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  • Gillian M. Air, Ph.D., COM, OUHSC     -     Phase I and II Mentor
    Associate Dean, Graduate College
    George Lynn Cross Research Professor
    Department Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    College Medicine
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: gillian-air@ouhsc.edu
    Phone: 405-271-2085
    Office: Rm 258, Library Building, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
     
     
    Research Interests:
    My expertise is in molecular and biochemical aspects of influenza. Our research had two branches, one to find ways of designing better vaccines, and the second to investigate how the virus gains entry into cells and how infection might be blocked by antiviral drugs. Using monoclonal antibodies, we determined the extent and nature of epitopes on the two major surface antigens in influenza virus, hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, studying how antibodies bind to these to inhibit activity and hence virus spread, and how the virus can mutate to escape from neutralizing antibodies. We applied these results to analyze the quality as well as quantity of antibodies present in human sera after influenza vaccination and we showed that study of the fine specificities of antibodies in people who have been vaccinated or infected with influenza might predict the direction of antigenic drift, which would allow formulation of vaccines ahead of the epidemic. We were also involved in projects to design new NA inhibitors, and to identify receptors on the cell surface that facilitate virus infection with the idea of blocking that process with new drugs. It has been known for many years that the primary receptor for influenza is sialic acid, but our recent work showed that the pattern of recognition for sialic acids and their neighboring sugars is more complex than originally thought. There is year-to-year variation in the binding profile to an array of synthetic sialylated glycans. We think this is a consequence of the mutations that drive antigenic drift and that specific glycan structures are not needed for influenza infection.
    Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Marimuthu Andiappan, Ph.D., COE, OSU     -     Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Chemical Engineering
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact: 
    Phone: 405-744-5280
    Office: 420 Engineering North, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
    Research Interests: 
    Plasmonic Photocatalysis, Heterogeneous Catalysis, Homogeneous Catalysis, and Process Modeling and Simulation.
  • Shanjana Awasthi, Ph.D, COP, OUHSC     -     Phase I Project Leader
    Associate Professor
    Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
    College of Pharmacy
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
    University of Oklahoma
     
    Contact Information
    Phone: 405-271-6593 Extn: 47332
    Fax: 405-271-7505
    Office: Rm 324 College of Pharmacy Building, University of OklahomaOklahoma City, OK 73117
     
     
    Research Interests:
    Research in my lab is focused on developing immunotherapeutics and vaccines by harnessing our body's natural host defense mechanisms. Our research efforts have been focused on developing TLR4- interacting surfactant protein-A-derived peptides and dendritic cell-based vaccine approaches. We are interested in investigating the mechanism and efficacy of these approaches in vitro and in animal models of infection, inflammation and cancer.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Vibudutta Awasthi, Ph.D., CoP, OUHSC     -     Phase II IAC
    Professor and Sandra K. & David L. Gilliland Chair in Nuclear Pharmacy
    Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
    College of Pharmacy
    University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-271-6593 x47331
    Fax: 405-271-7505
    Office: University of Oklahoma, Health Science Center, College of Pharmacy, Norman, OK 73019 CPB 309
     

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    Research Interests:
    My research interests are in the development of radiopharmaceuticals, small animal imaging, and the use of radiological imaging techniques to answer physiological questions. My current research focuses on the development of liposome-encapsulated hemoglobin as an artificial oxygen carrier and he is studying cerebral oxygen metabolism using positron emission tomography. I am a board-certified nuclear pharmacist with expertise in areas related to drug delivery, formulation development, nuclear pharmacy, and small animal nuclear imaging.
    Last Updated 08/27/2021
  • Earl Blewett, Ph.D., CHS, OSU     -     Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Microbiology
    Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
     
    Contact:
    Phone: 917-561-8405
     
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    Research Interests: 
    Currently I am interested in the molecular biology of enteroviruses, especially host membrane modification. The OCRID project, testing the virus inhibiting characteristics of a compound that interferes with host cell membrane formation, is right in this area. I have been working with herpesviruses of non-human primates, for many years. I have a collaborative project, testing baboon immune cell responses to BaCMV challenge, ongoing. I also am interested in bacteriophage and have a multi-year project with Dr. Jaroni in Food and Animal Sciences, testing molecular characteristics of EHEC-specific bacteriophage.
     
    Last Updated 10/31/2019
  • Christina Bourne, Ph.D., CAS, OU-Norman     -     Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Assistant Professor 
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
    College of Arts and Sciences
    The University of Oklahoma
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: cbourne@ou.edu
    Phone: 405-325-5348
    Office:

     

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    Research Interests: 
    Our research interests are in the relation of protein function to macromolecular structure. We are integrating X-ray crystallography with microbiology and biochemistry to answer questions about toxin-antitoxin systems and other proteins, and their roles in bacteria that cause human disease. 
    Last Updated 08/27/2021
  • Anthony Burgett, Ph.D., CAS, OU     -     Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
    College of Arts and Sciences
    The University of Oklahoma
     
    Contact: 
    Email: anthony.burgett@ou.edu
    Phone: 214-566-5156 (cell), 405-325-3551 (office)
    Office: Rm 2060, Stephenson Life Sciences Research Center, 101 Stephenson Parkway, Norman, OK 73019
     
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    Research Interests: 
    Our cross-disciplinary research is focused on the molecular pharmacology and total synthesis of natural products, which are structurally complex, biologically-active molecules isolated from nature. Natural product total synthesis has long been a preeminent pursuit in organic chemistry, providing a driving force for the development of chemical reactivity and understanding. Our lab continues in this tradition, seeking to develop new approaches and new methods to achieve the synthesis of these complex structures. However, for us, the total synthesis of a natural product is a gateway and a vehicle to understanding the molecular mechanisms of action through which a compound affects biological systems. Synthesis applied to molecular pharmacology research is a uniquely powerful tool that enables full creativity and freedom to produce the natural product and derived analogs—probe analogs, analogs designed to determine the structure-activity-relations of the compound, and simplified, more-drug-like analogs. We employ, coupled to our total synthesis capabilities, a full suite of research techniques in molecular biology, protein biochemistry and cellular biology, and we seamlessly use this diverse array of methods to fully characterize the biological activity of a compound, identify its cellular target and unlock and advance any therapeutic applications.
     
    Last Updated 10/31/2019
  • Josh Butcher, Ph.D., CVM, OSU    -    Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Physiological Sciences
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: joshua.butcher@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-8088
    Office: Rm 168, Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests:
    I am a cardiovascular physiologist by training and have a long-standing interest in blood pressure regulation, especially in the context of the cardiometabolic dysfunction that accompanies obesity. Currently, my research looks at how manipulation of skeletal muscle (using an exercise mimetic) can attenuate the aforementioned dysfunction. We are expanding into an aging paradigm, termed sarcopenic obesity, whereby the muscle loss that accompanies obesity becomes synergistic with aging (sarcopenia). The major goal of this project is to determine the mechanistic links that drive obesity-derived cardiometabolic dysfunction; emphasizing vascular health (via characterization of endothelial and smooth muscle reactivity), the role of glucose homeostasis (Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes), oxidant stress (NOX1 and NOX4) and their organ-specific roles, and skeletal muscle fiber types.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Matthew Cabeen, Ph.D., ACS, OSU     -     Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: matthew.cabeen@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-6652
    Office: 416 LSE, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests: 
    We use advanced microfluidics and live-cell microscopy together with traditional microbiological techniques to learn how bacteria sense and respond to stress, communicate with one another, and work together to build microbial communities. We work with both the model species Bacillus subtilis and the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Rudragouda Channappanavar, Ph.D., CVM, OSU     -     Phase II Project Leader
    Assistant Professor 
    Veterinary Pathobiology
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-744-7224
    Office: NA

     

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    Research Interests:
    Innate and adaptive immunity, host-pathogen interactions, and molecular virology to examine the mechanistic basis for protective and pathogenic immune responses to highly virulent respiratory virus infections in young and aged hosts.
    Last Updated 08/27/2021
  • Yong Cheng, Ph.D., DASNR, OSU     -     Phase II Project Leader
    Assistant Professor 
    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: ycheng@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-9736
    Office: 354A Noble Research Center, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK, 74079

     

