Members of the Executive Committee

Fenyong Liu (Chair of the Group)
Susan E. Celniker (Chair of the Executive Committee)
Mina J. Bissell
Judith Campisi

James Olzmann


Members of the Graduate Group
(* Designates non-members of the Berkeley Academic Senate)

Adam Arkin (Bioengineering)
Systems and Synthetic Biology, Environmental Microbiology of Bacteria and Viruses, bioenergy, Biomedicine, Bioremediation

Link to: further description of his research interests.


Mina J. Bissell* (LBNL)
Regulation of tissue-specific gene expression in normal and malignant breast cells with specific emphasis on signal transduction by extracellular matrix (ECM). Relation of cellular structure and function.
Links to: the Bissell Lab.

Steven Brenner (Plant & Microbial Biology)
Gene regulation by alternative splicing and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay; prediction of protein function using Bayesian phylogenomics; medical and environmental metagenomics, personal genomics; structural genomics and proteins complexes.
Link to: further description of his research interests.

George A. Brooks (Integrative Biology)
Biochemistry and energetics of human muscular performance.
Links to: further description of his research interests and his CV.

Judith Campisi* (LBNL)
Molecular, cellular and evolutionary biology of aging and cancer. Roles of cellular senescence and apoptosis. DNA damage and repair, and telomeres and genomic instability.
Links to: further description of her research interests.

Jamie Doudna Cate (Chemistry)
protein synthesis by the ribosome, RNA, antibiotics, human translation, escherichia coli

Link to: further description of his research interests.


Susan Celniker* (LBNL)
Drosophila genomic.
Links to: further description of her research interests.

Douglas S. Clark (Chemical Engineering)
Biochemical engineering, with emphasis on enzyme technology and stabilization, thermophilic bacteria and high-temperature bioprocesses, and noninvasive methods for studying metabolism.
Link to: Clark Lab.

Jennifer Doudna (Molecular and Cell Biology)
Ribozymes and RNA Machines: RNA forms a variety of complex globular structures, some of which function like enzymes or form functional complexes with proteins. There are three major areas of focus in the lab: catalytic RNA, the function of RNA in the signal recognition particle and the mechanism of RNA-mediated internal initiation of protein synthesis. We are interested in understanding and comparing catalytic strategies used by RNA to those of protein enzymes, focusing on self-splicing introns and the self-cleaving RNA from hepatitis delta virus (HDV), a human pathogen. We are also investigating RNA-mediated initiation of protein synthesis, focusing on the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) RNA from Hepatitis C virus. Cryo-EM, x-ray crystallography and biochemical experiments are focused on understanding the structure and mechanism of the IRES and its amazing ability to hijack the mammalian ribosome and associated translation factors. A third area of focus in the lab is the signal recognition particle, which contains a highly conserved RNA required for targeting proteins for export out of cells. Each of these projects seeks to understand the molecular basis for RNA function, using a combination of structural, biophysical and biochemical approaches.
Link to: further description of her research interests.

Peter Duesberg (Molecular and Cell Biology)
Genetic basis of viral and chemical carcinogenesis, particularly by non-genotoxic carcinogens. Structure and replication of retroviruses and mechanisms of viral pathogenesis and oncogenesis.
Link to: further description of his research interests.

Xiaohua Gong (School of Optometry)
Optometry, vision science, eye development and diseases, lens development  
Link to: Gong Lab.

Lin He (Molecular & Cell Biology)
miRNAs are a class of small, non-coding RNAs that regulate post-transcriptional silencing of specific mRNAs. Emerging evidence has suggested these small RNAs as important gene regulators for diverse developmental and pathological processes. Using mouse tumor models and cell culture systems, the He lab aims to characterize the miRNAs functions in the oncogene and tumor suppressor network.
Link to: further description of her research interests.

Sona Kang (Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology)
Our research goal is to gain more accurate understanding of how epigenetic and transcriptional regulators control (patho)physiology of adipose and other metabolic tissues. Ultimately, we hope to identify novel drug targets for more safe and efficient therapeutic intervention to relevant metabolic disorders including obesity and type 2 diabetes. The key questions that we address are; 1) What are the core epigenetic events underlying obesity and insulin resistance, especially in the fat tissue? 2) Does the adverse epigenetic have a direct contribution to the pathogenesis?, 3) If so, how does so?, and, 4) Can we fix the adverse epigenetic events to mitigate the condition?
Link to: further description of her research interests.

Gary Karpen (Molecular & Cell Biology)
gene expression, cell biology, chromosome structure and function, drosophila melanogaster, centromere identity and function.
Link to: Karpen Lab.

Jay Keasling (Chemical Engineering)
The research in the Keasling Laboratory focuses on the metabolic engineering of microorganisms for degradation of environmental contaminants or for environmentally friendly synthesis. To that end, we have developed a number of new genetic and mathematical tools to allow more precise and reproducible control of metabolism. These tools are being used in such applications as synthesis of biodegradable polymers, accumulation of phosphate and heavy metals, and degradation of chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons, biodesulfurization of fossil fuels, and complete mineralization of organophosphate nerve agents and pesticides.
Link to: the Keasling lab.

Sung-Hou Kim (Chemistry; LBNL)
Structural biology of: (1) molecules involved in cell growth, cell cycle, and signal transduction; (2) proteins and RNA's from hyperthermal organisms.
Link to: Kim Lab.

Judith P. Klinman (Chemistry)
The overall focus of research concerns fundamental principles in enzyme-catalyzed reactions; the research utilizes broadly based and combines kinetic, spectroscopic, stereochemical and molecular biological techniques.
Link to: Klinman Lab.

