Ruben Dagda

Ruben K. Dagda, Ph.D., received his doctoral training at the University of Iowa and his postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is currently investigating the molecular mechanisms that lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in cell culture, tissue and animal models of Parkinson’s disease.

Yong Zhang

Ph.D., Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2008
B.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, China

Angela Smilanich

My research focuses on the ecology and evolution of diet breadth via physiological studies of multitrophic interactions between plants, herbivores, and natural enemies. Specific avenues of study include: (1) evolutionary ecology of insect immunity (2) investigation of plant secondary chemistry as insect immunosuppressant, and (3) behavioral adaptations of herbivores to host plants.

David Aucoin

The primary focus of the AuCoin laboratory is to develop diagnostics and therapeutics for infectious diseases. Current funding includes three research grants through the National Institutes of Health. Two additional grants were recently secured through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Naval Research Laboratory (DoD). All these projects rely on the identification of secreted or circulating microbial antigens that can be targeted for diagnosis of disease. The AuCoin laboratory has developed a novel platform technology termed “In vivo Microbial Antigen Discovery” or InMAD to identify such secreted antigens. InMAD is currently being utilized to identify candidate diagnostic antigens secreted during infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis), Aspergillus fumigatus (invasive aspergillosis) and Francisella tularensis (tularemia).

Pedro Miura

The mission of the laboratory is decipher how these novel RNA molecules are regulated and identify their physiological roles in cells. The biological roles of extended 3’UTRs and circular RNAs remain for the most part unexplored. We are particularly interested in how these RNAs might be involved in neurological disease and during aging.

Projects in the lab include the use of Drosophila, mice and mammalian cell culture. High-throughput, genome-wide sequencing approaches will employed. Exciting new genome editing approaches (CRISPR/CAS) will be exploited to understand the functional roles in vivo of non-coding RNAs.

Jeff Harper

The Harper lab is interested in how a plant can use as few as 28,000 genes to develop and survive under extreme environmental conditions, such as cold, heat, drought and salt stress. A primary focus is on calcium signaling. The lab employs genetic, cell, bioinformatic, and biochemical approaches, using Arabidopsis and yeast as model systems.

Ian Wallace

Genetic and biochemical dissection of plant cell wall biosynthesis, deposition, and regulation; plant protein kinase signal transduction; manipulation of plant cell wall digestibility for lignocellulosic biofuel and forage crop applications.

Bryan Sigel

Bryan J. Sigel is a conservation ecologist interested in how human activities affect biodiversity at multiple spatial scales. He is a California native and received his B.S. from UCLA. He completed his doctorate in 2007 at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he studied the effects of forest fragmentation on lowland tropical bird communities in Central America under the direction of Dr. Thomas W. Sherry.

Dr. Sigel joined the faculty at Tulane University in 2007 as a Visiting Assistant Professor where he taught courses in Introductory Biology and Vertebrate Biology. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Dr. Sigel worked with the Biodiversity Research Institute to assess the impact of the spill on colonial waterbirds. He also pursued research as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Caz Taylor at Tulane University, investigating the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on shorebird and intertidal invertebrate communities. Dr. Sigel joined the faculty of Nevada State College in 2012.

Robin Cresiski

Robin Herlands Cresiski earned her B.S. in Biology from Haverford College and her Ph.D. in Immunobiology from Yale University.

Dr. Cresiski became Nevada State College’s Vice Provost of Scholarship and Experiential Curriculum in 2014. Prior to this role, as a faculty member at Nevada State College, she taught Immunology, Genetics, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, as well as a First Year Experience (FYE) course : My Hormones Made Me Do It: the Biological Underpinnings of Psychological Behavior. She started NSC’s first undergraduate research program in the sciences.

Helen J. Wing

Helen J. Wing is an Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 1997, where she studied transcriptional gene regulation in Escherichia coli. She worked with both Prof. Stephen J.W. Busby and Prof. John R. Guest in her first post-doctoral position, where she employed biochemical approaches to study transcription. In 2000, Helen moved to the U.S. to take a post-doctoral position with Marcia B. Goldberg M.D. at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. It was here that she became interested in the transcriptional regulation of Shigella virulence genes and antimicrobial peptides. She joined the faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2005.
The primary focus of my research laboratory is virulence gene expression in the bacterial pathogen Shigella flexneri, the causal agent of bacillary dysentery, which is estimated to kill over 1 million people each year. All four species of Shigella harbor a large virulence plasmid, which carries most of the genes required to cause disease in the human host, including those required for invasion, type III secretion and actin-based motility, a process that allows bacteria to spread from one human cell to another. We are interested in the environmental cues, the timing and the molecular events that trigger the expression of virulence genes. We are particularly interested in the complex interplay between nucleoid structuring proteins, proteins that facilitate the packaging of DNA into tiny cells, and the transcriptional regulators of virulence in Shigella VirF and VirB.