Research Mentors

2018 PREP Mentor of the Year
Candilianne Serrano Zayas

Alex Huang, MD, PhD

Dr. Huang mentored PREP Scholars Laura Menocal (2015) and Candilianne Serrano Zayas (2016).  Dr. Huang is a Professor of Pediatrics and the Director of the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program.

His laboratory research focuses on adapting intravital 2-photon laser scanning microscopy to study various aspects of in vivo immunity and pathogenesis. 

As a member of PREP, you will get to research with our highly skilled faculty on their NIH supported programs. Our mentors possess backgrounds of outstanding research and their programs are supported by the National Institute of Health. You will be assigned to a mentor that matches your personality and your research interests. PREP Scholars have engaged in a variety of research areas.

Mentors in the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program have a history of training diverse students. A PREP Mentor will have:

  • Outstanding research program supported by the National Institutes of Health
  • Strong record of scientific productivity. Productive labs are energetic and include many other scientists at various levels, providing a dynamic research environment
  • Experience in training. All mentors are trainers in CWRU's biomedical PhD programs and are thus familiar with the demands of graduate study
  • Active participation in the PREP. Only investigators committed to the goals of the PREP serve as faculty trainers. Faculty are expected to provide mentorship in the lab and participate in meetings
  • An attractive and relevant research plan for a PREP Scholar


PREP research mentors and their students cover a wide range of fields and interests. Some recent examples include:

Mentor Research Field
Derek Abbott, PhD  Crohn's Disease.
Robert Bonomo, MD  Structure function relationships of the class A beta- lactamase.
Susann Brady-Kalnay, PhD Receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases, cell adhesion, signal transduction, and cancer.
Matthias Buck, PhD  Structural Biology and computational modeling, protein dynamics, small GTPases, transmembrane receptors.
Mark Chance, PhD Structural and cellular proteomics.
Brian Cobb, PhD Structure, function, and immune responses against bacterial carbohydrates.
Jeffrey Coller, PhD Investigating the interconnection between mRNA translation and mRNA stability.
Mitchell Drumm, PhD Cystic Fibrosis.
George Dubyak, PhD Analysis of receptor signaling systems in inflammatory responses and cell death.
Dominique Durand, PhD Neural engineering - computational neuroscience, engineering, electrophysiology.
Agata Exner, PhD Minimally invasive methods of cancer treatment.
Stanton Gerson, PhD  Stem Cell Biology.
Clifford Harding, MD, PhD  Immunology.
Peter Harte, PhD Regulation of homeotic gene expression.
Maria Hatzoglou, PhD  Translational control in catabolic stress conditions.
Alex Huang, MD, PhD Immune activation and tolerance in the pathogenesis of cancer.
Mark Jackson, PhD Genetics of breast cancer.
Ruth Keri, PhD Breast cancer.
Alan Levine, PhD  HIV, Mucosal Immunology, T cell signal transduction.
Shigemi Matsuyama, PhD  Molecular mechanism of apoptosis regulation by Bcl-2 family proteins.
Monica Montano, PhD  Factors involved in ER-dependent growth of breast cancer cells.
Arne Rietsch, PhD  Primary virulence mechanism of P. aeruginosa.
Jerry Silver, PhD Role of glial cells in development and regeneration of neural circuits.
Carlos Subauste, MD  Role of CD40 and autophagy in host- pathogen interactions.
Paul Tesar, PhD  Molecular regulation of cell identity and development.
Johannes von Linting, PhD Role of retinoids in vision, cell proliferation and metabolic control.
Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, MD, PhD  Mechanisms and therapies of human neurogenetic diseases using stem cells and mice.
Richard Zigmond, PhD  Nervous system plasticity.
Peter Zimmerman, PhD  Mechanisms of drug resistance to Plasmodium falciparum.