Current Research Projects and Interests
Reem Abu-Sbaih, D.O.(OMM)
Serota Room 134
Our group is studying the role of prior head and body trauma on development of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.
Kurt Amsler, Ph.D.(Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 314F
Our group is studying the molecular mechanism(s) by which renal ischemia/reperfusion injury leads to renal injury and renal failure. The goal of the research is to identify potential targets for development of novel therapeutics to ameliorate or even block ischemia/reperfusion-induced renal damage.
Brian L. Beatty, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 369
Our group is studying questions related to the vertebrate transition from terrestrial to aquatic, particularly the mammalian orders Desmostylia, Sirenia, and Cetacea. We are especially interested in paleoecology, functional anatomy and histology applications to examine this transition.
Gabe S. Bever, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 342
Our group is studying the role of developmental evolution in the origin of vertebrate body plans. Our current work focuses on skull and forelimb evolution in the origin of birds and turtles.
William Blazey, D.O. (Family Medicine)
Serota Room 142
Our group is studying the role of genetic testing in primary care settings and the competence of medical providers in offering these tests. We are also studying the role of global health experiences on medical student education and their competency in tropical medicine.
George Cheriyan, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 138
Our group is studying the effects of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine on Parkinson’s disease, physiological responses, and athletic performance. We are also studying the effectiveness of using technology in medical education with a focus on MSK ultrasound.
Jack L. Conrad, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 321
Our group is studying the anatomy, paleontology, and evolution of living and extinct reptiles. Current research topics include the evolution of crocodylians and squamates (lizards and snakes) from Kenya, broad squamate interrelationships, the description of new species, and the study of specific morphological characteristics in squamates.
Sarah Curtis, D.O.(OMM)
Serota Room 137
Our group is studying the effects of OMT in a variety of patient populations, including Parkinson’s Disease patients and postpartum patients. We are also studying touch technology and education.
Eduard Dedkov, M.D., Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 215E
Our group is studying the impact of aging and sex/gender on post-myocardial infarction (MI) remodeling with a particular emphasis on the maturation of post-MI scar and structural adaptations of coronary microvessels.
Joanne Donoghue, Ph.D (OMM)
Riland AHCC
Our group is studying the ability of exercise and nutritional therapies to improve upon functional outcomes in Parkinson’s disease, geriatrics, and athletic performance.
Theodore Flaum, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 137
Our group is studying the effects of OMT on objective measures encompassing musculoskeletal changes secondary to sports, nutrition, and optimizing health and well-being.
Jonathan Geisler, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 328
Our group is studying the unique perspectives that emerge when data from living species are combined with that from the fossil record. Ongoing projects involve the evolution of feeding specializations and aquatic adaptations in cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and how those innovations affected skull development and shape.
A. Martin Gerdes, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 212
Our group is studying the role of cardiac tissue hypothyroidism in the development and progression of heart diseases. The goal of the research is to test the efficacy of thyroid hormone supplementation in animal models of heart disease to set the stage for clinical trials in humans.
Leslie Goldstein, Pharm.D. (Clinical Specialties)
Rockefeller Room 204
Our group is studying active learning methodologies, social emotional learning and mindfulness as components of medical education. The goal is to identify the best educational approaches to help our medical students to be intellectually prepared and emotionally resilient in order to meet the demands of the complex health care system and to maintain their caring, compassion, and professionalism.
Patricia Happel, D.O(Family Medicine)
Serota Room 141
Our group is studying the role of the physician in developing the patient awareness and knowledge-base related to the health implications of obesity, particularly with respect to physical activity and eating habits.
Sharon Koehler, M.D. (Clinical Specialties)
Serota Room 123
Our group is studying aspects of breast health including mastalgia, breast cancer genetics and breast cancer screening.
Patricia Kooyman, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 134
Our group is studying the hypothesis that combined treatment with both osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and phototherapy will provide greater pain relief than either treatment alone or standard medical management for patients with chronic lower back pain.
