Faculty Labs

Successful biomedical research demands collaboration among scientists with varying specialties. Faculty investigators throughout IU School of Medicine’s 26 academic departments work together to advance knowledge and treatment for patients in the world’s most critical areas of medicine. These scientists and physician investigators are recognized as the nation’s leading experts in their fields and operate research labs that focus on specialty areas of medical research. Researchers across the school’s nine campuses explore disease and treatment options in exceptional research facilities and are supported with administrative and compliance support.

Anatomy and Cell Biology

The Allen Laboratory (Indianapolis) is studying the tissue-level mechanisms responsible for musculoskeletal integrity in health and disease by utilizing numerous in vivo model systems that help investigators understand how disease and pharmaceutical intervention influence bone structure, cellular activity, tissue-level properties, and biomechanical properties.

The Bellido Laboratory (Indianapolis) investigates the mechanisms of signal transduction among and within bone cells, with particular emphasis on the biology of osteocytes.

The Bidwell Lab (Indianapolis) is exploring improvement of therapies for restoring bone lost to osteoporosis or other diseases.

Research in the Block Laboratory (Indianapolis) is centered on identifying how microglia, the resident innate immune cells in the brain, can become a chronic source of cytokines and reactive oxygen species that drive progressive neuron damage.

The Bonewald Laboratory (Indianapolis) focuses on the biology and function of the osteocyte.

The primary area of research for the Burr Lab (Indianapolis) is to evaluate the effects of pharmacologic agents used to treat osteoporosis on properties associated with quality of the bone matrix.

The Foley Lab (Bloomington) studies the epithelial-mesenchyme interactions in the repair and regeneration of specialized skin of the nipple. Information gained from basic studies are directed toward developing a cell-based regeneration nipple strategy for mastectomy patients.

Research in the Jin Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on the organization and plasticity of neural circuits in the cerebral cortex, and the mechanisms of epileptogenesis following traumatic brain injury.

The Johnson Lab (Indianapolis) at IU School of Medicine is investigating the mechanisms of centrally regulated anxiety and panic associated behavior that coincides with cardiorespiratory and thermoregulatory activity.

The Jones Laboratory (Indianapolis) focuses on neural injury and repair, gonadal steroids as neurotherapeutics, neuroimmunology, and ALS.

The Landreth Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on the biological basis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)—specifically, how genetic risks factors influence disease pathogenesis.

The Lasagna-Reeves Lab (Indianapolis) is studying the role of protein tau in neurodegenerative diseases.

The basic science research in the McNulty Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on bone and joint pathology. Educational research in this lab centers on improving learning of the anatomical sciences in professional curricula for veterinary, medical and allied health students.

The Organ Lab (Indianapolis) at IU School of Medicine studies the relationship between bone and muscle mechanics at the whole-organ level, and explores how tissue-level mechanisms influence whole-organ function.

The Plotkin Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on the role of connexins in the transduction of signals induced by hormonal, pharmacotherapeutic and mechanical stimuli in osteoblasts and osteocytes.

The Robling Laboratory (Indianapolis) is investigating the molecular mechanisms by which bone tissue senses mechanical loading, by studying how several signal transduction pathways affect bone accumulation and how cellular activity is altered by mechanical stimulation.

The Sankar Laboratory (Indianapolis) at IU School of Medicine is investigating the mechanisms by which members of the Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) signaling cascade, CaMKK2 (along with its downstream kinases AMPK, CaMKI and CaMKIV) regulate the fate and function of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, osteoblasts and osteoclasts.

The Truitt Lab (Indianapolis) is focused on determining how social interactions can be used to overcome anxiety. This lab team hopes to contribute to elucidating the neural mechanism by which psychotherapy helps patients overcome anxiety.

The Williams Lab (Indianapolis) is investigating why kidney stones form and what the bioeffects are of kidney stone removal when using different treatment modalities.

