Center for Biomedical Research
Hannah Hall of Science, Room 166
244 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4451
(248) 370-4871
Fax (248) 370-3408

Brad Roth, Director


CBR Members

CBR members are active biomedical researchers who are affiliated with OU. Members are expected to publish biomedical research regularly in professional journals and have external support for their research or be actively applying for external support.

Amy Banes-Berceli
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Banes-Berceli studies the molecular mechanisms of hypertension and diabetes with a focus on the JAK/STAT signaling pathway. She investigates the role of this pathway with other known pathways in these disease states, focusing on their effects and regulation in the kidney and in vascular function. Learn more about Banes-Berceli 

Rasul Chaudhry
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Stem cells provide a renewable resource for basic research, tissue engineering and clinical applications. Chaudhry is investigating the molecular mechanisms of neurogenesis and osteogenesis; therapeutic applications of stem cells for treating spinal cord injuries, neurological and degenerative diseases including disc, retinal, and nerve degeneration, Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Learn more about Chaudhry  

Ferman Chavez
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Chavez's current research aim is to develop synthetic models for active sites of various metalloenzymes. Such models will be used to probe enzymatic mechanisms and as catalysts for organic transformations and bioremediation. He is also interested in the controlled release of nitric oxide (NO) from synthetic materials for biomedical applications. Learn more about Chavez  

Shravan Chintala
Associate Professor, Eye Research Institute

Irreversible loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) leads to blindness in more than 60 million Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients worldwide. However, the mechanisms underlying the death of RGCs are poorly understood. Chintala’s laboratory is investigating whether elevated levels of certain protein-degrading enzymes (proteases) cause the death of RGCs. Learn more about Chintala  

Roman Dembinski
Associate Professor. Department of Chemistry

Dembinski is pursuing the synthesis of nucleosides analogues, particularly their coordination complexes. It is expected that such compounds may exhibit interesting biological properties. The ultimate goal is to synthesize materials that exhibit antiviral, anticancer properties, serve as bio-probes, and also to develop new synthetic methodologies. Learn more about Dembinski  

Frank Giblin
Professor, Eye Research Institute

Giblin studies metabolic and biochemical properties of the lens, with focus on oxidative and free radical processes in the formation of nuclear cataract, a common type of maturity-onset human cataract that affects the lens, causing blindness. He also investigates unusually active antioxidant mechanisms present in the epithelium of the lens. Learn more about Giblin  

Andrew Goldberg
Associate Professor, Eye Research Institute

The molecular pathologies involved in the great majority of inherited retinal degenerations remain largely unknown, despite identification of the genes involved. Goldberg's efforts are focused on understanding disease at the molecular level by studying affected protein structure and function. Ongoing studies address mechanisms of photoreceptor outer segment renewal and stability. Learn more about Goldberg 

Chhabi Govind
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Govind strives to discover the molecular mechanisms regulating gene expression. His lab utilizes powerful yeast genetics and biochemistry to understand mechanisms involved in recruiting chromatin modifying and remodeling complexes, and their role in transcription elongation. He is currently investigating how histone acetylation modulates chromatin plasticity during RNA polymerase II elongation. Learn more about Govind

Tamara Hew
Assistant Professor, School of Health Sciences

Hew’s research focuses on disorders of water and sodium balance and exercise-related collapse. Her expertise is in the area of exercise-associated hyponatremia. Her research emphasizes measurement of biomarkers to explore neuroendocrine regulation and dysregulation of integrated physiological systems at rest and during exercise, in health and disease. Learn more about Hew

Lan Jiang
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
The Drosophila tracheal system is an excellent model to study the morphogenesis of mammalian branched structures, such as the vertebrate airway, circulatory system, kidney ducts, and excretory epithelia. Jiang’s research interests center around identifying novel genes and studying the functions of these novel genes during tubular organ formation. Learn more about Jiang

Nessan Kerrigan
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Kerrigan's research is concerned with the development of efficient organic molecule-catalyzed synthetic methodologies and their application to the synthesis of drug molecules and natural products.  One current avenue of research in his lab involves elaboration of ketene heterodimers to complex molecules previously isolated from mycobacterium tuberculosis. Learn more about Kerrigan

Evgeniy Khain
Associate Professor, Department of Physics

Biological multicellular systems present an exciting example of stochastic non-equilibrium systems. Khain investigates collective behavior of a large number of living cells, in the context of wound healing and tumor growth. His primary goal is modeling the growth of malignant brain tumors, which are not treated effectively by current therapies. Learn more about Khain

Ravindra Khattree
Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Khattree’s current research interests lie in the area of multivariate statistical methods for biomedical research. In particular, he is interested in the repeated measures data, clinical trials and problems involving the determination of bioequivalence. Presently, Khattree is studying the interconnections between spirituality and various neuropsychological measures for breast cancer patients. Learn more about Khattree  

Shailesh Lal
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Transposable elements constitute a large proportion (44%) of the human genome and are linked to a number of genetic disorders and cancer. Lal is using maize as a model to study Helitrons, a novel superfamily of recently discovered transposable elements to study their mechanism of transposition and gene capture. Learn more about Lal  

Zijuan Liu
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

The focus of Liu's research is to study arsenic detoxification mechanisms using zebrafish as a new vertebrate model. She intends to elucidate the metabolic pathways, identifying the transporters and enzymes involved in arsenic uptake. Her long-term goal is to validate zebrafish as a model to study arsenic associated human diseases. Learn more about Liu  

Gerard Madlambayan
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Madlambayan focuses on defining how different cancers (solid and liquid) exploit normal stem and progenitor cell activity to foster their growth and subsequent relapse post-therapy. The ultimate goals are to identify promising cellular and molecular targets for cancer treatment, prevention of relapse and disease monitoring. Learn more about Madlambayan

Sanela Martic
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Martic’s research is focused on misfolding peptides and proteins which are linked to degeneration. Understanding the biochemical aspects of tau protein: aggregation, phosphorylation, and microtubule stability is the current research avenue.  Learn more about Martic 

Kenneth Mitton
Associate Professor, Eye Research Institute

Gene-based therapy for retinal degeneration will require the manipulation of gene expression within a complex regulatory network. However, the extent of the encompassing transcription factors, and all the genes targeted by the network, are unknown. Mitton addresses these questions by focusing on interactions of FIZ1, a transcriptional coregulator he discovered. Learn more about Mitton  

Lakshmi Raman
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Raman explores our understanding of biological and psychological concepts such as the origins of illness and the impact of nutrition on mind-body interactions. Her interests include examining if and when children and adults think biological and psychological factors impact health issues, and assessing how healthy/unhealthy nutrition affects growth and mood. Learn more about Raman  

Libin Rong
Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Rong's research is focused on infectious disease modeling. He develops mathematical models and data analysis methods to study within-host dynamics of virus infections and immune responses. He also uses models to investigate the transmission and control of infectious diseases between hosts. Learn more about Rong  

Bradley Roth
Professor, Department of Physics

Roth's research focuses on bioelectric phenomena, such as the electrical activity of nerves and muscle. His particular interests are electrical stimulation of the heart, pacemakers and defibrillation, magnetic stimulation of nerves, biomagnetism, and using the Lorentz for imaging current or electrical conductivity. Learn more about Roth  

Michael Sevilla
Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry

Sevilla's current research interest is the chemistry of free radical species produced by the irradiation of biomolecules, including mechanisms for radiation damage to DNA. He established that the initial effect of radiation is to produce ion radicals on the DNA bases, which lead to strand breaks and biologically relevant damage. Learn more about Sevilla  

Mohammad-Reza Siadat
Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Siadat’s interests are medical image and signal analysis, and medical informatics. His curvature and shape analysis of the gray-white matter interface in the deep perisylvian area (DPSA) is an attempt to fully utilize MRI data. The DPSA and insula harbor hidden epileptogenic foci that cannot be localized by conventional means. Learn more about Siadat

Jing Tang
Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Tang's research has been on the development and application of acquisition, reconstruction, and analysis techniques in positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging and also in multimodality imaging such as PET/MRI. Learn more about Tang 

Douglas Wendell
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Wendell is working on the identification of genes that regulate tumor growth using an estrogen-induced tumor model in the rat. He is also collaborating with Craig Hartrick of William Beaumont Hospital on a pilot project to explore the possibility that susceptibility to chronic pain is affected by common genetic variants. Learn more about Wendell 

