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Graduate Biomedical Sciences Programs

Graduate Programs


The mission of the Department of Biomedical Sciences graduate programs is to provide excellent academic programs that educate and train the next generation of scientists, educators, and health-related professionals through scholarship and research that fosters creativity, discovery, and community service.


The programs are flexible and cater to the needs and interests of individual students. Education is predominant through participation in research, taking advantage of opportunities for strategic collaboration between the basic and clinical sciences.

Research Areas in the Biomedical Sciences Department

The research of the faculty covers a wide range of disciples ranging from biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, organismal biology and translational research. Broadly the department is focused on two major thematic areas: neuroscience of hearing and hearing loss and cancer biology. The Department encourages collaborative research interaction with faculty in the Departments of Pharmacology, Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Medicine and Surgery; the Osteoporosis Research Center, The Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital.

Neuroscience (Neuroanatomy, Neurobiology, Neurophysiology)
David He: Auditory neurobiology and neurophysiology
Garrett Soukup: Role of MicroRNAs in neurosensory systems
Peter Steyger: Auditory neurobiology and neurophysiology

Hearing and Hearing loss
David He: Cochlear sensory hair cells, outer hair cell motility, age-related hearing loss
Ken Kramer: Role of cilia linkages to extracellular structures in inner ear function
Garrett Soukup: MicroRNAs in development and maintenance of sensory hair cells and neurons
Peter Steyger: Mechanisms of aminoglycoside antibiotics-induced hearing loss
Litao Tao: Epigenetic regulation of gene transcription in the cochlea

Cancer Biology
Laura Hansen: Prevention and treatment of skin cancer
Brian North: Molecular mechanisms of cancer, aging and age-related diseases
Jun Xia: Endogenous and environmental DNA damage and mutagenesis, cancer genomics, and lung cancer risk gene function

Molecular Structure and Function of Peptides
Sandor Lovas: Peptide chemistry, Structural bioinformatics and proteomics, biophysical chemistry
David Smith: Chemical synthesis of peptides

Masters in Biomedical Sciences

  • Carly Baker – affiliated with Dr. Shibata’s lab
  • Caroline Pass – affiliated with Dr. Zuo’s lab
  • Rotachi Nlekwuwa – affiliated with Dr. North’s lab
  • Grace Dowling – affiliated with Dr. Steyger’s lab
  • Rodaina Hazem Ahmed – affiliated with Dr. North’s lab
  • Lauren Barbush – affiliated with Dr. Zallocchi’s lab
  • Tobi Lawani – affiliated with Dr. Zuo’s lab
  • Daniel Snyder - affiliated with Dr. Xia's lab


PhD in Biomedical Sciences

  • Shreshtha Dash – affiliated with Dr. Steyger’s lab
  • Moynul Islam – Rotating labs
  • Rachel Johnson – affiliated with Dr. Hansen’s lab
  • Seraphine Kamayirese – affiliated with Dr. Lovas’ lab
  • Renju Pun – affiliated with Dr. North’s lab
  • Samadhi Warnakulasooriya – affiliated with Dr. North’s lab
  • Yamna Boukaabar - rotating labs
  • Aditi Charak - rotating labs
  • Jasmine Maddy - rotating labs
  • Fred Millan – affiliated with Dr. Zuo’s lab
  • Sree Murali - rotating labs
  • Vignesh Rathinavelpandian - rotating labs


MD/PhD Students

  • David Doss – affiliated with Dr. Mahapatra’s lab
  • Margaret McCann – affiliated with Dr. Dortch’s lab
  • Molly Kubesh – affiliated with Dr. Zuo’s lab
  • Jonathan Fleegel – affiliated with Dr. Zuo’s lab
  • Justin Rudd – affiliated with Dr. Hansen’s lab
  • Claire Kearney - rotating labs
  • Patrick Kuwong - rotating labs
  • John Butchko - rotating labs
  • Lavanya Uppala - rotating labs