The Xu Lab (Indianapolis) is studying the role of alteration of neuronal excitability in pathogenesis of neurological disorders.


Under the direction of Fletcher A. White, PhD, research in the White Lab focuses on the mechanistic development and chronicity of pain due to traumatic brain injury (TBI), peripheral nerve injury, polytrauma, chemotherapeutics and disease.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The Boothman Lab (Indianapolis) is working to understand and exploit cell stress responses in cancer versus normal cells.

Researchers in the Carpenter Lab (Bloomington) use proteomics, genomics and bioinformatics to study how transcription factors are regulated in cancer cells and the subsequent genomic programs induced by these transcription factors. These investigators have a strong interest in transcription factors that play a role in tumor progression, metastasis and angiogenesis.

Investigators in the Daleke Lab (Bloomington) focus on molecular mechanisms controlling phospholipid organization in biological membranes, with an emphasis on the effects of diabetes on membrane lipid organization and the characterization and identification of phospholipid transporters, or “flippases.”

Dr. Charlie Dong’s laboratory (Indianapolis) focuses on the pathogenesis of aging, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease.

The Edenberg Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on the genetics and genomics of alcoholism, bipolar disorder and other complex diseases.

Researchers in the Hollenhorst Lab (Bloomington) use genomics and bioinformatics approaches to study the mechanisms that ETS family transcription factors use to interact with the genome in an effort to delineate both normal and oncogenic functions of these proteins.

The Hundley Lab team (Bloomington) is interested in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression and utilizes a combination of biochemistry, genomics and molecular biology to identify the molecular mechanisms that regulate RNA editing and the consequences of aberrant editing on gene expression.

The Hurley Lab (Indianapolis) is exploring, at the molecular level, the processes involved in the recognition and binding of molecules that are directed to the active sites of enzymes. Recent work has challenged the team to understand the functional distinction between active site directed inhibitors as well as activators.

The Mosley Lab (Indianapolis) is focused on uncovering novel mechanisms involved in the control of RNA Polymerase II transcription elongation and termination. This work is foundational to understanding how transcription is controlled in normal cells and how these pathways are defective in a wide-array of human diseases including cancers, diabetes and neuropathologies.

The Motea Lab (Indianapolis) studies the molecular basis of carcinogenesis and genomic instability induced by endogenous and exogenous genotoxic agents, translesion DNA synthesis, persistent R-loops (RNA:DNA hybrid structures), and aberrant DNA damage response and repair pathways.

The focus of the Quilliam Laboratory (Indianapolis) is on cancer-cellular signaling. The lab is interested in delineating signal transduction pathways induced by growth-stimulatory factors, and in determining the mechanisms by which these pathways are activated during the course of malignant transformation.

The Roach Lab (Indianapolis) is primarily focused on the metabolism of glycogen, its regulation, and the clinical consequences of its defects, as exhibited in glycogen storage diseases (glycogenoses).

The Takagi Lab is interested in functionally and structurally deciphering molecular machines of gene regulation, and is particularly interested in the Mediator complex, a crucial component of transcription regulation in all eukaryotes.

The Walczak Lab (Bloomington) is interested in the molecular mechanisms that govern mitotic spindle assembly and chromosome segregation in both normal and tumor-derived cells. Researchers in this group are developing screening assays to identify new drugs that target microtubule assembly.

The Wells Lab (Indianapolis) investigates early changes in cell behavior that contribute to the initiation of breast and brain cancer.

Cellular and Integrative Physiology

Investigators in the Nephew Lab are using next-generation sequencing technology and computational models to explore the role of epigenetics in ovarian cancer cells, cancer stem cells and resistance to chemotherapy. The team also studies breast cancer, estrogen receptor biology and endocrine resistance.

The research lab of Jeffrey Elmendorf dissects mechanisms of insulin action that regulate glucose uptake by fat and muscle cells, and defines defects contributing to insulin resistance associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The research lab of Johnathan D. Tune, PhD, focuses on the regulation of coronary blood flow, contractile function and metabolism in health and disease.