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    Research Interests:
    I am currently a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK, and highly motivated to pursue an academic and translational-research career. I have worked on multiple projects in the field of mycobacterial pathogen-host interactions, and have interdisciplinary expertise in microbiology and immunology. I feel my qualifications are well-aligned with the studies described in this proposal. In 2007, I received my Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from Huazhong Agricultural University, China, and then I joined the University of Basel, Switzerland, with F. Hoffmann–La Roche Ltd Postdoctoral Fellowship working on the project addressing the function of M.tuberculosis protein kinase G in mycobacterial pathogenesis and the potential application of its inhibitors as new anti-TB drugs. In 2011, I joined the Dr. Jeff Schorey’s lab at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and focused on the research understanding the roles of exosomes in hostM.tuberculosis interactions, and potential application of these host cell-released vesicles as innovative anti-TB vaccines and biomarkers for TB diagnosis. Additionally, my studies for the first time demonstrated the engagement of the host cytosolic RNA sensing pathway in the host response to mycobacterial infections in host cells. Meanwhile, in collaboration with Hsiri Therapeutics and Dr. Marvin J. Miller from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, we identified a new family of antimycobacterial small molecules. In 2016, I was promoted to a research assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame. As an independent principle investigator, I initiated multiple projects understanding the interactions between non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and the host in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients using a cystic fibrosis murine model, aiming at development of new treatment for mycobacterial infections in cystic fibrosis patients. In Summer 2020, I was appointed as an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University. My current studies are understanding the host-pathogen interactions during M.tuberculosis and NTM infections using tissue culture and mouse models.
    Last Updated 08/27/2021
  • Stephen Clarke, Ph.D., CoHS, OSU      -     Center Investigator
    Associate Professor
    Nutritional Sciences
    College of Human Sciences
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: stephen.clarke@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-2033
    Office: 417 Human Sciences, Oklahoma State Univeristy, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests:
    The goal of my current work is to better understand the molecular causes of symptoms associated with iron deficiency. My team is examining the microRNA profile of tissues that are central to maintaining normal iron homeostasis, and we have started to characterize the targets of iron-regulated microRNA. In slightly more applied research, I continue to collaborate with Drs. Lucas, Smith and Stoecker to assess the extent to which iron status affects an individual's risk of developing osteoporosis. Finally, more recently I have started to examine the role that iron plays in contributing to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.
  • Mark Coggeshall, Ph.D., OMRF     -     Phase I and II Mentor
    Robert S. Kerr, Jr. Endowed Chair
    Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-271-7209
    Office: Rm S400 Chapman Bldg, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
     
     
    Research Interests:
    We investigate mechanisms leading to microvascular dysfunction, complement activation and coagulopathic responses to S. aureus and B. anthracis. We discovered the proinflammatory effects of peptidoglycan in human immune cells, identified the cells that responded and the mechanism by which they respond. The latter includes the novel finding that IgG facilitates Fc -mediated peptidoglycan phagocytosis and lysosomal digestion to create NOD ligands, and platelet activation by FcγRIIa and complement. In signaling, we were the first to show that PLCγ activation is central to lymphocyte antigen and Fc receptor signaling, that a Src-family kinase links these receptors to PLCγ activation, and that signaling events in immune cells are regulated by FcγRII recruitment of the inositol phosphatase SHIP. Our laboratory is heavily invested in phospho-flow, flow cytometry and confocal microscopy to quantitate the stimulation of intracellular events and how they are influenced by bacterial pathogens  and cytokines. We showed that peptidoglycan is a common, shared, and central Gram-positive pathogen associated molecular pattern that contributes to the pathology of sepsis and that the presence of anti-peptidoglycan antibodies are needed for the responses. We discovered that peptidoglycan activates the classical complement pathway and that complement activation was removed after depletion of anti-peptidoglycan antibodies, indicating input from the classical pathway. Peptidoglycan stimulated human platelets to aggregate via platelet FcyRIIa through the peptidoglycananti-peptidoglycan immune complexes and through the complement products. In addition, we discovered the in vivo pathology caused by peptidoglycan infusion: vascular leakage, evidence of disseminated intravascular coagulation, and organ failure, all accompanied by complement deposition. I have long experience overseeing research of the type proposed here, and in guiding projects as they evolve in different directions. I have been the PI on a U19 multi-project grant focused on pathobiology of anthrax. The work involves successful and sustained collaborations with researchers in several foreign institutions, as are required by the project proposed here.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19 
  • Tyrrell Conway,  Ph.D., CAS, OSU     -     Phase II Mentor
    Regents Proffessor and Head of Department
    Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: tconway@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-820-7329
    Room: 307 Life Sciences East, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
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    Research Interests: 
    We study the physiological state of colonized bacteria in the mammalian large intestine. With NIH funding we characterize the symbiotic relationship between E. coli and anaerobes that degrade complex polysaccharides, which in turn release simple sugars to cross-feed E. coli. The major goal of this project is to determine mechanisms of nutrient competition between E. coli strains in a mouse model of intestinal colonization. In addition, we develop intuitive displays and computational environments for functional genomics data analysis. 
     
    ​Last Updated 10/31/19
  • Michael Scott Davis, D.V.M., Ph.D., CVM, OSU     -     Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Professor and Endowed Chair
    Department of Physiological Sciences
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-744-8172
    Office: Rm 264 McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests:
    Exercise physiology and pathophysiology, including the effects of exercise on respiratory function.
    Last Updated 10/31/19
  • Junpeng Deng, Ph.D., DASNR, OSU     -     Phase I Pilot Project Leader
    Professor
    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
    Oklahoma State University 
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: junpeng.deng@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-6192
    Office: Rm 120D Henry Belmont Research Center, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
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    Research Interests:
    Structure-function studies on poxvirus membrane biogenesis and immune evasion. Poxviruses include some dangerous emerging or re-emerging pathogens as well as some promising vaccine vectors for infectious diseases and cancers. They are unique among viruses in that they encode a large number of proteins that are dedicated to evading host immune responses. These proteins include secreted inhibitors of cytokines as well as intracellular inhibitors of immune signaling or antiviral factors. Structure and function study on the cytokine inhibitors is one of the major aims in this lab. Enveloped viruses typically acquire their outer lipid bilayer by budding from cellular membranes, a process that is similar to the formation of cellular transport vesicles. Poxviruses, however, are unusual in that their primary envelope is not acquired by budding but through extending of open-ended crescent membranes. The origin and biogenesis of the crescent membranes are among the least understood aspects of poxvirus biology. Recent studies suggest that the crescents may derive from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). At least five VACV proteins (A6, A11, A30.5, H7 and L2), collectively termed viral membrane assembly proteins (VMAPs) and conserved in all vertebrate poxviruses, have been found to be essential for the biogenesis of crescent membranes. VACV mutants deficient in VMAPs make viroplasms but fails to form crescents. We discovered VACV A6 as a key member of VMAPs and suggested that viral membranes are trafficked from ER to ‘viral factories’ through an active, A6-mediated process. Our recent results led us to the innovative hypotheses that A6 is a novel lipid-transfer protein (LTP) and that poxviruses obtain their primary envelope by mimicking or hijacking the cellular LTP-mediated nonvesicular lipid transport process. To our knowledge, LTP has not been previously identified in any viruses, and nonvesicular lipid transport is not known to play a role in viral replication. Detailed structure and function studies on poxvirus membrane biogenesis are currently being actively pursued.
  • Ratnakar Deole, Ph.D., CHS, OSU     -     Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor of Genetics
    Biochemistry and Microbiology
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: ratnakar.deole@okstate.edu
    Phone: 918-525-6328
    Office: West 17th Street Tulsa, OK 74104

     

