Department of Biomedical Sciences


Maria Cole, M.Ed.L., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Anatomy Biomedical Sciences Work M3-423 Work Phone: 816) 235-1904
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  BA (College Scholars [Anthropology & Biology], 1985)
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook. Ph.D. (Anatomical Sciences, 1997)
  • Predoctoral Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Natural History Department of Mammalogy (1993)
  • Predoctoral Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Natural History
  • Department of Physical Anthropology (1994-1996)
  • Harvard-Macy Institute: Program for Physician Educators (2004-2005)
  • University of New England. Master’s in Medical Education Leadership (2014)
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Maria Cole is an Associate Professor  in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences. Prior to joining UMKC, she was a faculty member in the Department of Anatomy at Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences from 1997 to 2016. During that time Dr. Cole taught in both the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the College of Biosciences. Dr. Cole has received numerous teaching awards, including the Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She also served as the Executive Director of Academic & Institutional Research, the Interim Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation and KCU’s Accreditation Liaison Officer. She is currently a peer evaluator for both the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation and the Higher Learning Commission and has over twenty years of progressive experience in higher education, strategic planning, accreditation, assessment and program review, and curriculum development.

 Prior her employment at KCU, Dr. Cole taught at Yale University and Howard University in the Schools of Medicine and of Dentistry. From 1993 to 1996 she was a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution in the Divisions of Mammalogy and Physical Anthropology. Dr. Cole holds a Doctorate in Anatomical Sciences from Stony Brook University and a Master’s of Science in Medical Education Leadership from the University of New England. She is also a graduate of the Harvard-Macy Program for Physician Educators.

Tim Cole, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Anatomy Work M3-413 Work Phone: (816) 235-1829
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  BA (Anthropology, 1984)
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  MA (Anthropology, 1986)
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook. Ph.D. (Anthropology, 1995)
  • Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy, The Johns Hopkins University. Postdoctoral Fellowship (Anthropology, 1997)
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Theodore M. Cole III, Ph.D. is a physical (biological) anthropologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Basic Medical Science at the University of Missouri -Kansas City. He has taught human gross anatomy to medical and dental students at UMKC since 1997. He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees at the University of Tennessee and his Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Prior to coming to UMKC, he was a visiting instructor in the Department of Anthropology at Yale University and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Cole’s research interests include craniofacial biology (from both clinical and evolutionary perspectives), human and primate evolution, and scientific computing. He is a member of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the American Cleft Palate – Craniofacial Association.


Selected Publications

Cole TM III. Postnatal heterochrony of the masticatory apparatus in Cebus apella and Cebus albifrons. Journal of Human Evolution 23, 253-282, 1992

Grine FE, Demes AB, Jungers WL & Cole TM III. Taxonomic affinity of the early Homo cranium from Swartkrans, South Africa. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 92, 411-426, 1993

Lele S & Cole TM III. A new test for shape differences when variance-covariance matrices are unequal. Journal of Human Evolution 31, 193-212, 1996

Richtsmeier JT,Cole TM III, Krovitz GE, Valeri CJ & Lele S. Preoperative morphology and development in sagittal synostosis. Journal of Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology 18, 64-78, 1998

Valeri CJ, Cole TM III, Lele S & Richtsmeier JT. Capturing data from three-dimensional surfaces using fuzzy landmarks. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 107, 113-124, 1998

Cole TM III Further applications of EDMA. In S Lele & JT Richtsmeier: An invariant approach to the statistical analysis of form. London: Chapman & Hall, pp. 263-284, 2001

Cole TM III, Lele S & Richtsmeier JT. A parametric bootstrap approach to the detection of phylogenetic signals in landmark data. In MacLeod N & Forey P (eds.): Morphometrics, Shape, and Phylogenetics. London: Taylor and Francis, pp. 194-219, 2002

Burrows AM, Cole TM III, Mooney MP, Smith TD, Losken HW & Siegel MI. Mandibular form in a rabbit model of familial, nonsyndromic coronal suture synostosis. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 13, 244-250, 2004

Rinaldi C & Cole TM III. Environmental seasonality and incremental growth rates of beaver (Castor canadensis) incisors: implications for palaeobiology. Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology & Palaeogeography 206, 289-301, 2004

Richtsmeier JT, Cole TM III. & Lele S Studying fluctuating asymmetry in a mouse model for Down syndrome: developmental instability and aneuploidy. Modern Methods in Physical Anthropology (D Slice, ed.). Kluwer, pp. 187-212, 2006

Richtsmeier JT, Lele SR & Cole TM III. Acid-sensing ion channels and ischemic brain injury (invited review). J Membr Biol. 209:59-68, 2006.

Richtsmeier JT, Aldridge K, DeLeon VB, Panchal J, Kane AA, Marsh JL, Yan P & Cole TM III. Phenotypic integration of neurocranium and brain. Journal of Experimental Biology, Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 306B, 360-378, 2006

Abstracts of recent presentations

Rinaldi C, Cole TM III & Nievergelt Y. A 3-D method for theoretical modeling and morphometric comparison of helical form of rodent incisors. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 25, 104A-105A, 2005

Cole TM III, Lele SR & Richtsmeier JT. Model-based estimation of variance-covariance structure in landmark data, with a consideration of morphological integration in the Macaca fascicularis cranium. American Journal of Physical Anthropology Supplement 42, 76. 2006

Cole TM III Stabilizing selection and adaptive optima in the evolution of platyrrhine body size. American Journal of Physical Anthropology Supplement 43, 88-89, 2007

Cunningham DL, Cole TM III & Ward CV. Postcranial proportional variation in Australopithecus afarensis and A. africanus. American Journal of Physical Anthropology Supplement 46, 85, 2008

Rinaldi C, Martin L, Timm R & Cole TM III. Ridged enamel on the teeth of giant beavers: function or phylogeny? Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology Supplement 28, 132, 2008

Schmidt JL, Silcox MT & Cole TM III. A landmark based approach to the study of the ear ossicles using ultra high resolution X-ray computed tomography data. American Journal of Physical Anthropology Supplement 46, 355, 2009

Cole TM III & Cunningham DL. Spatial ranks, depth functions, and scale curves as tools for testing the single-species hypothesis. American Journal of Physical Anthropology Supplement 47, 53, 2010

Rinaldi C, Martin LD, Timm RM, Cole TH III & Kumar V. Evidence of a predation attempt on a giant beaver by a terrestrial carnivore. Abstract submitted for the 70th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. 2010

Cole TM III, Cunningham DL, Grine FE, Kramer A & Wolpoff MH. Dental variation in Homo erectus sensu lato. Abstract submitted for the 80th Annual Meeting of American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

Photo of Xiang-Ping Chu, M.D., Ph.D.
Xiang-Ping Chu, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor with Tenure Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience Work M3-417 Work Phone: (816) 235-2248
  • Robert S. Dow Neurobiology Laboratories, Legacy Research Institute, Postdoctoral Fellowship (Neurobiology, 2004)
  • Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, Ph.D. (Physiology, 1999)
  • Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, MS (Physiology 1996)
  • Jiangsu University School of Medicine, MD (Clinical Medicine, 1989)
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Dr. Chu earned his medical degree from Jiangsu University School of Medicine in 1989, and his PhD degree from Fudan University Shanghai Medical College in 1999, both in the People’s Republic of China. He then came to America for postdoctoral training at the Legacy Research Institute in Portland, Oregon in 2000. He received a postdoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2002 and subsequently received a beginning grant-in-aid in 2004 and scientist development grant in 2007, both from the AHA. While at the Legacy Research Institute, Dr. Chu was promoted from research associate to senior research associate, to assistant scientist. In 2008, he was recruited to the UMKC School of Medicine as a tenure-track Assistant Professor to establish an advanced, independent electrophysiology laboratory in a strategic expansion of neuroscience research program. In 2014, Dr. Chu was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. His research focuses on the role of ion channels and membrane receptors in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders such as stroke and drug addiction. While at UMKC, his research has been supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the AHA. Dr. Chu teaches medical neuroscience and physiology courses and is a member of UMKC’s doctoral faculty. He has published 3 book chapters and more than 50 peer-reviewed articles with an H-index of 18, and has served as a peer-reviewer for over 30 scientific journals. Dr. Chu currently serves on Editorial Boards for Advances in Neuroscience, International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology & Pharmacology (IJPPP), ISRN Physiology, and Scientific Reports. Dr. Chu also serves on grant study sections for the AHA, Medical Research Council of UK, Ataxia Foundation of UK, and the University of Missouri Research Board (UMRB).

