Texas Tech University

Potential Mentors

Mentor Name Email Campus Department Office Scholar Preference Scholars Supported Mentor Experience Prerequisites Research Projects
Allen, Lindalinda.j.allen@ttu.eduTTUMathematics & Statistics;MA 11712014-Robert Wallette
Altenberg, Guillermog.altenberg@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCPhysiology (MED);TTUHSC Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics, room 5A158Research;
I have been mentor of 7 graduate students (6 already graduated) and 2 undergraduates (1 international, 1 from Texas A&M). I have participated in 15 committees (Ph.D.s and Masters), and also have mentored 3 Masters students and many postdoctoral fellows. None needed. Chemistry, biochemistry and/or cell biology will help.

Connexins form gap junctions that mediate electrical and chemical communication between neighboring cells. They are involved in development, as well as in physiological and pathophysiological processes. I have a poject appropriate for undergraduate students that aims to develop a high-throughput assay for connexin blockers.

Alvina, Karinakarina.alvina@ttu.eduTTU2901 Main St. Biology Building Room 005Research;I have mentored students throughout my career, starting when I was a PhD students. Since starting at TTU in Sept. 2016 I have had over 10 undergraduates doing research in my lab and I truly enjoy it!Good background in physiology and/or cell biology, chemistry and physics

​1. Modulation of hippocampal function in conditions of chronic stress. The hippocampus is one of the brain regions directly involved in learning and memory formation. It is also one of the most sensitive areas to stress. We will study the effects of chronic and acute stress in specific hippocampal subfields.

2. Early life stress and hippocampus. It is a well-documented fact that adverse conditions during early development can cause dramatic changes in the brain however the precise mechanism involved are far from clear. We will use a known paradigm for early stress (maternal deprivation) in order to fully characterize changes in synaptic function in the hippocampus of adult rodents exposed to maternal deprivation.

3. The obese brain. A number of recent findings have shown how signals coming from the gut microbiota can actually modulate hormone systems and the brain. Even though this communication is essential to maintain the health of the host, it has recently been associated with a number of diseases, including obesity and even neurodevelopmental disorders. We will use a rodent model of obesity and will study brain function, both from a behavioral and cellular perspective.

Anderson, Toddtodd.anderson@ttu.eduTTU ReeseEnvironmental Toxicology;Reese Center Bldg. 555 101AResearch;
00-01 Jaclyn Canas
01-02 Nick Miersma
04-06 Christina Freitag
I have had 3 HHMI Fellows since I joined the Tech faculty in 1997: Jaclyn Canas, Nick Miersma, and Christina Freitag.   I have had science teacher interns (Suzy Dunnum, Marianne Dobrovolny) as well as high school students.  I have also had undergraduates from the Honors College working in my lab. I do not currently have undergraduates working in my lab (but I'd like some).
I look for students with good backgrounds in biology AND chemistry. Conducting research at the undergraduate level also requires a good attitude and the ability to be flexible.

Fate and Effects of Nanomaterials (Fullerene, C60):
Organic nanomaterials have widespread applications which are likely to increase exponentially in the future, so it is critical to characterize the exposure potential of these emerging applications as early as possible.  Our objective is to determine critical environmental fate and transformation capacities of engineered nanomaterials using unmodified C60 (fullerene) as a model compound.  This project follows the paradigm of environmental fate studies for pesticide registration and the advantage of using radiotracers (14C-labeled compounds) in environmental chemistry studies.  We will determine partitioning behavior (Kow), soil (aerobic) and aquatic (aerobic and anaerobic) metabolism, adsorption-desorption, and phototransformation of uniformly labeled 14C-C60.  Our rationale for these relatively simple studies is that the determination of this basic environmental chemistry information on C60 would provide a strong scientific framework upon which to establish appropriate environmental regulations.  Our rationale for following the pesticide registration paradigm is that regulatory agencies, including EPA, are familiar with using this type of environmental data in exposure and risk assessments and in modeling programs such as PRZM/EXAMS.  At the completion of this project, it is our expectation that we will have characterized some of the basic environmental chemistry (fate, transport, and transformation) processes for C60.  The primary impact of our anticipated findings would be filling data gaps related to the transport and transformation (exposure) potential of C60.

Organochlorine Contaminants in Reptiles:
Most industrialized countries have imposed restrictions on the use and disposal of organochlorine (OC) pesticides. However, regulations governing the production, distribution, and use of chemicals in many developing countries are scant or inadequately enforced. DDT is still easily available in many South Asian countries and is reportedly still used for pest control in some countries in Central America. Despite the high use of pesticides and other chemicals in developing countries, few studies have been conducted concerning exposure and response of tropical wildlife to these compounds. My group conducts analyses of various tissue samples (eggs, fat) from crocodiles and alligators in order to better characterize to exposure of these organisms to OCs. We work with other scientists that are determining the effects of that exposure. 

Baker, Robertrobert.baker@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 606DResearch;
92-93 Jeremy Hudgeons
94-95 Amanda Wright
98-99 Mark O'Neill
98-99 Lara Wiggins
99-00 Lindsay Kirk
99-00 April West
01-02 Amy Bickham
02-03 Elizabeth Phillips
02-03 Ryan Foresman
03-04 Heather Meeks
04-06 Genevieve Kendall
12-?? Barbara Burton
Amanda Wright, Lara Wiggins, April West, Jeremy Hudgeons and Amy Bickham were Howard Hughes scholars in my lab. Lara and April are in medical school, Amanda is working on a Ph.D. at Harvard and Amy is attending graduate school at UT Austin. Jeremy is employed by the US Agricultural Service. Papers published by these HH scholars include 6 by Lara Wiggins, 3 by Amanda Wright, 1 by Jeremy Hudgeons and 2 by Amy Bickham. Copies of these are available from Monya Wright at 742-2702.I expect a Howard Hughes scholar to be interested in learning and willing to cooperate and collaborate with others. An interest in Molecular Biology, either in Molecular Genetics or Ecotoxicology is the most compatable combinations.
Genetic Consequences of Living at Chornobyl:
We're studying the mutation rate, biodiversity, and other consequences of living in the environment created by the meltdown of reactor 4 at Chornobyl. If you're interested, we can give you a set of reprints to look over.
Systematics of Mammals:
We are exploring relationships among various groups of mammals to better understand the biodiversity of the New World tropics. Our work has provided a better understanding of how vampire bats evolved from general insectivores and how there have been multiple adaptations to feeding on flowers. We also have written a paper on the use of genetic information to recognize biological species.
Boal, Clintclint.boal@ttu.eduTTURange, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management;Agriculture Sciences 218 BResearch;I am new to the TTU/HHMI program. Most of my mentoring experience has been with graduate students and with undergraduates that have volunteered to assist me in field oriented research. Some of these have gone on to gain employed positions with me, and many have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in wildlife conservation. Requirements are: Enthusiasm, curiosity, reliability, an interest in conservation of wildlife
Coursework prerequisites: BIOL 1403, BIOL 1404.
Current research projects that an undergraduate may beome involved in include:

1. Ecology of Mississippi Kites in Urban Landscapes.
This study is examining site and pair fidelity, reproductive output, habitat selection, and behavioral ecology of Mississippi Kites (a small, falcon-like raptor) in Lubbock and adjacent natural areas.

2. Using American Kestrels and Burrowing Owls as Sentinal Species for Environmental Contaminant Monitoring. 
This study is currently in development with cooperators from TIEHH. The objectives will be to assess presence and types of environmental contaminants across the landscape of the southern plains by non-lethal sampling of tissues from kestrels and burrowing owls, two small raptors with diets that include invertebrates, small reptiles, small birds, and small mammals. Correlations between pesticide and heavy metal loads to local landscape uses will be made, in addition to influences of contaminants on reproductive success.     
Borrego, JoaquinJoaquin.Borrego@ttu.eduTTUPsychology; Research;
Borst, Stefaniestefanie.borst@ttu.eduTTUHolden Hall 101Research; Education;I have mentored undergrads and graduate students, and published with them.Have an interest in studying how people learn; I study pedagogies for teaching; STEM, languages, study abroad, using technology for teaching. No "lab" - I do action research in classroom settings, and run studies in the CMLL Language Lab. Students will develop research design skills and writing skills.

​Using technology to teach language

Using technology to reduce classroom anxiety

Best practices in retention and student success

Best practices in STEM retention and advising

Bradley, Robertrobert.bradley@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology BIOL 605AResearch;
98-99 Roslyn Martinez
00-01 Darin Bell
02-03 Nevin Durish
06-07 Bobby Baker
08-   Erica Vargas
13-Alexander Norton
14-Maria Nunez
I have mentored 6 HHMI students and 21other undergraduate students

New student Allie Clinton 2009- present
Students should have an interest in Molecular Systematics or Mammalogy.
My Research Interests Are: Systematics and molecular evolution in mammals; particularly in geomyoid and simodontine rodents. Examination of hybrid zones between genetically distinct taxa; including isolating mechanisms and the dynamics of genetic introgression. Determining the origin of hybrizymes generated from hybridization events. Chromosomal evolution and how changes in chromosome structure relate to models and mechanisms of speciation. Examination of the origin and evolution of rodent-borne viruses; especially in the use of rodent phylogenies and genetic structure to predict the transmission and evolution of the virus. Epidemiology and zoonoses of mammalian-borne viruses. Growth and utilization of natural history collections, especially those pertaining to mammals. Development of bioinformatics and how this field can better be interphased with natural history collections. Natural history and distributions of mammalian species. Genetic Species Concept and how it applies to mammals.
Eric Vaegas is working on the phylogenetic systematics of the genus Geomys (pocket gophers).  Erica is developing a nuclear gene (alcohol dehydrogenase) as a new molecular marker.

Allie Clinton is investigating the epidemiology and ecology of the Muleshoe hantaviruses.  Allie is screeening the host species and attemptng to isolate and characterize this virus.
Brashears, Mindymindy.brashears@ttu.eduTTUAnimal Science & Food Technology;AFS 202Research;
My laboratory has trained undergraduate students from the Animal & Food Sciences, Biology, Microbiology, Engineering, and multiple areas of discipline, with techniques in microbiology and studies related to food-borne pathogens. We generally have 6-7student workers, in our laboratory, many of whom assist graduate students and technicians with numerous projects.  In the past I have been a HHMI mentor for students and would enjoy the opportunity to do so again.The focus of our laboratory is on food microbiology, and specifically food-borne pathogens. We currently have studies on methods to reduce the prevalence of pathogenic organisms, such as Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Salmonella species, Listeria monocytogenes, etc. in pre- and post- harvest conditions. Alternative methods to inhibit pathogenic organisms, using probiotic organisms, are a major area of research for our laboratory. Additional studies include, evaluating the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, and potential transmission methods within livestock populations and methods to contain or reduce resistance patterns; vectors for food-borne pathogen transmission; mechanisms of pathogenesis and virulence to inhibitory agents, used in pre- and post- harvest products. Our laboratory has collaborations within the faculty of Animal & Food Sciences, including the International Center for Food Industry Excellence (ICFIE, Director Dr. Mindy Brashears), TTUHSC, USDA, multi-state, and international collaborations. Our current funding for ICFIE is in excess of 6 million dollars, which include collaborative projects with our laboratory. Our lab consists of 15 graduate students, 5 undergraduate workers, 3 technicians, and 2 post-doctoral senior research associates along with a reseach assistant professor.
The research opportunities available are focused on antimicrobial interventions to control food borne pathogens in meat products.  The focus will be on investigating metchanisms of inhibition of pathogens and also the physiological changes that occur within the pathogen itself to allow it to adapt and survive after exposure to interventions.
Brown, Amandaamanda.mv.brown@ttu.eduTTUBiology 312Research;I have mentored undergraduates and graduate students in genomics, molecular biology, and bioinformatics, both recently in my own lab at Texas Tech, as well as in previous labs when I was a postdoc at Oregon State University and University of Montana.Introductory Biology (e.g. BIOL 1401 and 1402 or 1403 and 1404, or equivalent)

​1. Genomic study of Mosquito-Zika Virus interaction with the microbiome and Wolbachia endosymbiont used to control this disease.

2. Metagenomics of beneficial disease-suppressive microbes in banana plants.

3. Genomics of intimately co-evolved endosymbionts in sap-feeding insects and nematodes.

4. Multi-omic analyses of microbiomes in animals.

Bugarel, Mariemarie.bugarel@ttu.eduTTUExperimental Sciences Building 351Research;I have been the mentor of an undergraduate student, that worked with me for 4 years. She was trained in microbiology, molecular biology, good lab practices.None, just the willing to learn about microbiologie, molecular biology and food safety

​1-Molecular characterization of yeasts isolated from wine process

2-Molecular serotyping of Salmonella

3-Macrophage infection assay with bacterial strains

4-Antimicrobial resistance characterization using phenotypic and molecular methods

5-Infection of nematodes with bacterial strains

6-Whole genome sequencing

Carr, Jimjames.carr@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;DBS 02CResearch;
93-94 Kimberly Gregg-Flores
95-96 Amy Elmore
99-00 Cary Brown
01-02 Paula Zozzaro
03-04 Nafisa Ahmed
03-04 Omar Shoukfeh
04-05 Jeffery Thatcher
06-07 Sarah Bulin
07-08 Ian Etheredge
14 Carlos Garcia
I have successfully mentored 9 HHMI undergraduate students since 1993. My HHMI students have co-authored several peer-reviewed papers and been involved in several national presentations. I seek to find students who are active learners and have a healthy curiosity
Stress and eating:
We are currently investigating how stress hormones interact with specific brain areas to influence feeding and appetite.
The influence of environmental contaminants on development of the endocrine system:
We are investigating the influence of various environmental contaminants on the development of the endocrine system in amphibians. We study amphibians because there are concerns that worldwide populations of amphibians are declining. Also, amphibians are a sensitive indicator species for potential effects on the health of humans and wildlife.
Casadonte, DominickDominick.Casadonte@ttu.eduTTUCHEM 226AResearch;I have mentored 67 undergraduates in research, including 6 Goldwater Scholars.CHEM 1307-1308, CHEM 1107-1108

​1) Chemical Applications of High-Intensity Ultrasound in Nanomaterials synthesis, Environmental Remediation, Organometallic Chemistry

2) (Supra)molecular synthesis

3) Synthesis of luminescent organometallic materials

4) Synthesis of extended chain metallopolymers

5) Value-Added Biofuels synthesis

6) Solar Energy Conversion

Conn, Michaelmichael.conn@ttuhsc.eduTTUInternal Medicine;
Cornwall, Gailgail.cornwall@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCCell Biology & Biochemistry;HSC 5A129Research;
I have previously mentored 4-5 HHMI students.  Several have attended national meetings and are coauthors on publications.
Proteolytic processing in reproduction and cancer:
The broad focus of my lab is to study the role of the novel cystatin, CRES (cystatin-related epididymal spematogenic) protein in reproduction. CRES represents the defining member of a new subgroup within the family 2 cystatins of cysteine protease inhibitors. The CRES subgroup members are characterized by lacking the same two of three consensus sites for cysteine protease inhibition and by their reproductive-specific expression. In vitro CRES does not inhibit cysteine proteases but rather inhibits some members of a family of serine proteases known as the prohormone convertases (PC). PCs selectively process precursor proteins including growth factors, receptors, and signaling molecules at dibasic sites resulting in functionally active proteins. Support that PCs play critical roles in normal cellular processes is evidenced by severe phenotypes observed in PC knockout mice. We have recently determined that CRES inhibits PC4, a convertase with restricted expression in the reproductive tract. PC4 knockout mice are infertile suggesting that critical sperm fertilization proteins are not processed in these mice. We are currently examining the role of CRES in mediating PC4 function in the reproductive tract to ultimately provide better therapies for infertile men as well as provide novel sites for male based contraceptives. Another and more recent interest in our lab is studying the role of PCs in tumor initiation and progression. Studies have shown that PCs are upregulated in several cancers including lung, brain and breast cancer. Because PCs activate a variety of proteins implicated in cancer including IGF-1, TGF-beta, and ADAMs, targeting PC function may be a novel approach to prevent tumor progression.​

We study functional amyloid in the reproductive tract.  Amyloids are self-aggregated proteins with a specific cross beta sheet structure.  While typically associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, recent studies suggest that amyloid structures may also exist in normal cells and carry out biological functions.  Understanding how functional amyloid formation is controlled to avoid pathology will provide critical insight towards treating diseases where amyloid formation is not controlled.  Specifically, we have shown that the cystatin CRES forms amyloid in vitro and recently have shown that it also forms in vivo within the epididymal lumen.  Studies are currently in progress to study the mechanisms of CRES amyloid formation including how pathology is avoided.
Curtis, Jacobjacob.curtis@ttu.eduTTUWind Institute 210Research; Education; Technology;
Dallas, Timtim.dallas@ttu.eduTTUECE 240Research;
Hosted 80+ undergraduate researchers in my lab over the years. PI on NSF funded REU Site.
Some experience with electronics.

