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Faculty Research

James G. Bann, Ph.D.
Adjunct Associate Professor

Anthrax Protective Antigen: Our research is directed towards understanding how a protective antigen forms a membrane spanning pore at low pH. Formation of the pore is absolutely critical for the pathogenesis of anthrax toxin, since the pore provides a conduit for entry of the edema or lethal factor into the cell cytosol.

Bacterial Pilus Assembly: The assembly of bacterial pili by the chaperone usher pathway is a critical step for the pathogenesis of many organisms that utilize pili for attachment to host cell surfaces. Understanding how this pathway functions is a major focus of our research. Understanding the mechanism of pilus assembly and transport may aid in the development of therapeutics that block pilus assembly or transport.

Fluorinated Amino Acids: Our laboratory has developed methods to biosynthetically incorporate fluorinated amino acids into proteins, and a major focus of our laboratory is to expand the repertoire of fluorinated amino acids that have unique functionalities, and to incorporate these amino acids into proteins for structural studies.


Michael E. Bradley, Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Nucleic Acids and Cell Proliferation: Our interests lie in the roles played by purines and pyrimidines (e.g., ATP, UTP, adenosine etc.) in the regulation of cellular functions.  We are currently assessing the ability of purine and pyrimidines nucleotides and nucleosides to augment or inhibit cancer cell proliferation.  We use a human breast ductal carcinoma cell line and a cell line obtained from human colonic epithelium.  In addition we are exploring the specific mechanisms of action (e.g., receptors, intracellular signaling pathways) of these agents on cell growth.


William J. Hendry III, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor

Molecular Biology of Gynecologic and Ovarian Cancer: According to the American Cancer Society and other independent sources, endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer and ovarian cancer remains the most lethal gynecologic cancer in the USA. Our novel approach to improve the clinical diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of both diseases takes advantage of our extensive experience using the immunologically privileged hamster cheek pouch as a host site for human tumor cell lines and surgically removed patient tumor samples. To facilitate such a Translational Research project (now a high-priority funding area for the National Institutes of Health), we established partnerships with other expert basic science (Dr. Kenneth Nephew, Indiana University School of Medicine) and local clinical (Dr. James Delmore, University of Kansas School of Medicine–Wichita) groups. We are now analyzing the histology and gene expression of an initial collection of successful xenotransplant tumor cell/tissue masses profiles at the proteomic level using immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry.


Jeffrey V. May, Ph.D.
Adjunct Associate Professor

Ovarian Function: My research interests include the mechanisms underlying folliculogenesis focusing on the role of somatic cells in regulating this process; factors governing early embryo development; clinical infertility; and ovarian cancer.  I am part of an NIH-funded Program Project investigating the differential activity and function of human FSH glycoforms upon reproductive function and how these glycoforms change as a function of age.  Numerous techniques are utilized to address the above research areas including primary cell culture, molecular biology, biochemistry, and morphological analysis

J.David McDonald, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor

Mamalian Genetics: I am interested in mammalian genetics and exploring how model systems like the laboratory mouse can be manipulated to yield useful models for human diseases.  I have had success in that area by producing models for the human inborn error of metabolism phenylketonuria and also disorders of circadian behavior.

Antimicrobial Strategies:  I have currently developed an interest in exploring antimicrobial strategies to augment the current set of tools, such as antibiotic therapy, that are losing their levels of effectiveness.  I am starting to explore the infection phenomena of attachment and biofilm formation as potentially useful steps for inhibiting bacterial infection.

Dennis Paul Valenzeno, Ph.D.
Professor, Chair, Associate Dean

 Medical Education: My current research interests are in the area of medical education.  Specifically, we are investigating the feasibility of new approaches that use learning in context in student-driven sessions in place of the more traditional lecture-based formats that are currently prevalent in the US.

Li Yao, M.D., Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Biomaterials and Scaffolding for Neural Regeneration: Axonal regeneration after injury or disease is the major challenge in both peripheral and central nervous system.The limited functional improvement in in vivo models of spinal cord injury has prevented advancement of regenerative therapy to clinical use. Neural tissue engineering is a promising approach for neural regeneration by preventing inhibitory factors and enhancing guided axonal growth. We are interested in developing functionalized biomaterial scaffolds with gene and stem cell therapy to repair the injured spinal cord and peripheral nerve.


Last modified: Jun 16, 2016