Studies in molecular biology in the Division of Biological Sciences explore a diverse array of biological phenomena in a variety of organisms using an extensive range of approaches. Areas of particular concentration include neuronal development and plasticity, cellular signaling, and plant growth and development. Research in this area benefits from several campus research core facilities.


Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Establishment and maintenance of epithelial tissue architecture

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Gene Environment Interactions and Epigenetics

Professor of Biological Sciences and Plant Sciences

Genetic control of carbon partitioning in plants

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Molecular basis for polar growth in Agrobacterium tumefaciens

Professor of Veterinary Pathobiology

Generation and characterization of animal models to study genetics and disease

Professor of Biological Sciences

Mechanisms regulating neuronal development and physiology in vertebrates

Professor of Biological Sciences

Signaling and activity of skeletal muscle satellite cells

Postdoctoral Fellow - Santin Lab

The premise of my research is that we can learn from animals that overcome metabolic challenges in the brain to gain overarching insights into brain diseases. In my academic trajectory, I have been studying metabolic physiology across scales of organization, from whole animals all the way down to synapses. 

Postdoctoral research: The brain requires a lot of energy to function, and if these requirements are not met, circuit dysfunction and neural death follow. Much like mammals, brain activity in American bullfrogs quickly fails in hypoxia. However, we described that after emergence from overwintering, circuits transform to function ~30-fold longer without oxygen using only anaerobic glycolysis for fuel. Following these findings, I investigate neurophysiological processes that transform brain function to maintain performance during oxygen deprivation, avoiding dysfunction and damage. 

Research Scientist of Biological Sciences

Establishment and maintenance of epithelial tissue architecture

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Staphylococcus aureus stress responses at the host-pathogen interface

Research Molecular Biologist, USDA-ARS

Influence of insect-associated microbes on host phenotype

Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health

Ovarian reserve formation, maintenance, and its associated ovarian dysfunction and diseases

Professor of Biological Sciences

Genetic control of phototropism in plants

Postdoctoral Fellow

CRISPR/Cas-based gene editing in Daphnia system

Assistant Professor

Circuit stability, energetics, plasticity, and respiratory physiology

Associate Professor of Ob, Gyn, and Women’s Health

Mechanisms by which maternal physiology influences development of placenta.

Director and Professor of Biological Sciences

Neural network plasticity as a result of injury and disease

Professor of Biological Sciences

Meiotic silencing by unpaired DNA and sexual development in fungi

Curators’ Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Molecular mechanisms regulating cellular signaling in plants

Research Geneticist, Plant Genetics Research Unit, USDA-ARS

Understanding and predicting the genetic and physiological basis of plant phenotypes

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Evolutionary and environmental genetics

Professor of Biological Sciences

Genetic dissection of synaptic plasticity, neural circuitry, and behavior in fruit flies