Eric Crosbie

Dr. Eric Crosbie is a political scientist who examines commercial determinants of health and public health policy. His research focuses on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and examines how commercial industries (tobacco, food and beverage, alcohol, pharmaceutical and fossil fuel) are a key driver of the NCD epidemic and how they influence public health regulations.

Dr. Crosbie’s research is local in analyzing smoke-free environments and sugar-sweetened beverage taxation regulations in the U.S. as well as global in examining tobacco and nutrition packaging and labeling policies and the impact of trade on health. Dr. Crosbie has both local and international experience collaborating with health organizations and health advocates to educate and disseminate academic research findings to policymakers, including publishing research in Spanish to reach wider audiences. Dr. Crosbie also works with undergraduate and graduate students to publish and present research. Overall his research is multi-disciplinary combining elements of public health, political science, international relations, economics, law, and business to examine public health policy both locally and globally.

Dennis Mathew

Focus. Understanding how a nervous system produces behavior is one of the great challenges of neuroscience. A significant part of this challenge is to study the various complexities that affect information flow through a neural circuit. One level of complexity relates to how neuromodulators convey information about an animal’s internal state (e.g., hunger) to affect information flow through a neural circuit to shape behavior. Understanding the basic principles of this complexity is the focus of research in the Mathew Lab.

Goal. The goal of the research in the Mathew lab is to define elements of the cellular and molecular logic by which hunger states affect information flow in the Drosophila larval olfactory circuit to shape the larva’s behavior.

Significance. This research is of great importance to humans as a subject of both basic and translational science. From a basic science point of view, clarifying the mechanisms by which an animal’s hunger shapes its behavior is vital if we are to understand how flexibility and adaptability are built into a neural circuit. Ultimately, understanding such mechanisms is fundamental for decoding how neural circuits support animal cognition and behavior. From a translational science point of view, since this research examines how the modulation of an insect’s olfactory circuit affects its navigational decisions, it could inspire new strategies to help manage insect vectors of disease. This is significant because many insect pests that transmit diseases to millions of people each year navigate toward their human hosts by primarily relying on their olfactory senses.

Daniel Young

My research aims to combat the immobility harm experienced by patients in the hospital by better understanding the access to, outcomes, and costs associated with inpatient rehabilitation efforts.

Jeffrey Ebersole

Dr. Ebersole received a BA in Biology from Temple University and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh. He then did a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Immunology at The Forsyth Institute and remained on the faculty at Forsyth and Harvard School of Dental Medicine until 1985. From 1985-2000 he was a Professor in the Department of Periodontics and Microbiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. From 2000-2017 he was the Alvin L. Morris Professor of Oral Health Research, Director of the Center for Oral Health Research and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Dentistry at the Univeristy of Kentucky. Since 2017 he has been a Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine. In 1983 he received the IADR award for Basic Oral Science Research and in 2000 the IADR award for Basic Research in Periodontal Disease. He served as the President of the American Association for Dental Research in 2011-2012. He directed a major COBRE grant from the NIH supporting the Center for the Biologic Basis of Oral/Systemic Diseases at the Univeristy of Kentucky. His CV contains over 300 publications, reviews and book chapters in the microbiology and immunology of oral diseases.
Dr. Ebersole’s laboratory focuses its research efforts on the immunobiology of oral infections. The research emphasizes in vitro, and in vivo studies of host-pathogen interactions using animal and human models of oral disease(s). The COBRE center supported research projects extending over a range of oral-systemic disease studies, including HIV, pregnancy, gestational diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as genetic and environmental challenges that increase the risk of these diseases. The lab was also a part of a major NIDCR effort to identify and validate the potential for point-of-care salivary biomarkers as diagnostic tools for oral and systemic diseases. Research in this area with engineers at Rice University/University of Texas/NYU focused on salivary biomarkers of oral and systemic diseases.

Maryam Sarmazdeh

Maryam Raeeszadeh-Sarmazdeh joined the University of Nevada, Reno in July 2019 as an assistant professor. Her research group is focused on biomolecular engineering and synthetic biology to develop novel biotechnology tools and products to solve major issues in human health, sustainability and environment. Dr. Sarmazdeh was a senior research fellow in the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic, Florida, during which her work was focused on engineering novel protein-based therapeutics based on natural enzyme inhibitors. Prior to her appointment at Mayo Clinic, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Delaware where her research was focused on enzyme and metabolic pathway engineering. Dr. Sarmazdeh earned her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. There, her research was focused on generating site-specific protein immobilization on the surface and protein engineering using yeast surface display and directed evolution.

