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Indiana University Bloomington


Cheng KaoDirector:

C. Cheng Kao, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry
Phone: (812) 855-7959

Lab Website

Dr. Cheng Kao received his B.S. from the University of Michigan (‘84) and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Michigan State University (’88). He was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow at UCLA and a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Dr. Kao joined the Indiana University faculty in 1993. He was an Outstanding Junior Faculty, a Jack Gill Fellow and a visiting scientist at GlaxoSmithKline, Centocor Inc., Peking University Health Science Center, and UC Berkeley.

Dr. Kao’s research is on the replication of RNA viruses, including the Hepatitis C virus, the human norovirus and several plant viruses. His lab also studies the innate immune receptors that recognize RNA viruses. An fulfilling aspect of his research is that he could work with scientists from both academia and pharmaceutical companies on basic and applied research directions.  Dr. Kao has taught a number of undergraduate and graduate courses, including Honors Molecular Biology, the Mechanisms of the AIDs Virus Infection, Integrated Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics, and Grant Writing.
Read more about Dr. Kao.

Nancy G. MagillAssistant Director, Undergraduate Program:

Nancy Magill , Ph.D., Senior Lecturer
Phone: (812) 856-5978

Dr. Magill received a B.S. from Allegheny College and her M.S. ('82) and Ph.D. ('88) in Microbiology from Cornell University. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Connecticut Health Center (1988-95).  A focus of her research has been on starvation stress responses including sporulation. 
Dr. Magill has taught at a number of colleges and universities. Courses that she has previously taught include:  Bacteriology and lab, Microbiology and lab, Immunology, Cell Physiology and lab, Genetics,  Cell and Molecular Biology, and Human Biology.
She has also worked at Rhode Island Hospital and at a US EPA – GLP lab. Her research interests have included sporulation of Bacillus sp. and antibiotic resistance. The undergraduate courses she teaches include:

  • T315 Biotechnology Laboratory
  • T322 Biotechnology Writing and Communication
  • T215 Diagnostics and Forensics Biotechnology Lab

Assistant Director, Graduate Program:

Robert VaughanRobert Vaughan, Ph.D., Lecturer, Director of Graduate Studies
Phone: (812) 855-5170

Dr. Vaughan received his B.S. from Texas A&M University in Molecular and Cell Biology. He then earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry with a secondary focus in Analytical Chemistry from Indiana University in 2012. The central theme for Robert's research is focused on studying how RNA-protein interactions within viruses and innate immune receptors can regulate their activities during infection.  His interests include virology, innate immunity, and studying protein-RNA interactions. 

Robert has taught with the program since 2011 and has led a T500 research team which has a main focus on the expression, purification, and characterization of recombinant proteins.  He would be happy to answer any questions you have about the graduate program, life as a graduate student, or any other concerns you may have.


Robert VaughanRasheda Sultana, Ph.D., Lecturer
Phone: (812) 856-7246

Dr. Sultana received her B.S. and M.S. from The University of Dhaka, Bangladesh and her M.Phil. and Ph.D. (2012) in Biochemistry from The City University of New York. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Biochemistry of Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa (2012-14).  She has investigated the roles of mitochondrial pyruvate carrier MPC1 and MPC2 in metabolism and their relationship with various diseases such as diabetes and obesity. In her Ph.D. project she explored the roles of mammalian ubiquitin ligases UBR1, UBR2 and CHIP in protein degradation that are related to the development of cancers. She also explored the action of UBR1 in the degradation of nuclear receptors such as glucocorticoid receptor (GR), androgen receptor (AR) and estrogen receptor (ER). She has research experience in identification of most prevalent genotype in rotavirus for vaccine development. Her research interests include cytosolic and mitochondrial protein quality control and underlying molecular mechanism for the development of various diseases.

Jeff AnkromJim Drummond, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry
Phone: (812) 856-4184

Dr. Drummond received his B.S. degree from Oakland University (’81) and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan (’93) where he was an NSF pre-doctoral fellow.  He worked as a synthetic chemist for Parke-Davis and Warner-Lambert in Ann Arbor before receiving his doctoral degree, then pursued postdoctoral training at the Duke University Medical Center, studying human DNA repair pathways.  He joined the faculty at Indiana University in 1997, where he has received teaching awards from both the University and students.  His research currently focuses on creating novel peptides with limited alphabets that distill protein sequence space to identify families of new structures, diagnostics and therapeutic molecules.  Dr. Drummond serves as the Director of Graduate Studies for the Interdisciplinary Biochemistry program and has taught a diverse set of courses in Biology (Cell Biology, Microbial Physiology and Research Ethics), Chemistry (Biochemistry 485 and 486), Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry (Integrated Biochemistry and Advanced Nucleic Acids) and Biotechnology. 

Jeff Ankrom

Jared Cochran, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry
Phone: (812) 855-6935

Dr. Cochran received his B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh (’00) and his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Pittsburgh (’05). He was a postdoctoral researcher and NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein fellow in the lab of F. Jon Kull in the Department of Chemistry at Dartmouth College ('06-'11). Dr. Cochran then joined the Indiana University faculty in 2011. The focus of his research is on the molecular details of mechanochemical energy transduction in cytoskeletal motor proteins and elucidate how interaction with biopolymers stimulates their activity. 

Jeff AnkromMatt Bochman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry
Phone: (812) 856-2095

Lab Website

Dr. Bochman received his B.S. from Juniata College (’03) and his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Pittsburgh (’08). He was a postdoctoral researcher and American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow in Virginia (Ginger) Zakian’s lab at Princeton University (2009-13). Dr. Bochman then joined the Indiana University faculty in 2013. The focus of his research is on the various functions of DNA helicases in DNA replication, recombination, and repair, as well as telomere maintenance, with an emphasis on the evolutionary conservation and divergence of these functions.

Jeff Ankrom

Lingling Chen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry Department
Phone: (812) 855-0491

Lab Website

Dr. Chen received her B.S. (’88) in Chemistry from Xiamen University of China, and Ph.D. (’96) in Chemistry from Stanford University.  She was a Helen Hay Postdoctoral Fellow at Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry of Yale University (1996-2000).  Dr. Chen joined the Indiana University faculty in 2001.

Dr. Chen’s research is on mechanistic understanding of biological processes that are fundamental to cellular biology and to human health.  Her lab studies molecular chaperone, bacterial infection, and transcriptional regulation, and employs a wide range of experimental approaches, including molecular biology, combinatorial biology, biochemistry, chemical biology, structural biology, and particularly protein crystallography.  Courses taught by Dr. Chen include Laboratory in Macromolecular Production, Purification, and Characterization (T425/T525), Microbial Physiology and Biochemistry (M350/M525), Integrated Biochemistry (B501), Microbial Stress Response (Z620), Molecular Chaperones (B506), Physical Biochemistry (C481), Structural Methods (B604), and Research Ethics (B680). 

Jeff Ankrom

Adam Zlotnick, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry
Phone: (812) 856-1925

Lab Website

Dr. Zlotnick received a BA in Biology at the University of Virginia, a PhD in Biology (’94) from Purdue University, and was a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow at the NIH.  He went through the ranks at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, where he received the Provost’s Faculty Research Award. Dr. Zlotnick moved to Indiana University in 2008. 

Dr. Zlotnick’s lab at IU correlates virus capsid protein structure with regulation of virus assembly. The major focus of his research is the spontaneous assembly of Hepatitis B Virus. Dr. Zlotnick chaired the first Gordon Conference on Physical Virology in 2008, co-chaired the 2010 International Conference on the Molecular Biology of Hepatitis B Viruses, and will co-chair the 2014 FASEB Science Research Conference on Virus Structure and Assembly.  He is a co-founder of Assembly Pharmaceuticals, a biotech start-up dedicated to developing small molecule antiviral compounds.

Jeff Ankrom

Bill Brizzard, Ph.D., Affiliate Faculty, Biotechnology
Phone: (812) 855-3597

Dr. Brizzard is the Director of Technology Commercialization for the Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation (IURTC) and is responsible for managing intellectual property and technology commercialization for the Bloomington campus of Indiana University.

Bill has over thirty years of experience in academics and industry. Prior to joining IURTC in 2005, he worked in business development and intellectual property for the biotechnology division of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation. Bill came to Sigma-Aldrich from Scientific Imaging Systems, Eastman Kodak Company where he was responsible for leading the development of the FLAG® Protein Expression System that was acquired by Sigma-Aldrich in 1998. Prior to Kodak, he was an Assistant Professor of Biology at DePaul University.

He received his B.S. from Louisiana State University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Florida State University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at M.D. Anderson Hospital and the University of Washington.

Karen Bush

Karen Bush, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, Professor of Practice
Phone: (812) 855-1542

Dr. Bush received a B.A. from Monmouth College (IL) and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry (1970) from Indiana University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an Instructor at the University of North Carolina before joining the pharmaceutical industry. She worked in antibiotic drug discovery and development at The Squibb Institute for Medical Research, Lederle Laboratories (Wyeth) and Johnson and Johnson for a total of 35 years. Her research interests include antibiotic resistance mechanisms in Gram-negative pathogens, especially focusing on beta-lactamases.  She has been a Fellow of the Academy of Microbiology since 2000 and currently consults with various pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Karen Bush

Daniel Watts, Ph.D., Ph.D., Instructor, BIOT-T312 Societal Issues in Biotechnology

Dr. Watts received a B.Sc. from the Ohio State University (’65), an A.M. (’68, Botany) and Ph.D. (’69, Organic Chemistry) from Indiana University. He began his career as a natural products chemist in new antibiotics research for the Squibb Institute for Medical Research, in resource recovery research at the Princeton Research Laboratory of the American Can Company. He worked for 25 years at New Jersey Institute of Technology, retiring as the Panasonic Professor of Sustainability and the Executive Director of the Otto H. York Center for Environmental Engineering and Science. His research interests include environmental impacts of manufacturing, sustainability, and the interactions of science, technology, and public policy.