​Embedded Sensor Systems for applications including pollution monitoring, athletics, geriatrics, and transportation.

Densmore, Loulou.densmore@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 108BResearch;
94-95 Almut Klara Zieher
00-01 Melody Rowland-Kerr
01-03 Zorisaddy Gonzalez
04-06 Erika Neely
07-08 Jeremy Weaver
10-12 Brandon Gross
12-13 Lizzy Mack
I have been a mentor for HHMI for almost 18 years, have mentored two McNair Scholars and have othe undergraduates working in the lab since 1987. none, although Field Herpetology will help
Molecular systematics, population genetics and comparative genomics of lower vertebrates:
Our lab research interests are in vertebrate molecular systematics, population genetics and comparative genomics. Currently, we are studying the evolution and phylogeny of the Crocodylia in collaboration with Dr. Chris Brochu from the University of Iowa. This NSF-funded research is finding new molecular and morphological markers to generate the most comprehensive phylogenetic assessment of any vertebrate order yet attempted. Our recent 5-year research project dealing with the genetics of Morelets crocodile populations in Belize was highlighted in National Geographic Magazine (March 2007). A comparable large-scale study is being conducted to study the phylogeography and population genetics of the wide-ranging American crocodile, with the ultimate goal of establishing a pattern that will allow the crocodiles to be both a sustainable resource and protected in the wild. Work by former TTU/HHMI scholar Jeremy Weaver has revealed the presence of genomic interactions between the American and Cuban crocodiles, apparently due to signifiicant levels of hybridization. Using both mitochondrial and nuclear markers, we are also studying the relationships and population genetics of African Dwarf crocodiles. Finally our lab at TTU is now part of a research consortium from Mississippi State University and the University of Georgia that will be involved in the high throughput sequencing of 3 complete crocodilian genomes.
Diamond, SandySandra.Diamond@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 514Research; No Preference;
00-01 Shane Taylor
04-05 Kari Dupler
14-Joshua Willms
An HHMI Science Education Fellow worked in my lab for one summer. He created a fish collection from specimens caught on the summer research cruises, and participated in an age and growth study of fish using ear bones. He really enjoyed identifying all the strange fish and crabs brought back from the cruise! He continued to do undergraduate research in my lab for the next two years, and will be a coauthor on the fish age and growth paper when it is published.

I have had more than 20 undergrad research assistants (non-HHMI) in my lab. I try to provide them with the background and knowledge to understand the project and their part in it, and I encourage students to be involved at all levels, including the data analysis and writing. Our undergraduate workers are encouraged to participate in lab meetings, and they come with us to meetings of the American Fisheries Society if we can afford it. The more involved a student is, the more we all get out of it!
Prerequisites - A basic introductory biology or ecology course such as Populations, Communites and Ecosystems, and some basic knowledge of computers or stats would be most helpful. However, a willingness to learn and work hard, and an interest in marine science can substitute for these requirements.
Locating potential sites for marine reserves in the Gulf of Mexico:
We are using long-term data sets to locate potential sites for marine reserves (no fishing areas) in the Gulf of Mexico. We are interested in delineating communities, finding areas of high biodiversity, finding areas where important species overlap, and looking at changes in the abundance and distribution of marine species over the last 20-30 years. Students can participate in statistical or GIS analysis of the data, including creating and using ecological indices and learing the techniques of making maps from ecological data. Students will be encouraged to participate in research cruises aboard National Marine Fisheries Service ships to collect fish/invertebrates and to do an independent research project using the long term datasets, or the field collections.
Age and growth of marine fishes:
We are using the ear bones of marine fish to estimate their ages, growth rates, and birthdates, and to investigate significant life history events. This project involves lab work including epi-florescent microscopy and image analysis. I have recently obtained ear bones from Atlantic croaker that were caught in the 1970s, and students will be able to use these to make comparisons of growth rates over time and over different locations in the Gulf of Mexico. We also have a collection of red snapper, and students will be able to assess the ages and growth rates of red snapper caught off the Texas coast.
The physiological effects of catch and release fishing on red snapper:
We are currently studying the effects of catch and releas of undersized red snapper (a deep-water marine species) on their physiology, behavior, movements, and reproductive physiology. We conducted a controlled field experiment by catching red snapper using hook and line, taking their blood, then holding them in cages under oil platforms to check their survival for one week, and we currently are seeking a student to help us with data analysis and manuscript preparation. We have also spent several summers riding aboard commercial and recreational boats and taking blood from all fish that are thrown back to estimate their survival. We have constructed hyperbaric chambers and have red snapper living in tanks here at TTU to conduct experiments on the long-term physiological and ecological effects of catch and release of deep water fishes. An HHMI student working on this project will be able to participate in field collections, conduct lab analyses on the fish blood, conduct tagging experiments, or conducting other physiological or behavioral studies in conjunction with our field and lab work.
Tracking fish movements using the microchemistry of ear bones:
We are starting a project to use the chemicals incorporated into the ear bones of fish to track their movements and to determine whether fish move freely between environments with very low oxygen (hypoxia) or normal levels of oxygen. We will then compare the growth rates of fish in these different oxygen environments. This study is important for assessing the effects on fish of pollution and excess nutrients that cause hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. A student would initially prepare the bones for analysis, then use a machine that shoots a laser through several spots in the bone, vaporizing the material and sending it through an inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICPMS) that analyzes the chemical structure.
Investigating the decline of Steller~s sea lions by investigating their prey:
We are using several new techniques to investigate why Steller's sea lions, an endangered species in Alaska, are declining. We are analyzing the fish bones contained in sea lion scat to assess changes in prey availability, distribution, and abundance, and to investigate the presence of contaminants in the prey. We are also planning to analyze the chemistry of fish bones collected from fish to see where the fish were eaten, and we are experimenting with techniques that can tell us the age and sex of the sea lion that created the scat. There are many opportunities for independent work on this project. Students could experiment with techniques to assess contamination or work with other fish parts such as eye lenses to identify prey species.
Exotoxicology and Marine Species
We are investigating the effects of triclosan, a widely used anti-bacterial product, on marine species.  Preliminary tests have shown that triclosan has effects on fish behavior, which may impact their ability to avoid predators and find prey.  Other behavioral changes may impact their ability to interact with con-specifics.  The increasing amounts of triclosan in the environment may have unintended consequences for fish and marine communities.
Dotson, Wesleywesley.dotson@ttu.eduTTUBurkhart Center 207Research;I have been a faculty mentor for 3 Bridges Scholars, 3 CISER Scholars, and 3 Honors Research Scholars

​Robotics and Autism, Daniel Tigers Neighborhood and Autism, Training Teachers as Autism Experts, Evaluating a Post-Secondary Support Program for College Students with Autism, Evaluating ABA-Based Services for Autism

Dufour, Jannettejannette.dufour@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCCell Biology & Biochemistry;Cell Biology and Biochemistry, TTUHSC 5A123Research;
14 Rachel Dziuk
I am an assistant professor at TTUHSC. I have mentored 4 undergraduate students while they were in the TTUHSC SABR program. One of these students continued to work in my lab for 3 years while she was an undergraduate Biochemistry student at TTU. I currently have another undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology from TTU working in my laboratory. All of these students have worked on independent research projects with the assistance of me, graduate students or technicians. All of these students have presented their research either as a seminar or poster. I have also mentored several medical students, Masters and PhD graduate students. Prefer a student majoring in a biological or biochemical science.
Immune-privileged Sertoli cells (SC) survive long-term when transplanted across immunological barriers, as allografts. In addition, they prolong the survival of co-grafted pancreatic islets when transplanted in diabetic mice. As antibody-mediated (complement) cell lysis plays an important role in chronic allograft rejection, we hypothesized that SC survive and protect co-transplanted islets by inhibiting antibody-mediated death. To test this, grafts collected at days 30 to 100 from successful and rejected SC/islet co-grafts will be analyzed for antibody deposition (IgG and IgM) by immunohistochemistry. Further, to look for complement deposition, grafts will be immunostained for complement factor 4 (C4, early complement activation marker), complement factor 3 (C3, middle complement activation marker) and membrane attack complex (MAC, final pore for cellular lysis). Results will be compared between the successful and rejected grafts to determine whether inhibition of antibody-complement mediated lysis by SC is important for chronic allograft protection. Results from this study will identify mechanisms important for SC graft protection, which in the long-term could improve survival of transplanted islets as a treatment for diabetes.
Durband, Arthurarthur.durband@ttu.eduTTUSociology, Anthropology & Social Work;Holden Hall 273Research;
I have an abundance of data from ancient Australian skeletons taken through CT scanning. These data include full scans of the Lake Mungo 3 skeleton, which is currently the oldest known human skeleton in Australia. There are a variety of projects that can be done with these data, including paleopathological work and comparative anatomical work, and I have several projects that are essentially ready to go for an undergraduate research student.
Dwyer, Jerryjerry.dwyer@ttu.eduTTUEducation 159Education;I have led mentor training for faculty as part of my leadership of STEM CORE and several large funded projects. I have mentored numerous students as part of McNair Scholars, Honors students, undergraduate research, masters and doctoral students. Introductory college level math and science courses

​K-12 curriculum development

After school STEM clubs

Teacher professional development

Complex dynamics

Enderson, Brianbrian.enderson@ttu.eduTTUComputer Science;west hall 100Technology;12-Alex Woollends
Filleur, Stephaniestephanie.filleur@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCUrology - Lubbock;5B 5B175CResearch;
13-Dalia Martinez-Marin

I have had the experience during the past ten years to mentor many different students. This includes master, Ph.D., or SABR students.

Our laboratory is specialized in Molecular and Cellular technologies, applied to the prostate cancer research field.

The Scholar should be a highly motivated individual with, if possible, a previous experience in c
ell culture methods and standard molecular and cellular techniques (i.e. cellular transfection; Gene reporter assay; RNA-, DNA-, and Protein- extractions; RT-PCR; Northern blot; immunoprecipitation; Western blot; zymography; reverse zymography; and immunohistochemistry). The scholar should also accept to work with mice as prostate cancer in vivo model. 

Macrophages have been described as one of the main inflammatory components involved in prostate cancer (PCa) initiation, progression and metastases formation. PEDF (Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor) is an anti-angiogenic factor with differentiation activities and was recently suggested as an immune-modulating factor. PEDF expression has been shown to be down-regulated in PCa compared to normal tissues. In previous studies, we have demonstrated that PEDF re-expression in PCa cells curbs tumor growth in vivo and prolongs the survival of tumor-bearing mice. Others have shown that PEDF expression increased the recruitment of tumor-cytotoxic macrophages into orthotopic MatLyLu rat prostate tumors suggesting a new way through which PEDF curbs PCa growth. While all of these results emphasize the anti-tumor properties of PEDF, the delivery of PEDF still remain challenging. The objective of the present study is to investigate PEDF gene therapy using bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) as a novel therapeutic modality for advanced PCa. Our central hypothesis is that PEDF expression will induce the migration and differentiation of BMDMs into a tumor-cytotoxic phenotype and, as a corollary, will block tumor growth and metastases formation, and prolong survival. We have formulated this hypothesis on the basis of our preliminary data that showed that PEDF stimulates the migration of monocytes/macrophages using in vitro chemotaxis assays and our immunohistochemistry studies that demonstrated a positive correlation between PEDF expression levels and macrophage density in human prostate specimens. The present proposal which will use subcutaneous and orthotopic preclinical models may potentially lead to development of improved therapeutic approaches to PCa.

Findlater, Michaelmichael.findlater@ttu.eduTTUChemistry and Biochemistry;Chemistry 232AResearch;As both a graduate student and then as a postdoctoral researcher I have mentored undergraduate and graduate students alike. Every undergraduate student I have mentored to date has gone on to pursue doctoral studies.Previous lab experience is highly desirable but not required, flexibility in your schedule to allow for the quirks of synthetic chemistry will be beneficial.
There are a variety of research opportunities available centered around the theme of chemical catalysis. Catalysis is a fundamental building block of chemistry; creative applications of catalysis in utilizing carbon-based resources such as coal, biomass and organic wastes, as well as natural gas and petroleum, have long-term strategic importance to the US economy. Student researchers will be exposed to cutting-edge science. Students will learn aspects of organic and inorganic synthetic techniques.
Fralick, Joejoe.fralick@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCMicrobiology and Immunology;HSC 5c101Research;
98-99 Melinda Forehand-Lacke
00-01 Matthew Anderson
01-02 Robin Woolley
04-06 Brent Coleman
05-06: Nick Bergfeld
07-08 Erica Vargas
I have mentored 5 HHMI undergraduate students. none
Studies in Multiple Drug Resistant Efflux Pumps, Phage Therapy and Display Phage Technology.:
I am a bacterial geneticist and my lab is involved in the genetics, structure and function of multiple drug resistance efflux pumps in bacteria, phage therapy, and combinatorial chemistry utilizing phage display technology. We have projects in each of these areas.
Gamez Goytia, Gerardogerardo.gamez@ttu.eduTTUChemistry CHEM 328bResearch;I have been a mentor for CISER in Spring 2015. I was a mentor for CALUE in Spring 2014. I am currently mentoring other undergraduates with no specific program affiliation.
Instrument development for ambient mass spectrometry sources for real-time, in-situ chemical analysis.
Application development for ambient mass spectrometry sources for real-time, in-situ chemical analysis.
Instrument development of chemical imaging via glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy.
Application development of chemical imaging via glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy.
Characterization of underlying mechanisms in plasmas used for chemical analysis.
Gill, Harvinderharvinder.gill@ttu.eduTTUChemical Engineering;Livermore Center 213Research;Undergraduates majoring in engineering or basic sciences are encouraged to apply for this research position. Basic knowledge of drug delivery would be an excellent asset but is not a requirement.
Microparticles for Vaccine Delivery:

In our laboratory we are investigating novel naturally derived microparticles for delivery of vaccines through the oral route. This will provide a painless alternative to the current hypodermic needle-based vaccination method. The student recruited for this project will be given an independent project to characterize the microparticle structure and to work on the development of a process to fill the microparticles with a model vaccine.

In the process the student will gain knowledge in the field of drug and vaccine delivery and acquire technical skills in the field of microparticle-based vaccine delivery.

Godard-Codding, Celineceline.godard-codding@tiehh.ttu.eduTTU ReeseEnvironmental Toxicology;Reese Campus Building 555 101AAResearch; No Preference;

   Dr. Godard-Codding has extensive experience with undergraduate mentoring.  In the last 10 years, she mentored 16 students who participated in  Toxicology Research Internships that lasted from 1 month to 18 month.  12 students did their internships at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution while 4 students did theirs at the University of Southern Maine.  The work resulted in 10 presentations at National and International meetings (such as the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry); four reports including three to International Whaling Commission subcommittees; and one peer-reviewed publication in Marine Environmental Research.

