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BMS Faculty Research Interests


Dr. Ourania Andrisani – Cancer biology; virus-induced liver cancer; prostate cancer; chromatin remodeling and microRNAs in cell growth and differentiation.

Current Projects – Investigating molecular mechanisms of cancer pathogenesis and development of strategies for mechanism-based therapy.


Dr. Elikplimi Asem – Regulation of ovarian function; basement membrane function.


Dr. Charles Babbs – Biomedical engineering; mathematical modeling in physiology and medicine; biostatistics; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; head injury and neurotrauma.

Current Projects – Nerve conduction in myelinated axons; immunotherapy for cancer; and biventricular cardiac pacing.


Dr. Robert Bill – Education technology; instructional motivation; instructional design.

Current Projects Revision of veterinary medical curriculum; revision of an integrated clinical veterinary technology (nursing) curriculum.


Dr. Richard Borgens – Neuronal regeneration and its physiological control; paralysis research: spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury; polymer and fusogen therapies.


Dr. Chun-Ju Chang – Cancer biology; cancer stem cells; cancer epigenetics; MicroRNAs; tumor microenvironment; translational research; development of novel cancer therapy.

Current Projects - Revealing critical molecular mechanisms by which tumor microenvironmental regulates the epigenetic status of cancer stem cells.

Dr. Gordon Coppoc – Computer applications to medicine and education; education research.


Dr. Kevin Hannon – Instructional technology.

Current Projects Delivering anatomical content in interactive mobile formats.


Dr. Ronald Hullinger – Regulation/de-regulation of cell and tissue differentiation; design/conduct flight experiments to test hypothesis of the role of gravity upon avian embryos developing on board the International Space Station.

Current Projects Collaborations with Dr. Andrisani: Investigating by which a hepatitis B virus protein initiates the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma; mechanisms of BMP2 & cAMP signaling in regulation of Phox2a gene transcription during trunk region neural crest cell differentiation to sympathetic neurons and cells of adrenal medulla.


Dr. David Huse – Anatomy education; surgery education.


Dr. Laurie Jaeger – Peri-implantation conceptus development; conceptus-maternal communication.

Current Projects Mechanisms of calcium influx during development and its effect on normal conceptus development; the roles of beta transforming growth factors and integrins during pre-implanatation development and placentation.


Dr. James Leary – High-throughput cell separation technologies for genomics and proteomics; biophotonics/microfluidics/lab-on-a-chip-development of a multi-stage high throughput microfluidic sorting device for closed systems processing of potentially biohazardous materials; nanomedicine for single-cell theragnostics (simultaneous diagnostics and therapeutics).


Dr. Russell Main – In vivo musculoskeletal biomechanics; skeletal adaptation; biological regulation of skeletal structure and mass.

Current Projects How regulation of bone at the genetic and cellular level affects skeletal structure and the ability to withstand mechanical load; in vivo biomechanics to measure how the musculoskeletal system is loaded by external forces during locomotion; musculoskeletal adaptation to applied mechanical loading and unloading at the gene, protein, cell, and whole bone levels.


Dr. Susan Mendrysa – Tumor suppressor, p53; oncogene, MDM2; cancer cell biology; pediatric brain cancer; regulation of cell fate decisions; cerebellar development.

Current projects Elucidating the role of MDM2, a critical negative regulator of the p53 tumor suppressor, in cerebellar development and tumorigenesis; exploiting genetically modified mice in combination with cell culture models to place MDM2 and p53 within the molecular signaling pathways that govern neuronal differentiation and cell fate decisions.


Dr. Abdelfattah Nour – Interactive and e-learning; food security in poor households; physiological biomarkers; growth and development.

Current Projects – Educational research focus on information literacy, team-based learning (e.g. Study the Effectiveness of Implementing Team Building Strategies Program for Nursing-Interns by Using Team- Based), social networking and learning; effectiveness of teaching the clinical administrative course by using computer-based training in developing nurse intern administrative knowledge and skills; Small ruminants for food security in poor households in Africa: The role of women's cooperatives and entrepreneurship; effects of drug-induced renal damage on CBC, biochemical profile of the serum, and kidneys histopathological changes in experimental rats; study of the possible association between some of the uremic toxins and allergic factors in hemodialysis patients suffering from pruritus; histological and ultra-structural studies of the major endocrine glands of Nile tilapia (in relation to Age and Weight).


Dr. Rebecca Packer – Minimally-invasive neurosurgical techniques; novel therapies for brain tumors; acute spinal cord injury.

Current Projects Improving treatment for brain tumors with emphasis on the following:  neurosurgical techniques for brain tumors with a specific focus on minimally-invasive surgery; targeted drug development.

These novel treatments are directed at helping veterinary patients with brain tumors, and provide a model for translational research that may help human glioma patients.

Dr. J. Paul Robinson – Development of diagnostic tools that focus on cervical cancer; strong program in high content screening in the area of bioengineering; cytomic-bioengineering interface.

Current Projects –Creating new tools for the cellular and molecular screening for cervical cancer using cell sorting and multiplexed PCR with the goal of identifying better diagnostics as well as prognostic value; Using new approaches to high throughput and very high content analysis of cellular function; Interest in developing low cost technologies for resource limited regions.


Dr. John Turek – Mechanisms of connective tissue healing (ligaments and bone); electron microscopy and image analysis; novel imaging/spectral methods (motility contrast imaging/tissue dynamics spectroscopy) for tissue based drug screening and toxicology.

Current Projects Development of tissue dynamic spectroscopy for high-throughput, high-content tissue based drug screening; tissue dynamic spectroscopy as a predictor of chemotherapeutic response in ovarian cancer; tissue dynamic spectroscopy for ovum and embryo viability assessment.


Dr. James Walker – Medical education.


Dr. Jer Yen Yang – Hedgehog (Hh) pathway in brain cancer and neuronal development; cancer metabolism.