Featured Faculty and Research

BMS Faculty Research Interests

  • Dr. Ourania Andrisani — Cancer biology; virus-induced liver cancer; prostate cancer; chromatin remodeling and microRNAs in cell growth and differentiation.
    • Current Projects — Investigating molecular mechanisms of cancer pathogenesis and development of strategies for mechanism-based therapy.
  • Dr. Elikplimi Asem — Regulation of ovarian function; basement membrane function.
  • Dr. Marxa Figueiredo - Osteoimmunology; gene and drug delivery for modulating interactions between bone and immune system for treating cancer and arthritis.
    • Current Projects - 1) Gene delivery, using ultrasound-mediated sonoporation strategies to express targeted osteo-immune cytokines for restoring bone and immune cell homeostasis; 2) Stem cell delivery, exploring the therapeutic ability of adipose-derived mesenchymal/stromal stem cells to deliver the pro-osteogeneic and antiangiogenic Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor; 3) Role of small molecules for pharmacological interventions for mediating joint cartilage and bone repair.
  • Dr. Kevin HannonInstructional technology.
    • Current Projects Delivering anatomical content in interactive mobile formats.
  • Dr. Laurie JaegerPeri-implantation conceptus development; conceptus-maternal communication.
    • Current Projects Mechanisms of calcium influx during development and its effect on normal conceptus development; the roles of beta transforming growth factors and integrins during pre-implanatation development and placentation.
  • Dr. Sophie Lelièvre  Cell nucleus organization and function in normal and cancer cells; mechanisms of risk and primary prevention of cancer; 3D cell culture and organs-on-chip models.
    • Current Projects  Role of nuclear structural protein NuMA in chromatin organization and stress response; mechanisms associated with the control of chromatin organization and cell behavior by the nuclear shape; mechanisms and chromatin-related targets involved in the progression of triple negative breast cancer; development of disease on-a-chip platforms for anticancer drug screening; development of risk-on-a-chip platforms for environmental epigenetics screening.
  • Dr. Russell MainIn vivo musculoskeletal biomechanics; skeletal adaptation; biological regulation of skeletal structure and mass.
    • Current Projects How regulation of bone at the genetic and cellular level affects skeletal structure and the ability to withstand mechanical load; in vivo biomechanics to measure how the musculoskeletal system is loaded by external forces during locomotion; musculoskeletal adaptation to applied mechanical loading and unloading at the gene, protein, cell, and whole bone levels.
  • Dr. Susan MendrysaTumor suppressor, p53; oncogene, MDM2; cancer cell biology; pediatric brain cancer; regulation of cell fate decisions; cerebellar development.
    • Current projects Elucidating the role of MDM2, a critical negative regulator of the p53 tumor suppressor, in cerebellar development and tumorigenesis; exploiting genetically modified mice in combination with cell culture models to place MDM2 and p53 within the molecular signaling pathways that govern neuronal differentiation and cell fate decisions.
  • Dr. Abdelfattah NourInteractive and e-learning; food security in poor households; physiological biomarkers; growth and development.
    • Current Projects — Educational research focus on information literacy, team-based learning (e.g. Study the Effectiveness of Implementing Team Building Strategies Program for Nursing-Interns by Using Team- Based), social networking and learning; effectiveness of teaching the clinical administrative course by using computer-based training in developing nurse intern administrative knowledge and skills; Small ruminants for food security in poor households in Africa: The role of women's cooperatives and entrepreneurship; effects of drug-induced renal damage on CBC, biochemical profile of the serum, and kidneys histopathological changes in experimental rats; study of the possible association between some of the uremic toxins and allergic factors in hemodialysis patients suffering from pruritus; histological and ultra-structural studies of the major endocrine glands of Nile tilapia (in relation to Age and Weight).
  • Dr. J. Paul RobinsonDevelopment of diagnostic tools that focus on cervical cancer; strong program in high content screening in the area of bioengineering; cytomic-bioengineering interface.
    • Current Projects —Creating new tools for the cellular and molecular screening for cervical cancer using cell sorting and multiplexed PCR with the goal of identifying better diagnostics as well as prognostic value; Using new approaches to high throughput and very high content analysis of cellular function; Interest in developing low cost technologies for resource limited regions.
  • Dr. John TurekMechanisms of connective tissue healing (ligaments and bone); electron microscopy and image analysis; novel imaging/spectral methods (motility contrast imaging/tissue dynamics spectroscopy) for tissue based drug screening and toxicology.
    • Current Projects Development of tissue dynamic spectroscopy for high-throughput, high-content tissue based drug screening; tissue dynamic spectroscopy as a predictor of chemotherapeutic response in ovarian cancer; tissue dynamic spectroscopy for ovum and embryo viability assessment.
  • Dr. James WalkerMedical education.

