Center for Biomedical Research

Hannah Hall of Science, Room 276
244 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4451
(location map)
(248) 370-3420
Fax (248) 370-3408

Yang Xia, 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.

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Avery studies the cytoskeletal mechanisms that support neuronal morphogenesis and maintenance, and to determine how these mechanisms are disrupted in disease.

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 

Fabia Battistuzzi
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Battistuzzi’s research focuses on understanding the evolutionary mechanisms at the basis of pathogenicity. Using the genus Plasmodium, i.e. the agent of malaria, as a model system, her team employs bioinformatics methods to study variability in genome complexity and identify regions of purifying and positive selection. Learn more about Battistuzzi 

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
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 

Roman Dembinski
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  

Sumit Dinda
Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences

Dinda’s research focuses on the effects and molecular mechanisms of endocrine disruptor compounds (EDC) on steroid receptors and tumor suppressor genes in breast cancer cells. He also focuses on the action of flavonoids (plant based chemicals) with hormones and anti-hormones in breast cancer cells. Learn more about Dinda

Frank Giblin
Distinguished 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
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

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

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  

Andrea Kozak
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Kozak’s research program investigates factors associated with excess weight (e.g., low distress tolerance, food addiction), ways to help people lose weight and keep it off (e.g., diet and activity change interventions), and the consequences of overweight and obesity (e.g., poor quality of life, cardiovascular disease, diabetes). Learn more about Kozak

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  

Tianle Ma
Assistant Professor,  Department of Computer Science and Engineering
With advanced biotechnologies, we can measure multimodal molecular features at the single-cell resolution, already generating petabytes of data. Dr. Ma's research focuses on developing efficient computational and machine learning methods to analyze and integrate single-cell multi-omics data. By marrying state-of-the-art AI and single-cell technologies, Ma lab hopes to reconstruct molecular and cellular networks to understand human biology and disease mechanisms.

Gerard Madlambayan
Associate 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

Khalid Malik
Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Malik’s develops secure, voice-enabled personalized and patient-centric clinical decision support systems for neurological disorders such as stroke, the prediction of emergent infectious diseases, and the detection of pandemics. To extract knowledge for a clinical decision support system, he develops automated knowledge graph generation using semantic web and machine learning techniques. Learn more about Malik

Kenneth Mitton
Associate Professor, Eye Research Institute

Mitton's initial work at Oakland revolved around the control of gene expression in photoreceptor development and maturation in the mammalian retina, including generating the first map of RNA-Polymerase-II distribution in genes activated in maturing rod cells in vivo. Mitton directs the cell and molecular biology support module in the ERI and the Summer Undergraduate Program in Eye Research. Since 2012 he has managed the ERI's Pediatric Retinal Research Laboratory (PRRL) and branched into intracellular signaling and regulation of gene expression in models of retinal degeneration and retinal vascular diseases. In 2019, Mitton's group activated the first human genetic disease sequencing service at Oakland University in collaboration with Associated Retinal Consultants of Michigan.  Learn more about Mitton  

Christina Papadimitriou
Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences

Papadimitriou is a sociologist and rehabilitation researcher who uses a social justice/ equity approach ( to study peer support interventions for persons with physical disabilities in the USA. She works with various groups, including CARF International, to implement person-centered care best practices. Learn more about Papadimitriou

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 

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  

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Rusakov's research focuses on the predictive modeling of simple compounds of the halogen group's penultimate member, astatine (At) - Isotope At-211 is one of the most promising radionuclides for targeted alpha-particle therapy in oncology.

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

Mi Hye Song
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Song studies the molecular mechanisms of centrosome assembly and function in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans model with the three focuses: RNA-binding roles, protein phosphorylation, and proteolysis. She applies a combination of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, proteomics, CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing, and high-resolution confocal imaging to the study of centrosome biology. Learn more about Song.

Associate 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 

Randy Westrick
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

The genetic contributors to arterial and venous thrombosis are largely unknown. The Westrick laboratory uses mouse models to identify and characterize the genes involved in thrombotic disease. They are using whole genome mutagenesis screens and other inbred mouse models to identify major thrombosis suppressor mutations and pathways. Learn more about Westrick

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 

Yang Xia
Distinguished 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
Associate 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