College of Arts and Sciences
School of Biological Sciences
School of Computing and Engineering
School of Dentistry
School of Medicine
School of Nursing
School of Pharmacy
College of Arts and Sciences
Psychology Research Faculty
Delwyn Catley, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Catley’s research is primarily focused on understanding the factors that influence smokers’ readiness and ability to quit. His work has been funded by the National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, and National Institute of Drug Abuse and includes clinical trials incorporating pharmacological and behavioral interventions, studies of the influence of moderating and mediating variables (such as depression, stress, and motivation) on cessation, and studies of factors that affect readiness to quit smoking. His work also includes research on the influence of controllability on the rewarding effects of smoking, the use of motivational counseling methods to facilitate health behavior change.
Diane Filion, Ph.D., Associate Dean
Cognitive psychophysiology research involving collaboration with several universities/agencies, including Department of Occupational Therapy Education.
Linda Garavalia, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Professor
Medication adherence in cardiovascular disease patients and the assessment of risk for nonadherence; health status, decision making, and lifestyle changes related to cardiovascular disease treatment; health messaging and patient education.
Kathleen Goggin, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Goggin is director of the Department of Psychology HIV/AIDS Research Group. She maintains numerous collaborative relationships with institutions and universities both locally and nationally. Research interests include HIV/AIDS; Adjustment to chronic/terminal disease; Adherence to medical regime; Primary and secondary prevention in HIV and substance use/abuse; Health promotion in communities of color; Protective factors (e.g., autonomous regulation, spirituality, self- efficacy) in health decision making; MOTIV8 Adherence Project
Lisa Terre, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Social Work Research Faculty
J. Larry Dyer, Ph.D., Assistant Teaching Professor
Mental health services
Chemistry Research Faculty
Keith R. Buszek, Ph.D., Professor
The total synthesis of marine natural products; elucidating the molecular target & mode of action of the potent antitumor agent octalactin A; development of new combinatorial strategies & scaffolds for diversity-oriented synthesis.
Jerry Dias, Ph.D., Curators Professor of Chemistry and Medicine
The chemistry and molecular architecture of bile (cholic) acids, tetracyclic triterpenoids, and benzenoids are being investigated. Our research has resulted in the first transformation of cholic acid to derivatives of 17,19-dinorquassinoids, delineated the mechanism of electron impact induced fragmentation of the methyl ester triacetate of cholic acid through extensive deuterium labeling, identified a conversion of isocholesterol to a B-ring aromatic tetracyclic triterpenoid derivative by ejection of the C19-methyl, led to the discovery a diagnostic 13 C NMR y-oxygen shielding effect in cholic acid, and led to the synthesis and characterization of one of the largest open macrocycles ever subjected to X-ray crystallography.
James Durig, Ph.D., Curators' Professor
Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy
Andrew J. Holder, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Holder's work involves the application and development of computational chemistry to a wide variety of questions in the general area of life sciences. Current research projects are focused on multidisciplinary development of dental restorative materials using quantitative structure activity relationship and quantum mechanical methods.
Y.C. Jerry Jean, Ph.D., Curators' Professor
Development of radio analytical techniques for drug delivery and cancer detection; Positron annihilation spectroscopy
Ekaterina Kadnikova, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Prof. Kadnikova's research interests include bioorganic and materials chemistry, with particular emphasis on enantioselective catalysis, and design of functional polymers and hybrid organic-inorganic materials for biomedical applications.
The motivation for enantioselective catalysis project in Prof. Kadnikova's research stems from the fact that many drugs and other biologically active molecules are chiral (have "handedness," like left vs right glove). The pharmacological properties and side effects of these compounds often depend on the absolute configuration of the chiral centers in these molecules. New ways of making chiral drug precursors using biocatalytic reactions have been already developed in Prof. Kadnikova's lab. This research would lead to development of better synthetic methods for preparation of chiral pharmaceuticals.
Prof. Kadnikova's approach to new functional materials to control their composition at the nano-level. Her group is making nanoparticles with core-shell morphology, in which the polymer shell is grown from the inorganic core using enzymatic polymerization. The resulting composite materials have interesting mechanical and chemical properties with possible biomedical and "smart materials" applications.
Kathleen Kilway, Ph.D., Professor
Synthesis and conformational studies of novel host-guest systems, hydrogen bonding
Zhonghua Peng, Ph.D., Professor
Biosensors, drug delivery systems.
Thomas C. Sandreczki, Ph.D., Associate Dean
Properties of advanced materials; Electron spin resonance spectroscopy
Kenneth S. Schmitz, Ph.D., Professor
Colloids; complex fluids
J. David Van Horn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Van Horn's lab is investigating the bioinorganic chemistry of two elements, uranium and chromium. His lab is interested in quantitative aspects of the kinetics and thermodynamics of these metals complexing with biological ligands. In the bloodstream, uranium is complexed almost completely by carbonate; his team is describing the U-peptide or U-protein interactions that describe the transport of U in the blood serum. Recently, Dr. Van Horn's lab described interactions of the uranyl cation with a short peptides which led them to a model of non-specific transport in serum, and continue to study U-peptide complexes. His lab is also exploring the fundamental coordination chemistry of chromium as it applies to the expected forms of Cr in vivo, its transport in the bloodstream, its excretion, and its potential pharmacological action in the human body. The lab has completed a bioinformatics study to locate the origin of Cr-peptide complexes in the body, and has made some new Cr-peptide complexes.
Charles J. Wurrey, Ph.D., Olson Professorship
Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy, Environmental Chemistry
Geosciences Research Faculty
Jimmy Adegoke, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Satellite climatology including air-surface interactions
Raymond Coveney, Ph.D., Professor/Interim chair Art & Art Hist.
Metal pollutants from the weathering of black shales in Kansas City area.
Research related to Life and Environmental Sciences:
Prof. Raymond Coveney received the N.T. Veatch Award in 1986 for work on the geochemistry of American black shales, funded by the Weldon Springs Endowment Fund of the University of Missouri and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Along with American and Chinese collaborators Coveney has been involved with tracking pollutants, including metals and organic compounds, emanating from shales and industrial sources in Asia and North America.
Coveney has supervised the programs of 15 MS and 2 PhD graduates, most of whom have studied the occurrence of heavy metals in shales of the Midwest and China. Coveney’s group has greatly expanded the known extent of enriched amounts of Zn, Cd, V, Se and other heavy metals in black shales of the Midwest beyond what was previously known. Coveney and associates have studied unique platinum-bearing Ni-As-Mo deposits in Cambrian shales in China that formed around the time of the Explosion of Life around the start of the Cambrian. It is no mere coincidence that the Chinese deposits are located in a region well-known for substantial health problems involving thousands of individuals that result from the heavy concentrations of As, F, Mo, and Hg.
Caroline Davies, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Paleoclimatology, human and environmental interactions, air particulate and asthma, geoscience education.
Steven Driever, Ph.D., Professor
Sustainable urban development; flood hazards.
Syed Hasan, Ph.D., Professor
Medical geology related to toxic soil pollutants, aqueous pollution, and lead-based paint; Flood hazards.
Daniel Hopkins, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Cartography and GIS applications in bio-informatics and land-usage studies.
