News & Information

This Week in CBIM






Masters Dissertation Defense

Allison Conway


10:00 am

CBH 230




LIB 110

March for Science


12:30 pm

Alumni Plaza

Request for Proposals
2017 IMM Collaborative Pilot/Seed Grant

The purpose of this program is to promote interdisciplinary, collaborative and/or translational research between members of the Institute for Molecular Medicine (IMM) and the local community. Research proposals submitted under this RFP program must belong to areas of research interest to the IMM and include a collaborator.<


the word Congratulations to IMM award winners

IMM Award Winners from Research Appreciation Day (RAD) 2017


Community Awards


Reata Pharmaceuticals

Reata Pharmaceuticals Research Award ($250)

Presenter: Sunil Shah


Health Institute Awards

Institute for Molecular Medicine


1st Place Oral Presentation Award ($300)

Presenter: Maximillion T. Mize

The Robert J. Wordinger Excellence in Virology Research Poster Presentation Award — 1st Place ($300)

Presenter: Shruthi Nooka

The Robert J. Wordinger Excellence in Virology Research Poster Presentation Award — 2nd Place ($200)

Presenter: Kelly Wilson


Institute for Molecular Medicine – Center for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases


Immunology Poster Presentation Award ($300)

Presenter: Olga Sizova

Microbiology Poster Presentation Award ($300)

Presenter: Kelly Wilson


Institute for Molecular Medicine – Center for Medical Genetics


Medical Genetics Poster Presentation Award ($300)

Presenter: Casandra Setser

Forensic Genetics Poster Presentation Award ($300)

Presenter: Rachel Wiley


Institute for Molecular Medicine – Center for Cancer Research


Cancer Biology – Basic Research Poster Presentation Award ($300)

Presenter: Sunil Shah

Cancer Biology – Translational Research Poster Presentation Award ($300)

Presenter: Akpedje Serena Dossou


School, Department, and Student Association Awards

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences


1st Place Poster Award ($500)

Presenter: Sunil Shah

the word Congratulations! to fall 2016 grads

Fall 2016 Graduates


Jessica Casteneda-Gill, Ph.D. (with distinction)

Dr. Vishnwanatha’s Lab

Jeffrey Mitchell, M.S.

Dr. Barber’s Lab

Sheila Powers, Ph.D. (with distinction)

Dr. S. Mathew’s Lab

December 5, 2016

2016 Holiday Party Announcement

Restaurant Link

October 6, 2016

Bake Sale Announcement



Dr He

Congratulations to Dr. He  for receiving $2,693,220 in funding for his grant, “HIV-1 Infection and Latency in Astrocytes” for the time period covering September 1, 2016 through July 31, 2021.

the word Congratulations! to summer 2016 grads

Summer 2016 Graduates

Divya Duggal, Ph.D.

Dr. Borejdo’s Lab

Amanda Whitmill, Ph.D.

Dr. He’s Lab

Alexandra Witter, Ph.D.

Dr. Berg’s Lab

Dr. He's Graduates Farewell Party

Come and help us celebrate Dr. He’s doctoral students who are moving on after completing their degrees and Carolyn’s upcoming retirement.


Friday, July 22, 2016

3:00 pm

CBH 344


Porunelloor Mathew, Ph.D. Named  Interim CBIM Department Chair


Dear colleagues,

As you know, Dr. Anuja Ghorpade will be starting in her new role as Interim Vice President for Research at UNTHSC, effective July 1, 2016. Accordingly, she will be relinquishing her role as Chair of the department of Cell Biology and Immunology (CBIM). In parallel, we are moving the Institute model of UNTHSC further by rolling out the 5th Institute, the Institute of Molecular Medicine, to be led by Dr. Robert Barber, effective September 1, 2016. Effective September 1, the departments of CBIM and MOMG will be phased out, requiring that faculty in these two departments self-identify and affiliate with one of the five Institutes.

In order to ensure the continuity of leadership and support of faculty, staff and students within CBIM during this transition period, I am pleased to announce that Dr. P. Mathew, currently serving as vice-chair of CBIM, has accepted the appointment to serve as interim Chair of CBIM for the remaining two months of this academic/fiscal year (July and August). Dr. Mathew is an Associate Professor in the department of CBIM, and has been serving as vice chair for the department since 2014. Please join me in congratulating both Dr. Ghorpade and Dr. Mathew on their new appointments.

M. Singh

Dr. Ghorpade Named Interim Vice President for Research & Innovation

David Cistola, MD, PhD Anuja Ghorpade, Ph.D.

Dear HSC Team,

I am writing today to announce that David Cistola, MD, PhD, is resigning as Vice President for Research and Innovation effective June 30th.  The VPR role will be filled on an interim basis by Anuja Ghorpade, PhD, Chair and Professor of Cell Biology and Immunology.

Dr. Cistola has overseen the strategic direction of UNT Health Science Center’s research efforts and the administrative infrastructure that supports it since arriving in 2012.  David is leaving to become founding director of the Center for Emphasis in Diabetes and Metabolism, a new venture at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso.  He will become an adjunct member of the UNTHSC faculty, collaborating with colleagues here on research into diabetes prevention.

David shared the following comments about his time at UNTHSC: “I’m proud of the great team we have in place at UNT Health Science Center and the role we’ve played in helping provide better infrastructure to support faculty research.  I believe our faculty members are well positioned to grow their research programs.”

Dr. Ghorpade is a leading expert in HIV-related dementia who was instrumental in establishing the Health Science Center’s HIV research program and a brain bank for neurodegeneration research. She will take over as interim Vice President for Research and Innovation on July 1.

Anuja shared her comments about the interim role as well: “As a principal investigator, this is an excellent opportunity for me to grow, learn and gain experience working on the administrative side of research.  I look forward to working with each and every member of the research division, and with their help, serving UNTHSC in this role as best as I can.”

Please join me in thanking Dr. Cistola for his contributions to the Health Science Center and wishing him and Dr. Ghorpade success in their new roles.


Dr. Michael R. Williams



Congratulations to this year’s Cell Biology, Immunology and Microbiology graduates who complete this phase of their journey on Saturday, May 21st!  We wish all of you success as you move on to your next challenge.


Summer 2015 Defenses

Brandon Coder, Ph.D. (Su)

Nitasha Phataka, Ph.D. (Krishnamoorthy)

Ashley Smith, Ph.D. (Allen)

Fall 2015 Defenses

Mayuri Thete, M.S. (Ghorpade)

Spring 2016 Defenses

Rahul Chib, Ph.D. (Gryczynski)

Yan Fan, Ph.D. (He)

Janhavi Nagwekar, Ph.D. (Boredo)


2016 Research Appreciation Day Awards

April 15, 2016 Research Appreciation Day venue, MET building and lawn - image

Research Appreciation Day Logo imageMany thanks to all who participated in this year’s RAD.  A special congratulations to those who earned awards.

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Awards

1st Place Postdoctoral Award

Irma Cisneros, Ph.D. Ghorpade Lab

Department of Cell Biology, Immunology & Microbiology Awards

1st Place Poster Award

Chaitanya Joshi Ghorpade Lab

2nd Place Poster Award

Pejman Rahimian He Lab

3rd Place Poster Award

Venkata Viswandh Edara Ghorpade Lab

1st Place Oral Award

Maxmillion T. Mize Simecka Lab

2nd Place Oral Award

Alexandra Witter Berg Lab

Robert J. Wordinger Excellence in Virology Research Award

1st Place Poster Award

Chaitanya Joshi Ghorpade Lab

2nd Place Poster Award

Pejman Rahimian He Lab

Graduate Student Association Awards

2nd Place Poster Award

Sunil Shah Gryczynski Lab



We want to recognize those members of the Department of Cell Biology, Immunology and Microbiology who received a Service Award April 21, 2016.  Service Awards are earned by faculty and staff for every 5 years of employment. This year we have 7 recipients.  We want to thank all of them for all that they do for this department, the school and the students.  Their dedication is what allows our department to excel at accomplishing all of our institutional goals.  When you see them remember to give them a big THANK YOU!


15 Years


Lisa Hodge, Ph.D.

Xiang Le Sun, Ph.D.


10 Years


Rance Berg, Ph.D.

Ignacy Gryczynski, Ph.D.

Zygmunt Gryznyski, Ph.D.


5 Years


Rafal Fudala, Ph.D.

Dong Ming Su, Ph.D.



New Millipore Water System

A new departmental Milli-Q A-10 water purification system has been installed in the Microscopy Core Facility (RES 220).  It replaces an older Millipore system which we could no longer get parts or filters for.  One of the nice features of this system is that it allows you to program a set volume to dispense, so hopefully this will alleviate overfilling of your water containers if you walk away while filling up.  This new system also has the BioPac filter installed for producing pyrogen-, nuclease-, proteinase- and bacteria-free water.  The system is currently producing 18.2, 11 ppb TOC water.  Please see either Larry, I-fen or Anne-Marie to learn how to operate the system.






Heartfelt Sadness….


