The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases

Faculty

 John F. Hancock

John F. Hancock, MA, MB, BChir, PhD, ScD

Vice-Dean of Research
Executive Director, Institute of Molecular Medicine,
Professor and Chairman, Dept Integrative Biology and Pharmacology
John S Dunn Distinguished University Chair in Physiology and Medicine

Dr. Hancock’s laboratory studies basic mechanisms of mammalian cell signaling. He is especially interested in the function of Ras proteins.

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 David Gorenstein

David Gorenstein, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research, School of Medicine
Chair, Department of NanoMedicine and Biomedical Engineering
Deputy Director and James T. Willerson Distinguished Chair
Director, IMM Center for Proteomics and Systems Biology

David Gorenstein, Ph.D., joined UTHealth January 1, 2009 as Professor and Deputy Director of the IMM. Dr. Gorenstein. He was most recently the Associate Dean for Research, School of Medicine, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and the Charles Marc Pomerat Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Neurosciences & Cell Biology.

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 Melissa B. Aldrich

Melissa B. Aldrich, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Molecular Imaging

Dr. Aldrich’s research focuses on the study of lymphatic dysfunction and the translation of near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging of lymphatics to clinical use.

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 Zhiqiang An

Zhiqiang An, Ph.D.

Professor, Texas Therapeutics Institute

Dr. Zhiqiang An is Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM), where he will direct the newly established Texas Therapeutic Institute.

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 Ali Azhdarinia

Ali Azhdarinia, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Molecular Imaging

Dr. Azhdarinia’s research expertise is in the area of imaging probe design using radioactive and optical contrast for multimodality imaging. Through the development of such agents, clinical diagnostics, therapeutics, and intraoperative surgical procedures can be redefined with more accuracy and sensitivity for early detection and management of disease.

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 Xiaohong Bi

Xiaohong Bi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Proteomics and Systems Biology

Dr. Bi’s research focuses on the development of optical spectroscopy and imaging techniques for disease diagnosis, therapy response evaluation as well as guidance of surgery.

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 Gerald F. Bills

Gerald F. Bills, Ph.D.

Professor, Texas Therapeutics Institute

Dr. Gerald Bills and his lab study how and why fungi and other microorganisms produce complex bioactive natural products. They are especially interested in understanding the processes that underlie the synthesis of bioactive natural products and applying them to deliver molecules that can intervene in human diseases and infections.

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 Eric Boerwinkle

Eric Boerwinkle, Ph.D.

Professor and Director, IMM Center for Human Genetics
Kozmetsky Family Chair in Human Genetics
Professor and Director, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health

The research interests of Dr. Boerwinkle encompass the genetic analysis of the common chronic diseases in humans, including coronary artery disease, hypertension, and non-insulin dependent (type II) diabetes.

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 Laura A. Smith Callahan

Laura A. Smith Callahan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Neurosurgery & Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Smith Callahan’s research focuses on the development of novel biomaterials and tissue engineering scaffolds containing bio-active peptides for tissue engineering applications relating to traumatic brain, spinal cord and cartilage injury.

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 Qi Lin Cao

Qi Lin Cao, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Cao is a principal investigator and associate professor with the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery and the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. In addition, he is an Investigator with the Senator Lloyd and B.A. Bentsen Center for Stroke Research.

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 Yeonseok Chung

Yeonseok Chung, Ph.D.

 Assistant Professor (Adjunct), Center for Immunology and Autoimmune Diseases

Dr. Chung's research interests are directed at understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in mediating the immune-mediated disorders.

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 Charles Cox, Jr.

Charles Cox, Jr., MD

Children’s Fund Distinguished Professor
Director of the Pediatric Trauma Program at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital
Department of Pediatric Surgery
Professor, Center for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine

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 Radbod Darabi

Radbod Darabi, M.D, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Darabi’s lab main interest is using pluripotent stem cells for skeletal muscle regeneration.

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 Brian R. Davis

Brian R. Davis, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine
C. Harold and Lorine G. Wallace Distinguished University Chair

Dr. Davis graduated in 1976 from Harvard University with an A.B. degree, summa cum laude, in Physics. His undergraduate research on searches

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 Peter A. Doris

Peter A. Doris, Ph.D.

Professor & Deputy Director, Center for Human Genetics

Dr. Doris is investigating the genetics and pathophysiologic mechanisms of common cardiovascular diseases. His work is focused on high blood pressure, stroke, and renal injury.

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 Myriam Fornage

Myriam Fornage, Ph.D.

Professor, Center for Human Genetics
Laurence and Johanna Favrot Distinguished Professor in Cardiology

Dr. Fornage's research interests lie in the molecular genetics of complex diseases, with an emphasis on cerebrovascular disease and stroke.

