Cooper Medical School of Rowan Univerisity
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Department of Biomedical Sciences

Leadership

Darren Boehning, PhD
Administrative Head & Assistant Dean for Research
Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-956-2742/boehning@rowan.edu
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Darren Boehning, PhD

Bio:

Dr. Boehning received his Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology from Syracuse University in 1994. In 2001 he obtained his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Thomas Jefferson University, where he was a Foerderer Fellow examining the function of IP3 receptor calcium channels. His work was recognized with the Alumni Thesis Award for the top thesis of his graduating year. From 2001-2004 he was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Sol Snyder in the Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University. His post-doctoral work on gaseous neurotransmission and neuronal cell death was funded by an individual Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA post-doctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). From 2005-2013, he was faculty in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston. He rapidly rose through the ranks to become a tenured Full Professor and Director of the Cell Biology Graduate Program. During this time, he was the recipient of multiple NIH grants and was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, the Student Faculty Advocacy Award, and the Excellence in Teaching Award in Cell Biology. From 2013-2019 Dr. Boehning was a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. While at UTHealth he served as director of the Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2015-2017) and founding director of a new graduate program in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (2017-2018). At UTHealth Dr. Boehning received the Dean's Teaching Excellence Award (2015-19), the Biochemistry and Cell Biology Outstanding Faculty Award (2018), and served as the GSBS Faculty Marshal of the UTHealth/MD Anderson Commencement (2016.

Dr. Boehning is renowned for his work on cell death in health and disease. In particular, his work has illustrated the central role of the IP3 receptor calcium channel in mediating apoptotic cell death. He found that the IP3 receptor is essential to the progression of most cell death paradigms, and how this channel is activated during disease. Of note, he discovered how this receptor contributes to apoptotic resistance in lymphoma and other cancers. His basic science approaches have also developed new therapeutic agents for inhibiting cell death by blocking IP3 receptor activity. Finally, in collaboration with clinicians he has shown in laboratory models and in human patients that increased IP3 receptor activity after traumatic injury leads to systemic inflammation and type II diabetes (so called "stress-induced diabetes") which contributes to morbidity and mortality. These "bench to bedside" approaches may lead to new therapeutics for improving patient survival. Indeed, cell permeant peptides developed by Dr. Boehning which block IP3 receptor activation during cell death are currently being examined in pre-clinical models of traumatic injury.

Dr. Boehning's findings have been published in over 50 papers in top scientific journals. His work has been funded by extramural sources since his post-doctoral years. He is currently the principal investigator or co-investigator on three NIH grants to study cell signaling in health and disease. In addition, he has served on many study section panels including continuous service on the American Heart Association Molecular Signaling study section since 2009 and many ad hoc panels at the NIH, NSF, Alzheimer's Association, Italian Ministry of Health, and others. He is also very active in scientific outreach activities, including lecturing at local schools and lobbying activities from the local to national level for scientific education and funding.

Recent Journal Articles:

S. C. Hedgepeth, M. I. Garcia, L. E. Wagner II, A. M. Rodriguez, S. V. Chintapalli, R. R. Snyder, G. D.V. Hankins, B. R. Henderson, K. M. Brodie, D. I. Yule, D. B. van Rossum, and D. Boehning The BRCA1 Tumor Suppressor Binds to Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors to Stimulate Apoptotic Calcium Release, J. Biol. Chem., February 2 (2015)

A.M. Akimzhanov, D. Boehning Rapid and Transient Palmitoylation Of The Tyrosine Kinase Lck Mediates Fas Signaling, [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1073/pnas.1509929112 PNAS Sept. 8th (2015)

J.J. Chen and D. Boehning. Protein Lipidation As a Regulator of Apoptotic Calcium Release: Relevance to Cancer. Front. Oncol. | doi: 10.3389/fonc.2017.00138 (2017)

M.I. Garcia, A. Karlstaedt, J.J. Chen, J. Amione-Guerra, K.A. Youker, H. Taegtmeyer, and D. Boehning. Functionally redundant control of cardiac hypertrophic signaling by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors J Mol Cell Cardiol. Sep 15 (2017)

A.L. Boehning, S.A. Essien, E.L. Underwood, P.K. Dash, D. Boehning. Cell type-dependent effects of ellagic acid on cellular metabolism, Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy Jun 30; 106:411-418 (2018).