We sadly inform everyone of the passing of our friend and colleague, Hassan Alizadeh, Ph.D.  He lost his valiant fight with cancer on Friday.  Dr. Alizadeh was with our department until recently when he joined the newly formed independent institute, NTERI.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, students, colleagues and friends during this difficult time.  We will provide additional information about his funeral as soon as we find out the details.   May he rest in peace.



2015 Annual Holiday Party

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 4.50.34 PM


Congratulations!!! (August 2015)

Newly Awarded Grants

Approved Research Grants

Dr. He

miR-132, a new player in HIV/neuroAIDS


Dr. Ghorpade

Astrocyte-TAAR1 and METH in HAND


Dr. Clark

Test three Nicox compounds for Glucocorticoid Activity and potential for raising the IOP using in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo Models


Dr. Krishnamoorthy

Role of Endothelin Receptors in Glaucomatous Optic Neuropathy


Dr. Berg

Graduate Student Fellowship


Congratulations!!! (Summer 2015)

the word Congratulations! to presenters

Congratulations to:

Brandon Coder, Ashley Smith and Natasha Phatak

who have successfully defended their doctoral theses this summer.

All our best wishes as you embark on your professional careers.


Congratulations to the 2015 CBIM Graduating Class

congratulations to 2015 CBIM grads

July 2014

Mohana Indramohan, Ph.D. (Berg)

December 2014

Morgan Brooks, Ph.D. (Cammarata)
Sudha Neelam, Ph.D. (Cammarata)

April 2015

Irma Cisneros, Ph.D. (Ghorpade)
Xiaoyu Lu,Ph.D. (He)
Preston Brunley, Ph.D. (Su)
Kelly Bowen, M.S. (Mathew)

CBIM Service Awards 2014-2015

Many thanks and much gratitude for your years of service to the UNTHSC community.

20 Years

Raghu Krishnamoorty, Ph.D.

15 Years

Irina Akopava, Ph.D.

10 Years

Phung Minh Nguyen

5 Years

Hassan Alizadeh, Ph.D.
Gulab Zode, Ph.D.

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences 2014-2015Awards Banquet

We would like to congratulate our CBIM departmental graduate students and faculty who received recognition at this year’s banquet.

Discipline Awards

Outstanding Graduate Student in Cell Biology, Immunology & Microbiology
Lisa Cisneros
Outstanding Graduate Student in Visual Sciences
Shreyasi Choudhury
Outstanding Student in Biochemistry & Cancer Biology
Divya Duggal

Graduate Student Association Awards

Edward E. Elko Award for Distinguished Service
Robert J. Wordinger, Ph.D.

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Awards

Wordinger Scholarship in Visual Sciences
Jaclyn Bermudez
Dean’s Award for Scholarly Achievement in Academics
Lisa Cisneros

New Sigma Xi Members

Lisa Cisneros
Divya Duggal
Yan Fan
Xiaoyu Luo
Rahul Chib

Research Appreciation Day 2015 Departmental Awards

The department would like to recognize and congratulate the following CBIM graduate students who received awards at this year’s RAD.

Poster Award

1st Place ($300)
Chaitanya R. Joshi
2nd Place ($200)
Rudy Castillo
3rd Place ($100)
Charlotte Redman

Oral Presentation

1st Place ($300)
Brandon Coder
2nd Place ($200)
Maximillion Mize

Robert J. Wordinger Excellence in Virology Award

Poster Presentation 1st Place Award ($300)
Shruthi Nooka
Poster Presentation 2nd Place Award ($200)
Chaitany R. Joshi


Robert J. Wordinger, Ph.D. 1945 – 2015


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Wordinger on Friday, January 23rd. He will be missed by many. Dr. Wordinger was a well respected eye researcher, teacher, graduate mentor, previous department chair/vice chair, hard working committee member and a faithful friend to many here at the Health Science Center. He has served the UNTHSC community for 36 years. He joins his wonderful wife, the Rev. Barbara Wordinger, who preceded him in 2011 and is now survived by his two children, Kathryn and Paul, step-daughters, Susan and Laurie, and their families.
The funeral will be this Friday, January 30th , at 11:00 AM at:

First United Methodist Church

521 West Pipeline Road, Hurst, TX

“Dr. Robert Wordinger came to the health science center when it was just TCOM,” said Thomas Yorio, PhD, Provost, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor. “He arrived a year after I did in 1978. During his tenure he served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy and as Director of Research for the North Texas Eye Research Institute. Bob was an outstanding educator, mentor and researcher. He trained many students throughout his career and was most proud of their accomplishments. He was a caring and thoughtful leader who was always there to listen and provide encouragement. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues, students and friends at the health science center.”

