The Department of NanoMedicine and BioMedical Engineering

Faculty & Staff


The Department of Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering

David Gorenstein

David Gorenstein, PhD

Professor and Chair
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

Research Interests: He currently has major translational research programs in proteomics and nanomedicine for both diagnostics and therapeutics, particularly in cancer. He also has major programs in next-generation aptamer technologies and NMR structural biology, drug design, nucleic acid and protein chemistry.

Zhiqiang An

Zhiqiang An, PhD

Professor Texas Therapeutics Institute

Research Interests: Dr. An’s research team will focus on the cancer drug resistance mechanisms in the HER/ErbB signaling pathways using monoclonal antibodies as platform technology. The team will explore mechanisms of cancer drug resistance and discover/develop antibodies for potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Ambrose Catherine

Catherine G. Ambrose, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Research Interests: Dr. Ambrose’s research interests center around orthopaedic biomaterials and musculoskeletal infection.  She has studied the strength and degradation of metallic and biodegradable biomaterials for orthopaedic applications.  She has developed molecular genetic techniques for infection diagnosis, materials to prevent and treat implant-associated (biofilm) infections, and a biodegradable drug delivery system to treat musculoskeletal infections.

Ananth Annapragada

Ananth Annapragada, PhD

Professor and Director of Basic Research
The Singleton Department of Pediatric Radiology
Texas Children's Hospital & Department of Radiology
Baylor College of Medicine

Research Interests: Dr. Annapragada's interests are in the applications of nanotechnology in diagnostics and therapeutics, with a particular focus on imaging contrast agents, and smart drug delivery. Examples of projects in my group are (1) MR visible particles for the targeting of amyloid plaques in Alzheimers disease (2) Imaging blood flow heterogeneity using morphometric measures as predictors of pathology (3) Smart nanoparticles for glucose-responsive insulin delivery.

Xiaohong Bi, Ph.D.

Xiaohong Bi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Center for Proteomics and Systems Biology

Research Interests: 

Optical diagnosis is an emerging field because it allows researchers and physicians to use light as therapeutic and diagnostic tools in a fast and non-invasive manner. The focus of Dr. Bi’s research is to develop various optical techniques for disease diagnosis, therapy response evaluation as well as guidance of surgery. Special interest is in the application of Raman spectroscopy in clinical medicine.

John Bryne

John H. Byrne, PhD

June and Virgil Waggoner Chair and Chairman
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy

Research Interests: Dr. Byrne’s research examines the neural and molecular mechanisms of memory.  A particular focus of that work is on understanding the signaling cascades involved in the induction and maintenance of memory. To accomplish this task, his laboratory exploits a combination of empirical and mathematical modeling and computer simulation techniques. 

Dr. Jeffrey Chang

Jeffrey T. Chang, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research

Research Interests: Dr. Chang's laboratory is interested in signal transduction in cancer, specifically how signaling networks become rewired in disease, and how that presents challenges and opportunities in targeted therapies. 

Charles Cox

Charles S. Cox Jr, MD
Children's Fund Distinguished Professor
and Director of the Pediatric Trauma Program
at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital

Research Interests:


Peter J.A. Davies, MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology

Research Interests:  My primary interest is in the application of high-throughput technologies to rug discovery research. I am particularly interested in the use of informatics-based approaches, coupled with high-throughput technologies, to the repurposing of drugs for novel therapeutic indications. A second and related interest lies in the application of imaging-based approaches to drug-discovery research.

Philip P. Foster MD, PhD

Philip P. Foster, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Center for Proteomics & Systems Biology

Research Interests: 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.  His research work has encompassed medicine, physiology, biology, biochemistry, mathematical/Stochastic modeling & programming.  Dr. Foster's (non-profit) Foundation can be found using this link

Yong-Jian Geng, MD, PhD

Yong-Jian Geng, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine
Director, The Center for Cardiovascular Biology and Atherosclerosis Research
Department of Internal Medicine
University of Texas Medical School at Houston

Research Interests: Research in Dr. Geng’s laboratory is aimed at delineating the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and heart failure, and at developing new therapeutic approaches to treat cardiovascular diseases with means of molecular and cellular biology. A strong interest is to determine molecular regulation of proliferation, differentiation and death of cardiovascular cells and stem cells under both physiological and physiological conditions. Current studies focus on identifying new genes that regulate apoptosis and caspase activities, analyzing new lipid-binding proteins in atherosclerosis, and developing transgenic and knockout murine models for atherosclerosis and heart failure. The lab also uses molecular biology and tissue engineering techniques to transplant fetal cardiac myoblasts and deliver new genes to the heart with ischemic injury.