Browse our featured faculty and their research.

Riyi Shi, MD, PhD

Riyi Shi, MD, PhD

Professor of Basic Medical Sciences | Director, Center for Paralysis Research

Research Information:

Dr. Shi is a professor of Basic Medical Sciences and Director for the Center for Paralysis Research. Dr. Shi is a medical scientist specializing in uncovering the mechanisms of central nervous system trauma and diseases and instituting new treatments through innovative experimentation and pioneering new strategies in the field. His research contributions includes originating the use of double sucrose gap technique for recording action potential conduction, establishing the methods of neuronal membrane resealing by polyethelyne glycol (PEG), and identifying acrolein as a key pathological factor in spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis. His research interests also include using nanotechnology to improve drug delivery to nervous tissue and incorporating biomedical engineering principles to enhance neuronal repair and diagnosis. This includes designing innovative scaffolds to enhance neuronal regeneration and using bioadhesives for neuronal tissue repair.



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Russell P. Main, PhD

Russell P. Main, PhD

Associate Professor, Basic Medical Sciences

Research Information:

Dr. Main is an associate professor in BMS and the director of the Purdue Musculoskeletal Biology and Mechanics Lab, a collaborative research and training environment for engineers and biologists intrigued by questions pertaining to orthopedic and comparative musculoskeletal biomechanics. Work in his lab focuses on the response of musculoskeletal tissues to mechanical loading and physical challenge. Dr. Main’s interests in musculoskeletal mechanobiology span the understanding of mechanisms by which cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli to load-induced changes in bone and tissue architecture and its effects on organ and whole-animal performance. Dr. Main’s work integrates a number of different approaches across biology and engineering. His lab takes a questions-based approach to science and are very involved in developing new in vivo and in vitro models and analytical tools to address their varied interests.



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Marxa Figueiredo, PhD

Marxa Figueiredo, PhD

Associate Professor, Basic Medical Sciences

Research Information:

Dr. Figueiredo is an associate professor in BMS and her research focuses on understanding the interactions between the skeletal and immune systems to develop novel therapies for bone metastatic cancers and arthritis. The laboratory’s therapies build on multifunctional cytokines or small molecules, which can be targeted to bone or inflammatory cells in order to exert regenerative effects. The lab is developing several gene and stem cell delivery systems for cytokine-based gene therapy, with a focus on sonoporation gene delivery and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells as vehicles. Dr. Figueiredo has directed Veterinary Histology courses, coached A&I, and has trained MS, PhD, and DVM students in several summer research programs in laboratory research. The discoveries from Dr. Figueiredo’s lab are funded by multiple internal and external sources including NIH and can potentially benefit companion animals and humans.



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Kevin Hannon, PhD

Kevin Hannon, PhD

Associate Professor of Basic Medical Sciences

Research Information:

Dr. Hannon is an associate professor of anatomy in BMS. He is the founder of Active Lesson LLC, which is a web-based educational app creation platform. Utilizing Active Lesson, Hannon created a Canine Anatomy app that included interactive, colorful images, dissection videos and detailed questions utilizing text, toggle and draw features to strengthen his students' understanding of canine anatomy. Using the information presented, he also included active retrieval review quizzes to reinforce the students' knowledge. Dr. Hannon’s main scholarship is optimizing interactive educational content delivery for maximum student understanding and retention.



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