Emergency Medicine

Research in the Alves Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on the interdisciplinary development of translational technologies, treatments and techniques that can be used to have a positive impact on people’s lives. A chemical and bimolecular engineer, Nathan Alves, PhD, encourages researchers to apply engineering principles and designs to create translational technologies for clinical implementation.

The Kline Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on venous thromboembolism, and his lab (Indianapolis) conducts clinical and applied laboratory research intended to improve the therapeutic index of all steps of venous thromboembolism diagnosis and treatment.

Internal Medicine: Cardiology

Research in the CP Chang Laboratory (Indianapolis) focuses on defining the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiomyopathy and heart failure and translating bench findings to clinical applications. The lab, led by Ching-Pin Chang, MD, PhD, is staffed by scientists and postdoctoral fellows carrying out research for the Department of Medicine.

The Chen Lab (Indianapolis), led by Peng-Sheng Chen, MD, is part of the Krannert Institute of Cardiology, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine at IU School of Medicine. The primary interest of the laboratory is to advance science related to cardiac arrhythmias. Members of the laboratory also collaborate widely within the institute and provide basic science support to various basic science and clinical research programs.

Rolf Kreutz, MD, is interested in research related to thrombosis, antiplatelet medications and personalized medicine. He is studying the effect of variations in the human genome on in-vivo drug response through pharmacogenetic analyses. In addition, he is investigating the potential of drug-drug interactions to reduce the efficacy of antiplatelet drugs, particularly clopidogrel and statins.

Internal Medicine: Clinical Pharmacology

Dr. Desta’s laboratory is investigating role of pharmacogenetics of drug metabolism in response to endocrine therapy of breast cancer (tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors) and antiretroviral drugs (e.g. nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors).The lab is particularly interested in the interplay between genetic variations in drug metabolism and drug interactions.

Internal Medicine: Hematology/Oncology

The Ivan Lab (Indianapolis) is studying the metabolic branches of the hypoxic response and how they can be exploited for synergistic anticancer combinations in solid tumors (with emphasis on brain cancer).

The Srour Lab (Indianapolis) is studying the characterization and biology of human and murine hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and interactions between cellular elements of the hematopoietic niche and HSC.

Internal Medicine: Immunology

The Lobashevsky Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)  studies and performs tests aimed at selecting potential organ donors. The laboratory team also monitors the functional status of patients’ immune cells and tests for paternity.

Medical and Molecular Genetics

The Barnett Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on applied informatics that support the development of systems and services that enable precision health methodologies and data-driven research.

The Clinkenbeard Lab (Indianapolis) is exploring the molecular mechanism driving bone loss in chronic kidney disease: mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD).

The Cornetta Lab (Indianapolis) is using viral-based gene transfer as a means of introducing genetic sequences to correct mutations and ameliorate disease.

The Forrester Lab (Bloomington) studies cell migration during metazoan development. Abnormal cell migration can lead to the spread of cancer cells. Investigators apply genetic, molecular and genomic approaches to the study cell migration, using the small, experimentally tractable nematode C. elegans.

The Graham Laboratory (Indianapolis) is studying the genetics of metabolic function and disease through the manipulation of genetic model systems, particularly the mouse and the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

The Herbert Lab studies the roles of telomeres and telomerase in aging and cancer.

Research in the Kim Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer’s disease. This research team is studying brain lipid-regulating proteins, such as apolipoprotein E (ApoE), low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), and ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1).

The Lu Lab studies cancer biology, identifying novel drug targets and therapies, and developing new cancer drugs using innovative nanoscale biomaterials.

The A. Mitra Lab (Bloomington) seeks to understand the paracrine and juxtacrine interactions between cancer cells and their microenvironment that regulate metastatic colonization in ovarian cancer with a specific interest in the regulation of key microRNAs and transcription factors.