Bhuma Krishnamachari, Ph.D. (Clinical Specialties)
Riland Room 20
Our group is studying ethnicity-specific issues in genetic testing for hereditary cancer. We are also studying the efficacy of adjunctive therapies for Parkinson’s disease.
Isaac Kurtzer, Ph.D.(Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 19A
Our group is studying the sensori-motor coordination of the human arm.  We are particularly interested in how the body controls corrective responses to unexpected force perturbations, e.g., like steadying a cup as it is filled with coffee, and how this ability is degraded during Parkinson’s disease.
Deborah Lardner, D.O. (Family Medicine)
Serota Room 120
Our group is studying the impact of access to nutritional information on the nutritional status of children in villages in Ghana.
Brookshield Laurent, D.O. (Family Medicine)
Serota Room 141
Our group is studying Primary Care Physicians adherence patterns to clinical practice guidelines for breast and cervical cancer screening and the effect of informational materials on their adherence patterns.
Adena Leder, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Building, Room 139
Our group is studying the efficacy of OMM to treat a variety of neurologic disorders, with a particular interest in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.
Joerg Leheste, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 24
Our group is studying the fundamental mechanisms involved in the early pathogenesis of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Most of our work is centered on the discovery of acne-causing bacteria in Parkinson’s brains.
To Shan Li, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 136
Our group is studying the efficacy of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) in the treatment of constipation in Parkinson's disease and exploring its effect on the oral and gut microbial flora. 
Qiangrong Liang, M.D., Ph.D.(Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 207
Our group is studying several aspects of cardiac physiology/pathophysiology. 1) We are exploring mechanisms of myocardial protection by caloric restriction and exercise training and developing drugs that mimic the beneficial effects of caloric restriction and exercise. 2) We are investigating why diabetic patients and animals are predisposed to heart failure and developing mechanism-based approaches to reduce the susceptibility. 3) We are investigating why the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin can cause heart failure and how myocardial homeostasis can be restored by coordinately promoting survival mechanisms and blocking cell death pathways.
Jayme Mancini, D.O., Ph.D. (OMM)
Serota Room 134
Our group is studying the mechanisms underlying the effects of OMM on the movement disorders, Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. We are also studying the effects of OMM on body motion and the nervous system.
Luis Martinez, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 28
Our group is studying three basic questions in the field of infectious diseases: 1) Which mechanisms are used by microbes to invade, survive, and cause disease to the host?; 2) How does the host defend itself against microbial assault?; and 3) How do microbes adapt to environmental changes and its relationship with their virulence evolution?
Matthew Mihlbachler, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 329
Our group is studying convergent evolution and how environmental change influences the evolution of reoccurring anatomical systems. Current projects include investigations into the evolution and functional morphology of limbs and joints and the study of dental wear to understand the role of dietary change in the evolution of mammalian dentitions.
Mervat Mourad, D.O. (Clinical Specialties)
Riland Room 030
My research interest is clinical, quality improvement and student/trainee education research. 
Michael Passafaro, D.O.(Clinical Specialties)
Serota Room 120
Our group is studying field techniques for identification of Chagas’ disease in remote populations and the effect of access to informational materials on recognition of the disease in these remote populations.
Charles Pavia, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 215B
Our group is studying host immune responses against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease with an aim towards developing improved treatment and prevention options. We are also studying methods of eradicating potential environmental bacterial pathogens that may contaminate certain food products and water.
Maria Plummer, M.D. (Clinical Specialties)
Rockefeller Room 306
Our group is studying chronic inflammatory changes and vessel density in sun exposed and non-sun exposed skin using cadaveric material. We are also studying the incidence of renal fibrosis in kidneys with other histopathological parameters of chronic renal injury in the elderly. We are also studying the link between primary care medicine choice for residency and mindfulness as a contributing factor.
