Jennifer Adibi, ScD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Epidemiology
Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
Dr. Adibi is an epidemiologist with post-doctoral training in placental and stem cell biology. Her research is on endocrine disruption, its effects on early stages of maternal-placental-fetal interactions, and long term consequences for the health of the child. Her methods include single molecule analyses, transcriptomics, proteomics and the two-way translation between in vitro primary tissue models and human populations.
Sheila Alexander, PhD, RN
Acute & Tertiary Care, School of Nursing
Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine
Dr. Alexander’s research focuses on genetic, genomic, epigenetic, proteomic and microbiome changes contributing to the acute brain response to critical illness and injury. Most recently she has focused on biologic pathways involved in ICU Delirium.
Tia-Lynn Ashman, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolution
Department of Biological Sciences
Dr. Ashman’s lab is interested in how the plant microbiome contributes to fitness and adaptation with a special interest in how evolutionary history and contemporary environmental context affect the floral microbiome and its consequences for plant reproductive success. From an applied perspective, ongoing research is interested in whether urban gardens can be designed to reduce microbiota-related human allergens while sustaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Michael Becich, MD, PhD
Chairman and Distinguished University Professor
Department of Biomedical Informatics
Dr. Becich’s research interests are focused on the interface between clinical informatics and bioinformatics. His research is funded by the CDC, NCATS, NCI, NHLBI and NLM and includes clinical phenotyping of patients for genomic/personalized medicine, tissue banking informatics, clinical informatics and bioinformatics with a special emphasis on data sharing. Dr. Becich is interested in transforming clinical care through translational research and creating a learning health system focused on cost effective, high quality and safe care through personalized medicine.
Takis Benos, PhD
Department of Computational and Systems Biology, SOM
My long-standing research goal is to understand and model the factors that shape disease onset and progression, including gene networks, patient’s genetic background and history. We are also interested of integration and co-analysis of large, heterogeneous datasets, such as clinical, omics (including microbiome) and imaging data, in order to find causal associations between variables measured at different scales (molecular, tissue, organism). We are actively researching the causes of disease onset and severity for chronic lung diseases (COPD, IPF) and cancer (melanoma, lung).
Tatiana Bogdanovich, MD, PhD, MSc
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Director, Fecal Microbiota Transplant Program
Dr. Bogdanovich’s research interests are focused on the prevention and treatment of infections in solid organ transplant recipients, Clostridium difficile infection, and Fecal Microbiota Transplantation. In addition, she is heavily involved in the Antimicrobial stewardship program.
Jennifer Bomberger, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Dr. Bomberger’s laboratory studies mechanisms for microbial pathogenesis and the interaction between bacterial and viral pathogens and host innate immunity in the lung, particularly in the pathogenesis of chronic lung diseases, like Cystic Fibrosis (CF). New interests also include the adaptation and transmission of P. aeruginosa between the upper and lower respiratory tracts of CF patients and how this process is impacted by viral exacerbations. By improving our understanding of polymicrobial interactions in the lung, our ultimate goal is to identify new therapeutic approaches to disrupt and/or prevent the P. aeruginosa biofilm formation and chronic infections that lead to patients’ disease progression.
Lauren Bylsma, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Dr. Bylsma is a clinical psychologist with a primary research focus on investigating neural, psychophysiological, and behavioral indices of emotional processing in depression and familial risk for depression, including investigating how alterations in these indices predict developmental risk trajectories in adolescents. Dr. Bylsma recently received a NARSAD Young Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation where she is currently examining gut microbiome characteristics in depressed, high familial risk, and low familial risk healthy adolescents and how alterations in stress and reward processing in these youth (using electrophysiology and cardiovascular psychophysiology) may mediate links between gut microbiome characteristics and depression.
Stephen Chan, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
Director, Center for Pulmonary Vascular Biology and Medicine
We are a basic science and translational research group studying the molecular mechanisms of pulmonary vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension (PH) – an example of an enigmatic disease where reductionistic studies have primarily focused on end-stage molecular effectors. To capitalize on the emerging discipline of “network medicine,” our research utilizes a combination of network-based bioinformatics with unique experimental reagents derived from genetically altered rodent and human subjects to accelerate systems-wide discovery in PH.
Timothy Corcoran, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine and Bioengineering
Dr. Corcoran’s interests include aerosol drug delivery and functional imaging of the lung. His most recent studies have focused on mucociliary clearance in the cystic fibrosis lung and the role of specific bacterial pathogens in depressing clearance.
Charlene Dezzutti, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Services
Director, Microbicide Trials Network Laboratory Center
My interests involved the role the microbiome has on HIV pathogenesis and responses to drugs used for HIV prevention products such as topical microbicides. Part of this is developing an ex vivo tissue model that incorporates select vaginal bacterium and viral pathogens.