Wei Ji, Ph.D., Professor
Cartography and GIS applications in genetic variations, bio-informatics & land-usage studies
James Murowchick, Ph.D., Associate Professor/ Interim Chair
Aqueous pollution and sources of contaminants in local region; ore deposits; crystallography and crystal chemistry of iron sulfides; instrumental analysis and trace element geochemistry applied to geoarcheology and paleotempestology (storm deposits); crystallography of pharmaceuticals; and mineralogical characterization of deteriorated architectural stone.
Mathematics and Statistics Research Faculty
Jie Chen, Ph.D., Professor of Statistics/ Chair
Change-point Analysis, Information Criterion Statistics, Applied Statistics/Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, Statistical approaches to genetic data analysis, statistical modeling of DNA copy number data.
Physics Research Faculty
Wai-Yim Ching, Ph.D., Curators' Professor
Electronic calculations of bio-materials
Michael Kruger, Ph.D., Curators' Professor
Dental material research; Raman spectroscopy for study of dental interfaces.
David Wieliczka, Ph.D., Visiting Research Associate
Dental material research
Da-Ming Zhu, Ph.D., Professor
Atomic force microscopy applied to surface imaging of dentin and cells.
Bioethics Research Faculty
Wayne Vaught, Ph.D., Interim Dean/ Professor
Dr. Vaught's area of research is biomedical and healthcare ethics. His research focuses on ethical issues in clinical care with an emphasis in pediatrics. Recent work includes ethical issues arising in cross-cultural decision-making, complementary and alternative medicine, covert surveillance in clinical care, and stem cell research.
Architecture, Urban Planning and Design
Michael Frisch, PhD, AICP, Assistant Professor
Michael holds a Ph.D. in urban planning and policy development from Rutgers University, a master’s of city planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in economics from Earlham College. He has worked in environmental planning and urban policy at the National Center for Neighborhoods and Brownfields Redevelopment in New Brunswick, N.J.; at the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems in Queens, N.Y.; and at Employment Research Associates in Lansing, Mich. His work has been funded by the Council of Great Lakes Governors, the Pew Foundation, U.S. Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development and several municipalities. Michael is a member of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners and has served on several advisory planning committees and commissions. He is knowledgeable about regional planning and analysis methods, land use and environmental policy, urban redevelopment, urban design and planning history.
Michael’s research focuses on:
- how 20th century urban planning reinforces particular family models
- how planning creates the necessary conditions for sustainable economic growth
- evaluation of environmental, land use, and community development policies in Kansas City, New Orleans, and other cities
Sungyop Kim, PhD, Assistant Professor
Sungyop's expertise lies in the fields of urban transportation systems, travel behavior, traffic safety, and urban spatial analysis. His recent research efforts have focused on population aging in relation to his expertise. He has been involved in various transportation and land use projects. His major projects include Crash Outcome Data Evaluation Systems and UrbanSim both funded by the National Science Foundation. Prior to joining UMKC, Sungyop was a visiting faculty member and post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Civil Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. He was also an associate faculty member of the Washington University's Center for Aging.
Ted Seligson, FAIA, Visiting Professor
Ted received his professional degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.. He has been Principal in his practice of architecture and urban design for more than 40 years. His firm has been known as one of the most innovative design practices in the Midwest. Ted has received more than 25 national, regional, and local awards for his projects. In 1979, he was honored with a fellowship by the American Institute of Architects for making “a significant contribution to the excellence of design.” He also served his profession as president of the Kansas City Chapter’s, American Institute of Architects.
His interests and research include; ancient history of architecture, urban planning and design and art; the Secessionist period of Vienna Austria circa 1900, the Modernist Movement in Russia and Germany; the current trends in architecture and urban design.
Joy Swallow, AIA Chair, Associate Professor
Joy holds a master’s of architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate in preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. She also has a bachelor’s of architecture from Kansas State University. She practiced in the architectural profession in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Omaha, NE, and is a registered architect. Joy is the founding director of Architectural Studies and the chair of the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is active in the professional community. She has served on the Landmarks Commission for the city of Kansas City, Mo., for 12 years.
- Joy’s research focuses on: design
- historic preservation
- urban design
- design education
Jacob Wagner, PhD, Assistant Professor
Jacob’s expertise lies in the fields of community development, planning and urban history, and historic preservation. His area of specialty includes the city of New Orleans where he lived and worked for 5 years. His research addresses the role of the historic urban built environment in the politics of race and collective memory.
Jacob’s research focuses on:
- historic preservation
- New Orleans, La.
- collective memory and the urban environment
- history of urban renewal in Kansas City, KS
- politics of race in U.S. cities
School of Biological Sciences
Karen Bame, Ph.D., Associate Professor/ Graduate Program Officer
Cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation and migration depend on the interaction of extracellular ligands with cell surface receptors. In many instances, the ligand initially binds to cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), which may concentrate the ligand or change its conformation, thereby enhancing the interaction of the ligand with its protein receptor. One way to regulate HSPG co-receptors is to degrade the heparan sulfate (HS) glycosaminoglycans. This is accomplished by intracellular heparanases which, once the cell surface HSPGs have been internalized, cleave HS chains from proteoglycan core proteins and degrade them to short glycosaminoglycans. The short HS chains created by heparanases may protect ligands in endosomes or transport them to other sites of actions within the cell. The long-term goals of Dr. Bame's research are to determine the number of intracellular heparanases and characterize their molecular and enzymatic properties to understand how they create the short HS chains found inside cells.
Leonard Dobens, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Dobens uses Drosophila to study intercellular signaling pathways that control cell proliferation, migration and differentiation during organ formation. Our focus is the regulation and function of the bunched gene, a fly transcription factor gene homologous to human tumor suppressor gene TSC-22 and mouse Glucocorticoid Induced Leucine Zipper (GILZ), which have diverse roles in vertebrate adipogenesis, erythrogenesis and lymphogenesis. In the fly, bunched regulates cell proliferation and migration and our long-term goal is to understand the conserved molecular mechanism by which bunched family members mediate cell signaling to direct tissue patterning. In a separate project, he studies how tissue-specific steroid hormone receptor responses regulate cell migration and DNA replication.
Lawrence Dreyfus, Ph.D., Professor and Dean
Dean Dreyfus' research involves the structure/function analysis of bacterial protein toxin. Presently, his lab is investigating the Cytolethal Distending Toxin (CDT) of Escherichia coli. CDT is a hetero-trimeric toxin produced by a number of important bacterial pathogens. CDT kills cells by inducing a DNA damage-dependent cell cycle arrest or apoptosis, depending upon the target cell line. In vivo CDT appears to have immunosuppressive activity resulting from its anti-proliferative activity on mucosal epithelial lymphocytes. His lab is investigating the roles of the three subunits in toxin binding, cellular trafficking, and nuclear delivery of CdtB, a homolog of mammalian type I DNAse. His lab recently characterized the mode of CDT action and is now defining the receptor-binding properties of CdtA and Cdt, both of which we have shown to possess carbohydrate-binding activity. The studies are based largely on mutagenic analysis of the three CDT subunits and the structural and function consequences of these directed mutations.