Research Interest

One of my research interests is to understand the functional role of ion channels in ischemic brain injury. Brain ischemia induces various biochemical changes, which can activate various ion channels, including Acid-Sensing Ion Channels (ASICs). During hypoxia/ischemia, increased anerobic glycolysis due to the lack of blood and oxygen supply leads to lactic acid accumulation, causing a reduction in pH, and acidosis. For many years, acidosis has been known to play an important role in the pathology of neuronal injury. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying acidosis-induced injury remain elusive. Recently we have demonstrated that activation of newly described

ASICs contribute to neuronal injury, particularly those containing the ASIC1a subunit. My aim is to explore the potential mechanisms by which ASIC’s are involved in the pathogenesis of ischemic brain injury, particularly the extent to which they might be modulated/regulated by endogenous molecules (e.g. glucose and zinc). ASICs localize to synapses and proton as a neurotransmitter released from synaptic vesicles activates ASICs during neurotransmission. I am also interested in studying the functional role of ASICs in the brain and the interaction between ASICs and other ion channels/receptors (for example, glutamate receptors, dopamine receptors et al.,) during physiological or pathological conditions such as drug abuse. We want to determine whether ASICs play any roles in the pathogenesis of drug abuse or interact with other receptors in the brain in response to psychostimulants.

Mentoring Area

I am interested in mentoring students who have interests in neurological diseases such as drug abuse and ischemic brain injury using a combination of patch-clamp recording, fluorescence-imaging, gene transfection and knockdown, cell injury assay and behavior measurement techniques.

Recent Publications

*Chu XP, Grasing KA, Wang JQ. Acid-sensing ion channels contribute to neurotoxicity. Transl Stroke Res. 5(1):69-78, 2014. *Corresponding author.

Jing L, *Chu XP, *Zha XM. Three distinct motifs within the C-terminus of ASIC1a regulate its surface trafficking. Neuroscience. 247: 321-327, 2013. *Corresponding author.

Jiang Q, Wang CM, Fibuch EE, Wang JQ, *Chu XP. Differential regulation of locomotor activity to acute and chronic cocaine administration in acid-sensing ion channels 1a and 2 in adult mice. Neuroscience. 246C:170-178, 2013. *Corresponding author.

*Chu XP, Xiong ZG. Acid-sensing ion channels in pathological conditions. Adv Exp Med Biol. 961:419-31, 2013. *Corresponding author.

Jiang Q, Zha XM, *Chu XP. Inhibition of human acid-sensing ion channel 1b by zinc. Int J Physiol Pathophysiol Pharmacol4(2):84-93, 2012. *Corresponding author.

Wang JQ, Chu XP, Guo ML, Jin DZ, Xue B, Berry TJ, Fibuch EE, Mao LM. Modulation of ionotropic glutamate receptors and acid-sensing ion channels by nitric oxide. Front Physiol. 3:164, 2012.

*Chu XP, *Jing L,*Jiang YQ, Collier DM, Wang B, Jiang Q, Snyder PM and Zha XM. N-Glycosylation of ASIC1a regulates its trafficking and acidosis-induced spine remodeling. J Neurosci.  32(12):4080-4091, 2012. *These authors contributed equally.

*Chu XP, Xiong ZG. Physiological and pathological functions of acid-sensing ion channels in central nervous system. Curr Drug Targets. 13(2):263-271, 2012. *Corresponding author.

*Chu XP, Papasian CJ, Wang JQ and Xiong ZG. Modulation of Acid-Sensing Ion Channels: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Potential. Int J Physiol Pharmacol. 3(4):288-308, 2011. *Corresponding author.

Jing L, Jiang Q, Jiang YQ, Chu XP, and Zha XM. Interaction between the first transmembrane domain and the wrist of acid-sensing ion channel 1a is critical for its maturation and trafficking.  PLoS One, 6(10):e26909, 2011.

Jiang Q, Inoue K, Wu X, Papasian CJ, Wang JQ, Xiong ZG, *Chu XP. Cysteine 149 in the extracellular finger domain of ASIC1b subunit is critical for zinc-mediated inhibition. Neuroscience, 193: 89-99, 2011. *Corresponding author.

Duan B, Wang YZ, Yang T, Chu XP, Yu Y, Huang Y, Cao H, Hansen J, Simon RP, Zhu MX, Xiong ZG, Xu TL. Extracellular spermine exacerbates ischemic neuronal injury through sensitization of ASIC1a channels to extracellular acidosis. J Neurosci. 31: 2101-2112, 2011.

Van Dolah DK, Mao LM, Shaffer C, Guo ML, Fibuch EE, Chu XP, Buch S, Wang JQ. Reversible palmitoylation regulates surface stability of AMPA receptors in the nucleus accumbens in response to cocaine in vivo. Bio Psychiatry. 69: 1035-1042, 2011.

Lin J, Chu XP, Maysami S, Li M, Si H, Cottrell JE, Simon RP, Xiong ZG. Inhibition of acid-sensing ion channel currents by lidocaine in cultured mouse cortical neurons. Anesth Analg. 112:977-981, 2011.

*Chu XP, *Coombes E, *Jiang J, Inoue K, Seeds J, Branigan D, Simon RP, Xiong ZG. Pathophysiological relevant levels of hydrogen peroxide induces glutamate-independent neurodegeneration that involves activation of TRPM7 channels. Antioxid Redox Signal. 14: 1815-1827, 2011. *These authors contributed equally.

Suman A, Mehta B, Guo ML, Chu XP, Fibuch EE, Mao LM and Wang JQ. Alterations in acid-sensing ion channel expression in the rat forebrain following chronic amphetamine administration. Neurosci Res. 68: 1-8, 2010.

Jiang Q, Papasian CJ, Wang JQ, Xiong ZG and *Chu XP. Inhibitory regulation of acid-sensing ion channel 3 by zinc. Neuroscience. 169: 574-583, 2010. *Corresponding author.

*Chu XP, *Mao LM, *Wang W, Zhang GC, Liu XY, Yang YJ, Haines M, Papasian CJ, Fibuch EE, Buch S, Chen JG, Wang JQ. Stability of surface NMDA receptors controls synaptic and behavioral adaptations to amphetamine. Nat Neurosci. 12: 602-10, 2009. *These authors contributed equally.

Jiang Q, Li MH, Papasian CJ, Branigan D, Xiong ZG, Wang JQ, *Chu XP. Characterization of acid-sensing ion channels in medium spiny neurons of mouse striatum. Neuroscience. 162: 55-66, 2009. *Corresponding author.

Zhang GC, Mao LM, Wang JQ, *Chu XP. Upregulation of acid-sensing ion channel 1 protein expression by chronic administration of cocaine in the mouse striatum in vivo. Neurosci Lett. 459:119-22, 2009. *Corresponding author.

Jiang J, Li MH, Inoue K, Chu XP, Seeds J, and Xiong ZG. TRPM7-like current in human head and neck carcinoma cells: role in cell proliferation. Cancer Res.,67:10929-38, 2007.

Liu X, Chu XP, Mao L, Wang M, Lan H, Li MH, Zhang G, Parelkar NK, Haines M, Neve KA, Liu F, Xiong ZG, and Wang JQ. Modulation of D2R/NR2B interactions in response to cocaine. Neuron, 52, 897-909, 2006.

Chu XP, Close N, Saugstad JA, and Xiong ZG. ASIC1a-specific modulation of acid-sensing ion channels in mouse cortical neurons by redox reagents. J. Neurosci., 26:5329-5339, 2006.

Xiong ZG, *Chu XP, *Zhu XM, Minami M, Hey J, Wemmie JA, Price M, Welsh MJ, and Simon RP.  Neuroprotection in ischemia: blocking calcium-permeable acid-sensing ion channels. Cell. 118(6): 687-698, 2004. *These authors contributed equally.