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    Research Interests: 
    I am a microbiologist and molecular geneticist with over 15 years’ experience working with a broad array of halophilic (salt loving) microorganisms including extremely halophilic bacteria and archaea. Since graduating from Oklahoma State University’s department of Microbiology and Molecular genetics with a PhD degree in 2011, I have carried out independent research and routinely performed research experiments involving halophiles. My lab is fully resourced and equipped to conduct the proposed research. I have trained and mentored 3 Master’s students at Northeastern State University (NSU), who graduated with a Master’s thesis after conducting research in my lab. I have also mentored and trained 50+ undergraduate students in my research laboratory and successfully authored peer reviewed publications based on some of those projects. 
    My graduate research involved genome based adaptation of an extremely halophilic bacteria, Halorhodospira halophila. I was involved in sequencing H. halophila and based on its genome, designed experiments to study its halophilic adaptations. I have three publications (two, first author and one, second author) based on my graduate research work. As a faculty with an independent research lab at NSU, I have successfully obtained external funds to sequence two more halophiles, H. halochloris-phylogenetic neighbor of H. halophila and an extremely halophilic cyanobacteria-Oscillatoria limnetica. For sequencing of these genomes, I have routinely collaborated with core facility services at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. In 2018, I successfully obtained funding to incorporate halophiles in undergraduate laboratory courses at Northeastern State University to demonstrate connectivity of subjects like biochemistry, microbiology and genetics.
  • Yu Feng, Ph.D., CEAT, OSU     -     Phase I&II Pilot Project Leader
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Chemical Engineering
    College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology 
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: yu.feng@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-7441
    Office: 420 Engineering North, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 74078
     
     
    Research Interests:
    Dr. Yu Feng joined the School of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University as an Assistant Professor in August 2016. He also joined the Oklahoma Center for Respiratory and Infectious Diseases (OCRID) as an investigator. Yu Feng was a Research Assistant Professor and Lab Manager of the Computational Multi-Physics Laboratory (CM-PL) at North Carolina State University. He has also held an affiliation with DoD Biotechnology HPC Software Applications Institute (BHSAI) as a Research Scientist II. He completed his B.S. in Engineering Mechanics in 2007 from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. He then joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University and obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 2010 and 2013 respectively. His current research interests include advanced computational fluid-particle dynamics (CF-PD) modeling for the transport and deposition of inhalable drugs and toxicants in human respiratory systems, with applications of medical device improvements for effective and targeted drug deliveries, novel lung therapeutics, non-invasive disease diagnostic methodologies, and exposure health risk evaluations. The overall goal the research is to understand and consider more underlying physics and chemistry, in order to provide non-invasive, cost-effective, and accurate numerical tools with more simulating capabilities, complementing in vitro and in vivo studies for interdisciplinary engineering practice and academic research.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Michael J. Franklin, Ph.D., CLS, MSU     -     Phase II Mentor
    Professor
    Department of Microbiology and Immunology
    College of Letters and Science
    Montana State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: umbfm@montana.edu 
    Phone: 406-994-5658
    Office: Cooley Laboratory 213, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, 59715
     
     
    Research Interests: 
    Dr. Franklin is a Professor of Microbiology at Montana State University. Dr. Franklin’s research has focused on several aspects of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pathogenesis, primarily based on how P. aeruginosa growing in biofilms resists treatment with antibiotics and host defensive processes.  His three main areas of research include: (i) the molecular genetics and biochemistry of extracellular capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis, (ii) gene expression and proteome contributions to antibiotic resistances of biofilm bacteria, (iii) physiological heterogeneity in biofilms.  (I) Dr. Franklin has many years of experience studying biochemistry, molecular biology, and physical properties of P. aeruginosa extracellular polysaccharides.  This work resulted in a highly cited review article in Frontiers in Microbiology, proposing models for the biosynthesis of all three secreted polysaccharides produced by P. aeruginosa.  (II) Dr. Franklin’s research group has characterized physiological changes that occur when bacteria adopt a biofilm mode of growth, how these changes in gene expression and proteome patterns influence antibiotic tolerance.  Work on the methodology for studying whole biofilms and biofilm cells, from his lab and from many other labs, is summarized in an invited review article in Microbiology Spectrum. (III) Dr. Franklin’s research group also pioneered strategies for analyzing physiological heterogeneities in biofilms.  The research was initiated by using laser capture microdissection and transcriptomics approaches to characterize the physiologies of biofilm subpopulations. Work on the physiological heterogeneity in biofilms is summarized in a review article in Nature Reviews-Microbiology. These three research foci have led to a greater understanding of how biofilm bacteria adapt to their local microenvironments and thrive within biofilms and has led to the discovery of molecular targets for potential anti-biofilm agents.
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Heather Gappa-Fahlenkamp, Ph.D., CEAT, OSU     -     Phase I Project Leader
    Associate Professor
    School of Chemical Engineering
    College of Engineering and Architecture Technology
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact:
    Phone: 405-744-5280
    Office: 423 Engineering North, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74074
     
     
    Research Interests:
    Tissue Engineering: Advanced Tissue-Equivalent Models to Study Inflammation Associated with Vascular Complications, Allergens, and Infectious Agents. Drug Delivery: Nanoparticles and Biomembranes for Controlled Delivery
     
    Project 2- A Novel Tissue-Equivalent Respiratory Model to Study Airway Reactivity to Infectious Agents
  • Abhrajit Ganguly, M,D., CoM, OUHSC     -     Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Pediatrics
    College of Medicine
    Univesity of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information: 
    Phone: 405-271-5215 ext. 42057
    Office: OU Children's Physicians ETNP 7504, 1200 Everett Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73104

     

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    Research Interests: 



    Last Updated: 08/27/2021
  • Lucila Garcia-Contreras, Ph.D., COP, OUHSC     -     Phase II Project Leader
    Associate Professor
    Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
    College of Pharmacy
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

     

    Contact Information:
    E-mail: lucila-garcia-contreras@ouhsc.edu
    Phone: 405-271-6593 ext. 47205
    Office: Rm 321 College of Pharmacy Building, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73117

     

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    Research Interests: 
    The research goal of my laboratory is “Targeted Drug Delivery” and involves the rational design of dosage forms and their in vitro evaluation, which are used to design in vivo studies. In turn, the information obtained in in vitro and in vivo studies is used to understand the underlying reasons of the performance of the dosage form with the objective of improving its formulation design to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. I am particularly interested on the design, formulation and evaluation of inhaled drugs and vaccines in powder form. For the past 12 years has focused on the designing, formulating and evaluating of drugs and vaccines delivered by the pulmonary route for local and systemic action to treat and prevent tuberculosis, and other respiratory infectious diseases. I have developed formulations for administration by the pulmonary route of a number of compounds ranging from small molecule drugs (rifampicin) to large proteins and peptides (antigen 85 and BCG). I have also been responsible for conducting studies of the pharmacokinetics and efficacy of these drugs and vaccines when delivered by the pulmonary route. Notably our pharmacokinetic and efficacy studies with capreomycin, a peptide antibiotic were the bases for Phase I clinical trials conducted by our collaborators at Harvard University. More recently, we developed an inhalable formulation to treat lung cancer and evaluated in the mouse model of adenocarcinoma. My research pulmonary drug delivery has generated interest nationally and internationally while resulting in a number of peer-reviewed articles in high impact journals, invitations to organize and speak at international conferences and consult for small pharmaceutical companies. At the OUHSC College of Pharmacy I have collaborated with other researchers in designing delivery systems and formulations for oral and vaginal administration to enhance the efficacy of their novel anti-cancer and vaccine drugs. 
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Darren Hagen, Ph.D., DAFS, OSU     -    Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor
    Animal Genomics
    Department of Animal and Food Sciences
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: darren.hagen@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-8848
    Office: 311C Noble Research Center, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

     

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    Research Interests: 
    The research conducted in my laboratory aims to understand biological mechanisms of gene expression and regulation using computational biology and bioinformatics tools. We are interested in understanding the role of non-coding RNAsin transcriptional regulation and post-transcriptional control of translation and especially interested in expression and epigenetic modification of tRNAs. tRNA abundance differs among tissues and life stages, having direct effects on translational efficiency and MRNA stability. We use cell culture and tissue derived from evolutionarily close livestock species. Livestock are among the best phenotype and genotype species and can offer great insight into evolution and conservation of gene regulation mechanisms. A long term goal of this line of research is to identify novel mechanisms of molecular regulation and epigenetic control of gene expression at specific times and tissues during development. 
  • William Hildebrand, Ph.D., COM, OUHSC      -     Center Investigator
    Professor
    George Lynn Cross Professor
    PHF Endowed Professor
    Director, Clinical HLA Typing Laboratory
    Department of Microbiology and Immunology
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-271-1203
    Office: Rm 317, Stanton L Young Biomedical Research Center 975 NE 10th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
     