Ely Rabin, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 28
Our group is studying how tactile and proprioceptive cues are integrated with other sensory feedback in the control of posture and locomotion in individuals with Parkinson's disease and healthy populations. We will apply the results of this research to developing sensory aids for improving movement control in impaired populations.
Raddy Ramos, Ph.D.(Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 19B
Our group is studying the diversity of neurons in the brain, both anatomic and functional, during brain development and in brain pathologies.
Sonia Rivera-Martinez, D.O.(Family Medicine)
Serota Room 116A
Our group is studying the impact of inter-operator reliability on assessment of diagnostic palpation in practicing osteopathic physicians. We are also studying the effect of access to accurate information on diabetic patients’ health habits.
Greg Saggio, D.O. (Clinical Specialties)
Serota Room 138
Our group is studying the impact of mindfulness on pre-clinical education as well as residency choice. We are also studying anatomic variations and the impact of OMM on immunology.
Maria Alicia Carrillo-Sepulveda, BSN, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 215B
Our group is studying the molecular mechanism(s) by which diabetes leads to microvascular and macrovascular complications. The primary goal of the laboratory is to better understand how diabetic conditions alter key molecular mediators that are essential for maintaining vascular integrity. These studies focus in identify potential targets that will alleviate diabetes-induced vascular complications such as atherosclerosis, coronary disease, hypertension.
Karen Sheflin, D.O. (Family Medicine)
Serota Room 116A
Our group is studying the effect of race, level of education and health literacy on the extent of Type II diabetic patient’s knowledge of diabetes.
Nikos Solounias, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 304
Our group is studying the evolutionary development of the modern horse.
David Tegay, D.O. (Clinical Specialties)
Serota Room 122
Our group is studying the genetic basis for hereditary conditions including Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Essential Tremor (ET) and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) Hypermobility.
Michael Terzella, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 136
Our group is studying the role of the use of smartphones, tablet computers, laptop computers and desktop computers on development of head, neck and upper back pain in the medical student population.
German Torres, Ph.D.(Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 32
Our group is studying the neurochemical mechanisms underlying disease progression in several brain disorders. The objective here is to develop therapeutic treatments to minimize or reverse progression of pathology.
Aleksandr Vasilyev, M.D., Ph.D.(Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 21/22
Our group is studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying collective cell migration that occurs during renal development. We are also studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating recovery from acute kidney injury using a novel zebrafish model system.​ In addition, we are studying the phylogeny and evolution of post-embryonic nephrogenesis in vertebrates.​
Sheldon C. Yao, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 127
Our group is studying the effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) on balance, motor function, quality of life, and biomarkers in Parkinson’s disease.  We are also studying the effects of OMT on concussion subjects and acute post-partum pain and the effects of OMM exposure on student perceptions.
Eleanor Yusupov, D.O. (Clinical Specialties)
Serota Room 139
Our group is studying the association between the hospital admissions due to falls in the elderly and the use of multiple medications, particularly those that are considered dangerous by the American Geriatric Society.
Dong Zhang, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 208
Phone: 516.686.3872
Our group is studying the molecular mechanisms how DNA damage response and DNA repair factors, including BRCA1 (encoded by the breast cancer 1 gene) and Fanconi Anemia family of proteins, contribute to tumorigenesis. In order to find the best treatment strategy with the maximum therapeutic efficacy and the minimum toxicity, we are also investigating novel synthetic lethality to exploit the inherent genetic difference between cancer cells and normal cells.
Youhua Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 211
Phone: 516.686.3810
Our group is studying 2 aspects of cardiac electrophysiology. 1) We are investigating mechanism(s) responsible for increased atrial fibrillation arrhythmogenesis in heart failure, with the goal to identify potential treatment options to improve outcome. 2) We are also studying the mechanism(s) responsible for dual pathway AV nodal electrophysiology, guided by a novel index (His electrogram alternans, also known as Zhang’s phenomenon) discovered in our lab.
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Academic Health Care Center
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516.686.1300 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Family Health Care Center
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