Anuja Ghorpade, PhD, Chair of Cell Biology & Immunology, said, “I am deeply sorry aboutDr. Robert Wordinger’s demise. The Cell Biology department at UNTHSC was his home formore than 35 years. He was a wonderful colleague, an inspiring mentor and a glorious human being. Indeed, Dr. Wordinger was a role model, and like a father figure to many of us, including students, staff and faculty alike. His unwavering positive outlook to life was a constant inspiration. It is a tragic loss and we will greatly miss him; yet, his memory will live on as a positive imprint in everyone’s life he touched.”
In lieu of flowers, Dr. Wordinger’s family requests that memorial gifts be made toUNTHSC’s Wordinger Visual Sciences scholarship fund. Those interested may give online and note the funds are for the Wordinger Scholarship, or account 97129, in the”designation” box. Gifts also may be made by mail .


Graduation 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014 

4:00 – 6:30 PM

Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium

Guest speaker – J. Craig Venter from the Human Genome Project


Art Schander


Manmeet Kaur

Neha Vartek

Tasneem Sharma-Patliwala

Nathan Horton

Mohana Indramohan

Sangram Raut


Charisse Tan 

UNTHSC Service Awards



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MET Auditorium

3:00 PM

Reception to follow in MET 109, 110 & 111


We recognize those CBIM faculty and staff who have reached milestones this past year in their careers here at the UNT Health Science Center:

35 Years

Robert J. Wordinger, Ph.D.

30 Years?

Patrick R. Cammarata, Ph.D.

25 Years

Deanna L. Ranker

 5 Years

Abbot Frederick Clark, Ph.D.

Weiming Mao, Ph.D.

William J. Weiss

Gulab S. Zode, Ph.D.

Thanks to all of you for your outstanding years of service.  Your contributions to the school and this department are greatly appreciated.


Anuja Ghorpade

Congratulations to Dr. Ghorpade in Cell Biology & Immunology for receiving $62,847.00. for her grant “METH/HIV-1 Regulation of Astrocyte Responses: TAAR1 & Hyperthermia” for the time covering April 10, 2014 through March 31, 2016.


Jerry Simecka

Congratulations to Dr. Simecka in Cell Biology & Immunology for receiving $31,663.24. for his grant “Pharmacokinetic Profiling in Sprague-Dawley Rats and Golden Syrian Hamsters and Mice” for the time period covering February 17, 2014 through February 17, 2015.


Gulab Zode

Congratulations to Dr. Zode in Cell Biology & Immunology for receiving $12,816.49. for his grant “Sodium 4-Phenylbutyrate as a Treatment for Juvenile-Onset Open Angle Glaucoma” for the time period covering July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.


Julian Borejdo

Congratulations to Dr. Borejdo in Cell Biology & Immunology for receiving $25,000.00. for his grant, “ Role of Phosphorylation of Myosin Light Chain” for the time period covering April 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015.


Ignacy Gryczynski

Congratulations to Dr. Vishwanatha, Gryczynski & Ranjan for receiving $25,000.00. for their grant, “Molecular Beacon-Based Nanoparticles for TNBC Imaging and Targeted Therapy” for the time period covering April 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015.


Congratulations to Dr. McDowell in Cell Biology & Immunology for receiving $59,988.0. for her grant, “Retina Ganglion Cell Subtype Specific Cell Death in a Mouse Model of Congenital Glaucoma” for the time period covering July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.

Gulab Zode


Congratulations to Dr. Zode in Cell Biology & Immunology for receiving $774,729.00. for his grant, “Role of ER Stress in the Pathogenesis of Primary Open Angle Glaucoma” for the time period covering April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2017.

Founder’s Medal Recipient

John AschenbrennerAt Saturday’s White Coat Ceremony (July 21, 2012) John Aschenbrenner, Ph.D., of the Department of Cell Biology & Immunology received the Founder’s Medal, which is awarded to a deserving individual in recognition of significant contributions to health care and/or osteopathic medical education in honor of the founders of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Aschenbrenner is adjunct associate professor of Cell Biology and Immunology at UNTHSC and has been an integral part of the faculty since 1973.

He joined the school and what was then the Department of Anatomy when they were in their infancy and Medical Anatomy Labs were taught in the bowling alley on the corner of Camp Bowie and Montgomery (where MED 1 now stands).  He has taught Human Anatomy to almost every graduate of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.  Thank you Dr. A!