    Research Interests:
    The Hildebrand Laboratory is focused on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II molecules. These molecules mediate the rejection of organ and bone marrow transplants, the targeting of cancerous and virus-infected cells for immune destruction and autoimmune responses such as diabetes and arthritis. To delineate the role that MHC molecules play in these various immune scenarios, the Hildebrand Laboratory studies MHC genes and the proteins they encode.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Myron Hinsdale, Ph.D., Animal Model Core     -    Core Director
    Associate Professor
    Department of Physiological Sciences
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University

     

    Contact Information:
    E-mail: myron.hinsdale@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-8107
    Office: Rm 264, McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

     

     
    Research Interests:
    The objective for the Animal Models Core (AMC) is to ensure project experimental consistency, compliance with federal animal welfare regulations, and assistance in cutting-edge phenotyping of animal models of respiratory disease.  The AMC has a wide range of phenotyping strategies in respiratory disease animal models. We are interested in developing new models that can benefit the Respiratory Center. Specifically, our research program is interested in the influences of extracellular matrix on organ homeostasis. We are concentrating on the role extracellular matrix has under disease conditions and specifically in regards to influences of ECM proteins on cell signaling. We are focusing on epithelial tissue in organs including the kidney, liver, and lung with a special interest in endothelium. Using a novel mouse model of reduced ECM proteoglycans, our studies are focused on the role that ECM proteoglycans have on the reparative response subsequent to tissue damage and disease especially in COPD and polycystic kidney disease. Our group has a broad background in pathology, animal models, and genetics, and we have extensive experience in animal surgeries and physiological assessment of metabolism. 
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Wouter Hoff, Ph.D., CAS, OSU     -     Phase I Pilot Project Leader
    Associate Professor
    Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-744-4449
    Office: 307 Life Sciences East, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests: 
     
    2013-2014 Pilot Project 4: Photoreceptors as a Novel Class Virulence Factors in Opportunistic Pathogens
  • Chaoqun Huang, M.D., Ph.D., CVM, OSU      -     Center Investigator
    Associate Drector, Molecular Biology Core
    Assistant Research Professor Physiological Sciences
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University

     

    Contact Information:
    Office: Rm 209A McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
    Email: chaoqh@okstate.edu

     

     
    Research Interests: 
    microRNA, long non-coding RNA and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • George Huang, Ph.D., CHS, OSU     -     Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor 
    Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology
    Center for Health Services
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: george.huang@okstate.edu
    Phone: 918-525-6327
    Office: 100 S. Bliss Ave, Tahlequah, OK 74464

     

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    Research Interests: 
    I am interested in bacterial pathogenesis with particular emphasis on the anaerobic pathogen Clostridium difficile and Fusobacterium nucleatum. C. difficile is the number one cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea worldwide and is a public health concern due to its economic burden and patient relapses. The usage of inappropriate antibiotics disrupt the intestinal normal flora, which allows C. difficile to proliferate and damage the gut linings. In our lab we are taking a three-prong approach to combat with C. difficile infection. 1. Prevention via the development of a mucosal vaccine. 2. Offensive measures via screening for non-antibiotic antimicrobial agents. 3. Dissecting the molecular basis of toxin regulation.
  • Alamdar Hussian, Ph.D., COP, OUHSC      -     Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
    College of Pharmacy
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-271-6593  ext. 47472
    Office: Rm 316, College of Pharmacy Building, 1110 N Stonewall, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
     
     
    Research Interests: 
  • Vadim Ivanov, M.D., CoM, OUHSC     -    Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor 
    Assistant Medical Director of CCMH NICU
    Neonatologist
    Department of Pediatrics
    College of Medicine
    University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: Vadim-Ivanov@ouhsc.edu
    Phone: 405-271-5215
    Office: 1200 North Everett Drive, ETNP 7504 Oklahoma City, OK 73104

     

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    Research Interests: 
    My research interests lie in the area of neonatology, especially in neonatal pulmonology. In particular, I am interested in meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) – a disease that has no recognized biological mechanisms explaining the development of this severe and frequently lethal condition in neonates. The especially understudied area is the triggering mechanisms that start the cascade of events following aspiration of meconium. Through my work over the last 13 years, I have developed a novel hypothesis to account for MAS pathogenesis. The central point of this theory is that proteolytic enzymes, which originate in meconium, may be responsible for the damage observed in MAS. To test this hypothesis, I have developed an in vitro model for MAS and confirmed the role of proteolytic enzymes in MAS. I also showed that the noxious effect of these enzymes can be prevented by enzyme inhibitors. With further development, I have investigated and confirmed that the same mechanism is responsible for the destruction of surfactant protein B. The protective role of the enzyme inhibitors was also shown in this model.
  • Haobo Jiang, Ph.D., DASNR, OSU      -     Center Investigator
    Regents Professor
    Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
    Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
    Oklahoma State University 

     

    Contact Information:
    E-mail: haobo.jiang@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-5527
    Office: Rm 127 Noble Research Center, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

     

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    Research Interests:
    We have been investigating the molecular mechanisms of insect immune responses against pathogens that cause serious human diseases. Recognition of pathogens leads to the activation of a serine protease system in a cascade mode, which activates phenoloxidases and cytokines. Phenoloxidases generate reactive compounds to kill and sequester the invading organisms whereas cytokines trigger intracellular signaling pathways to induce the expression of antimicrobial peptides that destroy the infectious agents. We are examining the serine protease pathways and their regulation by serpins in a biochemical model insect, Manduca sexta, and trying to understand the similar system in Anopheles gambiae, the African malaria mosquito.
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Clinton Jones, Ph.D., CVM, OSU     -     Phase II Mentor
    Sitlington Professor of Infectious Diseases
    Regents Professor
    Department of Veterinary Pathobiology
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: clint.jones10@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-1842
    Office: Rm 157C McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests: 
  • Susan Kovats, Ph.D., OMRF     -     Phase II Mentor
    Associate Member
    Arthritis & Clinical Immunology Research Program
    Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-271-8583
    Office: Rm A207, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK 73104

     

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    Research Interests:
    Tissue-resident cells of the innate immune system are the first responders upon infection or tissue damage at mucosal barrier sites. We use a murine model of influenza virus infection to understand the specific roles of lung resident dendritic cells and innate lymphocytes in antiviral responses. We also work with a tissue-engineered lung model in which human respiratory tract myeloid cells are exposed to respiratory syncytial virus, with the goal of understanding differences in neonatal and adult immunity.  Our newest project will explore mechanisms by which sepsis induced by Gram-positive bacteria leads to immunosuppression.
     
    Females often experience increased morbidity upon influenza virus infection, as well as increased incidence and severity of autoimmune disease and asthma. A major focus of the lab is to understand sex differences in numbers and function of innate type 2 lymphocytes (ILC2s) in homeostasis and upon inflammation. We published that female mice harbor significantly greater numbers of lung ILC2s in homeostasis, and we would like to understand how this sex difference contributes to ILC2 responses during infection and inflammatory disease. Ongoing projects will dissect the molecular basis of the differential regulation of female and male ILC2s by inflammatory stimuli and sex hormones in amodel of influenza virus infection. This project also will help us to understand the female predominance of autoimmune disease.
     
    We also seek to understand how lung-resident dendritic cells (DCs) regulate T cell memory responses to influenza virus. Acute respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses is imperfectly mitigated by annual vaccination to select strains. Understanding how DCs regulate resident memory CD8+ T cells will aid the development of vaccines that elicit more universal protection to seasonal and emerging pandemic viruses. Mice lacking lung-resident IRF4-dependent DCs showed defective CD8+ T cell memory responses, and ongoing experiments will investigate IRF4-regulated pathways in DCs that promote T cell memory. Our work suggests that vaccination strategies to harness the function of IRF4-dependent DCs could promote the development of CD8+ resident memory T cells during influenza infection.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Sadagopan Krishnan (Gopan), Ph.D., CAS, OSU      -     Center Investigator
    Associate Professor
    Department of Chemistry
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-744-5946
    Office: 450 Physical Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
    E-mail: gopan.krishnan@okstate.edu
    Group Website: http://krishnangroup.okstate.edu
     
     
    Research Interests:
    Clinical Biosensors, Point-of-care methods, Biocatalysis, Biomarker validation, Novel Drug-screening arrays, Bioelectrochemistry, and Biological fuel-cells. 
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Véronique A. Lacombe, Ph.D., D.V.M., CVM, OSU     -     Phase II Project Leader
    Associate Professor
    Department of Physiological Sciences
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: veronique.lacombe@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-8089
    Office: Rm 283, McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Ok 74078
     
     
    Research Interests: 
    Metabolism, Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Striated muscle, and  Comparative medicine.
  • Dingbo Daniel Lin, Ph.D., CoHS, OSU     -     Phase I and Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Nutritional Sciences
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: dingbo.lin@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-5215
    Fax: 405-744-1357
    Office: 419 Human Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests: 
  • Lin Liu, Ph.D., FAPS, CVM, OSU     -     Center Director/Mentor/Core Director
    Regents Professor of Physiological Sciences
    Lundberg-Kienlen Endowed Chair in Biomedical Research
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Director, Oklahoma Center for Respiratory and Infectious Diseases
    Oklahoma State University 
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-744-4526
    Office: 211 McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
     
    Research Areas:
    Influenza and bacterial infections with a focus on host-pathogen interactions, pathogenesis of pulmonary diseases (IPF, COPD, ARDS and BPD) with a focus on microRNAs and lncRNAs, and stem cell-based therapy with a focus on iPSCs and MSCs.
     