Chu XP, Wemmie JA, Wang WZ, Zhu XM, Saugstad JA, Price MP, Simon RP, Xiong ZG.   Subunit-dependent High-Affinity Zinc Inhibition of Acid-Sensing Ion Channels. J. Neurosci., 24 (40): 8678-8689, 2004.

Photo of Mingui Fu, Ph.D.
Mingui Fu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Immunology, Shock/Trauma Research CenterBiomedical Sciences Work MG-101A Work Phone: (816) 235-2193
  • M.S.:   Xian Medical University, China, 1994
  • Ph.D.:   Peking University Health Science Center, China, 2000
  • Postdoctoral Fellow: Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, 2003 and UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, 2006
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Research Interests:

Study the post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms of inflammation and their contribution to human inflammatory diseases such as sepsis and vascular inflammatory diseases. Currently we are focus on a CCCH-zinc finger protein family including MCPIP1;

Post-translational regulation of vascular inflammation. Currently, we are focus on a newly identified E3 ligase. The techniques include: genetic animal studies, histology, immune staining, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and human primary cells or sample analysis

Topics of Interest:
  • Regulatory mechanisms of septic shock
  • Signal transduction in macrophage activation
  • RNA metabolism in immune regulation
  • Negative regulation of Toll-like receptor signaling
  • Molecular signaling of vascular endothelial inflammation, injury and repair
  • Novel therapeutic targets for human inflammatory diseases including atherosclerosis, sepsis and viral infection
Recent Projects:
  1. The Roles of CCCH-Zinc Finger Proteins in the Regulation of Inflammation.
         Nearly 60 CCCH-zinc finger proteins have been identified in humans and mice. These proteins are involved in the regulation of multiple steps of RNA metabolism, including mRNA splicing, polyadenylation, transportation, translation, and decay. Several CCCH-zinc finger proteins, such as tristetraprolin, Roquin and MCPIP1, are crucial for many aspects of immune responses via targeting mRNA degradation and other mechanisms. Others are involved in the regulation of cell differentiation and cancer cell growth. In the past ten years, we have been working on a novel CCCH-zinc finger containing protein, MCPIP1, in the regulation of both innate and adaptive immunity. Using transgenic and knockout mouse models, we are studying the physiological role and mechanisms of MCPIP1 in inflammatory response and immunity and the involvement of MCPIP1 in septic shock, atherosclerosis and autoimmune diseases.
  2. Novel Molecular Regulators in Vascular Endothelial Inflammation, Injury and Repair.
         Vascular endothelium is a multifunctional and critical interface between blood stream and vascular wall. Meanwhile, vascular endothelium is also the largest endocrine, paracrine and metabolic organ. Recent studies suggest that there is endothelial dysfunction at the early stage of cardiovascular diseases and stroke caused by atherosclerosis, hypertension and diabetes. In addition, the initial event in bacterial and viral infection-caused multi-organ injury is vascular endothelial damage and dysfunction. So that vascular endothelial inflammation and dysfunction is a common pathological step and basis for cardiovascular diseases and stroke and acute organ injury. Improving the function of vascular endothelium and repairing the damaged vascular endothelium would be a critical step for treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke and acute organ injury. Using expression profiling and bioinformatics, we recently identified an adipocyte-enriched protein, adiporedoxin, as a negative regulator of endothelial activation (Sci Rep, 2016). In addition, we have identified a TRIM protein as a novel determinant of vascular endothelial inflammation via targeting VCAM-1 degradation. Currently, we are studying the roles and mechanisms of these proteins in vascular inflammation, atherosclerosis, sepsis and cerebral small vascular disease.
Selected Publications:
  1. Liang J, Wang J, Azfer A, Song W, Tromp G, Kolattukudy PE, Fu M#. A novel CCCH-Zinc finger protein family regulates proinflammatory activation of macrophages. J Biol Chem. 2008, 283:6337-6346.
  2. Liang J, Lei T, Song Y, Yanes N and Fu M#. RNA-destabilizing factor Tristetraprolin negatively regulates NF-κB signaling. J Biol Chem. 2009, 284: 29383-29390.
  3. Liang J, Saad Y, Lei T, Wang J, Qi D, Yang Q, Kolattukudy PE and Fu M#. MCP-induced protein 1 deubiquitinating TRAFs and negatively regulate JNK and NF-κB signaling. J Exp Med, 2010, 207:2959-73.
  4. Qi D, Huang S, Miao R, She ZG, Quinn T, Chang Y, Liu J, Fan D, Chen YE, Fu M#. Monocyte chemotactic protein-induced protein 1 (MCPIP1) suppresses stress granule formation and determines apoptosis under stress. J Biol Chem. 2011, 286(48):41692-700.
  5. Zhang Y, Breevoort SR, Angdisen J, Fu M, Schmidt DR, Holmstrom AR, Kliewer SA, Mangelsdorf DJ, Schulman IG. Liver LXRα expression is crucial for whole body cholesterol homeostasis and reverse cholesterol transport in mice. J Clin Invest, 2012, 122(5):1688-99.
  6. Zhang J, Zhang Y, Sun T, Chandalia M, Abate N, Fan D, Xin HB, Chen YE# and Fu M#. Dietary obesity induced Egr-1 in adipocytes facilitates energy storage via suppression of FOXC2. Sci Rep. 2013, 3:1476.
  7. Niu J, Shi Y, Xue J, Xu M, Miao R, Huang S, Chen ZJ, Fu M, Wu Z-H. DNA damage-induced MCPIP1 negatively regulates NF-κB activation by facilitating USP10-dependent disassembly of linear polyubiquitin chain. EMBO J, 2013, 32:3206-3219.
  8. Liu S, Qiu C, Miao R, Zhou J, Fu W, Zhu L, Zhang L, Xu J, Fan D, Li K, Fu M#, Wang T#. MCPIP1 restricts HIV infection and is rapidly degraded in activated CD4+ T cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 2013, 110(47):19083-8.
  9. Yao H, Ma R, Yang L, Hu G, Chen X, Duan M, Kook Y, Niu F, Liao K, Fu M, Hu G, Kolattukudy P, Buch S. MiR-9 promotes microglial activation by targeting MCPIP1. Nat Commun. 2014. 5:4386.
  10. Jeltsch KM, Hu D, Brenner S, Zöller J, Heinz GA, Nagel D, Vogel KU, Rehage N, Warth SC, Edelmann SL, Gloury R, Martin N, Lohs C, Lech M, Stehklein JE, Geerlof A, Kremmer E, Weber A, Anders HJ, Schmitz I, Schmidt-Supprian M, Fu M, Holtmann H, Krappmann D, Ruland J, Kallies A, Heikenwalder M & Heissmeyer V. Cleavage of roquin and regnase-1 by the paracaspase MALT1 releases their cooperatively repressed targets to promote TH17 differentiation. Nat Immunol. 2014, 15(11):1079-1089.
  11. Huang S, Liu S, Fu JJ, Tony Wang T, Yao X, Kumar A, Liu G, Fu M#. Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-induced Protein 1 and 4 Form a Complex but Act Independently in Regulation of Interleukin-6 mRNA Degradation. J Biol Chem. 2015 Aug 21;290(34):20782-92.
  12. He H, Guo F, Li Y, Saaoud F, Kimmis BD, Sandhu J, Fan M, Maulik D, Lessner S, Fan D, Jiang ZS#, and Fu M#. Adiporedoxin suppresses endothelial activation via inhibiting MAPK and NF-κB signaling. Sci Rep. 2016 (in press).
  13. Jiang MX, Hong X, Liao BB, Shi SZ, Lai XF, Zheng HY, Xie L, Wang Y, Wang XL, Xin HB, Fu M#, and Deng KY#. Expression profiling identifies a novel group of TRIM proteins involving in the proinflammatory activation of macrophages. Sci Rep. 2016 (in press).

