GSBS Research Opportunities | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
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Research Opportunities Available

Below are descriptions of research projects of faculty who are planning to accept new rotation students in the current academic year (2020-2021). This list is updated annually in the summer and may be referenced for students or others seeking a TTUHSC faculty research mentor. Importantly, rotating graduate students should take note of how likely the faculty members are to accept students into their laboratories, based on the availability of space and/or funding—or whether the experience is available for educational purposes only.

Faculty Name Research Area/Project Title Keywords Type
Almodovar, Sharilyn Molecular Mechanisms of HIV-associated Pulmonary Hypertension HIV; pulmonary disease; humanized mouse models; CXCR4 signaling; vasculopathy Rotation only
Artigas, Pablo Pathophysiological role of the non-gastric H/K pump, ion selectivity, regulation and specific inhibitor's development. Importance of Na/K pump regulation for cardiovascular and nervous systems. Ion homeostasis, electrophysiolgy, protein biochemistry, kinases, palmitoylation, ventricular myocytes, brain slices  
Benamar, Khalid Pharmacology of the Analgesic and Abuse-related Effects of Opioids/Cannabinoids HIV-1-related Neuropathic Pain drugs of abuse; analgesia; pain; HIV-1  
Bhutia, Yangzom Understanding molecular mechanisms associated with pancreatic cancer drug resistance; Identifying targets to be used either as a biomarker or as a therapeutic target to treat pancreatic/prostate cancer pancreatic cancer; prostate cancer; biomarker; drug resistance; drug targets Rotation only
Bobulescu, Ion Alexandru Disturbances in renal lipid metabolism and their role in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease and renal cell carcinoma. Renal iron metabolism in the context of chronic kidney disease and iron supplementation. rodent models, whole-animal physiology, renal physiology, cell culture models  
Cornwall, Gail Functional Amyloid in the Reproductive Tract amyloid; spermatozoa; epididymis; extracellular quality control; protein folding  
Cuello, Luis Atomic description of the structural determinants underlying neuronal excitability. The elucidation of the molecular basis of ion channels-related diseases, e.g., epilepsy, long-QT syndrome and cancer with a special focus on structure-based drug discovery. Keywords: Ion-channels, Crystallography, Electrophysiology, Neurological-disorders, Neuronal-excitability, Cancer and Drug-Discovery. Rotation only
Fralick, Joe Antibiotic Resistance/Targeted Therapy Phage Therapy, Combinatorial Chemistry, Phage Display, and anti-eptitopic peptides Rotation only
Gittner, Lisa The Public Health Exposome Project: Health Risk Assessment Using Big Data Chronic Disease Risks, Prevention of Lifestyle Disease, Big Data  
Guan, Lan 3-D high-resolution structures of nutrient transporters Cryo-EM, X-ray crystallography, ligand binding thermodynamics transport biochemistry, molecular microbiology  
Guindon, Josee Mechanisms of Modulating Acute, Chronic and Cancer Pain Pathways Using Physiological Processes, Reference Compounds, and Endocannabinoid Modulators Inflammatory, surgical, chemotherapy and cancer pain models; behavioral pharmacology; immunohistochemistry; molecular biology  
Hamood, Abdul The Pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa During Sepsis Alternative (to Antibiotics) Novel Therapies to Treat Gram-positive and Gram-negative Wound Pathogens severe burn; systemic infection; gene expression; topical antimicrobials; Next-ScienceR; pyocins Rotation only
Hardy, Daniel Evolution of protein structure and function in animal fertilization. Sex differences in connective tissue maintenance and repair underlying injury susceptibility. Sperm protein biotechnology species-specificity; molecular evolution; cell adhesion; matrix metalloproteinases; gene expression profiling  
Jansen, Michaela Molecular mechanisms of clinically-used drugs on neurotransmitter-gated ion channels, structure and function studies of ion channels. Structure function studies of folate transporters for development of novel cancer drugs Membrane transport proteins; ligand binding and interactions; structure; function; neuroscience; pharmacology; cancer  
Kang, Min Mechanisms of Drug Resistance in Pediatric Cancers chemoresistance; pediatric cancers; molecular pharmacology; BCL-2; MYC  
Karamyshev, Andrey Molecular mechanisms of human diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, protein translation regulation, gene silencing, RNA/protein quality control in health and disease molecular and cellular biology; human diseases; neurodegenerative disorders; gene silencing; protein translation; RNA stability and degradation; non-coding RNAs  
Lawrence, J. Josh Neuromodulation of GABAergic Circuits in Normal and Disease States electrophysiology; multiphoton imaging; confocal imaging; transgenic mouse technology; acetylcholine; hippocampus; neurodegenerative diseases; neurodevelopmental disorders; autism  
Liang, Henry Membrane protein-mediated transport and recognition performance in artificial systems; Development of novel antimicrobials with high activity, low toxicity, and target specificity; Drug delivery antibiotics and biofilms; drug delivery; biomembranes and biomimetic membranes; membrane protein bionanotechnology  
Nandana, Srinivas Molecular Mechanisms of Prostate Cancer Metastasis Mouse Models, Prostate Cancer, Bone Metastasis, Signaling Mechanisms  
Neugebauer, Volker Brain mechanisms of chronic pain, opioid functions, neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative disorders. Optogenetics, multiphoton calcium imaging, confocal microscopy, electrophysiology, behavior  
Palle, Kumar Major research focus cancer biology and therapeutics develoopment cancer biology; therapeutics development; ovarian cancer; breast cancer  
Ponomarev, Igor Neuroimmune signaling in Alcohol Use Disorder and comorbid conditions: The role of specific brain cell types. Brain mechanisms of alcohol and drug abuse, Neurogenomics, Epigenomics, Single cell sequencing, Bioinformatics  
Pruitt, Kevin Screening for Novel Acetylated Proteins Involved in Tumor Promotion cancer epigenetics; aromatase regulation; WNT signaling  
Reddy, Hemachandra The Molecular and Cellular Bases of Aging in Age-related Neurodegenerative Diseases neurogenetics; mouse models; neurodegenerative diseases; aging; mitochondria; oxidative stress; mitochondrial therapeutics  
Reynolds, Patrick  Cancer Developmental Therapeutics childhood cancers; telomere maintenance; immunotherapy; retinoids; targeting DNA repair  
Thomas, Jeffrey H. Cell Shape Change and Movement in Development; Regulation of the Cytoskeleton; Src Signal Transduction morphogenesis; embryonic development; cell shape change; actomyosin dynamics; cytoskeleton  
Tripathi, Manisha Understanding the Role of Tumor Microenvironment in Prostate Cancer Progression Tumor Microenvironment, Prostate Cancer, Neuroendocrine Differentiation, Cancer Associates Fibroblasts, Tumor Associated Macrophages  
Urbatsch, Ina Understanding Polyspecific Drug Binding in P-glycoprotein ABC transporter function; multi-drug resistance; genetic disease