   Dr. Céline Godard-Codding is  assistant professor at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) and the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech University.  Dr. Godard-Codding’s research interests focus on genomic and cellular toxicology, mechanistic toxicology, endangered wildlife ecotoxicology and conservation, and biomarkers.  Species of special interest are marine mammals and turtles.  Similar to human toxicology, only in vitro and non-invasive or minimaly invasive tools can be used in endangered species to assess the impact of stress caused by environmental pollutants. Therfore all the tools and techniques applied in Dr.  Godard-Codding's laboratory are similar to the tools used in human toxicology and medical  laboratories.

   Dr. Godard-Codding trained in biochemical and genomic toxicology at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution under the supervision of Dr. John Stegeman (Godard et al. 2000 and 2005).  She stayed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in order to complete a postdoctoral training in environmental toxicology focusing on cytochrome P450 and their use as biomarkers in endangered mammalian species (Godard et al. 2004).  She then expanded her training in cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and cell culture as a senior postdoctoral fellow at the Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health at the University of Southern Maine (Godard et al. 2006).  During her postdoctoral trainings, Dr. Godard-Codding supervised the toxicology program of a 5-year worldwide marine research cruise sponsored by Ocean Alliance and mentored 16 undergraduate and graduate students, gaining extensive project management and mentoring expertise.

Research internships will provide training in toxicology, cell culture, genomics and molecular biology techniques.  A background in biology and a strong interest in toxicology are recommended.  An understanding of sterile techniques is preferred but not required.  Research topics will include creation of primary cell cultures and measurements of biomarker of cell stress using quantitative RT-PCR, functional genomics, proteomics, and enzymatics.

All the research described below is done on tissues collected non-lethally in endangered species and under appropriate permits.

-Project 1: Developing sea turtle cell lines. 
All sea turtles are listed as endangered. In this project, tissues are obtained from sea turtle biopsies or from tissues of stranded sea turtles through collaborative efforts.  Cell lines from these tissues are then created, maintained and characterized in the laboratory.  Our goal is to create cell lines from all organs and all species, and we have already successfully obtained several cell lines.  At this time, only one other laboratory has succeeded in creating cell line from one single sea turtle, thus this is a pioneering research effort

Project 2: Testing the toxicity of pollutants in sea turtles using the cell lines developed in Project 1, we are investigating the toxicity of selected pollutants in sea turtles.  This project focuses on assessing cytotoxicity (cell death) and genotoxicity (chromosome damage)

Project 3: Cloning and expression of biomarkers of contaminant exposure in dolphin and polar bear tissues.  We are interested in biomarker genes and proteins that indicate exposure and or sensitivity to environmental pollution.  We have access to dolphin tissues (collected from stranded animals) and polar bear blood (from wild animals) and have already successfully started isolating some biomarkers.  The current goal is to clone several novel biomarker genes of interest and then assess their expression.

 -Project 4: Identifying novel biomarkers of contaminant exposure in dolphins using proteomic profiling and organotypic culture
In this project, we conduct a series of exposure experiments using dolphin biopsy slices (obtained from stranded dolphins).  The slices are then processed for proteomic profiling studies in order to identify new biomarkers of exposure or sensitivity to marine toxicants.

Gollahon, Laurenlauren.gollahon@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Experimental Sciences 110No Preference;
99-00 Xochitl Duarte-Anderton
00-01 Apryll Theiss
01-02 Emily Goulet
02-03 Josh Balch
02-03 Minesh Patel
07-08 Kelsey Doerr
Undergraduate Student Advisees:
  1. Emily Jenkins (undergraduate research, 1997) - Status unknown.
  2. Matthew Yarbro (undergraduate research, 1997) – Status unknown.
  3. Cathy Cutler (undergraduate research, 1998 – 2000) – Currently working as a research associate at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. 
  4.  Xochitl Duarte (undergraduate HHMI Fellow, 1998 – 1999) – Currently practicing dentistry in Lubbock.
  5. Diana Grumbos (General Studies Thesis, 1998) – Currently practicing dentistry.
  6. Robin Ray (General Studies Thesis, 1998) – Currently working for an MD general practitioner in California.
  7. Andrew Trevino (undergraduate research, 1999) – Employment unknown. 
  8. Piper Delleney (General Studies Thesis, 1999) – Employment currently unknown. 
  9. Nicholas Lee (General Studies Thesis, 1999) – Employment currently unknown. 
  10. Carrie Gosselink (undergraduate research, summer 1999) - Employment currently unknown. 
  11. Michelle Rivera (undergraduate research, summer 1999) - Employment currently unknown.
  12. Michelle Thornhill (undergraduate research, 2000) – High School Teacher. 
  13. Aprill Theiss (Undergraduate HHMI Research Fellow, 2000-2001) – Currently working in a cytogenetics laboratory in Phoenix, AZ. 
  14. Nadia Bakdash (Undergraduate research, 2000-2001) – Currently in a postdoctoral program in Cancer Biology at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 
  15. Emily Goulet (Undergraduate research, 2000, HHMI Research Fellow,  2001) – Status unknown.
  16. Sherri Jubay (undergraduate research, 2000 – 2002) – Currently a practicing PA in Lubbock.
  17. Jamie Rose (undergraduate research, 2001) – Currently practicing Law in San Antonio.
  18. Minesh Patel (Undergraduate research and HHMI Fellow, 2001 to 2005). Currently in the TTU MBA program.
  19. Joshua Balch (Undergraduate research and HHMI Fellow, 2001 to 2005). Currently in Med School.
  20. Marc Pimsleur (undergraduate work study, 2002). Status unknown.
  21. Krystal Batchelor (undergraduate research, 2002 – 2003). Status unknown.
  22. Bradley Gholston (undergraduate research, 2002 – 2003). Status unknown.
  23. Uriyah Robinson (undergraduate research, 2003 – 2005). Currently working in Dallas.
  24. Rebecca Brousseau (undergraduate research, 2004-2005). Currently in Grad School.
  25. Chris Guertler (undergraduate research, 2006-2007). Currently enrolled at TTU.
  26. Matt Weissenborn (undergraduate research, 2008). In Medical School
  27. Dustin Brewster (undergraduate research, summer 2008, 2009 - present.
  28. Mary Grace Longno (undergraduate research, summer 2008).
  29. Jeffrey McDonald (Undergraduate research, 2007.
  30. Kelsey Doerr, (Undergraduate research and HHMI Fellow, 2006 - 2008).
  31. Kyle Struzyk (Undergraduate research and HHMI Fellow, 2009 - present).
Students desiring to research in my program MUST make a commitment for 1 year minimum. If they continue to progress their research and enjoy the experience, then they are welcome to remain for the length of their college careers.
Biological Applications to Microfluidics
Muscular Dystrophy
Testing the validity of an assay system for cancer diagnostics

Gonzales, Joaquinjoaquin.gonzales@ttu.eduTTUHealth, Exercise and Sport Sciences;Exercise and Sport Sciences 123Research;
No prior experience for TTU CUR or HHMI programs.  Post-doctoral training involved student research training that resulted in student publications.  Also, have supervised students during Independent Research (ESS 4000) at TTU.
BIOL 1403, 1404 and ESS 3305
ZOOL 2404 (or equivalent) recommended
Currently, my research focuses on two areas.  First, to determine the functional consequences of vascular dysfunction in older healthy adults.  Secondly, to examine for ethnic differences in vascular function between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites.  All studies are in humans and involved applied physiological techniques including vascular assessment with Doppler ultrasound and cardiopulmonary testing during exercise.
Grave De Peralta, Luisluis.grave-de-peralta@ttu.eduTTUScience 016Research;

​Developing of Fourier Plane Imaging Microscopy technique.

Guan, Lanlan.guan@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCCell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics;TTUHSC 5A163Research;Trained, as research advisor, 14 personnel in the past four years: undergraduate students (5), graduate students (4), and postdoctoral fellows (5). Seven trainees, including one undergraduate and three graduate students, made substantial contributions and earned authorships in our published articles.Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics.
Membrane proteins constitute ~30% of all eukaryotic proteins and play crucial roles in many aspects of cell function. The long-term goal of our research is to understand the mechanism of solute/cation symport. Currently, we are studying bacterial melibiose permease, a model system, to understand Na+/sugar cotransport using an integrated approach including X-ray crystallography, genetic engineering, and biochemical/biophysical analysis. This research is funded by The National Science Foundation and The Texas Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program. We are also developing novel in vitro techniques for the discovery of protein-capture reagents that, like an antibody, bind to a target protein and may modulate its function. This research is funded by The National Institutions of Health.
Hamood, Abdulabdul.hamood@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCMicrobiology and Immunology;HSC 5C-157bResearch;
99-00 Eman Attaya
00-01 Eric Graham
00-01 Naomi Ontiveros
01-02 Adam Gonzalez
01-02 Anna Wilkerson
02-03 Marqueshia Wilson
08  Aziba Ajmal
I have served as mentor for 6 HHMI fellows and summer Science Education Fellows. Molecular biology techniques (RNA analysis, recombinant DNA analysis, real-time PCR, microarray), protein analysis (protein purification, immunoblotting, enzyme assays), specific animal models to examine the virulence of pathogenic bacteria.  Areas of research: regulation of virulence genes in and biofilm formation by <em>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</em>; affect of quorum sensing and other factors on pathogenesis of <em>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</em> in infection of burn wounds
I have mentored several graduate students (PhD and Masters degree programs) and post-doctoral fellows. I teach molecular pathogenesis of bacteria for graduate students and medical students.

1)      Analysis of biofilm development using in vitro 2 and 3 dimensional models

2)      Examining the effect of blood on the growth and gene expression in bacterial pathogens

3)      Development of novel compounds that inhibit biofilm development by gram negative and gram positive bacterial pathogens.

Harris, Brebreanna.n.harris@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 410Research;2016 summer I will be mentoring Breanna Roberts as part of the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program between South Plains Community College and Texas Tech University (http://www.bridges.tiehh.ttu.edu/). Breanna will have her own project investigating the role of stress and stress-related hormones in anxiety and brain neuropathology in Alzheimer’s Disease transgenic mic. She will submit an abstract to present at the SACNAS conference in Long Beach, CA this coming October. 2015-current Proactive Recruiting In Science and Mathematics (PRISM), Undergraduate Research Mentor, Boone Coleman, Texas Tech University. http://www.math.ttu.edu/outreach/prism/ Project title: “Development and Validation of a Plus Maze Anxiety Test in African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus laevis).” 2014-current Proactive Recruiting In Science and Mathematics (PRISM), Undergraduate Research Mentor, Cody Tucker, Texas Tech University. http://www.math.ttu.edu/outreach/prism/ Project title: “Relationship among FKBP5 genotype, serum cortisol, and cognitive function in aging humans: a Project FRONTIER study.” Cody presented his project at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January, 2015, at the TTU Undergraduate Research Conference (2015, 2016) and at the Posters on the Hill in DC (2016). 2016 Undergraduate Research Mentor, Aaron Esparza. Texas Tech University. Aaron worked on our frog predator/anxiety project. 2014-2016 Undergraduate Research Mentor, Paul Duggan, Texas Tech University. Project title: “Developing a Predator-Avoidance Model in Juvenile Xenopus laevis.” Paul presented his work at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) meeting in Cheney, Washington in 2015, at the 2015 & 2016 TTU Undergraduate Research Conference, and at the 2015 Texas Tech Association of Biologist’s Symposium. Paul submitted his Honor’s thesis for publication; he is first author. 2014-2015 Mentor Tech Program, Volunteer Mentor to Tramaine Maloney, Texas Tech University. http://www.depts.ttu.edu/mentortech/ 2014 summer Undergraduate Research Mentor, Brian Rajnoor, Kelsea Blackstock, Paul Duggan, Texas Tech University. Students assisted with grant preparation and we held weekly professional development meetings. 2014 summer Clark Scholars Program Co-mentor, Alice Ran Zhou (high school student), Texas Tech University. http://www.depts.ttu.edu/honors/clark_scholars/ Project title: “The relation between allostatic load and cognitive function.” Along with Dr. Littlefield, I mentored Alice during the 7-week summer program. 2012-2013 Senior Thesis Mentor, Tara McIntyre, Claremont McKenna College. Project title: “The production of monoclonal antibodies against Murine Target7.” Tara’s research was completed at a biotechnical company during the summer of 2012; I aided her in the write-up, presentation of results, poster design, and thesis preparation. Tara presented at the West Coast Biological Science Undergraduate Research Conference in 2013. 2011-2012 Lab Seminar Series, co-developed and co-taught an informal professional development seminar for undergraduates at University of California, Riverside (range: 13-18 students). 2010- 2012 Undergraduate Research Mentor. As a graduate student at University of California, Riverside I worked closely with 5 undergraduates (Vanessa Yang, Aaron Stamp, Julia Cho, Omar Aldaas, Trey Amador) and worked either directly or indirectly with 27 others. Many of our students were from underrepresented populations. Aaron Stamp presented his research at the Southern California Academy of Science Conference and at the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. Vanessa Yang is a co-author on my 2013 Hormones and Behavior publication. 2011-2012 Science Fair Mentor, Raquel Mendoza-Cabral, Ramona High School, Riverside, CA. I served as a science fair mentor for Raquel and she took first place at the Riverside Unified School District Fair and the Regional fair with her project “The Heat is On: The potential effects of predicted rising oceanic temperatures on the marine plant, Halimeda.” She went on to compete in the State Fair. Raquel is currently enrolled in an Engineering program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Introductory Biology series (completed or concurrent) Preferred: A few upper-level bio courses Statistics Research methods

Broadly, I am interested in how the physiological stress response influences organismal function, health, and life-history tradeoffs. Using animal and human studies, I aim to understand how stress-related differences at various biological levels of analysis correspond to differences in health, behavior, reproduction, and fitness. Currently, my research program addresses two complementary central questions: 1) how does variation in response to and recovery from stressors translate into functional consequences in organismal behavior, health, life history trade-offs, and fitness, and 2) how do organismal behavior, genotype, sex, life history stage, and trade-offs alter the physiological stress response.

Hart, Sybilsybil.hart@ttu.eduTTUHuman Development & Family Studies;Human Sciences 284Research;
06-07 Katrina Reyes
Have served as a mentor for Honors Colleges Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, CUR, and HHMI .
We are seeking a student who is dedicated and well organized, enjoys children, has transportation, and is able to commit two mornings per week for two semesters.

The Early Language and Memory (ELM) Project investigates language and memory development in diverse samples of preschool-aged children. This year we are testing a new technique for conducting interviews with young children about events they have witnessed or experienced.  We will examine whether this technique helps improve accuracy in children’s recollections, and the extent to which any improvements also depend on a child’s language capacities, social skills, and qualities of the home and school environments.  Since young children are routinely interviewed in a range of settings, including child custody cases, cases of suspected maltreatment, and criminal cases, it is important that they provide accurate information. Hopefully, this research will contribute to that mission.



Researchers on the project take part in data collection, which is gathered in local preschools from multiple informants using multiple methods.  Children are assessed on various scales of language ability. Their memory for a staged event is measured using the traditional or new interview technique. Classroom teachers report on children’s communication skills and classroom behaviors. Parents report on demographics, family configuration, life events, and the parent-child relationship.


 This project is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Health (#R15HD065589-01). As such, it provides students with an outstanding opportunity to take part in high profile, cutting edge behavioral research while gaining experience working with children in school settings.


We are seeking a student who is dedicated and well organized, enjoys children, has transportation, and is able to commit two mornings per week for two semesters. 