Brian Geisbrecht, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Despite the advances of modern medicine, many widespread public health problems worldwide still result from bacterial infections. Although bacteria in general are often considered simple organisms, many of these microbes have developed an astonishing array of proteins that function as virulence factors and toxins during the initiation and propagation of infection. The main goal of Dr. Geisbrecht's laboratory is to use a multidisciplinary approach, including bioinformatic, biochemical, and crystallographic tools, to study bacterial virulence factors and to understand how these molecules function to help bacteria adapt within their human and animal hosts. In addition, these studies have the potential to impact how these diseases are diagnosed, treated, and prevented through the development of vaccines, drug targets, and front-line diagnostic agents. This goal is particularly relevant today as the incidence of multidrug-resistant bacterial infection is rising dramatically at a time when the threat of bioterrorism looms large across the world.
Saul Honigberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Cells respond to extracellular signals through complex networks of signaling pathways. To address the molecular mechanisms underlying the organization and function of these networks, we use a comparatively simple model system-- the switch between mitotic proliferation and meiotic differentiation in the yeast S. cerevisiae. Because yeast is the experimental system, we can apply a range of genetic and genomic approaches not possible with other organisms. However, like the signaling enzymes themselves, the mechanisms underlying the organization of signal networks are likely to be conserved. The switch between mitotic proliferation and meiotic differentiation is regulated by several extracellular nutritional signals. These nutritional controls are mediated through the protein kinase A pathway, the Snf1p kinase pathway, Cln2:Cdc28p kinase, and possibly other pathways. Our research focuses on: 1) defining signal pathways connecting nutritional signals to meiotic regulators, and 2) determining the mechanisms and functions underlying the organization of these pathways into networks.
Tamas Kapros, Ph.D., Associate Teaching Professor
Plants produce a form of histone H3 protein that assists in the maintenance of chromatin structure in differentiated cells. Genes for such histone H3 variants show very high and constitutive expression. Our studies have shown that polypyrimidine (PPY) sequence elements located in the promoter, in the untranslated regions and in the introns play a role in the control of these genes. We hypothesize that these sequences are target sites for proteins similar to the Drosophila GAGA factors, which can cause chromatin de-repression by preventing nucleosome assembly. Dr. Kapros' research has the aim to study these PPY-binding proteins to be able to understand the way they function in plants. Transgene silencing by heterochromatin is a major problem in plant biotechnology. Specific PPY sequences as natural gene de-repressors have the potential to become an invaluable tool to prevent gene inactivation and to maintain high gene expression in transgenic crops.
Kevin McCluskey, BS, MS, PhD, Associate Research Professor
As curator of the Fungal Genetics Stock Center, Dr. McCluskey's program is service oriented. The development of the FGSC collection into the acknowledged world leader for biological and molecular materials for fungal genetics and more recently fungal genomics has had a profound effect on research with industrial, pathogenic and model organisms. Recent advances include genome-associated libraries for five important systems including agricultural and human pathogens, industrial, and research organisms. Resources recently available include systematic genome-based knockouts for several organisms. The FGSC collection now includes nearly 70,000 strains as well as hundreds of thousands of molecular clones.
Henry Miziorko, Ph.D., Marion Merrell Dow Professor
The Miziorko lab investigates enzyme function and catalytic/regulatory mechanisms. Currently, efforts focus on enzymes in the pathway of polyisoprenoid and sterol biosynthesis. The lab has developed a variety of mechanistic tools (spectroscopically detectable substrate analogs, inhibitors, etc.) that are useful for studying these proteins and employs a variety of experimental approaches including: protein engineering/mutagenesis, bioorganic chemistry, biophysical chemistry, mechanistic enzymology, and collaborative structural work. For example, the lab has published a variety of studies on HMG-CoA synthase and mevalonate kinase. Recent work on HMG-CoA synthase has documented active site residues involved in reaction chemistry. The prokaryotic enzyme and a reaction intermediate have been crystallized in our lab and the structures have been solved in collaboration with Prof. David Harrison. Our work on recombinant human, rat, and bacterial mevalonate kinases includes the functional assignment of several active site residues as well as elucidation of the structure of an enzyme-Mg-ATP complex in collaboration with Prof. Jung-Ja Kim.
Anthony Persechini, Ph.D., Professor/ Interim Divison Head
Disturbances in cell signaling are associated with many clinical disorders, including cancer, Altzheimer’s, arthritis, chronic pain syndrome, cardiac arrythmias and hypertension. Ca2+ ion is a universal intracellular signaling molecule, and the Ca2+-binding protein calmodulin plays a central role in converting Ca2+ signals into the biochemical changes needed to produce the desired cellular response. Our work is focused on both the cell biology and biochemistry of this process. An ongoing interest is in defining the thermodynamic and kinetic mechanisms that govern the interactions between calmodulin and its many protein targets. More recently we have begun investigations of calmodulin function using genetically-encoded fluorescent indicator proteins developed in our laboratory. These tools allow us to follow calmodulin-dependent signaling using imaging techniques, with the ultimate goal of developing a mechanistic understanding of how calmodulin controls and coordinates the activities of its many targets in living cells.
Lynda Plamann, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Curriculum
The ability to detect and respond to signals from the environment and neighboring cells is of fundamental biological importance. Myxococcus xanthus , a rod-shaped soil bacterium, provides an attractive model system for studies of intracellular and intercellular signaling. When M. xanthus cells sense that they are starving, the cells begin to construct multicellular, spore-filled fruiting bodies. Successful fruiting body formation requires a high cell density. An extracellular signal, A-signal, is produced and sensed by M. xanthus as a means to monitor the cell density. We are studying genes that participate in the A-signal-generating (asg) pathway. Molecular genetic and biochemical analyses indicate that these genes are likely to be involved in environmental sensing and regulating gene expression. Through our studies of the asg genes, we hope to gain a clearer understanding of the signal transduction mechanisms and cell-cell interactions that promote the multicellular state.
Michael Plamann, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Cytoplasmic dynein is a multisubunit complex that functions as a microtubule-associated motor required for organization of Golgi, ER to Golgi trafficking, retrograde transport of organelles in axons, assembly of the spindle, and intracellular transport of viruses such as herpes simplex and rabies. Cytoplasmic dynein function and interaction with various cargoes requires an additional multisubunit complex know as dynactin. A genetic screen has been developed, using the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa that allows the isolation of hundreds of mutants defective for cytoplasmic dynein or dynactin. All of the genes encoding subunits of dynein and dynactin have been cloned, and additional genes have been identified that encode potential regulators of dynein/dynactin function. A combination of genetic and biochemical approaches are being used to examine motor activity and membrane interaction in a wild-type strain and in various mutants.
Jeffrey Price, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Our lab is investigating circadian rhythms, which have periods of approximately 24 hours. For example, human sleep/wake behavior is a circadian rhythm. While responsive to environmental cycles, circadian rhythms are known to be generated within the organism because they persist under constant environmental conditions. Genetic approaches, which require the isolation and analysis of mutations affecting circadian rhythms, are revealing the cellular and molecular mechanisms of these “biological clocks.” Molecular analysis of clock genes affected in mutant fruit flies (Drosophila) has identified circadian transcription factors, photoreceptors and a protein kinase, which is the principal focus of our work. Using a combination of genetic, biochemical and immunocytochemical approaches, our lab is investigating how all of these components interact with the protein kinase to produce a functional clock. We also are investigating the role of this protein kinase in vertebrate clocks, which have a mechanism similar to the Drosophila one.