John Kuriyan (Molecular & Cell Biology)
The Kuriyan laboratory is interested in the structure and mechanism of the enzymes and molecular switches that carry out cellular signal transduction and DNA replication. We use x-ray crystallography to determine the three-dimensional structures of proteins involved in signaling and replication, as well as biochemical, biophysical, and computational analyses to figure out how they work. Two major focuses in the laboratory are understanding the allosteric mechanisms that enable proteins to be exquisitely sensitive to input signals and processive DNA replication.
Link to: the Kuriyan lab.

Stuart M. Linn (Molecular and Cell Biology)
Oxidative DNA damage and repair; mitochondrial DNA damage. Mammalian DNA polymerases.
Link to: further description of his research interests and Linn Lab.

Fenyong Liu (Public Health)
Biochemistry of nucleic acids and RNA enzymology (ribozymes). Biology of human herpes viruses and development of nucleic acid-based antiviral therapeutic agents.
Link to: further description of his research interests.

Sangwei Lu (Public Health)
Pathogenesis and transmission of Salmonella; foodborne pathogens; Foodborne diseases - detection and prevention

Link to: further description of her research interests.

Jian-Hua Mao* (LBNL)
A systems biology approach to identification of genetic networks controlling susceptibility to genomic instability and carcinogenesis induced by radiation.
Link to: further description of His research interest.

Aindrila Mukhopadhyay* (LBNL)
Dr. Mukhopadhyay’s work is focused on understanding membrane transport, signaling, stress response and tolerance phenotypes in microbial systems. She studies both engineered and environmental microbes. She utilizes a wide variety of microbiological, biochemical and systems biology tools to examine environmentally important organisms such as sulfate and metal reducing bacteria as well as cyanobacteria..
Link to: further description of Her research interest.

Gerard Marriott (Bioengineering)
The Marriott Lab operates at the interface of chemistry, biology, medicine and engineering, is focused on understanding the molecular regulation of cellular processes and function, and improving human health. Active research projects underway in my group include establishing new principles and techniques for high-contrast imaging and optical manipulation of specific proteins in living cells and tissue, developing new smart biomaterials that mimic the extracellular organisms..
Link to: further description of his research interests.

Anastasios Melis (Plant & Microbial Biology)
Biochemistry and molecular biology of a damage and repair process in chloroplasts; hydrogen production in green algae by a process of photosynthesis; chloroplast acclimation mechanisms to the prevailing environmental conditions.
Link to: further description of his research interests.

Ander Näär (Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology)
The vitamin A metabolite retinoic acid regulates gene expression from conception through death. This lab studies regulation of retinoic acid biosynthesis during mammalian development and aging.
Link to: further description of his research interests

Joseph L. Napoli (Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology)
The primary focus of the Näär lab is to elucidate transcriptional and microRNA regulatory mechanisms governing cholesterol/lipid and metabolic homeostasis.
Link to: further description of his research interests

James Olzmann (Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology)
The Olzmann research group employs a combination of systems biology, chemical biology, and cell biology strategies to elucidate the principles of organelle biogenesis and homeostasis during metabolic state fluctuations. We are particularly interested in the regulation and function of lipid droplets, which are endoplasmic reticulum-derived neutral lipid (fat and sterol-esters) storage organelles.
Link to: further description of his research interests

Len Pennacchio* (LBNL)
Defining the vast landscape of gene regulatory sequences in the human genome. Understanding how variation in regulatory sequences influences human disease/biology. Assessing and exploiting next generation sequencing technologies for applications in both the energy and health sectors.
Link to: further description of His research interest.

Lee Riley (Public Health)
Our research program focuses on three general areas—1) basic biology of tuberculosis (TB) pathogenesis; 2) genetics of drug resistance and molecular epidemiology of drug-resistant infections; and 3) infectious diseases of urban slums in developing countries. Tuberculosis pathogenesis research currently focuses on delineating the mechanism of latency and reactivation from latency.
Link to: further description of his research interests.

Randy Schekman (Molecular & Cell Biology)
Our lab studies membrane assembly, vesicular transport, and membrane fusion among organelles of the secretory pathway. Basic principles that emerged from our past and on-going studies in yeast are now being applied to studies of genetic diseases of protein transport.
Link to: Schekman lab.

George F. Sensabaugh (Public Health)
Genetic variation in humans at the protein and DNA levels; forensic biology; microbial population genetics.
Link to: further description of his research interests.

Barry Shane (Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology)
Nutritional biochemistry; regulation of genes and enzymes involved in one carbon and vitamin metabolism. Genetic heterogeneity and nutrient requirements.
Link to: further description of his research interests.

Martyn Smith (Public Health)
Toxicology; mechanisms of cellular and genetic damage; biological markers.
Link to: further description of his research interests.

Andreas Stahl (Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology)
Our major focus is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of energy homeostasis and obesity-associated disorders. Specifically, current research focuses on the role of fatty acids in the development of diabetes, cancer, cardio-vascular disease and hepatobiliary diseases. Using biochemical, genetic, and state-of-the-art imaging technologies we have discovered a novel family of proteins that regulate fatty acid fluxes and demonstrated that inhibiting specific members of this group can significantly improve body weight, insulin sensitivity, and liver health and thus may lead to the development of novel treatment strategies for obesity-related diseases.
Link to: lab homepage.

Hei Sook Sul (Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology)
Transcriptional regulation of lipogenesis and the role of USF and SREBP in the activation of fatty acid synthase promoter. Regulation of adipocyte differentiation, Pref-1 and ADSF/resistin, factors which are secreted from adipose tissue and inhibit adipogenesis. 3T3-L1 cells in culture and transgenic/ knockout mice are used to elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying these processes which contribute to obesity.
Link to: further description of her research interests.

(* Designates non-members of the Berkeley Academic Senate)



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