    ​Last Updated 12/05/19

  • Pamela Lovern, Ph.D., CVM, OSU     -     Phase I Mentor
    Associate Professor
    Department of Physiological Sciences
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: pamela.lovern@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-9019
    Fax: 405-744-8263
    Office: Rm 269 McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University  OK, 74078
     
     
    Research Interests:
    Regulation of arteriogenesis (collateral artery enlargement); mechanisms by which diabetes inhibits arteriogenesis; mechanisms regulating placenta growth factor (PLGF) expression; regulation of arteriogenic signaling by biomechanical forces (stretch, shear stress) and reactive oxygen species; crosstalk between VEGF family growth factors and receptors; crosstalk between pulmonary epithelial and endothelial cells; stem cell therapy for vascular repair in COPD.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Erika Lutter, Ph.D., CAS, OSU     -     Phase I Pilot Project Leader
    Associate Professor
    Department for Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information: 
    Phone: 405-744-2532
    Office: 307 Life Sciences East, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    2014-2015 Pilot Project 2: Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Intra-Species Interactions
     
    Research Interests: 
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Marjorie Makoni, M.D., CoM, OUHSC     -     Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Pediatrics
    College of Medicine
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information: 
    Phone: 405-5215 ext. 42181
    Office: 1200 Everett Drive, ETNP 7504, 7th Floor North Pavilion, Oklahoma City 73104

     

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    Research Interests: 
     
    Last Updated: 08/27/2021
  • Jerry R. Malayer, Ph.D., CVM, OSU     -     Phase I and Phase II IAC
    Professor and Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Education
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-744-8085
    Office: Rm 222 McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 74078
     
     
    Research Interests: 
  • Laura-Isobel McCall, Ph.D., CAS, OU-Norman     -     Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Assistant Professor
    Chemistry and Biochemistry
    College of Arts and Sciences
    The University of Oklahoma
     
    Contact Information: 
    Phone: (405) 325-9385
    Office: 

     

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    Research Interests: 
    The McCall laboratory uses cutting-edge analytical chemistry instrumentation to answer critical biological questions.  Our main approach implements state-of-the-art ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). High-resolution MS/MS data is then analyzed using big data computational tools and novel metabolomics techniques such as molecular networking and fragmentation trees. We are particularly interested in understanding how small molecule spatial distribution relates to function, by integrating 3D modeling with our mass spectrometry data, an approach called “chemical cartography”. Alterations in chemical signaling and metabolism play key roles in disease progression and susceptibility.  Small molecules also mediate the function of the microbiome, and human interactions with the environment. Our unique chemical cartography approach enables us to understand metabolism in its spatial context, providing us with novel insights into human physiology, host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions, microbiome function, and human behavior. We also pursue translational applications of our work, using insights from our metabolomics datasets to create new diagnostic tests and to identify new targets for drug development. We are actively recruiting new students interested in analytical chemistry methods, biochemistry, and cross-disciplinary research in a dynamic and diverse work environment.
    Last Updated: 08/27/2021
  • Dianne McFarlane, D.V.M., Ph.D., M.S., Dip ACVIM, CVM, OSU     -     Phase I Pilot Project Leader
    Professor
    Physiological Sciences
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: diannem@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-2072
    Office: 264 McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests: 
    Dr. McFarlane studies age-related neurodegeneration in horses. She focuses specifically on a debilitating condition similar to Parkinson's disease in humans.
  • Jordan P. Metcalf, M.D., COM, OUHSC     -     Center Co-Director/Mentor
    Professor of Medicine
    Virginia and Jean Rumsey Briscoe Chair in Pulmonary Diseases
    Department of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care
    College of Medicine
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-271-6173
     
     
    Research Interests:
    The principal focus of Dr. Metcalf’s laboratory has, since its inception in 1994, been to understand on a molecular level lung immune responses to infectious agents, including adenovirus, influenza virus, and bacterial pathogens such as B. anthracis. Beginning in 2002, we developed a human lung organ culture model in order to determine how lung pathogens stimulate, and sometimes evade, the lung immune response, and also how the human host attempts to respond to the pathogen. We use primary lung cells and organ culture models to explore host-pathogen interactions with regards to adenovirus, influenza, and B. anthracis. He has also examined immunosuppressive effects of cigarette smoke in this model. Findings describing these results for all of these pathogens have been published in high-quality journals.
  • Craig Miller, Ph.D., CVM, OSU     -     Phase II Project Leader/Core Director
    Assistant Professor 
    Veterinary Pathology
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: craig.miller@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-2219
    Office: 250 McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

     

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    Research Interests: 
    Dr. Miller's research endeavors are focused primarily on understanding the immunopathology of infectious diseases and include translational lentivirus infection studies using feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) to study HIV pathogenesis, as well as novel approaches in host-pathogen transcriptomics to reveal therapeutic targets of apicomplexan parasite infection in domestic animals. His laboratory specializes in a large number of diagnostic assays including histology, immunohistochemistry, ELISA, quantitative and droplet digital PCR, microsphere immunoassay, western blot, single-cell RNA sequencing, and flow cytometry. Dr. Miller is a member of the Phi Zeta Honor Society and the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.
    Last Updated: 08/27/2021
  • Kenneth E. Miller, Ph.D.     -     Phase I Pilot Project Leader
    Professor and Chair of Anatomy and Cell Biology
    Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
    College of Medicine 
    Oklahoma State University- Tulsa
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 918-561-5817
    Office: 1111 West 17th Street, Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, OK 74107
     
     
    2013-2014 Pilot Project 2: The Role of Glutamate in the Initiation and Maintenance of Pleurisy
     
    Research Interests: 
    My research effort has focused on evaluating glutamate metabolism in spinal systems during injury, inflammatory, and pain conditions. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the nervous system, but the production and degradation of glutamate is poorly understood in the peripheral nervous system. My research has been carried out in three areas: 1. Primary sensory neurons under painful, inflammatory and neuropathic conditions. 2. Spinal processing of inflammatory nociceptive information from viscera and somatic structures. 3. Response of neurons to spinal injury and CNS inflammation. Pain is a debilitating complication of chronic inflammation and nerve injury and chronic pain is difficult to treat for long periods of time. We demonstrated that the glutamine cycle, a CNS enzyme system for production and degradation of glutamate, is present in the peripheral nervous system. We showed that chronic inflammation causes long-term increases in glutaminase and glutamate levels in primary sensory neurons and their peripheral nerve fibers. Increased glutamate production in peripheral nerve fibers is responsible, in part, for painful responses observed in chronic inflammations, such as rheumatoid arthritis. We determined that peripheral inhibition of glutaminase provides long-lasting pain relief in animals with chronic inflammation.
  • Avishek Mitra, Ph.D., CAS, OSU     -    Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Assistant Professor 
    Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: avi.mitra@okstate.edu
    Phone: 727-480-0431
    Office: 318 Life Science East, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74075

     

