Research Faculty

This is the list of ‘Available Research Faculty’ at Emory University and the Atlanta University Center (AUC) complex of schools. Fellows are encouraged to contact potential research mentors listed on their own. Only those faculty on the list or those approved in writing by a member of the FIRST Executive Committee as well as the proposed mentor’s Chairman should be contacted by FIRST fellows. 

The Atlanta University Center Consortium schools include: Clark Atlanta University,  Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College

  • Francisco J. Alvarez, PhD, Associate Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Physiology—Research Interests: Development and plasticity of synaptic circuits in functional networks. Focus on inhibitory synapses and interneurons of the spinal  cord motor circuits; their origin, specification and maturation during development and alterations following injury or neurodegenerative disease.
  • David R. Archer, PhD, Associate Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology)—Research Interests: Stem cell therapy for the treatment of inherited and acquired diseases.
  • Lawrence H. Boise, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology—Research Interests: The basis mechanisms of apoptosis and translation to better define the mechanism(s) of action of therapeutic agents in multiple myeloma.
  • Lou Ann S. Brown, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics (Neonatology)—Research Interests: Impact of chronic oxidative stress (adult and fetal) on pulmonary cellular phenotype and function.
  • Tamara Caspary, PhD, Associate Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics—Research Interests: Mammalian neural development, cilia-dependent signaling.
  • Ann Marjorie Chahroudi, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics (Infectious Disease)—Research Interests: The primary research focus of my laboratory is to find a cure for HIV using nonhuman primate models to investigate HIV/SIV reservoirs.
  • Thomas F Clasen, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health—Research Interests: Health impact evaluations of water, sanitation and household air pollution interventions in low-income countries
  • Karen N. Conneely, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics—Research Interests: Biomarkers and genetic variants predisposing to disease; DNA methylation as a mediator between environment and phenotype.
  • Victor G. Corces, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics—Research Interests: Role of chromatin structure and nuclear organization in epigenetic phenomena; mechanisms of transcriptional control in Drosophila.
  • Paul A Dawson, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics (Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition)—Research Interests: Physiologic and molecular mechanisms controlling bile acid signaling in the gut-liver axis and their contribution to hepatic, gastrointestinal, and metabolic disease.
  • Roger B. Deal, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory College, Department of Biology—Research Interests: Parasite virulence evolution, animal self-medication and evolution of drug resistance.
  • Arthur W. English, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology—Research Interests: Regulation of protein synthesis; ribosome structure & function; regulation by toxins, antibiotics, frameshifting elements, and quality control mechanisms.
  • Victor Faundez, MD, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology—Research Interests: Understanding the molecular genetic basis and mechanisms of epilepsy and related neuropsychiatric co-morbidities.
  • Laura Finzi, PhD, Professor, Emory College, Department of Physics—Research Interests: RNA biology in neuron and glia function in normal brain development and brain diseases
  • Nicole Marie Gerardo, PhD, Associate Professor, Emory College, Department of Biology—Research Interests: Applied research in water, sanitation, hygiene, and health
  • Melissa M. Gilbert-Ross, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology—Research Interests: My lab combines structural and biochemical techniques with yeast genetics to decipher how an abundant class of small noncoding RNAs (snoRNAs) regulate gene expression at the translational level.
  • Joanna B. Goldberg, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics(Pulmonology, Allergy/Immunology, Cystic Fibrosis and Sleep/Apnea)—Research Interests: Anthropogenic environmental change: biodiversity, ecology and emergence of pathogens of people, wildlife, and domestic animals.
  • Marcin Grabowicz, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology—Research Interests: We utilize appetitive conditioning, high-resolution microscopy, viral-mediated gene silencing, pharmacological strategies, and animal models of depression and addiction to better understand why adolescence serves as a vulnerability period for these diseases.
  • David M. Guidot, MD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Medicine (Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine)—Research Interests: T and B cell responses during chronic infection and immunotherapy to prevent virally induced hepatic consequences.
  • Karmella Haynes, PhD, Associate Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Emory/GA Tech—Research Interests: Mechanisms of signal transduction by neurotransmitter and hormone receptors.
  • Curtis J Henry, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology)—Research Interests:
  • Shawn Hochman, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Physiology—Research Interests: Abnormal dopamine signalling in dystonia and Parkinson's disease
  • David John Katz, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology—Research Interests: Protein kinase and metabolic signaling in tumorigenesis and tumor metastasis using translational and preclinical studies.
  • Uriel Dan Kitron, PhD, MPH, Goodrich C. White Professor, Emory College, Department of Environmental Sciences—Research Interests:
  • Dorothy A. Lerit, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology—Research Interests: Molecular basis for intercellular communication and barrier function in lung health and disease.
  • Karen Levy, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Emory School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health—Research Interests: My primary research interests revolve around identifying the genetic causes and risk factors for craniofacial birth defects, such as orofacial clefts that are among the most common of all human birth defects. One of the particularly intriguing aspects of orofacial clefts is the wide range of phenotypic expression and reduced penetrance in families that results in a blurring of the distinction between syndromic and nonsyndromic forms of the disorder. We use a combination of deep phenotyping and rich genetic data to not only identify novel genetic risk factors for this orofacial clefting, but also to understand fundamental questions of phenotypic heterogeneity, penetrance, and variable expressivity.