[Research Profile]
Michael DiSanto, PhD
Elected Chair
Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2868/disantom@rowan.edu
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Michael DiSanto, PhD

Bio:

Michael E. DiSanto, PhD, was one of CMSRU's very first biomedical science faculty members. He was appointed Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Surgery and Director of Urology Research at CMSRU in 2010.He also serves as a co-director for CMRSU's Uro-Renal course and is heavily involved in instructing the Fundamentals course. Dr. DiSanto has authored over 60 scientific articles in leading basic science and urology journals. He is Associate Editor for the Journal of Sexual Medicine and a standing member of the American Diabetes Association's Grant Review Panel and the NIH's Urologic and Genitourinary Physiology and Pathology Study Section. He is also Chair of the Basic Science Committee of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America. Much of Dr. DiSanto's current research has focused on the cell and molecular basis for smooth muscle function in the lower urogenital system. He has devoted the majority of his time to understanding the regulation of penile erection and bladder function and dysfunction through NIH-funded R01s and program project grants. Most recently, he has developed a strong interest in sphingolipid signaling and its effect on urogenital smooth muscle including the vagina. Dr. DiSanto received his PhD from Drexel University and held postdoctoral positions at Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, followed by the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn he was a funded NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Research Fellow and an American Foundation for Urologic Disease (AFUD)/NIH Research Scholar. He served on Penn's faculty until 2004, then served as Director of Urology Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY prior to joining CMSRU in 2010.

[Research Profile]

Teaching Faculty

Kathryn Behling, PhD, MD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2893/behling@rowan.edu
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Kathryn Behling, PhD, MD

Bio:

Kathryn Behling, MD, PhD, has joined CMSRU's full time faculty as Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences. She will educate medical students on topics related to pathology, histology, genetics, and neuroscience.

Dr. Behling earned her doctorate in Neuroscience as well as her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania where she was also awarded the Emily and Francis Bothelho prize for excellence in the basic sciences and was a participant in graduate studies through funding from an NIH Vision training grant. After graduation, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Childhood Communication at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She then completed a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital followed by a fellowship in Molecular Genetic Pathology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in Surgical Pathology at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Dr. Behling is an active member in the Department of Pathology at Cooper University Hospital with involvement in the autopsy service as well laboratory administrative activities. Her research interests are in the areas of translational studies related to novel biomarker discovery. Dr. Behling is a member of the Association for Molecular Pathology.

[Research Profile]
Andrea Bottaro, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2867/bottaro@rowan.edu
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Andrea Bottaro, PhD

Bio:

Andrea Bottaro, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Assistant Dean for Phase 1 Curriculum at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Dr. Bottaro earned his PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Torino in Italy, after which he carried out postdoctoral fellowships at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York and at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Before joining CMSRU, he was on the faculty of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Dr. Bottaro's research interests focus on the role of the immune system in inflammation, autoimmunity and cancer, in both human disease and animal models.  He has published extensively in these fields, and has served as ad hoc and standing member on numerous NIH Study Sections and other grant review panels. He is a member of the American Association of Immunologists, where he also serves on the Education Committee, of the Society for Leukocyte Biology and of the International Association of Medical Science Educators.

[Research Profile]
Russell J. Buono, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2863/buonor@rowan.edu
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Russell J. Buono, PhD

Bio:

Russell J. Buono, PhD, a renowned science educator and researcher in molecular biology and genetics of the human brain and disease states with a focus on epilepsy, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, has joined CMSRU's basic science faculty as Professor of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Buono earned his doctorate degree in Cell and Developmental Biology from Temple University in 1990. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, MD and Whitney Marine Laboratory at the University of Florida, St. Augustine, FL.

