alshabrawey Mohamed Al-Shabrawey

Dr. Al-Shabrawey is Associate Professor of Anatomy at the Dental College of Georgia and also Assistant Professor in Ophthalmology and Vision Discovery Institute. The primary objective of our research program is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis. We are particularly interested in characterizing the interplay between the osteoblasts and endothelial cells which regulates the osteogenesis-angiogenesis coupling during bone fracture healing. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of this coupling can lead to identifying new therapeutic targets in order to enhance the healing of bone fractures.

Dr. Adam BermanAdam Berman, MD, FHRS, FACC

Dr. Berman, a Cardiologist and Cardiac Electrophysiologist, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia.  He also serves as Director of Cardiac Arrhythmia Ablation Services.  Dr. Berman served as PI at Augusta University for the national multi-center Renew Study prior to its closing.  This study investigated the use of autologous CD34+ cells for the treatment of adult patients with refractory angina and chronic myocardial ischemia in the setting of coronary heart disease. 

Dr. Berman currently serves as PI at Augusta University for the multi-center Ix-Cell DCM human clinical trial investigating the use of autologous bone marrow derived CD14+ and CD90+ cells in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy ( 

bieberich Erhard Bieberich, PhD

Dr. Bieberich is Professor at the Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine/Department of Medicine. His primary interest is the regulation of cell biological processes in development and aging by lipids, in particular the cell signaling sphingolipid ceramide. His projects are on the ceramide-dependent differentiation of stem or progenitor cells in embryo development and malfunctional ceramide signaling in tissue degeneration (in particular Alzheimer's disease) and cancer. Dr. Bieberich's research has led to the discovery of novel intracellular and secreted ceramide-enriched compartments/vesicles (sphingosomes and exosomes) that are critical for cell signaling in embryo development and aging tissue.

Wendy BollagWendy Bollag, PhD

Dr. Bollag is a Professor in the Department of Physiology. Her research interests lie in understanding the mechanisms by which hormones, growth factors, cytokines and other signaling molecules instruct cells to respond appropriately to perform their functions. Her laboratory currently has one project investigating the regulation of keratinocyte growth and differentiation and a second defining the signaling mechanisms regulating aldosterone secretion from the adrenal gland. In the first project in skin, we are defining the role of the signaling enzymes phospholipase D (PLD) in promoting epidermal keratinocyte differentiation and protein kinase D (PKD) in supporting keratinocyte proliferation and survival. Our data suggest that PLD promotes keratinocyte differentiation and inhibits proliferation whereas PKD acts in an opposite fashion. By regulating these processes PLD and PKD may play a role in the development of skin diseases. In addition, an understanding of these signaling mechanisms may allow us to identify targets through which we can promote wound healing. A second project investigates the mechanism by which very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), the levels of which are elevated in obesity, stimulates the production of aldosterone. As a key hormone involved in sodium homeostasis, aldosterone is an important regulator of blood pressure, and abnormalities in its levels can contribute to various cardiovascular pathologies including hypertension. Since obesity is often associated with high blood pressure, our research may provide one mechanism by which excess weight contributes to hypertension. Finally, she is collaborating with Dr. Carlos Isales to investigate the role of, and signaling mechanisms activated by, nutrients in bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell formation of bone and the effect of aging on these events.


caldwell photo Ruth Caldwell, PhD

Dr. Ruth Caldwell, vascular cell biologist, is currently a Professor at Georgia Health Sciences University. She is also a Research Career Scientist at Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta. Dr. Caldwell's research revolves around vascular endothelial cell dysfunction and death and subsequent pathological angiogenesis in the retina. Her present interests include the superoxide generating enzyme NOX2 NADPH and the urea cycle enzyme arginase as mediators of oxidative stress, NO synthase dysregulation, vascular inflammation and cellular senescence. The goal is to identify novel strategies that protect vascular endothelial cells and enhance vascular repair while preventing pathological angiogenesis.


ding Han-Fei Ding, PhD

Dr. Ding is a Member of the Signaling and Angiogenesis Program at the Cancer Center and an Associate Professor of Pathology. A major area of our research is to identify and characterize neuroblastoma stem cells, the population of cancer stem cells that drive neuroblastoma development, and to understand the molecular mechanisms that control neuroblastoma stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. With these studies, we hope to identify cellular and molecular targets for earlier detection of neuroblastoma, for better prediction of clinical outcomes, and for drug discovery.

dong photo Zheng Dong, PhD

Dr. Zheng Dong, cell biologist, is currently a Regents' Professor at Georgia Health Sciences University. He is also a Research Career Scientist and Director of Research Development at Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta. Dr. Dong's research revolves around cell injury/death and subsequent regeneration in kidneys and tumors. His present interest includes mitochondrial regulation, autophagy, microRNA, DNA damage response, and cell cycle. The goal is to identify novel strategies that protect and enhance the regeneration of normal tissues while killing cancer cells.

