Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

Faculty in the Institute for Translational Neuroscience

The Institute for Translational Neuroscience brings together researchers and clinicians throughout Saint Louis University who share a common interest in the neurosciences.

Members

Syed Omar Ahmad
Syed Ahmad

Syed Omar Ahmad

Occupational Therapy
Doisy College of Health Sciences
syed.ahmad@health.slu.edu

Dr. Syed Omar Ahmad is a currently practicing and licensed occupational therapist and neuroscientist (Bachelor of Science in OT, Washington University 1995, License #2016005750 Missouri; Doctor of Occupational Therapy Creighton 2000; Ph.D. Neuroanatomy with an Emphasis on Neuropharmacology, Warnborough 2002). He is a tenured full professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at Saint Louis University that has worked on pharmacotherapeutic and physiological interventions, and evaluates their effectiveness based upon neurophysiological brain changes a stereologer that has been practicing in the field of morphometry since 1998. He currently researches models linked to oxidative stress, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cerebrovascular accident, developmental disabilities, alcoholism, and psychological stress. He has authored and co-authored more than 80 peer reviewed scientific papers and abstracts and has received numerous private and federal grants. He has been employed in academia as an associate professor, associate dean for research and graduate studies, and is the principle investigator in the Virginia Gore Neuro-Occupation Laboratory, LLC.


Michael Ariel
Michael Ariel

Michael Ariel

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
michael.ariel@health.slu.edu

Dr. Michael Ariel investigates how the brain normally processes sensory inputs. A microelectrode tip is positioned within an animal’s brain stem that is maintained in vitro while still connected to the eyes and temporal bones. The neuronal activity amplified at that tip is recorded in response to either visual stimulation of the eye, vibration of the ear drum or rotation of the head. One goal of this research is to understand how these sensory inputs control eye movements that lead to the perception of a stable visual world as we move our head or body through our environment. The experiments are performed on neural tissues from pond turtles because of the unique ability of those isolated brain tissues to remain responsive to natural sensory stimuli while lacking blood flow to provide oxygen. Another goal of Dr. Ariel’s research is to determine if these sensory signals can activate the brain stem even during a total lack of oxygen (anoxia). In the normal environment of these turtles in North America, they remain submerged each winter under the frozen surface of fresh water ponds. Dr. Ariel’s experiments hope to reveal which of the sensory systems still function during these winter months in the icy winter waters. Understanding the mechanism of brain survival during anoxia may be important for the treatment of stroke in which oxygenated blood flow is blocked in the human brain.


Chris Arnatt
Chris Arnatt Picture

Chris Arnatt

Chemistry
Secondary Appointment - Pharmacology and Physiology
chris.arnatt@slu.edu

Research Interests: The core theme of Dr. Arnatt's research revolves around using organic chemistry to decipher cellular processes and disease states. He has illustrated that by using bioorganic techniques, modern synthetic organic chemistry can be applied to make small molecules that are targeted towards any specific process or protein, which can significantly impact their study. Specifically, he is developing novel small molecule chemical probes and fluorescent probes to help study biological systems. His research for the next five years will focus on nuclear proteins and DNA modifications as they pertain to cancer and stem cell biology.


Yuna Ayala

YA
Yuna Ayala

Biochemistry
School of Medicine
yuna.ayala@health.slu.edu

Yuna Ayala, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Vice Chair of the Edward Doisy Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The Ayala group seeks to understand how defects in RNA binding proteins and RNA processing lead to human disease. In particular, we aim to characterize the role of RNA-associated proteins in neurodegeneration by focusing on TDP-43. The dysfunction and aggregation of this RNA binding protein characterizes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). TDP-43 pathology is also present in >50% of Alzheimer’s disease cases and in other neurodegenerative disorders. The methods we use to investigate TDP-43 function and aggregation include cellular models, structural and biochemical characterization of the recombinant protein, analysis of patient samples and animal models of TDP-43 proteinopathies.

Alaina Baker-Nigh
Alaina Baker-Nigh

Alaina Baker-Nigh


Biology, Program in Neuroscience
College of Arts and Science
alaina.bakernigh@slu.edu

Alaina Baker-Nigh is a neuroscientist with a research background in neurodegenerative disease, particularly Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Her work in the area has included quantitation of Apolipoprotein E isoforms in human subjects by Mass Spectrometry (in the context of AD and normal aging), exploring the role of calbindin and calcium buffering in the selective vulnerability of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in AD, and studies of amyloid isoform production using a chicken embryo model. Dr. Baker-Nigh is a teaching faculty member in the Biology Department and undergraduate Program in Neuroscience. She does not maintain a laboratory research program at this time, but is available to advise students on how to find a lab to work in.


Marla Berg-Weger
Marla Berg-Weger

Marla Berg-Weger

Professor Emeritus of Social Work; Social Work
College for Public Health and Social Justice
marla.bergweger@slu.edu

Research Interests: non-pharmacologic interventions for older adults, particularly those with cognitive impairment; loneliness and social isolation among older adults; family caregiving; geriatric workforce. Berg-Weger is co-project director of the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program with John Morley of Saint Louis University's School of Medicine Geriatrics Division. It is a three-year project to provide geriatric education to students and community practitioners.


Jeffrey Bishop

JB
Jeffrey Bishop

Center for Health Care Ethics
jeffrey.bishop@slu.edu

Bioethics, philosophy of medicine; history of philosophy; medicine and spirituality.

Tony Buchanan
Tony Buchanan

Tony Buchanan


Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
tony.buchanan@slu.edu

Dr. Tony W. Buchanan investigates how psychological stress affects memory, language, and decision making. His team uses neuroendocrine (cortisol) and autonomic nervous system (heart rate variability, skin conductance) methodology to examine how stress affects cognition.


