Department of Biomedical Sciences

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The Department of Biomedical Sciences in Duluth is a community of faculty, students, and staff who are committed to providing an enriching and supportive environment to pursue excellence in medical, graduate, and undergraduate education and generate new knowledge through research.


Faculty members span the disciplines of anatomy, cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, immunology, pathology, physiology, pharmacology, and toxicology.  The department provides a stimulating environment for the training of post-doctoral fellows, helping to prepare them for careers in academia, government,  and industry.  The department offers undergraduate, MS, and PhD laboratory training opportunities as well as courses in several University of Minnesota programs on the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses, inclusive of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics (BMBB), Toxicology, and Integrated Biosciences (IBS).

Research emphasis

Department faculty members are internationally recognized experts in their respective areas of study.

They pursue investigator-initiated studies on molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying human disease. The diverse range of basic and translational research areas include blood brain barrier biology, copper biology, mechanisms of mitochondrial toxicity, asthma, breast cancer metabolism, colorectal cancer genetics, sensory and respiratory neurophysiology, breast cancer endocrinology, cardiovascular, renal, exercise and behavioral physiology, temperature regulation, and extracellular microRNAs in disease.  The evolving research emphasis of the department will focus on health issues relevant to rural and Native American communities.

They also carry out collaborative research with investigators in the Colleges of Science and Engineering and Pharmacy on the UMD campus and in the colleges of the Academic Health Center on the Twin Cities campus, as well as with numerous national and international scientists.

Faculty and staff

Lynne T. Bemis, Ph.D.

Lester R. Drewes, Ph.D.
B. Göran Hellekant, Ph.D., D.V.M.
Jean F. Regal, Ph.D.
Arlen R. Severson, Ph.D.
George J. Trachte, Ph.D.
Kendall B. Wallace, Ph.D.

Associate Professors
Benjamin L. Clarke, Ph.D.
Robert T. Cormier, Ph.D.
Janet L. Fitzakerley, Ph.D.
Jon M. Holy, Ph.D.
Robin L. Michaels, Ph.D.
Teresa Rose-Hellekant, Ph.D., D.V.M. 

Assistant Professors
Kevin W. Diebel, Ph.D.
Kendra K.S. Nordgren, Ph.D.
Kristine Krafts, M.D.
Amy J. Prunuske, Ph.D.
Patricia Scott, Ph.D.
Andrew Skildum, Ph.D.
Matthew G. Slattery, Ph.D.
Sara L. Zimmer, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professors
Stephen W. Downing, Ph.D.
Donna J. Forbes, Ph.D.
Lois Heller, Ph.D.
Thomas E. Huntley, Ph.D.
Arthur G. Johnson, Ph.D.
Donald M. Larson, M.D.
David E. Mohrman, Ph.D.
Joseph R. Prohaska, Ph.D.
Wilmar Salo, Ph.D.
Edward K. Stauffer, Ph.D.
Patrick C. J. Ward, M.D.
Lorentz E. Wittmers, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.
Richard J. Ziegler, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Sarah E. Lacher, Ph.D.
Joslynn S. Lee, Ph.D.
Aubie K. Shaw, Ph.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professors
Kenneth J. Dornfeld, M.D.
Irina Haller, Ph.D.
John W. Nichols, Ph.D.

Therese E. Ach, M.S.

Research Associate
Olga Zhdankin, Ph.D.

Michael Madden

Assistant Scientists
Melanie Bomier
Barb Elmquist
Mary Sneve

Junior Scientist
Adelle Schumann (Scott Lab)

Senior Laboratory Technician
Cheryl Zehowski (Wallace Lab)

Executive Secretary
Wendy Schwartz 218-726-7911

Executive Office and Administrative Specialists
Katie Johnson
Barbara Sherman

Department Accountant
Faye Constantini

Office Support Assistant
Margaret Herbert

Associate Analyst
Jeannette Lang

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  • Last modified on July 3, 2014