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INBS Ph.D. Program Faculty

The INBS Ph.D. program has an extensive and diverse background in teaching graduate courses, advising and mentoring graduate students, securing millions in federal and private funding, guiding postdoctoral scholars, and publishing in refereed journals. There are two categories for the INBS Ph.D. program's faculty: teaching faculty and research mentors. Both research mentors and teaching faculty may teach courses numbered 8000 or above and/or serve on dissertation and examining committees. However, only research mentors may chair dissertation committees.

Emmanuel Awumey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor        
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
BBRI*
Tel:  (919) 530-7644
Fax:  (919) 530-6815
Email:  eawumey@nccu.edu

Dr. Awumey’s lab examines mechanisms of perivascular nerve Ca2+-sensing receptor signaling in hypertension obesity and diabetes.

Antonio Baines, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Tel:  (919) 530-6542
Fax:  (919) 530-7773
Email:  abaines@nccu.edu

Dr. Baine’s lab focuses on signaling transduction and identifying and validating molecular targets in pancreatic cancer.

Xiaoxin Chen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Adjunct Associate Professor UNC
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
BBRI*
Tel:  (919) 530-6425
Fax:  (919) 530-7998
Email:  lchen@nccu.edu

Dr. Chen’s lab is exploring the molecular mechanism of oral cancer. The research has two foci-molecular mechanism, prevention and treatment of gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett’s esophagus (BE) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC).

Gregory Cole, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Neuroscience Program Director
Tel:  (919) 530-6034
Fax:  (919) 530-6815
Email: gcole@nccu.edu

Dr. Cole’s lab focuses on examining signal molecules involved in nervous system development, with an emphasis on the molecular basis of extracellular matrix-cell interactions during development.

Jodie M Fleming, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Tel: (919) 530-6216
Fax: (919) 530-7773
Email: jodie.fleming@nccu.edu

Dr. Fleming’s lab focuses on understanding normal breast physiology during puberty, pregnancy, and lactation. Currently, the program has two focuses:  (1) The molecular mechanisms that affect human milk composition and the effect of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on milk composition, obesity, neonate health and cancer risk and (2) Breast cancer health disparities. 

Julie Horvath, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Tel: (919) 530-6248
Fax: (919) 530-7773
Email:  jhorvath@nccu.edu

Genetic and genomic comparisons between humans and our closest relatives, the primates, are crucial for understanding our own evolution and unique characteristics. The foundation of Dr. Horvath's research is based on species relationships, or phylogenies, which she first established for lemurs, and more recently, for all primates. These species relationships are applied to many of her research questions.

Catherine S. Key, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Tel: (919) 530-5365
Fax: (919) 530-7773
Email:  ckey@nccu.edu

Dr. Key's lab focuses on a gene important for DNA replication and two collaborations which focus on nanoparticles (Dr. Bang EEGS) and genomics (Dr. Elgin Wash U). The lab publishes in all 3 areas of research.

Ju-Ahng Lee, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
BBRI*
Tel: (919) 530-7003
Fax: (919) 530-7760
Email:  jlee@nccu.edu

Dr. Lee’s lab uses the zebrafish model and state-of-the-art molecular, cellular, imaging, and bioinformatics techniques to study specific proteins and pathways important in developmental neurobiology and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Diseases.

P. Andy Li, MD, Ph.D.
Professor
Department: Pharmaceutical Sciences – BRITE**
Tel: (919) 530-6872
Fax: (919) 530-6600
Email: pli@nccu.edu

Dr. Li’s lab examines the mechanisms and treatment of stroke associated neuron damage. Specifically, cell death and survival pathways as well as agents that exacerbate brain damage during stroke are examined. For more details about Dr. Li's research interests, click here.

Tin-Chung Leung, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
BBRI*
Kannapolis Research Campus
Tel: (704) 250-5728
Fax: (704) 250-5727
Email:  tleung@nccu.edu

Dr. Leung’s lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which signaling molecules guide and pattern vascular networks during angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessel), and to exploit the therapeutic potential of chemical modulators (drug like small molecules and natural products) that will suppress cardiovascular diseases and combat cancers.

