The goal of our laboratory is to understand the cellular mechanisms underlying hormonal signaling through G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Abnormal receptor signaling can lead to cancer or disease, such as obesity. Our current work focuses on learning how cells turn off melanin-concentrating hormone signaling pathways using tissue culture cells. We use both fluorescence microscopy and biochemical assays to achieve our objectives.

  • P. Michael Fox Ph.D.
  • V.P. Academic Affairs
  • email: | See: Fox Page
  • Allen Hall, Room 618, Tel: 395-2504

My expertise is in insect biochemistry and neurochemistry. I have taught a wide range of courses and especially enjoy teaching freshman courses such as Principles of Biology for non-majors. I also teach upper level courses such as invertebrate zoology, vertebrate anatomy and physiology, and bioethics.

My lab is interested in how the sense of smell develops and how chemicals (pheromones) emitted by members of one sex regulate the sexual behaviors (courtship and mating behaviors) of the opposite sex. To study these phenomena, we examine mutants which have abnormal smell preferences or which showed unusual behaviors such as homosexuality or bisexuality.

  • Craig Lending Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor
  • email: | See: Lending Page
  • Lennon Hall, Room 227, Tel: 395-5755

Our goal is to understand the mechanisms of protein synthesis, storage and deposition during maize endosperm development. We also study the structural and ultra-structural aspects of seed development and germination. The techniques employed in my lab is the detection of macromolecules by light and electron microscopy, as well as immunocytochemical and in situ hybridization approaches.

Our research aims at understanding the mechanisms regulating electrolyte balance. Rare genetic disorders have allowed identification of membrane receptors and transporters implicated in electrolyte reabsorption. Using the mouse as a model, we try to understand the role played by EGF, FGF-23 and their specific receptors in regulating ion channels and transporters known to be involved in kidney transport of potassium and magnesium ions.

The major focus of my research is to characterize and better understand lipid biosynthesis in the parasite Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness in human, using a dual genetic/biochemical approach. Due to the importance of lipid biosynthesis in trypanosome, it is very likely that enzymes involved in these biosynthetic pathways play an essential role and could be used as a drug target.

  • Adam Rich Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
  • email: | See: Rich Page
  • Lennon Hall, Room B27, Tel: 395-5740

I use the zebrafish as a model system for human disease. We are developing a novel zebrafish-based model for human gastrointestinal (GI) motility. Zebrafish is a good model because of its transparency. We study the mechanisms that regulate coordinated GI motility, and focus on an important regulatory cell, the interstitial cell of Cajal (ICC). The ultimate goal is to use the zebrafish to develop new treatments for GI motility disorders.

My research area is bioinformatics and computational biology. My goal is to understand how gene expression is regulated during development, by environmental stimulation, or in diseases in a genome-wide scale. The major approach is to apply computational and statistical methods to dicpher next generation sequencing data from those experiments.

  • Rey Sia Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor and Chair
  • email: | See: Sia Page
  • Lennon Hall, Room 215, Tel: 395-2783

The current research in my lab centers around the mechanism of DNA repair. Using modern molecular and genetic techniques, work in the lab focuses on the identification of nuclear-encoded proteins that regulate the stability of the mitochondrial genome in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

My lab works on the genes involved in the control of pyrimidine biosynthesis, their role in the mitotic cell cycle and development, as well as their evolutionary conservation. We use both classical genetics and molecular biological approaches to dissect this phenomenon in Drosophila.

  • Kanchana Mendes Ph.D.
  • Lecturer
  • email:
  • Lennon Hall, Room B15, Tel: 395-5786

My teaching interests are in Anatomy and Physiology (which I currently teach), Molecular Biology, and Genetics. My background and potential research interests lie in comparative analysis of bioinformatics data and forecasting signal transduction pathways using computer-based software tools and database resources.