A popular educator of graduate and post-graduate students in the areas of neuro-anatomy and neuroscience, Dr. Buono was a faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He was the recipient of the 1st Annual "Science Educator of the Year" award by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience in 2004.

Prior to joining CMSRU, Dr. Buono served as Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the Coatesville VA Medical Center where he conducted research projects as a scientist and was the lead administrator (service chief) of Research and Development, managing staff and providing oversight for all aspects of animal and human research on the campus. An accomplished researcher, Dr. Buono has authored or co-authored hundreds of peer reviewed articles, book chapters and presentations. His current research focuses on molecular genetics and cell biology of human neurological and psychiatric disorders, including oxygen regulated gene expression and the emerging field of pharmacogenetics.

Dr. Buono is known throughout the Philadelphia region for his unique public outreach initiative, "Dr. Brain Dude", a traveling collection of brain specimens, from mouse to man, that visits schools for education and awareness sessions on brain structure, function and disease. He is also co-founder of Brain Awareness Week (BAW) at The Franklin Institute Science Museum, a two-day, kid friendly neuroscience hands-on experience staffed by over 40 volunteers from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. The event attracts over 1500 children and adults every year.

[Research Profile]
Valerie J. Carabetta, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-956-2736/carabetta@rowan.edu
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Valerie J. Carabetta, PhD

Bio:

Valerie J. Carabetta, PhD has joined CMSRU as an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Carabetta earned her PhD from Princeton University in Molecular Biology, and completed her post-doctoral research at the Public Health Research Institute, New Jersey Medical School (Rutgers University).

Dr. Carabetta's primary research interest lies in understanding the physiological consequences of protein acetylation in bacteria, and the underlying mechanisms that control it. Her current work interfaces her experience and knowledge with molecular genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, proteomics and mass spectrometry to tackle difficult biological questions. One long term goal is to determine the feasibility of targeting protein acetylation as a novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of drug resistant bacteria, as has already been successful for treatment of some cancers, and latent viral and fungal infections.

She will educate medical students in microbiology and infectious disease during Phase I of the curriculum, and will also facilitate an active learning group.

[Research Profile]
Gonzalo Carrasco, PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-956-2765/carrasco@rowan.edu
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Gonzalo Carrasco, PhD

Bio:

Gonzalo A. Carrasco, PhD, has joined the Department of Biomedical Sciences at CMSRU. His teaching at CMSRU will focus on pharmacology. Prior to his appointment, he was an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, University of Kansas. Dr. Carrasco served in several committees in Kansas University and it was an active member of the Neuroscience Program of the School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Carrasco earned his PhD from the University of Concepcion, Concepcion, Chile. He held postdoc and junior faculty positions in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and in the Neuroscience Program at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL.

Dr. Carrasco research interests are focused on identifying fundamental biochemical and cellular mechanisms regulating serotonin and dopamine receptor signaling in the brain by drugs of abuse and its implications for the treatment of neuropsychiatric and substance abuse disorders. Specifically, he studies the effects of cannabinoids (marijuana-like compounds) & cocaine on serotonin and dopamine neurotransmission. He has authored over 45 scientific manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and received NIH funding for his research. He has also served in several national and international grant review committees. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

[Research Profile]
Erica Chirico, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-956-2763/chirico@rowan.edu
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Erica Chirico, PhD

Bio:

Erica N. Chirico, PhD, has joined CMSRU’s full time faculty as Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Chirico earned her doctorate in Vascular Physiology from the University of Lyon in Lyon, France. She then completed a postdoc fellowship in Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania, and continued a second postdoc fellowship in the University of Pennsylvania’s PENN-PORT program, a dual teaching and research fellowship. Dr. Chirico’s past research interest focused on the role of exercise on oxidative stress and inflammation in vascular disease, such as atherosclerosis, sickle cell disease, and myocardial infarction. Her future research will include medical education research. Dr. Chirico will teach physiology sections of Fundamentals, Skin & Musculoskeletal, and Cardiovascular courses. She is also a facilitator for Active Learning Groups, guiding students through the basic science of clinical cases.
[Research Profile]
Kevin Currie, PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-956-2747/currie@rowan.edu
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Kevin Currie, PhD

Bio:

Kevin Currie, PhD, has joined CMSRU as an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences.     Dr. Currie earned his PhD in physiology from the University of London and completed post-doctoral training at the University of Chicago before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2002. He served as assistant professor and then associate professor of anesthesiology and pharmacology at Vanderbilt before joining CMSRU in August.   At CMSRU, Dr. Currie serves as a facilitator for an M1 ALG group and will teach physiology to both M1 and M2 students. His research in cellular neurophysiology has been supported by multiple grants from the American Heart Association and National Institutes of Health, and will continue when his lab relocates to CMSRU this fall.
[Research Profile]
Eduard Dedkov, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2888/dedkov@rowan.edu
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Eduard Dedkov, MD, PhD

Bio:

Eduard I. Dedkov, MD, PhD, joined CMSRU in August of 2016 as an Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences. He serves as a facilitator for an Active Learning Group and teaches the Histology/Virtual Microscopy related sessions of CMSRU’s M1 and M2 courses. Dr. Dedkov earned his degree in Medicine (1993) and his doctorate in Histology/Embryology (1996) from Orenburg State Medical Academy in Russian Federation. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Cell and Developmental Biology at University of Michigan Medical School (1996-2003). Prior to joining the faculty at CMSRU, Dr. Dedkov was an Assistant Research Scientist at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine (2003-2006), where he conduct research in the area of cardiovascular development and aging-related diseases, and then, an Assistant Professor at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, Long Island (2006-2016), where he taught first and second year medical students in system-based curriculum on topics related to physiology, pathophysiology and histology as well as served as a facilitator in problem-based learning sessions. Dr. Dedkov’s current research interests are focused on the following three areas: 1) structural and functional basis of sex-related differences in progression of myocardial infarction-induced heart failure, 2) the mechanism of anti-fibrotic effect of ivabradine-induced heart rate reduction in post-myocardial infarcted heart and 3) the modulatory role of cardiac neuropeptides in development of coronary vascular system. During his career, Dr. Dedkov has published 33 peer-reviewed research articles, one book chapter and numerous research meeting abstracts. He has served as a grant reviewer for American Heart Association (2008-2013) and as a member of annual meeting program coordinating committee for American Association of Anatomists (2007-2015). Dr. Dedkov organized and chaired 6 oral scientific sessions at the Experimental Biology conferences (2008; 2009; 2010; 2011; and 2014). He is an active member of the American Heart Association, International Society for Heart Research, American Association of Anatomists and the American Physiological Society.
[Research Profile]
Thomas N. Ferraro, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2871/ferrarot@rowan.edu
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Thomas N. Ferraro, PhD

Bio:

Dr. Thomas N. Ferraro is a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at CMSRU and is engaged actively in many facets of the school’s educational, research and service missions. Dr. Ferraro earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia (1985) and joined the Jefferson faculty as Instructor (1986). Following promotion to Assistant Professor (1990) and Associate Professor (1995), Dr. Ferraro moved his laboratory to the University of Pennsylvania (1997) where he became a member of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior in the Department of Psychiatry. He also assumed the role of Assistant Dean for Animal Research at the University of Pennsylvania (2009). Dr. Ferraro joined CMSRU in May 2013. Dr. Ferraro is recognized internationally as an expert in pharmacology, neuroscience and genetics. His teaching resume includes many years as lecturer, laboratory instructor and small-group leader for medical students, graduate students and medical residents, both at Jefferson Medical School and the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania in addition to CMSRU. With respect to research, Dr. Ferraro’s laboratory has been funded continually by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1994 with grant awards totaling over $10 million. These projects have been focused on neurological and psychiatric illnesses, especially epilepsy and drug addiction. Dr. Ferraro has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific research papers. His research uses the study of animal models to inform the study of patient populations, an approach that generates experimental synergism and maximizes clinical relevance. Currently, Dr. Ferraro's lab is funded by an NIH grant on clinical and genetic risk factors for developing addiction to prescription opioids in collaboration with researchers from Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In addition to research and teaching, Dr. Ferraro is engaged in many forms of service to the local and academic communities. Some of these activities include membership on NIH advisory panels on Research and Research Training and Career Development (since 1998) and service as a research consultant to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Coatesville PA (since 1990). Dr. Ferraro is also a past-president and current member of the council of the Philadelphia Area Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. Community service activity includes career day lectures to students in elementary and high schools as well as presentations on the importance of animal research in the 21st Century biomedical enterprise.
[Research Profile]
Bradford Fischer, PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2869/fischerb@rowan.edu
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Bradford Fischer, PhD

Bio:

Bradford D. Fischer, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences, educates medical students on topics related to neuroscience, neuropharmacology and substance abuse. Dr. Fischer earned his doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience and Neurobiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Psychiatry Department of Harvard Medical School where he also served as Chair of the Governing Board of the school's Postdoctoral Association. Dr. Fischer's research interests are in the areas of neuropharmacology and behavioral pharmacology. He has received multiple awards for his research, including the "Roger T. Kelleher Award for Excellence in Neuroscience and Behavior" from Harvard Medical School, the "Early Career Investigator Award" from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the "Young Investigator Award" from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Fischer is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Behavioral Pharmacology Society and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. He has served in various leadership roles including Chair of the CMSRU Admissions Committee, faculty representative to the Council of Faculty and Academic Societies (CFAS) of the AAMC and President of the Mid-Atlantic Pharmacology Society (MAPS).
[Research Profile]
James Holaska, PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-956-2746/holaska@rowan.edu
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James Holaska, PhD

Bio:

James Holaska, PhD, joins CMSRU from University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, where he was an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences since 2013. Prior to that he was an assistant professor for seven years at the University of Chicago. Dr. Holaska earned his PhD from the University of Virginia and his undergraduate from St. Joseph's University.   Dr. Holaska's research focuses on understanding how DNA within the nucleus is reorganized to control gene expression during muscle stem cell differentiation and skeletal muscle regeneration. His research also seeks to understand how nuclear structure is altered during metastasis to allow cancer cells to enter and exit blood vessels.   Dr. Holaska will serve as an M1 facilitator for an ALG group, teaching cell and developmental biology. 
[Research Profile]
Martin O. Job, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-956-2741/job@rowan.edu
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Martin O. Job, PhD

Bio:

Martin Job, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences who educates medical students on topics related to pharmacology. Dr. Job is from Nigeria, West Africa. He was inspired very early in life to become a teacher by his father who was a professor. During his time studying pharmacy as an undergraduate, he was encouraged by one of his professors to pursue a career as an academic. With the strong conviction that he would become both a researcher and teacher someday, he immigrated to the United States. Dr. Job obtained a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Texas at Austin where, under Professor Rueben Gonzales, he studied the role of the mu opioid receptors in the mechanism of alcohol-mediated increases in dopamine in one of the reward centers of the brain. Inspired to understand more about substance use disorders, he went on to conduct post-doctoral research at the lab of Professor Michael Kuhar at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he worked to characterize the activity of psychostimulants. He did some research work on sexual motivation at the Georgia State University, where he was also an instructor for a course in psychology about addictive substances. Dr. Job just concluded post-doctoral research work at the National Institutes on Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, where he has done some work using behavioral economic principles to understand cocaine use disorder in pre-clinical models. Dr. Job has published sixteen manuscripts on his research, with eleven of them as first or sole author.
[Research Profile]
William Kocher, MD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Associate Dean for Admissions
856-361-2861/kocher@rowan.edu
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William Kocher, MD