Andrew Butler
andrew butler

Andrew Butler

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
andrew.butler@health.slu.edu

Research Interests: My research interests are in the general area of the integrative physiology of obesity and diabetes. I have published original research articles on the role of melanocortin receptors expressed in the nervous system. The "central nervous melanocortin system" is the canonical neural circuit that integrates signals of energy balance secreted from adipose tissues, the GI tract and pancreas to govern appetite and metabolism. My research has contributed to our knowledge of two melanocortin receptors expressed in the nervous system, one of which (MC4R) is a target for developing drugs against obesity., My current research focuses on a novel "micropeptide" involved in the control of liver metabolism and healthy aging of the nervous system. Proteogenomics has identified over a thousand small open reading frames (sORF) encoding proteins less than 100 amino acids in size. We identified a micropeptide named adropin. Our research focuses on the role of the micropeptide in regulating glucose and fatty acid metabolism in the liver and skeletal muscle. We are also investigating whether this micropeptide is a potential lead for developing treatments for cognitive impairment associated with aging and metabolic disease.

Anutosh Chakraborty
Anutosh Chakraborty

Anutosh Chakraborty

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
anutosh.chakraborty@health.slu.edu

Research Interests: The prevalence of obesity has increased globally and in the US. Obesity and type-2 diabetes also greatly increase the risk of various other diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH), osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, neurodegeneration, and cancer. Pathways that reduce body fat and insulin resistance are being targeted to treat these diseases. The long-term goal of my lab is to define the mechanisms of these processes for rational drug development. A related goal is to identify and validate novel targets in these diseases. We discovered the inositol pyrophosphate biosynthetic enzyme IP6K1 as a novel target in obesity and type-2 diabetes. Thus, pharmacologic inhibition of IP6K1 should improve human health by boosting metabolism. The ongoing research is to determine cell- and tissue-specific mechanisms by which IP6K1 causes metabolic diseases and to develop IP6K1 inhibitors to treat these diseases. Moreover, we identified several other novel proteins that regulate obesity and insulin resistance, which are currently being characterized in detail.

Pratap Chand
Pratap Chand

Pratap Chand

Neurology
School of Medicine
pratap.chand@health.slu.edu

Dr. Pratap Chand has been an academic neurologist for more than 35 years and has been at SLU since 2008. He specializes in movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and other disorders of movement. He also specializes in deep brain stimulation brain microelectrode recording during brain surgery and programming these implanted devices for Parkinson’s disease, tremor, dystonia and OCD, as well as botulinum toxin injection for movement disorders. He also is active in clinical research in each of those areas and in clinical trials of newer medicines for movement disorders and has researched a rat model of Parkinson’s with Dr. Anch. He is interested in developing cell cultures of dopaminergic neurons.

Liz Chiarello

LC

Liz Chiarello

Sociology and Anthropology
liz.chiarello@slu.edu

Chiarello's research examines stability and change in professional fields by bridging rarely integrated subfields—sociological theories of organizations and medicine and socio-legal theories of criminality and frontline work. Primarily using qualitative, ethnographic methods, she concentrates on pharmacy, a highly understudied profession caught in the crossfires of contemporary political conflict. She focuses on two particularly controversial types of drugs: emergency contraceptive pills and narcotics. Though these drugs serve very different physical functions, they are subject to overlapping social contexts and similar mechanisms of resistance by political groups.

Yi-Fang Chiu

YFC

Yi-Fang Chiu

Communication Science and Disorders
yifang.chiu@health.slu.edu

Dr. Yi-Fang Chiu’s background is in speech-language pathology and specializes in motor speech disorders, speech science, and neuroscience. Her research focuses on speech impairments due to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and seeks to identify early decline in speech production to advocate timely intervention and prolong verbal communication abilities in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Chiu's lab uses acoustic methods and auditory perceptual procedures to assess speech deficits and investigate factors that enhance successful communication.

Patrick Corrigan
Patrick Corrigan

Patrick Corrigan

Physical Therapy and Athletic Training
patrick.corrigan@health.slu.edu

Dr. Corrigan is a licensed physical therapist with Ph.D. and postdoctoral training in clinical biomechanics. His research program aims to improve outcomes for individuals with orthopedic injuries by: 1) developing novel treatment strategies and 2) identifying biomechanical, structural, and neurophysiological mechanisms that explain pain and other outcomes. To answer research questions, Dr. Corrigan’s research team uses principles and technologies from various fields, including physical therapy, biomechanics, orthopedics, radiology, neuroscience, and epidemiology.  Dr Corrigan’s current projects are focused on understanding the progression from unilateral to bilateral disease in persons with knee osteoarthritis. Although early in his career, Dr. Corrigan has secured funding from NIH as well as several foundations, published numerous manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, and presented at his work at national and international conferences.


Daniel Daly

Daniel Daly

Center for Anatomical Science and Education
School of Medicine
daniel.daly@health.slu.edu

Ian de Vera
Ian de Vera

Ian de Vera

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
ian.devera@health.slu.edu

Research Interests: Our lab focuses on drug discovery targeting orphan nuclear receptors. Using a combination of high-throughput biophysical screening, LC-MS, NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography, our goal is to find new drugs for various pathological conditions, such as cancer and neurological disorders. Our lab specializes in a diverse arsenal of biophysical techniques to determine the affinity, thermodynamics and kinetics of nuclear receptor-ligand interactions, which will guide the design of drug analogues. These techniques include multidimensional protein NMR, isothermal titration calorimetry, surface plasmon resonance, time-resolved FRET, fluorescence polarization, differential scanning fluorimetry and cell-based techniques. Using a metabolomics approach, we identify possible endogenous ligands that bind orphan nuclear receptors, and subsequently map their binding site and characterize the dynamics of the interaction using structural elucidation techniques, such as X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. We also perform in silico molecular docking of ligand libraries to determine which drug-like molecular scaffolds fit into the pocket, which could corroborate the positive hits identified in the high-throughput biophysical screening.

Timothy Doyle
tim doyle

Timothy Doyle

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
timothy.doyle@health.slu.edu Research Interests: We study the pathophysiological and signaling mechanisms (e.g. glutamatergic signaling, neuroinflammation and nitro-oxidative stress) common to the development of cognitive impairment, chronic pain of various etiologies and opioid-induced tolerance and hyperalgesia (OIH) to identify and develop potential novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of these largely unmet medical needs. We use a number of molecular, biochemical, proteomic and cellular methods to identify transcriptional and signaling changes within peripheral and central nervous tissues and cell culture models.

