Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

George Mason University

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Selected Research Projects

ANCHA BARANOVA, Associate Professor. Systems biology and functional genomics of chronic human diseases including cancer, diabetes, obesity, liver disorders, computational biology and pathway analysis.

CHARLES BAILEY, Distinguished Professor. Biodefense, Biology and ecology of vector-borne infectious diseases.

DANIEL COX, Associate Professor. Developmental neurogenetics with a specific emphasis on the molecular mechanisms regulating dendrite development and behavior.

ALAN CHRISTENSEN, Associate Professor. Molecular biology, functional genomics of eukaryotic cells, biotechnology.

KARL FRYXELL, Associate Professor. Molecular evolution, computational biology and genetic pathways, functional genomics of the nervous system including cognition and nicotine addition.

GERALDINE GRANT, Associate Professor. Investigations of the mechanisms of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, in vitro cellular dedifferentiation and cartilge tissue engineering.

RAMIN HAKAMI, Assistant Professor. The discovery of critical host responses to infection caused by bacterial and viral pathogens and functional characterization of the identified pathways. Our ultimate goal is to use our molecular understanding of the host-pathogen interactions to develop model and effective therapeutics and vaccines.

SALEET JAFRI, Professor. Uses computational modeling to study the molecular and cellular basis of disease. His research interests include mitochondrial physiology, cardiac physiology and disease, muscle and muscle pathologies, and t-lymphocyte signaling.

FATAH KASHANCHI, Professor. Gene Expression, Genomics and Proteomics of HIV-1 and HTLV-1 infected cells.

KYLENE KEHN-HALL, Assistant Professor. Discovering critical proteomic and miRNA changes during viral (hemorrhagic fever viruses and HIV-1) infection to facilitate targeted therapeutic approaches.

JASON KINSER, Associate Professor. Recent research in this lab is exploring non-Euclidean spaces for the representation of higher-ordered data sets and methods by which associations of data from different domains can be inferred by the presence of other associations. This research is being applied to data from the image, sound, text, and linkage domains. Applications are being developed with medical data, web data, and image data.

DMITRI KLIMOV, Associate Professor. Resent research uses computer simulations to investigate the assembly of peptides into ordered nanostructures, such as amyloid fibrils. His goal is to map the molecular physicochemical mechanisms governing this process and to find small molecule ligands, which may inhibit peptide aggregation. His research has implications for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.

LANCE LIOTTA, Professor. Cancer research to include the process of tumor invasion and metastasis at the molecular level; technologies used to make broad discoveries in genomics, functional genomics and tissue proteomics.

ALESSANDRA LUCHINI, Assistant Professor. Studies hydrogel nanoparticles and their application in proteomics translational research. Hydrogel nanoparticles are polymeric macromolecules, functionalized with high affinity chemical baits, that mixed with biological fluids such as urine and blood can reveal the presence of otherwise invisible biomarkers. Hydrogel nanoparticles are being applied to the measurement of biomarkers for infectious diseases such as Lyme disease and tuberculosis, sweat biomarkers for schizophrenia, cancer biomarkers, and antidoping research.

EMANUEL (CHIP) PETRICOIN, Professor. Implementation of proteomics, nanotechnology, and genomics research in cancer, metabolic syndrome, cardiopulmonary diseases, and neurodegenerative and liver diseases.

SERGUEI POPOV, Associate Professor. Mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity; microbe-host interaction during infection.

DON SETO, Professor. Viral genomics and bioinformatics. Adenoviruses are used as a model system to apply genomics and bioinformatics approaches for understanding viruses, particularly pathogens, and for changing paradigms. One example of a recent paradigm change is the use of genome data and biological properties to type and name human adenoviruses.

JEFF SOLKA, Adjunct Assistant Professor. Is interested in statistical pattern recognition and data mining. He is particularly interested in dimensionality reduction and text data mining. He is excited about how modern techniques in data mining can enhance our understanding of biological processes.

IOSEF VAISMAN, Associate Director. Professor. Developing computational methods for protein structure and function analysis. Main activity areas include computational geometry or protein structure and structure-function relationships.

MONIQUE VAN HOEK, Associate Professor. Aerosol delivery of therapeutics using nano-aerosols. Development of novel antimicrobial and antibiofilm agents, including antimicrobial peptides. Novel vaccine development for Francisella tularensis. Host-pathogen interactions of Francisella and other human pathogens, with a focus on the lung.

YUNTAO WU, Professor. HIV-1 infection of blood resting CD4 T cells and macrophages; Role of cell signaling in HIV-1 infection and pathogenesis; HIV-1 preintegration transcription; Lentiviral vector development for targeting HIV reservoirs.

JIM WILLETT, Director. Professor. Employs the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system to study the molecular mechanisms driving physiologic state changes. Phenotypic changes are reflected in the metabolite profile differences found associated with developmental states or exposure to positive or negative biologic system effectors. Metabolic profiling allows detection of those metabolites and sets of metabolites that show marked, reproducible alterations as a result of such specific state changes. Recording biochemical pathway responses to physiologic state modifiers may reveal the molecular mechanisms responsible for these changes. Interest in this approach arose as a result of studies of alterations in signaling arrays in nematodes as a function of age. These studies continue.