Research Mentors

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:


Research Field

Derek Abbott, MD, PhD 

Activation and regulation of innate immune responses.

Robert Bonomo, MD 

Structure-function relationships of clinically important beta-lactamases using microbiological and biochemical testing, medicinal chemistry, structural biology, pharmacological analyses, genetics and molecular epidemiology.

Susann Brady-Kalnay, PhD

Research on cell adhesion and signaling of Receptor Protein TyrosinePhosphatases during development of the nervous system and in cancer.

Mark Chance, PhD

Structural and Cellular Proteomics.

Mitchell Drumm, PhD

Research on genetics of cystic fibrosis and mouse models to study its patho-physiology.

*George Dubyak, PhD

Research on cellular signal transduction processes during inflammation, vascular damage, and regulated cell death.

*Agata Exner, PhD

Research on drug delivery systems and image-guided interventions for cancer treatment, and multifunctional ultrasound contrast agent development.

Stanton Gerson, MD 

Stem Cell Biology especially in the areas of DNA repair and quiescence and stem cell transplantation models and gene therapy, studies of DNA repair in cancer, and development of new therapeutics targeting DNA repair, currently focused on base excision repair.

Clifford Harding, MD, PhD 

Regulation of antigen presentation and immune responses to infection with tuberculosis and HIV; innate immune signaling and regulation; cell biology of antigen processing and host-pathogen interactions.

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, gene discovery techniques, oncogene signaling, tumor suppressors.

Emmitt Jolly, PhD

Research on transcriptional and translational regulation in parasitic worms.

Efstathios Karathanasis, PhD

Cancer nanotechnology.

*Ruth Keri, PhD

Mechanisms of breast development and cancer progression.

Alan Levine, PhD 

Regulation of intestinal immunity, via cross-talk between mucosal T cells, the epithelium, and the microbiome

Jason Mears, PhD

Structural and functional studies of macromolecular complexes driving mitochondrial fission and how these are misregulated in neurodegeneration and cancer.

Monica Montano, PhD 

Factors involved in ER-dependent growth of breast cancer cells.

Parameswaran Ramakrishnan, MS, PhD

Inflammation and Autoimmunity

Diana Ramirez-Bergeron, PhD

Effects of oxygen tension in the development of the cardiovascular system.

Arne Rietsch, PhD 

Virulence mechanisms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Jerry Silver, PhD

Research on the role of the glial scar in preventing regeneration after brain or spinal cord injury.

*Carlos Subauste, MD

Role of CD40 and autophagy in host- pathogen interactions.  CD40 signaling in inflammatory disorders.

Derek Taylor, PhD

Structure and molecular interactions of telomeres and telomerase.

Paul Tesar, PhD 

Molecular regulation of cell identity and development.

Blanton Tolbert, PhD

Structural biophysics of virus-host interactions.

Johannes von Linting, PhD

Research on the metabolism and functions of carotenoids and retinoids.

Horst von Recum, PhD

Renewable drug delivery for recurrent or chronic disease.

David Wald, MD, PhD

Identification and development of novel therapeutic strategies for cancer with a particular focus on Acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, MD, PhD 

The molecular genetic basis of social behavior and autism.

*Richard Zigmond, PhD

Neural plasticity and regeneration.

*CasePREP Excellence in Mentoring Award Winner