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Kidney Development/Regeneration and the Evolution of Kidney Structure and Function

Studies the basic mechanisms underlying kidney morphogenesis and regeneration. Work focuses on the role of cell migration in kidney development and repair using transgenic zebrafish. Evolution of post-embryonic nephrogenesis in vertebrates, from fish to mammals is also studied.

Principal Investigator: Aleksandr Vasilyev, M.D., Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness in Medical Education and OMM and the Immune Response

Studies the impact of mindfulness on pre-clinical education as well as residency choice. Studies the anatomic variations and the impact of OMM on immunology.

Primary investigator: Greg Saggio, D.O.

 

The Role of DNA Damage Response and DNA Repair in Tumorigenesis and Cancer Therapy

Focuses on the role of Breast Cancer Gene 1 (BRCA1) in DNA damage response and DNA repair. Also explores novel synthetic lethal strategies to target breast cancers and ovarian cancers bearing the BRCA1 mutations.

Primary investigator: Dong Zhang, Ph.D.

 

Genetic Variation in Hereditary Disorders

Studies genetic basis for hereditary conditions including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, Toriello-Carey syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Hypermobility.

Primary investigator: David Tegay, D.O.

 

Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation

Studies the mechanisms for enhanced atrial fibrillation arrhythmogenesis in heart failure and develops potential treatment options to improve outcome. Also studies the mechanisms for the dual pathway atrioventricular node electrophysiology.

Primary investigator: Youhua Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.

 

Geriatric Falls and Polypharmacy

Examines association between falls in the elderly and use of multiple medications, particularly those considered dangerous by the American Geriatric Society.

Primary investigator: Eleanor Yusupov, D.O.

 

Aquatic Vertebrate Tissues and Their Interaction with the Environment

Studies convergence in the vertebrate transition from terrestrial to aquatic (especially with Desmostylia, Sirenia, and Cetacea), with emphasis on studies of tooth wear, comparative anatomy and histology, radiological methods, and materials science.

Primary investigator: Brian L. Beatty, Ph.D.

 

Adaptation and Evolution of the Mammalian Skull

Studies adaptations in hearing, vocalization, and respiration using both living and fossil species. To better understand the limits of mammalian adaptations, we are currently using cetacean models (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), which have colonized and thrived in extreme aquatic environments. This primary work is bolstered by our ongoing efforts to resolve the mammalian family tree with anatomical and genetic data. See additional information.

Primary investigator: Jonathan Geisler, Ph.D.

 

Evolution of Early Mammals

Studies how key mammalian features such as a keen sense of smell, enlarged brain size, and high frequency hearing developed. Current projects focus on the description of new fossil mammals from Madagascar, the evolution of the inner ear of early mammals, and morphology and genetics of the vomeronasal organ in extant vertebrates.

Principal investigator: Simone Hoffmann, Ph.D.

 

Comparative Ecomorphology and Evolutionary Paleoecology

Studies convergent evolution and how environmental change influences the evolution of recurring anatomical systems. Current projects include investigations into the evolution and functional morphology of limbs and joints. Also looks at dental wear to understand the role of dietary change in the evolution of mammalian dentitions.

Primary investigator: Matthew Mihlbachler, Ph.D.