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Faculty

Name Research Area(s) PSU Profile
Donald Gill, PhD Donald Gill, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Our research focuses on calcium signaling.  Although calcium is known best for its role in the structure of bones and teeth, calcium plays an even more fundamental physiological role in controlling the essential functions of every cell type in the body. Calcium is pumped out of cells, and then flows back into cells through highly regulated calcium channels.  The calcium signals so generated control such basic functions as contraction, secretion, excitation, and the growth, division and death of cells.  Calcium entry channels are recognized as crucial regulatory targets through which the function of many cell types can be pharmacologically controlled.  Our laboratory studies the function and control of calcium signals generated through the activation of calcium channels. Gill Profile
 Alam Samina Alam, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Genetic variation in zinc transporters; functional characterization and molecular mechanisms of cellular zinc management during lactation and in breast cell dysfunction. Alam Profile
 Bronson,Sarah_pp Sarah K Bronson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology,
Director, Research Development & Interdisciplinary Research,
Co-Director Junior Faculty Development Program
Murine genome manipulation via embryonic stem cells; rodent models of diabetes Bronson Profile
 Chiang,Hui-Ling_pp Hui-Ling Chiang, Ph.D.
Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Molecular mechanisms responsible for the transport of exosomes across the plasma membrane. Exosomes participate in cell-cell communication and have been used for gene therapy and biomarker discovery. We use genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology approaches to study the molecular mechanisms responsible for the secretion and internalization of exosomes using Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Danio rerio as our model systems. Chiang Profile
 Coleman,Catherine_pp Catherine Coleman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Structure and regulation of short-lived proteins; protein turnover in sepsis-induced muscle wasting Coleman Profile
 Dennis,Michael_pp Michael Dennis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Molecular mechanisms that contribute to altered gene expression patterns in disease states, with a particular emphasis on diabetes.  Areas of focus include the impact of post-translational modification (i.e., phosphorylation and O-GlcNAcylation) of eukaryotic translation initiation factors (eIFs) and regulation of the master kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR.) Dennis Profile
  Ping Nian He,  Ph.D.
Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate microvessel permeability under physiological and pathological conditions. Special focuses on increased circulating microparticles in diabetes-associated microvascular complications, and the impact of diabetes-induced changes in hemorheological parameters on microvessel function and organ perfusion. We use individually perfused intact microvessels to investigate the signaling pathways and vascular wall structural changes that contribute to the changes of microvascular functions.  Both animal and patient blood samples are used to identify biomarkers for vascular complications. The experimental approaches include flow cytometry, and conventional and confocal fluorescence imaging in individually perfused microvessels and engineered microvessels using microfluidic devices in combination with electron microscopic studies. He Profile
Shannon Kelleher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Pharmacology, Surgery,
and Nutritional Sciences
Cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate zinc transport and channel function in highly specialized secretory cells. Areas of focus include hormone and cytokine regulation of zinc transport in mammary epithelial cells and dysregulation in breast cancer, the regulation of zinc transport in Paneth cells, and the role of Nutrigenomics in modifying mammary gland function during lactation and gastrointestinal function during neonatal development. Kelleher Lab Website 
 Kimball,Scot_pp Scot R Kimball, Ph.D.
Professor & Vice Chair of Research
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways that regulate alternative splicing of pre-mRNA and mRNA translation in skeletal muscle and liver.  In muscle the focus is on both anabolic (i.e. resistance exercise and nutrients) and catabolic (e.g. disuse atrophy and ageing) conditions; in liver the focus is on metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Kimball Profile
 Lang,Charles_pp Charles H Lang, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology,
and Surgery
Hormone and nutrient control of muscle protein metabolism during catabolic states, such as sepsis and alcoholism Lang Profile
 Peterson,Blaise_pp Blaise Peterson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
 Molecular defects that lead to cardiac arrhythmias and heart disease Peterson Profile
 Shantz,Lisa_pp Lisa Shantz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor &
Vice Chair of Education
Cellular and Molecular Physiology &
the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute,  Project Manager for the Woodward Endowment for Medical Science Education
 Signal transduction pathways in non-melanoma skin carcinogenesis Shantz Profile
Mohamed Trebak, Ph.D.
Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
The overall goal of our laboratory is to investigate the contributions of Calcium channels to pathophysiology. Our work is centered on the role of Ca2+ selective STIM/Orai channels and Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) cation channels in the processes of survival, proliferation and migration as they pertain to cancer and pathological remodeling of vessels and airways. Trebak Profile
David Waning, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Waning Profile
Chen Yang, M.S.
Research Assistant FT1
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
The role of mTORC1 repressor REDD1 (regulated in development and DNA damage response 1) in diabetic retinopathy and its impact on visual dysfunction. C. Yang Profile
Shengyu Yang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Our lab is interested in how the actin cytoskeleton dysregulation in cancer drives metastatic progression. We are currently focusing on two areas: (1) the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in metastatic cancer cells by calcium signaling, especially by the store-operated calcium entry;  (1) the mechanistic role of fascin, an actin bundling protein, in cancer cell motility, mitochcondrial dynamics and cancer metabolism. S. Yang Profile
Yengo,Christopher_pp Christopher Yengo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Biophysical properties of molecular motor proteins, regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, enzyme kinetics, and molecular mechanisms of myosin based motility. We investigate mechanisms of contractile dysfunction in heart failure and inherited cardiomyopathies. We also study the impairments in actomyosin-based transport and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in sensory cells, which are associated with deafness and retinal degeneration. Yengo Profile
Xuexin Zhang, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
My research interests are focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of calcium-dependent inactivation of Orai1 Ca2+ channels. I am also interested in investigating the contribution of store-independent heteromeric Orai1/Orai3 Ca2+ channels to vascular function. Zhang Profile
Zhou,Yandong_pp Yandong Zhou, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Our work is focused on the molecular mechanism of CRAC channel, which is a typical Store-Operated Calcium Channel consist of STIM and Orai molecules. We also interested in the role of Two Pore Channels(TPCs) in the metabolism. Zhou Profile

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