Janice Pluth

I am a radiation biologist with training in cytogenetics and a strong background in DNA repair. Primary questions my research has focused on are 1) how cellular changes induced by radiation perturb a cell and its microenvironment to potentiate cancer risk. 2) How does radiation exposure during critical windows of development impact organ growth and the role of the immune system in these changes.

As an independent researcher since 2004 I have successfully managed five-prior NASA funded projects, as well as three successive DOE projects. I was a project leader for a NASA’s virtual systems biology team on DNA damage and oxidative stress for 5 years. These frequent research discussions aided in my staying current in the latest findings in the space radiation field.

Rebecca Lee

Rebecca Lee, MD is a current Associate Program Director of the UNLV OB/GYN Residency program and an Assistant Professor of Gynecologic Surgery & Obstetrics. Her research interests lie in graduate medical education, maternal and fetal health, with specific interests in maternal obesity and infectious diseases. She has been published in multiple peer review journals and presented at multiple national conferences, including the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology Annual Clinical & Scientific Meeting.

Moni Ahmadian

I am specialized in the fields of oral and maxillofacial pathology and oral medicine. My research interests includes mucous membrane diseases, oral manifestations of systemic and immue-mediated diseases, salivary gland neoplasms, and odontogenic tumors.

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.

Amanda Morgan

Amanda Morgan, Ph.D, MPH joined the UNLV School of Public Health in 2011. She has been teaching full time since then, instructing students in environmental justice, sexuality and sexuality health, and introduction to public health courses. As part of the Social and Behavioral Department at the UNLV School of Public Health, Dr. Morgan is passionate about empowering people to make risk-aware health choices and help prevent the health disparities that we see today across some many Southern Nevada communities. Amanda is a UNLV alumni, receiving her B.S, MPH, and Ph.D all from UNLV.

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.

Jennifer Rennels

Jennifer Rennels’ research focuses on face perception/processing and development of appearance-based biases (e.g., positive and negative evaluations based on masculinity/femininity, attractiveness, sex, and race). She examines the cues individuals attend to when perceiving faces, how facial appearance impacts judgments about an individual, and how individual differences and situational factors influence perception and processing. In related work, she investigates the origins of biases, why biases are maintained, and the consequences of biases. Her research primarily involves working with infants so as to understand rudiments of face processing abilities and biases, but she also includes older children and adults in her research to study developmental trajectories and developmental differences in face perception and processing.

Brian Schilling

Professor Brian K. Schilling joined the Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences department in 2016, and teaches courses in research methods, scientific writing & communication, and military/first responder human performance.

He directs the Physically Demanding Professions Research Laboratory, which focuses on the physical demands among military, law enforcement, fire, and rescue personnel, and also how to best train to meet these demands. He has an extensive publication record, with over 150 papers and grant proposals in the field of human performance. Dr. Schilling also focuses on Exercise Physiology as a STEM discipline, to maximize workforce development in human performance. He frequently gives guest lectures that focus on evidence-led practice in human performance, specifically for both scientists and practitioners.

Schilling earned his master’s in exercise science from Appalachian State University in 1999, and his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Memphis in 2004. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

Carl Haster

I am an Assistant Professor of Astrophysics in the Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Nevada Center for Astrophysics at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Before this, I was a Postdoctoral Associate at the LIGO Laboratory and the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at MIT, a CITA Postdoctoral Fellow at Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics a PhD student at University of Birmingham and a MPhys student at University of Manchester.

My main research interests are all the exciting things we can learn about the extremes of our Universe through observations of Gravitational Waves (for example using the current LIGO, or future Cosmic Explorer, instruments). I am particularly interested in finding satisfactory robust connections between the observed population of compact objects, mainly black holes and neutron stars, and the astrophysical processes through which these objects are formed and evolve. I am also interested in exploring matter at its extremes, like what can be found in coalescing neutron star binaries, how this can be observed using as many astrophysical messengers as possible and help us find the best model for the Neutron Star Equation of State. Finally, I enjoy working on the inference methods used to analyse these gravitational wave signals, in order to improve their speed, fidelity and robustness. This will in turn be crucial for using these observations for precision tests of General Relativity as our preferred theory of gravitation, as otherwise it’s easy to confuse a claimed beyondGR detection caused by a not-accurate-enough analysis.

Dean Smith

As a career diamond anvil cell enthusiast, my research primarily concerns the pursuit of the new structures of materials and chemical compounds emergent under extreme pressures, as well as new methods to measure properties of samples exposed to extreme pressures and temperatures. I began my research in the UK, studying for a Ph.D. with Dr. John Proctor at the University of Salford, and moved to the US as a postdoctoral scholar at UNLV. From there, I spent two years working at HPCAT (Sector 16 of the Advanced Photon Source) – a group of synchrotron beamlines dedicated to the advancement of high-pressure experiments.

Much of my career has been spent developing and refining optical instruments for diamond anvil cell experiments, particularly instruments which interface with synchrotron beamlines. As a postdoc at UNLV, I helped to design and construct a mid-infrared laser heating instrument for experiments at the HPCAT diffraction beamline, facilitating laser-heated DAC experiments on materials spanning semiconductors, ceramics, covalent crystals, and minerals. However, I am a passionate proponent of in-house experiments, and hope to ensure that NEXCL laboratories generate data with the same pace and quality as the large-scale user facilities.