More information about the project is available at www.depts.ttu.edu/hs/elm or contact Dr. Hart at  sybil.hart@ttu.edu.  This research project has received IRB approval.


Hayhoe, Katharinekatharine.hayhoe@ttu.eduTTUGeosciences;Holden Hall 113Research;
07-08: Mike Amore
Have mentored undergraduate students in Atmospheric Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Engineering. Most of my work involves climate modeling, so some experience with a Unix/Linux environment and a basic familiarity with programming and/or statistical tools is required (any of C , fortran, java, visual basic, MatLab, Mathematica, R, or S ).
Hohman, Zacharyzachary.hohman@ttu.eduTTUPsychological Sciences 208Research;I have mentored over 12 undergraduate students since coming to Texas Tech in the fall of 2013. One of my previous undergraduate students helped on a project that was published in the spring of 2016 (Hohman, Dahl, & Grubbs, in press). I also currently have 2 graduate students in my lab and will be adding more in the coming years.PSY 1300 PSY 2400 (preferred but not needed) PSY 3401 (preferred but not needed)

My research investigates the intersection of two broad domains of social psychology: 1) group processes and intergroup relations, and 2) attitudes and persuasion. Within these domains I investigate how social groups influence people’s self-conception, attitudes, physiology, and biology as they relate to health behaviors. The goal of my research is to integrate basic cognitive processes into social interactive processes, societal processes, individual process, and internal processes that explain individual health behavior.

Research in my lab has a broad foci on: 1) the role that group processes and intergroup relations play in risk taking, attitude change, and persuasion; 2) the motivational role played by self-uncertainty in attitude change, group behavior, intergroup relations, and self-conception 3) influence processes within and between groups; 4) the structure of self-conception and identity in group and intergroup contexts; and 5) on physiological and biological processes related to attitude change and group processes.

Holaday, Scottscott.holaday@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 219Research;
94-95 Stacy Allen
94-95 Carolyn Cogburn-Lawren
08   Andrew Johnsrud
I  have yet to have a HHMI fellow in my lab. However, over 30 undergraduates have performed research in my lab.  My collaborator on the posted project has a HHMI scholar at the present time. It is necessary to have a good basic knowledge of chemistry and some organic chemistry. You should have taken or be currently enrolled in Biol 1403/1404.  Cell biology, plant physiology, or animal physiology would be helpful but not required.
Molecular and Biochemical Regulation of Carbohydrate Storage in Poplar Species and Cotton:

1.  Study the mechanism of seasonal changes in carbohydrate storage and metabolism in the xylem (wood) cells of poplars, such as cottonwood and aspen under the co-direction of molecular biologist, Dr. Zhixin Xie.  These trees synthesize and store starch in living cells of the xylem during the latee summer and autumn.  In the winter, enzymes of starch synthesis decline, and the starch is converted to soluble sugars, such as sucrose, as the appropriate enzymes appear.  The biochemical and molecular control of these changes in enzymes is not well understood, yet the sugars are important to the new vegetative growth and new wood production in the spring.  Recent evidence on the initiation of wood production in the spring indicates the involvement of small RNA molecules that regulate the level of messenger RNA for a specific enzyme associated with cell wall synthesis critical to the formation of cells in the xylem.  Dr. Xie and I are interested in determining whether a similar mechanism may operate to control the rise and fall of starch and sugar synthesis.

2.  A related project concerns the synthesis of starch in the stem and root xylem of cotton during the growing season.  As other woody, perennial plants, cotton stores starch in living cells in its xylem.  Many agronomists believe that this carbohydrate storage robs the developing fruits (bolls) and their developing cotton fibers of needed carbohydrate, causing lower fiber yield and quality, especially during the latter part of the growing season.  My lab has evidence that the carbohydrate stored in the xylem may be valuable as a source of carbohydrate during environmental stress periods when photosynthesis is dramatically reduced.  It is not known whether reducing starch synthesis in the xylem would actually benefit cotton fiber yield and quality.  A goal of this project is to create transgenic cotton plants with reduced expression of a gene for an important enzyme of starch synthesis in the xylem to test for the importance of starch storage during the growing season in cotton stems.

Hope-Weeks, Louisalouisa.hope-weeks@ttu.eduTTUChemistry and Biochemistry;Chemistry 125BResearch;
Mentored high school students in research through the Welch summer and undergraduate researchers through either the Summer DHS-REU program or for academic credit at TTU.
CHM 3301

New non nitrate containing energetic materials.

Porous materials for Energy applications.

Hutchins, Kristinkristin.hutchins@ttu.eduTTUChemistry CHEM 223BResearch;Prior to joining TTU, I mentored three undergraduate students during my time as a graduate student and postdoctoral associate. Two of the three students earned co-authorship on research manuscripts and are currently attending graduate or professional school. I am currently mentoring two PhD students in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. I am also currently mentoring four undergraduate students through the CHEM 3000 research course. General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry I Basic laboratory techniques

Understanding bonding behavior of pharmaceuticals through co-crystallization

Synthesis of polymeric materials for removal of contaminants from wastewater

Controlling thermal expansion properties of organic co-crystals

Iyer, Ramram.iyer@ttu.eduTTUMathematics & Statistics;Mathematics and Statistics 204Research;
I have mentored several undergraduate researchers from the Honors college. Suzanne McDonald was a Goldwater scholar in 2006, and is currently doing a Phd with a fellowship at University of Maryland, College Park. Jessica Meixner was a TTU Goldwater nominee in 2007, and is currently pursuing a PhD with a full fellowship at University of Texas, Austin. Julie Rice worked with me in Fall 2007.
I am in the department of Mathematics and Statistics and I work on a variety of problems using mathematics to model the physical world.  A student who has had Calculus II, linear algebra, and Physics II (the optics part) would be an ideal candidate for the project, I have in mind.   
One problem of current interest to me, is a project to custom design contact lenses for people with severe eye problems like keratoconus, or those who have undergone keratoplasty, or corneal surgery. I work with Dr. Steven Mathews, an opthalmologist, a lens-making company in Dallas, TX, and a company that designs wavefront sensors in Albuquerque, NM. The research project involves learning about measuring aberrations in vision such as prism, coma, astigmatism, spherical aberrations etc. using the wavefront sensor; learning about custom contact lens design, and furthermore, learning about vision correction using contact lenses.
Jansen, Michaelamichaela.jansen@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCCell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics;HSC 5A 172Research;

Mentored summer students:

Ruth D’Cunha, 2009, TTU Clark Scholar
Camille Perot, 2009, TTUHSC Summer Accelerated Research Program (SABR)
Juan Ortega, 2010, TTU Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program
Valentina Snetkova, 2010, TTUHSC Summer Accelerated Research Program (SABR)
Zoltan Krudy, 2011, TTUHSC Summer Accelerated Research Program (SABR)

Mentored Medical Students (Summer Research)
Roger E. Wiltfong, 2007, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Summer Research
Dane Langsjoen, 2009, TTUHSC Medical Student Summer Research Program
Ahmed A. Salahudeen, 2010, TTUHSC Medical Student Summer Research Program
Andrew Navetta, 2011, TTUHSC Medical Student Summer Research Program

Mentored Graduate Students
Ryan Downey, M.S. 2010 (Defense Committee), Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics, TTUHSC
Nicole McKinnon, Ph.D. Sept. 2010 (Defense Committee), Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York
Prachi Nakashe, M.S. fall 2010, TTU Biotechnology Master Student (thesis work performed in my laboratory, chair of committee, graduation fall 2010)
Robin Rajan, M.S. summer 2011, TTU Biotechnology Master Student (thesis work performed in my laboratory, chair of graduation committee, graduation summer 2011)
Phaneendra Kumar Duddempudi, TTUHSC Pharmacology and Neuroscience Ph.D. Student (thesis work performed in my laboratory, co-mentored with Michael P. Blanton, expected graduation summer 2012)
Jonathan Pauwels, TTU Biotechnology Master Student (thesis work performed in my laboratory, expected graduation summer 2012)
Akash Pandhare, TTUHSC Pharmacology and Neuroscience Ph.D. Student (Defense Committee, expected graduation summer 2013)
Nirupama Nishtala, TTUHSC Pharmacology and Neuroscience Ph.D. Student (thesis work performed in my laboratory, expected graduation 2015)

Mentored technicians:

Gautham Brahmamudi

Raman Goyal

Enthusiasm for science!

Some biochemistry / biology / chemistry lab experience would be great, but is not required.

Structure function studies of nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors (nAChR): Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are ion-channels that are opened by binding of ligands/agonists to the membrane spanning receptor protein. These receptors are abundant in the central nervous system and molecular targets for a variety of clinically used drugs. We utilize the following techniques to study the structure and function of these very dynamic proteins:
- Site-directed mutagenesis, and other molecular biology techniques
- Western-Blotting, and other biochemistry techniques
- Electrophysiology (Don't worry, easy to learn!)
- homology Modeling, and other modeling
- Heterologous expression
Structure function studies of the Proton Coupled Folate Transporter (PCFT): This protein is responsible for intestinal folate uptake into the human body. It also plays a role in uptake of chemotherapeutics into tumors. Similar techniques than for the above named research area are being used.
For both research areas there are several projects available to chose from, depending on the skills and interests of the potential student.
Jeter, Randallrandall.jeter@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 313No Preference;
94-95 Robert Montoya
Supervised HHMI Fellow Robert Montoya 1994-1996. Previous experience in basic microbiological lab techniques and/or enrollment in MBIO 3401 or an equivalent course is desirable but not essential.
Microbiological Water Quality:
Prevalence of potential human pathogens in natural water bodies, including the playa lakes in and around Lubbock. Studies focus on population dynamics and incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the aquatic environment.
Vitamin B12 Metabolism in Bacteria:
Genetic, physiological, and biochemical studies of the synthesis and use of vitamin B12 in various bacteria, including Salmonella, Propionibacterium, and others. Experimental emphasis is on mutant isolation and analysis, gene cloning and sequencing, enzyme isolation and purification, and growth studies.
Bacterial Perchlorate Reduction:
Perchlorate is a widespread contaminant of freshwater and drinking water supplied that can have adverse health consequences. Reduction of perchlorate to harmless chloride by bacteria (bioremediation) is an attractive option to remove perchlorate from underground aquifers and other water sources.
Rhizosphere Microorganisms:
Soil bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms in the root zone (rhizosphere) of plants contribute to plant growth and development. Manipulation of these beneficial microbes can improve productivity of agricultural crops, such as cotton and peanuts, that are economically important in semi-arid regions including the Southern High Plains.
Karamyshev, Andreyandrey.karamyshev@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCCell Biology & Biochemistry;Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 5B107Research;In my career I completed two postdoctoral studies at the University of Tokyo (Japan) and at the Texas A&M University. I was also a faculty at the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Currently I am an Assistant Professor (tenure track) at the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (since April 2016). During my career I have mentored many undergraduate and graduate students and researchers (18 total) at a number of different programs during my work at several Universities (several students were from SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program) at UT Southwestern Medical Center, similar to SABR at TTUHSC; PhD program at Texas A&M University; PhD and MD/PhD programs at UT Southwestern Medical Center). I will also mentor an undergraduate student during this summer in the frame of the SABR program at TTUHSC. I was working in multicultural environment and mentored students and researchers from different countries (USA, New Zealand, Turkey, Sweden, India, Russia), so I have ability to work with and instruct culturally diverse students and researchers. I have experience in the lecture presentations, as well as laboratory practice and in mentoring undergraduate, Ph.D. and M.D. students in their projects. In addition to training student and researchers affiliated with my working place, I was mentoring visitors from other colleges and universities. For example, Andrey Rybalchenko from Texas Christian University (Forth Worth, TX) was a recipient of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (SURF), Dustin S. Griesemer from Washington University (St. Louis, MO) was a recipient of QP-SURF program, Karl Enquist was a visitor from Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University (Sweden). I was directly supervising these students during their research programs. Results of students’ projects guided by me were incorporated in publications and presentations at multiple scientific conferences, and the participating students and researchers became coauthors. For example, trained by me three students and one researcher became coauthors of our recent paper in Cell. I have 31 scientific publications and our results were presented at various international and national meetings and conferences (59 presentations), as well as during invited or selected talks (35 talks and seminars) at different universities and meetings around the world. Many students were coauthors in these publications and presentations.We have friendly environment in the lab and students with different levels of skills are welcome. We work with students on individual basis. We can accommodate students from different majors, although it is beneficial for them if they are connected with biology, biomedical or chemistry majors. The most important things are motivation and interest in science and research.

We study molecular processes that happen in human cells (protein synthesis, regulation of gene expression, protein quality control, etc.) and molecular basis of diseases associated with these processes. We have many different projects where students can be involved: gene cloning, microscopy, gene expression regulation, etc. The titles of the projects in my lab are “Molecular Mechanisms of Human Diseases”, “RNA/protein quality control in health and disease”, “Molecular Mechanisms of Translational Regulation”, “Protein Interactions in Health and Disease”, “Mechanisms of Protein Misfolding in Neurodegenerative Diseases”, and others. These projects involve purification of nucleic acids, proteins, gel electrophoresis of nucleic acids and proteins, PCR, qPCR, gene cloning, Western blots, transformation of E. coli, human cell cultures, microscopy, and other cellular and molecular biology techniques. We have friendly environment in the lab and students with different level of skills are welcome. We work with students on individual basis. The type of project will depend on the students’ interests, their time commitment and their experience. We can accommodate students from different majors, although it is beneficial for them if they are connected with biology, biomedical or chemistry majors. The most important things are motivation and interest in science and research. You can find more info about research in my lab at our web page. We have passion for science and happy to do research in completely new fields and discover novel processes that nobody observed before. You can find more info about research in my lab at our web page.

Karamysheva, Zemfirazemfira.karamysheva@ttu.eduTTUBiology Building 215Research;Currently I am a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology, Texas Tech University (since September 2016). Previously I completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Tokyo (Japan) and Texas A&M University. I was also a research faculty at the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. During my career I have mentored many graduate, undergraduate and high school students and researchers (12 total) at a number of different programs during my work at several Universities including UT Southwestern Medical Center, Texas A&M University and University of Tokyo, Japan. I mentored students from different countries including students from US, India, China, Russia, Canada, Korea etc. I also trained a high school student during summer internship and a science teacher who was a participant of STARS program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. I enjoy very much to work with culturally diverse students and researchers. I directly supervise students during their research programs and personally train them. I coach students in analyzing their data, interpreting them, designing experiments, troubleshooting, revisiting their hypotheses and planning new strategies. I help them to get familiar with instruments and techniques, so they can independently run their own experiments after mastering certain techniques. A few students earned co-authorship in the publications or poster presentations under my supervision. Currently I train an undergraduate student James Huffman who recently won TAUREA Scholarship and Microbiology Department Scholarship for the research performed in the lab. I provide supportive environment for the students based on inspiration and interest in science.

We work with protozoan parasite Leishmania major. The leishmaniases affect 10 – 12 million people worldwide. Current drugs are not effective. Our major goal is to understand molecular mechanisms of Leishmania pathogenesis and role of lipid metabolism in it. We have many different projects where students can be involved. There are several interesting projects available including examination of Leishmania exosome composition and roles exosomes play to promote infection. Leishmania co-exist with bacteria in the midgut of sandfly and we work on understanding what relationship they can have – beneficial or inhibitory and what is the molecular mechanism behind. We are also trying to understand how deficiencies in lipids can affect protein synthesis machinery in Leishmania and as result virulence. These projects involve gene cloning, purification of nucleic acids, proteins, gel electrophoresis of nucleic acids and proteins, PCR, qPCR, Western blots, transformation of Leishmania major and E. coli, microscopy, animal work and other cellular and molecular biology techniques. We have a friendly environment in the lab and students with different levels of skills are welcome. I work with students on individual basis. We welcome students who are motivated and inspired by science.