Bio:

William Kocher, MD is a pathologist and medical educator who currently serves as the Associate Dean for Admissions at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU). Dr. Kocher received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and completed his Pathology training at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. In addition to Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, he is board-certified in Hematology, which is an area of interest in practice. Over his career, he has been a practicing Pathologist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Cooper University Health Care. His true passion lies in medical education and he has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards. At CMSRU, he has previously served as Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and as the Assistant Dean for Phase 1 Curriculum. His teaching activities at CMSRU include course director for the hematology-oncology course, ALG facilitator, lecturer, and lab instructor.
Cheryl Melovitz-Vasan, PT, DPT, PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2889/melovitz-vasan@rowan.edu
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Cheryl Melovitz-Vasan, PT, DPT, PhD

Bio:

Dr. Melovitz-Vasan earned both her Doctorate of Physical Therapy and her PhD in Health Sciences from UMDNJ - School of Health Related Professions. As an instructor at UMDNJ- New Jersey Medical School, Dr. Melovitz-Vasan authored and co-authored numerous publications, abstracts and presentations related to anatomy, molecular biology and movement sciences. At CMSRU, she teaches gross anatomy to first and second year medical students, as well as physician assistant students from University of the Sciences in Philadelphia as part of CMSRU's interprofessional education program. Dr. Melovitz-Vasan also facilitates an Active Learning Group and is a member of the Biomedical Science Department Faculty Search Committee.
[Research Profile]
Ali Nabavizadeh, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2866/nabavizadeh@rowan.edu
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Ali Nabavizadeh, PhD

Bio:

Ali Nabavizadeh, PhD, a comparative anatomist and vertebrate paleontologist, has joined CMSRU as Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences. He teaches gross anatomy to first and second year medical students and will facilitate and active learning group. Dr. Nabavizadeh earned his doctorate degree in Functional Anatomy and Evolution from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2014, where he was trained to teach medical gross anatomy. He was subsequently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago for two years, where he taught medical gross anatomy at the UChicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Nabavizadeh’s research explores the anatomical and functional evolution of craniofacial musculature and feeding systems in large herbivorous dinosaurs, mammals (e.g., elephants and rhinoceroses), and their relatives. In his research, he has implemented qualitative, quantitative, and illustrative muscle reconstruction techniques to analyze various muscle attachments and mechanics. Furthermore, he has experience dissecting a large variety of animals for anatomical research, including African elephant, white rhinoceros, warthog, deer, bears, and others. With these dissections and descriptions, he reconstructs craniofacial musculature and function in related fossilized extinct mammalian species. Dr. Nabavizadeh has currently published three peer-reviewed papers, including one book chapter, and over 20 conference abstracts. He is a member of the American Association of Anatomists and the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
[Research Profile]
Michael O'Leary, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2894/olearym@rowan.edu
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Michael O'Leary, PhD

Bio:

Michael E. O'Leary, PhD, joined CMSRU in August of 2013 as Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences. He is actively engaged in many facets of the school's educational, research and service missions. He teaches the physiology related sections of CMSRU's M1 Fundamentals course which includes classroom lectures and laboratory instruction. He also serves as co-director for M2 cardiovascular/pulmonary course and contributes lectures on renal, skeletal muscle and neuronal physiology. Dr. O'Leary is a facilitator for an Active Learning Group where he guides M1 students through the basic science and clinical curriculum. He earned his Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, where he received the Distinguished Dissertation Award. After completing fellowships at the University of Maryland and University of Pennsylvania medical schools he joined the faculty at Thomas Jefferson University in the department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology where he worked for the past 20 years before joining CMSRU. Dr. O'Leary's research focuses on the neurophysiology and molecular biology of sensory neurons, particularly those involved in the sensation of pain. The goal of these studies is to understand the role of injured sensory neurons in chronic and neuropathic pain. He has authored numerous articles on this topic and has been an invited lecturer at universities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
[Research Profile]
Manoj Pandey, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-956-2751/pandey@rowan.edu
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Manoj Pandey, PhD

