Memphis Research Consortium
Strengths

The University of Memphis

W. Harry Feinstone Center for Genomic Research

  • Automated DNA sequencing
  • Affymetrix Gene chip analysis
  • DNA Cloning and protein expression
  • Real-time PCR
  • Cell Transfection
  • Tissue Culture and Cell Transfection
  • Antibody Design and Production

U of M Bioinformatics research and academic program
U of M Molecular Biology research and academic program
U of M Chemistry research and academic program
U of M Integrated Microscopy Center with complete specimen preparation laboratory for transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), confocal laser scanning light microscopy (CLSM) and routine light microscopy.
U of M Tennessee Governor’s Chairs of Excellence (2) in Molecular Biology and Functional Genomics
High Performance Computing Center

Wilfried Karmaus, MD, MPH – Director of the Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, & Environmental Health at the University of Memphis School of Public Health, Dr. Karmaus is an accomplished researcher and mentor, implementing apprenticeship models for student research. As a scientist, he has made significant contributions in several areas of epidemiology related to human reproduction, asthma, genetics, and child development. He has received several NIH grants for his national and international research in the area of asthma and allergies. He actively collaborates with scientists in Bulgaria, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka. His focus will be to develop and extend epigenetic and obesity-related research in local birth cohort studies, as well as direct our doctoral program in epidemiology. Dr. Karmaus received his medical degree (MD) from the University of Hamburg and his MPH in Epidemiology from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Hongmei Zhang, PhD – Associate Professor and Program Coordinator in Biostatistics for the Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, & Environmental Health at the University of Memphis School of Public Health, Dr. Zhang has rich experience in statistical method design with application to public health data, especially high throughput and high dimensional data sets. Her current methodological research includes developing statistical approaches to detect important risk factors and designing clustering methods to reduce the dimensionality and improve homogeneity within clusters. Her methodological research has been funded by several NIH grants. Besides her own methodological work, Dr. Zhang has collaborated with researchers in different fields of public health, including cancer (breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer), allergic diseases (asthma, eczema, and rhinitis), and health outcomes associated with aging. Dr. Zhang received her PhD in Statistics from the Iowa State University.

James G. Gurney, PhD – Hardin Endowed Professor and Associate Dean for the School of Public Health at the University of Memphis, Dr. Gurney is an epidemiologist and health services researcher with extensive experience conducting research on health outcomes among children with chronic diseases, such as cancer, autism, and complex congenital heart disease. In particular, Dr. Gurney is an expert on long-term adverse effects of cancer treatment among childhood cancer survivors. Dr. Gurney is an adjunct faculty member at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and collaborates on studies of cancer survivorship and health effects of sickle cell disease. He also has research experience in pediatric and adolescent pre-diabetes and diabetes related to obesity. Dr. Gurney’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, Hope Street Kids, state health departments in Michigan and Minnesota, and most recently by the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis. He is a core member of the Data Safety Monitoring Board for the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States, and is a frequent member of scientific review panels for the NIH. Dr. Gurney received his PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Gary L. Bowlin was hired as Professor and Herff Chair of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering (BME) at the University of Memphis and directs its Tissue Engineering Laboratory. His research foci are developing electrospun tissue-engineering scaffolds and products involving biomaterials and biologicals for use in dental reconstruction, bone regeneration, cartilage repair, vascular surgery, wound healing, and hemostasis (controlling voluminous bleeding). Dr. Bowlin’s groundbreaking paper on electrospinning collagen is the most cited item in the history of the journal Biomacromolecules, and he has over 4,000 other citations. He holds nine U.S. patents and over 30 international patents and has been the founding inventor of five companies, including NanoMatrix, Inc., which is based on an electrospun tissueengineering scaffold technology that was sold to Organogenesis, Inc., and another technology (WoundStat™) that was FDA approved and commercialized by TraumaCure, Inc., for controlling bleeding in severe traumatic injuries. Dr. Bowlin joined U of M to expand his work in orthopedic tissue engineering and regenerative products for the musculoskeletal system.

Amy N. Abell, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, joined the University of Memphis after completing a postdoctoral program at Duke University. Dr. Abell brings her expertise in epithelial stem cells and their transition to mesenchymal cells, including an understanding of the signaling networks and epigenetic changes that regulate this transition. Via teamwork with other professionals in the MRC community, she adds significantly to the depth of understanding of the molecular biology and genetics that underlie efforts in tissue engineering. Her specialized graduate-level teaching about stem cells and their use in regenerative medicine adds greatly to offerings available in Memphis.


The University of Tennessee Health Science Center

  • Clinical Translational Science Institute
  • Center for Integrative and Translational Genomics / Center of Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Biomedical informational science research and academic program
  • Molecular Resource Center: Sequencing, genomics, proteomics, microarray and related facilities
  • GeneNetwork web service and bioinformatics core facility (collaboration of CITG and CTSI)
  • Large-scale pediatric research program: The CANDLE study in cooperation with The Urban Child Institute
  • UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair in Computational Genomics

Robert L. Davis, MD, MPH – As Founding Director of the UTHSC Center in Biomedical Informatics and the University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair in Biomedical Informatics, Dr. Davis will serve as a professor in the UTHSC Department of Pediatrics. Based on the UT Health Science Center’s main campus in Memphis, he brings more than two decades of public health, epidemiology and data management experience to UTHSC. He will focus on major initiatives that include developing a premier program in biomedical informatics in partnership with faculty at UTHSC and ORNL, and serving as supervisor of the research component of the Center of Biomedical Informatics via development of research programs and research recruitments.

Joan Christine Han, MD – Founding Director for the Pediatric Obesity Center, Dr. Han comes to UTHSC and Le Bonheur from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. She will serve on the faculty at UTHSC and provide clinical care through UT Le Bonheur Pediatric Specialists, managing the multi-disciplinary Le Bonheur Healthy Lifestyles Clinic that will include services for social work, nutrition, psychology and nursing. In addition, she will conduct high-impact translational research in the area of obesity in coordination with the Children’s Foundation Research Institute. A Harvard-educated MD, she brings more than a decade of experience in pediatrics, pediatric endocrinology, and growth and obesity research to her new position.


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

  • Pioneer of personalized medicine
  • Extensive and integrated genomics research and medicine
  • St. Jude/Wash U Pediatric Cancer Genome Project
  • Planned Computational Biology Department
  • Hartwell Center for Bioinformatics and Biotechnology
    • Bioinformatics team
    • Extensive high-performance computing facilities
    • Core biotech facilities in:
      • Sanger DNA Sequencing
      • Genome Sequencing
      • Genotyping
      • Macromolecular Synthesis
      • Proteomics & Mass Spectrometry
      • Molecular Interaction Analysis
      • Functional Genomics
      • CACT – Affymetrix Microarray Analysis

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

Pediatric Genomics Research and Treatment Program