Clinical Research Graduate Group Faculty
John McPherson is the Deputy Director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. He has deep expertise in DNA sequencing and cancer genomics through his involvement in the Human Genome Project and large-scale tumor sequencing as a founding member of the International Cancer Genome Consortium. His current interests lie in bringing advanced genomic technologies to clinical application in personalized diagnosis and targeted therapeutics; in maximizing the data yield from small biopsies and circulating cell free DNA; and in the role of DNA repair in carcinogenesis.
Mark Fedyk provides teaching and mentorship for medical and nursing students, ensures that ethical considerations play a prominent role in the joint missions of the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine, and collaborates with researchers to develop cutting-edge techniques for advancing the integration of ethical inquiry and scientific research. He directs the ethics-related teaching and consulting activities of the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center.
Simon Cherry develops novel technologies and methods for quantitative biomedical imaging. The Cherry Lab focuses on molecular imaging using positron emission tomography (PET) scanning; in particular developing faster and more sensitive detection technologies. The laboratory has developed technologies with widespread applications for improving diagnosis, stratifying patients for treatment and assessing response to that treatment. Cherry co-leads the EXPLORER project, a collaboration with several colleagues to develop the world’s first total-body PET scanner.
The George Lab uses stem cell, microfluidic and computational technologies to develop 3D mimics of human organs, known as "organs-on-a-chip." The lab specifically focuses on cancer (pancreatic, colorectal and breast), the cardiovascular system (perfused microcirculation, cardiomyocytes) and the pancreas. Applications include enhanced understanding of biologic mechanism and drug discovery for diseases such as atrial fibrillation and Type-1 diabetes.
Fernando Fierro's main research interest is stem cells, at both their basic biology and their application in the development of novel cell-based therapies. Since 2002, he has focused on human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) and their potential to repair damaged tissue, either by differentiation or as trophic mediators, modulating immune response, promoting angiogenesis, and other necessary adjacent healing functions. His current projects focus on evaluating the role of oxygen tension, growth factors and microRNAs in MSC-mediated tissue repair.
Alice Tarantal’s translational research program has a particular focus on the fetus and infant with ongoing studies that address early disease onset (inherited and acquired) and prenatal biomarkers, regenerative medicine (tissue engineering, stem cell transplantation) and gene therapy, lifespan health, and translational in vivo imaging.
Samuel Clarke's clinical interests include cardiac arrest training, crisis resource management, physical examination skills, and visual diagnosis.
James F. Holmes Jr. has presented grand rounds in trauma and pregnancy, pediatric abdominal trauma and spinal trauma. He has studied various approaches to improving both cost effectiveness and quality of care in the emergency department, including clarifying the indications for computer tomography of head injuries, and prospectively evaluating the role of laboratory tests in detecting unsuspected intra-abdominal injury in pediatric blunt-trauma patients.
Prior to joining the faculty, Bryn Mumma completed a research fellowship during which she completed the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program and earned her M.A.S. in Clinical Research. She then completed the NHLBI (NIH National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) K12 Research Career Development Program in emergency medicine. Her research focuses broadly on outcomes and systems of care in cardiovascular emergencies. She currently has a K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award from NHLBI to use a mixed-methods approach to study the factors affecting hospital performance in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
Daniel Nishijima's research focuses on the management of patients with acute traumatic or neurological emergencies, particularly those with coagulation disorders. He is the medical director and UC Davis Hub Liaison for the NCATS (National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences) funded, Trial Innovation Network (TIN). He helps to identify and connect local investigators to integrate their clinical trials with the TIN to operationalize and enhance the efficiency of their clinical trials. He is also the Medical Director for the UC Davis CTSC Clinical Research Center (CCRC), which assists with over 80 active clinical trials and protocols at UC Davis.
Mehrdad Abedi's clinical interest is in the area of bone marrow transplantation and in the treatment of refractory/relapsed hematological malignancies and genetic disease. He is also interested in using cellular therapy for treatment of a variety of medical disorders. His basic science research interest is in the area of hematopoietic stem cells and novel models of bone marrow transplantation, and also gene and cellular therapy.
Timothy Albertson is a leading expert in clinical pharmacology and toxicology, aeromedicine, and septic and adult respiratory distress syndrome. In addition to his role at UC Davis, he is a flight surgeon and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine for the Veteran's Administration Northern California Health Care System.