G. Sullivan Read, Ph.D., Professor/ Interim Divison Head Cell Biology & Biophysics
The focus of our research is the control of translation and mRNA stability in mammalian cells and, specifically, in cells infected with herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV encodes a polypeptide, the virion host shutoff (Vhs) protein, that induces rapid turnover of both viral and cellular mRNAS in infected cells. By regulating the rate of mRNA turnover, the Vhs protein plays an important role in the overall scheme of gene regulation in infected cells and in HSV virulence. In isolation, the Vhs protein is a sequence non-specific endoribonuclease which, nevertheless, in infected cells is specific for mRNAs, as opposed to non-messenger RNAs, and cleaves many mRNAs in regions of translation initiation. Our laboratory has shown that Vhs binds the cellular translation initiation factors eIF4H, eIF4AII, and eIF4B and that mutations that abrogate some of these interactions abolish targeted mRNA degradation in vivo. Work focuses upon how interactions with cellular translation factors target the non-specific Vhs endonuclease to mRNAs and to regions of translation initiation, as well as to mechanisms linking mRNA decay and translation in mammalian cells.
Ann Smith, B.Sc. Ph.D., Professor
Coordinate regulation of gene expression for proteins that protect against oxidative stress and cancer. Mechanisms include: ARE and StRE-mediated gene regulation, de-repression and activation of gene transcription by heme; hierarchy of a signaling network comprising the PKC, NFkB and JNK pathways; novel roles for metals in regulation. Heme transport mechanisms in liver, eye, enterocytes and the peripheral and central nervous systems as well as human pathogens. Neurodegeneration. Receptor-mediated endocytosis of heme-hemopexin, which is analogous to the paradigm for recycling receptors, transferrin. The hemopexin system is being used to define at the molecular level the pathway from the plasma membrane to the nucleus for protective gene regulation. This requires a cellular response not only to signals from the hemopexin receptor, which include novel roles for redox-active copper and electron transport at the cell surface, but also to direct interactions of heme with transcription factors for derepression and activation of gene transcription.
Jakob H. Waterborg, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Structure-function relationships in chromatin, post-synthetic modification of histones by acetylation and methylation, transcriptionally active chromatin structures, assembly and stability of nucleosomal structure. Histones repression of gene expression in nucleosomes and chromatin is regulated by dynamic acetylation and site-specific methylation of core histone termini, especially histones H3 and H4. Histone variant expression and function in replication-dependent and cell cycle-independent is studied in vivo in plants like alfalfa, in algae like Chlamydomonas, in yeast and Physarum, by radioactive tracers, HPLC and gel electrophoresis.
Gerald J. Wyckoff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
A major effort of Dr. Wyckoff's work has been to create a relational database of genomic sequences and associated information. This includes expression information, divergence information, protein function information, and positional information. Dr. Wyckoff envisions several types of research dealing directly with the techniques and programs built to handle and query the data, but more importantly, observations made using this tool will lead to hypothesis testing experiments performed at the bench. He is interested in developing the informatics structure necessary to allow for the incorporation of many other types of research data, including protein structure, pathway information, and disease linkage information.
Marilyn D. Yoder, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Yoder’s research utilizes tools of structural biology and bioinformatics to elucidate structure/function relationships. Structure determination primarily involves X-ray crystallographic methods. Comparison and pattern mapping of different protein families, isoforms, and orthologoues have provided important characterization of enzymatic parameters, structural requirements, and evolution. Current areas of interest are 1) pectate-degrading enzymes and 2) phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins (PITP). The pectate-degrading enzymes, including pectate lyase and polygalacturonase, are secreted by bacterial plant pathogens and cleave the same saccharide bond in the plant cell wall but by different enzymatic mechanisms. Although they have no detectable amino acid sequence similarity, the 3-dimensional structures are similar. The PITPs are a family of proteins ubiquitously expressed in eukaryotic cells. They have been implicated in numerous cell signaling pathways involving phosphoinositides.
Xiao-Qiang Yu, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Yu investigates pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) involved in the innate immune system using a model insect. Insects have developed an effective and sophisticated immune system similar to the innate immune system of vertebrates. In the innate immune system, initial recognition of pathogens is mediated by PRRs that recognize structural molecular patterns present in molecules found in many microorganisms but not in host cells. Recognition of pathogens by PRRs is linked to immune responses such as phagocytosis, hemocyte nodule formation, encapsulation and melanization, activation of prophenoloxidase, and synthesis of antimicrobial peptides. Dr. Yu’s laboratory focuses on calcium-dependent (C-type) lectins as PRRs to initiate recognition process and mediate protein-protein interactions to localize prophenoloxidase activation on pathogen surface, and to trigger signal transduction pathways to activate antimicrobial genes.
School of Computing and Engineering
Bryan R. Becker, Ph.D., Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Biothermics, Computational fluid dynamics modeling of biological systems, Computational thermodynamic modeling of bulk freezing of protein solutions.
Reza Derakhshani, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Reza Derakhshani's research interests are in biomedical signal analysis, biometrics (physical and psychophysiological), and physiological system identification using computational intelligence paradigms such as artificial neural networks. His interdisciplinary research has brought about close collaborations with researchers from different medical fields. Dr.
Derakhshani¹s past research projects include recognition of skin's temporal dielectric patterns through fingerprint scanners for liveness detection. His recent projects include noninvasive brain computer interfacing, a new patented biometric modality based on vasculature on the white of the eye, data-driven modeling of human joints, and non-obtrusive psychophysiological pattern recognition using postural and ocular dynamics (please see www1.sce.umkc.edu/~derakhshanir for more details).
Deendayal Dinakarpandian, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Prof. of Computer Science & Electrical Engineering
Machine learning and data mining approaches to problems in biology and medicine, Knowledge representation, Modeling biological systems, Sequence and structural analyses of biomolecules.
Brian A. Fricke, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical and fracture properties of dental tissues and interfaces; modeling and numerical analysis of heat and mass transport and freezing phenomena in biological materials.
Trent M. Guess, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Musculoskeletal biomechanics, dynamic loading of joints and tissues due to the musculoskeletal and external forces of functional activities.
Gregory W. King, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. King’s research interests are in the field of musculoskeletal biomechanics, with specific emphasis on the kinetic, kinematic, and electrophysiological components of human balance, ambulation, and motor control.
Vijay Kumar, Ph.D., Professor of Bioinformatics/Computer Science
Mobile computing, Data warehousing, Workflow, Web, and Bioinformatics.
Yugi Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Knowledge Management, Decision Supporting, Pervasive Computing, Data Mining, Semantic Web, Distributed Software System; Biomedical Informatics
Deep Medhi, Ph.D., Curators' Professor
Network Survivability - Architecture & Design; Dynamic QoS Routing; Network Design, Management, Optimization and Performance; Medical Informatics
Anil Misra, Ph.D., Professor of Civil Engineering
Multi-scale modeling and nano-micro-macro correlations applied to constitutive behavior of interfaces, and composites; Modeling mechanical behavior of dental and craniofacial tissues with the view of developing new materials/diagnostic tools for clinical dentistry.
Ganesh Thiagarajan, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dynamic fracture simulation in materials; Behavior of FRP and concrete; Parallel computing in Engineering and Science.
