells in tumor response to therapy
McKinsey, Timothy A. Epigenetic regulation of heart failure; signaling and transcriptional mechanisms of muscle disease
Murphy, Robert C. Pharmacology and biochemistry of leukotrienes and bioactive lipids, lipid mediators of cellular response using biochemical mass spectrometry
Nemenoff, Raphael A. Signaling pathways controlling growth and differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells; Role of eicosanoids in lung cancer
Port, J. David G-protein linked receptors and their regulation; regulation of mRNA stability
Proenza, Catherine The cellular and molecular machinery responsible for cardiac pacemaking and its regulation by the autonomic nervous system
Sather, William A. Signaling through calcium channels in neurons
Serkova, Natalie J. Animal Imaging (MRI, PET, CT); Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) based metabonomics; Cancer Metabolism and Physiology; Anti-Cancer Drugs; Ischemia/Reperfusion in Organs
Sikela, James M. Neurogenomics; disease gene discovery; human genome evolution and variation
Song, Kunhua Using stem cells as a tool in the treatment of heart disease.
Tabakoff, Boris Molecular pharmacology; pharmacogenetics; neuroadaptation and neurotransmitter metabolism/enzymology; CNS receptor molecular pharmacology and genetics/genomics of addiction
Theodorescu, Daniel 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).
Thorburn, Andrew M. Understanding the signaling mechanisms that control apoptosis in cancer development and during the response of tumor cells to cancer therapeutics
Traystman, Richard J. Neuroscience, cerebrovascular physiology, stroke, cardiac arrest/CPR, respiration, cardiopulmonary physiology
Tucker, Chandra L. Study and manipulation of protein homeostasis and signaling pathways in live cells, optogenetic tools for controlling protein interactions, synthetic biology, cytosolic protein misfolding, yeast genetics/genomics.
Voelker, Dennis R. Phospholipid transport processes in eukaryotic cells. Pulmonary surfactant proteins – structure and function.
Wang, Xiao-Jing TGF-beta signal transduction, molecular mechanisms of cancer development and progression, functions of tumor suppressors and oncogenes
Weiser-Evans, Mary C. M. Defining the molecular signaling mechanisms regulating vascular smooth muscle cell function in the setting of vascular fibroproliferative diseases, including restenosis and pulmonary hypertension
Zahniser, Nancy R. Mechanisms involved in dopamine transporter trafficking; cocaine’s differential actions among individuals; brain neurotransmitter receptor regulation
Program External Advisory Committee
PHILIP S. CHEN, JR., PH.D.
Executive Vice President of Research & Development,
Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director for Intramural Research, National Institutes of Health (Retired)
PERRY B. MOLINOFF, M.D.
Vice-Provost for Research
University of Pennsylvania
LEE E. LIMBIRD, PH.D.
School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Business
GARY L. JOHNSON, PH.D.
Department of Pharmacology
University of North Carolina
R. Adron Harris, Ph.D.
M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Professor
Director, Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research
University of Texas