Photo of Wail M. Hassan, Ph.D, M(ASCP)CM
Wail M. Hassan, Ph.D, M(ASCP)CM
Associate Professor, Medical Microbiology Biomedical Sciences
  • Ph.D., Microbiology, The University of Southern Mississippi, USA, 2004
  • Postgraduate Diploma, Parasitology and Medical Entomology, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Egypt, 1993
  • B.Sc., Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Egypt, 1990
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Dr. Wail Hassan is an Associate Teaching Professor of Medical Microbiology at UMKC School of Medicine. He maintains certification in microbiology by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. Before joining UMKC, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Dr. Hassan’s doctoral dissertation focused on developing a multivariate statistical approach to predicting sources of fecal contamination based on the DNA fingerprints of enteric bacteria. Currently, Dr. Hassan’s research applies multivariate data analysis to study 1) complex patterns in anti-HIV immune responses that may predict disease progression, 2) gene expression alterations related to Alzheimer’s disease, and 3) multi-parametric biomarkers of autism.

Photo of Rosa H. Huang, Ph.D.
Rosa H. Huang, Ph.D.
Professor, Biochemistry Work M3-403 Work Phone: (816) 235-2589
  • Brain Research Institute, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles – Certificate Neuroscience (1974)
  • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles – Ph.D. Chemical Physics (1973)
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Position & Employment
  • 1998-present   Professor of Biochemistry – School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • 1984-1998   Professor – School of biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • 1982-1984   Associate Professor of Biochemistry – College of Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile
  • 1977-1982   Assistant Professor of Biochemistry – College of Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile
  • 1974-1977  Assistant Research Biochemist – Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles
Research Publications

Huang R. and Huang C. An Experimental Method for Measuring the Mean length of Cerebellar Parallel Fibers: Validation and Derivation of a Correction Factor by Computational Simulation and Probability Analysis, Brain Research Bulletin 64:15-24, 2004.

Huang C., Miyamoto H., Huang R. The Mouse Cerebellum from 1 to 34 Months: Parallel Fibers, Neurobiology of Aging 27, issue 2, 2006

Huang C., Pirtle JA, Wang YP., Huang R. Information Coding Capacity of Cerebellar Parallel Fibers, Brain Research bull.70:49-54, 2006

Huang C., Wang L., Huang R. Cerebellar Granule Cell: ascending axon and parallel fiber. Eur Journal of Neuroscience 23(7):1731-7, 2006

Karl Kador, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Department of Ophthalmology
  • University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Ph.D. (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2010)
  • University of Nebraska at Lincoln, M.S. (Chemical Engineering, 2005)
  • The College of William and Mary, B.S. (Chemistry, 2002)
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Research Interests

My research interests lie at the intersection of chemistry, life sciences and engineering. Specifically, I am interested in the fields of biomaterials and tissue engineering.  I believe the future is in the union of these two fields, using modified biomaterials to give mechanical and chemical stimuli for growth and proper differentiation of cells in order to create cell material composite implants for the treatment of disease.  Here at the UMKC, my research has focused on creating three dimensional models of the retina that can be used to understand how retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) integrate and form synapses with their binding partners within the retina and develop methods to determine if RGCs we differentiate in vitro are able to respond functionally similarly to cells which are purified from tissue.  In the lab, we have developed scaffolds to recreate the organization of the retina and patterned immobilized guidance molecules onto these surfaces to polarize cell growth. We have shown that these techniques are able to mimic the alignment of the nerve fiber layer of the retina and have been used to transplant RGCs ex vivo.  Ultimately, we hope that these models and scaffolds will be used to develop a functional cell source and transplantation method to treat optic neuropathies such as glaucoma and optic nerve stroke.

Selected Publications

Kador KE*, Grogan SP*, Dorthé E, Venugopalan P, Malek M, D’Lima DD, Goldberg JL. (2016) Control of retinal ganglion cell positioning and neurite growth: combining 3D printing with radial electrospun scaffolds. Tissue Engineering Part A,Vol 22(3-4): 286-294.

Moysidis, SN, Alvarez-Delfin K, Peshansky VJ, Salero-Coca EL, Weisman AD, Raffa A, Merkhofer Jr. RM, Kador KE, Kunzevitzky NJ, Goldberg JL. (2015) Magnetic Field-Guided Cell Delivery with Nanoparticle-Loaded Human Corneal Endothelial Cells. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, Vol 11(3): 499-509. 

Kador KE, Alsehli H*,  Zindell AN*, Lau L, Andreopoulos FA, Watson B, Goldberg JL. (2014) Retinal ganglion cell polarization using immobilized guidance cues on a tissue engineered scaffold. Acta Biomaterialia, Vol 10(12): 4939-4946.

Kador KE, Montero RB, Venugopalan P, Hertz J, Zindell AN, Valenzuela DA, Uddin MS, Lavik EB, Muller KJ, Andreopoulos FM, Goldberg JL. (2013) Tissue Engineering the Retinal Ganglion Cell Nerve Fiber Layer. Biomaterials, Vol. 34(17): 4242-4250.

Kador KE, Goldberg JL. (2012) Scaffolds and Stem Cells: Delivery of Cell Transplants for Retinal Degenerations. Expert Reviews of Ophthalmology, Vol 7(5): 459-470.

Kador K, Subramanian A. (2011) Selective modification of chitosan to enable the formation of chitosan-DNA condensates by electron donator stabilization, International Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry, Vol 2011: 1-11. 

Kador KE, Subramanian A. (2011) Surface Modification of Biomedical Grade Polyurethane to Enable the Ordered Co-immobilization of Two Proteins.  Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Ed., Vol. 22(15):1983-1999.

Kador KE, Mamedov TG, Schneider M, Subramanian A. (2011) Sequential Co-immobilization of Thrombomodulin and Endothelial Protein C Receptor on Polyurethane: Activation of Protein C. Acta Biomaterialia, Vol. 7(6): 2508-2517.

Chou CL, Yip KP, Michea L, Kador K, Ferraris JD, Wade JB, and Knepper MA. (2000) Regulation of aquaporin-2 trafficking by vasopressin in renal collecting duct: roles of ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ stores and calmodulin.  Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 275(47): 36839-36846.

Photo of Peter Koulen, Ph.D.
Peter Koulen, Ph.D.
Departments of Ophthalmology & Biomedical Sciences Work Phone: (816) 404-1824

Professor and Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research
Director of Basic Research, Vision Research Center
Department of Ophthalmology

Department of Biomedical Sciences

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Research Interest

Dr. Koulen is a Professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Sciences and the Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research at the UMKC School of Medicine. He trained at the Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research, Yale University and the Marine Biological Laboratory. His research focuses on basic research on and therapy development for chronic diseases of the eye and brain. He is an internationally recognized expert in biophysics, biochemistry and physiology of nerve cells and his research has been funded continually since 2002 by national and international foundations and agencies including the NIH’s National Eye Institute, National Institute on Aging, National Cancer Institute, National Center for Research Resources, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the U.S. DOD among others. As principal or co-investigator for over $20 million in extramural grant funding for research studies, Dr. Koulen’s research program has fundamental relevance to basic science, translational research and therapy development as evidenced by over 120 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, and 10 book chapters. Dr. Koulen has over 25 years of experience in the fields of neuroscience and eye research, drug development, translational research, biological sciences, biostatistics, and routinely interprets complex data sets with distinct public health significance. Dr. Koulen serves as reviewer for more than 50 professional scientific journals, serves on over 15 editorial boards and is editor in chief of two scientific journals. He is a review panel member for several national and international funding agencies including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense and other national and international government agencies and research foundations. The University of Missouri – Kansas City Board of Trustees recognized Dr. Koulen with the N.T. Veatch Award for Distinguished Research and Creativity. Through this Faculty Award, UMKC and the UMKC Trustees are recognizing the very best faculties, who have distinguished themselves through scholarship and creativity.

Vision research

Degeneration or acute damage of nerve cells in the retina is a major cause of visual loss and blindness in the United States and worldwide. As diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy affect significant and increasing portions of the U.S. population, including minorities affected by disparities in health care delivery, determining causes, mechanisms of action and subsequently potential treatment strategies will contribute to improving health care, health and performance requiring visual tasks.