Terrance Egan
Terrance Egan

Terrance Egan

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
terrance.egan@health.slu.edu

Research Interests: We study the physiology and pharmacology of primary human microglia and macrophages maintained in culture and tissue slices. We are particularly interested in the ability of purines to initiate and/or modulate the innate immune response in these cells with particular emphasis on the role of ATP and P2X7 receptor ion channels. We use a range of techniques including voltage-clamp electrophysiology (to study transmembrane currents), patch-clamp photometry (to quantify changes in intracellular calcium), immunocytochemistry, and methods of molecular biology.
Susan Farr
Susan Farr

Susan Farr

Internal Medicine - Geriatrics
Secondary Appointment - Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
susan.farr@health.slu.edu

Dr. Susan Farr has a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience. Her laboratory studies age-related dementia with a heavy focus on Alzheimer’s disease and risk factors for Alzheimer’s such as traumatic brain injury and diabetes. The lab's work includes testing novel compounds developed to alter biochemical changes in the brain pathways involved in learning and memory that change with aging and disease such as beta amyloid, tau, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. The lab also tests the effects of novel treatments on learning and memory followed by examination of biochemical and genetic alterations.


Liberty Francois-Moutal
Liberty Francois-Moutal

Liberty Francois-Moutal

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
liberty.francoismoutal@health.slu.edu

Research Interests: Characterizing and targeting protein/protein and protein/RNA interactions relevant to synaptic RNA transport.


Yan Gai

YG

Yan Gai

Biomedical Engineering
yan.gai@slu.edu

Gai and her neuroengineering lab have been dedicated to the cutting-edge technology of improving life quality of paralyzed or hearing-impaired patients. Her recent projects include brain-controlled wheelchairs, next-generation smart hearing aids, and infrared cochlear implants.

Koyal Garg

KG
Koyal Garg

Biomedical Engineering
Secondary Appointment - Pharmacology and Physiology
koyal.garg@slu.edu

Research Interests:  Cell and tissue engineering, extracellular matrix based biomaterials, stem cells, immune response, skeletal muscle and neuromuscular junctions. Aged or severely injured skeletal muscle is associated with reduced regenerative capacity and force production. Contributing factors include loss of functional contractile tissue and neuromuscular junctions, heightened inflammation, excessive collagen deposition and dysfunctional stem cells. The primary motive of Garg’s research is to develop biomaterial and stem cell based therapies for improving the regenerative and functional capacity of skeletal muscle following injury, disease or aging.

Sean Goretzke
SG

Sean Goretzke

Neurology
sean.goretzke@health.slu.edu

Dr. Sean Goretzke treats pediatric patients for neurological conditions, specializing in cerebral palsy and concussions. He provides both inpatient and outpatient neurology care. He is interested in research that investigates concussion. Dr. Goretzke is an assistant professor of Child Neurology in the Department of Neurology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society.

George Grossberg
George Grossberg

George Grossberg

Psychiatry
School of Medicine
george.Grossberg@health.slu.edu

George T. Grossberg is the Samuel W. Fordyce Professor and Director of Geriatric Psychiatry at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He completed his medical degree at the St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri. His postdoctoral training included an internship at St. John's Mercy Medical Center and a residency in the St. Louis University Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Grossberg and his work have been featured in numerous national publications, including People magazine, Good Housekeeping, USA Today and the New York Times. He has appeared on talk radio and many television programs including 48 Hours, CNN, Lifetime. A Diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Grossberg holds membership in several professional societies. Additionally, he started the first geriatric psychiatry program in Missouri, as well as the first Alzheimer’s Disease Community Brain Bank. He is a former president of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and Past President of the International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA). He has been a leader in developing mental health programs and in treatment and research in geriatrics. Among his many awards, Dr. Grossberg received the Missouri Adult Day Care Association Outstanding Physician Award for supporting programs that allow seniors to live independently or at home with their families and the Fleishman-Hilliard Award for career contributions to geriatrics. He appears regularly on listings of top doctors, including America’s Top Psychiatrists (2008–2019), America’s Top Doctors (2006–2019), Expertscape World Expert in Cholinesterase Inhibitors. (2019) Marquis Who’s Who in the World, Best Doctors in America, and Best Doctors in St. Louis since their inception. Dr. Grossberg has edited or written 15 books and published over 500+ articles, chapters, and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. In 2007 he published The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medications and Supplements Together and in 2017, Psychiatric Consultation In Long-Term Care. Other recent texts include: New Horizons in Geriatric Medicine and Delirium-An International Textbook. He currently serves as medical editor of CNS Senior Care and Section Editor for Geriatric Psychiatry for Current Geriatric Reports and Current Psychiatry. He is on the editorial boards of Demencia Hoy, International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s and the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. He is a consultant in the development of protocols for central nervous system disorders in older patients, and is involved in a variety of basic as well as clinical research projects in the area of dementing disorders, with a focus on behavioral disturbances in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Daniel Hawiger
DH

Daniel Hawiger

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
School of Medicine
daniel.hawiger@health.slu.edu

Research Interests: Conventional dendritic cells (cDC) have crucial roles in priming effector T cells but cDC also have critical tolerogenic functions in the peripheral immune system, extending the maintenance of immune homeostasis and blocking autoimmune responses. However, broad tolerogenic functions of cDC including induction of peripheral regulatory T cells (pTreg cells) could hamper protective immune responses against some pathogens and tumors, whereas an inadvertent activation of autoregressive T cells in the presence of pro-inflammatory stimuli could lead to autoimmunity. Therefore, the maintenance of immune homeostasis by cDC requires specific mechanisms that actively adjust T cell functions to promote tolerance while preserving an overall high plasticity of the immune responses. To clarify the mechanisms by which cDC govern the outcomes of immune activation in the context of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and other immune responses, studies in my laboratory are focused on the roles of specialized subsets of cDC and their specific functions in tolerance and immunity as well as the relevant molecular mechanisms induced by such cDC in T cells. Our work has elucidated the functions of specific immunomodulatory pathways, cell signaling regulators and transcription factors that establish specific outcomes of the interactions between T cells and cDC.

