Biology Directory

Current Cell + Molecular Biology Faculty

Salah Abdel-Ghany / Associate Professor
Phone: (970) 491-4896
Office: Biology 408

My research focuses on understanding the regulation of gene expression in response to abiotic stresses at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels including chromatin modifications, pre-mRNA splicing and small noncoding RNAs.

Patricia Bedinger / Emeritus Professor
Phone: (970) 491-2879
Office: Biology 410

The work in my laboratory centers on reproductive barriers between higher plant species, in particular between species of wild tomatoes. We are examining the molecular and cellular nature of inter-specific reproductive barriers (IRB).

Daniel Bush / Emeritus Professor and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Phone: (970) 491-6614
Office: Biology 444

My research focuses on sugar and amino acid allocation from sites of primary assimilation to import-dependent sinks in plants. This is a fundamental process that allows plants to function as multi-cellular organisms. We use molecular, genetic and biochemical tools to define the mechanisms and regulation of this essential process. Recently, as part of this work, we discovered a unique transcription factor that when expressed out of context, increases yields by 3-fold. We're currently focused on understanding how this happens.

Deborah Garrity / Professor and Department Chair
Phone: (970) 491-2513
Office: Biology 230

The embryonic heart begins pumping blood even before the cardiac organ is fully formed. Our group is interested in the genetic and biomechanical factors that contribute to normal heart development. We use the zebrafish model to study how the initial heart tube transitions into a rhythmic, efficient multi-chambered organ. Our approaches include quantitative live imaging, developmental genetic techniques, and modern genomic tools.

Kim Hoke / Professor
Phone: (970) 492-4200
Office: Biology 310

Shane Kanatous / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-0782
Office: Biology 217

My research combines my expertise in exercise and skeletal muscle physiology with molecular techniques to focus on oxygen metabolism; especially on the control and regulation of skeletal and cardiac muscle adaptations to extreme environmental conditions such as hypoxia. The ultimate goal is to enhance our understanding of molecular changes associated with hypoxia and translate these results for therapeutic applications in the treatment of myopathies.

Arjun Khakhar / Plant Biologist Assistant Professor
Office: Biology 448

Our group uses synthetic biology to study and create new biological systems both in plants and the creatures that interact with them, including viruses and fungi, to to create crops that are more productive, delicious, and resilient to the effects of climate change.

June Medford / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-7865
Office: Biology 234

We work on Plant Synthetic Biology. Synthetic Biology is forward engineering of biological organisms for specific purposes both basic and applied. On the basic side, we are using synthetic biology to understand complex natural processes such as signal transduction and pattern formation. We are using synthetic biology to produce new types of plants and plant traits such as highly specific plant detectors, plants producing biofuels and plant that do useful things for humans and the environment

Tai Montgomery / Associate Professor
Phone: (970) 491-7198
Office: Biology 240

Our lab studies small non-coding RNAs and their roles in gene regulation and genome defense.

Rachel Mueller / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-6717
Office: Biology 434

I am interested in three fundamental questions in evolutionary biology: (1) How do genomes evolve, particularly those at the extremes of genome size? (2) How do transposable elements shape genome biology and evolution? (3) How does genome size impact phenotype and the evolutionary trajectories of lineages?

Donald Mykles / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-7616
Office: Biology 210

I study the regulation of molting and limb regeneration in decapod crustaceans using molecular biological, transcriptomic, and proteomic methods. I am also Director of the University Honors Program (

Marc Nishimura / Assistant Professor
Phone: (970) 495-5563
Office: Biology 446

My research group studies the molecular mechanisms determining the outcome of plant-microbe interactions. We're especially interested in understanding immune receptor function and pathogen virulence strategies.

Graham Peers / Associate Professor
Phone: (970) 491-6868
Office: Biology 406

My primary interests lie in the fields of photosynthesis and algal eco-physiology. In particular, I’m interested in the diversity of mechanisms that algae use to protect themselves from too much light and other abiotic stresses.

Anireddy Reddy / Professor
Phone: (970) 491-5773
Office: Biology 420

One of the fundamental questions in plant biology is how plants sense and respond to environmental (abiotic and biotic) and hormonal signals that regulate diverse cellular processes and various aspects of plant growth and development. Our group has been studying i) calcium-mediated signal transduction mechanisms with emphasis on calcium sensors and their target proteins, ii) mechanisms that regulate alternative splicing of pre-messenger RNAs in response to stresses, iii) disease resistance, iv) cell wall degrading enzymes for biofuel production and iv) synthetic signal transduction circuits in plants. We use molecular, cell biological, genetic, biochemical, bioinformatics and computational tools to accomplish our research goals. Arabidopsis, maize, potato and Miscanthus are used in our research. Studies on computational aspects of alternative splicing and protein-protein interactions are being done in collaboration with Asa Ben-Hur in the Department of Computer Science at CSU (

Dan Sloan / Associate Professor
Phone: (970) 491-2256
Office: Biology 438

My research investigates the evolutionary forces that create diversity in genome size, structure, and function. I am particularly interested in the evolution of so-called "resident genomes" that exist inside the cells of another organism, including those of mitochondria, plastids, and other endosymbiotic bacteria in many insects. Much of my current work focuses on how these resident genomes co-evolve with the host genome.

Kate Wilsterman / Assistant Professor
Office: Biology 218

My research is focused on understanding how and why animals vary in their reproductive investment strategies. We study the proximate and ultimate factors that influence variation in reproductive function within mammals with an emphasis on gestational physiology. Our lab currently works primarily in deer mice to study flexibility and adaptive variation in the systems that contribute to fetal growth and litter size.