Nicholas Borotto

My research program strives to improve mass spectrometric-based detection and analysis of biomolecules. In particular, we pair mass spectrometry with chemical derivatization, photon irradiation, ion mobility, and radical chemistry to elucidate the three-dimensional structure of proteins, better characterize the acidic and hydrophobic proteome, detect and localize post-translational modifications. Centered at the interface of chemistry and biology, my research program provides students with the opportunity to tackle both biochemically-focused projects and biophysical questions at the core of the techniques themselves. Currently, my group is recruiting students for three projects:

1) Equipping a carbon monoxide laser to a mass spectrometer, characterizing the behavior of irradiated biomolecules, and applying infrared multiphoton dissociation (IRMPD) to instruments and at pressure regimes traditionally precluded from this technique.

2) Probing protein three-dimensional structure with photocaged small molecule reagents both in vitro and in vivo and demonstrating the utility of the temporal and spatial control that is provided by these probes.

3) Applying the tandem mass spectrometry technique free-radical initiated peptide sequencing (FRIPS) to complex mixtures of anions.

David AuCoin

As a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher, I spent eight years studying herpes viral replication and egress. Since then, I have devoted the last 17 years developing antibody-based diagnostics and therapeutics for infectious diseases. Specifically, one of my areas of focus is targeting secreted microbial antigens for diagnosis. Secreted antigens make ideal targets for direct detection and diagnosis of acute microbial infections. My laboratory has developed novel strategies that have allowed for the identification of secreted/shed antigens or “biomarkers”. Following identification of candidate biomarkers, large panels of high affinity monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are generated and selection of optimal pairs for capture and detection is performed. The panels of mAbs are fully evaluated by determining subclass/subtype, affinity, and binding characteristics. Some of the current projects in my laboratory include development prototype diagnostics for melioidosis, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, Rift Valley fever, tularemia, viral hepatitis, and Ebola virus disease. Each of these projects involves identification of biomarkers secreted or expressed by each microbe and development of mAb libraries targeting each biomarker. Total funding to my laboratory over the previous 10 years has totaled roughly $12M, mainly from the National Institute of Health and the Department of Defense. Throughout the course of my research career, I have had the privilege to advice 56 trainees, ranging from undergraduates though post-doctoral fellows.

Cindy Lancaster

Cynthia Lancaster is an associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research focuses on traumatic stress and anxiety-related disorders. Three areas of specific focus include:
1) identifying factors that increase and decrease risk for PTSD,
2) identifying mechanisms and augmentation strategies for exposure-based therapies for PTSD and other anxiety disorders, and
3) identifying the impact of social factors in the development and treatment of anxiety and stress-related disorders.

She completed her undergraduate degree at Trinity University, served as a research assistant at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (STRONG STAR Consortium), completed her doctoral degree at the University of Texas as Austin in 2017, and completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship at the Charleston Consortium.

Jennifer Kawi

My program of research focuses on chronic pain, opioids, and biobehavioral factors affecting pain including self-management, self-management support, pain care disparities, and biomarkers. I recently completed an R56 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research entitled “Pilot Testing A Theory-Driven Self-Management Intervention for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain” in interdisciplinary collaboration with Johns Hopkins and UTHealth Houston. She has published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at regional, national, and international conferences. She received several awards for her nursing contributions.

Barrett Welch

My research focuses on understanding how chemical exposures from our environment can influence the immune system, particularly during pregnancy. I gained interest in this field through experiences working with a cohort in Bangladesh, in which my research showed that heavy metal exposure during pregnancy may impair children’s ability to mount effective vaccine responses. My current research assesses how maternal inflammation may mediate the influence of exposure to chemicals found in everyday consumer products. The goal of my ongoing work is to use innovative technologies and biostatistics to provide evidence about the maternal immune system responds to such chemical exposures, as well as how immunity influences pregnancy outcomes.