Keyel, Peterpeter.keyel@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 218Research;
Trained 4 undergrads at TTU, supervised undergrads at Washington University in St Louis and University of Pittsburgh, served as Outreach committee Chair at University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Association
Biol 1404

Inflammation: macrophage responses to pore-forming toxins

Inflammation is a crucial component of many diseases, regardless of whether they are caused by autoimmunity, pathogenic microbes, tumors, or even particles and chemicals. Inflammation is also necessary to develop robust responses to vaccines. This inflammation depends on the response of macrophages and other innate immune cells to pathogenic conditions.

The research in my lab aims to elucidate novel mechanisms of inflammation by studying the interplay and downstream effects of bacterial pore-forming toxins, which trigger inflammation, on macrophages. Streptolysin O is an archetypal pore-forming toxin that can directly lyse cells. Interestingly, macrophages can withstand high doses of toxin. At these sublytic concentrations, macrophages resist the damage and execute a pro-inflammatory pathway. Understanding what mechanisms are required for damage resistance will help us regulate the inflammatory response, as well as apply that knowledge to other diseases directly related to membrane damage, such as muscular dystrophies.

A second aspect of the inflammatory response is the mechanism through which macrophages alert the rest of the immune system and elaborate the inflammatory response. To accomplish this, macrophages utilize a complex called the inflammasome to promote cytokine processing and release. In addition to cytokine processing and release, the macropahges also commit suicide via the pyroptotic cell death pathway. Elucidating how macrophages switch from incredible resistance to membrane damage induced by SLO and other agents to dismantling this resistance and tearing their own membranes apart will help us understand the fundamental cell death and repair mechanisms that lie at the heart of inflammation.

Kim, Jayjungkyu.kim@ttu.eduTTUMechanical Engineering;ME 216Research; Technology;
I guided 3 graduate and 5 undergraduate students from UC Berkeley and University of Utah. All succeeded in their reserach goal.
Biology and Biochemistry
Fundamentral engineering course
Microfluidic portable chemical analyzer
Development of point-of-care device to detect TB or other pathogen simply and rapidly
Novel techniqiue to detect the single nucleotide polymorphisim to use for personalized medicine
Kingston, Tiggatigga.kingston@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 421Research; Education; Technology;
TTU -- 7 undergraduates taking research credit in my lab (several for 2 semesters)
Boston University - 3 undergraduates taken to Malaysia for research (3 months) on my bat diversity project under the NSF REU program.
BIOL 1403, 1404


Bat diversity of the Texas Great Plains

Bats are a key component of Texas ecosystems; they function as bioindicators and also control insect pest populations. As the number of conservation issues in Texas grows, it is important that we have systematic data on species in order to formulate management plans. Very little research has been done on the bats in the panhandle of Texas.  Work with Dr. Tigga Kingston and PhD student Marina Fisher-Phelps to collect invaluable data for bat conservation in Texas. Field surveys will mostly be acoustical but will include some mist netting.


2 student positions for TTU undergraduates are available for fieldwork in Summer 2012, with analysis in Fall 2012. Responsibilities are still being developed and are likely to change as the needs of the project develop but will include:

i)Provide support to PhD student

ii)     Participate in field surveys - acoustic recording of bats

ii)   Enter and check data in the lab, sound analysis

iii)  Contribute to development of literature library

iv)  Attend lab meeting (Fall and Spring Semesters)


The lab does not provide a stipend.


Selection Criteria: Skills include, numerical/database, writing and communication, leadership + team, academic ability, commitment. Prior experience of working with bats is NOT expected for the TTU undergraduate positions. Students prepared to commit to a 1+ years are preferred. Rabies vaccination is not required for the internship but is required for handling bats.



Student Opportunity with the Southeast Asian Bat Conservation Research Unit (SEABCRU) with Dr Tigga Kingston (SEABCRU Director, Dept Biological Sciences, TTU)

The SEABCRU (www.seabcru.org) is a network of individuals, organizations, and institutes committed to conservation research of Southeast Asia’s imperiled bat fauna. It was established in 2007, and in 2011 received funds from the National Science Foundation to enhance the network and to collate and collect data on the abundance, distribution and diversity of bats across Southeast Asia. The SEABCRU is organized into four teams focusing on i) flying fox conservation, ii) conservation of cave-dependent bats, iii) conservation of forest-dependent bats and iv) taxonomy and systematics. Each team is led by 2-3 experts, supported by 5 students (a mix of Southeast Asian and US PhD and undergraduates).

2 student positions for TTU undergraduates as part of the student support teams are available.  Responsibilities are still being developed and are likely to change as the needs of the SEABCRU develop but include:

i)                    Provide support to their team leaders throughout the year

ii)                  Enter and check data in the SEABCRU database

iii)                Contribute to and motivate discussions in the SEABCRU social network.  

iv)                Find and prepare news articles for the front end of the SEABCRU website

v)                  Contribute to development of literature library

vi)                Attend the SEABCRU network meeting in June 2012 (2-3 days) in support of their team leaders, and their team’s subsequent 3-day workshop in Thailand.

The SEABCRU does not provide a stipend, but full travel support to the meeting and workshops in Thailand is provided.

Selection Criteria: Skills (ICT, numerical/database, writing and communication, leadership + team), academic ability, commitment. Prior experience of working with bats or international travel is NOT expected for the TTU undergraduate positions; however, you must be comfortable working with a diverse international team, and be receptive to new experiences. Students prepared to commit to a 2 year period are preferred (there are additional workshops in SE Asia in 2013).

Klein, Daviddavid.klein@ttu.eduTTUInstitute for Environmental and Human Health;TIEHH 555Research;I have worked with 2 undergraduates from the TTU Honors programChemistry

​1.  Elemental research on arsenic and toxic heavy metals

2.  Development of food sterilizer

3.  Analysis of samples for environmental pollutants

4.  Gas Chromatography-mass spectrometry projects

5.  Liquid Chromatography-mass spectrometry projects

6.  Inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry projects

7.  Analysis of wastewater epidemiology

Kucera, Jennjennifer.moore-kucera@ttu.eduTTUPlant Science 201Research;I have mentored (chair or co-shaired) 5 MS and 5 PhD students over the past 7 years and an additional 15+ within other committees.General Soil Science and Microbial Ecology

​Conservation land management and soil microbial responses.

Sustainable agriculture.

Soil microbial ecology.

Dust microbiology.

Lacerda, Carlacarla.lacerda@ttu.eduTTULivermore Center 219Research; Education;

​Tissue engineering and mechanobiology 

Li, Guigenguigen.li@ttu.eduTTUChemistry and Biochemistry;Chemistry 300-ANo Preference;
06-07 Thao Nguyen
Li, Weiwill.liwei@gmail.comTTU Research; Education; Technology;I have directly supervised three undergraduate students when I was in other schools. At Tech, I have mentored five undergraduate students.You are expected to continue research project for at lease 12 months, with 10 hours during fall/spring semester and 20 hours in summer semester. Qualified applicants may get payed by research funding.

We are focusing on combining cutting-edge microfluidics, soft materials and high throughput nano-assembly techniques to develop novel biofunctional polymer surfaces and microdevices for biological applications, with particular interests in 3D cell microenvironments, cell-surface interactions, bio-imaging sensors, and cancer drug screening.

Long, Kevinkevin.long@ttu.eduTTUMath 102Research;At TTU I have mentored 3 PhD students (4 more in progress) and 4 MS students. Previously, at Sandia National Laboratories I mentored 4 undergraduate and 5 graduate student summer interns.Math 3351, 4354, or 4325

​I have ongoing research problems in numerical analysis, mathematical biology, computational fluid dynamics, computational electromagnetics, and computational astrophysics.

Maguire, Anaana.maguire@ttu.eduTTU Education;
Martinez, Dimitrio dimitrio.martinez@ttu.eduTTUCollege of Education 261Research; Education;During graduate school at Florida International University, I worked with the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics as Graduate Assistant Women's Tennis Coach from 2010-2012. This experience allowed me to contribute to the academic, athletic, and personal development of student-athletes. From monitoring academic performance, to mentoring student-athletes with career choices, this experience positively shaped my teaching and mentoring knowledge base and skills.

My main current research project consists of collecting data for my dissertation. The focus of this study, which has recently been approved by both my dissertation committee and IRB, is to examining the influence of attention on motor learning and self-efficacy. Treatment interventions that manipulate and compare various attentional foci are warranted to determine optimal learning conditions influencing both motor skills and self-efficacy. Further awareness of the attentional focus research literature, particularly in applied settings (e.g., physical education and sport programs) may bring about positive changes in the learning process.

In addition, I am currently assisting a faculty member in the College of Education with data coding and evaluation of various research projects. 

Maul, Jonathanjonathan.maul@tiehh.ttu.eduTTUEnvironmental Toxicology;Building 555 101AAResearch;

I have mentored four undergraduate students at TTU, two of which are Bridges Scholars.  I have also mentored one M.S. and six Ph.D. students thus far at TTU. 

I also have mentored numerous graduate and undergraduate students as a post doctoral research associate prior to coming to TTU.

None, except for an interest in aquatic ecology and ecotoxicology.
General Research Interests:
1) Multiple stressor effects on aquatic communities
2) Effects of pesticides on aquatic communities
3) Ecological Bioavailability: Dependence of organic contaminant toxicity and bioavailability on functional traits for resource aquisition
4) The role of diurnal temperature regime on invertebrate and amphibian growth rates, ecosystem functioning, and contaminant toxicity
Current Research Opportunities:
1) Effects of current and predicted diurnal temperature regimes on invertebrate and larval amphibian growth rates
2) Effects of current and predicted diurnal temperature regimes on primary productivity, secondary production, and C cycling in playa microcosms.
3) Effects of fungicides on invertebreate shredder growth rates and leaf processing
4) Contaminant impacts in urban playa wetlands
Mayer, Michaelmf.mayer@ttu.eduTTUChemistry and Biochemistry;CHEM 223DNo Preference;
04-06 Christiana Layode
08    Ruiyang Jiang
08    Alex Khadzkou
04-06   Christiana Layode
08    Alex Khadzkou
08-10   Ruiyang Jiang
10   Jennelle M. Salles
CHEM 3305
Supramacromolecular chemical methodology
Mcintyre, Nancynancy.mcintyre@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 420Research;
04-05 Kyle Hernandez
06-07 Crystal Craig
HHMI Research Scholar Kyle Hernandez was a member of my lab in 2004-05; Kyle graduated in May 2005 and is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Chicago. He is senior author on a publication resulting from the research he conducted in my lab, and he gave presentations at various local and national scientific meetings. 

HHMI Research Scholar Crystal Craig was a member of my lab in 2006-07; she graduated in May 2007 and is currently a physician. She had two publications and gave a presentation at an international meeting on the research she conducted in my lab.  

Fourteen other undergraduates (not part of HHMI) have also worked in my lab (primarily summers) since 2000.
Students should have an interest in and preferably some background coursework in ecology. Some projects involve fieldwork during summer session.
 Surveying the dragonflies and damselflies of the Llano Estacado:
Little is known about the diversity of odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) of the playas of the Llano Estacado, or how that diversity is impacted by human activity. The objective of this project is to survey adult and larval odonates at playas surrounded by different forms of human land-use. It is hoped that this information will be useful in identifying sensitive indicator species for water/environmental quality. No experience is necessary, but must be available in summer for field work.

Potential effects of projected climate change on dragonflies and damselflies:
Climate change is projected to increase air and water temperatures, alter precipitation regimes, and cause extended droughts. We currently have some lab experiments examining potential effects of warming and desiccation on the growth, development, and survival of dragonflies and damselflies. No experience is necessary. 

Analyses of dragonfly and damselfly metapopulations and metacommunities:
Based on the long-term data that my lab has collected over the past several years, this project would serve those students most interested in gaining database management and computer-based analysis skills. We have spatial and temporal data on both biodiversity and abiotic environmental variables. We are interested in determining whether the occurrence and abundance of certain dragonfly and damselfly species can be predicted by certain environmental parameters, which is crucial to identifying when organisms are experiencing environmental stress. Students involved in this project have a great opportunity to gain and use GIS, spatial modeling, and/or statistical skills. No field work is necessary but can be included for students interested in that aspect. This project does not necessarily involve summer field work.
Mendu, Venugopalvenugopal.mendu@ttu.eduTTUFood Technology 204EResearch; Education; Technology;

​Plant molecular biology: Genetic engineering, gene expression analysis, transgenic plant development

Biofuel research: Genetic engineering plant biomass for biofuel production and biochemical analysis

Miller, Bradleybradley.miller@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCPathology;TTUHSC 1A-115DResearch;
As a laboratory director, I have mentored 10 persons, ranging from undergraduate to post-medical-school scholars, for periods as short as a summer and as long as a year.  Six of these have been TTU undergraduates rotating within the last year.
As a residency rotation director, I have mentored the research and clinical interests of more than 20 residents.  These have included laboratory chemistry, neuropathology and surgical pathology rotations.  Currently I am mentoring an MD/PhD medical student and 6 TTU undergraduates who are interested in medicine and exposure to translational research.
Students should have a basic understanding of biology, chemistry and laboratory management.  Any experience in molecular biology techniques would be a plus.  An interest in disease-related science is typical of our scholars, many of whom intend to apply for further health-related graduate school training, often medical school.  Comfort with exposure to human-derived materials is also a plus.
As a physician-scientist, my research opportunities are in translational research.  For me, this is the application of basic research techniques and knowledge to patient-derived surgical and brain bank materials.  Current projects involve studies on the genetics of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.  Subject areas include Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease and various cancers.  We are building our experience working with animal models and xenograft models (both rodent-based) of these diseases.  We have a close collaborative relationship with a basic science laboratory that shares this focus and works primarily with rodemt models of Alzheimer disease.
Mulligan, Kevinkevin.mulligan@ttu.eduTTUGeosciences;Holden Hall 208Research;
GIST 3300: Geographic Information Systems

Neuber, Andreasandreas.neuber@ttu.eduTTUElectrical and Computer Engineering;ECE 106Research;
- TTU, Clark Scholar mentor for gifted high school students (2007, 2005, 2003, 2002)
  • High Power Microwave Breakdown
  • Electric Surface Flashover
  • Explosively Driven Pulsed Power
  • Haptic Feedback System
Niehuis, Sylviasylvia.niehuis@ttu.eduTTUHuman Development & Family Studies;
Nutter, Brianbrian.nutter@ttu.eduTTUELECE 214Research;dozens of grad students. dozens of undergrad lab projectsJohn C Williams

​Compuiter Architecture

Pandey, Akhileshakhilesh.pandey@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCHealth Sciences Center; Research;
13-Daniela Rojas
Pantoya, Michellemichelle.pantoya@ttu.eduTTUMechanical Engineering;Mechanical Engineering ME 105Research;2014-Jesus Efren Cano
Pappas, Dimitrid.pappas@ttu.eduTTUChemistry and Biochemistry;Chemistry 300-BResearch;
07-08 Careen LeMeilleur
I currently mentor 8 undergraduates in my research group. These students work with my graduate students, but on their own projects that compliment my graduate students work. Students should have completed organic chemistry.
Paton, Chadchad.m.paton@ttu.eduTTUHuman Sciences;Human Sciences 402CResearch;
Current Projects
1) Effects of fibrin degradation products on adipose inflammation, adipogenesis, and fibrosis.
2) Muscle specific accumulation of linoleic acid to promote metabolic and cardiovascular health.
3) Effects of diacylglycerol versus free fatty acids on muscle insulin resistance.
Pease, Allisonallison.pease@ttu.eduTTURange, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management;Goddard Hall 07AResearch;I have mentored eight undergraduate researchers at TTU. My undergraduate research program, often funded externally, has been successful at mentoring and training undergraduate students in aquatic ecology and allowing them to present their research at national and local venues.