The Vision Research Center was founded as and is a well-established collaboration of several UMKC schools and Kansas City Medical Centers and thus offers an unprecedented interdisciplinary synergy with a unified goal: to better diagnose, prevent, and treat eye disease and vision disorders through translational research in order to make a difference in the lives of tens of millions of people worldwide. To this end, the center conducts federally and industry funded basic, translational and clinical research to develop new medical therapies and offers patient care in all subspecialties of ophthalmology. The center’s nationally recognized excellence in research, patient care and medical education contribute to UMKC’s strengths in the life sciences. Objectives of the Vision Research Center are to:

  • Provide a direct avenue for basic and translational research in eye and related diseases,
  • Transfer basic science findings seamlessly into practical use with patients through translational research,
  • Develop new therapy approaches urgently needed by physicians in the US and worldwide,
  • Provide educational excellence,
  • Ensure patients receive the most advanced medical treatments available,
  • Become a national center of excellence for eye research.

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Photo of Limin Mao, M.D., Ph.D.
Limin Mao, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor Biomedical Sciences Work M5-207 Work Phone: (816) 235-1719
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Li-Min Mao is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Basic Medical Science at UMKC School of Medicine since 2004. Her research primarily focuses on molecular neurobiology of drug addiction. Using animal models, she is investigating the basic brain mechanisms underlying long-lasting drug-seeking behavior.


Selected Publications

Mao LM, Fibuch EE and Wang JQ. (2010). Decoding BDNF-LTP coupling in cocaine addiction. Neuron. 67: 679-681.

Guo ML, Fibuch EE, Liu XY, Choe ES, Buch S, Mao LM* and Wang JQ*. (2010).CaMKIIα interacts with M4 muscarinic receptors to control receptor and psychomotor function. EMBO J. 29: 2070-2081. *Corresponding authors.

Liu XY,# Mao LM,# Zhang GC, Papasian CJ, Fibuch EE, Lan HX, Zhou HF, Xu M and Wang JQ. (2009). Activity-dependent modulation of limbic dopamine D3 receptors by CaMKII. Neuron. 61:425-438. #Equal contributors. PMC2650276.

Liu XY, Chu XP, Mao LM, Wang M, Lan HX, Li MH, Zhang GC, Parelkar NK, Fibuch EE, Haines M, Neve KA, Liu F, Xiong ZG and Wang JQ. (2006). Modulation of D2R-NR2B interactions in response to cocaine. Neuron. 52:897-909.

Yang L, Mao L, Chen H, Catavsan M, Kozinn J, Arora A, Liu X and Wang JQ. (2006). A signaling mechanism from Gαq-protein-coupled glutamate receptors to gene expression: role of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway. J Neurosci. 26: 971-980.

Mao L, Yang L, Tang Q, Samdani S, Zhang G and Wang JQ. (2005). The scaffold protein Homer1b/c links metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 to extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase cascades in neurons. J Neurosci. 25: 2741-2752.

Yang L, Mao L, Tang Q, Samdani S, Liu Z and Wang JQ. (2004). A novel Ca2+-independent signaling pathway to extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase by coactivation of NMDA receptors and metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 in neurons. J Neurosci. 24: 10846-10857.

Photo of Darla McCarthy, Ph.D.
Darla McCarthy, Ph.D.
Associate Teaching Professor of Biochemistry Biomedical Sciences Work M3-419 Work Phone: (816) 235-1736
  • Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO – Ph.D. (1998)
  • Chemistry, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI – B.S. (1991)
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Darla McCarthy, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at the UMKC School of Medicine. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Colorado in 1998, where her dissertation research focused on the catalytic mechanism employed by a bacterial enzyme involved in the metabolism of pentachlorophenol, a toxic soil pollutant. Additional post-doctoral research at the University of California-Berkeley focused on elucidating catalytic features of a vitamin B6-dependent enzyme. Subsequent to her post-doctoral studies, Dr. McCarthy spent several years teaching chemistry and biochemistry at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Dr. McCarthy teaches biochemistry at the UMKC School of Medicine. Her primary teaching responsibility is the Human Biochemistry course. She also lectures in the Human Structure Function series and in the Physician Assistant program.


Representative Publications

McCarthy, D. and Folkema, A. “Reading and Writing in Chemistry: Summarizing the Past to Shape the Future.” In: E Vander Lei and D Ward, eds. Real Texts: Reading and Writing Across the Disciplines, Longman Publishers, New York, NY, 2008. (2nd Ed., 2011)

Capitani, G., McCarthy, D.L., Gut, H., Gruetter, M.G., and Kirsch, J.F. “Apple ACC Synthase in Complex with the Inhibitor L-Aminoethoxyvinylglycine: Evidence for a Ketimine Intermediate.” J. Biol. Chem. 2002 51, 49735-49742.

Kiefer, P.M., McCarthy, D.L., and Copley, S.D. “The Reaction Catalyzed by Tetrachlorohydroquinone Dehalogenase Does Not Involve Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution.” Biochemistry 2002 41, 1308-1314.

McCarthy, D.L., Capitani, G., Feng, L., Gruetter, M.G., and Kirsch, J.F. “Glutamate 47 in 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate Synthase is a Major Specificity Determinant.” Biochemistry 2001 40, 12276-12284.

McCarthy, D.L., Louie, D.F., and Copley, S.D. “Identification of a Covalent Intermediate Between Glutathione and Cysteine 13 Formed During Catalysis by Tetrachlorohydroquinone Dehalogenase.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1997 119, 11337-11338.

McCarthy, D.L., Claude, A.A., and Copley, S.D. “In vivo Levels of Chlorinated Hydroquinones in a Pentachlorophenol-Degrading Bacterium.” Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 1997 63, 1883-1888.

McCarthy, D.L., Navarrete, S., Willett, W.S., Babbitt, P.C., and Copley, S.D. “Exploration of the Relationship Between Tetrachlorohydroquinone Dehalogenase and the Glutathione S-Transferase Superfamily.” Biochemistry 1996 35, 14634-14642.

Gray, T.M., Arnoys, E.J., Blankespoor, S., Born, T., Jager, R., Everman, R., Plowman, D.**, Stair, A., and Zhang, D. “Destabilizing Effect of Proline Substitutions in Two Helical Regions of T4 Lysozyme: Leucine 66 to Proline and Leucine 92 to Proline.” Protein Sci. 1996 5, 742-751. **Former name.

Photo of Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D.
Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research, Chair and Professor Biomedical Sciences Biomedical Sciences Home M3-C02 Work Phone: (816) 235-6663
  • Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, BA (Genetics)
  • Medical Research Council, Edinburgh, Scotland, Ph.D. (Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology)
  • Medical Research Council, Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh, Scotland, Post-Graduate (Molecular Genetics and Development)
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Research and Professional Experience

Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate, Molecular Biology of the Cell 1, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany.

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA

 Associate Professor, Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA

Research Interest

Molecular Genetic Analysis of the Developmental Basis of Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Research Summary

My laboratory focuses on understanding the molecular and developmental basis of emotional and cognitive behavior and psychiatric illness. The long-term goal of my research is to identify both intrinsic and environmental factors that specifically alter the development of areas in the brain that are essential for emotion and cognition.  My laboratory has identified a number of transcriptional repressors (Tlx, Sall1, Sall2, Sall3 and Sall4) that are expressed in the developing forebrain. This research has shown that these genes are express in stem and progenitor cells in the cerebral cortex, and are required to regulate the rate of stem/progenitor cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation.  Using both conditional and classical knockout experiments and in-utero electroporation studies in mice, my laboratory has shown that altering the levels of these proteins during development leads to emotional, behavioral and cognitive abnormalities in adult animals.  Our most recent studies focus on identifying the cellular and biochemical targets of glucocorticoid action on the developing brain in-utero. Synthetic glucocorticoids are administered to mothers at risk for pre-term labor, to stimulate lung maturation and to reduce the risk of intraventricular hemorrhage and necrotizing enterocolitis. Clinical follow up studies indicate that children exposed to steroid in-utero have cognitive abnormalities and an altered stress response. My laboratory is using a combination of molecular, cellular, proteomic, RNA-Seq. and genome wide DNase hypersensitive site mapping to identify the cellular targets of steroid action. These studies have shown that prenatal exposure to glucocorticoids leads to changes in neuronal number and density in the cerebral cortex at birth coupled to long-term alterations in neurite complexity in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in adolescents. These anatomical abnormalities are associated with changes in anxiety and depressive like behaviors in adults. Follow up studies include validating our identified targets in human brain and in umbilical cord blood cells.  These findings will for a framework for modifying current clinical dosing regiments in preterm labor to reduce the adverse consequences of premature exposure to corticosteroids in-utero.

