Biochemistry and Molecular Biology—PhD


Department of Biological Sciences

Rupali Datta

  • Acting Biological Sciences Department Chair (Spr 2020)
  • Professor, Biological Sciences


  • Plant Biochemistry
  • Environmental Remediation
  • Plant-Microbe Interactions

Paul D. Goetsch

  • Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

Areas of Expertise

  • Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry
  • Genomics / Bioinformatics

Research Interests

  • Developmental Biology
  • Transcriptional Biology
  • Cancer Biology

Michael R. Gretz

  • Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Director, Chemical Advanced Resolution Methods Laboratory

Research Interests

  • Algal Extracellular Polymers and Biocomposites - Regulation of Biogenesis
Chandrashekhar Joshi
"Cellulose is the fiber of human civilization."

Chandrashekhar P. Joshi

  • Department Chair and Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Affiliated Professor, CFRES

Research Interests: Biological Sciences

  • Plant Molecular Genetics

Areas of Expertise: Biology and Forestry

  • Cellulose and lignin biosynthesis in trees
  • Wood formation
  • Tree growth and development
  • Engineering trees
  • Forest bioinformatics

Guiliang Tang

  • Professor, Biological Sciences


  • Gene Silencing
  • RNA Interference (RNAi)
  • MicroRNA (miRNA)
  • RNA Silencing in Plant Germ Extract and Drosophila Embryo Lysate.
  • Fungal RNAi and microRNA
  • MicroRNA Technologies: Small Tandem Target mimic (STTM) and MicroRNA Array
  • Plant Electrophysiology in Plant microRNA STTM lines and Venus flytrap.

Xiaohu (Mark) Tang

  • Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences


  • CV

Research Interests

  • Cancer Genetics and Metabolism
  • Mechanisms of Cancer Initiation and Progression
  • Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Interactions of Diet and Nutrition with Cancer

Xiaoqing Tang

  • Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Research Interests

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Insulin Production, Secretion, and Signaling
  • microRNA and Human Diseases (Diabetes, Cancers, etc.)
  • microRNA Technologies for Plants and Animals: Small Tandem Target Mimic (STTM) and MicroRNA Array

Stephen Techtmann

  • Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

Research Interests

  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Next-generation sequencing technology and bioinformatics
  • Microbial physiology and biochemistry
  • Microbes as sensors for the environmental impacts of oil and gas production
  • Microbially-mediated remediation of crude oil contamination

Ebenezer Tumban

  • Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Director and Advisor, Graduate Program

Research Interests

  • Infectious diseases, human papillomaviruses
  • Virus-like particles, prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines
  • Vaccine formulations
  • Peptide mimotopes discovery

Thomas Werner

  • Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Links of Interest

Research Interests

  • Evolution
  • Genetics
  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Biology

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Jeremy Goldman

  • Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Affiliated Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Affiliated Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests

  • The biology and physiology of the lymphatic and blood vascular systems including vascular regeneration, remodeling and pathology
  • Vascular biomaterials, including polymeric, natural, and metallic, for vascular repair and regeneration

Smitha Rao

  • Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Links of Interests

Research webpage

Research Interests

  • Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)
  • Nanotechnology
  • Microfluidics for cancer research
  • Microenvironment platforms to characterize cellular interactions
  • Sensors and devices for biomedical sensing and implantable devices
  • Piezo-based polymeric sensors
  • Microscale devices for biomedical sensors
  • Electrospun fibers for scaffold and electrical sensing

Feng Zhao

  • Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Graduate Program Director, Biomedical Engineering

Links of Interest

Research Interests

  • Stem cell therapies
  • Naturally derived biomaterials
  • Cell sheet engineering
  • 3D scaffold-free tissue fabrication
  • Cardiovascular tissue regeneration
  • Neural Tissue Engineering

Department of Chemistry

Tarun K. Dam

  • Associate Professor, Chemistry
  • Director, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) Program

Research Interests

  • Molecular basis of glycan (carbohydrate)-mediated biological functions
  • Glycan binding proteins or lectins
  • Glycan detection
  • Mechanistic glycobiology
  • Macromolecular communication
  • Biomolecular thermodynamics

Shiyue Fang

  • Professor, Chemistry

Links of Interest

Research Interests

  • Organic synthesis, including the synthesis of natural and unnatural useful molecules and the development of synthetic methodologies.

Pushpalatha Murthy

  • Professor, Chemistry
  • Associate Dean, Graduate School

Research Interests

  • Structure, metabolism, and biological role of phosphoinositides in plant cells
  • Catalytic and structural aspects of phytases, including specificity of hydrolysis, molecular weight and subunit structure, amino acid sequence, and molecular biology
  • Biosynthesis, subcellular localization, and biological role of novel scyllo-inositol containing phosphoinositides

Marina Tanasova

  • Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Links of Interest

  • Positions are open for undergraduate, M.S. and Ph.D. students and Postdocs

Research Interests

  • Synthesis of molecular probes for evaluating substrate selection by carbohydrate transporters
  • Development of platforms for tumor imaging and drug delivery
  • Design and synthesis of bioreductively-activated DNA repair inhibitors

Martin Thompson

  • Associate Professor, Chemistry

Links of Interest

Research Interests

  • Understanding the molecular recognition features and assembly mechanisms of gene regulation

Ashutosh Tiwari

  • Associate Professor, Chemistry
  • Director, Graduate Programs

Research Interests

  • Identify experimental conditions that can generate diverse aggregated protein structures from the same proteins.
  • Develop novel tools and techniques to differentiate amongst the varied aggregated species of proteins.
  • Understand the relationship between aggregated protein species and its associated cellular toxicity.

Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Parisa Pour Shahid Saeed Abadi

  • Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering—Engineering Mechanics
  • Affiliated Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Affiliated Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Links of Interest

Research Interests

  • Nanomaterials
  • Stem cell and tissue engineering
  • Nano-biomaterials
  • Mechanical characterization of advanced materials
  • Sensors and actuators in medical device
  • Finite element analysis (FEA)

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences

Victor Busov
"I consider myself extremely fortunate to live in a time when genome revolution in many areas of biology is enabling unprecedented depth into our understanding of life."

Victor Busov

  • Professor

Areas of Expertise

  • Functional genomics of plant development
  • Gibberellins metabolism and signal transduction pathway
  • Regulation of lateral root formation in relation to abiotic stress
  • Regulation and evolution of secondary growth in woody perennials
  • Micro and small RNAs regulation of development and response to environment
Carsten Külheim
"Forestry will become a major provider of key materials; from construction to high-tech to biofuels. It is our job to ensure trees thrive."

Carsten Külheim

  • Associate Professor

Areas of Expertise

  • Genetic basis of trait variation
  • Plant adaptation to local environment
  • Plant secondary metabolism
  • Chemical ecology including plant –herbivore interactions
  • Functional genomics of plant defences
Hairong Wei
"We are doing excellent job in describing how an individual gene functions, but not how life functions. Systems biology is to fill this gap."

Hairong Wei

  • Professor
  • Affiliated Professor, Mathematical Sciences
  • Affiliated Professor, Computer Science

Areas of Expertise

  • Identification of genes regulating complex traits via systems biology approaches
  • Gene expression data analysis
  • Gene network construction and decomposition
  • Developing software for mining large-scale biological data
  • Genomics of wood formation