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Current Labs

handan acar

Assistant Professor of Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering, University of Oklahoma. A key aspect of our research is to harness nanomedicine for clinical translational applications. Our research efforts combine various interdisciplinary approaches to address the current limitations in clinical biomedical applications. To achieve this purpose, we use techniques to manipulate molecular-level interactions to design and synthesize materials with unique capabilities; for example: Self-assembling nanoparticles for site-specific delivery platforms, the tracking of intracellular interactions using active cargo, and activated self-assembly strategies for disrupting malignant cells.

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Chenkai Dai

Associate Professor of School of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, University of Oklahoma. A key aspect of our research is to develop medical devices/treatments to restore damaged hearing and balancing function caused by various injuries. Our research focuses on measurements hearing/balancing damage by blast or chronic noise and develop hearing protection protocol /devices for personnel exposed to various noises. We also make research efforts combine various interdisciplinary approaches to address the issue of tinnitus and aging hearing and balancing loss. Another research goal is to develop a comprehensive ear computational model to do full analysis including mechanics, electricity and physiology simulation, providing a future virtual model for medical professionals to perform clinical procedures.

michael detamore

Founding Director, Stephenson Chair and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Courtesy Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Oklahoma. The central theme of my research group is translational regenerative medicine. Techniques employed in my laboratory include 3D printing, microsphere fabrication, electrospinning, colloidal gels, and viral and non-viral gene delivery to mesenchymal stem cells. We leverage these tools to solve problems relating to TMJ disorders, knee cartilage injury, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, and tracheal stenosis.

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courtney hofman

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Co-director at the University of Oklahoma's Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research. Dr. Hofman’s research integrates interdisciplinary methods and fields, including genomics, ancient DNA, proteomics, and archaeology to explore human-environment interactions on two very different scales. First, she investigates human-wildlife interactions and their influence on changing environments over the past millennia to inform conservation decisions. Second, Dr. Hofman conducts research on the evolution of the human microbiome, especially with respect to how significant cultural changes (ie agriculture, industrialization, etc.) impact the microbiome. Dr. Hofman is also research associate at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. 

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liz karr

The Karr lab is interested in the regulation of gene expression in microorganisms. Gene expression is of integral importance in biological systems and is regulated by a variety of mechanisms. The Karr lab uses a variety of microbiological, biochemical and structural approaches to unravel regulatory mechanisms in medically and environmentally important organisms. 

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brian kemp

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Co-Director of the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research (LMAMR). Dr. Kemp uses genetic data to address questions about the entrance of humans into the Americas and the ensuing ~15,000 years of prehistory that are not approachable from culture history alone.  Research topics include: Molecular Anthropology; Ancient DNA; Forensic DNA; Native American Prehistory; Turkey Domestication; Molecular Species Identification (DNA Barcoding); Advancing Methods for the Study of Low Copy Number and Degraded DNA Samples

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Chung-Hao Lee

Assistant professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering in the Gallogly College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma (OU), with his research centered around soft tissue biomechanics and biomaterials design ( Dr. Lee is the recipient of the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientist Development Grant (2016-2020) and the OU Nancy L. Mergler Faculty Mentor Award for Undergraduate Research (2018). He is member of AHA, ASME, and USACM.

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cecil lewis

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Co-Director of the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research (LMAMR). Dr. Lewis’s research addresses questions concerning the distribution and evolution of human genetic variation – both with respect to the human genome and the human microbiome. To address these questions, he has collected and/or analyzed ancient DNA, genetic data from hypervariable mitochondrial regions, from autosomal functional regions, genome-wide survey of Short Tandem Repeats, and microbial genomes. Research topics include human population history, the evolution of disease associated genetic variation, and the relationship between cultural, environmental and genetic variation.

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hong liu

Charles and Jean Smith Chair in Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Adjunct Professor of Medicine. Dr. Liu’s research interest is in medical imaging. His current projects include phase and phase contrast x-ray imaging, digital mammography, digital radiography, stereo fluoroscopy, and optical and fluorescent imaging devices. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and a fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE). He is also the Chief Editor of the Journal of X-ray Science and Technology.

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yuchen qiu

Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Yuchen Qiu received his B.E. and M.E. in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from Xi'an Jiaotong University, P. R. China, in 2005 and 2008 respectively. From 2008 to 2013, he received his Ph.D. training in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) from the University of Oklahoma. His research interest is mainly focused on Quantitative Image Analysis, including the development of computer aided diagnosis/detection schemes for the early symptom identification or early therapy response assessment of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other diseases.

Dr. Yuchen Qiu is a member of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Research interests are Radiomics, Artificial intelligence in medical image analysis, Computer aided therapy response evaluation.