Current Research Project(s)

This project examines the developmental basis of neurological abnormalities. Several approaches are used to investigate how environmental or genetic factors influence neural stem cell behavior and how perturbing these processes leads to anatomical and behavioral abnormalities. We are particularly interested in environmental factors that act in-utero such as steroid use, cannabinoids, hypothermia etc. Specific techniques include mouse transgenics, molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, tissue culture, human umbilical cord blood cell, single nucleotide polymorphism, RNA seq and genetic databases.

Selected Publications

Research Resource: The Dexamethasone Transcriptome in Hypothalamic Embryonic Neural Stem Cells.Frahm KA, Peffer ME, Zhang JY, Luthra S, Chakka AB, Couger MB, Chandran UR, Monaghan AP, DeFranco DB. Mol Endocrinol. 2016 Jan;30(1):144-54.

Genome-wide transcript profiling reveals novel breast cancer-associated intronic sense RNAs.Kim SW, Fishilevich E, Arango-Argoty G, Lin Y, Liu G, Li Z, Monaghan AP, Nichols M, John B. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 23;10(3):e0120296..

Caveolin-1 regulates genomic action of the glucocorticoid receptor in neural stem cells.Peffer ME, Chandran UR, Luthra S, Volonte D, Galbiati F, Garabedian MJ, Monaghan AP, DeFranco DB. Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Jul;34(14):2611-23.

Wu P1, Teot L, Murdoch GH, Monaghan-Nichols P, McFadden K.  Neuropathology of 22q11 Deletion Syndrome in an Infant. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2014 17(5):386-92.

An in-depth map of polyadenylation sites in cancer. Lin Y, Li Z, Ozsolak F, Kim SW, Arango-Argoty G, Liu TT, Tenenbaum SA, Bailey T, Monaghan AP, Milos PM, John B. Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Sep 1;40(17):8460-71.

Sall1 regulates cortical neurogenesis and laminar fate specification in mice: implications for neural abnormalities in Townes-Brocks syndrome. Harrison SJ, Nishinakamura R, Jones KR, Monaghan AP. Dis Model Mech. 2012 May;5(3):351-65.

 Comprehensive polyadenylation site maps in yeast and human reveal pervasive alternative polyadenylation. Ozsolak F, Kapranov P, Foissac S, Kim SW, Fishilevich E, Monaghan AP, John B, Milos PM. Cell. 2010 Dec 10;143(6):1018-29. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.

New class of gene-termini-associated human RNAs suggests a novel RNA copying mechanism.Kapranov P, Ozsolak F, Kim SW, Foissac S, Lipson D, Hart C, Roels S, Borel C, Antonarakis SE, Monaghan AP, John B, Milos PM. Nature. 2010 Jul 29;466(7306):642-6. doi: 10.1038/nature09190.

Sall3 is required for the terminal maturation of olfactory glomerular interneurons.Harrison SJ, Parrish M, Monaghan AP. J Comp Neurol. 2008 Apr 10;507(5):1780-94.

Sall1 regulates mitral cell development and olfactory nerve extension in the developing olfactory bulb. Harrison SJ, Nishinakamura R, Monaghan AP. Cereb Cortex. 2008 Jul;18(7):1604-17.

Abnormal development of zinc-containing cortical circuits in the absence of the transcription factor Tailless. Land PW, Monaghan AP. Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2005 Aug 8;158(1-2):97-101.

The Tlx gene regulates the timing of neurogenesis in the cortex. Roy K, Kuznicki K, Wu Q, Sun Z, Bock D, Schutz G, Vranich N, Monaghan AP. J Neurosci. 2004 Sep 22;24(38):8333-45.

Loss of the Sall3 gene leads to palate deficiency, abnormalities in cranial nerves, and perinatal lethality. Parrish M, Ott T, Lance-Jones C, Schuetz G, Schwaeger-Nickolenko A, Monaghan AP. Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Aug;24(16):7102-12.

Expression of the transcription factor, tailless, is required for formation of superficial cortical layers. Land PW, Monaghan AP. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Sep;13(9):921-31.

Loss of the tailless gene affects forebrain development and emotional behavior. Roy K, Thiels E, Monaghan AP. Physiol Behav. 2002 Dec;77(4-5):595-600.

A new member of the spalt like zinc finger protein family, Msal-3, is expressed in the CNS and sites of epithelial/mesenchymal interaction. Ott T, Parrish M, Bond K, Schwaeger-Nickolenko A, Monaghan AP.= Mech Dev. 2001 Mar;101(1-2):203-7.

Defective limbic system in mice lacking the tailless gene. Monaghan AP, Bock D, Gass P, Schwäger A, Wolfer DP, Lipp HP, Schütz G. Nature. 1997 Dec 4;390(6659):515-7.

Willard Morrow, V.M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor Histology / Pathology Work M3-125 Work Phone: (816) 235-5717
Photo of Mark Nichols, Ph.D.
Mark Nichols, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor, Biomedical Sciences and Associate Dean for Research, School of Nursing and Health Studies Biomedical Sciences Home M3-217 Work Phone: (816) 235-1855
  • University of California, Berkeley, BA (Biochemistry)
  • Yale University, PhD (Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry)
  • German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL, Heidelberg, Research Associate
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Research in Dr. Nichols’ lab involved study of steroid hormone receptors, primarily the estrogen receptors alpha and beta (ERa, ERß), and their role in normal, as well as in cancer tissue. Dr. Nichols has developed in vitro model systems that allow (a) the analysis of the effect of estrogen receptor (ER) mutations, some found in breast cancers, on antihormone/SERM resistance and (b) screening of novel compounds for ER-subtype selective ligands. Better understanding of ligand activation of ERs should lead to improved endocrine therapies for treating and perhaps preventing breast and other estrogen responsive cancers.

  • He is a consultant, expert witness, and biomedical researcher in molecular pharmacology, oncology, endocrinology for 20+ years with a focus on estrogens, tamoxifen regulated Cre/Flp recombinases for gene manipulation, protein receptors, gene expression, breast cancers and endocrine tumors. Expertise includes molecular mechanisms of drug and enzyme action, molecular biology, mutagenesis, cloning, signal transduction, genomic regulation, cell cycle, apoptosis, and CME, with peer-reviewed publications in 20 biomedical journals, inventor on a biotechnology patent, knowledge of yeast genetics, pharmaceutical drug mechanisms and therapeutic development.
  • He has also done consulting for law firms- biomedical topics- scientific strategy, search and discovery. Work-product led to victory in hormone/lung cancer patient case; Consultant on estrogen/progestin HRT in breast cancer patients (2 cases); Expert witness in a patent case- generic drug application to FDA with excellent settlement; Consultant for legal cases on risks of contraceptive hormones.
  • Pitt Innovator Award, University of Pittsburgh, 2006
  • Hillman Fellow in Innovative Cancer Research, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2004-2007
  • Grant Reviewer of the Year, 2016
Continuing Education

Mini-MBA for Biomedical Scientists.
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh

From Basic Research to Therapeutic Use: What Every Scientist Needs to Know.
Limbach Entrepreneurial Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Clinical Research Coordinator Orientation.
University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, and the Office of Clinical Research.

The Commercialization Pathway: Short course series in Intellectual Property.
Offices of Enterprise Development, and Technology Management, University of Pittsburgh.

NIH Regional Seminar for NIH Program Funding and Grants, Scottsdale, AZ.

NIH Regional Seminar for NIH Program Funding and Grants, Baltimore, MD.

