The BMSE program encompasses a wide variety of research within the broad areas of molecular genetics and molecular biology. Specific areas of research include : (1) the ecology , regulation, and systems biology of diseases and symbioses caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi in plants and animals and (2) understanding developmental processes, regulatory networks, ion channels, microtubules, neural plasticity, and stem cell biology in invertebrates such as nematodes and vertebrates including marine chordates and mammals.
Roles of metals in metalloenzymes; microbial iron acquisition, including siderophores and new metallo-enzymes.
The origin of life; principles of biomolecular function and design; evolutionary systems biology; phage therapy.
Molecular biology of plant secondary metabolism; biochemistry of ethylene synthesis.
Biochemistry; protein structure and function relationships; protein dynamics; chemotaxis in bacteria.
Basic mechanisms and disorders of neural plasticity; the role of microRNAs in stem cell differentiation.
Cellular communication between bacteria, including mechanisms and biology of contact-dependent growth inhibition; epigenetic gene regulatory mechanisms.
Microbial pathogenesis; innate and adaptive immune responses to infection; coagulopathy and inflammation of sepsis; vaccine development.
Nanomedicine and bioengineering to explore fundamental biology, construct new approaches to disease diagnosis, and develop effective means for disease prevention, therapy, and cure.
Bio-nano technology including molecular mechanisms controlling self assembly, emergent properties of biomolecular systems from minerals to dynamically tunable color in octopus skin; translation to revolutionary new routes to semiconductors, optoelectronics and energy.
Enzymology of enzymes that modify nucleic acids, including bacterial and human epigenetic enzymes with biomedical relevance. Protein engineering, inhibitor design. Drug development. Nanoparticle-based delivery of siRNA, proteins, and drugs into cells (cancer/embryonic stem cell) and animals. Laser-dependent spatio-temporal control of drug targeting.
Biological regulatory networks in C. elegans development; mechanisms of apoptosis and tumorigenesis; regulatory mechanisms in stem cell biology.
Molecular biology of animal virus-cell interactions; antiviral innate immunity & mechanisms of interferon action; translational control of gene expression in mammalian cells; A-to-I RNA editing; new materials for gene delivery into mammalian cells.
Quantitative systems biology and bioinformatics; statistical mechanics of non-equilibrium systems.
Vertebrate developmental biology; growth factors and axis specification in Xenopus.
Ion channels in the nervous system and cardiac muscle; molecular mechanisms of ion channel trafficking, regulation, and signal transduction.
Biochemistry and biophysics of bio-adhesion in marine organisms; bio- and nanomechanics of sclerotized composites; liquid crystals and molecular gradients in biomolecular materials.
Biochemistry and function of cytoskeletal proteins; regulation of microtubules assembly and dynamics.