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krithi sankaranarayanan

Our research addresses questions on the structure, function, and evolution, of microbial communities within the context of two distinct ecological niches; the Human microbiome, and Hypersaline environments. We employ a wide range of conventional molecular biology and microbiology techniques, coupled with second generation sequencing and informatics, to address these questions. Current research projects include exploring gut microbial diversity and function among people across distinct lifeways, Algal-Archaeal interactions in hypersaline environments, and long-term preservation of biomolecules in salt cores.

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Dr. Qinggoing Tang

Assistant Professor of Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering, University of Oklahoma. Optical imaging methods have become very powerful tools in biomedical research since they can achieve both high spatial and temporal resolutions. The focuses of my research group include optical coherence tomography, multiphoton microscopy, fluorescence laminar optical tomography, development of novel quantitative multi-modal optical imaging devices and their applications in brain functional imaging, tissue engineering, clinical translation and cancer research.

tina warinner

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Co-Director of the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research (LMAMR). Dr. Warinner’s research addresses questions concerning the evolution of human diet and the evolution and ecology of the human microbiome. To address these questions, she combines both ancient DNA and modern DNA analyses using high-throughput metagenomic NGS sequencing, as well as proteomic analysis using LC-MS/MS. She has pioneered the investigation of dental calculus (calcified dental plaque), the richest source of ancient biomolecules known in the archaeological record. Her research topics include the evolutionary ecology of periodontal disease, human genetic variation related to nutrition and digestive function, the origins and spread of dairying, and the ancestral state of the human oral and gut microbiomes. Dr. Warinner is currently on sabbatical and serving as Microbiome Sciences Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany.

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stefan wilhelm

Assistant Professor in the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering. The Biomedical Nano-Engineering Laboratory led by Dr. Stefan Wilhelm focuses on engineering colloidal nanomaterials for diagnosis and treatment of diseases, including cancer. Our areas of expertise include the design and synthesis of organic and inorganic nanomaterials with defined physicochemical properties (e.g., size, shape, surface chemistry, optical/magnetic features). Our group aims to study and understand interactions between nanomaterials and biological systems from a whole organ/tissue level down to the cellular and bio-molecular level. This research will provide a foundation for the rational design of nanomaterials and nanomedicines with the ultimate goal of developing diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for clinical translation.

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liangzhong xiang

Assistant Professor in the School of Electric and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Center, and Stephenson Cancer Center. Dr. Xiang’s research interest is the development of novel biomedical imaging techniques, including laser induced photoacoustic tomography (PAT), X-ray acoustic computed tomography (XACT) and other radiation induced acoustic emission for imaging and therapy. He was the PI of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Prostate Cancer Postdoctoral Training Program grant at Stanford Medical School (2012-2015).  He is a member of the OSA, SPIE, AACR, RSNA and AAPM, and has served as an associate editor of Medical Physics journal.

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xiangming xiao

Professor at Department of Botany and Microbiology and Center for Spatial Analysis. The Earth Observation and Modeling Facility (EOMF) focuses on geospatial science and technology (remote sensing, global positioning system, geographical information sysetm) and its applications in natural resources, agriculture, forestry, rangeland, biodiverity, ecology, climate, geography, land use and land cover change, and animal and human health. The EOMF hosts global satellite image data to support research and education in monitoring, diagnosis and forecasting of the biosphere in our planet Earth. 

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Bin Zheng

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Oklahoma TSET Cancer Research Scholar at the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center. Dr. Zheng’s research field is developing and validating computer-aided detection and diagnosis (CAD) schemes of medical images. The primary purpose of the research is to develop and provide clinicians more reliable and quantitative medical image and signal data analysis tools that have potential to improve efficacy of cancer screening, diagnosis, and prognosis assessment. Current research interest and activities in his CAD laboratory include (1) developing and evaluating breast cancer risk stratification models for predicting risk of women developing breast cancer in near-term (e.g., <5 years after a negative screening examination), (2) optimizing and testing the interactive CAD systems using content-based image retrieval (CBIR) technology, which provide “visual aid” to radiologists in tumor diagnosis and/or classification, (3) investigating and applying new optical and electrical testing methods to detect properties of tumor tissues or cancer cells, which will be used to generate computerized biomarkers for assessment of cancer prognosis.

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Presidential Professor, Department of Botany and Microbiology, Institute for Environmental Genomics. Dr. Zhou is a distinguished R&D staff scientist in microbial genomics and ecology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. He and his research group are joining OU at the Stephenson Research and Technology Center to form the new Institute for Environmental Genomics. Dr. Zhou is an international research leader in functional genomics analyses of microbial stress responses, energy metabolism, and regulatory networks in several environmentally important microorganisms.

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rong gan

Charles E. Foster Chair in Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Adjunct Professor of Physiology. The research activities in Dr. Gan’s Biomedical Engineering Lab are centered on basic research to understand structures and functions of living systems and applied research to develop new and improved devices and products for medicine and biology. Her current research projects include measurement of sound transmission in normal, diseased, and implanted ears, computational modeling of auditory system, design of implantable hearing devices, and biomechanics of tissues and organs.

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