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 Philip P. Foster

Philip P. Foster, M.D., Ph.D.,

Assistant Professor, Center for Proteomics and Systems Biology

Philip P. Foster, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician and research scientist who has achieved international acclaim for his exceptional and original research contributions that span a broad spectrum of biology of oxygen to applied operational or basic research for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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 Irma Gigli

Irma Gigli, M.D.

Professor Emeritus
The Walter & Mary Mischer Distinguished Professor in Molecular Medicine
The Hans J. Müller-Eberhard Chair in Immunology
Director Emeritus, IMM Center for Immunology & Autoimmune Diseases

Dr. Irma Gigli received her undergraduate education in Argentina and did her medical training at Cook County Hospital, Chicago.

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 Manuel Gonzalez-Garay

Manuel Gonzalez-Garay, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Molecular Imaging

Over the past 12 years, working in industry and academia, Dr. Gonzalez-Garay has developed extensive experience in bioinformatics, software development, and computational analysis. In 1996, Dr. Gonzalez-Garay completed his Ph.D. at the University of Texas, writing a dissertation about the regulation of the stoichiometry of tubulin.

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 Barrett R. Harvey

Barrett R. Harvey, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Molecular Imaging

Dr. Barrett Harvey earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003. He joined Merck Research Laboratories in

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 Nicholas J. Justice

Nicholas J. Justice, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor - Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases

The fundamental goal of the lab is to understand how stress, anxiety, and depression impact the progression of neurodegenerative disease.

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 Dong H. Kim

Dong H. Kim, M.D.

Professor, Chair, The Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery
Director, Mischer Neuroscience Institute
Professor, Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine


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 Mikhail Kolonin

Mikhail Kolonin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor 
Director, Center For Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases
Annie and Bob Graham Distinguished Chair in Stem Cell Biology 

Research in the Kolonin Laboratory is aimed at understanding how adult progenitor cells from adipose tissue promote cancer progression in obesity and at using high-throughput screening techniques to develop agents for targeted inactivation of progenitor cells in pathology.

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 Sun Kuk Kwon

Sun Kuk Kwon, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Molecular Imaging

The main research interest focuses on investigating lymphatic function in health and disease using a near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence optical imaging technique.

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 Wenliang Li

Wenliang Li, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Texas Therapeutics Institute

Dr. Wenliang Li’s research is to study novel molecular mechanisms of cancer metastasis with the goal of identifying new biomarkers and drug targets for the development of better therapeutics for human cancers.

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 Yong Li

Yong Li, MD, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Pediatric Surgery
Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

Within the newly established program in Children’s Regeneration Medicine at UTHealth, Dr. Li and his team will continually interest in investigating the field of stem cells, fibrosis prevention, and tissue engineering by using ground-breaking molecular and cellular biology techniques.

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 Qingyun (Jim) Liu, Ph.D.

Qingyun (Jim) Liu, Ph.D.,

Professor, Texas Therapeutics Institute

Dr. Qingyun (Jim) Liu obtained his B.S. in virology from Wuhan University, China. He studied in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry of Yale University via the CUSBEA (China-U.S. Biochemistry Examination and Application) program and obtained his Ph.D. in molecular biology. He did his postdoctoral training in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School.

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 Ying Liu

Ying Liu, M.D., PhD.

Assistant Professor
Department of Neurosurgery
Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
Research Scientist, Mischer Neuroscience Institute

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 Amber Luong

Amber Luong, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Immunology and Autoimmune Diseases and Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Amber Luong received her MD/PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas through the NIH sponsored Medical Scientist Training Program.

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 Ali J. Marian

Ali J. Marian, M.D.

Professor and Director, Center for Cardiovascular Genetic Research
George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation Distinguished Professor in Cardiovascular Research

Dr. Marian received his M.D in 1981 from Tehran University in Iran. He completed post-doctoral training in Internal Medicine at Cook

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 Nami McCarty

Nami McCarty, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine 

Dr. Nami McCarty received M.S. degree at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL in 1994. She obtained her Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology from Purdue University in 2000. From 1998 - 2005, she received her postdoctoral training at the Cancer Center, MIT and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School.

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 Naoki Nakayama

Naoki Nakayama, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine 

Dr. Nakayama serves as Associate Professor of the Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine.

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 Vihang A. Narkar

Vihang A. Narkar, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Disease

Narkar lab uses a combination of genetic engineering and pharmacological targeting in mice to study transcriptional pathways that control skeletal muscle function in health and in diseases such as diabetes and muscular dystrophies.

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 John Rasmussen

John Rasmussen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Molecular Imaging

Dr. Rasmussen’s research interests focus on the continued development and clinical translation of technologies for non-conventional therapies, particularly in the use of optical imaging to further our understanding of biological systems and to develop diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for a variety of diseases including lymphovascular disorders and cancer.

