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Molecular Basis of Disease

These researchers are interested in the biochemical basis of a wide range of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, neuromuscular and neurological diseases, and viral diseases.


Investigators studying cancer use biochemical, molecular and functional genomic approaches to uncover basic mechanisms that control cancer cell growth and metastasis. Major areas of research focus include regulation of the cell cycle, signal transduction in tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment, DNA repair mechanisms, and regulation of gene expression. Mouse genetic models of cancer and human patient samples are among the systems used for these studies

Faculty with interests in the area include:

Cardiovascular Disease

Research that focuses on cardiovascular diseases uses biochemical, molecular, and physiological approaches for comprehensive assessment of cardiovascular function.  Investigators have interests in gene expression in vascular smooth muscle and after heart transplantation, redox regulation, lipoprotein receptors, and defining the molecular and cellular basis of heart failure.  The diverse OSU campus that contains a large medical center affords collaborations with cardiologists to be able to translate basic science findings into clinical applications.

Faculty with interests in the area include:

Neuromuscular and Neurological Diseases

Research in this area covers a number of diseases including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease, hereditary neuropathies, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury, and also investigates mechanisms of drug addiction and the role of inflammation in the brain during aging.  Ongoing studies employ a variety of biochemical, biophysical, and molecular approaches to investigate ion channels and signaling pathways critical for neuronal function and to define the molecular pathogenesis and treatment strategies for neuromuscular and neurological disorders.

Faculty with interests in the area include:

Researchers in this area are studying various aspects of viral replication to understand virus-host interactions and pathogenesis.  Key steps include mechanisms of virus entry, viral nucleic acid synthesis, regulation of viral and cellular gene expression, silencing suppression, and mechanism of cellular transformation.  Understanding these steps will be critical to the development of antivirals for treatment and ultimately methods to prevent infection.  This area also includes researchers interested in host-pathogen interactions.

Other Diseases

Other diseases studied include aspects of cytoskeletal function, such as the role of actin binding proteins in cancer and spinal muscular atrophy, the regulation of actin in bone cells related to osteoporosis and osteopetrosis, and the mechanism of actin crosslinking toxins.

Faculty with interests in the area include: