The strength of the PhD Program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences lies in our students' ability to develop expertise targeted towards future professional careers. First year PhD students will complete at least three 5-week laboratory rotations without restriction before selecting a mentor. Thus, students choose mentors based upon research projects and not departmental affiliation.
Current Faculty Mentors
Labs that are open to incoming students vary each year, but you can learn more about our current mentors in the Morsani College of Medicine and their research projects below. You may also explore our Research Directory to learn more about our faculty who may not be current mentors.
Allergy, Immunology & Infectious Disease
The primary focus of our laboratory is how facultative intracellular bacteria control expression of genes required for virulence.
The early developmental environment plays a pivotal role in susceptibility to adulthood metabolic disease, such as obesity and diabetes. The long-term goal of this project is to understand how the maternal and embryonic environment alters gene expression, which ultimately leads to disease, via epigenetics.
The overall goals of our laboratory are to discover and develop therapeutics for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
The Sun Lab focuses on the pathogenesis of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) and development of novel preventive and therapeutic agents against CDI.
We study the role of host-virus interactions in viral pathogenesis. In particular, we are interested in how respiratory syncytial virus affects host signal transduction pathways to enhance viral replication.
My research area of interest is inflammation, with emphasis on the mechanisms that underlie swelling of tissues, or edema.
Molecular Biology of ion channels and their human mutations; Cardiomyopathy
We focus on the mechanistic understanding of cardiac normal and abnormal electrical impulse propagation.
The main areas of Dr. Rieg's research interests are the physiology and pathophysiology of the kidney and intestine.
My laboratory performs research in the area of lymphatic vascular biology to gain insight into how loss of lymphatic vessel function leads to disease.
The goal of our research is to better understand the cellular and molecular regulation of cardiovascular function in health and disease.
The Chen lab focuses on structure-based drug design against proteins involved in infectious diseases and cancer.
The Deschenes research group and collaborators are currently working on the posttranslational modifications that regulate the subcellular localization and function of signal transduction proteins.
Our main research interest is defining the reaction and regulatory mechanisms of the first and terminal heme biosynthetic pathway enzymes, 5-aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS) and ferrochelatase (FC).
The overall goal of my research program is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and metabolic pathways in neurodegenerative diseases.
Our scientific interests are broadly defined as everything related to protein folding, misfolding and non-folding.
Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology
The primary focus of our laboratory is developing and testing metabolic-based therapies, including ketogenic diets, ketone body supplements and metabolic-based drugs
We study the effects of O2, CO2 and barometric pressure on the function of the mammalian CNS, with an emphasis on the cardio-respiratory and gastro-esophageal control systems.
Our research is focused on the function and plasticity of distributed, brainstem neural networks involved in cardiorespiratory control.
Our interests lie in the role of nociceptive (defensive) sensory nerves in health and disease. Our focus is primarily on the sensory nerves of the airways.
Our research is focused on elucidating the role of non-coding RNA in vascular diseases.
The research interests of our laboratory are to develop and apply confocal fluorescence microscopy, laser-based video microscopy, and flash photolysis of caged compounds to study renal cellular function in situ and in vivo.
Dr. Bickford's research focuses on the role of inflammation and oxidative stress in aging and neurodegenerative disease with a specific emphasis on age-related changes in neuronal plasticity and learning.
Dr. Blair’s laboratory studies how chaperone proteins drive different states of the tau protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease and more than a dozen other tauopathies, including Parkinson’s disease and traumatic brain injury.
A world leader in stem cell therapy for stroke. Dr. Borlongan's translational bench to clinic research has led to 5 FDA-approved clinical trials of cell transplantation, including the world’s first cell therapy in stroke patients.
My research focuses on the neural mechanisms of schizophrenia (SCZ), a devastating disorder that afflicts approximately 1% of the population worldwide, with wide-reaching effects on caregivers, family, and friends of patients, as well as on the economy, with a focus on identifying potential targets for pharmacotherapy.
Research in the Kang lab focuses on the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related neurological disorders such as Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
My research focus is now targeted towards using recombinant Adeno-associated virus (rAAV) to study of neurological disorders.
The Center significantly enhances existing strengths to serve as a fundamental investigational and application unit integrating basic research, translational research, industrial partnerships, education, and clinical services to address key needs of aging and care of the elderly, as well as to develop unique solutions for repair of degenerative processes.
The current focus of the laboratory is to investigate novel treatments for Alzheimer's disease and abnormal brain development and its related mental disorders including autism.
The laboratory research programs center on reelin, Angelman Syndrome, ApoE and Alzheimer's Disease and neuroprosthetics. For details please visit the laboratory website.
Pathology & Cell Biology
The Davé Lab employs a variety of cutting-edge molecular techniques and omics platforms including SILAC-based proteomics, tissue-microarray (TMA) analysis, RNA-Seq and Next Gen-Seq (NGS) using IPF and cancer tissues obtained from models and patients.
As part of the Ovarian Epithelial Cancer Pathobiology program in the Department of Pathology at USF, the research focus in my lab is on early molecular changes responsible for ovarian epithelial transformation.