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 Kevin Rosenblatt

Kevin Rosenblatt, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Center for Proteomics and Systems Biology

Dr. Kevin P. Rosenblatt’s clinical area of expertise is in biomarker development and assay development; his basic science areas of interest include systems biology, cancer cell and neural cell signaling, and the elucidation of signaling pathways that regulate aging/longevity in animal and cellular models.

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 Eva Sevick-Muraca

Eva Sevick-Muraca, Ph.D.

Professor, Cullen Chair in Molecular Medicine
Professor and Director Center for Molecular Imaging
Part of the National Cancer Institute Network for Translational Research

Eva M. Sevick, Ph.D. is Professor and Cullen Chair in Molecular Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center's Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) where she currently directs the Center for Molecular Imaging.

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 Paul J. Simmons

Paul J. Simmons, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor

Dr. Simmons serves Adjunct Professor for the Center for Stem Cell Research at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine.

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 I-Chih Tan

I-Chih Tan, PhD

Assistant Professor, Center for Molecular Imaging

Dr. I-Chih Tan’s research program focuses upon the application-specific development of technologies for unmet clinical needs, as well as broad-based development of technologies for basic science investigation.

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 Ba-Bie Teng

Ba-Bie Teng, Ph.D.

Professor, Center for Human Genetics - The Jerry and Maury Rubenstein Foundation Distinguished Professorship in Heart Disease Research

Dr. Teng’s laboratory is interested in the discovery of mechanisms contributing to the complex process of atherosclerosis in humans and animal models and design and development of genetic and cell therapies for the treatment of atherosclerotic vascular disease.

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 Qingchun Tong

Qingchun Tong, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Disease

The Tong lab studies how neurocircuitry in the brain controls feeding, energy expenditure and glucose homeostasis.

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 Kyoji Tsuchikama

Kyoji Tsuchikama, PhD

Assistant Professor
Texas Therapeutics Institute

Development of chemical agents, tools, and strategies for combating infectious diseases

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 David Volk

David Volk, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Proteomics and Systems Biology and
Department of Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering

His research interests are generally related to human health and structural biology, and past work has included the study of cancer-causing DNA mutations, flavivrirus structures, immune regulation, DNA synthesis, quantum chemistry and Lewis acid-mediated stereochemistry.

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 Dachun Wang

Dachun Wang, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Immunology and Autoimmune Disease 

Dachun Wang received his M.D. degree from Fujian University of Medical Sciences and graduate training at Sun Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences and Institute of Forensic Sciences of Justice Department in China, where he focused on the study of wound-healing responses to tissue injury.

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 Pamela L. Wenzel, Ph.D.

Pamela L. Wenzel, Ph.D.,

Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatric Surgery, UT Medical School Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, IMM

Dr. Wenzel’s research is focused on understanding the relationship between stem cell potential and biomechanical force. Members of her lab study how extracellular cues, such as friction and stretching, impact function, development, specification, and expansion of stem cells and their precursors.

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 Rick Wetsel

Rick Wetsel, Ph.D.

William S. Kilroy, Sr., Chair in Pulmonary Disease
Professor and Director
Hans J. Muller-Eberhard & Irma Gigli Research Center for Immunology
And Autoimmune Diseases

Dr. Wetsel's research interests are directed at understanding the molecular events in mediating the inflammatory and immune response in both normal and pathological conditions. His laboratory is also focused on the development of novel therapeutics using embryonic stem cell derived progenitor cells.

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 Jiaqian Wu

Jiaqian Wu, Ph.D

Assistant Professor
Department of Neurosurgery
Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Wu’s research interests lie in understanding gene transcription and regulatory networks governing stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, with an emphasis on neural and hematopoietic differentiation.

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 Ningyan Zhang

Ningyan Zhang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Texas Therapeutic Institute

Dr. Zhang joins the Texas Therapeutic Institute and The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) at UTHealth from Merck Research Laboratory where she was a research fellow.

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 Sheng Zhang

Sheng Zhang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases

With a rapidly growing aging population, society is facing a mounting challenge from aging-related neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.

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 Banghe Zhu

Banghe Zhu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Molecular Imaging

Dr. Zhu’s research interests focus on the development of fluorescence molecular imaging systems for diagnosing diseases and the establishment of certifiable standards for quantifying fluorescence imaging agents for a platform of quantified devices, thus accelerating the combinational drug/device clinical translation.

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 Eva M. Zsigmond

Eva M. Zsigmond, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Immunology and Autoimmune Diseases
Director, Transgenic and Stem Cells Service Unit

Dr. Eva Zsigmond is Assistant Professor, Center for Immunology and Autoimmune Diseases and Director of Transgenic and Stem Cell Service Unit at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases.

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Question regarding this faculty page can be addressed by emailing Monica.J.Bennett@uth.tmc.edu.  No phone calls please.