Yu-Ping Wang, Ph.D., Adjunct Associate Professor
Bio-medical imaging, Computer vision and image analysis, bioinformatics, data mining; computational algorithms, imaging in cytogenetics and functional genetics, cardio-vascular imaging.
School of Dentistry
Lynda Bonewald, Ph.D., Curators' Professor & Lefkowitz Professor in Oral Biology/ Interim Vice Chancellor for Research
Lee M. and William L. Lefkowitz/Missouri Endowed Professorship; Director, Bone Biology Research Program;
Director, UMKC Center of Excellence in the Study of Dental and Musculoskeletal (Mineralized) Tissues.
Dr. Bonewald has worked in the area of transforming growth factor beta and in the lipoxygenases, specifically 5LO, but is probably best known for her research in osteocyte biology. Osteocytes are the most abundant cell in bone and may be responsible for sensing mechanical stress and signaling and regulating both osteoblast and osteoclast activity. She is Director of a program project entitled “Osteocyte Function and Effects of Mechanical Strain”. This program project investigates the mechanisms whereby osteocytes translate mechanical strain into signals including intracellular and extracellular signaling, the expression of genes necessary and specific for osteocyte formation and function, and the role of osteocytes in resorption and mineralization.
Sarah Dallas, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Latent transforming growth factor beta binding proteins (LTBPs) and their role as bone extracellular matrix proteins and as regulators of TGFb and Breast cancer metastasis to bone and the role of bone matrix-bound growth factors, such as TGFb, in bone metastatic breast cancer.
J. David Eick, M.S., Ph.D., Adjunct Professor/ Curators' Professor Emeritus
Dr. Eick's current research interests are largely in the area of dental biomaterials and bone stabilization and are extremely interdisciplinary in nature involving surface chemistry, toxicology, mechanical and biomaterial engineering, and polymer chemistry.
Jeff Gorski, Ph.D., Professor
Osteogenic mechanisms in primary and lamellar bone, and the functions for bone acidic glycoprotein-75 (BAG-75).
Laura Iwasaki, D.D.S., M.Sc., Ph.D., Associate Professor and Leo A. Rogers Chair
Research interests: biomechanics of the human craniomandibular complex, in particular the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), muscles of mastication, and the movement of teeth. Example projects: biomechanical, developmental, and genetic determinants for rate of orthodontic tooth movement in humans; effects of gender and temporomandibular disorders on mandibular mechanics; pathomechanics of osteoarthritis of the TMJ; biophysical properties of the TMJ disk; analyses of friction in orthodontic appliances.
Mark Johnson, Ph.D., Professor/ Chair of Dept. of Oral Biology
Dr. Johnson’s research is currently focused on understanding the role of Lrp5 and the Wnt signaling pathway in the regulation of bone mass and the response of bone to mechanical loading. This research includes understanding how bone cells communicate with each other. It is hoped that these fundamental bone biology studies will reveal new targets for the development of pharmaceutical agents that can increase a person’s bone mass and thereby result in new treatments and possibly a cure for osteoporosis.
Carole P. McArthur, Ph.D., M.D., Professor/ Adjunct Professor of Medicine
The mechanism of exocrine gland pathogenesis in HIV/AIDS and autoimmune disease. Gene expression is studied in vitro in salivary cells lines and in tissues obtained from HIV patients in Cameroon, West Africa.
Jeffrey Nickel, D.M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Nickel’s research interests include numerical modeling of central nervous system control of the human mandible, biomechanics of the temporomandibular joint disc, biomechanics and cytokine function during orthodontically induced tooth movement, and static and dynamic mechanical analysis of orthodontic hardware.
John H. Purk, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., Professor/ Director of Operative Dentistry
The bond to the gingival wall of proximal restorations frequently fails. Dr. Purk's current research involves identifying variables that lead to a poor bond to the gingival wall and improving adhesive bonding success to this fragile wall of the cavity preparation.
This work is significant because current restorations of interproximal caries is performed with amalgam. Amalgam is under pressure to reduce its use due to environmental concerns. There needs to be an adequate substitute for this material in order to restore posterior teeth. Composite resin which is adhesively bonded to the tooth is an acceptable substitute. However, composite resin has a high failure rate at the gingival margin.
Yasuyoshi Ueki, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Ueki joined the Department of Oral Biology as an Assistant Professor in 2008. He is engaged in research in the areas of molecular and cellular pathogenesis of the human craniofacial disorder, Cherubism. Dr. Ueki’s current specific interest is molecular composition of signaling complexes mediated by SH3BP2 in myeloid cells that can explain how mutant SH3BP2 enhances TNF-alpha production and osteoclastogenesis.
Mary Walker, D.D.S., Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Programs
Dr. Walker's research explores cyclic fatigue effects on filled, polymeric dental restorative materials: morphologic, chemical, and mechanical property characterization; dimensional accuracy and surface detail reproduction of polyether and polyvinyl siloxane impression materials used under wet conditions; and oral cancer therapeutic radiation effects on the physicochemical and micromechanical properties of the dentin-enamel junction.
Yong Wang, Ph.D., Professor/ Director of Carnifacial Bioengineering
Design and synthesis of novel materials for repair and/or replacement of dental tissues; Biomedical and dental materials: interface science and adhesion; Molecular vibrational spectroscopic characterization of material/tissue and tissue/tissue interfaces; Morphology and mechanical properties of polymeric composite materials.
School of Medicine
Basic Medical Science Research Faculty
Theodore M. Cole, Ph.D., Adjunct Associate Professor
Physical anthropologist who is an active researcher in morphometrics; applying these methods to the study of craniofacial malformations in humans, human fossil record and to questions about function, development, and evolution of New World primates.
Asaf Qureshi, Ph.D., Research Professor
Research focusing on the role of lipids in various pathological processes, including infectious diseases
Nilofer Qureshi, Ph.D., Professor
Intracellular signaling, with an emphasis on the proteasome, and its role in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases
Internal Medicine Research Faculty
David Bamberger, M.D., Professor
Two areas of focus: 1) antimicrobial activity in abscesses; and 2) barriers to care in the HIV-infected population. We are studying the factors that allow bacteria, particularly S. aureus to persist in abscesses, despite antimicrobials, including the influence of neutrophils on penicillin-binding proteins, antimicrobial activity against intracellular organisms, the role of calprotectin, and neutrophil phagocytosis and killing capacity in an abscess milieu. We are studying the extent, consequences and causes associated with the barriers to care associated with HIV disease, with the intent on designing systems to reduce these barriers. Additional research activities include histoplasmosis, particularly in AIDS, and osteomyelitis.
Betty L. Herndon, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor
Research Topics: models of pulmonary disease (constrictive bronchiolitis and sarcoidosis) and infectious disease (bacterial endocarditis; the neutrophil in chronic infection). The Medicine Research Lab is active in medical student research, Medicine dept. resident research, and basic science projects for the Pulmonary-critical care and Infectious Diseases fellows. The topics covered are unfailingly applied to medical problems, and the lab goal is to see students at all levels publish the results of their research—an abstract or occasionally full paper—which can open doors to their future bench-to-bedside approaches.
