Program Faculty Research Areas


Name/Personal Web Site/Links Research Area(s) Email

Adams, Paul

Biophysical characterization of proteins associated with signal transduction

Adams, Rich

The intersection of biology, statistics, and computer science. We study fundamental questions about the origins and evolution of genome structure and function primarily using beetles and snakes, and we develop new software to search for answers.

Alrubaye, Adnan
Associate Director

Microbiology of bone infections in broiler chickens, management and genetic improvements to reduce bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis and lameness in broiler chickens.

Alverson, Andrew

Diatom comparative genomics, molecular evolution, and phylogenetics

Aranyak, Goswami

Application of computational biology, bioinformatics, statistical genetics, genomics, machine learning, deep learning, and data sciences, to address novel and complex problems in biology, precision medicine, human/animal microbiome, microbial evolution, host-pathogen interactions, systems biology, and human gene therapy.

Atungulu, Griffiths

Engineering effective strategies to maintain grain quality and prevent mycotoxin development

Balachandran, Kartik

Cardiovascular mechanobiology and structure-function relationships; Organ-on-chip development; Development of hybrid polymers for regenerative medicine

Baum, Jamie

Metabolic programming, mitochondrial function, energy metabolism, cell signaling, and gene expression, related to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Beitle, Bob

Bioseparation and fermentation

Bluhm, Burton

Plant Pathology

Bottje, Walter

Poultry physiology

Burgos, Nilda

Weed and herbicide physiology, genetic diversity of weeds, herbicide-resistant plants

Catanzaro, Donald

Human and ecological health, statistics, internet technologies, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and developing new methods to visualize complex issues. Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics, comparing and contrasting rapid systems.

Chen, Jiahui

Utilizing machine learning and deep learning techniques to model and analyze protein-protein interactions, protein-ligand binding, as well as protein evolution and mutations. 
Applying mathematical and computational models to advance the field of structural biology.

Chen, Jingyi

Engineering nanomaterials for biological applications, including treating cancer and infections

Correll, Jim

Biology, genetics and molecular biology of fungal pathogens of vegetables and rice

Donoghue, Annie

(USDA/ARS) Poultry Production and Product Safety Research Unit (research leader), physiology

Dowling, Ashley

Molecular systematics of Acari (mites) and other arthropods and its use in studying biogeography, evolution, and the evolution of parasitism; population genetics of pest mites focusing on origins, invasive pathways, and diagnostics.

Dridi, Sami

Avian endocrinology and molecular genetics

Du, Yuchun

Mass spectrometry based quantitative proteomics; mammalian cell biology

Durdik, Jeannine

Genetics of the immune system. NOTE: Dr. Durdik is unable to accept students at this time.

Egan, Martin

Investigating the molecular strategies employed by plant pathogenic fungi to co-opt host cells and cause disease

Erf, Gisela

Poultry immunology; autoimmunity

Evans, Timothy

Genetics of neural development, evolution of axon guidance mechanisms, embryonic development in Drosophila and Tribolium.

Evans-White, Michelle

Constraints and consequences of the mass balance of multiple chemical and biochemical elements on aquatic microbial and animal community structure and ecosystem function.  Aquatic bioassessment and global change biology.

Fan, Chenguang

Protein biochemistry, microbiology, and synthetic biology in using genetic code expansion techniques to incorporate noncanonical amino acids into proteins for different studies

Fang, Yuan

Precision food safety: genotypic-to-phenotypic characterization; evolution and ecology of foodborne bacteria; application of technologies for detection, typing and control in food systems

Fernandes, Samuel

Development and application of statistical and machine-learning models in quantitative genetics and plant breeding.

