• 2018

    Researcher Appreciation Day

    In recognition of Researcher Appreciation Day, the Recognitions Committee at Emory School of Medicine sent out a call for nominations for researchers across the school who are making a difference in their field. Emory researchers were nominated by their peers and colleagues for their groundbreaking research, development of new technologies, and continued pursuit of novel and innovative ideas.

     

    Read more about the amazing research happening at Emory below and join us in congratulating these faculty!

  • Featured Researchers

    Nathan Call

    Department of Pediatrics

    Research Focus: Challenging Behavior in Autism Spectrum Disorder

     

    Dr. Call is conducting cutting edge research with a multidisciplinary intervention for encopresis, a debilitating condition common among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). He is conducting the first randomized clinical trial of this intervention, which we expect to result in the first empirically supported behavioral treatment for encopresis.

    Michael Connor

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Acute Kidney Injury

     

    Dr. Connor has a new NIH small business grant partnering with a healthcare company to study blood pressure targets that best prevent acute kidney injury in septic shock.

    Christine Dunham

    Department of Biochemistry

    Research Focus: Structural Biology

     

    Dr. Dunham's research defines fundamental mechanisms that underpin regulation of gene expression at the level of protein synthesis by the ribosome. Recent advances have revealed molecular details of programmed mRNA frameshifting, control of ribosome fidelity, and the action of ribosome-dependent toxin proteins associated with bacterial persistence and antibiotic resistance.

    Lisa Haddad

    Department of Gynecology / Obstetrics

    Research Focus: Contraception

     

    Dr. Haddad recently received her first R01 grant focusing on the promotion of innate and adaptive immunologic changes among reproductive-aged women through hormonal contraception. Her goal is to evaluate how the nature and magnitude of immune changes could impact HIV susceptibility.

    Dolores Hambardzumyan

    Department of Pediatrics

    Research Focus: Brain Tumor Biology

     

    Dr. Hambardzumyan has developed new animal models for brain tumor research, and these models have been used by several groups here at Emory and elsewhere to test potential therapeutic targets and therapeutic strategies for brain tumor treatment. Her research group currently focuses on studying the interactions between brain tumors and the immune system with the goal of developing immunotherapy strategies for brain tumors. She has received several new grants in the last 2 years, including an R01 and R21, and presented her research at several international conferences.

    Andre Holder

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Disease Prediction (sepsis)

     

    Dr. Holder is a clinician scientist with multiple specialty backgrounds (emergency medicine, internal medicine, and critical care medicine). Through collaborations with colleagues in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, his primary areas of research focus is to successfully deploy advanced data-driven (machine learning) algorithms in clinical practice. His goals are to: (1) predict patient decompensation; and (2) predict the trajectory of complex syndromes like sepsis. Dr. Holder just received a KL2 career development award.

    Peng Jin

    Department of Human Genetics

    Research Focus: Epigenetics in Human Diseases

     

    Dr. Jin has been conducting groundbreaking research to better understand complex human neurological, neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders at the molecular level, shedding light on therapeutic interventions.

    Dean P. Jones

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Redox Biology and Systems Biology

     

    Dr. Jones has been leading redox biology research as well as clinical metabolomics research. His research has greatly impacted study fields including biochemistry, redox biology, food science, environmental science and pulmonary toxicology. His research of High Resolution Metabolomics significantly contributed to improve our understanding of metabolic responses in humans and animals to pathological conditions.

    David Katz

    Department of Cell Biology

    Research Focus: How Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) leads to neurodegeneration

     

    Dr. Katz and his group has developed animal and in vitro models to study the mechanism by which the gene LSD1 contributes to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). They recently discovered LSD1 localizes to AD and FTD protein aggregates. They published groundbreaking data that LSD1 may prevent neuronal cell death. The lab is currently exploring small molecules and other means to promote the protective properties of LSD1 in a therapeutic setting.

    Jordan Kempker

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Health Disparities in Sepsis

     

    Dr. Kempker's research is aiming to determine the societal and geographic reasons for disparities in sepsis, a life-threatening condition.

    Janet Klein

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Urine Concentration

     

    Dr. Klein is studying the role of urea transporters and aquaporins in the urine concentrating mechanism. Her studies identified AMPK as a kinase that can mimic many of the effects of vasopressin. She is currently pursuing studies to determine if AMPK-activation may be a novel therapy for nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.

    Wilbur Lam

    Department of Pediatrics

    Research Focus: Medical Device Development (Hematology)
     

    Dr. Lam and Greg Martin from Emory School of Medicine are co-PIs with Oliver Brand at Georgia Tech on a new NIH grant, making Emory a national center in a network consortium for medical device development.

     

    Rebecca Levit

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Stem cell therapies for heart repair

     

    Dr. Levit is studying mechanisms to support stem cell delivery to the damaged heart and how stem cells might modulate the immune system. Her work spans from basic biology to device development for cell delivery. She just received her first R01.

    Abigail Lott

    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

    Research Focus: Mindfulness and Trauma

     

    Dr. Lott is currently investigating the use of mindfulness-based intervention for trauma that would impact the autonomic dysregulation that occurs following trauma exposure. This intervention is more acceptable to high-risk populations who would not otherwise access care, thereby significantly benefiting the community. The psychophysiological outcomes showing changes following intervention is novel in this field.