“Grant Writers Seminar and Workshop: Training in the Art of Grantsmanship” presented by GWSW, LLC

Selected Publications/ patent

Nichols, M. (2015) New directions for drug-resistant breast cancer: the CDK4/6 inhibitors. Future Med Chem. 2015 Aug 7:1473-1481.

Kim SW, Fishilevich E, Arango-Argoty G, Lin Y, Liu G, Li Z, Monaghan AP, Nichols M, & John B. (2015) Genome-wide transcript profiling reveals novel breast cancer-associated intronic sense RNAs. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0120296. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0120296, March 23, 2015.

Nichols M, Cheng P, Liu Y, Kanterewicz B, Hershberger PA, McCarty Jr KS. (2010) Breast cancer derived M543V mutation at helix 12 of ERa inverts response to estrogen and SERMs, Breast Cancer Research & Treatment, 120:761-8. [Epub 2009 Jun 13 ahead of print]

Kim SW, Li Z, Moore PS, Monaghan AP, Chang Y, Nichols M, and John B. (2010) A sensitive nonradioactive northern blot method to detect small RNAs. Nucleic Acids Research, 38(7): e98. Epub 2010 Jan 15 (A top ten paper in NAR 2010-2012)

Nichols M and Steinman RA. (2009) A recombinase-based palindrome generator capable of producing random shRNA libraries, J Biotechnol, 143:79-84.

Nichols M and Steinman RA.  U.S. Patent 7,524,653 (awarded March 2009, filed May 2003).  Small interfering RNA libraries and methods of synthesis and use.  USPTO, 2009.

Hershberger PA, Stabile LP, Kanterewicz B, Rothstein ME, Gubish CT, Land S, Shuai Y, Siegfried JM, & Nichols M. (2009) Estrogen receptor beta (ERß) subtype-specific ligands increase transcription, p44/p42 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation and growth in human non-small cell lung cancer cells. J Steroid Biochem Molec Biol.116: 102-109.

Nichols M. (2007) The fight against tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer therapy: a new target in the battle? Molecular Interventions, 7:13-6.

Bart Patenaude, M.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor Biomedical Sciences Work M3-415 Work Phone: (816) 235-1984
Photo of Nilofer Qureshi, Ph.D.
Nilofer Qureshi, Ph.D.
Director – Molecular & Cellular Immunology, Professor Immunology Work MG-CO5E Home Phone: (816) 235-1965
  • Ph. D. in Physiological Chemistry, Medical School, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
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Research Interests:

To develop novel therapeutic approaches to treat septic shock and inflammation.

We were the first to establish the complete structure of the lipid A moiety of the enterobacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), developed monophosphoryl lipid A as an effective adjuvant and Rhodobacter sphaeroides diphosphoryl lipid A as a powerful LPS antagonist in both in vitro and in vivo systems. Our recent research centers on the biology of LPS, especially, with regards to its effect on the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) in macrophages and septic shock. We initially demonstrated that the LPS-induced cytokines are dependent on the composition of proteasome’s subunits present in the macrophages. We are working on a novel therapeutic approach for septic shock based upon proteasome inhibitors and antibiotics. We are also establishing the identity of ubiquitinated proteins in the LPS-induced signal transduction that are degraded by the proteasome in murine macrophages and human cells. Our conclusion from these studies is that the proteasome is a central regulator of macrophage function and inflammation and is involved in several diseases such as septic shock, cardiovascular problems, cancer and asthma.


Selected Publications : out of a total of over 130

Qureshi N, Perera P-Y, Shen J, Zhang G, Lenschat A, Spptter G, Morrison DC, Vogel SN. The proteasome as a LPS-binding protein in macrophages: Differential effects of proteasome inhibition on LPS-induced events. J Immunol. 2003, 171:1515-1525.

Qureshi N, Vogel SN, Van Way III, Papasian C, Qureshi AA, Morrison DC. The proteasome, a central regulator of Inflammation and macrophage function. Immunologic Research 2005, 31/3:243-260.

Shen J, Reis J, Morrison DC, Papasian C, Sreekumar R, Kolbert C, Qureshi AA, Vogel SN and Qureshi N: Key Inflammatory signapng pathways are regulated by the proteasome. Shock 2006, 25:472-484.

Reis J, Guan X-Q, Kisselev AF, Papasian CJ, Qureshi AA, Morrison DC, Van Way C III, Vogel SN, and Qureshi N. LPS-induced formation of immunoproteasomes: TNF-α and nitric oxide production are regulated by altered composition of proteasome-active sites. Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics (in press 2010).

Reis J, Hassan F, Guan X-Q, Shen J, Monaco JJ, Papasian CJ, Qureshi AA, Van Way C III, Vogel SN, Morrison DC, and Qureshi N. LMP Subunits of the proteasomes regulate the TRIF/TRAM pathway. Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics (in press 2010).

Chad D. Touchberry, Ph.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor Physiology, Biomedical Sciences Work Phone: (816) 235-5992
  • University of Missouri–Kansas City – Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014)
  • University of Kansas – Ph.D. (2009)
  • Midwestern State University – M.S. (2004)
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania – B.S. (2000)
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Dr. Touchberry joined the Department of Basic Medical Science in the School of medicine in 2016. He currently teaches physiology in the Human Structure Function series taught to the medical school students, as well as physiology courses in the Anesthesiologist Assistant and Physician Assistant programs. Dr. Touchberry is an expert in the fields of skeletal and cardiac muscle physiology. His research has focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of cardiovascular disease and the molecular mechanisms responsible for exercise-induced protection from chronic disease. Specifically, Dr. Touchberry has an interest in elucidating the role or uremic toxins in cardiovascular mortality. Moreover, has a long maintained in interest in the role of Heat Shock Proteins in skeletal muscle adaptation and protection from disease. Prior to coming to UMKC he ran the Exercise Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory at the University of Memphis, where he also served as the director and lecturer of courses focused on human physiology, metabolism, and chronic disease. His teaching experience spans over 10 years at the graduate and undergraduate level. He is a member of the American Physiological Society.

Recent Publications

Wacker, M.J., Touchberry, C.D., Silswal, N., Brotto, L., Elmore, C.J., Bonewald, L.F., Andresen, J., Brotto, M. Skeletal muscle, but not cardiovascular function is altered in a mouse model of autosomal recessive hypophosphatemic rickets. Front Physiol. 7:173, 2016.

Graham, Z., Touchberry, C.D., Gupte, A., Bomhoff, G., Geiger, P., and Gallagher, P. Changes in alpha7beta1 integrin signaling following eccentric exercise in heat shocked rat soleus muscle. Muscle and Nerve. 23(6): epub, 2015.

Touchberry, C.D., Elmore, C.J., Srinivas, S., Tchikrizov, V., Swan, H.K., Wetmore, L.A., and Wacker, M.J. Thromboxane A2 does not induce markers of pathological hypertrophy, but does mediate cell death via the IP3 pathway. BMC Pharm Tox. 15:73, 2014.

Silswal, N., Touchberry, C.D., Daniels, D.R., McCarthy, D.L., Andresen, J., Stubbs, J.R., and Wacker, M.J. FGF23 directly reduces endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and nitric oxide bioavailability. American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism. 26(4): epub, 2014.

Vardiman, P., Jefferies, L., Touchberry, C., and Gallagher, P. Intramuscular heating through fluidotherapy and heat shock protein response. Journal of Athletic Training. 48(3): 353-361, 2013.

Gallagher, P.M., Touchberry, C.D., Teson, K., McCabe, E., Tehel, M., Wacker, M.J. Effects of an acute bout of resistance exercise on fiber-type specific GLUT4 and IGF-1R expression. Applied Physiology, Nutrtion, and Metabolism. 35(5): 581-586, 2013.

Touchberry, C.D., Tchikrizov, V., Green, T.M., Mao, T., Carney, B., Mannix, J., Bonewald, L.F., Wetmore, L.A., Stubbs, J.R., Wacker, M.J. FGF23 is a novel regulator of intracellular calcium and cardiac contractility in addition to cardiac hypertrophy. American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism. 304(8):E863-873, 2013.

