Faculty Research Interests - Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Genomics

Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Genomics

  • Erdem Bangi
    My laboratory takes a novel and innovative approach to studying colorectal cancer by combining latest advances in cancer genomics with classical Drosophila genetics and high-throughput drug screening.

  • Hank W. Bass
    Meiosis in higher plants; telomere dynamics; molecular cytology; maize chromatin, nuclease sensitivity profiling, G4-DNA, and genome research in maize and hop.

  • Brian P. Chadwick
    X chromosome inactivation; chromatin organization; epigenetic gene regulation.

  • Hongchang Cui
    Cell fate specification and reprogramming in plants; evolutionary and developmental biology; plant-environment interaction; genomics and epigenomics; proteomics; molecular genetics.

  • Jonathan H. Dennis
    The biology of chromatin involved in the innate immune response.

  • Debra A. Fadool
    Structure and Function of Ion Channel Proteins; Signal Transduction and Neuromodulation by Phosphorylation; Impact of Obesity and Diabetes mellitus on Olfactory and Sensory Processes

  • James M. Fadool
    Using zebrafish as an model system, we investigate genetic & cellular mechanisms regulating photoreceptor development, patterning, retinal degeneration and regeneration.

  • Jian Feng
    Epigenetic regulation of neuropsychiatric disorders

  • Peter Fraser
    Dynamic changes in chromatin and chromosome architecture regulates patterns of cellular gene expression during differentiation and development, or in response to environmental signals. Our research looks at various levels of chromatin, chromosome and nuclear structure, from individual nucleosome modifications to the dynamic 3D structure of chromosomes and their inter-relationships in the nucleus and how they affect genome functions.

  • David Gilbert
    Replication, Transcription and Genome Architecture in Stem Cells

  • David Houle
    I am an evolutionary geneticist, studying the relationship between genomic and phenotypic variation. Now that we have genomes, we need a comparably thorough understanding of phenomes to understand the selection that acts on genetic variation. Our models are the appendages of fruit flies, where we exploit genomic variation, direct manipulation of genes and experimental evolution to understand how the developmental system shapes variation, and ultimately the ability of complex systems to evolve.

  • Kimberly A. Hughes
    Why are organisms are so genetically diverse? This is the broad question on which my lab focuses. In particular, we want to understand how variation is maintained in traits that are under strong natural selection: life history traits, sexually selected traits, and other traits closely tied to fitness. We use a variety of approaches to investigate these issues ranging from field experiments to genomic analyses.

  • Kathryn M. Jones
    I study the symbiotic interaction of nitrogen-fixing rhizobial bacteria with legume host plants: 1)How bacteria manipulate their environment during host plant invasion such that the plant not only permits entry, but provides an invasion pathway for them; 2)Why the interactions of specific strains of Sinorhizobium with particular Medicago truncatula plant ecotypes are more productive than others; 3)How plants direct resources to productive symbionts at the expense of unproductive ones (cheaters).

  • Lisa C. Lyons
    Signaling and circadian modulation regulating associative memory.

  • Karen M. McGinnis
    Epigenetic gene regulation in maize.

  • Darin R Rokyta
    Molecular and statistical properties of adaptive evolution.

  • M. Elizabeth Stroupe
    The Stroupe laboratory uses cryogenic electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography to discover fundamental mechanisms in ribosome biogenesis and sulfur metabolism.

  • Hengli Tang
    Virus-host cell interactions; Cell biology of HCV and flavirus replication; Cellular co-factors for HCV and flavivirus (dengue virus, Zika virus)infection.

  • Hong-Guo Yu
    Cell biology of the nuclear envelope

  • Fanxiu Zhu
    Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV); viral evasion of the host innate immune responses; viral modulation of the host kinase signaling pathways; role and assembly of KSHV tegument proteins.


Our research focuses on how genetic information is used and regulated at the molecular, cellular and, in some cases, whole-animal level. We utilize genetic mutants to define gene function in organisms ranging from microbes to mammals. Experimental approaches include classical genetic screens for phenotypic markers; molecular analyses of gene structure and function; gene identification, cloning, construction, and mapping; and assessment of molecular evolution, signal transduction, and gene activity. Inter-laboratory activities (e.g. joint lab meetings, departmental seminars, topical seminar series) promote faculty and student interactions and the critique of current research and the scientific literature. Close work with associated departments/programs (e.g. Chemistry Department, the Institute of Molecular Biophysics, Structural Biology Program, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory) enhances the access to state-of-the-art research technologies provided by the Department of Biological Science core facilities. Emphasizing high-quality, nationally competitive research, our diverse laboratories provide balance and breadth in graduate and post-graduate training.