Jafar Kafaie
Jafar Kafaie

Jafar Kafaie

Neurology
jafar.kafaie@health.slu.edu

Dr. Kafaie is an associate professor in the Department of Neurology. He treats patients with neuromuscular diseases, including motor neuron disease, muscle diseases, neuromuscular junction disorders, and different forms of peripheral neuropathies. He has appointments with both SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children Hospital and takes care of patients both in pediatric and adult clinics. He does electrodiagnostic tests (nerve conduction study and electromyography) on both sites. He is the director of HNF- Designated CMT Center of Excellence in Saint Louis University. He is side director for multiple clinical trials including a large international study on CMT1A. Dr. Kafaie is also director of the adult neurology residency program and is extensively involved in the teaching of residents. Dr. Kafaie was born and raised in Tabriz, Iran. He attended Tehran Medical University and obtained his Ph.D. in molecular biology from McGill University before doing his residency, followed by a fellowship in neuromuscular medicine at Washington University in Saint Louis, MO. His main research interests are neuromuscular junction disorders (Myasthenia Gravis), motor neuron disease, and neuropathies, including painful neuropathies.


Brenda Kirchhoff
Brenda Kirchhoff

Brenda Kirchhoff

Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
brenda.kirchhoff@health.slu.edu

Kirchhoff’s research interests include memory formation, self-initiated learning strategies, the effects of aging on cognition and the brain, the effects of Type 1 diabetes on cognition and the brain, cognitive rehabilitation, and the application of cognitive neuroscience research to education.  These research areas are investigated using structural and functional neuroimaging techniques, neuropsychological tests, and cognitive assessments developed from cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience research.


Mark Knuepfer
Mark K picture

Mark Knuepfer

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
mark.knuepfer@health.slu.edu

Research Interests: Autonomic neuroscience, cardiovascular regulation, renal denervation as a treatment for hypertension, stress responsiveness, responses to psychostimulants, sensory neuroscience, pain modulation.
Sergey Korolev

SK

Sergey Korolev

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
School of Medicine
sergrey.korolev@health.slu.edu

Our lab studies the mechanism of protein function at the atomic resolution level utilizing X-ray crystallography and biochemical approaches. The main focus is recombination mediator proteins (RMPs), which are essential for genome stability and DNA repair in all organisms.

Jason Longhurst
Jason

Jason Longhurst

Physical Therapy and Athletic Training
Doisy College of Health Sciences
jason.longhurst@health.slu.edu

Dr. Longhurst is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at Saint Louis University. He received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Brigham Young University. He continued his education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he obtained his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and subsequently a Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences with a rehabilitation science emphasis. He is a board-certified clinical specialist in neurologic physical therapy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Dr. Longhurst practiced clinically for 8 years as an outpatient neurologic physical therapist, during which time he developed a clinical rehabilitation research program in neurodegenerative disease. Dr. Longhurst’s research interests include the integration of motor and cognitive control in neurodegenerative disease. He is particularly interested in cognitive and motor changes related to early Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. He is currently conducting research integrating complex motor and cognitive control to identify early markers of Parkinson’s disease, develop secondary preventive (neuro-adaptive) strategies, and explore novel interventions to improved lived experience of those with neurodegenerative disease. Dr. Longhurst’s work has been published in high-ranking journals in the fields of clinical neurology, neuroscience, and rehabilitation, and he regularly presents his work at both national and international conferences.


Katherine Luking
kl

Katherine Luking

Assistant Professor 
Department of Psychology 
Katherine.luking@health.slu.edu 
https://sites.google.com/view/lukinglab/home

Dr. Katherine Luking’s work focuses on understanding relationships between neurodevelopment and the emergence of psychopathology in middle childhood and early adolescence. Using a variety of methods (EEG, fMRI, behavior, hormones) she asks how core affective and cognitive processes, including emotion reactivity/regulation, response to social feedback, and reward processing, change in early puberty and mechanistically contribute to the emergence of depression and borderline personality disorder. 


Heather MacArthur
Heather Picture

Heather Macarthur

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
heather.macarthur@health.slu.edu

Research Interests: Vascular control and dysfunction in hypertension and other disease states. Role of oxidative stress in disease states. Neurodegeneration. Teaching Interests: Autonomic physiology and pharmacology, vascular physiology and pharmacology, neurotransmission, neurodegeneration, neuropharmacology, general principles of physiology and pharmacology.

John Martin
John Martin

John Martin

Surgery
Center for Anatomical Science and Education
School of Medicine
john.martin@health.slu.edu

John Martin is a professor and director of the Center for Anatomical Science and Education (CASE), Department of Surgery at SLU School of Medicine. He received a M.S. in Anatomy and Ph.D. in Anatomy from the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at SLU in 1996 and 2001, respectively. He has been a full time faculty member at SLU School of Medicine since 2001. In addition to teaching in the anatomical sciences, primarily in neuroscience and embryology courses, he has mentored many graduate students, covering a wide arrange of research topics including anatomical studies of the reptilian oculomotor and vestibular systems, development of orofacial clefts in mice, and anatomic and genetic analysis of various congenital anomalies in human cadavers. As the director of CASE, he also oversees the anatomy graduate program, the University gift body donation program, the operations of the surgical skills lab Practical Anatomy and Surgical Education (PASE) and the financial operations of SLU School of Medicine Continuing Medical Education (CME) office. He has received awards for his teaching efforts and serves on numerous university committees. He is a member of the American Association of Anatomists, the American Association of Clinical Anatomists and Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Neurobiology Chairpersons and is an executive member of the Missouri State Anatomical Board and Saint Louis Anatomical Board.


Yuri Chaves Martins
Yuri martins

Yuri Martins

Anesthesiology
yuri.chavesmartins@health.slu.edu

Dr. Yuri Martins has an interest in outcomes research in acute perioperative pain and chronic pain. He started his career by studying innate immunity in murine models of cerebral malaria but transitioned to study pain after his anesthesiology residency and pain fellowship. The goal of his research is to discover new treatments and procedures to better treat pain. More specifically, He wants to improve acute and chronic pain experience and outcomes for patients by supporting comprehensive multimodal and opioid-sparing approaches. 