    Vasiliki Michopoulos

    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

    Research Focus: Stress and Metabolism, Trauma

     

    Dr. Michopoulos’s research focuses on the effect of social stress on eating behavior and brain function, both at Yerkes and in the general medical clinics at Grady Memorial Hospital. Her research is supported by three new R01 grants. Her findings illustrate the major impacts that stress can have on physical health, and have the potential to identify novel interventions (such as reducing inflammation) to reduce the negative impacts of stress on both mind and body. She also studies how maternal trauma and PTSD symptoms during pregnancy influence offspring in an under-served minority population, with a focus on changes in DNA methylation and placental epigenetics.

    Claudia Morris

    Department of Pediatrics

    Research Focus: Sickle Cell

     

    Dr. Morris is changing the physicians' perspective on sickle cell management and challenging previously held standards of care with her data.

    Shamim Nemati

    Department of Biomedical Informatics

    Research Focus: Sepsis Prediction

     

    Dr. Nemati has worked with Gari Clifford (Chair of Informatics), Tim Buchman (DOS) and Andre Holder (DOM) to develop an algorithm for predicting sepsis before it is clinically apparent.

    Raul Nogueira

    Department of Neurology

    Research Focus: Stroke

     

    Dr. Nogueira designed and conducted a study that simply expanded the time available for treatment of stroke from 6 to 24 hours and identified the lowest functional score by any stretch that responds to therapy.

    Seth Norrholm

    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

    Research Focus: PTSD

     

    Dr. Norrholm is focused on developing novel treatment targets for PTSD, using state of the art neurobiological tools that he developed and disseminated himself. He is developing a world-renowned research program while also training to provide care for PTSD patients, exemplifying the clinician scientist approach to care and discovery. He integrates technology-assisted psychological assessment and interventions.

    Jeanie Park

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Neurovascular Control

     

    Dr. Park investigates derangements of neurovascular control in patients at high cardiovascular risk, particularly those with hypertension, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and stress disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    Molly Perkins

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Aging, Personal Care Homes

     

    Dr. Perkins has effectively partnered with the Atlanta community since her graduate school training in studying small board and care homes that allow older adults from low resource settings to age in their community.

    Cheng-Kui Qu

    Department of Pediatrics

    Research Focus: Cell signaling in health and diseases

     

    Dr. Qu’s recent groundbreaking research on the pathogenesis, particularly brain developmental defects, in Noonan syndrome and the highly related yet distinct LEOPARD syndrome, has tremendous clinical implications for differential diagnosis and management.

    Jyothi Rengarajan

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

     

    Tuberculosis causes millions of deaths each year, exhibits drug resistance, and has a higher burden among racial and ethnic minorities. Dr. Rengarajan is working to understand how this complex and deadly pathogen manipulates the host's immune responses, with the goals of developing better diagnostic assays, therapeutics, and preventative strategies.

    Iqbal Sayeed

    Department of Emergency Medicine

    Research Focus: His research focuses on translational neuroscience seeking safe and effective acute-stage treatments for pediatric and adult traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke and its comorbidities.

     

    There are no effective clinical treatments for TBI. Dr. Sayeed has partnered in the development of new progesterone analogs that reach the damaged brain faster and are more effective in emergency field conditions than natural progesterone. If successful, this work can lead to a breakthrough in acute treatments for TBI.

    Nick Seyfried

    Department of Biochemistry

    Research Focus: Alzheimer's Disease

     

    Dr. Seyfried is a valuable, broadly impactful, highly collaborative investigator whose own research, and that of Emory collaborators, exploits cutting edge proteomics technology. He has grants and publications with more than 14 departments and centers across the university, as well as internationally. His presence here is catalytic in furtherance of biomedical science.

     

    Marina Sorrentino-Hernandes

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Stroke

     

    Dr. Sorrentino-Hernandes has a prestigious American Heart Association Scientist Development grant to study the role of the novel binding protein polymerase delta interacting protein-2 in stroke. Her work has uncovered a novel druggable target for two devastating diseases - stroke and sepsis.

    Bashar Staitieh

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: HIV Lung Disease

     

    Dr. Staitieh is exploring pathways through which HIV increases the risk of both infectious and non-infectious pulmonary disease. In addition to his own cell- and animal-based models, he has been actively engaging in collaborations with clinical colleagues to advance a translational research agenda. Given the changing face of the HIV epidemic, both in the US and globally, this research has the potential to have profound impacts for millions of people with HIV.

    Kiyoko Takemiya

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Developing Novel Bacterial Imaging Agents

     

    Dr. Takemiya is developing novel PET and fluorescent small molecule imaging agents that are capable of detecting bacterial infections in vivo. This work has been successful through the small animal stage and is moving towards first-in-man trials.

    Jinhu Wang

    Department of Medicine

    Research Focus: Myocardial Development and Repair

     

    Dr. Wang's research has identified a very unique cell type in the developing heart that helps coordinate development of the heart muscle and vasculature. He has brought very unique zebra fish models to Emory that have the potential to provide a cross-cutting platform in many areas of development and cell-based therapies.