Janice Pluth

I am a radiation biologist with training in cytogenetics and a strong background in DNA repair. Primary questions my research has focused on are 1) how cellular changes induced by radiation perturb a cell and its microenvironment to potentiate cancer risk. 2) How does radiation exposure during critical windows of development impact organ growth and the role of the immune system in these changes.

As an independent researcher since 2004 I have successfully managed five-prior NASA funded projects, as well as three successive DOE projects. I was a project leader for a NASA’s virtual systems biology team on DNA damage and oxidative stress for 5 years. These frequent research discussions aided in my staying current in the latest findings in the space radiation field.

Amanda Yonan

I am a first generation college student. I began at Modesto Junior College and earned my B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at University of California, San Diego. I then earned my Ph.D. in Human Genetics at Columbia University in the City of New York. Specifically, I studied the genetic causes of Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder. As teaching faculty I do not have a lab at UNR, and no longer conduct research.

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

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.

Jeffery Shen

Dr. Shen’s research focuses on development of databases and bioinformatics tools for genome analyses and gene annotations, predictions of genes responsive to environmental/developmental cues, and predictions of gene functions (subcellular localization, and protein motifs). Another focus of my research is the molecular mechanism controlling plant responses to abiotic stresses, seed dormancy and germination. He is also interested in the mechanism underlying tissue-specific and developmentally-regulated gene expression.

The recent accomplishment in sequencing the genomes of thousands of organisms, including human being and important crops such as rice, is leading to a revolution in scientific research, medicine discovery, and improvement of the quality of our food. His lab is interested in developing (adopting, modifying, and inventing) bioinformatics tools for genome analyses and gene ontology studies. Gene ontology addresses: Biological Process (Why is this, such as cell enlargement, being done?), Molecular Function (What kind of molecule is this? Enzymes or transcription factors?), and Cellular Component (Where is this located? Nuclei or Mitochondria?).