• Donata Vercelli, MD

    Uncovering mechanisms that control susceptibility to complex lung diseases

  • Darren Cusanovich, PhD

    Understanding How the Genome Regulates Diverse Cell Types in Development and Disease

  • Samantha Harris, PhD

    Understanding Myosin Binding Protein-C in Health and Disease

  • Henk Granzier, PhD

    Studying the roles of titin and nebulin in striated muscle

  • Gus Mouneimne, PhD

    Understanding How Cytoskeletal Architecture Regulates Cancer Metastasis

  • Joann Sweasy, PhD

    Mechanistic Insights Into the Roles of Aberrant DNA Repair


    An Established Leader in Cutting-edge Research

  • Carol Gregorio, PhD

    Cytoskeletal Proteins in Striated Muscle Health and Disease

  • Brett Colson, PhD

    Deciphering the Structural Basis for Muscle Contraction at the Molecular Level

  • Greg Rogers, PhD

    Investigating Mechanisms of Genomic Integrity

  • Curtis Thorne, PhD

    Discovering Signals Controlling Cell Fate of Regenerative Tissues


    Training Our Next Leaders in Biomedical Research

  • Clark Lantz, PhD

    Understanding How Early Life Environmental Exposures Leads to Adult Disease

  • Ray Runyan, PhD

    Regulation of Cell Invasion in Development and Cancer


    A Thriving Environment for Biomedical Discovery


Message from the Chair

The mission of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (CMM) is to provide pre- and post-doctoral, medical and graduate education in an interdisciplinary environment through research activities, to advance knowledge of biological structure as related to function and disease from the molecular level to the whole organism.

Recent Publications

  • Janus Face of Drug-Induced Tetraploidy in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
    Author(s): D. Mahadevan; G.C. Rogers
    Date Published: 2020 04 01
    PMID: 32291237
  • A Comparative Analysis of Tumors and Plasma Circulating Tumor DNA in 145 Advanced Cancer Patients Annotated by 3 Core Cellular Processes.
    Author(s): K. Larson; R. Kannaiyan; R. Pandey; Y. Chen; H.M. Babiker; D. Mahadevan
    Date Published: 2020 03 16
    PMCID: PMC7140098  PMID: 32188081
  • PIM protein kinases regulate the level of the long noncoding RNA H19 to control stem cell gene transcription and modulate tumor growth.
    Author(s): N. Singh; S.K.R. Padi; J.J. Bearss; R. Pandey; K. Okumura; H. Beltran; J.H. Song; A.S. Kraft; V. Olive
    Date Published: 2020 03 07
    PMID: 32146726
  • A molecular mechanism for the procentriole recruitment of Ana2.
    Author(s): T.A. McLamarrah; S.K. Speed; J.M. Ryniawec; D.W. Buster; C.J. Fagerstrom; B.J. Galletta; N.M. Rusan; G.C. Rogers
    Date Published: 2020 02 03
    PMID: 31841145
  • Single-cell ATAC-Seq in human pancreatic islets and deep learning upscaling of rare cells reveals cell-specific type 2 diabetes regulatory signatures.
    Author(s): V. Rai; D.X. Quang; M.R. Erdos; D.A. Cusanovich; R.M. Daza; N. Narisu; L.S. Zou; J.P. Didion; Y. Guan; J. Shendure; S.C.J. Parker; F.S. Collins
    Date Published: 2020 02 01
    PMCID: PMC6961712  PMID: 32029221


Dr. Helen Amerongen receives 2020 Faculty Mentoring Award (May 21, 2020)

Helen Amerongen, PhD was recently awarded a 2020 College of Medicine Mentoring Award, which honors faculty members who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the mentorship of junior faculty.  Recipients were formally recognized at the May General Faculty Meeting of the College of Medicine – Tucson.  Read more here

Dr. Darren Cusanovich selected for a University of Arizona Health Sciences Career Development Award (April 30, 2020)

Research Assistant Professor Darren Cusanovich, PhD was announced as one of four recipients of the UAHS Career Development Award this year. The CDA program, established in 2014, provides research training and funding for junior faculty members to foster academic careers in clinical and translational research. The award will support Dr. Cusanovich's work, in collaboration with Dr. Mohamed Ahmed in Neonatology, using single-cell genomics to better understand the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a lung disease that affects prematurely born children. Read more here.

Dr. Gregory Rogers receives $2.6M Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) R35 from the NIGMS (April 29, 2020)

Associate Professor Gregory Rogers, PhD, recently received an R35 MIRA grant, a 5-year award for established investigators from the NIGMS.  The goal of this basic science proposal is to utilize Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to dissect the molecular mechanisms that underlie the assembly, growth, and function of centrioles - the core subunits of centrosomes.

Dr. Thorne's laboratory receives COVID-19 Rapid Turn-Around Seed Grant (April 16, 2020)

Assistant Professor Curtis Thorne, PhD in collaboration with Dr. Koenraad Van Doorslaer were awarded a Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) grant from the BIO5 Institute. The goal of their project is to rapidly test bioactive, clinically actionable and structurally diverse compounds for their activity in disrupting COVID-19 replication in bronchial tissue models. To accomplish this, Thorne and Van Doorslaer are developing a novel high-throughput assay to tract viral replication at the sub-cellular level with plans to make all data available in realtime to the international scientific community.

Dr. Elaheh Alizadeh receives Community Foundation of Arizona Fellowship (April 1, 2020)

Elaheh Alizadeh, PhD - a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Curtis Thorne, PhD - is the 2020 recipient of the Sidney Hopkins, Mayola B. Vail, and Patricia Ann Hanson Postdoctoral Fellowship from Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. This two-year fellowship supports research into the causes and treatment of cancer, and will support Dr. Alizadeh's research in using single-cell analysis to discover kinase network vulnerabilities in colon cancer.

Welcome incoming GPMM Students (April 1, 2020)

The Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine is delighted to welcome the following new Molecular Medicine PhD students to our program: Nichlas Engels (Harris lab), Natalie Iannuzo (Ledford lab), Tania Larrinaga (Gregorio lab), and Pierce Longmire (Goodrum lab).   We also extend a friendly welcome to the following PhD students who will be working in labs with CMM faculty: Anastasia Amoiroglou (Rogers Lab), Amber Clements (Warfel lab), Esmat Karimi (Granzier lab), Victoria Quintana (Sweasy Lab), and Jiawen Yang (Rogers Lab).


Drs. Ledford and Kraft win $10K UA Shark Tank Prize

Drs. Julie Ledford, PhD (left) and Monica Kraft, MD (right) win the $10,000 prize during UA Research Day's ‘Shark Tank’ Event for their pitch on a new, inhaled therapeutic for the treatment of asthma and potentially even COPD, cystic fibrosis and pneumonia.