Ben D. McCallister, M.D., Professor Emeritus
Dr. McCallister is the Director Emeritus of Cardiovascular Research at St. Luke's Mid America Heart Institute. Cardiovascular research at the Heart Institute is a fully integrated program with the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. The research program includes approximately 70-80 ongoing IRB-approved clinical trials in interventional cardiology, congestive heart failure, behavioral health, cardiovascular surgery, preventive cardiology, lipid metabolism, cardiac transplantation, and noninvasive imaging. The Heart Institute has one of the 3-4 largest single center national databases in cardiovascular diseases. The Research Center employs 50 personnel including research nurses, computer programmers, technicians, database administrators, administrative assistants and four biostatisticians. Approximately 20 cardiologists and surgeons are involved in research activities at the Mid America Heart Institute.
Joseph P. McGuirk, D.O., Associate Professor
Publications regarding allogeneic blood and marrow transplantations; proteomic study of graft-versus-host disease in BMT.
Dennis R. Pyszczynski, M.D., Associate Professor
Clinical asthma research
Marilyn M. Rymer, M.D., Professor
Clinical research in stroke (CVA) prevention and treatment
Alan Salkind, M.D., Professor/ Assistant Dean
Two areas of research: (1) Economic models of infectious diseases. In this area we have developed economic models to investigate the cost effectiveness of various strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases; and (2) Cognitive models of medical decision making. We are collaborating with colleagues from the social sciences to devise models that can unveil student and physician cognitive biases, potentially affecting the quality of medical decision making. Detection of cognitive biases would allow for target interventions.
Gary A. Salzman, M.D., Professor
Pulmonology research, primarily in the area of asthma
Rebecca L. Shriver, M.D., Assistant Professor
Clinical asthma research
John A. Spertus, M.D., Professor/ Daniel J. Lauer Missouri Endowed Chair in Metabolism and Vascular Disease Research
Quantifying patients’ perspective of their cardiovascular disease and using these disease-specific health status assessments as endpoints in clinical trials, as measures of health care quality.
Ying Yan, Ph.D., MD, Associate Professor
Publications regarding human leukemia SCID mice model; nature killer cell mediated cancer immunity
OBGYN Research Faculty
David C. Mundy, M.D., Associate Professor
High risk pregnancy, nutrition/obesity in pregnancy
D. Mark Schnee, D.O., Associate Professor
Reproductive hormones, student education, DVT prophylaxis
Julie L. Strickland, M.D., Professor
Adolescent pregnancy, adolescent GYN contraception, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
Jeffrey Wall, M.D., Associate Professor
Reproductive hormones, genital herpes, menopause
James P. Youngblood, M.D., Assistant Professor
Pathology Research Faculty
Kamani M. Lankachandra, M.D., Associate Professor/ Interim Chair of Pathology
Neonates' pathology and genetics
Agostino Molteni, M.D., Ph.D., Adjunct Professor
Antioxidant lung damage and ACE inhibitors in different models of lung injury and in hypertension
Pediatrics Research Faculty
Susan M. Abdel-Rahman, Pharm.D., Professor
PK/PD of drugs in children, Pediatric dermatophytoses, Fungal genetics/genomics.
Uri S. Alon, M.D., Professor
Bone and Miberal disorders
Walter Andrews, M.D., Professor
Charles S. Barnes, Ph.D., Professor
Environmental contributors to chronic respiratory disease in children, specifically asthma
James R. (Bob) Batterson, M.D., Assistant Professor
Pediatric Behavioral Disorders and Psychopharmacology
Douglas L. Blowey, M.D., Associate Professor
Disorders of the kidney
Merlin G. Butler, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Besides his responsibilities as a clinical geneticist, Dr. Butler actively participates in genetics research using cutting edge, state-of-the-art techniques and equipment. Dr. Butler and his research team concentrate on the following three main research areas: 1) the genetics of obesity including Prader-Willi syndrome (the most common genetic cause of morbid obesity); 2) the genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders such as Prader-Willi, Angelman and fragile X syndromes, cytogenetic disorders and autism; and 3) causation and natural history of genetic disorders. More recently, he has been involved with microarray gene expression analysis of pediatric heart disease. Dr. Butler has published extensively in the areas of phenotype-genotype correlations, clinical delineation and description of rare and common genetic syndromes, and principles of medical genetics and genetic mechanisms.
Robin Carroll, M.S., Assistant Professor
M. Denise Dowd, M.D., MPH, Professor
Firearm safety, intimate partner violence, childhood injury
Andrea Gaedigk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
PK/PD of drugs in children, ontogeny of drug metabolism in children, drug metabolism, and pharmacogenomics
Roger Gaedigk, Ph.D., Professor
PK/PD of drugs in children, ontogeny of drug metabolism in children, drug metabolism, and pharmacogenomics
Alan S. Gamis, M.D., MPH, Professor
Hematology, oncology, bone marrow transplantation
Marilyn S. Hamilton, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Diagnosis of infectious diseases
Maxine Hetherington, M.D., Associate Professor
George W. Holcomb III, M.D., MBA, Professor
Pediatric surgery and minimally invasive surgery in children
Christopher L. Hubble, M.D., Assistant Professor
End of life; palliative care
Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., Professor
Infectious diseases, vaccines
Jill D. Jacobson, M.D., Professor
Role of GnRH in modulating the immune response in autoimmune disorders, with an emphasis on gender differences
Gregory L. Kearns, Pharm.D., Marion Merrell Dow/ Missouri Chair Pediatric Med Research
PK/PD of drugs in children, ontogeny of drug metabolism in children, drug metabolism, and pharmacogenomics
Jane Knapp, M.D., Professor/ Associate Dean Childrens's Mercy Hospital
Intimate partner violence; injury and injury prevention; quality of emergency care for children; medical education.
Joan H.M. Knoll, Ph.D., Professor
Cytogenetics with emphasis on single copy fluorescence in-situ hybridization
J. Steven Leeder, Ph.D., Pharm.D., Professor
Pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics, ontogeny of drug metabolism in children. Specific emphasis on pharmacogenetic determinants of drug-induced birth defects and advesre drug reactions in children.
Gary K. Lofland, M.D., Professor
Cardiovascular disease and conotruncal defects
Wayne V. Moore, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Immunology of islet cell transplantation for diabetes; techniques to improve viability of transplanted islet cells
Frank P. Morello, M.D., Associate Professor
Pharmacokinetics and imaging of Gadolinium contrast during MRI of children (industrial grant funded research)
Jerome V. Murphy, M.D., Professor
Treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders
Scott E. Olitsky, M.D., Associate Professor
Glaucoma, ocular hypertension
P. Gary Pettett, M.D., Professor
Jay M. Portnoy, M.D., Professor
Environmental contributors to chronic respiratory disease in children, specifically asthma
Krishna Prasadan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Prasadan's interest is to conduct research attempting to engineer insulin-producing beta cells from stem cells for the treatment of type-1 diabetes. To achieve this goal, the lab is studying molecular factors that regulate cell lineage selection during mouse embryonic pancreas development. The research so far has identified a key role of notch-signaling pathway during pancreatic beta cell differentiation. In addition, Dr. Prasadan's research discovered intra-endocrine regulation of beta cell differentiation during pancreas development. This study found that glucagon expressed early in embryonic pancreas effect differentiation of other components such as early insulin expression in the endocrine pancreas.