Feye, Kristina (currently in Madison, Wisconsin)

Food borne pathogens; antimicrobial resistance; microbial genetics

Foley, Steven (currently at FDA laboratory, Redfield, Arkansas)

Asscoiate Director FDA  Division of Microbiology: bacterial pathogenesis, zoonoses, food safety, and molecular methods for pathogen characterization

Forbes, Kristian

Molecular Epidemiology; molecular tools to identify and characterize pathogens in wildlife

Fritsch, Ingrid

Lab-on-a-chip design and analysis of biological substances: microorganisms, allergens, DNA, proteins

Gibson, Kristen

Molecular investigation of foodborne viruses; application of molecular methods to foodborne and waterborne virus ecology; control of microbial cross contamination from farm to fork

Girodat, Dylan

Structural biology and molecular simulations to understand critical ribosome motions during protein synthesis. Therapeutics development through study of antibiotic resistance and disease-causing mutations that impair ribosome motions.

Goggin, Fiona L

Host plant resistance and plant insect interaction

Greene, Nicholas

Skeletal muscle biology, mitochondrial biogenesis and quality control, exercise response and adaptation, dyslipidemia, obesity/diabetes, cell signaling, muscle protein synthesis.



Hargis, Billy

Poultry veterinarian, poultry health lab director, poultry diseases

Harris, Leonard

Computational modeling and simulation of cell-cell interactions and biochemical signaling pathways in heterogeneous tumors for improving anticancer treatments.

Henry, Ralph

(not accepting new graduate students)

Protein targeting, chloroplast biogenesis, agrimedicine, protein transport, recombinant protein expression. NOTE: no longer accepting students.

Hestekin, Christa

Separation of biomolecules (DNA and proteins) using microchannel electrophoresis for applications in medicinal and environmental applications.

Hestekin, Jamie

Hollow fibers in artificial lung applications; hollow fibers for tissue engineering.

Heyes, Colin

Single Molecule Fluorescence Studies of Protein Conformational Dynamics

Huang, Yan

Skeletal muscle development, Nutrition and metabolism

Ivey, Mack

Molecular microbiology and genetics

Iyer, Shilpa

Mitochondrial Diseases; Induced pluripotent stem cells;Bioenergetics; Cell cycle regulation; Public Outreach for mitochondrial disorders

Jensen, Hanna (UAMS Trauma Surgery)

Neurological implications of cardiovascular disease and intervention; Ischemic tissue injury

Jesudhasan, Palmy

Vaccine development to control pathogens in chickens; methodologies to control foodborne bacterial and viral pathogens

Jia, Yulin (Rice Research Institute, Stuttgart, Arkansas)

Host resistance, host-pathogen interaction and co-evolution.

 Kariyat Ramachandran, Rupesh

"omics" approaches to understand molecular mechanisms underlying plant defenses and insect herbivore counter defenses in crops.

Kilyanek, Stefan

Synthesis and reactivity of molybdenum and tungsten enzyme cofactor model complexes for reduction and oxidation of biomass derived material

Kim, Jin Woo

Biocatalysis technology, nucleic acid technology, and micro/nano-biotechnology

Korth, Ken

Plant:insect interactions, plant gene expression, terpenoid metabolism

Kral, Tim

Methanogenic metabolism, physiology and ecology life on Mars; exobiology; astrobiology; bioastronomy

Kud, Joanna "Asia"

Molecular, biochemical, and genetic approaches to characterize virulence strategies deployed by plant parasitic nematodes to overcome host plant defenses

Kuenzel, Wayne

Poultry physiology; neurobiology

Kumar, T.K. Suresh

Protein 3-D structure, dynamics, folding and interactions

Kwon, Young Min

Genetic/genomic analysis of bacterial pathogens

Lay, Jackson

Protein mass spectrometry, biomarkers

Lee, Sun-Ok

Role of bioactive components in the prevention of CVD, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer; Bioavailability and bioefficacy of phytochemicals in pre-clinical and clinical trials

Lehmann, Michael

(not accepting new graduate students)

Genetics of metabolic control, insulin and nutritional signaling, obesity, Drosophila development.

Leong, Josiah

Human neuroscience: linking neuromodulatory systems to perception and choice.