elremssy photo Azza El-Remessy, PhD, RPh, FAHA

Dr. El-Remessy is an Associate Professor and Director, Program in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics, UGA and Adj. Associate Professor, Dept. of Ophthalmology, Pharmacology& Toxicology and Vision Discovery Institute (GHSU). The primary objective of our research program is to develop new effective treatments for patients with diabetic retinopathy. My group was the first to demonstrate the role of peroxynitrite in modulating NGF homeostasis resulting in impairing NGF survival signal and accumulation of its precursor “proNGF” and its receptor p75NTR in the diabetic retina. The goal is to identify novel strategies that protect retinal endothelial cells from proNGF-induced cell death and restore NGF reparative function

eroglu photo Ali Eroglu, PhD, DVM

Dr. Eroglu is an Associate Professor at the Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine/Department of Medicine. His research interests include generation and banking of pluripotent stem cells under defined conditions, as well as their subsequent therapeutic use.


fulzele photo Sadanand Fulzele, DVM, PhD

Dr. Fulzele is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. His research focused on the impact of micronutrient on bone and cartilage formation. He is particularly interested in role of vitamin C transporter in bone marrow stromal cell differentiation and fracture healing.

guo photo De-Huang Guo, PhD

Dr. Guo is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Georgia Prevention Institute. He is interested in studies the role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in vascular diseases and in normal repair of damaged vessels. He is exploring the molecular mechanisms and regulations of hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow as they develop into EPCs, and the therapeutic intervention of vitamin D during these processes.

hamrick photo Mark Hamrick, PhD

Dr. Hamrick is a Professor in Cellular Biology and Anatomy. The primary objective of our research program is to understand how soft tissues, muscle and fat, influence bone metabolism and bone strength. We are particularly interested in defining the molecular mechanisms by which muscle and fat regulate bone formation and bone repair, so that these pathways can be targeted therapeutically in order to prevent and treat bone fractures.

davehillphoto William D. Hill, PhD

Dr. Hill is an Associate Professor in Cellular Biology and Anatomy.  The research in Dr. Hill's lab focuses on bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and their secreted factors.  They are used in multi-disciplinary studies for their capacity to repair damage and regenerate normal tissues, especially in stroke, acute bone injury repair and in aging (e.g. in chronic disease such as Osteoporosis) models. A major focus is the CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling axis. We are interested in miRNA mediated regulation of the CXCL12/CXCr4 pathway and osteogenesis. Additionally, we are investigating the role of autophagy in bone disease and stroke, particularly the part played by CXCL12.

yuqing huo photo Yuqing Huo, PhD

Dr. Huo is a Professor in Vascular Biology Center. The research interests of Dr. Huo's laboratory are inflammatory aspects and leukocyte recruitment in a variety of diseases, including atherosclerosis, thrombosis, diabetes/obesity and pulmonary hypertension. In addition, Dr. Huo's laboratory is also interested in determining the intracellular molecules and pathways which interfere with inflammatory aspects of the above diseases. Current studies assess the involvement of AMPK, adenosine, and adenosine receptors in the development and progression of above diseases. These studies are expected to augment basic understanding of the inflammatory process involved in these diseases, and may lead to the development of anti-inflammatory therapy for future clinical use in patients.

isalesphoto2 Carlos M. Isales, MD

Dr. Isales is the Director of IRRM, Vice Chair of DNRM and also a Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery. Our research is focused on the impact of nutrients on bone formation and how this changes with aging. As part of the aging process, bone marrow stem cells that should turn into bone cells, turn into fat cells instead resulting in osteoporosis. By better understanding how stem cells “sense” nutrients we hope to develop novel therapies for the treatment of osteoporosis.

johnson photo Maribeth H. Johnson, MS

Maribeth Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Georgia Health Sciences University. Her interests include statistical methodology for biological and medical applications including longitudinal data analysis. She is the Biostatistician and co-investigator for the Program Project Grant, Age-Induced Impairment of Nutrient Signaling Results in Bone Loss.


lucas photo Rudolf Lucas, PhD

Dr. Rudolf Lucas is an Associate Professor at the Vascular Biology Center, in the Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the Division of Pulmonary Medicine. Our research focuses on identifying novel therapeutic treatments that can repair the capillary/alveolar barrier and restore alveolar liquid clearance capacity during acute lung injury, ARDS and severe pneumonia. This research has led to the discovery of two promising candidates: an agonist of the Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone (collaboration with Dr. Schally, University of Miami, FL) and the TNF-derived TIP peptide, the latter of which is currently in a phase 2A clinical trial.