​1. Spatial and temporal variation in Pecos River food webs

2. Environmental influences on fish assemblage structure in the Grijalva-Usumacinta basin, Mexico

3. Ecology and life history of non-native Gulf Killifish and Naked Goby in invaded inland habitats

4. Impacts of river salinization on aquatic food-web structure

Perez-Zoghbi, Josejose.perez-zoghbi@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCCell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics;Health Sciences Center 5A161Research;
Trained one undergraduate student through (Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program). We trained one postgraduate student and two summer students.
Basics in biochemistry or cell biology and laboratory techniques
My laboratory is interested in understanding cellular mechanisms underling the lung diseases such as asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), and pulmonary hypertension by using ‘living’ lung slices prepared from animals in combination with molecular, pharmacological and imaging tools including confocal microscopy, Western blot, specific protein knockdown with siRNA. Currently, we are studding the mechanisms of regulation of intrapulmonary airway and artery smooth muscle contraction. We are also exploring the effects of inflammatory mediators associated with lung pathologies on the contractility and Ca2+ signaling of airway and artery smooth muscle cells.
Phillips, Calebcaleb.phillips@ttu.eduTTUBiology 609Research;Marilyn Matthew

​Metagenomics relating to energetics and pregnancy

Prien, Samsamuel.prien@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCPhysiology;HSC 3B-201AResearch;2009-2010 Natalie ZimmererOver the last 25 years I have mentor numerous students (from high school to PhD) involved in research. I have mentored or co-mentored individuals from HHMI, Honors CASNR research programs, as well as a number of individuals who just wanted a research experience/ My philosophy is to individually the research experience to the student rather than making them be a cog in the research machine. Using this approach we have had students at all levels excel to the best of their abilities, and they have had their work recognized at the local, regional and national levels. More importantly, the research experience have allowed all of these students to move forward with their own career goals. One final though, your experience in my lab will be exactly what you make it. We are here to support your efforts, but your accomplishments at the end of the day will be the result of the work you choose to do or not to do.Basic courses in biology and at least one physiology course (preferred courses AFS 2306 or AFS 3401)
In general terms, my laboratory is mainly involved in applied research aim at improving fertility in both humans and animals. We currently have research going in six distinct areas:     Improvement of cryopreservation (freezing techniques for embryos. The research is looking at developing new solutions the problems of preparing embryos from species or breeds which currently have poor freezing rates.      Development of a unique collection system for human and animal semen. This is ongoing research with a patented device developed in my laboratory for semen collection. We are to the point of human trials and research is designed to collect data to allow wide spread use of the device in humans and animals.      Development of new media for the culture and cryopreservation of sperm, egg cells and embryos. Most media current used for these processes were developed for other cell types and may no be optimal for reproductive tissues. We are looking at new and unique compounds to improve this process.      A simple and inexpensive means of sex selection in semen. The is an obvious need in agriculture for sex section of semen. Current technologies are too expensive, therefore there is a need to find a cost-effective methodology. We are working with a technique developed in this lab (and under patent review) which has shifted the sperm ratio to 75:25 in laboratory tests. We are gearing up to conduct animal trial to see if this equates to the same ratio of male:females in a bovine model.      A basic understand of the biochemical pathways involved in preparing sperm for fertilization. Chemical, sperm are very simple cells. During development they “throw away” most of what an average cell has to react to its environment. We are trying to understand how it used its limited biochemical resource to accomplish the steps necessary for fertilization.      A basic understanding of the effect of electromagnetic fields on gametes and embryos in assisted reproductive laboratories. Electromagnetic fields are all around us. The are especially present in the equipment used for fertility treatment. We are trying to develop a basic understand on how they affect reproduction in assisted reproduction.
Protopopova, Sashaa.protopopova@ttu.eduTTUAnimal and Food Sciences Building 219Research;I have mentored undergraduate research assistants in the department for 1 year, but not through the HHMI program. I was an HHMI scholar when I was an undergraduate student.No classes required. No techniques required.

​A current research project involves going out to a local animal shelter and collecting behavioral and physiological data (urine, feces, and saliva samples) from the dogs. Our general aim is to determine the effects of temperament on immune system function under stress in shelter dogs. Undergraduate RAs will accompany graduate students to the shelter a few times per week and assist with all data collection. There is an opportunity to get hands-on experience with all aspects of this research. At this point, this is an unpaid position, that can be taken for credit if desired. There is also a possibility of conducting a final senior thesis after a semester of assisting.

Rahman, Shaikhshaikh.rahman@ttu.eduTTUHuman Sciences;Human Sciences 301BResearch;I have mentored both undergraduate and graduate students before and have been continually mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students.

​Dietary and genetic regulation of cancer cell proliferation

Dietary and genetic regulation of metabolic shifting in macrophages

Ray, Daviddavid.a.ray@ttu.eduTTUESB 206Research;I have mentored ~15 undergraduate researchers at WVU, Mississippi State University and TTU. Several of those students have gone on to enter and/or complete MS/PhD programs.

My lab focuses on genomics and genome evolution with an emphasis on transposable elements and their impacts on genome structure and function. While we do some field and laboratory work, much of our research is performed using bioinformatics tools. Our primary research organisms are bats and crocodilians but we work with several other animals as well. Those include rodents, flies and the occasional fish.​

Reilly, Brianbrian.reilly@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 212Research;
01-03 Barbarra Schraml
03-04 Katrina Petney
I have mentored two HHMI fellows who were accepted to graduate school at Washington University School of Medicine, and UCLA School of Medicine.  Both students were authors on one or more published manuscriptsNo prerequisites required.

·        CD4+ T-cells display an array of functions that can be traced to distinct lineages of thymocytes or to a variety of effector fates open to a naïve T cell. The path taken during thymic development and during activation in the periphery depends not only on signals received through the TCR, but also on individual signals received through other cellular receptors.  Earlier studies, beginning 20 years ago, showed that complement receptor 1 (CD35) exists on a minor population of human CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells.  To date, it has not been determined whether expression of this receptor marks a separate lineage of T-cells or the role this receptor plays during T-cell activation.  Thus, the long-term goal of our research is to determine the basis of CD35 expression on T-cells and the effect its complement ligands’ C3b and C4b have on T-cell immunity.  Understanding how the complement system influences T-cell activity is significant as it will further our basic knowledge of the interaction between innate and adaptive immunity and could be valuable in development of vaccines for autoimmune and infectious diseases, and in therapeutic treatments for various types of cancer. 

Rock, Chrischris.rock@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Experimental Sciences Bldg 306No Preference;Mentored Julie Weckar, Idalou HS science teacher, summer 2003. mentored Gary Fortenberry, Monterrey HS science teacher, summer 2004, 2005. Mentored UG student Daniel Rinewalt 2004-2005; currently in med school at UTHSC Houston; Mentored UG student James West 2006; currently HS science teacher; Mentored Dustin Stidger, 2008/2009 Honors College Research Fellow; currently in TTUHSC Medical School; Mentored Rudd Larson 2009/2010, currently in grad school, Michigan State University Plant Research Lab/Genetics Graduate Program (my alma mater); Mentored Megan Galindo 20011/2012; currently accepted to medical school. BIOL3416 "Genetics" BOT4409 "Plant Development" recommended
>"Computational analysis of causality between microRNAs and antisense transcription" (This project was funded by the NIH from 2007-2010) Antisense transcription is a widespread and pervasive phenomenon affecting about 25% of eukaryotic genes, but its origins and functions are unknown. Small RNAs such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and trans-acting small-interfering RNAs (ta-siRNAs) are also pervasive in metazoans and play important roles in gene regulation, development, and disease, but to date the predictive power of computational methods for plant and animal small RNA discovery is limited. Based on computational analysis of Arabidopsis and rice transcriptome databases, it is hypothesized that miRNAs and ta-siRNAs are triggers for antisense transcription. This hypothesis will be rigorously tested using computational and statistical methods on the Arabidopsis, rice, grape and sorghum reference genomes and in emerging genomes such as cotton and other crops. Using known and hypothesized miRNA and ta-siRNA target gene antisense transcription as a learning set, a new algorithm will be developed based on antisense transcription combined with established miRNA prediction methods to discover new candidate miRNAs, ta-siRNAs and their hypothetical target genes. The identified putative small RNA target genes would be inherently “interesting” as potential key regulators of growth and development. The predicted novel small RNAs and their targets will be experimentally validated with a facile transient assay system, RNA blots and rapid amplification of cDNA ends to prove novel miRNA-directed cleavage of targets. Transcriptome profiling on whole genome tiling arrays of known mutants that affect miRNAs and antisense transcription will determine the extent of causality of antisense and small RNAs. A novel algorithm for small RNA prediction based on a phenomenon shared between plants and animals may have general utility for small RNA discovery in any organism for which deep genomic resources exist, for genome annotation, and for better understanding of human disease etiologies. Such a predictive tool would also have utility in the fields of functional genomics and evolutionary biology. A better understanding of small RNAs and their roles in gene regulation may shed light on "the RNA World" and the origins of life. >"Molecular genetic analysis of HARLEQUIN, a pleiotropic mutant of Arabidopsis that has ectopic expression of a hormone-regulated reporter gene and cell wall defects." (This work has been submitted to the DOE for funding) Plant cell walls are complex carbohydrate polymers that comprise the bulk of biomass on earth and are the ultimate source of fodder and fiber in agriculture, yet knowledge of their biogenesis and functions in signal transduction of environmental stimuli and plant development is quite limited, even in model organisms. We have isolated a mutant of Arabidopsis, harlequin (hlq), that has altered abscisic acid (ABA)-, stress- and auxin-inducible late-embryogenesis-abundant pDc3:GUS reporter gene expression in roots and guard cells and pleiotropic effects on epidermal cell morphogenesis and the cell wall. The HLQ gene will be cloned by map-based methods and its subcellular and tissue-specific expression characterized. Detailed phenotypic characterization of hlq cell walls by immunocytological, chemical and spectroscopic means will be carried out in reference to known cell wall mutants. The transcriptome of hlq will be compared with wild type and ABA- or IAA-treated tissues in order to identify the molecular events mediated by the HLQ gene and their relationship to hormone responses. Functional identification and molecular cloning of a novel gene involved in ABA-, auxin-, stress perception/responses and cell wall metabolism will lead to new insights into fundamental processes such as cell expansion and morphogenesis in response to environmental and hormonal cues. A major application of such knowledge will be to more fully realize plants' potential for biomass production and adaptation to more marginal environments that experience water deficits and high salinity. > "Functional characterization of pyrbactin-like abscisic acid receptors in transgenic cotton" The growth in the world';s population combined with a general increase in global prosperity and decrease in arable land are creating increasing demands for food, fiber, biofuels, and sustainable agriculture. More than 80% of available fresh water is consumed by agriculture (1). Drought is a perennial environmental constraint, affecting an estimated 25% of all crops and completely decimating west Texas dryland cotton yields on a regular basis. Estimates of the value-added worth of cotton with increased photosynthetic and water use efficiencies, enhanced flowering, and improved seed qualities exceed $200 million/yr in west Texas, $1 billion/yr in the USA, and $5 billion/yr globally (2). Abscisic acid (ABA) is a plant hormone that controls adaptation to drought, abiotic and biotic stresses, root and seed development, and cellulose biosynthesis. Receptors for ABA have recently been discovered and shown to confer drought tolerance in transgenic plants and to interact with protein phosphatases and transcription factors that we have been studying, ABA-INSENSITIVE-1 (ABI1), the cognate of a large family of protein phosphatases 2C, and the basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor ABI5. We have generated transgenic cotton that overexpress ABI5 and other transcription factors and have shown they improve vegetative and fiber growth traits. We are in the process of transforming cotton with the ABA receptors PYRBACTIN RESISTANCE1 (PYR1) and PYR-Like homologues and dominant-negative mutant version of ABI1 to provide insight into the role of ABA signaling in cotton growth and development and establish a proof-in-principle that we can engineer value-added stress response traits and improved seed and fiber qualities in cotton.
Rodgers, Brendabrenda.rodgers@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 005Research;
I have always involved undergraduates in my research program, many of which have gone on to be extremely competitive for research positions as graduate students. One of my former undergraduate students stayed in my program for a M.S. and is currently a Ph.D. student at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Other former students, that trained in my laboratory as undergraduates, are now in Ph. D. Programs at UTMB , Univeristy of Toronto, or in medical schools.
Genetics required. Cell Biology or Cell & Molecular Biology will be helpful.

Current Research Efforts


Chernobyl –Recent experiments examine the effects of low dose irradiation on the modulation of gene expression and immune function in utero.


Iraq –Human health effects of Uranium exposure in Iraqi villages near former nuclear facilities. I have traveled to Iraq many times in that last few years to collect samples.


TTU – Currently generating preliminary data  to investigate the genetic component of substance abuse and relapse susceptibility.


West Texas – Stable isotope and genetic analysis of Mexican free-tailed bats in Caprock Canyons State Park (in collaboration with WTAMU)

Rumbaugh, Kendrakendra.rumbaugh@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCSurgery;TTUHSC 3A119BResearch;
06-07 Gulpreet Singh
13-Stephanie Deleon
13-Angel Cueva
I have mentored several HHMI, SABR, BRIDGES and honors college students.Microbiology preferred

P. aeruginosa Pathogenesis and Biofilm Formation in Wounds

Infection with the Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in severely burned patients, and the cause of debilitating chronic infections in diabetic patients. P. aeruginosa relies on an arsenal of cell-associated and secreted virulence factors to colonize and infect its host, and it persists and invades the immune system by building biofilms.  We have recently shown that P. aeruginosa forms biofilm in burn wounds, specifically surrounding blood vessels and adipocytes.  Currently, we are focusing on characterizing the biofilms formed in chronic diabetic wounds.  

Interkingdom Signaling between P. aeruginosa Quorum Sensing Molecules and Host Cells 

Quorum sensing (QS) is a cell density-dependent signaling process used by many bacteria to coordinate gene expression in a population.  QS in Gram-negative bacteria is controlled by diffusible molecules called autoinducers (AI) that function as ligands for regulatable transcription factors.  At least two separate QS systems exist in P. aeruginosa, the LasI/LasR and RhlI/RhlR systems.  The ligands for LasR and RhlR are N-3-oxododecanoyl- and N-butyryl- homoserine lactones, or PAI-1 and PAI-2, respectively. Several studies indicate that bacterial autoinducers, and PAI-1 in particular, can also influence gene expression in host eukaryotic cells, a process we’ve termed interkingdom signaling.  We hypothesize that this regulatory process involves autoinducer receptor molecules in the host cells, possibly transcription factors.  We have shown that P. aeruginosa autoinducers can efficiently enter mammalian cells and modulate gene expression potentially through the interaction of nuclear hormone receptors. In addition we have also recently shown that the nematode C. elegans can sense bacterial autoinducers and use this sensory information to ‘learn’ to avoid pathogens.
Sand, Daviddavid.sand@ttu.eduTTUScience 107Research;Have mentored many undergrads through the years!Enthusiasm!! Grit!!!

