School of Medicine

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  • Howard Sussman

    Howard Sussman

    Professor of Pathology, Emeritus

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests The general problem with which we are concerned is the elucidation of cellular mechanisms of gene regulation which are related to the neoplastic process in humans. The phenomenon of ectopic protein synthesis in human cancer offers a good experimental model for investigating this problem.

  • David Svec MD MBA

    David Svec MD MBA

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Medicine - General Medical Disciplines

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests High Value Care: Leading quality improvement projects / research initiatives

  • Bragi Sveinsson

    Bragi Sveinsson

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Radiological Sciences Laboratory

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Imaging close to metal implants.
    Quantitative imaging of cartilage.

  • Kavya Swaminathan

    Kavya Swaminathan

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Chemical and Systems Biology

    Bio Kavya received her Ph.D. from the University of Sydney in Australia. During her PhD, she developed and applied mass spectrometry-based approaches to study antiviral binding to influenza virus antigens and monitor the emergence of antiviral resistance. She joined the Elias lab to explore the host immune responses to viral infections.

    Her current research focuses on identifying viral and host antigens that are differentially presented upon infection both in vitro and in vivo, in the context of the dynamic proteome. These studies will enable identifying immunologically relevant targets for the design of efficacious vaccines and therapeutics against a range of devastating infectious diseases such as Dengue, TB, Malaria, and Zika.

  • James Swartz

    James Swartz

    James H. Clark Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering and of Bioengineering

    Bio Using and Understanding Cell-Free Biology

    Swartz Lab General Research Focus:

    The current and projected research in the Swartz lab balances basic research in microbial metabolism, protein expression, and protein folding with a strong emphasis on compelling applications. The power and versatility of cell-free methods coupled with careful evaluation and engineering of these new systems enables a whole new range of applications and scientific investigation. Fundamental research on: the mechanisms and kinetics of ribosomal function, fundamental bioenergetics, basic mechanisms of protein folding, functional genomics, and metabolic pathway analysis is motivated by a variety of near- and medium term applications spanning medicine, energy, and environmental needs.

    Swartz Lab Application Focus:

    In the medical area , current research addresses the need for patient-specific vaccines to treat cancer. Particularly for lymphomas, there is a strong need to be able to make a new cancer vaccine for each patient. Current technologies are not practical for this demanding task, but cell-free approaches are rapid and inexpensive. We have already demonstrated feasibility in mouse tumor challenge studies and are now expanding the range of applications and working to improve the relevant technologies. Experience with these vaccines has also suggested a new and exciting format for making inexpensive and very potent vaccines for general use.

    To address pressing needs for a new and cleaner energy source, we are working towards an organism that can efficiently capture solar energy and convert it into hydrogen. The first task is to develop an oxygen tolerant hydrogenase using cell-free technology to express libraries of mutated enzymes that can be rapidly screened for improved function. Even though these are very complex enzymes, we have produced active hydrogenases with our cell-free methods. We are now perfecting the screening methods for rapid and accurate identification of improved enzymes. After these new enzymes are identified, the project will progress toward metabolic engineering and bioreactor design research to achieve the scales and economies required.

    To address environmental needs, we are developing an improved water filters using an amazing membrane protein, Aquaporin Z. It has the ability to reject all other chemicals and ions except water. We have efficiently expressed the protein into lipid bilayer vesicles and are now working to cast these membranes on porous supports to complete the development of a new and powerful water purification technology. The same lessons will be applied toward the development of a new class of biosensors that brings high sensitivity and selectivity.