Philippe Mercier
Philippe Mercier

Philippe Mercier

Neurosurgery
Surgery
philippe.mercier@health.slu.edu

Dr. Philippe Mercier is currently the interim director of the Division of Neurosurgery at Saint Louis University and a practicing neurosurgeon. He completed his bachelor's degree at the University of Toronto followed by a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Saskatchewan with a thesis entitled “Regulation of Heat Shock Transcription Factor 1.” Following that, he completed M.D. at the University of Saskatchewan. In 2014, he completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Calgary achieving Board Certification with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. It was then he moved to the United States completing a one-year fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery with an emphasis on pediatric tumors and epilepsy at the University of Tennessee associated with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. His interests include pediatric and adult brain tumor biology and the brain’s immune response to tumors of the brain.


Erick Messias
Erick Messias

Erick Messias

Samuel W. Fordyce Professor & Chair
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
Secondary Appointment - Pharmacology and Physiology
erick.messias@health.slu.edu

Erick Messias was born and raised in Brazil, where he completed medical school and practiced family medicine in rural areas before moving to Baltimore for residency training. He then completed a psychiatry residency at the University of Maryland, in 2001, and preventive medicine training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in 2003. While at Hopkins he also received a master’s in public health and a Ph.D. in Psychiatric Epidemiology. Since graduation he has held academic positions at his alma mater in Brazil, and later in Georgia and Arkansas where he was medical director of the Walker Family Clinic and responsible for the House Staff Mental Health Service at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock. Dr. Messias served as VP and Medical Director for Beacon Health Options, overseeing the mental health care received by Arkansas Medicaid recipients. Dr. Messias has over 50 publications in scientific journals, has published several book chapters, and edited a volume on schizophrenia for psychiatrists and a textbook on Positive Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychotherapy, he’s the recipient of many research and teaching awards. Dr. Messias also served as the Associate Dean for Faculty Affair for the UAMS College of Medicine and Program Director for the Baptist-UAMS psychiatry residency program, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Messias is currently the Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.


Aubin Moutal
Aubin Moutal

Aubin Moutal

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
aubin.moutal@health.slu.edu

Research Interests: My lab focuses on studying rare autoimmune clinical conditions to discover novel proteins involved in the transition to chronic pain. To achieve this goal we use a variety of in vitro and in vivo approaches from biochemistry and CRISPR to electrophysiology and pain behavior. My goal is to better understand the synaptic dysregulations underlying the increased spinal neurotransmission in chronic pain conditions.


Razi Muzaffar

Razi Muzaffar
Razi Muzaffar

Radiology
razi.muzaffar@health.slu.edu

Dr. Razi Muzaffar specializes in nuclear medicine, a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat diseases. His areas of clinical interest include nuclear cardiology, radionuclide therapy, and PET/CT imaging. He is interested in research into the various radionuclides and imaging techniques for PET/CT, as well as therapy. Dr. Muzaffar is an associate professor in the Department of Radiology, Division of Nuclear Medicine, at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He serves as a councilor for the Missouri Valley chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

Henry Nasrallah
Nasrallah

Henry Nasrallah

Professor Emeritus, Saint Louis University
Vice Chair for Faculty Development and Mentorship
Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Neuroscience
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
henry.nasrallah@uc.edu

Dr. Henry Nasrallah is a widely recognized neuropsychiatrist, educator and researcher. Following his psychiatric residency at the University of Rochester, and neuroscience fellowship at the NIH, he served for 12 years as chair of psychiatry at The Ohio State University and six years at Saint Louis University, as well as associate dean at the University of Cincinnati for four years. He is currently vice chair for faculty development and mentorship, professor of psychiatry, neurology and neuroscience, medical director of the neuropsychiatry program and director of the schizophrenia program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Dr. Nasrallah’s research focuses on the neurobiology and psychopharmacology of schizophrenia and psychotic mood disorders. He has published 425 scientific articles, 550 abstracts, 150 editorials, and 12 books. He is editor-in-chief of three journals (Schizophrenia Research, Current Psychiatry, and Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatry) and is the co-founder of the Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS). He is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and served as president of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Foundation, president of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists, president of the Missouri Psychiatric Association and the executive vice president and scientific director of the CURESZ Foundation.. He has twice received the NAMI Exemplary Psychiatrist Award and was chosen as the U.S.A. Teacher of the Year by the Psychiatric Times. He has received the Golden Apple Teaching Award at four different universities. He has received over 95 research grants and is listed annually in the book “Best Doctors in America.”


Andy Nguyen
Andy Nguyen

Andy Nguyen

Internal Medicine - Geriatrics
Secondary Appointment - Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
andy.d.nguyen@health.slu.edu

Nguyen's lab studies progranulin – a protein linked to frontotemporal dementia (FTD) – and how its deficiency causes neurodegeneration. It is currently testing strategies (including antisense oligonucleotides) for increasing progranulin levels as potential therapies for progranulin-deficient FTD. It is also investigating progranulin’s structure and function using a variety of molecular and cellular approaches.


Andrew Oberle
Oberle

Andrew Oberle

Development Director
Medical Center Development
andrew.oberle@health.slu.edu

In June 2012, while conducting his anthropology thesis research in South Africa, Andrew Oberle was mauled by two adult male chimpanzees and nearly lost his life. He fought to survive in a Johannesburg hospital for two months, kept alive in an induced coma and on a ventilator. After that long fight, he flew home to St. Louis and received extensive care and intensive rehabilitation for his many injuries and amputations at Saint Louis University Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis. The incredible experience he had during his recovery has led to his new life purpose of helping others, serving as the director of development for the Oberle Institute, a holistic trauma program at Saint Louis University that aims to build a community that heals together and assists patients on their journey from surviving to thriving. Oberle shares his story of survival in hopes that he can inspire others as they experience hardship and create a global dialogue about the effects of resilience on a thriving recovery and the importance of community for overcoming adversity. He received his master’s degree in health administration from SLU's College for Public Health and Social Justice and is currently a Ph.D. student in public health studies concentrating in health management and policy. He hopes to prove that the programs he and his develop are improving the lives of those that experience trauma and the health care financial system. As a member of the Advocacy and Outreach committee, Oberle also hopes to use his experience as a well-connected member of the Saint Louis University and St. Louis communities and patient advocate to ensure the Nasrallah Center for Neuroscience achieves success and makes the greatest possible impact on the people of St. Louis.