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    Research Interests: 
    My research interests have always involved studying bacterial pathogens. During my graduate studies I identified a novel pathway by which the alternative sigma factor, RpoN, regulates acid resistance and type III secretion systems in Escherichia coli O157:H7. Concurrently, I developed a project exploring how nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increased antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. As a postdoctoral fellow I expanded my training and studied pathogenic mechanisms in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), which is the causative agent of tuberculosis and the leading cause of human deaths by an infectious disease. Over the last five years my research has focused on identifying mechanisms of how Mtb acquires host iron because it is an essential nutrient for Mtb survival and virulence. For my lead project, I synthesized the toxic heme analog gallium protoporphyrin IX and used it to identify novel outer membrane components in Mtb that are essential for heme iron acquisition. This led to the discovery that the mycobacterial PPE (proline-proline-glutamate) family of proteins can function in nutrient acquisition and that some PPE proteins are channel forming outer membrane proteins. From our studies, we demonstrated that Mtb uses multiple heme uptake pathways for acquiring heme iron. The outer membrane PPE proteins and the inner membrane Dpp transporter constitute one pathway and in a second pathway heme utilization is mediated by albumin. Simultaneously, I developed a drug discovery project and by using a novel whole cell screening approach we identified molecules that inhibit siderophore dependent iron utilization in Mtb. For this project, I collaborated with Southern Research (SR) at Alabama and The GSK Open Lab in Spain and coordinated two whole-cell high throughput screening (HTS) assays and identified molecules which are currently being tested for in vivo efficacy. 
    One of our long-term objectives is to characterize the molecular components of the different Mtb heme uptake pathways and to eventually develop chemotherapeutic approaches that inhibit heme iron acquisition in Mtb. To this end, we will characterize how novel Mtb proteins allow Mtb to utilize heme from hemoglobin, which is the largest source of iron in the human host. We have exciting preliminary data identifying novel channel proteins and secretion systems that play a role in Mtb heme utilization. Eventually, we want to understand the true relevance of heme iron utilization in Mtb virulence and disease progression. 
    I have always been committed to research and education at all stages of my career. As an assistant professor at OSU, I intend to bring together a diverse group of individuals who will work together towards obtaining our long-term objectives. At the same time, I will mentor all personnel so that they can develop and pursue their own ideas. Alongside research, I will contribute to the scientific community through teaching at OSU and being part of committees that further research and education in the STEM field.
    Last Updated: 08/27/2021
  • Sunil More Ph.D., DVM, CVM, OSU     -     Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Assistant Professor
    Veterinary Pathobiology
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: sunil.more@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-6747
    Office: Rm 254, McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests:
    The influenza virus infection is difficult to prevent in terms of the changing nature of the virus genome. The influenza virus is dependent on host factors for successful infection and replication. Our laboratory is studying the role of these host factors in the pathogenesis of influenza virus infection. In addition, influenza virus infection in a patient with COPD is very critical. Their lungs are already compromised with emphysema and bronchiolitis. Unfortunately, an animal model (cigarette smoke and elastase-induced) that closely mimics the pathology of the COPD lungs is lacking. Our laboratory is focusing on the development of this model using a different approach.
    Last Updated 10/31/2019
  • Gaston Ofman, M.D., CoM, OUHSC     -     Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Pediatrics
    College of Medicine
    University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
     
    Contact Information: 
    Phone: 786-925-7641
    Office: 

     

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    Research Interests: 
     
    Last Updated: 08/27/2021
  • Antonius (Tom) Oomens, Ph.D., CVM, OSU     -     Phase I Project Leader
    Associate Professor of Virology
    Department of Veterinary Pathobiology
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: oomens@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-4397
    Office: Rm 258 McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74074
     
     
    Project 1: Development of an RSV Vaccine by Molecular Manipulation of the Viral Matrix Protein
     
    Research Interests:
    My main research interests are to understand entry and exit mechanisms of enveloped viruses and how to exploit knowledge of these mechanisms for vaccine and therapeutic purposes. Currently, my work is focussed on Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a ubiquitous and contagious paramyxovirus. Worldwide, RSV results in 200,000 deaths each year in children and yet a vaccine is not available. Through genetic manipulation of RSV, we are mapping the mechanisms underlying virus infectivity, and are creating and testing concepts for live-attenuated and virus-like-particle based RSV vaccines.
  • Chongle Pan, Ph.D., GCOE, CAS, OU      -     Center Investigator
    Associate Professor
    School of Computer Science
    Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology 
    University of Oklahoma
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: cpan@ou.edu 
    Phone: 405-325-2972
    Office: 110 W. Byod, DEH 231, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019
     
     
    Research Interests: 
    The research in my lab is focused in knowledge discovery from big -omics data and predictive understanding of complex biological systems.  In environment microbiology, we aim to understand the adaptation of natural microbial communities under different environmental conditions using metagenomics, metaproteomics, and stable isotope probing. In predictive genomics, we aim to predict the phenotypic traits of microorganisms, plants, and humans from their genomes and other -omics data. Our computational approaches include artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, network analysis, knowledge graph, and literature mining. Our experimental approaches include mass-spectrometry-based proteomics and metabolomics and sequencing-based genomics and transcriptomics.
  • Marianna A. Patrauchan, Ph.D., CAS, OSU     -     Phase II Project Leader
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Oklahoma State University 

     

    Contact Information:
    E-mail: m.patrauchan@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-8148
    Office: Rm 304A Life Sciences East, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74074

     

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    Research Interests:
    My main research focus in on the signaling role of calcium (Ca2+) in bacterial pathogenecity. The primary model is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a gram negative opportunistic human pathogen that is the leading cause of death in cystic fibrosis patients.Other projects include: light regulation of Pseudomonas virulence, silver-containing antimicrobials, and geophysical properties of bacterial biofilms.
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Anne H. Pereira, Ph.D.     -     Phase I IAC
    Dean, Graduate College
    Professor and Associate Dean for Research
    Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
    College of Pharmacy
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: anne-pereira@ouhsc.edu
    Phone: 405-271-6593 ext. 58034
    Office: Rm 329 College of Pharmacy Building, 1110 N Stonewall, Oklahoma City, OK 73117

     

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    Research Interests:
    My area of expertise is innate immunity and inflammation in particular the role of cationic antimicrobial peptides in host defense against infection. My current research is focused on the preclinical development of a potential new class of antibiotic to treat Pseudomonas infections, the role of host defense peptides in ocular inflammation and healing, and neuroinflammation and microglial activation in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Carey Pope, Ph.D., CVM, OSU     -     Phase I and II IAC
    Professor and Sitlington Endowed Chair in Toxicology
    Department of Physiological Sciences
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: carey.pope@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-6257
    Office: Rm 170 McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Ok 74078

     

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    Research Interests:
    Neurotoxicology, Nanotoxicology, Autonomic Pharmacology, Mechanisms of Toxicity, Endocannabinoid Signaling, and Development of Countermeasures against Organophosphate Toxicity. 
  • Rakhi Rajan, Ph.D, CAS, OU-Norman     -     Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
    College of Arts and Sciences
    The University of Oklahoma
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: r-rajan@ou.edu
    Phone: 405-325-3305
    Office:

     

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    Research Interests:
    Protein-nucleic acid interactions are key to fundamental life processes such as DNA replication, transcription, recombination, and protein synthesis. Deciphering the mechanism of protein-nucleic acid interactions is invaluable for understanding human disease pathways and infections. The primary focus of my lab is to characterize protein-DNA/RNA interactions structurally, biochemically, and biophysically. The immediate emphasis is the study of the recently discovered bacterial and archaeal immune system, CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats). CRISPR is an RNA-based adaptive immune system that inactivates foreign DNA/RNA entering the cell, based on the sequence similarity of small RNAs, called CRISPR RNA (crRNA) to the invading genetic element. The process requires several proteins called CRISPR associated (Cas) proteins. The CRISPR/Cas9 system has revolutionized the genome editing field due to the ease with which targeted double-stranded DNA breaks can be achieved in cells, using a guide RNA and Cas9 protein. The long-term goals of my laboratory are to understand the role of CRISPR/Cas system in pathogenicity and virulence of bacteria, characterize the mechanism of adaptation of bacteria to phage infection, and to determine the signaling mechanisms of the CRISPR/Cas system. We incorporate molecular biology, biochemistry, X-ray crystallography, and additional biophysical tools to characterize these protein-nucleic acid interactions. 
    Last Updated: 08/27/2021
  • Rajagopal Ramesh, Ph.D., COM, OUHSC      -     Center Investigator
    Professor
    Department of Pathology
    Jim and Christy Everest Endowed Chair in Cancer Developmental Therapeutics
    Oklahoma TSET Cancer Research Scholar
    Stanton L. Young Biomedical Research Center
    College of Medicine
    The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-271-6101
    Laboratory: 405-271-6104
    Fax: 405-271-2472
    Office: Suite 1403 975 NE 10th Street, The University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 73140