Mario Marrero, PhD

mei photo Lin Mei, PhD

Dr. Mei is Professor of Neurology and Chairman of the Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine. He studies neural development including synapse formation, neurotransmission, and synaptic plasticity. His studies contribute to a better understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms of these processes and development of potential therapeutic strategies for mental disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, and depression and neurological disorders such as muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, and epilepsy.

mcneil photo Paul McNeil, PhD

Dr. McNeil is a Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy and a member of DNRM. His research interest is in cell injury and repair. Currently, he is focusing on identifying skeletal muscle cell plasma membrane injury as a pathogenic factor in disease, and understanding how the skeletal muscle cell repairs defects resulting from such injury. This research has direct relevance to certain forms of muscular dystrophy and to diabetic complications, and utilizes mouse and cultured cell model systems.

murrow photo Jonathan R. Murrow, M.D.

Dr. Murrow is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership in Athens. His research explores the role of bone marrow-derived vascular progenitor cells in improving limb perfusion in patients with peripheral vascular disease.

nesmith photo Elizabeth (Beth) G. NeSmith, PhD, ACNP-BC

Dr. NeSmith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physiological and Technological Nursing. Dr. NeSmith's work focuses on the effects of lifetime chronic stress on inflammatory function and how it impacts healing and vulnerability to complications following acute life-threatening injury. Dr. NeSmith's research will lead to advances in tailoring individual treatments to prevent and improve acute outcomes of trauma.

ruggerberg photo Frederick A. Rueggeberg, DDS, MS

Dr. Rueggeberg is Section Director of Dental Biomaterials, Department of Oral Rehabilitation, Dental College of Georgia. His research interests focus on characterization of light sources, photo-polymerization, and a wide variety of materials physical and mechanical property testing. His laboratory has the capability to also custom fabricate testing devices (mechanical fixtures as well as computer-controlled) for individual needs.

shi photo Xing-Ming Shi, PhD.

Dr. Shi is an Associate Professor at the Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (DNRM) and the Department of Pathology. The research interests in his laboratory include the regulation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell lineage commitment, molecular mechanisms underlying glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis, and the molecular mechanisms by which glucocorticoids exert their anti-inflammatory actions.

Franklin Tay, PhD

thomas 2 Bobby Thomas, PhD

Dr. Thomas is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neurology. The major interest of our laboratory is to study molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration induced by genetic mutations, environmental toxicants and gene-environment interactions in Parkinson's disease with a primary focus on mitochondrial dysfunction and stress signaling pathways involving oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. Our ultimate goal is to utilize this mechanistic knowledge to develop tangible neuroprotective therapies for Parkinson's disease and perhaps other neurodegenerative disorders.

ulf photo Ulf Me Wikesjö, DDS, DMD, PhD

Dr. Wikesjö holds appointments as Professor of Periodontics and Oral Biology, Dental College of Georgia with secondary appointments in the College of Graduate Studies and in Orthopedics, Medical College of Georgia and as Director of Laboratory for Applied Periodontal & Craniofacial Regeneration/LAPCR. One objective the LAPCR is to using discriminating preclinical models evaluate the biology of periodontal wound healing/regeneration, and to evaluate the efficacy/safety of candidate biomaterials, devices, and biologics intended for periodontal regeneration prior to clinical introduction. A second objective is to evaluate the biologic potential of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) including rhBMP-2, rhOP-1/rhBMP-7, rhGDF-5/rhCDMP-1, and other candidate biologics, bone biomaterials/devices for alveolar bone augmentation/ dental implant fixation using relevant models to explore their clinical potential as well as defined rodent models for screening purposes. Our translational work has immediate focus on developing safe and effective regenerative therapeutics for primarily craniofacial but also orthopedic indications.

weinberger Paul Weinberger, MD

Dr. Weinberger is an Assistant Professor with dual appointments in the department of Otolaryngology, and the Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine at Georgia Health Sciences University. His regenerative medicine research centers on developing tracheal transplantation using both in-vivo and in-vitro organogenesis via mesenchymal stem cells. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Fanconi Award for best overall research presentation by the American Head and Neck Society (2006) and was awarded the National Leadership Award from the American Medical Association (2007). His clinical specialty is Laryngology and complex airway reconstruction.

williiams photo Hadyn T. Williams, MD, FACNM

Dr. Williams is Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology, Nuclear Medicine Section, Medical College of Georgia. He is Board Certified in Nuclear Medicine, Past President of the American College of Nuclear Medicine and Southeastern Chapter Society of Nuclear Medicine. Nuclear Medicine Imaging has been instrumental in evaluation of stem cell transplant efficacy and applicability, including mesenchymal stem cell targeting of microscopic tumors for anticancer gene therapy, monitoring of autologous bone marrow stem cells in myocardial incorporation and effect on ventricular function following infarction, and tracking the fate of transplanted cardiac stem cells participating in cardiac regeneration by observation of living cells.


yu photo Robert K. Yu, PhD

Dr. Yu is a Professor in DNRM. Dr. Yu's current research includes the study of complex glycoconjugates, particularly glycosphingolipids, play crucial roles in determining cellular properties, such as intercellular interactions, recognition and adhesion. He and his staff are developing an understanding of the role of stage-specific glycoconjugates in governing cell events via a variety of signaling pathways