Judith Ogilvie
Judith Ogilvie

Judith Ogilvie

Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
judith.ogilvie@slu.edu

The Ogilvie lab takes a multidisciplinary approach to better understand the structure, development and degeneration of the vertebrate retina. Current research is focused in two major areas: primate retinal circuitry and photoreceptor development and degeneration. Website: https://judithogilvie.wixsite.com/mysite


Geoffrey Panjeton
Geoffrey Panjeton

Geoffrey Panjeton

Anesthesiology and Critical Care 
geoffrey.panjeton@health.slu.edu

Dr. Geoffrey Panjeton is a board-certified anesthesiologist and an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He has clinical experience in general anesthesiology, regional anesthesiology, and management of acute and chronic pain symptoms. He completed his medical education, residency training in anesthesiology, and fellowship specialization in pain medicine at the University of Florida. His interests include neuromodulation, minimally invasive spine interventions, peripheral nerve stimulation and ultrasound guided pain procedures. He incorporates a multimodal approach to treatment of neck, back and joint pain, as well as complex conditions such as spinal stenosis, neuropathic pain and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). 


Whitney Postman
Whitney Postman

Whitney Postman

Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
Doisy College of Health Sciences
drwhitney.postman@slu.edu

Whitney Postman is a tenure-track assistant professor and director of the Neuro-Rehabilitation of Language Laboratory in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Saint Louis University's Doisy College of Health Sciences. As a proponent of culturally and linguistically competent interdisciplinary research and its potential for optimizing clinical interventions with diverse adult and aging populations, Postman has thus far dedicated her career to integrating the related fields of neuro-imaging, cross-linguistic scholarship and speech-language pathology. Her clinical research investigates neuro-rehabilitation in culturally and linguistically diverse adult and aging populations with neurogenic cognitive-communicative disorders due to stroke, traumatic brain injury or neurodegenerative disease. The communities in which she has been privileged to serve are vulnerable to chronic health disparities in America: minority groups, socio-economically disadvantaged groups, speakers of non-standard varieties of English, and speakers of other languages with low to no proficiency in English. Her research pursues three themes:

1) Testing the clinical utility of state-of-the-art computer-based cognitive-communicative therapy programs in medically underserved, culturally and linguistically diverse adult and aging populations with neurogenic cognitive-communicative disorders;

2) Tailoring these computer-based cognitive-communicative therapy programs to the specific linguistic and cultural characteristics of these populations by incorporating personally relevant, familiar and functional content;

3) Coupling of these interventions with Ultrasound Visual Feedback for motor-speech function and neuro-modulation (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic or Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation), and investigating the neural mechanisms underlying rehabilitation of neurogenic cognitive-communicative disorders with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) of overt language production.


Fred Rottnek
Fred Rottnek

Fred Rottnek

Family and Community Medicine
fred.rottnek@health.slu.edu

Dr. Fred Rottnek is a Professor and the Director of Community Medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Medical Director of the Physician Assistant Program. He is a graduate of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and the Master of Arts in Health Care Mission Program at Aquinas Institute of Theology. His clinical practices have included correctional health care, homeless health care, community clinics, and addiction medicine. He teaches in the School of Medicine, the PA Program, the Interprofessional Education Program, and the Center for Health Law Studies. Board-Certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, he is the medical director for the Assisted Recovery Centers of American (ARCA). He serves on the boards of the Saint Louis Regional Health Commission, Alive and Well Communities, and the ARCHway Institute. Dr. Rottnek is the program director of the Saint Louis University Addiction Medicine Fellowship.


Daniela Salvemini
Daniela Salvemini

Daniela Salvemini

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine

William Beaumont Professor and Chair
Director, Henry and Amelia Nasrallah Center for Neuroscience
Fellow, Saint Louis Academy of Science
Fellow, National Academy of Inventors
daniela.salvemini@health.slu.edu

Daniela Salvemini Ph.D, is professor and chair in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She is also the director of the Henry and Amelia Nasrallah Center for Neuroscience at SLU and a fellow of the Saint Louis Academy of Science. Salvemini received her B.Sc from Kings College in London and her Ph.D. from the University of London under the mentorship of the Nobel Laureate Professor Sir John Vane FRS. Prior to joining Saint Louis University, she spent 15 years in the private sector prior, where she led drug discovery efforts on anti-inflammatories and analgesics. Her lab is highly translational and uses multidisciplinary approaches to unravel molecular and biochemical signatures of chronic pain to identify and validate novel targets for therapeutic intervention. Her research efforts enabled drug discovery efforts towards the development of novel non-opioid based analgesics for the treatment of chronic pain states. Salvemini is also chief scientific advisor and chair of the research advisory board of BioIntervene Inc., a SLU based start-up which she founded in 2014. BioIntervene Inc. is developing novel analgesics based on discoveries made in her lab. Salvemini’s research achievements are reflected in over 200 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, as well as several awards including the Fellows Awards from the Saint Louis Academy of Science, Outstanding Scientist Award. She is a reviewer for several scientific journals and a grant reviewer for the NIH and several private foundations. Her lab is funded by grants from the NIH, foundations and the private sector.

Rick Samson
Willis K. Samson

Willis (Rick) Samson

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
willis.samson@health.slu.edu

Research Interests: Central Control of Metabolism, Reproduction and Cardiovascular Function., G Protein-Coupled Receptors, Pituitary Function, Ingestive Behavior
Jeffrey Scherrer
Jeffrey Scherrer

Jeffrey Scherrer

Senior Director for Research, AHEAD Institute
Professor, Family and Community Medicine
jeffrey.scherrer@health.slu.edu

I am a clinical epidemiologist using primarily big data administrative medical records and medical claims as well as survey approaches to study several topics. My primary interests in the field of pain and opioid research are the relationships between chronic prescription opioid use and adverse psychosocial outcomes, including risk for major depression.  I am interested in the differences between prescription opioid use disorder among patients with no prior history of substance misuse compared to those with other forms of opioid use disorder.  I also seek to understand high risk prescribing of controlled substances and predictors of success in medication treatment for opioid use disorder. I continue to keep a portion of my research activity focused on the health consequences of psychiatric disorders.