Susan Brown's multidisciplinary program of research focuses on behavior change interventions for diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention, particularly among racially and ethnically diverse women at high risk for chronic disease. She is especially interested in leveraging healthcare delivery systems to best support health promotion and risk reduction for diverse patients.
Martin Cadeiras is a heart failure and heart transplant cardiologist offering care for patients with advanced and rare heart diseases, including heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFREF), heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF), cardiomyopathies, pulmonary hypertension, heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. He has special interest in the emerging field of precision medicine and the use of technology to improve health care access and delivery.
Michelle Dossett is an Assistant Professor in Residence of Internal Medicine and serves as an Associate Medical Director of Physician Well-being for UC Davis Health, and Medical Director of the UC Davis Integrative Medicine Clinic. She is a general internist and physician-scientist whose research is focused in integrative medicine in two primary areas. The first is to understand the mechanisms by which contextual factors and enhanced patient-clinician interactions contribute to improved health outcomes. Her second research focus is in understanding the health benefits of mind-body medicine approaches for both patients and clinicians.
Angela Haczku is a professor of medicine, Director of the Lung Biology Center, and has served as Interim Associate Dean of Translational Research for the past two years. Haczku’s role is to foster the involvement of trainees and junior investigators in translational research; to create better opportunities for Ph.D. and M.D. researchers to interact and learn across the UC Davis campus; and to promote the School of Medicine mission of integrating basic and mechanistic science with clinical research.
Stephen Henry is a primary care physician and health services researcher whose focuses on the broad topic of chronic pain and opioid use. His clinical research focuses on developing programs to understand and improve patient-clinician communication about pain in primary care. His public health research focuses on controlled substance epidemiology in California, with a focus on predicting and reducing opioid-related overdose and other harms. He is a native of Louisiana and has worked at UC Davis since 2012.
Edward Kim is an adult medical oncologist who specializes in medical treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies including pancreatic, hepatocellular, biliary, esophageal, gastric, and colorectal cancers. His research includes developing and conducting clinical trials for gastrointestinal malignancies. He has a particular interest in translational and clinical research for pancreatic cancer.
Theresa Keegan is a cancer epidemiologist with primary research interests in studies of cancer outcomes and cancer survivorship. She has worked extensively with population-based cancer registry data both alone and linked to other administrative databases to understand patterns of cancer treatment, complications, chronic medical conditions, late effects and survival. Keegan also has been involved with multiple studies examining patient experiences with cancer and patient-reported outcomes after cancer diagnosis.
Nicholas Kenyon is the chief of the division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and a physician-scientist with a translational research focus on adult severe asthma. His areas of emphasis are asthma therapeutics, L-arginine metabolism, breath diagnostics, and environmental/non-allergic asthma. He recently completed an NHLBI-funded Phase II clinical trial of L-arginine supplementation in severe asthma that was based mouse model work in our laboratory.
Richard Kravitz is professor and co-vice chair for Research, department of Internal Medicine, UC Davis. As a clinician, he believes that careful history taking, judicious use of diagnostic studies, and clear communication are the fundamentals of good medical care.
Brooks Kuhn is a pulmonology and critical care (i.e. intensive care) specialist. He has special interest in the care of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), alpha-1 anti-trypsin deficiency, and patients receiving mechanical ventilation.
Nancy Lane is an endowed professor of Medicine, Rheumatology, and Aging Research, director for the Center for Musculoskeletal Health, director of the K12 NIH Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH), and principal investigator of the NIH funded Program on Sex Differences in Musculoskeletal Diseases Across the Lifespan at the UC Davis School of Medicine.
John MacMillan is a general internist whose focus of care is on the hospitalized adult patient. In addition, he is board certified in hospice and palliative medicine and has special interest in working with adult patients and families dealing with life limiting medical illness.
Valentina Medici is a graduate of the University of Padova (Italy) Medical School where she also completed her Gastroenterology and Hepatology fellowship. She conducted basic science research with the Mucosa Immunology group at the University of Kiel, in Germany. Medici completed the Mentored Clinical Research training program at UC Davis and started her position of assistant professor at UC Davis in 2008. She completed the Nestle Clinical Nutrition Fellowship, within Oregon Health & Science University and University of Louisville.