     

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    Research Interests: 
    Studies in my laboratory are mainly focused on novel gene-based therapeutics using viral and non-viral vectors with emphasis on translational cancer research. There are two major research areas that are actively being pursued in the laboratory. The first research area is the development and testing of non-viral and nanoparticle-based gene delivery for cancer treatment, and the second research area is studying the antitumor and anti-angiogenic properties of IL-24. Our findings have lead to Phase I clinical trials for treatment of solid tumors.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Josh Ramsey, Ph.D., CEAT, OSU      -     Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
    School of Chemical Engineering
    College of Engineering and Architecture
    Oklahoma State University

     

    Contact Information:
    E-mail: josh.ramsey@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-5280
    Office: Rm 423 Engineering North, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

     

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    Research Interests:
    Dr. Ramsey's lab focuses on designing nanocarriers for drug and gene delivery. Special emphasis is placed upon designing carriers that avoid immune inactivation, target specific cells, and transport the drug or gene into the target cell.
     
    ​Last Updated 11/06/19
  • Ashish Ranjan, Ph.D., CVM, OSU     -     Phase I Pilot Project Leader
    Associate Professor and Kerr Chair
    Department of Physiological Sciences
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: ashish.ranjan@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-6292
    Office: Rm 169, McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

     

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    Research Interests:
    Cancer Immunotherapy, Nanomedicine and Drug Development, and Focused Ultrasound Mediated Non-Invasive Treatments of Chronic Diseases. 
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Charles V. Rice, Ph.D., CAS, OU     -     Center Investigator
    Associate Professor
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
    University of Oklahoma
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: rice@ou.edu
    Phone: 405-325-5831
    Office: 
     
     
    Research Interests:
    At the University of Oklahoma, I lead a research group using NMR spectroscopy to answer questions relevant to vertical advancement in chemistry and biochemistry. These projects characterize molecular structures of both organic and inorganic materials using solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. We are particularly interested in changes to prokaryotic molecular structures at different stages of the organism’s life cycle. For instance, we have extensively investigated the bacterial cell wall structure and interactions of cell wall components with the microbial external environment. These studies have focused on teichoic acid polymers and peptidoglycan with the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria, in particular the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and other metal cations. This work as allowed our group to gain expertise in skills that can contribute to the proposed work: bacterial cell culture and growth curves, SEM, TEM, and Fluorescence microscopy, sterilization assessment with colony forming units (CFUs). The new models of metal chelation by the bacterial cell wall build on prior work where we provided new models describing the effect of metal ion chelation on polymer hydrogels and polymer electrolytes. As a direct logical extension of information gained from studying metal chelation in the bacterial cell wall, these data led us to consider the biochemical structures as the basis for new approaches to kill bacterial pathogens. Gram-positive bacteria use anionic teichoic acid to chelate metals and we have been able to block this process with cationic polymers that displace metal ions from the teichoic acid sites. This led to the discovery that branched poly(ethylenimine) restores β-lactam antibiotic activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We have worked with the University of Oklahoma intellectual property office to protect our invention with a patent.
  • Jerry William Ritchey, Ph.D., D.V.M.,     -     Core Director
    Professor of Pathology
    Department of Veterinary Pathobiology
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University

     

    Contact Information:
    E-mail: jerry.ritchey@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-8219
    Office: Rm 250 McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

     

     
    Research Interests:
    Immunopathogenesis of infectious diseases and Pathology of the heart, lungs, and central nervous systems. 
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Valentin V. Rybenkov, Ph.D., CAS, OU     -     Phase I Pilot Project Leader
    Associate Professor
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
    College of Arts and Sciences
    The University of Oklahoma
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: valya@ou.edu
    Phone: 405-325-1677
    Office: 101 Stephenson Parkway, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019
     
     
    2013-2014 Pilot Project 1: Validation of Bacterial Condensins as Drug Targets
     
    Research Interests:
    Our current research proceeds in three directions. First, we continue mechanistic exploration of condensins with the focus on their activity within its native substrate, the chromosome. Second, we develop single DNA nanomanipulation and microfluidics methods for studies of multi-component macromolecular assemblies with complex architectures. Third, we are engaged in drug discovery studies aimed at development of new antimicrobials against currently intractable and emerging pathogens.
  • Susan Schroeder, Ph.D., CAS, OU     -     Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Associate Professor
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemisty
    Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology
    College of Arts and Sciences 
    University of Oklahoma
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: Susan.schroeder@ou.edu
    Phone: 405-744-2158
    Office: 101 Stephenson Parkway, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019
     

     

    Research Interests:
    My long-term research goal is to understand the fundamental physical interactions in RNA in order to predict RNA three-dimensional structures, functions, and drug targets from sequence. My lab probes structure-function relations in viral RNA and virus-host interactions using Illumina sequencing, chemical probing, nuclear magnetic resonance, crystallography, and UV optical melting, as well as a diverse array of biophysical, molecular biology, sequencing, and computational techniques.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Kenneth Michael Smith, Ph.D., OMRF      -     Center Investigator
    Research Assistant Member
    Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Program
    Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-271-3275
    Office: Rm 5, Multiple Sclerosis Center, 825 N.E. 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
     
     
    Research Interests:
    Our lab’s goal is the discovery and characterization of full length, fully human monoclonal antibodies cloned from single B cells after vaccination. We explore the use of these antibodies as novel therapeutics and diagnostics for infectious agents and also elucidate the B cell immunology which leads to these antibodies and the biology of the B cells that make them. Our primary focus is antibodies that bind to polysaccharide antigens, specifically from the Streptococcus pneumoniae (SPN) capsule. We are working to use these antibodies as novel treatments for severe pneumonia, as well as for diagnostics to both diagnose SPN infections and explore the epidemiology of SPN, for example, the distribution of antibiotic resistant and non-vaccine serotypes. We also have active projects producing and characterizing antibodies to anthrax toxins and rabies virus. We are developing new methods for characterizing monoclonal antibodies from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. We are working to better understand the B cell immunology that leads to autoantibody production, epitope spreading and affinity maturation. We also explore aspects of general B cell immunology, including Vgene, light chain and isotype usage in immune responses to vaccination, infection, allergy and autoimmunity. Finally, we produce highly engineered antibody formats, such as bispecific antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates.
  • Timothy A. Snider, Ph.D., CVM, OSU      -     Center Investigator
    Associate Professor of Pathology
    Department of Veterinary Pathobiology
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-744-0488
    Office: 250 McElroy Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests: 
  • Trent Tipple, M.D., CoM, OUHSC     -    Center Investigator
    Professor
    Department of Pediatrics
    College of Medicine
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information: 
    Phone: 405-271-5215
    Office: 1200 N Everett Dr, Children's Hospital ETNP 7504, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104

     

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    Research Interests: 
     
    Last Updated: 08/27/2021
  • Rodney K. Tweten, Ph.D., CoM, OUHSC     -     Phase II Mentor
    OU Presidentail Professor
    George Lynn Cross Research Professor
    Department of Microbiology and Immunology 
    Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information: 
    Email: Rod-Tweten@ouhsc.edu 
    Phone: 
    Office: BRC 309, Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Norman, OK 73104
     
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    Research Interests: 
    Our research centers on the study of the mechanism of pore-forming toxins and proteins from prokaryotic and eukaryotic sources. Our studies are focused on the pore-forming mechanisms of the cholesterol dependent cytolysins (CDCs) from various pathogenic bacteria and more recently the membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) family of proteins that are involved in immune defense, development and pathogenesis of eukaryotic pathogens. An intriguing characteristic of these proteins is the ability of these soluble proteins to make the transition to a homo-oligomeric pore-forming complex on the membrane of eukaryotic cells. The mechanism by which they accomplish this transition is complex and each protein family contributes unique aspects to this process
  • Peter Vitiello, Ph.D., CoM, OUHSC    -    Center Investigator
    Associate Professor
    Department of Pediatrics
    College of Medicine
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information; 
    Phone: 405-271-8001 ext. 41125
    Office: 800 Research Parkway, Office 462. Oklahoma City, OK, 73104