Romero-Suarez, S., Mo, C., Touchberry, C., Lara, N., Baker, K., Craig, R., Brotto, L., Andresen, J., Wacker, M., Kaja, S., Abreu, E., Dillmann, W., Mestril, R., Brotto, M., and Nosek, T. Hyperthermia: From Diagnostic and Treatments to New Discoveries. Recent Patents in Biotechnology. 6(3): 172-183, 2012.

Touchberry, C.D., Gupte, A.A., Bomhoff, G.L., Geiger, P.C., Graham, Z.A., and Gallagher, P.M. Acute heat stress prior to downhill running may enhance skeletal muscle remodeling. Cell Stress and Chaperones. 17(6): 693-705, 2012.

Touchberry, C.D., Elmore, C.J., and Wacker, M.J. HL-1 cells exhibit store operated calcium entry. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 416(1-2): 45-50, 2011.

Photo of Michael Wacker, Ph.D.
Michael Wacker, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Medical Student Research Associate Teaching Professor, Vice-chair Biomedical SciencePhysiology, Biomedical Sciences Work Phone: (816) 235-6069
  • University of Kansas – Ph.D. (2003)
  • Texas Christian University – B.S. (1997)
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Dr. Wacker joined the Department of Basic Medical Science in the School of Medicine in 2007. He currently teaches physiology in the Human Structure Function series taught to the medical school students, as well as physiology courses in the Anesthesiologist Assistant program and the Physician Assistant program. Dr. Wacker is a member of the Muscle Biology Group at UMKC with expertise in cardiac muscle physiology. The interests in his laboratory focus on agents that alter cardiac muscle function and calcium homeostasis in cardiac myocytes. Acutely, changes in calcium homeostasis can lead to arrhythmias and alteration of cardiac muscle contractility. More chronic alterations in calcium, however, can lead to remodeling of the heart as observed in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Specifically, Dr. Wacker is interested in endocrine/paracrine agents which may directly alter calcium changes in cardiac myocytes via signaling mediated by membrane receptors. Recently, Dr. Wacker and the Muscle Biology Group have worked in collaboration with the UMKC Bone Biology Group on a NIH-funded project exploring mechanisms of bone-muscle crosstalk. Dr. Wacker’s laboratory has concentrated on a hormone, FGF23, released by bone cells that may play a role in directly altering cardiac function during chronic kidney disease. Additional interests in the laboratory focus on how thromboxane A2, intracellular phosphoinositide signaling, and fibrate drugs may directly alter cardiac muscle function.

Research Interests

My laboratory is interested in agents that alter cardiac muscle function and calcium homeostasis in cardiac myocytes. I am specifically interested in endocrine/paracrine agents which may directly alter cardiac function. One main area of focus currently in the lab is on hormones/toxins (e.g. FGF23) that are elevated during chronic kidney disease that may cause heart disease. Typical experiments in the lab center around measuring cardiac contractility/ function, Langendorf perfusion of isolated hearts, calcium imaging of cardiac myocytes, cardiac gene/protein changes, exploring cardiac myocyte signal transduction mechanisms like IP3 signaling, and blood vessel function.


Recent Publications

Gallagher PM, Touchberry CD, Teson K, McCabe E, Tehel M, Wacker MJ. Effects of an acute bout of resistance exercise on fiber-type specific GLUT4 and IGF-1R expression. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 38 (5): 581-586, 2013. PMID: 23668768

Touchberry CD, Green TM, Tchikrizov V, Mannix JE, Mao TF, Carney BW, Girgis M, Vincent RJ, Wetmore LA, Dawn B, Bonewald L, Stubbs JR, Wacker MJ. FGF23 is a novel regulator of intracellular calcium and cardiac contractility in addition to cardiac hypertrophy. American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism. 304 (8): E863-873. 2013. PMID: 23443925

Bonewald LF, Wacker MJ. FGF23 Production by Osteocytes. Pediatric Nephrology. 28 (4): 563-568. 2013. PMID: 22983423

Silswal N, Parelkar NK, Wacker MJ, Badr M, Andresen J.   PPARa-Independent Arterial Smooth Muscle Relaxant Effects of PPARa Agonists. PPAR Research. 302495. 2012. PMID: 23008696

Wacker MJ, Tevis O, Hanke J, Howard T, Gilbert W, Orr JA. Characterization of thromboxane A2 receptor and TRPV1 mRNA in cultured sensory neurons. Neuroscience Letters. 515(1):12-7. 2012. PMID: 22425716

Silswal N, Parelkar N, Wacker MJ, Brotto M, Andresen J. Phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate increases intracellular free calcium in arterial smooth muscle cells and elicits vasocontraction. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 300 (6): H2016-26. 2011. PMID: 21421826

Touchberry CD, Elmore CJ, Nguyen TM, Andresen JJ, Zhao X, Orange M, Weisleder N, Brotto M, Claycomb WC, Wacker MJ. Store-Operated Calcium Entry is Present in HL-1 Cardiomyocytes and Contributes to Resting Calcium. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 416 (1-2): 45-50. 2011. PMID: 22079292

Touchberry CD, Bales IK, Stone JK, Rohrberg TJ, Parelkar NK, Nguyen T, Fuentes O, Liu X, Qu CK, Andresen JJ, Valdivia HH, Brotto M, Wacker MJ. Phosphatidylinositol 3,5-Bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P2) Potentiates Cardiac Contractility Via Activation of the Ryanodine Receptor. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 285 (51): 40312-21. 2010. PMID: 20947503

Photo of John Qiang Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
John Qiang Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor Departments of Anesthesiology & Biomedical Sciences Work M3-225 Work Phone: (816) 235-1907

Westport Anesthesia / Missouri Endowed Chair for Research

  • M.D. Degree: Tongji Medical University, Wuhan, China
  • MS Degree: Tongi Medical University, Wuhan, China
  • Ph.D, Degree: Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai China
  • Fellowship: Beijing Medical University, Beijing China
  • Fellowship: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
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John Q. Wang is a Westport Anesthesia/Missouri Endowed Chair in the Department of Anesthesiology and a Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Basic Medical Science at UMKC School of Medicine since 2004. He earned his medical degree in Tongji Medical University in 1982 and his Ph.D. in Shanghai Medical University in 1988. Dr. Wang’s research primarily focuses on drug abuse and addiction. He currently leads a research team supported by NIH grants to conduct animal experiments from molecule to behavior and from in vitro to in vivo. In addition, Dr. Wang is interested in elucidating molecular mechanisms for anesthesia induction.



NIH R01, DA10355, PI: Qiang Wang, Metabotropic glutamate regulation of amphetamine action, $1,698,750.00, 2013-2018.

NIH R01, MH61469, PI: Qiang Wang, Molecular regulation of metabotropic glutamate receptors in striatal neurons, $1,887,500.00, 2015-2020.


Selected Publications

Yang JH, Mao LM, Choe ES, Wang JQ (2017) Synaptic ERK2 phosphorylates and regulates metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 in vitro and in neurons. Mol Neurobiol in press. PMC5410195.

Xue B, Chen EC, He N, Jin DZ, Mao LM, Wang JQ (2017) Integrated regulation of AMPA glutamate receptor phosphorylation in the striatum by dopamine and acetylcholine. Neuropharmacology 112:57-65. PMC5055431.

Mao LM, Wang JQ (2017) Antagonism of dopamine D2 receptors alters phosphorylation of Fyn in the rat medial prefrontal cortex. J Mol Neurosci 61:524-530. PMC5360503.

Mao LM, Wang HH, Wang JQ (2017) Antagonism of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors alters synaptic ERK phosphorylation in the rat forebrain. Neurochem Res42:1202-1210. PMC5405859.

Mao LM, Geosling R, Penman B, Wang JQ (2017) Local substrates of non-receptor tyrosine kinases at synaptic sites in neurons. Acta Physiologica Sinica in press.



Faris HJ, He N, Wang JQ. Regulation of Src family kinases in the rat striatum by muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. Great Plains Honors Council Conference, Beaumont, TX, March 31-April 2, 2017.

Faris HJ, Mao LM, Wang JQ. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors inhibit Src family kinase phosphorylation in the rat striatum. Health Sciences Student Research Summit. University of Missouri Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, April 26, 2017.