Researchers in the O’Hagan Lab (Bloomington) study the role of oxidative DNA damage in initiating cancer-specific epigenetic changes. Investigators examine chromatin changes that occur acutely during DNA repair and how the persistence of these changes may lead to heritable changes in gene expression.

The laboratory of Kenneth White, PhD, is studying the molecular genetics of metabolic bone diseases involving the osteocyte-derived hormone fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23). Mutations in FGF23 are responsible for the human phosphate wasting disorder autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets (ADHR) and the converse disorder hyperphosphatemic familial tumoral calcinosis (hfTC). Studies in animal models and in cells are underway to elicit the factors controlling FGF23 production and understanding its bioactivity through its co-receptor KLOTHO.

The Zhang Lab (Indianapolis) is studying protein regulators and noncoding RNAs in the DNA damage signaling pathway and human cancer, especially as they relate to genome stability, tumor initiation and progression.

Microbiology and Immunology

The research lab of Elliot J. Androphy, MD, focuses on virology/viral pathogenesis–specifically the study human papillomaviruses (HPV), a family of viruses that causes genital warts, cervical and other lower genital tract cancers, and a subset of head and neck cancers. Projects seek to understand viral gene expression and replication focusing on the functions of the HPV E2 protein and its interactome. The research team is also developing novel antiviral drugs using state-of-the-art screening and biophysical technologies.

The Broxmeyer Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on mechanisms regulating proliferation, survival, self-renewal, metabolism, differentiation and homing/mobilization of hematopoietic, embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells at cellular, intracellular and animal levels.

The Brutkiewicz Lab studies immune evasion by microbial pathogens and tumors as well as the regulation of antigen presentation by various signal transduction pathways in both innate and adaptive immune responses.

The Dent Laboratory (Indianapolis) is focused on the regulation of the immune response by CD4 T helper and regulatory T cells.

The Derbigny Lab (Indianapolis) is working to characterize the cellular immune responses of epithelial cells lining the lumen of the oviduct and describing their contributions to the overall immune response to Chlamydia infections.

The Gilk Lab (Indianapolis) uses a combination of cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology to address the role of cholesterol in Coxiella-host cell interactions.

The Guo Laboratory (Indianapolis) focuses on the viral pathogenesis of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and antiviral discovery.

The Ivan Lab (Indianapolis) is studying the metabolic branches of the hypoxic response and how they can be exploited for synergistic anticancer combinations in solid tumors (with emphasis on brain cancer).

The Chandy John, MD, Lab focuses on malaria, one of the leading causes of death and long-term morbidity in children under five years of age worldwide. Specifically, the lab is exploring malaria pathogenesis, immunology and epidemiology; the relationships between infection, nutrition and neurodevelopment; and infections in children with sickle cell anemia.

The Kaplan Laboratory (Indianapolis) focuses on transcription factors that are involved in the development of T helper cell subsets and how those cells contribute to inflammation in allergic and autoimmune diseases.

The Katzenellenbogen Lab (Indianapolis) is focused on the host-pathogen interactions that activate oncogenic pathways and dysregulate typical cellular processes to permit cancer development and progression of HPV-associated cancers.

The Nelson Lab is studying chlamydial pathogenesis, microbiome pathogen interactions and pathogen discovery.

The Paczesny Lab at IU School of Medicine (Indianapolis) is working to better understand the role of cytokines and cellular effectors in the biology of GVHD/GVL by discovering and investigating biomarkers in the blood and tissues of patients following allogeneic HSCT.

The Pelus Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on understanding the regulation of survival proliferation and differentiation of normal adult blood and mesenchymal stem cells, how they respond to stress, and how this knowledge can be leveraged for therapeutic application in the areas of bone marrow transplantation, gene therapy and protection and mitigation of radiation injury.

