ECIS School Graduates (May 2018)

ECIS Students May 2018

From left to right: Ivar Giaever - Applied BioPhysics, Susmita Bhattari - Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Ann Marie DiGeorge Foushee - Naval Medical Research Unit, Kirstin Morris - Naval Medical Research Unit, Joshua Sumislawski - University of Colorado, Erica Beatman - National Jewish Health, Kelly Schweitzer - National Jewish Health, Fang Niu - University of Nebraska Medical Center, Manikandan Panchatcharam - Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Charles Keese - Applied BioPhysics

Manikandan Panchatcharam, Ph.D.

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Research Focus: Research focuses on lipids which play a major factor in blocking blood vessels leading to stroke and heart attack.

Susmita Bhattarai Ph.D.

Student - Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Research Focus: Cardiovascular disease model focusing on the vascular functionality and muscular function.

Kirstin Morris Ph.D.

Student at UTSA-UTHSCSA, Orise Research Fellow, NAMRU-SA, Naval Medical Research Unit

Research Focus: Developing an electrospun collagen based 3D scaffold that would improve bone regeneration after tooth extraction.

Ann Marie DiGeorge Foushee

Research Technician Naval Medical Research Unit

Research Focus: Conduct research to improve operational readiness and safety of DOD personnel via development of novel wound dressings that address prevention of infection as well as promotion of wound healing.

Joshua Sumislawski, M.D.

Resident Physician - University of Colorado

Kelly Schweitzer

Assistant Professor - National Jewish Health

Research Focus: Investigate mechanisms underlying cigarette smoke induced lung injury and to better understand lung alveolar cell death and recovery from various insults both in vitro and in vivo.

Erica Beatman

Senior Research Technician - National Jewish Health

Research Focus: Investigating how to ameliorate lung damage induced by chronic cigarette smoke exposure by targeting specific lipids and enzymes associated with protection against the development of COPD and emphysema.

Fang Niu

University of Nebraska Medical Center

ECIS School Graduates (August 2017)

ECIS Students August 2017

From left to right: Gary McCollum - Vanderbilt University, Tillie Hackett - University of British Columbia, G. Cristina Brailoiu - Thomas Jefferson University, May Al-Fouadi - University of British Columbia, Alok Bhushan - Thomas Jefferson University (not shown in image)

Gary W. McCollum, Ph.D.

Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Vanderbilt University

Research Focus: Our lab's research efforts are focused on developing therapies against retinal inflammatory and vasoproliferative events occurring in diabetic retinopathy (DR), using in vitro cell culture models and animal models of diabetes. Specifically, in studies related to retinal inflammation, we test potential therapies against diabetes-induced compromise of the blood retinal barrier and leukostasis; for those related to vasoproliferation, we focus on the therapeutic blockade of endothelial cell migration, proliferation and tube formation.

G. Cristina Brailoiu, MD

Jefferson College of Pharmacy, Thomas Jefferson University

Research Focus: Dr. Brailoiu is interested in GPCR signaling and cardiovascular regulation. She is planning to use ECIS to characterize the changes in barrier function of brain microvascular endothelial cells in response to GPCR agonists.

ECIS School Graduates (March 2017)

ECIS Students March 2017

From left to right: Ying Lui - University of Pennsylvania, Koreana Pak - University of Pennsylvania, Nektarios Barabutis - Old Dominion University, Raji Rajesh - Lenin-University of Tennessee Health Science Centre, Bethany Young - Virginia Commonwealth University, Gaelle Mercenne - Recursion Pharmaceuticals

Nektarios Barabutis, M.Sc., Ph.D

Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, Old Dominion University

Research Focus: Dr. Nektarios Barabutis is interested on the mechanisms which govern the regulation of vascular permeability in lung tissues. He has recently introduced the protective role of p53 on the LPS induced hyperpermeability and he is currently focused on the intracellular cascades which mediate that effect.

Raji Rajesh Lenin, Ph.D

Gangaraju lab, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Tennessee Health Science Centre

Research Focus: Effect of hyperglycemia and TNF-α in ER stress induced tight junction alterations and vascular dysfunction in Human Retinal Endothelial cells. ECIS will be applied to understand the barrier functional changes in endothelial cells during diabetes.

Koreana Pak

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Research Focus: Investigate the mechanisms underlying hypoxia-driven sarcoma metastasis, as well as the role of ECM in tumor cell extravasation.

ECIS School Graduates (October 2016)

ECIS Students October 2016

From left to right: Christian Renken - Applied BioPhysics, Randy Strauss - Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Matthew Pennington - Cornell University, Wei-Sheng Chen - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Matthew Pennington

Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell University

Research Focus: The Van de Walle lab focuses on the creation of ex vivo model systems to study ocular herpesvirus pathogenesis and for the evaluation of antivirals in a more physiologically relevant setting. We are currently exploring ECIS as a technique to aid in these studies. Additionally, we have utilized ECIS to study various aspects of mesenchymal stem cell biology.

Wei-Sheng Chen, Ph.D.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Research Focus: As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Chen is responsible for exploring the biological mechanisms of the systemic capillary leak syndrome (SCLS), an ultra-rare orphan disease that is characterized by acute and severe recurrent attacks associated with a rapid fall in blood pressure. Currently, there is no cure for SCLS and the clinical management is primarily supportive.

Randy Strauss

Virginia Tech, TBMH Program - Dr. Gourdie Lab

Research Focus: There is a growing appreciation that the gap junction protein, Cx43, has both channel -dependent and -independent functions. Cx43 shares the actin-binding scaffolding protein Zonula Occludens 1 (ZO-1), with both calcium-dependent adhesions junctions and tight junctions. The commonality of ZO-1 raises the prospect of regulatory and functional cross-talk between different classes of intercellular junction. My current goal is to examine the effects of a Cx43 C-terminal mimetic peptide on barrier function.

ECIS School Graduates (June 2016)

ECIS Students June 2016

From left to right: Doug Chung - UCLA, Kaushali Thakore-Shah - UCLA, Christopher Turner - University of British Columbia, Cameron Oram - University of British Columbia, Chris Barrett - MIT

Doug Chung, Ph.D.

UCLA, The Stein Eye Institute

Research Focus: Affecting approximately 4% - 5% of the world population above the age of 40, the corneal endothelial dystrophies are a group of heritable bilateral disorders that lead to the visual impairment and discomfort through the development of corneal opacities and edema as a result of corneal endothelial cell dysfunction and/or cell loss. We are currently using ECIS to characterize corneal endothelial proliferation, migration, and cell barrier function in cell-based models of corneal endothelial dystrophies.

Kaushali Thakore-Shah, Ph.D.


Research Focus: My research focus is to find ways to improve the proliferation potential of corneal endothelial cells so that they may be used for regenerative cell therapy.

Christopher Turner, Ph.D.

University of British Columbia, Granville Lab, International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD)

Research Focus: The Granville lab is focused on researching the role of granzymes in inflammation and disease. Our goal is to expand our current knowledge in granzyme biology and their role in pathogenesis. We also aspire to translate this knowledge to develop novel therapeutic approaches for management of chronic inflammatory disorders in which granzymes are involved.

Cameron Oram

University of British Columbia

Research Focus: Coming soon

Chris Barrett M.D.


Research Focus: My research focuses on the links between the inflammatory response and coagulation system after major traumatic injury. The goal is to develop early interventions that have both immediate benefits in coagulopathic trauma patients while also having additional protective effects further in the hospital course to prevent late deaths after major trauma (due to organ failure and sepsis).