Stephen Simon, Ph.D., Research Professor
John F. Sommerauer, M.D., Professor
Pharmaceutical treatment of acutely ill children
William E. Truog, M.D., Professor
Mechanisms of lung injury in very premature infants, studies of oxygen regulations of immature pulmonary vasculature
Bradley A. Warady, M.D., Professor
Renal disease and transplantation; dialysis
Gary S. Wasserman, D.O., Professor
Poisons and toxins
Brian M. Wicklund, M.D., MPH, Associate Professor
Hemophilia and coagulation disorders
Gerald M. Woods, M.D., Professor
Hemoglobinopathy; sickle cell disease
Surgery Research Faculty
Stanley Augustin, M.D., Associate Professor
Critical care, pulmonary macrophages
Douglas M. Geehan, M.D., Associate Professor
Charles Van Way III, M.D., Professor/ Sosland MO Endowed Chair in Shock/ Trauma Services
Study of shock; work in nutritional support. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Basic mechanisms of hemorrhagic shock.
Orthopaedic Surgery Research Faculty
Psychiatry Research Faculty
Jan L. Campbell, M.D., Assistant Professor
Addiction psychiatry, methamphetamine addiction
Timothy Dellenbaugh, M.D., Associate Professor
Neuroscience and psychopharmacology
Bill D. Geis, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor
Dr. Geis' research areas include suicide prevention, clinical intervention for suicidal thoughts, self-injury typologies and data-driven coalition models; psychosocial factors in weight loss surgery and psychosocial outcomes in weight loss; measurement and the long-term impact of early life psychological trauma; attachment styles and access to health care; homeless support and women’s homeless and domestic violence outcomes; substance abuse treatment linkage in a public hospital and patterns of community substance abuse; psychosocial support for cancer patients.
Kemal Sagduyu, M.D., Professor
Neurobiology and clinical psychiatry, translational research directed at mood disorders, obesity and weight gain, aggression, sleep disorders, emergency psychiatric interventions and brain injury
Roger W. Sommi Jr., Pharm.D., Professor
Radiology Research Faculty
School of Nursing
An-Lin Cheng, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Cheng's research interests involve statistical methodology development and applications in the design and analysis of data resulting from clinical trial studies and social studies. One specific area of her research is applying the multilevel hierarchical random effect models to cluster data with repeatedly measured categorical and continuous outcomes for community-intervention trials. She is interested in developing correct statistical modeling methods for dental care data which can accommodate the special correlation structure between teeth. She also develops robust inference for first and secondary variables analysis for data resulting from response adaptive design. As a biostatistician, Dr. Cheng works closely with the research faculty from the School of Nursing on various health promotion intervention studies.
Maithe Enriquez, Ph.D., R.N., Associate Professor
Maithe Enriquez is the director of the PhD program at UMKC School of Nursing. She also mentors and guides graduate and undergraduate nursing students in clinical research projects. Her program of research focuses on developing interventions that help vulnerable populations prevent and manage chronic illness and decrease health disparities. Her current research projects include the development of a phone intervention to enhance the health outcomes of Latinas living with HIV and AIDS in the Midwest and a project to implement a curriculum to help prevent violence among Hispanic high school students. Her recent publications include: "Feasibility of an Intervention to Decrease Risk for HIV and IPV in a Missouri Day Care Center”, “Efficacy of an intervention to enhance readiness for HIV treatment adherence” and "Reasons healthcare providers do not screen pregnant women for HIV". Dr. Enriquez is a mentor for the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA)and an editorial board member for the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (JANAC). Dr. Enriquez is also an adult nurse practitioner who has a clinical appointment at the UMKC School of Medicine with a practice based in the Infectious Diseases Clinic at Truman Medical Center (TMC) and in addition she volunteers at the Helen Gragg Adult Clinic at Operation Breakthrough.
Jennifer Hunter, Ph.D, RN, Associate Professor
Dr. Hunter’s doctoral degree is in cultural/medical anthropology, and her research program has grown from her interests in end of life care, symptom management, culture, cancer and literacy. Her doctoral research was an ethnographic study of the experience of cervical cancer in Iquitos, Peru. The study identified (1) global, theoretical, and health policy issues that contribute to neglect of cervical cancer in underdeveloped areas of the world, and (2) local and national realities and resources that must be considered to plan relevant and effective cervical cancer prevention and treatment programs. In the U.S., Dr. Hunter has continued to study cervical cancer issues in vulnerable populations, addressing how culture, language, and literacy impact prevention education. In 2003 – 2004 she was selected as a Fellow of the Cancer, Culture and Literacy Institute, Moffitt Cancer Center, University of South Florida. Future research interests include addressing long-term consequences of radiation-therapy in cervical cancer survivors, and related symptom-management needs.
Patricia Kelly, Ph.D., RN, Professor/ Associate Dean
Dr. Kelly's research is focused on women's health issues in community settings. Using theories of Paolo Freire, she has developed and implemented a girls’ development program. She has recently completed an NINR-funded RO-1 focusing on dating violence prevention and sexual health with girls in the juvenile justice system. Dr. Kelly works with a UMKC School of Medicine research team that is a part of the Global Network on Women's and Children's Health Research. She is currently working on a community-based violence prevention program using methods of participatory action research.
Jane Peterson, Ph.D., R.N., Assistant Professor
Dr. Peterson teaches theory courses in the UMKC School of Nursing MSN and PhD programs. She also facilitates student learning and research by serving as a mentor and research advisor to graduate nursing students. Dr. Peterson’s program of research focuses on promoting health and reducing risks for chronic diseases. Her current research projects include the Heart and Soul Physical Activity Program, a church-based social support intervention designed to promote physical activity in diverse groups of women to reduce risks for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions. An additional research project is the clinic-based program, Stay-Alive with 5-A’s, a physical activity intervention delivered in primary healthcare settings and the community to increase physical activity and promote weight loss and weight management. Dr. Peterson is a family nurse practitioner and maintains an active clinical practice at UMKC Student Health and Wellness Center and volunteers at the Helen Gragg Adult Clinic at Operation Breakthrough and as a Parish Nurse.
Peggy Ward-Smith, Ph.D., RN, Associate Professor
Dr. Ward-Smith’s research interest focuses on quality of life, specifically for those that have healthcare conditions that cannot be cured. Current research is exploring the link between personal distress, quality of life and healthcare decisions among veterans and how the American Heart Association’s Choose to Move program influences quality of life among plus-size women.
Thad Wilson, Ph.D., RN, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Dr. Wilson’s current interests focus on adolescent and adult immunization issues. His research also explores health care systems related to immunization delivery and the relationship of personal characteristics to the use of health promotion services.
School of Pharmacy
Mostafa Badr, Ph.D., Professor
Role of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) in aging; hepatocarcinogenicity.