The Robinson Lab studies the complex methods in which enteric viruses traverse the intestinal environment to initiate infection. The laboratory specifically identifies intestinal factors that influence viral replication.

The Spinola Laboratory (Indianapolis) focuses on the bacterium Haemophilus ducreyi, which causes cutaneous ulcers in children in the tropics and the genital ulcer disease chancroid, which facilitates the transmission of HIV-1.

The Srour Lab focuses on the characterization and biology of human and murine hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and on the interactions between cellular elements of the hematopoietic niche and HSC.

The Sullivan Laboratory (Indianapolis) studies cellular signaling and the regulation of gene expression in a protozoan parasites Plasmodium (malaria) called Toxoplasma.

The Yang Lab studies bacterial pathogenesis—how bacterial pathogens colonize the host, evade host immune response and cause diseases—in order to develop new diagnostic tools and vaccine to detect and prevent bacterial infections.

Neurological Surgery

The Xu Lab is studying the mechanisms underlying traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) and brain injury (TBI) and to develop novel repair strategies to promote neural reorganization and functional recovery in experimental models of these injuries.


Dr. Apostolova’s research focuses on the early symptomatic and presymptomatic stages of Alzheimer’s disease and on the development and validation of sensitive imaging and genetic biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementing disorders.

The Kareken Lab focuses on understanding the brain and genetic vulnerabilities that may predispose individuals to alcoholism.

Obstetrics and Gynecology Labs

Investigators in the Hawkins laboratory use next generation sequencing, mouse models, 3D bioprinting, and human samples to study benign and malignant diseases of the female reproductive tract, including endometriosis, endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer, endometrial dysfunction, and endometrial cancer.

The Xu Lab focuses on researching gynecologic oncology, especially the development and progression of gynecologic cancers at the molecular level.


The Corson Lab (Indianapolis) applies chemical biology to issues relating to eye disease, including age-related macular degeneration and other neovascular eye diseases. The research team is also exploring the biology of and potential therapies for pediatric ocular cancer retinoblastoma.

Orthopaedic Surgery

The Kacena Lab (Indianapolis) is exploring the interaction of the bone and hematopoietic systems to improve the treatment of metabolic bone disease, hematopoietic disorders and fracture healing.


The Hashino Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on regenerating sensory hair cells in the inner ear in order to understand the pathophysiology of congenital inner ear disorders and identify therapeutic targets for these conditions.

The Koehler Lab (Indianapolis) generates organoids within a 3D culture system in pursuit of establishing regenerative therapies for rebuilding auditory nerves for improved hearing as well as craniofacial tissues for improved skin grafting techniques.

The Nelson Lab (Indianapolis) studies the mechanisms of hair cell degeneration in the inner ear with the goal of developing new treatments for sudden and age-related hearing loss.

The O’Connell Lab (Indianapolis) analyzes metabolomics analysis to identify and understand cancer-associated cachexia and other muscle-wasting conditions.

The Zhao Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on the molecular mechanisms of auditory perception and deafness.


The Adams Lab (Indianapolis) is improving access to high-quality clinical services for children, teens and families impacted by mental health problems and substance use.

The Conway Lab (Indianapolis) is located in the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research and focuses on the examination and manipulation of the molecular regulatory mechanisms that govern cardiopulmonary development and disease.

The Field Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on regenerative growth of the heart. The lab works to develop strategies to monitor the intrinsic rates of cardiomyocyte cell cycle renewal in normal and injured adult hearts, as well as strategies to induce regenerative growth following myocardial injury.

The Herzog Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on developing gene therapies that result in a lasting cure of the inherited disorder hemophilia.

The John Lab focuses on malaria, one of the leading causes of death and long-term morbidity in children under five years of age worldwide. Dr. John is specifically studying malaria pathogenesis, immunology and epidemiology; the relationships between infection, nutrition and neurodevelopment; and infections in children with sickle cell anemia.

