Faculty

 
Jane Clifford, PhD
Director
 
 

Advisory Committee

 
Cameron Abrams, PhD
Medical Engineering
 
Karen Berkowitz, MD
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Obstetrics and Gynecology
 
 
James Burns, PhD
Microbiology and Immunology
 

Wilbur Bowne, MD
Surgery
 
Amy Fuchs, MD
Infectious Diseases and HIV medicine
 
 
John Houle, PhD
Neuroscience
 

 
Jeffrey M. Jacobson, MD
MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY; INFECTIOUS DISEASES AND HIV MEDICINE
 
 
Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD
Pharmacology and Physiology
 
Christian Sell, PhD
Molecular Cell Biology, Biochemistry, and Genetics
 

 
Todd Strochlic, DVM, PhD
Molecular Cell Biology, Biochemistry, and Genetics
 
 

Clinical Students

 
Oleg Alekseev
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Oleg's worked in the Clifford Lab, where he focused on the development of novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of major ocular disease, including herpetic keratitis, corneal wound-healing, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. He received the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F30) from the NIH, presented 17 abstracts at national and international conferences, and received travel grants to present his work at ARVO and EVER.
 
 
Adam Canver
Biomedical Engineering
Adam focused on the effect substrate stiffness has on endothelial cell collective migration during angiogenesis and endothelialization. He works in the Vascular Kinetics Laboratory where he is mentored by Alisa Morss Clyne.
 
 
Liz Crowe
Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
In the Torres Lab, Liz studied aging at the cellular level in the context of neurodegenerative disease using cell culture and human brain tissue tissue specimens. Her co-adviser was Christian Sell. She was awarded the NIH NRSA Individual Predoctoral F30 Fellowship along with the Wellcome Trust PhD Student Bursary.
 

 
Michael Ghali
Neurobiology and Anatomy
Michael was advised by Vitaliy Marchenko, whose lab investigates neural mechanisms underlying respiratory rhythm and pattern formation during normal and pathological conditions such as spinal cord injury. Their primary model is the unanesthetized decerebrate rat. In 2013, Michael presented "Evidence for rhythmic phrenic activity in the decerebrate rat following high cervical transection" in San Diego at the Society for Neuroscience conference.
 
 
Christopher Haas
Neurobiology & Anatomy
Chris worked in the Fischer Lab, which focuses on the use of cellular transplantation as a promising therapeutic tool to improve the environment of the injured spinal cord and promote axonal regeneration and functional recovery. He received the Young Investigator Educational Enhancement Award and Goldberger Boyne Levine Award for Excellence in Neuroscience Research in 2014 and 2012, respectively.
 
 
Amrit Misra
Biomedical Engineering
While in the Moxon Lab, Amrit investigated single neuron dynamics during seizure propagation through human medial temporal lobe structures, specifically looking at the role of inhibitory interneurons in seizure propagation. 
 
 

PhD Students

 
Bartholomew Bacak
Biomedical Engineering
Under the mentorship of Ilya Rybak in the Laboratory for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience, Bart investigates the neural origins of breathing and locomotion. He is also interested in what causes the spastic process of involuntary inspiration (hiccuping).
 
 
Tim Beck
Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics
The focus of Tim's work in the Golemis Lab is to better define the interactions of signaling pathways in malignant versus normal cells, to allow improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment. He is a recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NCI-F30).
 
 
Corbett Berry
Biomedical Engineering
Corbett works in the Hershberg Lab, specifically dealing with the mechanisms by which calcium signals are generated in and then decoded by immune cells to direct their fates and functions. He is co-advised by Bruce Freedman from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
 

 
Natalie Chen
Microbiology and Immunology
Natalie works in the lab of Dr. Julio Martin-Garcia, who has expertise in host-pathogen interaction in the context of HIV-1 neuropathogensis. Her thesis project aims to examine the relevance of microglial clearance of amyloid beta (Aβ) during HAND and to study the mechanism(s) mediating altered microglial uptake of Aβ as well as associated changes in mitochondrial function post HIV-1 infection. 
 
 
Kelly Donovan
Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology
Kelly works in the Clifford Lab, where she tries to understand the molecular pathogenesis of preclinical diabetic retinopathy with a focus on novel therapeutic strategies to target pro-angiogenic factor VEGF-A.
 