Y. Peter Di, PhD
Associate Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health
Chair, Chemical and Hygiene Safety Committee
The primary focus of my current research is the cellular and molecular mechanisms of environmental or occupational exposures to toxic chemicals and microorganisms that underlie the pathogenesis of chronic human lung diseases including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We are especially interested in how antimicrobial milieu determines the individual susceptibility to exposure-associated multidrug resistant bacterial infection.
Yohei Doi, MD, PhD
Antibiotic Resistance Focus Group Leader, Center for Medicine and the Microbiome
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director of the Center for Innovative Antimicrobial Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Dr. Doi is the author of over 150 peer-reviewed publications, most of which are in the field of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms and epidemiology, with a focus on gram-negative pathogens. He is currently the principal investigator and a co-investigator on several NIH-supported laboratory and clinical studies addressing antimicrobial resistance. Dr. Doi currently serves on the NIAID’s Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group and represents the Gram-Negative Subcommittee. He is an Editor of the Journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy since 2014.
David Finegold, MD
Professor, Human Genetics
Director, Multidisciplinary Master of Public Health
Dr. Finegold is a member of the faculty in the Department of Human Genetics. He serves as the director of the Multidisciplinary Masters of Public Health Program. He has a major research focus on lymphatic vascular biology and genetic variation underlying primary and secondary lymphedema. He is the co-principal investigator for the Pittsburgh Lymphedema Family Study. He is a co-investigator in Dr. Massimo Trucco’s studies to rescue newly diagnosed patients with type I diabetes mellitus. He is a member of Dr. Lisa Pan’s suicide research group. He also is a member of two analytical chemistry groups developing novel biomolecular sensors.
David Fraser, PhD
Associate Professor of Biology
Science Department, Chatham University
My research interests are in the potential effects that probiotic administration can have on mood, physiological responsivity to acute stressors, and endotoxin levels in the blood. I also have a strong interest in using research and progress in understanding the intricacies of the gut microbiome as an educational tool that can extend across multiple courses in an undergraduate biology curriculum.
Catherine Haggerty, PhD
Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Dr. Haggerty is a reproductive, perinatal and pediatric epidemiologist with research interests focused on the role of the vaginal microbiome in pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes. She is currently investigating the role of the pre-pregnancy and prenatal vaginal microbiome on spontaneous abortion and preterm birth among a rural Indian population.
Harry Hochheiser, PhD
Assistant Professor in Department of Biomedical Informatics
Assistant Director of the Biomedical Informatics Training Program
Dr. Hochheiser is interested in the development of informatics strategies for increasing the utility of microbiome data, including information models enabling comparison and integration of microbiome data and interactive tools for exploring and interpreting microbiome data, particularly in combination with related clinical and genomic data
Karl Holtzer, MD, MS
Practitioner of Functional Medicine
Dr. Holtzer’s interests focus on integrative medicine that looks at specific biomarkers of illness. One of his focuses is on the microbiome and digestive health. His goal is to help patients optimize their health by improving their gut health.
David T. Huang, MD, MPH
Associate Professor for the Departments of Critical Care Medicine and Emergency Medicine
Director of the Multidisciplinary Acute Care Research Organization (MACRO)
Administrative Core Director of the CRISMA Center
Dr. Huang is an Associate Professor in Critical Care Medicine and Director of the Multidisciplinary Acute Care Research Organization (MACRO) and the CRISMA Administrative and Long Term Follow-Up Cores. He is the Principal Investigator of a 14-center NIH-funded randomized clinical trial aimed at determining the impact of a procalcitonin-guided strategy on antibiotic exposure and adverse outcomes in LRTI (lower respiratory tract infection) (ProACT). Dr. Huang, together with Drs. Michael Morowitz and Sachin Yende, is also leading an ancillary study designed to characterize the impact of a procalcitonin-guided antibiotic strategy on the microbiome across multiple body sites of LRTI patients, and understand microbiome changes over time in LRTI, and association with outcomes (MAPLE).
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
Magee Womens Hospital
Dr. Modugno is a molecular epidemiologist focused on women’s cancers, especially ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is a highly fatal disease. It is the leading cause of death from a gynecologic malignancy. Over the last thirty years there has been little advancement in understanding the underlying causes of the disease. Beyond bearing children and using oral contraceptives (OCs), few protective factors against the disease have emerged. Moreover, beyond carriage of a mutated BRCA1/2 gene, there are few well-established risk factors for the disease. Through a series of NIH and DOD grants, Dr Modugno’s early work examined the underlying epidemiology of ovarian cancer with a focus on genetic and hormonal factors. Dr Modugno was among the first to show a link between endometriosis and ovarian cancer and that OCs may afford substantial protection for these women, although OC use is less in this population. Although there are several subtypes of ovarian cancer, in general there are no differences in conventional risk factors among the various subtypes. However, pathologically and clinically, we know that the different subtypes have different origins and outcomes. Dr Modugno’s early work began to identify factors differentiating the various subtypes epidemiologically.