​Measuring Black Hole Masses with Reverberation Mapping

Understanding How Supernovae Explode

Dwarf galaxies as the Smallest Dark Matter Halos

Schneider, Brandtbrandt.schneider@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCMicrobiology and Immunology;TTUHSC 5C119Research;
99-00 Kimberly Ott-Robertson
07-08 Noelle Zavala
11-12 Lesley Abraham
12- Jessica Stilwell
Genetics of the cell cycle;oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes and carcinogenesis; cell signalling;mitosis and meiosis. In the past 13 years, I have mentored the following undergraduates: Kimberly Ott (HHMI) Robert Rodriguez, Lisa Ottmers, Kimberly Martin (SABR) Natalie Gyorke (SABR) Peter Midthun (SABR); Arkadi Manukyan (SABR); Typhanie Marois (SABR); Noelle Zavala (HHMI); Katie Kuhn (HHMI); Lesley Abraham (HHMI); Jessica Stilwell (TTU) 
True enthusiasm about science, a hard-work ethic, and a strong belief that the lab experience should be fun and productive.
Sizing up the Role of G1-phase Cdks in the Control of Cell Proliferation:
Genetic experiments have shown that G1-phase cyclin dependent kinases (Cdks) are required for normal proliferation and development. In contrast, hyper-active Cdks are implicated in the causation of cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms that modulate the activity of G1-phase Cdks are still not well understood. Thus, the broad and long-term goals of my laboratory are to identify and dissect the genetic, molecular and biochemical pathways that control G1-phase Cdk activity and to determine the role of G1-phase Cdks in controlling cell proliferation. Using yeast as a genetic model system, we have discovered a novel mechanism whereby G1-phase Cdk activity and cell proliferation are regulated. Namely, we have shown that G1-phase Cdk activity and the proliferative capacity of cells are strongly linked to cell size. Importantly, cells larger than normal are hyperproliferative due to elevated G1-phase Cdk activity. Interestingly, homeostasis is maintained because lifespan is also cell size dependent; large cells die considerably sooner than small cells. Because G1-phase Cdks and the basic mechanisms of cell cycle control are so highly conserved, we hypothesize that mammalian cell proliferation and G1-phase Cdk activity are also linked to cell size. Linking cell size to proliferation rate using G1-phase Cdks might represent a physiological means that enables large resting cells (e.g. oocytes or stem cells) to proliferate rapidly in response to stimuli (i.e. fertilization or differentiation/regeneration cues, respectively). However, the inability to appropriately down regulate G1-phase Cdk activity might be a cause of cancer.
Schwilk, Dylandylan.schwilk@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 206BResearch;
13-Tailor Brown
Since arriving at Tech, I've supervised several undergraduates in independent projects and I have mentored two HHMI students conducting both lab and field-based studies. I've co-authored a paper with one student.
Students must have a strong sense of curiosity and should be excited about ecology.
Fire ecology and evolutionary ecology

Fire ecology of Texas savannas:

Historically, fire maintained open savannas in much of west Texas.  Over the last century, many rangelands have seen increasing densities of shrubs and trees and decreasing grass cover partly due to decreased fire frequency. My lab is interested in several basic questions of fire ecology in these systems.  How does winter drought (especially the interaction of water stress and freezing temperatures) affect resprouts and seedlings of woody species?  How do differences in flammability of different species influence interactions among them?  Can differences in flammability of grassland species help predict post-fire community structure?

Fire-stimulated seed germination in prairie species:

Many plant species in fire-prone regions show fire-stimulated seed germination.  In shrublands in California and South Africa, for example, there are species that germinate only when exposed to smoke.  Some of these species lay dormant in the soil for years between fires.  Here on the plains, tallgrass and shortgrass prairies experience frequent fires and fire is often used by managers in restoration.  Additionally some prairie species have been difficult to cultivate because of seed dormancy.  A former HHMI student in my lab discovered smoke-stimulated germination in several species.  We'd like to continue work in this area.

Climate change and plant distributions in the Texas Sky Island mountain ranges

We are investigating tree distributions and habitat requirements in the Chisos, Davis and Guadalupe mountains.  This work involves both field-based data collection and lab work analyzing leaf and stem samples.
Sharma, Jyotsnajyotsna.sharma@ttu.eduTTUPlant Science Bldg. 219Research;We have mentored 15+ undergraduate students from various universities and countries in our laboratory over the years. Students majoring in Biology, Ecology, Plant Science, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Management have worked with us. Typically, students stay in the lab for 1 to 2 years and contribute by participating in ongoing projects or by designing and conducting independent experiments. Students gain competency in bench skills, data management, and scientific writing and publishing.Courses:
Introductory Biology

Basic familiarity with sterile culture and molecular biology concepts
Our primary research focus is on mycorrhizal ecology. All research projects fall within this general umbrella, though specific questions address the role of mycorrhizal diversity and function in explaining plant development and distribution in natural ecosystems. We play with roots and the fungi (and bacteria) within them! We also employ microscopic seeds in our projects to help us answer questions of ecological interest. Here is a link for a current position opening in my laboratory: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/pss/faculty_pages/jsharma.php (look for '2017 NSF REU Undergraduate Research Position').
Shaw, Robert robert.shaw@ttu.eduTTUChemistry and Biochemistry;Chemistry 330 AResearch;
96-97 Bradley Morgan
01-02 Jennifer Lacina
01-02 Michelle Wells
04-05 Susan Wozniak
04-05 Katherine Durrer
04-05 Dustin Whitson
06-07 Thao Nguyen
I have previously served as a mentor for seven former HHMI students. Certainly two semesters of general chemistry and general biology would be useful. A year of organic chemistry and some biochemistry
and/or cell and molecular biology experience would be very useful. Previous research experience is not necessary.  I am willing to consider
 the right student at any level of experience.
Metalloenzymes and Antibiotic Resistance in Pathogenic Bacteria:
ß-Lactam antibiotics (such as penicillins and cephalosporins) are the most heavily prescribed antibacterial drugs in clinical use today. In fact, three of the twenty most commonly prescribed drugs in the U. S. fall in this category. ß-Lactamases are enzymes that catalyze the hydrolytic inactivation of ß-lactam antibiotics and thereby constitute the major mechanism by which pathogenic bacteria become resistant to such antibiotics. Our research interest is focused on metallo-ß-lactamases produced by bacteria such as Bacillus cereus or B. anthracis. Not much is known concerning compounds that can inhibit metallo-ß-lactamases and thereby allow the antibiotics to do their job of killing pathogenic bacteria. Clearly, understanding the reaction mechanisms of ß-lactamases is of considerable importance to the pharmaceutical industry and the medical community. Our research approach involves site-directed mutagenesis of metallo-ß-lactamases, expression and purification of wild type and mutant forms of the enzyme, presteady-state and steady-state kinetic studies and spectroscopic experiments on the purified enzymes. We are using rational drug design and combinatorial chemical approaches to find new metallo-ß-lactamase inhibitors.
Shi, Huazhonghuazhong.shi@ttu.eduTTUChemistry and Biochemistry;Chemistry 413AResearch;
06-07 Noemi Guerrero
I have mentored a HHMI and McNair dual scholar for about 2 years. Some background on Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.
1. Plant salt tolerance: using forward genetic screening, mutants with increased salt tolerance in Arabidopsis were identified and some of the mutations have been positionally cloned. A combination of genetic, physiological, molecular and biochemical studies have been employed to uncover the molecular mechanisms of plant salt response and tolerance.
2. Sulfonation of small molecules in plant stress response. The main goal of this project is to understand the role of sulfonation of samll molecules, including plant hormones, in plant stress response.
3. Gene regulation in response to abiotic stresses. We have established a mutant screening system using luciferase as a reporter to identified genes that are important for stress-responsive gene regulation. Several genes crucial for gene repression have been identified and elucidating the underlyig molecular mechanisms is the focus of our ongoing projects.
Siddiqui, Afzalafzal.siddiqui@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCMicrobiology and Immunology;TTUHSC 5B197Research;
Over two decades of experience with undergraduate, graduate and medical students Some background in Molecular Biology or Immunology
Development of vaccines for human parasites and elucidation aging genes/pathways in roundworms.
Soto, Paulpaul.soto@ttu.eduTTUBurkhart Center 215Research;I currently mentor six undergraduate students in my laboratory conducting studies on the behavioral effects of dopaminergic compounds and on cognitive decline in Alzheimer's mice. Two of my students recently were awarded FASEB MARC travel awards to attend the annual Experimental Biology meeting. Prior to coming to TTU, I mentored summer research assistantships as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Drug Abuse and as a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.Students interested in participating in research in my laboratory should be willing to work with laboratory mice, but not specific prerequisite courses or techniques are necessary.

Long-term effects of early-life exposure to antipsychotic medications - we are examining, in mice, the long-term metabolic, growth, and behavioral effects of early-life exposure to antipsychotic medications that are approved for use in children.

Cognitive decline in Alzheimer's transgenic mice - we are examining the profile of cognitive deficits in memory and attention that develop in Alzheimer's transgenic mice as they age and develop Alzheimer's disease-related neuropathology.

Choice and behavioral economics - we are examining how mice make choices between options of different value and how economic variables such as the cost (responses required) to obtain food determine food consumption.​

Sridhara, Ss.sridhara@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCBiochemistry;TTUHSC 5A125Research;none Should have taken cell biology and biochemistry classes. Laboratory experience will be of additional help.
Biochemical Endocrinology of Insect Metamorphosis: (1) Functional Analysis of the Ecdysone Receptor:
Ecdysone, the steroid hormone that singly regulates the multitude of biochemical activities involved in growth, metamorphosis, homeostasis, and even reproduction in most invertebrates is considered as the true ancestral signaling steroid molecule. Hence the receptor for this hormone, ecdysone receptor (EcR), is probably one of the earliest eucaryotic nuclear hormone receptors. The fact that all the millions of species in the class Arthropoda, with an evolutionary history of ~ 600 million years, utilize ecdysone (E) to regulate their physiological functions, accentuates the importance of researching EcR’s function. Our studies on the mechanisms by which ecdysone and EcR regulate the varying and multitude of physiological events are expected to lead to a better understanding of how gene activity in higher eucaryotes is regulated by ligand/receptor complexes and how terpenoid ligand regulation of cell function has evolved. Vertebrate systems need several steroid hormones and other ligands (retinoic acids, thyroid hormone, vitamin D, etc), to regulate multitude of biological activities that are controlled singly by ecdysone . Ecdysone action is analogous to that of thyroid hormones, based on their regulation of varied and numerous cell functions, dimerization of the receptors with RXRs, and their involvement in metamorphosis. Ecdysone functions similar to the sex steroid hormones, estrogens and androgens, as it has gonadotrophic activity in both male and female adult insects. The consensus ecdysone response element (EcRE) of some ecdysone regulated genes occurs twice in a rotationally symmetrical fashion very similar to those of glucocoticoid response elements (GRE) in glucocorticoid responsive genes. Phylogenetic comparisons of gene sequences place EcR closest to the vitamin D receptor in the nuclear receptor superfamily dendrogram. Thus EcR is a fascinating protein for structure-function and expression regulation studies, as it should possess within its amino acid sequence the features necessary for exhibiting activities characteristic of several mammalian nuclear hormone receptors. Investigations on EcR structure, function, and activity regulation, are important areas of research, for students of endocrinology, developmental biology, and molecular evolution. Studies on E/EcR regulation of gene activity will define how steroid dependent hierarch of transcription factor expression, and the consequent protein-protein interactions, combine to signal either tissue development or differrentiation. The goals of our studies are to answer the following questions: (1). Does EcR use different response elements for gene regulation at different stages of development?, (2). How does EcR regulate gene activity in the absence of the ligand?, (3). What other proteins interact with EcR to account for differntial gene activity that occurs in a hormonal-, developmental-, and tissue-, specific manner?, and (4). What is the significance of time-, and tissue-, specific tyrosine phosphorylation of EcR that has been demonstrated. Molecular biological procedures that are in the forefront of present day endocrinological research are being applied to answer these questions.
Biochemical Endocrinology of Insect Metamorphosis: (2) Molecular Characterization of Juvenile Hormone Receptor:
The Juvenile Hormone (JH) is a remarkable endocrine secreted molecule due to its chemical nature and versatility to regulate a variety of aspects during insect development. Four decades of studies indicate that JH probably functions via a intracellular receptor. Definitive understanding of JH’s mechanism of action requires the isolation and characterization of the receptor for this hormone (JHR). Given that insects have evolved over hundreds of millions of years, while retaining the basic physiological, functional and structural features necessary for JH action, characterizing the JH receptor is of great theoretical and evolutionary interest. Once isolated and characterized, further biochemical and genetic analyses on the receptor should permit key tests on hypotheses concerning evolution of terpenoid hormone signaling pathways for regulating morphogenesis, metamorphosis and gene activity. Equally important, rapid development and deployment of species specific JHR antagonists for control of harmful insects will be possible thereby expanding the effectiveness of “ biological pest control”. The goals of our studies are three fold. First, use the silkmoth as a model system to isolate and characterize the Juvenile Hormone Receptor. Second, use the information on silkmoth JHR to initiate studies on JHRs of other insect species, the priority being given to Drosophila JHR. Third, define the structure-function relationships of the JHR molecule, especially of the ligand binding domain so as to design rational antagonists. The current aim of this projectl is to isolate and characterize the receptor for the Juvenile Hormone using silkmoth epidermis (which offers several advantages for these studies) as the experimental system. We will build on our initial success in developing a new affinity probe, and employ this probe for affinity purification, expression screening, and phage display selection in appropriate combinations to successfully achieve the stated goal. Antibody and cDNA probes will be used to follow JHR dynamics during development, and correlate the data with JH titer determinations.
Starkey, Jessicajessica.starkey@ttu.eduTTUAnimal Science;Animal and Food Sciences Building 207Research;I conducted my graduate work in a lab led by an NIH-funded investigator who routinely mentored undergraduate researchers at the University of Connecticut. During my graduate program, I served as the graduate student advisor in the lab for two different undergraduate students conducting research in muscle biology.$0
$0Current undergraduate research opportunities in my laboratory are in the area of muscle biology. The potential projects range from hands-on animal feeding studies to muscle stem cell culture experiments and gene expression analyses using real-time quantitative PCR and western blotting techniques. Students will also have the opportunity to gain skills in several other molecular biological techniques as well as fluorescence microscopy under my mentorship. $0$0
Stevens, Richardrichard.stevens@ttu.eduTTUAgricultural Science;Goddard Hall 007dResearch;
Stock, Mattmatt.stock@ttu.eduTTUHealth, Exercise and Sport Sciences;HESS 103CResearch;13-Present Elias CarilloI am currently a mentor for an undergraduate student (Elias Carrillo).Grade of B or higher in Anatomy and/or Physiology. Background in science/biology preferred.

1) Does hamstring activity influence quadriceps fatigue during the Thorstensson test?

2) Time course for strength and agonist-antagonist coactivation following acute eccentric exercise.

Sutton, Roger roger.b.sutton@ttu.eduTTUHSCCell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics; 5A171Research;I have mentored undergraduate students who took part in the SEBS (Summer Experience in Biomedical Sciences) program at UTMB in Galveston. During their time in my lab, these students learned how to express, purify and crystallize protein molecules. These students then had the opportunity to present their work from my lab. Some have won poster awards that recognized the progress that was made during the short time in my lab.  These students have gone on to either pursue a career in Biomedical Sciences or a career in a science-related field. They still keep in touch with people in the lab.
Students should have a firm understanding of Biochemistry and a knowledge of some of the techniques.
C2 domains are fairly common protein motifs that link proteins to biological membranes; consequently, mutations in these domains can be extremely debilitating.  My lab examines the 3D structure of these proteins using X-ray crystallography to construct a high-resolution image of these mutant proteins with the intent to eventually cure the disease.

Our present interest is in the protein dysferlin.  Mutations in this protein causes Limb-Girdle muscular dystrophy in humans. The student's project will involve purification and crystallization of one of the seven C2 domains in human dysferlin.  If all goes well, the student will be able to collect high-resolution X-ray data on the resulting crystal at one of the major US synchrotron sources. Once the X-ray data is collected and the 3D structure calculated, the student could be the first to understand how specific mutations in this protein leads to disease.