Lauren Schwarz

LS

Lauren Schwarz

Psychiatry
lauren.schwarz@health.slu.edu

Lauren Schwarz, Ph.D., ABPP, is an assistant dean of student affairs at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She is also a professor of psychiatry and neurology. She is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist. She is the director of the division of health psychology and neuropsychology program director at Saint Louis University. Dr. Schwarz earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Saint Louis University. She completed her internship training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Schwarz’s clinical interests are in the provision of neuropsychological services to adults with a diverse range of presenting concerns. In addition to clinical work, Dr. Schwarz is also involved in the education of residents, fellows, and clinical psychology graduate students. She has a wide variety of research interests including cognitive functioning in patient with mild cognitive impairment.

Fran Sverdrup

FS

Fran Sverdrup

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
School of Medicine
fran.sverdrup@health.slu.edu

Dr. Fran Sverdrup is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director of the IDBI Core Discovery Services lab. He has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry where he focused on new target identification and validation in the therapeutic areas of inflammation, immunology and virology. His research is focused on drug discovery and the epigenetic control of gene expression in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). His lab employs chemical genetics and candidate gene knockdowns to identify druggable pathways that regulate myotoxic DUX4 expression. For promising therapeutic approaches, a mouse xenograft model of human FSHD is utilized to establish pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationships of drug candidates.

Raymond Tait
Raymond Tait

Raymond Tait

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
raymond.tait@health.slu.edu

Raymond Tait, Ph.D., has been active in the pain field as a clinician and researcher for over 40 years. His research has focused on pain assessment and provider judgments, especially factors that influence judgments of pain in others. He has studied racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the treatment of pain (and in long-term outcomes), as well as patient, provider, and situational factors that influence clinical decisions and factors that occasionally diverge from patient and provider treatment expectations. His current interests involve the study of provider burden, the professional and personal challenges that a physician encounters in the treatment of people with chronic pain, especially as it influences clinical decision-making and the expectations that both providers and patients bring to treatment.


Graeme Thomas

GT

Graeme Thomas

Office of Technology Management
graeme.thomas@slu.edu

Travis Threats
Travis Threats

Travis Threats

Professor and Chair
Department of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences
travis.threats@health.slu.edu

Travis T. Threats, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of the Department of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences. He teaches courses that cover neurogenic communication disorders. His primary scholarly work has been with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth (ICF-CY). He has been the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) representative liaison to the WHO since 1999 and was the primary contributor to the communication, hearing, and swallowing sections of the ICF. Dr. Threats was also the primary contributor concerning communication disorders for the 2011 World Health Organization publication World Report on Disability. Dr. Threats has also published and presented internationally on his three other scholarly interests: spirituality/religiosity in rehabilitation, evidence-based practice, and rehabilitation ethics. He has given over 25 talks at international conferences, including being an invited keynote presenter in Chile, Greece, Portugal, the Philippines, Slovenia, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. Dr. Threats is an ASHA Fellow and the ASHA 2012 recipient of the Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Contributions in International Achievement. He is also Distinguished Scholar and Fellow for the National Academies of Practice, which is a non-profit organization that advises governmental bodies on policies regarding the US healthcare system. In 2022, he was awarded Honors of the Association by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Honors is the highest award this organization gives and is described on its website as recognition for scholars “whose contributions have been of such excellence that they have enhanced or altered the course of the professions.”


Carissa van den Berk-Clark
Clarissa van den Berk-Clark

Carissa van den Berk-Clark

Family and Community Medicine
School of Medicine
carissa.vandenberkclark@health.slu.edu

Dr. van den Berk-Clark is a clinical and community social work who focuses on clients and communities with high levels of trauma and substance abuse disorders. Dr. van den Berk-Clark is particularly interested in how trauma affects decision making among individuals in regards to health behaviors, especially substance use and misuse. Along with her interests in building better programs and service delivery systems for trauma-exposed patients, she also works to improve access to care by building health care workforce capacity and collaborating with primary care providers throughout the St. Louis region in SLU's ARCHNet practice based research network.


John Walker
John K. Walker

John Walker

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
john.walker@health.slu.edu

Research Interests: Our research is focused on the application of medicinal chemistry techniques to identify and optimize potential new therapeutic agents. We have active research projects targeting the development of novel antibiotic and antibiotic potentiators.

Jill Waring

Jill Waring

Psychology
jill.waring@health.slu.edu

Dr. Waring and the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience of Aging (CANA) Lab investigates the interactions of cognition and emotion processing across the lifespan, with the goal of identifying behavioral and neural markers that may influence or precede cognitive decline or symptoms of anxiety and depression in late life. 

Daniel Warren

daniel warren
Daniel Warren

Biology
daniel.warren@slu.edu

Dr. Warren is a comparative animal physiologist whose work includes neurophysiological studies of hypoxia- and anoxia-tolerant animals, especially in turtles. Oxygen deprivation is the primary cause of the neurological injury that is caused by strokes and heart attacks, which costs the United States healthcare system billions of dollars annually. It is, therefore, a national priority to discover ways to prevent, minimize, or reverse brain injury associated with these human diseases. By studying hypoxia- and anoxia-tolerant animals, we seek to identify novel mechanisms of hypoxia tolerance that potentially yield novel targets for future therapeutic interventions for humans. We use a variety of experimental approaches to understand the anoxic responses of the turtle’s nervous system, including whole tissue and spatial transcriptomics of the brain and functional studies of cultured cortical neurons that include calcium handling and glutamate sensitivity. I collaborate closely with Dr. Michael Ariel in Pharmacology and Physiology in studies of special sensory function in hypoxic turtles, especially of the visual and auditory systems.