Lessner, Daniel

Archeobacteria; Sulfur cluster proteins

Lewis, Jeff

Functional and comparative genomics of microbial stress responses. Natural variation and the physiology of microbes in the wild. Yeast and bacterial genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology.

Li, Jiali

Nanofabrication, nanoscale materials science, and single DNA and protein detection

Lyte, Joshua

The interface of the avian gut microbiome and neurophysiological systems during stress; the microbiota-gut-brain and microbiota-gut-lung axes; neurochemical-based host-microbe crosstalk; reduction of foodborne pathogens

McIntosh, Matt

Synthetic organic chemistry, natural product total synthesis, methods development

McNabb, David

Regulation of gene expression, pathogenesis of Candida albicans

Millett, Frank

Bioenergetics; electron transfer reactions

Moradi, Mahmoud

Biomolecular simulations of protein conformational dynamics, computational investigation of structure-function relationships in proteins

Muldoon, Timothy

Biomedical optics and imaging systems for diagnosis of disease

Murach, Kevin

Genomic and epigenomic investigation of cellular and molecular regulation of skeletal muscle mass using human muscle samples, murine mouse models, and in vitro tissue culture.

Naithani, Kusum


Gene-Environment (GxE) interaction to understand phenotypic plasticity in plants; plant phenotyping; biogeochemical processes in land cover and land use effects on soil bacteria and fungi communities.

Nakanishi, Nagayasu

Early animal evolution, using marine invertebrate models (sea anemones and jellyfish, in particular) to determine key molecular, cellular and developmental factors underpinning the origin and early evolution of sensory and nervous systems

Nayani, Karthik

Materials-based approaches and optical techniques to rapidly characterize mechanical properties of cells. Fundamental interactions of viruses with liquid crystals to develop passive wearable sensors

Nelson, Christopher

Adapting CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technologies for precision medicine for genetic disease and regenerative medicine.

Obe, Tomi

Systemic evaluation of bacterial foodborne pathogens to develop rapid diagnostics. Application of novel chemical mitigations to control bacterial foodborne pathogens. Poultry food safety and microbiology.

Pare, Adam

Control of animal morphology and cell behavior by dynamically expressed proteins. Genetic, molecular, and evolutionary approaches in insect models to understand how patterned gene expression organizes and shapes tissue architecture during animal development.

Patitz, Matthew

Theoretical and computational models of nanoscale self-assembling systems

Pereira, Andy

Rice functional genomics, disease resistance, drought tolerance

Pinto, Ines

Chromatin, histones, yeast, chromosome segregation, mitosis

Qian, Xianghong

Complementary experimental and modeling tools to facilitate membrane-based separation for purification of monoclonal antibodies, gene therapy products, and virus clearance in the biopharmaceutical area.

Quinn, Kyle

Development of optical biomarkers to monitor wound healing for therapy; quantification of cell-matrix interactions during fibrosis; metabolic imaging in live cells and tissues

Rajaram, Narasimhan

Development of functional molecular imaging techniques to determine tumor response to therapy; cell metabolism in tumor microenvironments of metastatic tumors.

Rao, Raj

Cellular engineering methods to develop technologies for regenerative biomedical therapies.

Rhoads, Douglas, Director

Not accepting new students

Genetics of medically relevant metabolic diseases using the chicken as a model.  Current models: hypertension/ascites and bacterial osteomyelitis. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic molecular genomics and bioinformatics; non-model organism genomics using snakes and scorpions.

Richardson, William

Modelling cell signaling networks that regulate heart tissue development and structure;  Bioreactors for regenerative medicine in engineered heart tissues; Machine-learning and personalized medicine approaches for predicting heart disease.

Rosa-Caldwell, Megan

Physiological and biological alterations during anorexia nervosa and following weight recovery using rodent and in vitro models.

Rupe, John

Genetic population structure of soybean pathogens and the molecular interactions of soybean and pathogens.