A member of the UC Davis faculty since 1982, Fred Meyers has distinguished himself as a national expert in hematology and oncology, with a special emphasis on cancer molecular biology, metastatic cancer, end-of-life care and pain management. He served as chair of the department of Internal Medicine for 12 years, senior associate dean for academic affairs and medical director of home health services.
Patrick Romano is a professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the UC Davis School of Medicine. He is a graduate of Princeton University, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and the School of Public Health at the University of California Berkeley. He completed joint training in internal medicine and pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals, followed by fellowship training in health services research and clinical epidemiology at the University of California San Francisco.
Saul Schaefer's laboratory studies involve the modulation of calcium uptake into mitochondria as a method of preventing and treating heart failure. These studies use transgenic mice with conditional knockout of the mitochondrial translocator protein.
Michael Schivo has been a part of UC Davis for over 10 years. He began as a trainee in Internal Medicine and progressed as a chief resident, fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and a master's student in clinical research. Dr. Schivo has been through the CTSC KL2 program and has gained independent extramural funding through the NIH and the private sector. He studies metabolites emanating from human and animal airways as a diagnostic platform and thoroughly enjoys mentoring trainees of all levels.
Elisa Tong is a general internist who provides care to a diverse patient population, including Hmong. She has had substantial training in quantitative research methods and experience in conducting quantitative and qualitative work in her research. Dr. Tong has been an AANCART pilot investigator and AANCART Clinical Director at UCSF. As the current Research Director for AANCART Sacramento, she has worked closely with the community partner, Hmong Women’s Heritage Association, on research design of their breast and cervical cancer research projects.
Ted Wun is the director and principal investigator of the NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) at UC Davis. He is also director of the CTSC Regulatory Knowledge and Support Program and serves on the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Clinical Research Management and Clinical Services Core committees. In his role as associate dean for research, he is responsible for expanding the breadth and depth of research at UC Davis Health, for increasing high-impact, interdisciplinary research, and for providing faculty oversight of the UC Davis Clinical Trials Office.
Amir Zeki’s clinical subspecialty and research focus is in airway diseases including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Broadly, his research interest is in the lipid/metabolic regulation of airway inflammation and remodeling, specifically the mevalonate (MA) and cholesterol pathways as they relate to the pathogenesis of severe asthma and COPD.
The Hwang lab studies how genetic and epigenetic alterations contribute to pancreatic cancer progression, and exploits epigenetic vulnerabilities in cancer therapeutics. Hwang has established pancreatic organoid models of human and mouse pancreatic cancer and utilized these models for understanding epigenetic landscape of disease progression.
Michelle Apperson's research interests include clinical trials of novel multiple sclerosis treatments and identification of multiple sclerosis biomarkers. She is conducting genetic, genomic and other biochemical blood profiling to further elucidate the relationship between genetics and environmental factors in the autoimmune etiology of multiple sclerosis.
Ricardo Maselli is a triple board-certified neurologist (Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology and Electromyography), with expertise in physiology of neuromuscular transmission, synaptic electrophysiology, molecular biology, and neurogenetics. He is a professor in the Department of Neurology and Director of the UC Davis Medical Center Electomyography Laboratory. His research focuses on finding cures for congenital myasthenic syndromes and motor neuron diseases.
Oanh Le Meyer received her Ph.D. in social psychology and her Masters in Advanced Study in Clinical Research at UC Davis. She studies cognitive and mental health disparities in racial/ethnic minorities and older adults from a broad, population level and also at the individual level. Her current research interests include dementia caregiving and mental health, social determinants of cognitive decline associated with dementia, and geographic disparities in mental health for older adults. She is currently working with community partner organizations to develop and implement an intervention to help Vietnamese Americans taking care of a family member with dementia.
David Richman studies the biological mechanisms that underlie diseases of the neuromuscular junction with the goal of improving their treatment. He primarily develops animal models of the diseases and test new treatments in this setting. He also assists in clinical trials of these new treatments.
Frank Sharp's research focuses on brain injury including whole genome studies of ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, white matter hyperintensities and Alzheimer's Disease in humans and in animal disease models.
Lars Berglund served as the director for the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center since its inception in 2006 until 2017. Berglund received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Uppsala University, Sweden and did his residency training at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. He was recruited to UC Davis in 2002.