Dayami Lopez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Pharmaceutical Sciences – BRITE**
Tel: (919) 530-6914
Fax: (919) 530-6600
Email: lopezd@nccu.edu

Dr. Lopez has over 18 years of experience in academic research with focus on atherosclerosis, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Lopez's lab currently focuses on identifying novel regulators of PCSK9, a protease involved in hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis. For more details about Dr. Lopez's research interests, click here.

Somnath Mukhopadhyay, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Chemistry
BBRI*
Tel:  (919) 530-7762
Fax:  (919) 530-7760
Email: smukhopadhyay@nccu.edu

Dr. Mukhopadhyay’s lab focuses on endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA), which protects neurons from inflammatory damage. Endocannabinoids are released after brain injury and believed to attenuate neuronal damage. The lab is examining the signaling pathway and important receptors in this process.

Carla E. Oldham, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor
Department: Pharmaceutical Sciences ?– BRITE**
Tel:  (919) 530-7728
Fax:  (919) 530-6600
Email: coldham@nccu.edu

Dr. Oldham’s lab explores the role of Csk Homologous Kinase (CHK) in neurite outgrowth and signaling pathways as well as the translocation of CHK. The overall goal is to elucidate the role(s) of CHK in neuronal cell signaling in order to 1) develop a HTS screening assay to detect the absence or presence of CHK in tumor cells and; 2) find small molecules that can inhibit or induce the expression of CHK. For more details about Dr. Oldham's research interests, click here.

Rob Onyenwoke, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor
Core Facility Manager – Imaging
Department: Pharmaceutical Sciences – BRITE**
Tel:  (919) 530-6936
Fax:  (919) 530-6600
Email:  ronyenwo@nccu.edu

Dr. Onyenwoke’s lab and projects are broadly related to better understanding the signaling pathways involved in metabolic diseases using high throughput, biochemical, and imaging assays with the goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets and molecules. For more details about Dr. Onyenwoke's research interests, click here.

Mildred A. Pointer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
BBRI*
Tel:  (919) 530-7016
Fax:  (919) 530-7760
Email:  mpointer@nccu.edu

Dr. Pointer’s lab focuses on examining the mechanism of salt-induced hypertension and hypertension induced organ damage. Both areas are important in the African American community. Differential gene expression and protein analysis are used in her research.

Micheler R. Richardson, Ph.D.
Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Director – Cancer Research Program
BBRI*
Tel:  (919) 530-6421
Fax:  (919) 530-7760
Email:  mrrichardson@nccu.edu

Chemokines are mediators important to acute and chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and asthma, and mediate tumor cell trafficking and metastasis. Dr. Richardson’s lab focus is to delineate the molecular mechanisms by which chemokine receptors trigger selective responses to mediate tumor growth and metastasis.

John E. Scott, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Pharmaceutical Sciences – BRITE**
Tel:  (919) 530-7569
Fax: ( 919) 530-6600
Email: jscott@nccu.edu

Dr. Scott’s lab examines three areas: trip negative breast cancer, small organic molecules discovery for drug development and regulation of PON-1 expression and atherosclerosis. For more details about Dr. Scott's research interests, click here.

Jonathan Z. Sexton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Pharmaceutical Sciences – BRITE**
Tel:  (919) 530-6251
Fax: (919) 530-6600
Email:  jsexton@nccu.edu

Dr. Sexton’s lab focuses on the development and implementation of high throughput screening for the identifying molecules useful as molecular probes to understand disease development or that are useful in the drug development process. For more details about Dr. Sexton's research interests, click here.

Vijay Sivaraman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Tel:  (919) 530-5564
Fax: (919) 530-7773
Email:  vsivaram@nccu.edu

Microbiology; mechanisms underlying pulmonary Yersinia pestis infection.

Darlene Taylor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Chemistry
Tel: (919) 530-6463
Fax:  (919) 530-5135
Email: dtaylor@nccu.edu

Dr. Taylor’s lab examines structural properties of oligomers and polymers to investigate various materials for potential applications in technologies such as solar cells and drug delivery vehicles.

