Work-in-Progress Series

To foster cross-disciplinary conversations about ongoing GEM-related research, the Community hosts monthly Work-in-Progress talks. These  talks take place at the new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, located on UB's Downtown Campus.

We are currently seeking faculty and student speakers for the Spring 2021 Work-in-Progress series. Contact us at to present your work. 

Fall 2020 Work-in-Progress Speakers

Dr. Chelsie Armbruster.

Monday, November 23rd, 2020, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Online Presentation

Spring 2021 Work-in-Progress Speakers

Manoj J. Mammen, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

Past Work-in-Progress Speakers

Dr. Elsa Bou Ghanem.

"Targeting the extracellular adenosine pathway to control Streptococcus pneumoniae infection in aged hosts", Monday, November 25, 2019.

Dr. Rachael Hageman Blair.

"Gaming-based introduction to genetics using dragon breeding in the high-school classroom", Monday, October 28, 2019

Stephan Ruhl, DDS, PhD.

Stefan Ruhl, DDS, PhD

"Straight from the Mouth: Glycan Recognition at the Host-Microbiome Interface", Monday April 29, 2019 .

Dr. Javier Blanco.

“Identification of genetic and epigenetic determinants in cardio-oncology”, Monday, March 25, 2019

Thomas A. Russo, MD.

Professor and Chief, Infectious Disease; Vice Chair for Finance; Department of MedicineJacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

“Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae, an evolving public health threat”, Monday, February 25, 2019

Dr. Richard Gronostajski.

Professor, Department of Biochemistry; Director, Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics Graduate Program

“Genes for Buffalo - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, November 26, 2018

Laurene Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD.

Associate Professor & Director of Community Translational Research, Department of Family Medicine

Director of UB CTSI Community Engagement Core

Heather Ochs-Balcom, PhD.

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

"Breast cancer genetic testing in African Americans: opportunities to improve knowledge and patient-provider communication", October 29, 2018

Dr. Virginia Del Solar Fernandez.

Virginia Del Solar Fernandez, PhD

Glycoscience Postdoctoral Associate, Genome, Environment & Microbiome (GEM) Community of Excellence 

 "‘Omics’ approaches to the study of carbohydrates", August 27, 2018

Laurie K. Read, PhD.

Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Biochemistry

“Regulating the Regulator:  Arginine methylation and life cycle stage modulate the function of a master RNA binding protein in trypanosomes”, May 21, 2018

Daniel I. McSkimming, PhD.

Daniel I. McSkimming, PhD

Bioinformatics Research Scientist, Genome, Environment & Microbiome (GEM) Community of Excellence

"Identifying Keystone Bacteria in Microbiome-Associated Diseases", April 30, 2018

Laura Rusche, PhD.

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

"How pathogenic fungi monitor NAD+ levels to sense nutrient availability and modulate genome architecture accordingly", March 26, 2018

Omer Gokcumen, PhD.

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

“Evolutionary Interplay Between Human Genetic Variation, the Skin Microbiome, and Psoriasis”, February 26, 2018

Keith Kirkwood, DDS, PhD, Speaker at GEM Work-In-Progress Talks, October 30th at 4:00 p.m. room 134b Farber, UB South Campus.

Professor, Clinical Instructor, Department of Oral Biology

 "Posttranscriptional Regulation of Oral Immunity and the Microbiome", October 30, 2017

Manoj Mammen, MD.

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

"The Airway Microbiome and Lung Cancer in a COPD Cohort", September 25, 2017

Mira Edgerton, PhD.

Research Professor, Department of Oral Biology

Gerald Koudelka, PhD.

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences


Vanessa M. Barnabei .

Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Robert J Genco.

Director, UB Microbiome Center;

Distinguished Professor of Oral Biology, Periodontics, Microbiology

“Protists and Fungi in the Oral Microbiome” - Gerald Koudelka, PhD & Mira Edgerton, DDS, PhD, August 28, 2017

“Pilot Study of Placental, Oral, and Gut Microbiome Related to Pregnancy” - Vanessa Barnabei, MD & Robert Genco, DDS, PhD, August 28, 2017

Lixin Zhu, PhD.

Lixin Zhu, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Rabi Yacoub, MD.

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

Lee Chaves, PhD.

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

“Bile acid metabolizing microbiome in the gut and the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” , June 26, 2017

“PPI effects on gut microbiota in diabetic kidney disease patients”, June 26, 2017

Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

"Tracking Sources of Microbial Pollution in Lake Erie Using Culture-Based Methods and Next Generation Sequencing," April 24, 2017

Associate Professor & Associate Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance

Tao Liu, PhD.

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry

"Deriving Genetic Variations from Functional Genomic Assays,"  August 29, 2016

Sriram Neelamegham, PhD.

Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

"Glycoscience: The Art of Making Sugars of Different Kinds," May 23, 2016

Charlotte Lindqvist, PhD.

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

"An Evolutionary Perspective on the Gut Microbiome--Lessons from Whales," April 25, 2016

Stephen Koury, PhD.

Research Associate Professor, Department of Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences

"An Introduction to GENI-ACT: A Novel System to Introduce Students to Microbial Genome Analysis," March 28, 2016

Michael Buck, PhD.

Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry

"So You Want to do Microbiome Research,"  February 22, 2016