Potential mentors from the faculty at VA-MD Vet Med and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are listed below with a brief description of their research interest. Detailed information is available through the links provided. Applicants may contact these faculty to discuss their application and research interests.
These faculty were selected because they have active research funding (mostly from NIH) as well as substantial experience in mentoring research trainees at the pre- and post-doctoral level.
Immunology and Inflammation Team
Ansar Ahmed, DVM, Ph.D., Head of Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology and Professor of Immunology (email@example.com, 540-231-5591). By using relevant animal models for inflammation and autoimmune diseases, the laboratory focus is to investigate: (1) the molecular basis of how pro-inflammatory cytokines are induced and decipher aberrant cell signaling events; (2) why these disorders occur predominantly in females? and (3) the role of microRNAs in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Xin Luo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Immunology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology (firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-231-0977). The research interests in the Luo Laboratory are immunological and microbial regulation of autoimmunity and immunodeficiency. On the immunological side, we are interested in the roles of dendritic cells in inflammation; while on the microbial side, we focus on how commensal bacteria in the gut affect the host immune system, and vice versa. We utilize murine models and human patient samples to study various diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus and primary immunodeficiencies.
Christopher Reilly, Associate Professor and Discipline Chair of Physiology in the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Adjunct faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine (email@example.com, 540-231-5345). Defining the molecular mechanisms and signal transduction cascades involved in inflammation associated with lupus nerphritis.
XJ Meng, M.D., Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology (firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-231-6912). Molecular mechanisms of viral replication and pathogenesis and the development of vaccines against emerging and zoonotic viral diseases, including Hepatitis E.
Frank Pierson, DVM, Ph.D. Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences (email@example.com, 540-231-7823). Infectious diseases of poultry, particularly in the pathophysiology of multi-factorial diseases, the classification and pathophysiology of the genus Siadenovirus, and Salmonella bioremediation on poultry products.
Population / Public Health
Andrea S. Bertke, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases in Public Health in the Department of Population Health Sciences (firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-231-2707). Pathogenesis, latency, and reactivation of herpes simplex viruses, comparing HSV1 and HSV2; development of antivirals to prevent reactivation; autonomic nervous system pathways; interactions between nociceptors and autonomic neurons.
Marion Ehrich, Ph.D. Professor of Toxicology/Pharmacology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology (email@example.com, 540-231-4938). Derivatized fullerenes for their capability to ameliorate acute toxicities and decrease dermal penetration of organophosphorus (OP) surrogates for chemical threat agents.
Terry Hrubec, DVM, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy in the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Adjunct faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine (firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-231-1702). Determining the mechanisms regulating embryonic and fetal development to create interventions that can prevent birth defects caused by environmental contaminants in drinking water that may be causing fetal malformations in rodents.
Renee Prater, DVM, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Discipline Chair of Immunology in the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Adjunct faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine (email@example.com, 540-231-5457). Interaction between prenatal environmental exposures and their relationship to fetal programming and lifelong elevated risk of osteoporosis and obesity.
Clayton Caswell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Bacteriology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology (firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-231-5591). Roles of small regulatory RNAs in the biology of Brucella spp.; mechanism of interactions between bacteria and hosts; common regulatory pathways in related bacteria
Thomas Inzana, Ph.D. Tyler J. and Francis F. Young Chair of Bacteriology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology (email@example.com, 540-231-4692). Bacterial pathogens, including the select agents Francisella tularensis and Burkholderia mallei, MRSA, and the bovine respiratory pathogen Histophilus somni, the latter as a model to study biofilm formation in the natural host.
Namalwar Sriranganathan, BVSc., MVSc, Ph.D. Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology (firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-231-7171). Develop alternate treatment strategies by improving the bioavailability of therapeutic agents and by targeting specific cells using block-copolymers and amorphous nanoparticles.
Nutrition and Obesity
Josep Bassagaanya-Riera, DVM, Ph.D. Associate Professor in the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology (email@example.com, 540-231-7421). Leads the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Nutrition Group, a transdisciplinary research group working at the interface of nutrition, immunology, and inflammation.
Deborah Good-Wiedmer, Ph.D. Associate Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-231-0430). Hypothalamic gene expression, especially as it relates to the regulation of body weight, exercise, fat deposition in muscle, and motivated behaviors.
Cancer and Oxidative Stress
Jia-Qiang He, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Stem Cell Physiology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology (email@example.com, 540-231-2032). Controlled cardiac lineage differentiation of embryonic stem cells, iPSCs & adult cardiac stem cells; iPSC reprograming and characterization; Electrophysiological and functional maturity of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.