Bio:

Manoj Pandey, Ph.D., joined CMSRU in August of 2016 as Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Pandey was Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA. Dr. Pandey earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) and Lucknow University, India, afterward he accomplished his postdoctoral training at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Dr. Pandey has authored more than 50 peer reviewed research articles, reviews, and book chapters in leading cancer biology and hematology oncology journals. He has been serving as Associate Editor in several reputed journals. He is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research and American Society of Hematology. He is a recipient of Brian D. Novis Research Award from International Myeloma Foundation, and Ramalinga Swami Fellowship from the Indian Government. The central theme of Dr. Pandey’s research is the studies and targeting of tumor microenvironment for cancer prevention and treatment. Specifically, the laboratory is actively engaged in: (a) understanding/targeting of key inflammatory mediators; (b) using functional genomic and proteomic technologies to better understand and target bone marrow microenvironment in the treatment of Multiple Myeloma; and (c) targeting myeloma stem cells and bone marrow stromal cells for control of bone loss. Dr. Pandey is actively engaged in many aspects of the CMSRU's educational, research and service missions. He teaches the molecular biology and biochemistry related sections of M1 Fundamentals course and facilitates an Active Learning Group.
[Research Profile]
Sangita Phadtare, PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2791/phadtare@rowan.edu
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Sangita Phadtare, PhD

Bio:

Sangita Phadtare, PhD, has joined the Department of Biomedical Sciences at CMSRU. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Phadtare was a faculty at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and taught both medical and physician assistant students. In 2014, she received the prestigious Rutgers School of Health Related Profession’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service given to the school in the advancement of health profession’s education. She received the CMSRU Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015 and in 2018. She also received the Rowan Excellence Award for Student Centeredness in 2017. Dr. Phadtare's research encompasses areas of microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, gastroenterology and endocrinology. Her main research interests are (i) precision medicine for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori, (ii) Irritable bowel syndrome, psychological disorders and dietary influences (iii) changes in human gut microbiome in response to various conditions, (iv) bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems, (v) bacterial cold shock response, and (vi) innovations in medical education. She has authored over 60 publications and has four patents. She has received NIH and international research grants. Recently, she received a New Jersey Health Foundation grant and the Rowan-Inspira Health Hack grant. A leader in her field, Dr. Phadtare has served as NSF and international grant reviewer. She has also been involved in conducting medical education research and has published the new educational activities created in her courses. She was a recipient of an education and technology grant, which allowed her to create a computer-based nutrients and energy expenditure analysis program developed for medical students. Dr. Phadtare carried out her doctoral research at National Chemical Laboratory, Pune and received her PhD in Microbiology from University of Pune, India. At CMSRU, she is the Basic-Science Course Director for Endocrinology and Gastroenterology courses. She educates medical students in biochemistry, physiology, nutrition and microbiology.
[Research Profile]
David Swope, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
856-956-2764/swope@rowan.edu
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David Swope, PhD

Bio:

Dr. Swope earned his doctorate degree in Cell and Developmental Biology from Thomas Jefferson University. He completed a National Institute of Health funded Teaching Postdoctoral Fellowship at Rutgers University where he received formal training in education and instructed several courses at Minority Serving Institutions. After he finished his postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Swope joined the Molecular Biology department at Princeton University. At CMSRU, Dr. Swope facilitates an Active Learning Group and instructs on Cell/Molecular Biology and Embryology to medical students. His research interests are in medical education and the development of student centered learning within the medical curriculum. Additionally, he remains involved in translational research associated with heart development and function.
[Research Profile]
Nagaswami Vasan, DVM, MVSc, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2890/vasan@rowan.edu
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Nagaswami Vasan, DVM, MVSc, PhD