Kizhanipuram Vinodgopal, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department: Chemistry
Tel: (919) 530-6456
Fax: (919) 530-5135
Email: kvinodg@nccu.edu

Research in Dr. Vinodgopal’s lab is based on programs primarily aimed at portable fuel cell applications. The goal is to develop portable fuel cells based on conventional consumables (methanol and air) for small electronic appliances (e.g., lap-top computers) and to minimize the use of precious metals by developing new electrode materials and membrane assembly.

Kevin Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Pharmaceutical Sciences – BRITE**
Tel:  (919) 530-7726
Fax:  (919) 530-6600
Email: kpwilliams@nccu.edu

Dr. Williams’ lab focuses on understanding the mechanism, role and potential uses of protein modifications for therapeutic applications. Dr. Williams has over 20 years combined experience in both academic and biopharmaceutical-based research with a focus on cancer and drug discovery.

Daniel Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Tel:  (919) 530- 6541
Fax:  (919) 530-7773
Email:  dwilliams@nccu.edu

Dr. Williams’ research focuses in the area of microbiology: infectious disease, host-pathogen interaction, mechanism of antibiotic resistance.

ClarLynda Williams-DeVane, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Tel: (919) 530-7032
Fax: (919) 530-7760
Email: clarlynda.williams@nccu.edu

Dr. Williams-Devane's lab centers on developing predictive modeling for understanding cancer in women. Using gene expression data analysis for different chemical treatment scenarios enables the data to be located and aggregated by chemical and broad data coverage within chemical, genomics, and toxicological information domains. This capability also depends on common genomic standards, protocol description and functional linkages of diverse public Internet data resources.

Nathan Wymer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department: Chemistry
Tel:  (919) 530-6461
Fax:  (919) 530-5135
Email: nwymer@nccu.edu

Dr. Wymer’s lab focuses on protein engineering to make safer, more efficacious, and less expensive vaccines. Dr. Wymer joined NCCU from Pfizer where his research centered on expanding the chemical platform technologies through the cloning of new enzymes and used protein engineering of enzymes to improve the synthetic properties for large-scale chemical synthesis of API.

Jiahua Xie, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Pharmaceutical Sciences- BRITE**
Tel:  (919) 530-6705
Fax:  (919) 530-6600
Email:  jxie@nccu.edu

Dr. Xie’s lab uses plant systems to investigate interesting signaling and novel developmental pathways, and the genes involved. Plant systems can be used understand and improve production for many unique elements. For more details about Dr. Xie's research interests, click here.

Fei Yan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Chemistry
Tel:  (919) 530-7518
Fax:  (919) 530-5135
Email: fyan@nccu.edu

Dr. Yan’s lab research is focused on developing novel sensing strategies, which can potentially be exploited in biomedical diagnostics, environmental sensing, and forensic investigation.

Liju Yang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Pharmaceutical Sciences – BRITE**
Tel:  (919) 530-6704
Fax:  (919) 530-6600
Email: lyang@nccu.edu

Dr. Yang’s lab focuses on the management of several common pathogens, including E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella typhmurium and Listeria monocytogenes.  Dr. Yang’s research involves carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which are extremely tiny tubes formed by carbon atoms that may be used to transport and deliver antibodies to specific sites within the body and combat illness.  Additionally, Dr. Yang’s research also aims to develop better methods of isolating and concentrating disease-causing microorganisms in food samples.  For more details about Dr. Yang's research interests, click here.

Xiaohe Yang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
BBRI*
Kannapolis Research Campus
Tel:  (704) 250-5726
Fax:  (704) 250-5727
Email: xyang@nccu.edu

Dr. Yang's lab is focused on molecular and cellular cancer biology. Dr. Yang's current research is on breast cancer etiology and prevention with emphases on the modulation of hormone-growth factor cross-talk, apoptosis and mammary stem cell reprogramming by various genetic and environmental factors.

*BBRI - JLC Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute
**BRITE - Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise

 
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