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Regular Faculty

David N. Arnosti David N. Arnosti

Professor and Director, Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Eukaryotic gene regulation, transcriptional activation, and repression in Drosophila; function of retinoblastoma tumor suppressor genes in development.

Christoph Benning Christoph Benning

University Distinguished Professor
MSU Foundation Professor
Director, Plant Research Laboratory

Biosynthesis of lipids in photosynthetic membranes, lipid trafficking phenomena involving chloroplasts, engineering of crops and algae for biodiesel production.

Christina Chan Christina Chan

University Distinguished Professor
George W. Bissell Professor
Interim Chair, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CHEMS)

System biology approaches and tissue engineering platforms, reconstructing signaling and gene regulatory networks; understanding how fatty acids are involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Dean DellaPenna Dean DellaPenna

University Distinguished Professor
MSU Foundation Professor
Member, National Academy of Sciences

Biochemical genomics, quantitative genetics and genome wide association mapping of dietary micronutrients in plants. Genomics of medicinal plant metabolism. Synthesis and function of lipid soluble antioxidants in plants.

Alex Dickson Alex Dickson

Associate Professor
Using computation to elucidate dynamics of drug binding sites; pathways of small-molecule binding and release; development of enhanced sampling algorithms for molecular dynamics; quantitative modeling of chaperone activity in the cell.

Daniel Ducat Daniel Ducat

Associate Professor
Molecular and synthetic biology approaches for the study of cyanobacterial core metabolism and redirection of photosynthetic pathways for the production of 'green' fuels and commodity products; mixed cyanobacteria-heterotroph microbial consortia.

Michael Feig Michael Feig

Computational modeling of structure and dynamics of proteins and nucleic acids; development of implicit solvent methodologies; multiresolution modeling of supramolecular assemblies.

R. Michael Garavito R. Michael Garavito

Structure and function of membrane proteins; biosynthesis of glycolipids and glycosyltransferase function; protein crystallography.

Erich Grotewold Erich Grotewold

Professor and BMB Chairperson
Combinatorial control of flavonoid biosynthesis; elucidation of the gene regulatory grids in maize and other grasses; control of Arabidopsis cell cycle by unusual R2R3-MYB factors; biosynthesis, trafficking, and sequestration of anthocyanins; metabolic engineering of flavones.

Bjoern Hamberger Bjoern Hamberger

Assistant Professor
Discovery of plant pathways for bioactive diterpenoids found in medicinal plant species.

Robert P. Hausinger Robert P. Hausinger

University Distinguished Professor
Mechanism of enzyme action; structure-function studies of enzymes; incorporation of nickel in bacterial urease; biodegradation of sulfonate compounds; DNA repair; microbial physiology.

Jin He Jin He

Assistant Professor
Epigenetic mechanisms in brain development and neurodevelopmental diseases.

Eric L. Hegg Eric L. Hegg

Professor and Associate Dean for Budget, Planning, Research and Administration
Metalloenzymology; biosynthesis, transport, and regulation of heme and other metal cofactors; mechanism of microbial H2 and N2O production; bioenergy; conversion of biomass to transportation fuels.

R. William Henry R. William Henry

Associate Professor and Director, RTSF
Transcriptional regulation in eukaryotes; functions and architecture of basal transcription machinery; molecular determination of RNA polymerase specificity.

Heedeok Hong Heedeok Hong

Associate Professor
Folding and stability of membrane proteins: chaperone-assisted membrane protein folding, controlled degradation of membrane proteins.

Charles G. Hoogstraten Charles G. Hoogstraten

Associate Professor and Assistant Director, Undergraduate Education
Biophysical studies of RNA catalysis and RNA-protein interactions; dynamics-function relationships; macromolecular NMR methods and applications; mechanisms and driving forces for tertiary structure formation in RNA.

Gregg A. Howe Gregg A. Howe

MSU Foundation Professor
Member, National Academy of Sciences

Regulation of plant defense responses; biochemistry of jasmonic acid biosynthesis; plant-insect interactions.

Polly Hsu Polly Hsu

Assistant Professor
Using experimental and computational approaches to study genome-wide mRNA translation and identify novel peptides; plant responses under diurnal cycles and environmental stress; circadian rhythms.

Jian Hu Jian Hu

Associate Professor
Structural and functional studies of membrane proteins crucial in metal homeostasis and vesicle trafficking. Mainly X-ray crystallography, NMR, as well as other biochemical/biophysical approaches.

A. Daniel Jones A. Daniel Jones

Professor and Director, Mass Spec Facility
Biological mass spectrometry and metabolomics of plant stress; plant defense and signaling chemistry involved in plant-insect and plant-pathogen interactions.

Jon M. Kaguni Jon M. Kaguni

Mechanisms of DNA replication and its regulation in Escherichia coli; nucleic acid-protein interactions.

Cheryl A. Kerfeld Cheryl A. Kerfeld

Hannah Distinguished Professor
Structural and functional characterization of bacterial microcompartments and of proteins involved in photoprotection in photosynthetic organisms.

Kelly H. Kim Kelly H. Kim

Assistant Professor
Biochemical and structural analyses to gain mechanistic insights into membrane protein localization process; membrane protein biogenesis; cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

David M. Kramer David M. Kramer

Hannah Distinguished Professor
Energetics and control of photosynthesis; electron and proton transfer reactions; reactive oxygen generation; understanding the molecular and physiological processes involved in conversion of light energy by plants into forms usable for life; understanding how plants evolved to support life in extreme environments.