Sutton, Vickievickie.sutton@ttu.eduTTULaw;
Tapia, Desireedesiree.n.tapia@ttu.eduTTU
Thomas, Jeffreyjeffrey.thomas@ttuhsc.eduTTUHSCCell Biology & Biochemistry;TTUHSC 5C186Research;Allison Spencer, June 2008- May 2010 Sishir Subedi, June 2000-May 2011 Stephanie Pleasant 2012-13 Ryan Dean 2013(Allison Spencer, June 2008- May 2010; Sishir Subedi, June 2000-May 2011). Other undergraduate mentoring experiences include three SABR summer undergraduate research interns (one for two summers), and one independent undergraduate researcher. I have mentored thirteen undergraduate research students. Four of these students were in the TTU/HHMI program.Strong interest in science. Otherwise, none required. Genetics course would be helpful.
Morphogenesis of the cephalic furrow. In this project, we study the cell shape changes and tissue movements involved in cephalic furrow formation during Drosophila gastrulation. During cephalic furrow formation, the cellular blastoderm invaginates into the embryo as a simple fold, retaining its epithelial character. We are investigating the morphogenetic processes and forces involved in remodeling the embryonic blastoderm during cephalic furrow formation. We are also taking a genetic approach to identify the genes that control this process. We have identified several genes and are currently analyzing their cellular functions. Regulation of microfilament dynamics during development. In this project, we study the role of actomyosin dynamics during cellularization, the process of forming cells in the multinucleate Drosophila embryo. During this stage of development, a lattice-like network of interconnected microfilament rings encompasses the entire embryo. We have found that src64 is involved in regulating the contraction of these microfilament rings. We are currently taking a genetic approach to investigate how nonmuscle myosin II is regulated during cellularization. Src64 signaling during Drosophila development. In this project, we study signal transduction by Src64, a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase homologous to vertebrate src. We are investigating the functions of Src64 signaling in the development of the Drosophila embryo. We are also investigating fundamental aspects of tyrosine kinase signaling by analyzing mutations that alter Src64 signaling activity and by identifying other proteins that participate in Src64-mediated signaling pathways.
Thompson, Brennanbrennan.thompson@ttu.eduTTUHealth, Exercise and Sport Sciences;ESS 104Research;2014 Victoria Banuelas
Vanos, Jenniferjennifer.vanos@ttu.eduTTUMCOM 1207Research; Education; Technology;I have mentored 7 undergraduates in their senior research projects at TTU, and have mentored 6 Masters students as their main advisor for their research thesis. Science & Math

​The following is the research project, description, and expectations for a URS student.

Area of Research: Human Biometeorology – specifically studying the health impacts of extreme heat and atmospheric radiation on youth while exercising

Project Description: Research in Lubbock at an elementary school and middle school. Research student will help with the monitoring of the microclimate in the schoolyards and sports fields with a focus on the impacts of high temperature and UV radiation on health and cognition. Study will involve time-activity research to determine real world exposures using personal devices. Involves work with human subjects with a large education and outreach component. 

Expectations of URS student: 

aid in data collection (weather, individual experienced radiation and temperature, activity data, cognitive functions)

organize and quality control collected data

help with onsite after school programs during research days 


Looking for an organized and ambitious individual who is well adept at working with tools, instrumentation, and gadgets (e.g., high-tech watches). Individual should have good quantitative skills for working with large sets of data, and have a high level of experience in excel and be willing to learn new programs for analysis and data downloading. Looking for someone who enjoys outdoor fieldwork, working with people, enjoys hands on activities, and is interested in research. Flexible schedule outside of class is a plus.


Jennifer Vanos (jennifer.vanos@ttu.edu)

Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science

Climate Science Center Faculty Associate

Department of Geosciences

Texas Tech University

Vaughn, Markmark.vaughn@ttu.eduTTUChemical Engineering;Chemical Engineering 102No Preference;
05-06: Simone George
04-06 Stephanie Alley
04-05 Richard Nolen Weaver
My particular research interests include membrane and trans-membrane process, diffusion and reaction of labile drugs and biochemical messengers, the molecular structure of lipid membranes, and the conformation of biological molecules at surfaces and interfaces.

To understand biological and biomedical systems, we use the computational technique of molecular dynamics as well as experimental techniques using fluorescence, resonance energy transfer, and total internal reflectance microscopy; single-photon counting,  microfabrication; and bioconjugate chemistry.

I have mentored several undergraduate students in biological/biomedical projects including molecular dynamics simulations of membranes and protein/membrane systems, molecular dynamics simulations of DNA, bioconjugation of proteins and DNA to surfaces, model cell membranes from liposomes and microfluidics models of the microcirculation. These projects are ongoing. Undergraduate students working with me have authored and  coauthored publications in archival research journals, and have presented their work in national research competition.

Curiosity and willingness to work regularly at research during the academic semester. If interests are in simulation or modeling of biological systems, computer skills or good math background would be a plus.
  • Simulate biological systems using mlecular dynamics. (projects include simulations  of membrane systems,  protein/membrane systems,and  DNA in solution and attached to a surface.)
  • Measure and control of proteins and DNA configuration at surfaces for biosensor and diagnostic applications (can involve bacteria culture, DNA purification and amplification and  advanced microscopy techniques)
  • Measure diffusion in and through model bilayer membranes (involves preparing model systems, applying well developed microscopic techniques and development of new techniques)
  • Student-driven ideas that fall within my expertise will be considered.
Verble-Pearson, RobinROBIN.VERBLE@TTU.EDUTTUPSS 256Research; Education; Technology; No Preference;I have mentored several students through the URC program and the MATH department STEM programs.NONE

​Borneo arthropod community structure/agroforestry

Climate and ants

Wildland fire literature reviews

Vivar, Andresandres.vivar@ttu.eduTTU
Wakeman, Cathycatherine.wakeman@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Experimental Sciences Building 204Research;I have mentored a CISER-affiliated undergraduate student, Helen Scott, as she designed and drafted her senior thesis. During this time, I mentored her through the process of applying to a Gordon Research Conference and preparing her work to be presented in both poster and oral formats.Prior experience with basic microbiological techniques (pipetting, aseptic technique) is preferred but not required.

​1) Identification of environmental factors that influence the shift between microbial competition to cooperativity in Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa populations at the host-pathogen interface.

2) Elucidating the mechanistic roles of novel biofilm subpopulations arising within Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.

3) Determining the mechanism of metal-responsive changes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence factor production.

Weber, Joachimjoachim.weber@ttuhsc.eduTTUChemistry and Biochemistry;Chemistry 413DResearch;
05-06 David Purtle
Faculty member since Fall 2004.
Supervised undergraduates:
C. Abraham (SABR intern, Summer 2005 and 2006; then student research assistant until graduation in 2008; co-author of a JBC paper)
J. Albritton (SABR intern, Summer 2007; then student research assistant)
S. Howard (SABR intern, Summer 2007)
D. Purtle (HHMI intern, 2005-2006)
B. Osburn (Honor's College, since Fall 2008)
L. Quisenberry (SABR intern, Summer 2008)
more than 20 students in CHEM 4300 (Senior Research) or CHEM 3000 (Undergraduate Research)  
A solid background in biochemistry, chemistry or physics would be very helpful.
ATP synthase: structure of the stator stalk

ATP synthase is the central enzyme of the energy metabolism in most organisms. It uses the energy contained in a transmembrane proton gradient to drive the synthesis of ATP from ADP and Pi. ATP synthesis and proton translocation are coupled by a unique mechanism, subunit rotation; electrochemical energy (proton gradient) is converted into mechanical energy (subunit rotation), and back into chemical energy (ATP). This makes ATP synthase the smallest known rotary motor, leading to potential applications in nanotechnology. The static, i.e. non-rotating, portions of the proton-translocation and the ATP synthesis/hydrolysis machineries are held together by the “stator stalk”. The precise structure of this stator stalk is not known. We are using a combination of genetic, molecular-biological, biochemical and biophysical methods to solve this structure.
Wilkins, Theathea.wilkins@ttu.edu TTUPlant and Soil Science;Experimental Sciences 215Research; Technology;In my career, I have successfully mentored over 40 undergraduate students and participated in many education, outreach and diversity programs over the years. Engaging undergraduate students in research is a very fundamental activity in my research program. I still receive notes from former students, or see them at meetings, which is always a delight to see what career path they have chosen. My goal is to recruit students in science and technology as our future leaders. 

Our goal is to understand gene structure and function, and how regulation of gene expression governs important properties using cotton trichomes/fibers as a single-celled model genomics platform. We recently completed sequencing of a cotton genome as an enabling tool for fundamental studies and agribiotechnology applications (trait development). In today's environment, research requires a solid knowledge of basic biology as well as computer skills to perform bioinformatics (data mining of sequenced genomes). At present, we are investigating epigenomics and how this level of regulation re-models the fiber transcriptome as a function of development. This work entails database searches and computer work before proving working hypotheses experimentally. So, dissecting the regulatory pathways and how gene expression is controlled to produce a particular trait or phenotype is an important aspect of our work.

Opportunies in my research lab run the gamut, from bioinformatics (computer analysis) of genes and gene families in developmental and evolutionary context, recombinant DNA/cloning, transient assays to turn off a gene and study the mutant phenotype, to computer/protein modeling.
Wilkinson, Jeremyjeremy.wilkinson@ttu.eduTTUEnvironmental and Human Health;Research and Testing Laboratory N/AResearch;Worked with mentoring graduate and undergraduate interns from Forensics, Biotechnology, TIEHH, and Biology departments.Introductory Biology required. Cell and Molecular Biology Classes are preferred. Experience with basic molecular lab techniques is helpful.

​At Research and Testing work is focused on Next Generation sequencing including 16S metagenomics, genomics, transcriptomics, shotgun libraries, and bioinformatics. Projects vary but researchers will get experience with most current techniques.

Wright, Robertrobert.wright@ttu.eduTTUPlant and Soil Science;Agriculture Science 215No Preference;
04-05 Kelly Asbill
07-08 John Gottula
I've served as a mentor for both HHMI and Honors College Undergraduate Research Fellows. Kelly Asbill continue her graduate education in plant pathology at Texas A&M.  John Gottula is currently in the Ph.D. program at Cornell University.  As an undergraduate student, I worked three years in my mentor&rsquo;s laboratory. Thus I have a firsthand understanding of the valuable educational and career opportunities this experience provides to the student. I am looking for students with a interest in molecular genetics, specifically; utilizing DNA based strategies to address basic questions in genetics, evolution, and host-pathogen interactions.

Bacterial blight of cotton, incited by the pathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. malvacearum (Xam), is a classical example of a plant-pathogen relationship in an important crop. A 65-year history of research has led to our current understanding of both plant resistance of cotton and pathogenicity of the bacterium. The disease can reduce cotton production by an estimated 0.5 to 5% annually (Blasingame 2006). Considering the annual West Texas production of 4 million bales sold at $0.70 per lb, the annual loss in revenue to producers is approximately $6.7 to 67.2 million.

My long-term research goals is to (1) elucidate the genome organization of R-genes in both the diploid and tetraploid genomes, (2) pinpoint likely events (relative to Gossypium speciation) that led to the origin and radiation of R-genes in cotton, (3) define Xam population dynamics, (4) compare and contrast the sequence diversity among different R-genes and Xam Avr genes, and (5) examine host-pathogen interactions leading to host plant resistance and pathogenicity. The immediate project goals will address a “critical needto determine the DNA sequence that encodes the protein that confers resistance to all US Xam races (Specific Goal 1) and to examine the genetic variability among the Xam avrBs3 gene family (Specific Goal 2). I will focus this effort on cloning the most recently evolved bacterial blight R-gene (B12). The B12 locus has been fine-mapped to a region of 0.63 cM as part of a USDA-NRI Plant Genome Award (CSREES-NRI-2003-00696, PI Wright). A second specific goal will examine the function motifs among avrBs3 family members within an isolate then among four Xam races. The rationale behind this activity is to develop enabling tool to characterize Xam avrBs3 family members.  At the completion of this project I will elucidate the function and begin to unravel connections in regulatory gene networks implicated in disease resistance.


Xie, Zhixinzhixin.xie@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;ESB 317Research; Technology;
06-07 Brandon Bailey
I have mentored numerous undergrauate researchers (including TWO TTU/HHMI scholars) in the past few years at TTU. Have basic knowledge in general biology, genetics, or biochemistry. Have strong interest in molecular and cell biology research. We also welcome Technogy scholars who are interested in apply their computer programming skills in biology. Please feel free to contact me by phone or email if you have questions regarding the ongoing research projects in my lab.
Research in my lab is focusd on small RNA-mediated processes including post-transcriptional gene silencing, RNA-directed DNA methylation, and antiviral defense. We use Arabidopsis thaliana, a reference species for flowering plants as a central model system for our research. Please visit my faculty home page or stop by my office for further information.
Yang, Jamesjames.yang@ttu.eduTTUMechanical Engineering;Mechanical Engineering 109Research;2013 Victoria Banuelas
I have mentored 26 undergraduate researchers at TTU so far and I have supervised two undergraduate honors theses. I also supervised one undergraduate student for TTU/HHMI in the past. I have supervised 7 master students and 9 PhD students for their thesis/dissertations.

​The general topic lies in human modeling and simulation. The objective is to simulate whole body human motion or part of bodies to understand why human move as they do and investigate ways to reduce injuries. For example, Lumber spine simulation, ACL injuries, Slip/falls.

Zabet Moghaddam, Masoudmasoud.zabet@ttu.eduTTUExperimental Sciences Building 107Research;The Center for Biotechnology and Genomics has a Master program in biotechnology in which the students will get trained in the first year in different field of biotechnology and continue their educations in the second year working on their Master projects. I mentored many students during the first and second year of the projects. Additionally, I have worked and mentored undergraduate students as well as high school students. I always enjoyed working and training students.

I use cutting-edge technology, Mass Spectrometry, to analyze proteins and small molecules (metabolites) in majority of my research projects. Some of the projects listed below:

- MALDI-TOf as a new tool for the analysis of polyamines in plants.

- Study of cotton fiber development under water-deficit stress. 

- A proteomics approach to studying the effects of an anti-cancer compound on breast tumor cells.

Shotgun proteomics to study the effect of drought on seed development of peanut


Zhang, Kaikai.zhang@ttu.eduTTUBiological Sciences;Biology 316Research;
06-07 Mattie Wilson
13-Philip Jarrett
One of our goals is to provide top-notch research experience to HHMI scholars and other undergraduate students. Space is limited and students need to show strong motivation to be considered.  Biol 1403/1404
Lipid metabolism and pathogenesis in Leishmania parasites.
Molecular and cellular biology.
Zvonkovic, Anisaanisa.zvonkovic@ttu.eduTTUHuman Development & Family Studies;HS 287Research;
Being relatively new to TTU, I have not had extensive experience here, though I do have a CUR mentor right now. I was a McNair mentor at my former university, Oregon State. I directed the graduate program there and mentored more than 40 students in that role. I have chaired more than 30 graduate committees. I involved undergraduate students in my research at OSU, including publishing with them.

To be most helpful, the student should have taken a research methods course (either in HDFS, Psychology, Sociology). They should also be familiar with excel and ideally, SPSS. Our interdisciplinary project includes information that relates to many possible interests on the part of the scholar: work and family life; child development in the context of parental work demands and frequent parental absence; technology and its impacts on families; communication; daily health behaviors of adults and children; coping and stress. Because the project is multi-method and includes information from multiple family members, a scholars with interest in methodology would find fertile ground in the data also.

In my current funded project, I employ 5-8 graduate students. My lab would allow a student to see up-close how graduate students organize their work. We will be nearly done with data collection in summer 2010, so the research would be primarily reading over qualitative transcripts, compiling information for lay publications (such as newsletters), and entering quantitative data that will then be analyzed by the research team. Our lab typically presents our work at a national conference in November, so the student would observe and participate in that effort. By the end of fall, we will be focusing on data analysis, and the student would have an increasingly responsible role in such efforts.