  • Lian Li, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology—Research Interests: Race, Psychosocial Factors and CVD in African American Women
  • Bo Liang, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry—Research Interests: My research interests focus on integrated approaches of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), x-ray crystallography and fluorescence light microscopy to uncover the molecular mechanisms of human disease associated macromolecular machineries. I am also interested in sampling and deciphering the structural and dynamic aspects of molecules that are critical for their biological function in real time at single molecule level. I have the motivation, expertise, leadership, and training essential to successfully lead the research programs in the Liang laboratory at Emory.
  • Robert C. Liu, PhD, Associate Professor, Emory College, Department of Biology—Research Interests: My lab specializes in both the molecular and computational aspects of Ancient DNA research in humans and other animals. By utilizing an integrative approach, including ancient whole genomes, statistical modeling, and functional methods, the lab examines genetic fluctuations that have occurred in different environments over time, thereby pointing to genetic traits that can inform more fine-grained hypotheses of adaptation.
  • Donna L. Maney, PhD, Professor, Emory College, Department of Psychology—Research Interests: Host/parasite and symbiotic interactions, intelligent materials and the living/non-living continuum, origins of complex molecular functions.
  • Lauren E. McCullough, PhD, MSPH, Assistant Professor, Emory School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology—Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis; Bacterial defense against antimicrobial peptides; Gastrointestinal pathogenesis.
  • Kenneth H. Moberg, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology—Research Interests: Cytokines as mediators of neuropsychiatric disorders including depression
  • Levi Morran, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory College, Department of Biology—Research Interests: Genetics, Cell, and Developme ntal Biology Population Biology, Evolution, and Ecology.
  • Jennifer G. Mulle, MHS, PhD, Associate Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics—Research Interests: Experimental evolution, mating system evolution, coevolutionary dynamics of antagonistic and mutualistic interactions.
  • Ilya M. Nemenman, PhD, Professor, Emory College, Department of Physics—Research Interests: Molecular events in prokaryotic-eukaryotic interactions.
  • Rohan H C Palmer, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory College, Department of Psychology—Research Interests: Structural biology and molecular evolution of receptors, transporters and other drug targets.
  • Manu O. Platt, PhD, Associate Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Emory/GA Tech—Research Interests:  To fuse engineering, cell biology, and physiology to understand how cells sense, respond, and remodel their immediate mechanical and biochemical environments for repair and regeneration in health and disease, then to translate that knowledge to clinics domestically and internationally to address global health disparities.
  • Renee D. Read, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology—Research Interests: Natural products drug discovery for novel inhibitors of bacterial pathogenesis and virulence pathways.
  • Winfield S. Sale, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology—Research Interests: The Rieder lab investigates nuclear domain formation and function using Drosophila. The efficient formation of domains is critical for gene regulation and development.
  • Ignacio Sanz, MD, Professor and Division Director, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Medicine(Rheumatology)—Research Interests: Development and evaluation of programs that optimize sexual health for women
  • Alicia K. Smith, PhD, Associate Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics—Research Interests: Epidemiology of complex human disorders including chromosome nondisjunction, Down syndrome, reproductive health and fragile X-associated disorders.
  • Samuel J. Sober, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory College, Department of Biology—Research Interests: Synaptic plasticity, pathophysiology and therapeutics of Parkinson's disease and related movement disorders.
  • Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology—Research Interests:  Cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention, in particular the study of social and behavioral determinants of cardiovascular disease and women's health. A focus of her research program is the role of emotional factors, in particular depression and psychological stress, on cardiovascular risk and the interplay between psychological and biological factors on cardiovascular disease.
  • Nicole Marie Vega, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory College, Department of Biology—Research Interests: To understand the major determinants in the occurrence, transmission and local propagation of major vector-borne and parasitic diseases.
  • David Weinshenker, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics—Research Interests: Neurodevelopmental aspects of psychopathology; role of neuroendocrinology in mental disorders.
  • Samantha M. Yeligar, MS, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Medicine (Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine)—Research Interests: My long-term research goal is to understand the pivotal role of epigenetic regulation, especially various forms of covalent DNA modifications, in mammalian neurodevelopment and neuronal functions; as well as how dysregulation of these processes may contribute to brain disorders. We are particularly interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying the dysregulation of DNA hydroxymethylcytosine (hmC) in the development and onset of neurodegenerative disorders such as fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) and Alzheimer's disease (AD), as well as the roles of a novel DNA adenine methylation in neurodevelopment, stress response and neuropsychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The work in my lab will combine genetics, genomics, neuroscience, molecular biology and bioinformatics to study these diseases using various models, including mouse, Drosophila, and human patient-derived iPSCs.
  • Chris Yun, PhD, Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Medicine (Digestive Diseases)—Research Interests: Adversity (violence), women's and children's health, empowerment prevention interventions in LMICs and underserved populations