The Kaplan Laboratory (Indianapolis) is located in the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric research and focuses on transcription factors that are involved in the development of T helper cell subsets and how those cells contribute to inflammation in allergic and autoimmune diseases.

The Katzenellenbogen Lab (Indianapolis) is focused on the host-pathogen interactions that activate oncogenic pathways and dysregulate typical cellular processes to permit cancer development and progression of HPV-associated cancers.

The Kelley Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on translational research in DNA damage and repair as well as redox signaling pathways in tumor and normal cells, with extensive expertise on the apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1/ Redox effector factor-1 (APE1/Ref-1) enzyme.

The Mirmira Lab focuses on the pathogenesis of diabetes and the biology of the islet.

The Pollok Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on the development of new combination therapies for solid tumors with emphasis on investigations that evaluate the therapeutic effect of blocking DNA damage and repair pathways in the context of front-line therapies.

The Spaeth Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus and islet cell function. The lab investigates how transcriptional coregulators modulate activities of islet enriched transcription factors that are critical for pancreas formation, islet cell development and function.

The Yang Lab (Indianapolis) focuses on heart development. Approaches within the lab include the use of human embryonic stem (ES) cells, human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, tissue engineering and mouse genetic models.

The Zhou Lab (Indianapolis) studies the development and function of effector T helper (Th) cells and regulatory T (Treg) cells and how they impact immune mediated inflammatory diseases.

Pharmacology and Toxicology

Current projects in the Arrizabalaga Lab involve the characterization of kinases, phosphatases and other signaling proteins involved in the process by which the parasite exits its host cell and the characterization of autophagy-related proteins in mitochondrial dynamics and parasite death.

The Brustovetsky laboratory is working to determine the mechanisms of calcium deregulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neuronal death in aging and age-related neurodegenerations such as Huntington’s disease.

The Jill C. Fehrenbacher, PhD, laboratory (Indianapolis) is focused on how diseases and drugs can modulate the function of peripheral sensory neurons to underlie clinical neuronal dysfunction.

The research laboratory of Dr. Tao Lu focuses on addressing how NF-κB is regulated and how this regulation contributes to tumorigenesis.

The Safa Lab is particularly interested in multi-targeted therapy of brain cancer, breast cancer and pancreatic tumors through modulation of the death receptor signaling pathway in cancer cells.

The Sullivan Laboratory (Indianapolis) studies cellular signaling and the regulation of gene expression in a protozoan parasites Plasmodium (malaria) called Toxoplasma.

Research from the Yamamoto lab over the last 27 years has focused on how drugs of abuse affect the neurochemistry of brain.

The major research interest of the Zhang Lab is on tumorigenesis, drug discovery and cancer treatment resistance.


The Adams Lab (Indianapolis) is improving access to high-quality clinical services for children, teens and families impacted by mental health problems and substance use.

The Atwood Laboratory (Indianapolis) team is interested in how drugs of abuse, diet, stress and pain influence the behaviors of humans. The focus of the lab’s work is on the molecular mechanisms and brain circuits that are specifically impacted by these substances and experiences.

Dr. Oberlin’s lab identifies behavioral risk variables, brain regions, and systems governing impulsive addiction choices and the impact of cues on those choices.

Radiology and Imaging Sciences

The Wu Lab (Indianapolis) studies a wide range of radiology and imaging topics, with a particular focus on diffusion physics in biologic system using diffusion MRI.

Radiation Oncology

The Dynlacht Lab (Indianapolis) studies the effects of physical and chemical agents that modulate the response of cancer cells and normal tissue to the radiation response, particularly hyperthermia and various chemotherapeutic agents.

The Lautenschlaeger Lab team (Indianapolis) is working to measure and predict response to radiation therapy in solid tumors with the goal to develop biomarker-guided personalized radiation prescriptions and follow-up care.

Research in the Mendonca Lab (Indianapolis) is focused on gaining a better understanding of radiation’s ability to both heal and harm.