Rochelle Hines

Rochelle Hines’ research is aimed at understanding neurodevelopmental processes under normal and pathological conditions, which include autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and developmental epilepsies. In particular, Rochelle’s studies focus on understanding the formation and stabilization of specific synapse types during development, with an emphasis on inhibitory synapses. Rochelle employs molecular genetics, biochemistry, confocal and electron microscopy, behavioral assessments and electroencephalography in mouse models to gain understanding of how inhibitory synapse function and dysfunction during development impacts brain signaling, circuitry and behavior. The ultimate goal of Rochelle’s research is to improve our understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders and to promote novel therapeutic strategies.

Rochelle earned her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (2009), followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA (2015).

Dustin Hines

The brain operates as a complex orchestration that involves many different cellular players. Dr. Dustin Hines’ research is aimed at understanding the role that glial cells play under normal and pathological conditions, which include neuropsychiatric disorders (depression), traumatic brain injury, stroke and Alzheimer disease. In particular, Dr. Hines researches how astrocytes and microglia cells both talk and listen to neurons. Dr. Hines employs molecular genetics, biochemistry, confocal and two photon microscopy, electrophysiology and behavioral assessments in mouse models to gain understanding of how glia cells impact brain signaling, circuitry and behavior. Dr. Hines’ research ultimately is directed towards understanding how all of the cells of the brain are orchestrated into the precise symphony that we call behavior.

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.