Sakon, Joshua

Protein crystallography; structure of medically or industrially important proteins

Samsonraj, Rebekah

Developing mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapies for regenerative medicine; Epigenetic strategies for musculoskeletal regeneration; Developing pre-clinical models for cellular therapy interventions; Establishing proteomic and transcriptomic signatures of MSC lineage commitment and differentiation.

Savin, Mary

Microbial ecology in soil and water. Antibiotic resistance and broad host range plasmid dissemination from treated effluent. Nutrient cycling and microbial ecology in organic and sustainable agricultural production systems.

Shi, Ainong

Germplasm development and cultivar improvement for vegetable crops; Molecular breeding including QTL analysis, marker identification and marker-assisted selection; Predictive breeding in crops

Song, Young Hye

Tumor microenvironment, extracellular vesicles, biomaterials, tissue engineering, stem cells, and regenerative medicine

Srivastava, Vibha

Development of molecular tools for precise integration of foreign genes in the plant genome and of strategies for generating environmentally safe transgenic plants

Stenken, Julie

Bioanalytical chemistry; Bioengineering; Inflammatory responses to implants; In vivo chemical analysis of peptides and proteins

Striegler, Susanne

Organic Chemistry: carbohydrates, glycosidases, catalysis, molecular recognition, micro- and nanogels

Sun, Xiaolun

The complex interplay between bacterial pathogens, microbiome and host immune system in gastrointestinal tract.

Szalanski, Allen

Insect population genetics, molecular systematics, molecular diagnostics

Tian, Ryan

Nanostructure surface chemistry for biomedical application; sensor catalysis and nanoscale architecture

Tipsmark, Christian

Fish physiology.

Trudo, Sabrina

Diet and prevention of cancer and obesity. Gene-diet interactions; whole foods versus bioactive compounds; diet interventions in humans and rat models.

Vieira, Caio Canella

Molecular mechanisms underlying the general and specific combining ability of parental genotypes in soybean breeding. Molecular markers linked to traits of interest in soybean, including biotic and abiotic tolerance and seed composition.

Wang, Ya-Jane

Innovative research to enhance utilization and performance of carbohydrate-rich bioresources in a variety of food, pharmaceutical and industrial applications.

Wang, Yong

Mechanism and application of nanomaterials for antimicrobial therapy and cancer treatment; microbiology; biophysics; single-molecule fluorescence

Washington, Tyrone

Human skeletal muscle regeneration, cell signaling, gene expression, fatigue, atrophy

Westerman, Erica

Behavioral genetics/genomics, developmental plasticity, and the neural mechanisms underlying sensory integration in butterflies.

Wickramasinghe, S. Ranil

Downstream purification of biopharmaceuticals; bioseparations; validation of virus clearance in the manufacture of protein based therapeutic ; virus purification for virus vectors and vaccine production

Wolchok, Jeffrey

Development of regenerative biomaterials for biological implants with clinical relevancy. Remodeling of extracellular matrices for human primary and stem cells for tissue repair in muscle and vocal tissues.

Worthington, Margaret

Molecular genetics and genomics for improving fruit breeding.

Zhang, Jian

Engineering, biology, and computational approaches to understand cancer mechanobiology; and mechano-metabolism; crosstalk between tumor microenvironment and cellular bioenergetics; develop novel tools to understand invasive diseases and developmental processes.

Zhang, Qingyang

Computational and systems biology; Statistical modeling of biological regulatory processes; Analysis of large-scale cancer genomic data.

Zhang, Wen

Microbiological processes in drinking water and wastewater treatments; microbial processes in biofilms

Zhao, Jiangchao

Multi-omics analysis of the human and animal microbiome in health and disease, ecology and evolution of microbiome, biomarkers, big data.

Zhuang, Xuan

Evolution of genetic novelty and diversity; Genetic variation of complex traits/diseases; Molecular mechanisms and driving forces of gene formation and gene loss; Investigations involve genomics, molecular evolution, and bioinformatics, in model (fruit flies) and non-model organisms (polar fishes).