Bio:

Nagaswami Vasan D.V.M., M.V.Sc., Ph.D. a renowned researcher, medical educator and scholar joined the department of Biomedical Sciences at CMSRU. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Vasan was a tenured professor of Anatomy at New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Vasan is an accomplished researcher in developmental biology and studied the biochemical changes in extracellular proteoglycan and relevance to spina bifida. Since 1996, he devoted his time conducting medical education research in pedagogy. He is a recognized leader in Team-Based Learning pedagogy published extensively and conducts several workshops and other presentations both nationally and internationally. Dr. Vasan is a master educator has received several honors and awards. In 2009, he received the prestigious Edward J. Ill ‘Excellence in Medicine Awards’ - “Outstanding Medical Educator Award” and recognized by The Senate and General Assembly of State of New Jersey ‘Resolution as the Outstanding Medical Educator’. Dr. Vasan is a Harvard Macy Scholar and also a faculty teaching in that Program. Dr. Vasan earned all his degrees from Madras University, India before joining University of Pennsylvania as a research associate followed by 2 year appointment as junior faculty.
[Research Profile]
Amanda R. White, PhD
Lecturer, Biomedical Sciences
856-956-2744/whitear@rowan.edu
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Amanda R. White, PhD

Bio:

Amanda White, PhD joined the Department of Biomedical Sciences as a Master Lecturer and teaches gross anatomy to first and second year medical students as well as facilitating an active learning group. She also is involved in teaching anatomy related topics in CMSRU's summer pipeline programs. Dr. White earned her doctorate degree in Anatomy from Penn State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. In addition to her research in traumatic spinal cord injury, she was trained as an anatomy educator and is well versed in teaching clinically orientated medical gross anatomy (both didactic and lab dissection), histology, embryology, and neuroanatomy. After receiving her doctorate, she pursued a postdoctoral position at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University where she continued to do research and teach medical gross anatomy. Although she does not currently do research at CMSRU, her interests lie in the pathological alterations that occur within the enteric nervous system following traumatic spinal cord injury, and she hopes to pursue such interests in the future.
Charlene Williams, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Sciences
856-361-2862/williamsch@rowan.edu
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Charlene Williams, PhD

Bio:

Charlene J. Williams, PhD, has joined the Department of Biomedical Sciences at CMSRU. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Williams was professor of Medicine and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology at Thomas Jefferson University. An educator of both medical and graduate students, she received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Education in 2010. Dr. Williams served on numerous committees of the Jefferson Medical College, and was an active member of the College of Graduate Studies, Master's in Biomedical Science program. Dr. Williams' research interests are in the area of rheumatic diseases. She has authored over 70 scientific publications and has contributed 10 book chapters to various volumes devoted to rheumatic diseases. She has received numerous NIH and private research grants, and in 2005, was awarded the Stewart J. McCracken Award for Achievement in Rheumatology Research by the national Arthritis Foundation. An international leader in her field, Dr. Williams has served on numerous NIH grant review committees and has presented the results of her research at many professional and scientific meetings, including this year's annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. Dr. Williams was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2010. Dr. Williams received her PhD in Biochemistry from Rutgers University and served as a National Research Service Award post-doctoral fellow from 1983-1985. At CMSRU, she will utilize her teaching talents to educate medical students in Biochemistry. Dr. Williams will function as the CMSRU representative to the Rowan University Senate.
[Research Profile]

Staff

Paige Devereaux
Administrative Support
856-956-2771/devereaux@rowan.edu
Cojen Ho, PhD
Laboratory Manager
856-256-4500x78556/hoc@rowan.edu
Matt Pezza, B.S.
Administrative Support
856.361.2874/pezza@rowan.edu
Liz Ramos
Administrative Support
856.361.2860/ramos@rowan.edu
Lauren Sysol, MS
Gross Anatomy Technician
sysol@rowan.edu