 
Kaitlin Farrell
Neurobiology and Anatomy
In the Houle Lab, Kaitlin focuses on utilizing peripheral nerve grafting to support axonal regrowth after spinal cord injury.
 

 
Eric LaBouff
Biomedical Engineering
Under the supervision of Garth Ehrlich (primary), Ryszard Lec, and Gary Friedman, Eric's research is aimed at disrupting bacterial biofilm formation on orthopaedic implants using electric field.
 
 
John Lee
Biomedical Engineering
John works in the Giszter Lab, investigating motor systems and neural control of motion in the context of spinalcord injury, both in the rat and frog models. He was recently invited to the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting as an Alcoa Foundation fellow.
 
 
Peter Li
Materials Science and Engineering
In the Cheng Lab, Peter focuses on cell biomaterial interactions in the context of cancer immunotherapy and autoimmune diseases.
 

 
Rachel Nolan
Neuroscience
Rachel has a background in neuroscience and is currently interested in neuroimmunology, specifically the link between inflammation and behavior.
 
 
Eric Prouty
Neurobiology and Anatomy
Eric and the Waterhouse Lab aim to understand the role of the central monoaminergic systems in brain function and behavior.
 
 
Cat Theisen
Neurobiology & Anatomy
In the  Houle Lab, Cat investigates regenerative and rehabilitative strategies for spinal cord injury, including neurotranplantation, neurotrophic treatment, and exercise. She's presented her work at the International Symposium for Neural Regeneration 2013, Society for Neuroscience 2014, and Neural Control of Metabolic Physiology and Disease 2015.
 

 
Charles Wang
Biochemistry
Charles focuses on the DNA damage response with a particular emphasis on homologous recombination. He is mentored by Alexander Mazin.
 
 
Stephen Woloszynek
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Steve works in the EESI Lab under Gail Rosen, where they utilize various machine learning, statistics, and computing methods for big data problems in (1) microbiome community structure and (2) medical record informatics. He was recently awarded the Leroy Resser Endowed Fellowship.
 
 

Preclinical Students

 
Linda Chamberlin
Linda has a background in neuroscience. She is interested in examining the role of parvalbumin-containing interneurons in working memory deficits in an animal model of schizophrenia. The effects of GABAergic deficits will be explored through the use of DREADDs, slice electrophysiology, and behavioral tests. 
 
 
Anthony DiNatale
Anthony has spent the past three years doing research on 5-methylcytosine’s role in gene expression in both melanoma and E. coli at SUNY Geneseo. He also studied methylation inhibitors and their mechanisms of action. His current research interests are in epigenetics and cancer immunotherapy.
 
 
Gordon Hill
Gordon's research background is in behavioral neuroscience. He is currently interested in characterizing changes in synaptic plasticity that result from interactions between immune and central nervous systems. Gordon also serves on APSA's executive board as the liaison to the medical school for preclinical students. Through this role, he has established the Hot Topics in Medicine subcommittee, and he oversees its forum: "Room for Debate." 
 

 
Shawn Joshi
Shawn has mixed research experience in psychology and education, neurotoxicology, quantum chemistry and medical devices for rehabilitation. Most recently he worked on a project to automate antibiotic resistance detection and treatment. He is currently most interested in portable medical devices to serve developing nations and/or rehabilitative technologies. 
 
 
Erik Li
Erik has a research background in tissue engineering, electromyographic gait analysis and tumor angiogenesis. Currently, he is interested in investigating the role of macrophages in the progression and prevention of various disease states including cancer. His most recent work aims to investigate tumor cell-macrophage interactions utilizing molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques.
 
 
Maggie O'Connor
For the past five years, Maggie has been deep in immunology research, working in a bone marrow transplant lab at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. She also earned a masters in biomedical science from the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai. Her current interests are immunology and neuroimmunology.
 

 
Philip Yates
Philip has a background in neuroscience and spent three years at Albert Einstein College of Medicine investigating the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease by examining developmental abnormalities in neural stem cell-mediated lineage elaboration and maturation. His current interests are in neurodegenerative disorders, stem cells, and neurorehabilitation.