Jack Fincham, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Fincham is Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Administration (UMKC); Adjunct Professor, The Bloch School (UMKC); Adjunct Professor of Health Policy and Management, the University of Georgia College of Public Health. Dr. Fincham has researched varying topics pertaining to health economics, international health, patient compliance, public health, medication management, health policy, the Medicare Part D Drug Benefit, pharmaceutical marketing, and drug use in the elderly. Dr. Fincham has teaching and research expertise in research designs and methodology, statistical analyses, economic evaluations, and outcomes evaluations. He has been funded by federal, state, industrial, foundation, health industry, and organizational entities for over 25 years. He has served as a member of the U.S. FDA Non-prescription Drug Advisory Committee; as serves as a special emphasis panel member evaluating Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) proposals; and has conducted local, regional, and national educational programs for the CMS, the FDA, Department of Justice, and Social Security Administration pertaining to the Medicare Drug Discount Card Program from 2003-2006; and matters related to pharmaceutical marketing from 2008-2010. Dr. Fincham has lead teaching and research programs for undergraduate and graduate students in Viet Nam in 2006 and 2007.
Dr. Fincham has authored over 200 refereed and professional manuscripts published in 77 journals, and has made over 200 professional and research presentations to allied health, dental, information technology, medical, nursing, pharmacy, and public health professional groups from Asia, Australia, Canada, the Republic of China, Europe, Turkey, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Dr. Fincham has written 11 books including: e-Prescribing: The Electronic Transformation of Medicine; The Medicare Part D Drug Program: Making the Most of the Benefit, and an Everyday Guide to Managing Your Medicines all published by Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Dr. Fincham is an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (AJPE).
From 1994-2004, Dr. Fincham served as dean of the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. While dean of the KU School of Pharmacy, the pharmacy faculty ascended to being the second highest school of pharmacy in overall funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Fincham has been frequently interviewed for newspaper, radio, and television programs on topics related to prescription and OTC medication use, pharmacy and medical services, public health issues, and quality of care concerns.
Simon Friedman, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Bioorganic Chemistry/Chemical Biology: Computational structure based ligand design, molecular recognition, fundamental issues of ligand receptor binding energetics, design, synthesis and testing of therapeutic molecules, molecular evolution.
William Gutheil, Ph.D., Associate Professor
The penicillin-binding proteins are ubiquitous bacterial enzymes involved in cell wall biosynthesis. As their name implies, these enzymes are the targets of the beta-lactam antibiotics. The emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacteria, including resistance to the beta-lactam antibiotics, poses a serious public health threat. This threat is increase given the potential use of antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacteria as bioterrorism agents. It is the goal of this research project to perform detailed enzymological studies of the PBPs, and to use information gained from these studies for the development of new inhibitors of the PBPs for use as new antibacterial agents. Our initial efforts in this area focused on the development of new and improved assay methods for these medically important enzymes. Additional studies to further explore the enzymology of these enzymes to develop improved peptide mimetic inhibitors are currently underway.
Orisa Igwe, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Role of pro-inflammatory cytokines/nuclear factor kappa B/cyclooxygenase system in integration of neuronal activity between periphery and spinal cord in chronic pain.
Thomas Johnston, Ph.D., Professor
Research includes the delivery of peptide drugs by the oral (buccal) mucosa as well as determining the effect(s) of overall molecular dimensions imparted by secondary structure on their paracellular transport through tight junctions of the gastrointestinal tract. Another area of research involves elucidation of the causes of atherosclerosis using a non-genetically-altered mouse model of atherosclerosis developed in our laboratory.
Chi Lee, Ph.D., Professor
Working on the calcium related regulation and the role of proteins in the area of fertility control, cardiovascular and skin/cervical cancer; the development and evaluation of transdermal/transmucosal/implantable delivery systems for drugs, proteins and genes; and the development of Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic models and computer-simulated models.
Ashim Mitra, Ph.D., Vice Provost, Interdisciplinary Research, UMKC; Curators' Professor
Dr. Mitra’s research group has pioneered the use of a novel microdialysis technique to study ocular pharmacology of antiviral, antitumor and other anti-infective agents, has developed new techniques to implant multiple probes into both anterior and posterior chambers of the eye simultaneously. The work on peptide and protein delivery across pulmonary routes has taken him from animal models to cultured human lung epithelial cells. Using this cell line (Calu-3), his research team is investigating the role the apical membrane plays as compared to the basal membrane in controlling the transport of macromolecules. They have found the presence of a p-glycoprotein efflux system at the basal surface of these cells, which causes efflux of the peptide and peptidomimetics such as HIV-protease inhibitors out of the cytoplasm across the apical membrane. Currently, the focus is on the use of cell membrane natural transporters to deliver drugs to intracellular targets.
Rafia Rasu, MPharm, MBA, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Rasu’s primary research interests are pharmacoeconomics & outcomes research, economic evaluation of health care interventions and public health. Her academic and research objectives focus on application of statistical methodology in examining issues related to effectiveness of medical care delivery and health outcomes in chronic diseases. Dr. Rasu has published more than 10 peer reviewed journal articles and has presented in many national and international conferences. Clinical Therapeutics, Medical Economics, Current Medical Research and Review, Sleep, Supportive Care in Cancer, Osaka Economic papers, Expert Review in Pharmacotherapy, Expert Review on Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine are a few journals where she published her research. She also has co-authored a book chapter on Economic Development and Population Health in a book titled "Reinventing Public Health: Policies and Practices for a Healthy Nation" that is currently used for graduate studies in Health Management and Policy Science related courses in schools of public health. She currently offers "Health Economics and Medicine", "Statistics II" and "Concepts of Epidemiology and Statistics" courses at UMKC.
Roger W. Sommi, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPP, Professor of Pharmacy Practice & Administration and Psychiatry
Dr. Sommi is Professor of Pharmacy Practice in the UMKC School of Pharmacy and Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the UMKC School of Medicine. He is Research Director for the Psychopharmacy Research and Education Program in the Department of Pharmacy at the Center for Behavioral Medicine (CBM). His area of research interest is primarily in outcomes associated with drug treatment of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. His practice is primarily associated with the subjects in ongoing projects in the research program, and patients on the long-term care units at CBM. He is also a consultant with several community mental health centers. He is also involved with the local Kansas City NAMI as an instructor in the Crisis Intervention Team training program for local law enforcement agencies.
Jianping Wang, Ph.D., MD, Assistant Professor
Signal transduction of cytokines in the CNS evaluated from an integrated neurobehavioral, pharmacological, neurochemical, molecular, genomic and proteomic approach.
Celestin Youan, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Youan's laboratory research interest is focused on the theoretical and experimental development and evaluation of bioactive agents loaded nanomedicine plateforms intended for spatial and temporal controlled release of drug for optimal delivery and targeting to various tissues such as brain, pulmonary, topical routes in the search of better strategy to treat or prevent diseases of high priority in public health.
For example, in the first area of novel topical drug delivery system, the work in progress (funded by NIH/NIAID) relates to microbicide loaded biocompatible nanomedicine intended for HIV/AIDS prevention. The second major research area of interest (funded by NIH/NIGMS) is the noninvasive delivery of bioactive macromolecules such as low molecular weight heparin based on the bioengineering of biocompatible microparticles with desirable aerodynamic/general features for controlled release into the alveolar region of the lung. Poor aerosol formulations and delivery systems are the two limitations to improving drug bioavailability through the pulmonary route. Improved particle engineering and various other approaches are being investigated to improve pulmonary bioavailability of bioactive macromolecules. Finally, novel delivery systems and emerging pharmaceutical technologies (e.g. nano/micro-engineering) are also investigated for controlled drug delivery into the brain with potential application to pharmacoresistant epilepsy patients (funded by New Therapy Grant of Epilepsy Research Foundation of America).
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