Thomas Westfall

Thomas Westfall

Thomas Westfall

Pharmacology and Physiology , Emeritus
School of Medicine
thomas.c.westfall@slu.edu
Fenglian Xu
Fenglian Xu

Fenglian Xu

Biology - College of Arts and Sciences
Secondary Appointment - Pharmacology and Physiology
fenglian.xu@slu.edu

Research Interests: Neuronal outgrowth, regeneration, synapse formation and plasticity are pivotal not only for normal brain development and function, but also for brain repair after injury or degeneration. The primary research in Xu's laboratory focuses on understanding the mechanisms that control synapse formation and transmission, and how environmental factors may impact molecules and cellular events that are involved in normal brain development and function. Xu's lab conducts research using both the mollusk Lymnaea stagnalis model and rat (cortical and hippocampal) cell culture in conjunction with state-of-the-art electrophysiological, calcium imaging, confocal microscopy and molecular biological techniques. The long-term objective of her research is to identify critical genes or proteins that are involved in neuronal outgrowth, regeneration, synaptogenesis, and plasticity. The identified genes or proteins will then be manipulated experimentally to deduce their physiological significance in brain development and animal behaviors. The knowledge gained from these studies will help efforts in repairing brain damage after stroke, injury and in treating neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.

Gina Yosten
Gina Yosten

Gina Yosten

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
gina.yosten@health.slu.edu

Gina L. C. Yosten, Ph.D., joined the faculty of the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology in 2015, following her Ph.D. and post-doctoral training with Willis K. Samson, Ph.D., D.Sc., and a short fellowship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Dr. Yosten's work focuses on the role of orphan G protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) in the neurobiology of obesity- and diabetes-related complications. In collaboration with Dr. Samson, Dr. Yosten has deorphanized five orphan GPCRs, and is interested in determining the role of those receptors in normal physiology and, importantly, how those receptors can be targeted therapeutically for the treatment of human diseases.


Scott Zahm
Scott Zahm

Scott Zahm

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
zahmds@slu.edu

Daniel S. Zahm did his early academics in central Pennsylvania (Associates, Liberal Arts, Harrisburg Area Community College, 1970; B.S., Biology, Bloomsburg University, 1977; Ph.D., Anatomy, (the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of the Pennsylvania State University) and a postdoc at the University of Virginia (1982-5). He joined Saint Louis University in 1985, was promoted to tenured professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (1996) and later moved to the Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Science (2004, now Pharmacology and Physiology). Over 35 years, his laboratory has supported nearly continuously by private foundations and the NIH to use experimental neuroanatomical and behavioral pharmacological methods to address fundamental patterns of organization in the basal forebrain, how forebrain systems contribute to behavioral synthesis and are disrupted by pathology, such as in, e.g., addictions, and what are the vulnerabilities of different forebrain systems to neurodegeneration. Most of the work from the lab was generated independently, but Zahm has also had fruitful collaborations with several domestic and foreign research groups, altogether resulting in 120 publications, including peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and a book. He has served on the editorial boards of four journals, Neuroscience (since 1996), the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy (since 2005), Brain Structure & Function (since 2007) and the Journal Comparative Neurology (2004-8; 2012-6) and has reviewed grant applications for domestic, foreign national and private agencies, including the NIH (member, IFCN-1, 1998-02, many ad hoc), National Science Foundation (USA), Israel Science Foundation, Medical Research Council of Canada, McKnight Endowment Fund, French National Research Agency and Wellcome Trust of Great Britain. Three students received a Ph.D. and eight Masters degrees for work done in Zahm’s laboratory and he has mentored eight postdocs and two post-graduate fellows and sat on the committees of many other grad students at SLU and other universities and, since 1985, lectured at SLU in the medical and graduate schools.


Jinsong Zhang
Jinsong Zhang

Jinsong Zhang

Pharmacology and Physiology
School of Medicine
jinsong.zhang@health.slu.edu

Dr. Jinsong Zhang received his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from University of Pennsylvania in 1999. He did his doctoral dissertation in the laboratory of Dr. Mitchell A. Lazar, a world-renowned nuclear receptor and circadian rhythm expert. Dr. Zhang subsequently conducted his postdoctoral training at the Rockefeller University with Dr. Robert G. Roeder, the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Albert Lasker Award for his pioneering work in mechanisms of eukaryotic transcription. In 2005, Dr. Zhang became an assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at the University of Cincinnati, and joined Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 2013 as an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology. Dr. Zhang’s laboratory has three main research directions, including (i) understanding the molecular basis of cancer, especially leukemia, (ii) characterizing new drug targets, with a focus on (a) epigenetic enzymes such as histone-modifying enzymes, (b) transcriptional coregulators such as myeloid translocation genes, and (c) anti-GPCR/inflammatory proteins such as GPS2 (G-protein pathway suppressor 2); (iii) developing new next-generation sequencing technologies, including single-cell RNA-Seq and single-cell ATAC assays. For more information, contact Dr. Zhang at jinsong.zhang@health.slu.edu.


Silviya Zustiak
Sylvia Zustiak

Silviya Zustiak

Biomedical Engineering -Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology
Secondary Appointment - Pharmacology and Physiology
silviya.zustiak@slu.edu

Dr. Silviya Zustiak obtained a B.S./M.S. degree in bioelectrical engineering from the Technical University in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2002 and a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2009. She spent three years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland conducting postdoctoral research in biophysics. In 2011 she received the NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence for her work on transport in complex media. Dr. Zustiak joined the Biomedical Engineering Department at Saint Louis University (SLU) in January 2013. At SLU she was awarded the Outstanding Parks Graduate Faculty Award in 2015 and the SLU Scholarly Works Award for a Junior Faculty in 2017. She is a co-director for the Institute of Drug and Biotherapeutic Innovation and on the Executive Leadership Committee for the Henry and Amelia Nasrallah Center for Neuroscience at SLU. Dr. Zustiak is a frequent reviewer for NIH and National Science Foundation (NSF) review panels, multiple scientific journals and is on the Editorial board for Frontiers in Biotechnology and Bioengineering and Pharmaceuticals journals. Dr. Zustiak’s research is highly multidisciplinary, merging the fields of engineering, materials science, biophysics, and biology. Her research is focused on hydrogel biomaterials and tissue engineering, with emphasis on developing novel biomaterials as drug screening platforms and delivery devices for biologics, elucidating matrix structure-property relationships as well as cell-matrix interactions. Her work has resulted in over 50 peer-reviewed publications, over 200 presentations at regional and national conferences and multiple patent applications.