Keith Williams
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Williams explores the behavioral and biological components that modulate drug-taking behavior and addiction. His interests include the pharmacological and behavioral mechanisms of drug reinforcement and craving, drug discriminative stimulus properties, hormonal influences on drug self-administration, and contribution of food intake mechanisms on drug consumption. Learn more about Williams  

Patricia Wren
Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences

Wren's research is focused on quality of life and other patient-centered outcomes including satisfaction and optimism, health expectations, body image, health decision-making, and compliance with medical regimens. She has collaborated on clinical trial and intervention studies related to glaucoma, breast cancer, ulcerative colitis, stroke, and pelvic floor disorders. Learn more about Wren 

Yang Xia
Professor, Department of Physics

Xia develops multidisciplinary microscopic imaging techniques (µMRI, PLM, FTIRI) and their novel applications in biomedicine, with a current research focus on molecular activities in articular cartilage, its degradation plays a major role in the development of osteoarthritis. Learn more about Xia  

Xiangqun Zeng
Professor, Department of Chemistry

Zeng directs a chemical and biosensor research group that focuses on developing non-labeled biosensors and chemical sensors for rapid detection of biomarkers and pollutants in complex clinical and environmental samples by exploring new strategies for surface design and new applications for emerging interesting materials for chemical and biological sensing. Learn more about Zeng  

Dao Qi Zhang
Assistant Professor, Eye Research Institute

Dopaminergic neurons are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system and play vital roles in sensory functions, motor control, and motivation. The most accessible dopaminergic neurons are located in the vertebrate retina. Zhang is interested in understanding how retinal dopaminergic neurons are regulated by light and the biological clock. Learn more about Zhang 

Wenjin Zhou
Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Zhou’s research lies in computational models, interactive visualization, and information extraction from medical imaging. Currently, she aims to develop a multiscale virtual histology tool for axonal injury analysis in the brain. The tool will reveal axonal properties currently unattainable in clinical settings and bridge multiple organizational scales in the brain. Learn more about Zhou  

Affiliated Researchers

Aaron Bird
Assistant Professor, School of Health Sciences

Bird is currently involved in research for protective and preventive technologies in the field of biosafety for researchers and medical clinicians. Recently, work has included fluid dynamics design of automatic secondary containment for BSL-2 and BSL-3 facilities and prediction of aerosol and bio-aerosol transport.

Susan Bowyer
Senior Staff Investigator, Neurology Research, Henry Ford Hospital & Health Sciences Center

Bowyer explores brain activity using noninvasive imaging techniques, including magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography and functional MRI. She localizes functional brain processing for language, memory, and control of attention, and investigates the underlying mechanisms of migraine, tinnitus generation, driver distractions, and sensory inhibition, as well as looking for biomarkers indicating recovery from stroke.

Hongwei Qu
Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Qu's research interest centers on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). His on-going research efforts include the development of CMOS-MEMS force sensors for cell motility studies, in collaboration with Dr. Lindemann, Dept. Biological Sciences. He also collaborates with researchers at William Beaumont Hospital to develop MEMS devices for biomedical imaging.

Richard Sabina
Associate Professor, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Plants contain only one AMP Deaminase (AMPD) gene and its expression is essential for embryonic development.  AMPD is also a herbicide target. Sabina is collaborating with Bayer CropSciences to generate high-resolution structures of Arabidopsis AMPD in complex with transition-state inhibitors and is testing lead herbicide compounds generated by their chemists.

Anna Maria Spagnuolo
Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Spagnuolo's research focus is on modeling physical phenomena, developing numerical methods for their solution, and implementing the methods (sometimes on new hardware) to create computer simulations. She is specifically interested in modeling disease dynamics such as Vibrio cholerae in the human intestine and Chagas disease in villages in South America.

Lianxiang Yang
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Yang is the director of the Advanced Optical Laboratory. His research interests lie in the areas of modern optical measuring techniques for characterization of advanced materials, such as, biomaterials, with a focus on whole field, three dimensional measurement of contour, deformation/displacement, strain/stress, vibration, and mechanical properties.