Robert WordingerRobert Wordinger, PhD, professor of Cell Biology and Immunology and associate director of the North Texas Eye Research Institute, has been appointed as a permanent member of the newly created NIH Study Section, Disease and Pathophysiology of the Visual System (DPVS).

2011 – 2012 Graduate Student Association Awards

CBAN Awardees

Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member
Anuja Ghorpade, Ph.D.
Anuja Ghorpade, Ph.D.

Award for Outstanding Graduate Student
Donald Rosario
Donald Rosario, Cell Biology

Sigma Xi Research Society Inductees

Ankur Jain
Ankur Jain

Brett Mueller

Dean’s Awards for Scholarly Achievement


Barret Cromeens
Barret Cromeens, Academic

CBAN Holiday Potluck

Click on the image above to launch an MP4 video in a new window (best with Firefox or Safari)

We welcome Dr. Jonny He,
his family & laboratory members.Dr. He will serve UNTHSC as CBAN faculty &
Associate Dean of GSBS
He family
Summer Reception Graduation 2011 GSBS AwardsFamily Spring Celebration Open Positions

dr and mrs wordingerThe Department of Cell Biology and Immunology mourns the loss of Rev. Barbara Wordinger, wife to Professor and past-Chair, Dr. Robert Wordinger. The Wordinger family is in our thoughts and prayers.

If you would like to send a message to the Wordinger family, an online journal is available through CaringBridge.

Euless – Reverend Barbara Wordinger, 69, a loving wife, wonderful mother, caring sister, adoring grandmother and devoted friend, peacefully passed away on July 6 and is now with our Heavenly Father.
Funeral: A Service of Celebration and Remembrance was held at First United Methodist Church of Hurst on Monday, July 11, at 4pm. A private internment service will be held at Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park.
Rev. Barbara Wordinger was born December 12, 1941 to William and Elizabeth Keeney of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Barbara married, Robert, the love of her life on August 10, 1974. They met at the University of Pennsylvania and were best friends ever since. She graduated from the University of Texas-Arlington with a Major in Philosophy and then graduated from the Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology with a Masters of Divinity. Barbara was ordained an Elder in the United Methodist Church. She served the First United Methodist churches in Fort Worth, Palo Pinto, Graford, Bethel United Methodist Church and Westcliff United Methodist in Fort Worth. She retired from the ministry in 2005. She was active as a clergy member in initiating the Central Texas Walk-to-Emmaus. She had a warm and loving spirit that touched so many lives. She was a teacher, a great encourager and comforter. Barbara was one of God’s special people.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mission Central c/o First United Methodist Church, 521 West Pipeline, Hurst TX 76053.
Survivors: Barbara is survived by Robert Wordinger, her husband of 36 years; children, Susan Strickland, Laurie and her husband Rev. George Ashley, Paul Wordinger and his wife Melinda and Kathryn Cane and her husband Erik; grandchildren, Nickolas Strickland, George Ashley III, Jacob Ashley, Hannah Ashley, Avery Cane and Connor Wordinger; brother, Robert Keeney and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins.

Summer Reception Flyer

Summer Reception

The Summer Reception was a great success with the CBAN family celebrating May and June birthdays, awards, grants and couple farewells.

Cara Fisher has accepted an assistant professor position at the University of Western States in Portland, OR and Lois Fisher is planning to indulge herself with travel in the coming months.

Many thanks to all those who attended and to our wonderful admin staff who made it happen.

anirudh grad


Congratulations to Dr. Anirudh Sethi. Dr. Sethi has accepted a position at  University of Texas Southwestern as Postdoctoral Scholar.


The Department of Cell Biology and Immunology was well represented at the 2011 Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) Annual Awards Ceremony on May 6th, 2011.


Discipline Award winners:

Outstanding Graduate Student in Cell Biology:
Adam Fields

Outstanding Graduate Student in Structural Anatomy:
Barrett Cromeens

Graduate Student Association

Award winners:
syndi EspinosaAbe Clark
Outstanding Staff Member:
Syndi Espinosa

Outstanding Faculty Member:
Abe Clark, PhD
Golden Apple Award for Teaching:
Abe Clark, PhD

ankurreevesGraduate School of Biomedical Sciences Award winners:


Rachel Dauphin Memorial Scholarship:
Ankur Jain

CBAN Spring Fling montage

CBAN Family Spring Celebration

On April 4th, 2001, we celebrated the arrival of new faculty, staff and grants.  We also said farewell to treasured colleagues as they retired or left for other institutions.

For a full list please click here.

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This page was last modified on May 11, 2018