     

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    Research Interests: 
     
    Last Updated: 08/27/2021
  • Mathew S. Walters, Ph.D., COM, OUHSC     -     Center Investigator 
    Matthew S. Walters, Ph.D
    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
    Department of Medicine
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mailMatthew-S-Walters@ouhsc.edu
    Phone: 405-271-3803
    Office: 800 N. Research Parkway, Rm 410, Oklahoma City, OK 73014

     

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    Reasearch Interests: 
    The major focus of my research program is to understand the cellular processes that regulate epithelial stem/progenitor cell fate decisions during repair and regeneration of the lung. Alterations in the normal ratio of differentiated epithelial cell types (defined as epithelial remodeling) are associated with multiple chronic lung diseases including asthma, cystic fibrosis (CF), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The overarching goal of my research is to identify signaling pathways that regulate differentiation of epithelial stem/progenitor cells into specific cell types thus providing novel targets for developing new therapies to treat chronic lung disease.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Jun Wang, Ph.D., PE, CIH, CSP, CoPH, OU      -     Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor
    Laboratory for Aerosol Exposure Science and Engineering Control
    Department of Occupational & Environmental Health
    College of Public Health
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

     

    Contact Information:
    E-mail: junwang@ou.edu
    Website: http://laesec.org
    Phone: 405-271-2070 ext. 46767
    Fax: 405-271-1971
    Office: Rm 425 College of Health Building, 801 NE 13TH ST, Oklahoma City, OK 73104

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    Research Interests:
    My research interests range from studying the formation mechanism and measuring aerosol exposure in workplaces, examining the pulmonary toxicity of aerosols, developing the next generation engineering detection and control to reduce occupational inhalation exposure, and utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to solve public, environmental, and occupational health issues.
  • Kevin S. Wilson, Ph.D., DASNR, OSU     -     Phase I Project Leader
    Associate Professor
    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Email: kevin.s.wilson@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-6810
    Office: 149 Noble Research Center, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests: 
    In 2010, I spent a year as a visiting professor in Montreal, at McGill University in Professor Nahum Sonenberg’s lab. After that year, I returned to America and moved my lab to its heartland in Stillwater, Oklahoma, at Oklahoma State University. While in Alberta, my lab had developed along mechanistic themes of bacterial translation. During that decade, my interests in antibiotics and more applied research grew, partially because I was located in a medical school. My interests were also influenced by Professor Diane Taylor, a microbiologist who was studying antibiotic resistance of bacteria in my research building. Since arriving at Oklahoma State University in 2011, I am embarking on a major new chapter in research. My new students and I are excited by how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, especially those that target the ribosome or associated translation factors. Our current projects originated when I was still in Alberta. A postdoctoral fellow, Nehal Thakor, worked in collaboration with Taylor’s and my lab. Nehal introduced my lab to Tet(O), a translation factor in Campylobacter jejuni that is homologous to EF-G and that confers resistance to tetracycline. This was an opportunity to study a common form of resistance of a pathogenic bacterium to an antibiotic that is widely used in medicine and agriculture.
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Karen Wozniak, Ph.D., CAS, OSU     -     Phase II Pilot Project Leader
    Assistant Professor
    Department Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Oklahoma State University 
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: karen.wozniak@okstate.edu
    Phone: 405-744-7914
    Office: 405 Life Sciences East, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests: 
    Our lab is interested in studying the role of innate immune cells in protection against fungal infections, particularly their role in protection against the opportunistic fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans, which is the leading cause of fungal meningitis. Our current research focuses understanding the mechanisms of interaction between C. neoformans and dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages, and understanding their role in the initial control of this infection.
     
    ​Last Updated 10/23/19
  • Wenxin Wu, Ph.D., COM, OUHSC      -     Center Investigator
    Assistant Professor of Research
    Department of Medicine
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: Wenxin-Wu@ouhsc.edu
    Phone: 405-271-1966
    Office: Rm 425, URP1, 800 N. Research Pkwy., Oklahoma City, OK 73104

     

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    Research Interests:
    My principal and long-term career goal is to develop efficient therapeutic tool for modulation of host innate immune response to pathogens, especially to influenza virus. Innate immune response is the first line of defensive strategies in human against attack of infectious agents. For most respiratory pathogens, the first local immediate response organ is lung. Two major components of the innate systems are cytokine/Chemokine defenses and cellular defenses. There is compelling evidence to suggest that cytokine and chemokine induction is important in the pathophysiology of influenza virus infection and the human response to this pathogen. Our work is to understand how cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke compromise the human innate immune system’s response to influenza virus infection, and to find novel methods to control the infection. Cigarette smoking suppresses the immune system, and smoking is a well-known major risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory tract infections. Epidemiological studies show that influenza infection is seven times more common and is much more severe in smokers than nonsmokers. We have set up several human models and mouse models to study cigarette smoking and its effects on the innate immune system.

    ​Last Updated 10/23/19

  • Lijun Xia, Ph.D., OMRF      -     Center Investigator
    Member and Program Chair, Cardiovascular Biology Research Program
    Merrick Foundation Chair in Biomedical Research
    Adjunct Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
     
    Contact Information:
    E-mail: Lijun-Xia@omrf.org
    Phone: 405-271-7892
    Office: Mail Stop 45, Room 6203 Research Tower, 825 N.E. 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104 

     

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    Research Interests:
    My research focuses on O-glycans, a sugar that your body makes. In my lab, we’ve found O-glycans are important in the development of the blood and lymphatic vascular system. Without this sugar, the body doesn’t know if it should grow blood vessels or pieces of the lymphatic system, or how to connect them properly. This can lead to many diseases such as cancer metastasis and fatty liver disease. We are working to understand how to prevent these potentially deadly conditions. My lab also studies the role of glycans on platelets, the smallest blood cell, in the formation of abnormal blood clots, which are the cause of common forms of heart attack and stroke. In patients with colitis and colorectal tumors, we’ve found that O-glycans are different than in patients with normal intestinal systems. So, we’re also exploring whether abnormalities of this sugar in the intestines might actually cause these diseases—in hopes of using the knowledge we gain to treat these intestinal diseases.
  • Xiangming Xiao, Ph.D., CAS, OU      -     Center Investigator
    Professor and Associate Director
    Center for Spatial Analysis
    Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology
    College of Arts and Sciences
    The University of Oklahoma 

     

    Contact Information:
    E-mail: xiangming.xiao@ou.edu
    Phone: 405-325-8941
    Office: Rm 2107, Stephenson Research and Technology Center, 101 David L. Boren Blvd, Norman, OK 73019

     

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    Research Interests:

    Applications of remote sensing and GIS in ecosystems science and natural resources; land use and cover changes; ecosystem service assessment; biogeochemistry of terrestrial ecosystems; ecosystem modeling at large spatial scales; integrated impact assessment of climate change; ecology and epidemiology of infectious diseases.
  • Noha H. Youssef, Ph.D., CAS, OSU     -     Phase I Pilot Project Leader
    Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
    Department of Arts and Sciences
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Office: OSU Labs at Venture, 1110 South Innovation Way Drive, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74074
    Office: 405-744-1192
    Lab: 405-744-3193
    Fax: 405-744-1112
    E-mail: noha@okstate.edu
    Website: http://youssef.okstate.edu
     
     
    Research Interests: 
  • Guolong "Glenn" Zhang, Ph.D., CASNR, OSU      -     Center Investigator
    Professor
    Boulware Endowed Chair
    Department of Animal and Food Sciences
    Oklahoma State University
     
    Contact Information:
    Phone: 405-744-8867
    Office: 212D Animal Science, Oklahoma State Unversity, Stillwater, OK 74078
     
     
    Research Interests:
    Dr. Zhang is the research coordinator for our department. Dr. Zhang’s research has been focused on the manipulation of animal innate immunity and intestinal microbiota, with the long-term goal of developing novel antibiotic-free strategies to achieve optimal animal health and productivity. He has received over $6.5 million in grants to support his research while at OSU. He has authored 65 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Science and Journal of Clinical Investigation. His papers have received nearly 6,600 citations currently with an H-index of 35.

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