Kristin Grimsrud is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the School of Medicine. Additionally, she is the Associate Director of Vivaria and Veterinary Care at the UC Davis Mouse Biology Program and is a clinical researcher at Shriners Children’s Hospital Northern California. Her research interests focus on pharmacogenetics and characterizing individual variation in drug pharmacokinetics in special populations, specifically burn and pediatric patients and development of translational animal models.
Karen Matsukuma's research focuses on the molecular basis of pancreatic and biliary cancers, in particular genotype-phenotype correlations and identification of morphologic features that correlate with tumor behavior. Her interests and expertise also include Hirschsprung disease, for which she works closely with UC Davis's pediatric surgeons.
James Marcin is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the UC Davis School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Health and Technology at UC Davis Health. In addition to his clinical work in the Pediatric ICU, he conducts research and advocacy in telehealth related to access and quality of care, particularly as it relates to children with special healthcare needs and acutely ill and injured children in rural communities.
Sally Ozonoff's research at the MIND Institute focuses on very young children with autism. She has been funded to study the onset of autism for over 15 years, through a prospective investigation that follows high-risk infants from shortly after birth through age 3. She and her team have also been developing innovative methods for screening for autism using video. Dr. Ozonoff has co-authored more than 100 publications, written four books, and contributed many book chapters to her field.
Julie Schweitzer is a professor in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and MIND (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute. She directs the Attention, Impulsivity, Regulation (AIR)/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) program at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Her work is translational in nature where she uses cognitive neuroscience and behavior analytic principles to investigate attention and impulsivity in children and adults in typical development and in ADHD. She is also developing tech-based interventions using virtual reality and game play to improve attention, self-control and academic functioning.
Kyoungmi Kim is a faculty biostatistician with extensive experience in statistical genetics/genomics in particular and in -omics research in general. Her research interests include disease biomarkers, quantitative genetics, post-genomics, and statistical and research methodology.
Bradley Pollock is a leading researcher on the incidence and control of childhood and adolescent cancer, and is the chair of the department of Public Health Sciences at the UC Davis School of Medicine.
David Rocke serves as director of the CTSC Research Design and Biostatistics program and is the vice chair of the department of Public Health Sciences, as well as a distinguished professor in the division of Biostatistics. He is also a distinguished professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering and the director of the UC Davis Center for Biomarker Discovery. He directs a research group aimed at bioinformatics and data analysis of gene expression arrays, proteomics, metabolomics, and other high-throughput biological assays. He has successfully fostered productive collaborations at UC Davis and nationwide, and he represents the CTSC at the national consortium level.
Ramsey Badawi is professor, chief of Nuclear Medicine and vice-chair for Research in the department of Radiology, and professor of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis. He also serves as co-director of the Biomedical Technology program at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and is a member of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
Julie Bidwell’s program of research applies innovative dyadic methods to traditional longitudinal and cross-sectional nonexperimental designs to advance our understanding of how cardiovascular patients and their family caregivers experience and manage life-threatening chronic illness together. Her primary contributions to the field of psychosocial cardiovascular disease research involve advancing two major areas of inquiry. The first is the examination of disease management and symptom response as both an individual and family process. The second is the study of family caregiving impacts and care stress on clinical- and person-centered outcomes for both patients and for caregivers themselves.
Aijun Wang is a Chancellor's Fellow, Professor of Surgery and of Biomedical Engineering. He is the Vice Chair for Translational Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the Department of Surgery, Co-Director of the Center for Surgical Bioengineering, and Dean's Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the UC Davis School of Medicine. He is also a Principal Investigator at the Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine (IPRM) / Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center, Northern California. Wang's research focuses on developing tools and technologies that combine molecular, cellular, tissue and biomaterial engineering to promote regeneration and restore function.
Jonathan Dear is an assistant professor of clinical internal medicine at the School of Veterinary Medicine. His clinical work focuses on interventional urinary and respiratory procedures in dogs and cats while his research interests focus on infectious diseases of small animals. He completed the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program in 2018 and mentors veterinary students and house officers in internal medicine and clinical research.
William Vernau is a professor of Clinical Diagnostic Pathology in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology with both didactic and heavy clinical teaching responsibilities. He was the recipient of the UC Davis Academic Senate’s 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award - Graduate and Professional Teaching. His research focus includes clinical, phenotypic and molecular characterization of hemic neoplasia in dogs and cats, some types of which mimic the behavior of their human counterparts and thus have additional comparative biomedical significance.