John Hancock

John Hancock, MA, MB, BChir, PhD

Vice-Dean of Research
Director, Institute of Molecular Medicine
Professor and Chairman, Dept Integrative Biology and Pharmacology
Fondren Chair in Cellular Signaling

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

Dr. Melvin Klegerman

Melvin E. Klegerman, PhD

Melvin E. Klegerman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Department of Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering
University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston

Research Interests: The primary focus of my laboratory is development of molecular targeting strategies for our echogenic liposomes (ELIP), which are a platform technology for ultrasound-related diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.  Our major areas of interest have been atherosclerosis and cardiovascular thrombotic disorders, but the ELIP technology has obvious applicability to cancer, infectious disease and rehabilitation medicine.  My laboratory is also involved in collaborative research projects on stem cell delivery, antibody-drug conjugates for treatment of breast cancer, and thrombolytic therapy of fibrotic lung injury.

Hyunggun Kim, PhD

Hyunggun Kim, PhD

Assistant Professor
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Research Interests: The primary research interest of my laboratory is in the development of 1) novel experimental and computational techniques to evaluate heart valve function, and 2) targeted echogenic liposomes to improve diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of cardiovascular diseases. For the heart valve research, we develop translational virtual simulation techniques to evaluate heart valve function in vivo using patient-specific valve geometry data. For the targeted echogenic liposomes research, we develop ultrasound-responsive theranostic nanoparticles that can provide ultrasound molecular imaging and local therapeutic delivery for a variety of cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Yong Li

Yong Li, MD PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatric Surgery

Research Interests: My primary research focuses on three major areas of study: 1) exploring the properties of the dedifferentiation/transformation of terminally differentiated cells into various stem cells for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applications; 2) studying the processes involved with fibrous scar formation and prevention in the injured and diseased tissues of the neuron and musculoskeletal system; and 3.) Bioengineering to build 3D soft tissues (muscle & tendon) to repair wound defects with scarless healing. The laboratory is also interested in translational study and clinical application of stem cells and engineered tissue for treating congenital diseases and traumatic injuries. We have also set up classic amphibian models of tissue regeneration; newts and salamanders can rebuild most missing body parts such as limbs, liver, brain and heart after amputation or injury; however, severely injured mammalian tissue, including that of humans, is usually replaced with fibrotic scar tissue as the end of the healing process. Our aim is to determine the mechanism(s) behind the regenerative process in amphibians and ascertain the relationship(s) to human tissue or organ regeneration. We will investigate the cellular dedifferentiation process for increasing the stem cell population and methods of preventing fibrotic scar tissue formation during wound healing. Our expectation is to transfer our learning from amphibian regenerative models to enlarge stem cell pool for regenerative medicine applications, and to build various functional human tissues/organs for human patients’ demand. The laboratory has developed several novel techniques for molecular, cellular and small animal-based research, and is accepting all level training: students and fellows.

Ponnada Narayana Ph.D., M.Sc.

Ponnada Narayana, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Professor and Vice-Chair for Research
Director of Magnetic Resonance Research
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging

Research Interests:  My overall research focus is to develop and apply quantitative magnetic resonance imaging techniques to investigate CNS disorders, including traumatic injury and drug abuse in pre-clinical models and patients. This involves the development of novel imaging sequences and sophisticated mathematical algorithms for automatic image processing.

Kevin Rosenblatt, MD,PhD

Kevin Rosenblatt, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Center for Proteomics and Systems Biology

Research Interests:  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

Anil K. Sood, M.D.

Anil K. Sood, M.D.

The Bettyann Asche Murray Professor and Vice Chair for Translational Research,
Departments of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, and Cancer Biology
Director, Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program
Co-Director, Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Research Interests: 

  • Applied nanotechnology
  • Angiogenesis and metastasis
  • Neuroendocrine effects on cancer
David Volk

David E. Volk, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Director, Scholarly Research Program
Co-Director, CTSA Bioinformatics Core
Co-Director, CTSA NanoMedicine Core

Research Interests: Dr. Volk’s current research interests include using bioinformatics techniques applied to proteomic and metabolite studies of patient populations and in the development of novel classes of DNA thioaptamer libraries for use as therapeutic and diagnostic agents. Our recent work focuses on combining aptamers and nanoparticles.

Lopez-Berestein, Gabriel

Moeller, Gerry

Liu, Yin