Arjun Krishnan Arjun Krishnan

Assistant Professor
Computational approaches combining statistics/machine-learning with large-scale genomics/biomedical data for finding mechanistic explanations for how our genome relates to health and disease, specifically as function of age and sex.

Lee R. Kroos Lee R. Kroos

Signaling and gene regulatory mechanisms during bacterial development; intramembrane proteases of Bacillus subtilis; the network governing sporulation during Myxococcus xanthus fruiting body formation.

Min-Hao Kuo Min-Hao Kuo

Associate Professor
Modifications and dynamics of chromatin; transcriptional regulation; proteomic interactions involving posttranslational modifications; tumor suppressor protein p53.

John J. LaPres John J. LaPres

Professor and Director, BioMolecular Sciences Graduate Studies
Toxicology of transition metals and environmental pollutants; The role of hypoxia signaling in metal-induced toxicity, development, and cancer.

Robert L. Last Robert L. Last

University Distinguished Professor
Barnett Rosenberg Professor

Arabidopsis and tomato functional genomics; regulation of plant metabolic pathways for nutritionally important molecules; plant stress tolerance mechanisms; metabolic engineering of plants.

Peter K. Lundquist Peter K. Lundquist

Assistant Professor
Basic and translational research of dynamic lipid-protein particles of plastids, called Plastoglobules, for enhanced stress tolerance and metabolic engineering; plastid biochemistry; proteomics.

Sophia Lunt Sophia Lunt

Associate Professor
Understanding the role of metabolism in supporting cancer proliferation, heterogeneity, and metastasis.

Erik Martinez-Hackert Erik Martinez-Hackert

Associate Professor and Director, Proteomics Core
Transforming growth factor beta family signaling and regulation in human physiology and disease.

Kenneth M. Merz Kenneth M. Merz

University Distinguished Professor
Joseph Zichis Endowed Chair in Chemistry 

Research areas include computer-aided drug design (CADD), using the Movable Type method to compute free energies, enthalpies and entropies of biological processes, metalloenzymes and metal ion homeostasis, development and application of linear-scaling quantum mechanical methods to biological problems and NMR and X-ray structure refinement using classical and quantum mechanical methods.

George I. Mias George I. Mias

Associate Professor
Quantitative methods applied to systems medicine studies through the dynamic profiling and integration of multiple omics technologies (e.g. genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) focusing on applications to personalized medicine and complex disorders (e.g. asthma, leukemia, treatments); modeling of underlying molecular interactions through interdisciplinary dynamic network analyses.

Benjamin J. Orlando Benjamin J. Orlando

Assistant Professor
Molecular mechanisms of bioactive lipid transport and signaling. Conformational dynamics of membrane transporters and signaling complexes. Cryo-electron microscopy. 

Kristin N. Parent Kristin N. Parent

J.K. Billman, Jr., M.D. Endowed Research Professor
Biochemical, biophysical and structural biology methods are applied towards an understanding of virus assembly, maturation, and infection processes.

Robert Quinn Robert Quinn

Assistant Professor
Multi-omics analysis of the human microbiome; particularly cystic fibrosis, the human gut and marine organisms; microbial community dynamics in polymicrobial infections; mass spectrometry-based metabolomics and personalized medicine.

Amy Ralston Amy Ralston

James K. Billman, Jr., M.D. Endowed Professor
Origins and regulations of stem cells during mammalian development, reproduction and fertility, pluripotency.

Thomas D. Sharkey Thomas D. Sharkey

University Distinguished Professor
Biochemistry and biophysics of processes important in gas exchange between plants and the atmosphere.

Hideki Takahashi Hideki Takahashi

Associate Professor
Molecular mechanisms of nitrogen and sulfur utilization in plants; nutrient sensing, transport and metabolism.

Michaela TerAvest Michaela TerAvest

Associate Professor
Synthetic biology approaches for optimizing bacterial biofuel production chassis; bacterial respiration and electron transport chains; extracellular electron transfer; microbial electrosynthesis.

Josh Vermaas Josh Vermaas

Assistant Professor
Atomic simulation tools to create accurate molecular-scale models for biological phenomena at the nanoscale.

Claire Vieille Claire Vieille

Associate Professor
Director, Genetics and Genome Sciences (GGS) PhD Program
Associate Director, BioMolecular Sciences (BMS) Graduate Studies

Microbial metabolic engineering; determinants of hyperthermophilic protein stability; protein engineering; electricity-driven cofactor recycling.

Tommy Vo Tommy Vo

Assistant Professor
Gene regulation by nuclear RNAs and chromatin in yeast and cancers

Kevin D. Walker Kevin D. Walker

Associate Professor
Elucidation of biosynthetic pathways of plant-derived products for use (and potential use) as pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, and allelochemicals, utilizing an array of methodologies grounded in bioorganic chemistry, organic synthesis, enzymology, molecular genetics, molecular biology, and natural products isolation and characterization (i.e., metabolomics).

Guowei Wei Guowei Wei

MSU Foundation Professor
Mathematical biophysics and molecular biosciences; big data; biomedical/molecular image and surface analysis; quantum kinetic theory.

Timothy R. Zacharewski Timothy R. Zacharewski

Toxicogenomics; receptor-mediated toxicology; endocrine disruption; expression profiling; ligand-induced protein structure.