Current Members

Principal investigator

Todd Graham, Ph.D. Todd is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences with a secondary appointment in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and received his B.S. and Ph.D. at St. Louis University. Todd went on to do a postdoc in Scott Emr’s lab before starting up his own lab at Vanderbilt University.

Research Assistant Professor
2ccf5cdPeng Xu, Ph.D. 
Peng Xu was born in the city of Dandong in Northeast China and earned his PhD. from Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. He joined the lab in 2010 as a postdoctoral fellow after identifying a novel P4-type ATPase from mouse testis during his graduate studies. Generally, he is fascinated by the fundamental cell biological question of how macromolecular proteins and lipids are trafficked throughout cellular organelles and how defects in these processes result in various human diseases. From 2010-2013, in collaboration with his colleagues, he found that phosphatidylserine flipping enhances the generation of membrane curvature and negative charge required for vesicular transport (P Xu et al, 2013). Since 2013, he has investigated the mechanisms used by membrane proteins like the exocytic v-SNARE Snc1 to recycle from early endosomes to the TGN and found a non-canonical role in recycling for a coatomer protein at the early endosomes (P Xu et al. MS under preparation). In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball with friends, going fishing as well as traveling with his family.       Google Scholar      LinkedIn Profile

Postdoctoral Fellows

Bart Roland, Ph.D. Bart is originally from Saginaw, MI and went to college at Central Michigan University, where he majored in Neuroscience and worked in Analytical Sciences at The Dow Chemical Company. He received his PhD in Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh working with Dr. Michael Palladino. He was drawn to the Graham lab by the tremendous research, and the wonderful opportunity to work in the burgeoning fields of lipid and membrane biology.  He is interested in neuropharmacology and would ultimately like to examine the roles of lipids as regulators of neurotransmission. In his spare time, he enjoys running, playing with his dog, and exploring the local beer scene.                                                                                                      

Graduate Students

Mehmet Takar, Ph.D. Mehmet is originally from Antalya, Turkey. He completed his undergraduate studies at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. He then went on to get a Masters in Cancer Biology at German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany. Mehmet joined the Graham lab in 2012 and is investigating how the flippase Neo1 recognizes its substrate and also how Neo1 regulates early secretory pathways with a focus on COPI-retrograde transport. A hearty ‘CONGRATS’ to Mehmet on the recent defense of his thesis. Mehmet will be starting a post-doctoral fellowship at UT-Southwestern starting in November 2018.

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Jordan Best.  Jordan is originally from New Bern, North Carolina. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then spent several years studying protein trafficking in the yeast system in the laboratory of Dr. Mara Duncan at UNC and at the University of Michigan.  Jordan joined the Graham Lab in 2015 and is investigating cellular mechanisms used to recycle protein cargoes from the endosomal system back to the trans-Golgi Network. Outside of lab, Jordan enjoys playing darts, (poorly) playing golf, video games, cooking, and watching his Tar Heels on the court and on the gridiron.    LinkedIn Profile

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Rotation Student. The Graham Lab is currently seeking motivated graduate students to rotate with and potentially join our lab. Students with interests in protein trafficking, lipid biochemistry, or a general interest in cell biology should contact Dr. Graham at for further information.


Research Technician 

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Yannan Huang. Yannan is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and majored in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Classics. She plans to attend medical school starting this Fall and will specialize in pediatrics or neonatology. Yannan is interested in the molecular mechanisms that underly cellular processes as a target for disease treatment and would like explore the field of clinical research in the future. Outside of lab, she enjoys cooking, crafting, eating food with friends, and binge-watching House.   …………………………………

Undergraduate Students


Roger Yu. Roger is originally from Sacramento, California and is a sophomore majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He is currently leaning towards becoming a neurologist in the future, and he is interested in exploring the underlying mechanisms behind neurological diseases. Outside of the lab, Roger enjoys playing Spikeball, eating authentic Asian food, and short walks on the beach.


Emily Chen. Emily is originally from China and is currently a junior, majoring in biochemistry. She is pursuing a pre-medical track and hoping to specialize in pediatrics in the future. She is also interested in studying protein interactions and cellular mechanisms. Outside of the lab, Emily enjoys photography and watching grey’s anatomy.

Former Members

  • Yuantai Wu, PhD. 
  • Ryan Baldridge, PhD. 
  • Hannah Hankins, PhD. 
  • Sam Erlinger
  • Nick Diab