Michael Jurczak, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Center for Metabolism and Mitochondrial Medicine
Dr. Jurczak’s lab is interested in understanding how changes in mitochondrial metabolism contribute to the pathogenesis of obesity-associated diseases, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and insulin resistance. The lab is specifically interested in how loss of a mitochondrial quality control pathway called mitophagy during nutritional stress may contribute to aberrant mitochondrial function. The lab specializes in using isotopic tracers to measure rates of metabolism in vivo in transgenic mice and is currently using this methodology and other in vivo methods to understand how host-microbe interactions impact systemic host metabolism.
John Kirkwood, MD
Co-Leader of the Melanoma Program, UPMCI
Thomas and Sandra Usher Professor of Medicine, Dermatology and Translational Science
Dr. Kirkwood completed his MD at Yale University (1973) and postgraduate work at Yale and Harvard/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (1978). He served as founding Associate Director for Medical Oncology at UPCI where he has directed the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program of UPCI since 1986 and is the PI of the recently renewed Pittsburgh SPORE in Melanoma and Skin Cancer (2013-2018). He holds a T32 Training Grant for Melanoma and Skin Cancer (2014), and his research focuses upon the immunotherapy and molecular therapy of melanoma and its precursors where the role of the microbiome of the skin and the GI tract are now of interest in relation to multiple clinical trials of molecular therapeutics and immunotherapy. Dr. Kirkwood is Usher Professor of Medicine, Dermatology, and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh, and Senior Investigator for the University in ECOGACRIN and Chairman of the Melanoma Committee of ECOG-ACRIN (1989-present) and the International Melanoma Working Group (2006-present).
Brett Kaufman, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
My long-standing research interest is to understand the contribution of mtDNA metabolism to disease progression. For 20 years I have been uncovering the fundamental processes that underlie mitochondrial respiratory deficiency with a focus on mtDNA stability and copy number control – processes essential for respiratory function and viability.
Wook Kim, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Duquesne University
Dr. Kim’s research aims to understand how microbial interaction manifests phenotypes of ecological and clinical significance. His group approaches this question through experimental evolution systems to study the mechanisms of multicellular interactions and reduced microbiota systems to study multispecies interactions.
Georgios Kitsios, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine
I am a Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellow interested in the role of the microbiome in critical illness syndromes, such as sepsis and acute lung injury. I am currently investigating the evolution of dysbiosis in a prospective cohort of mechanically ventilated patients and I am also examining the potential clinical utility of next-generation microbial sequencing techniques as novel diagnostic modalities for pneumonia in critically-ill patients.
Jay Kolls, MD
Director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation Institute for Pediatric Research
Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Kolls and his lab are interested in how CD4+ T-cell subsets and their effector cytokines control the microbiota in the gut and lung. To this end, they use genetic tools to generate tissues specific gain and loss of function mutants to study this question.
Bryan McVerry, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine and Environmental and Occupational Health
Associate Director, Medical Intensive Care Unit
Director, Translational Research in ALI
Director, Fellowship Program, PACCM
Dr. McVerry’s research interest is focused on basic and translational investigation of the biological mechanisms underlying the development and consequences of sepsis and acute lung injury. His research efforts are designed to span the continuum from the bench to the bedside.
Larry Moreland, MD
Margaret J. Miller Endowed Professor of Arthritis Research
Professor of Medicine, Immunology, and Clinical and Translational Science
Chief, Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology
Dr. Moreland’s research interest is in translational research for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, lupus and seronegative spondyloarthropathies. He has extensive experience in clinical trials and long-term registries for patients with autoimmune diseases. Specific areas of interest are pathogenesis, biomarkers, and outcomes research. He has extensive collaborations with colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh as well as numerous investigators at other academic institutions. He currently is Director of the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Rheumatoid Arthritis Center and Vasculitis Center.
John Mellors, MD
Professor of Medicine
Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases
Director of the HIV/AIDS Program
Dr. Mellors is also the Executive Director of the HIV Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), which provides comprehensive primary care and access to clinical trials for HIV-infected individuals. Dr. Mellors’ research focuses on the mechanisms of HIV drug resistance, on the use of antiretrovirals to treat and prevent HIV-1 infection, and on persistent reservoirs of HIV-1 and strategies to eliminate them. Dr. Mellors is PI of the NIH-funded Pitt Ohio State Clinical Trials Unit and directs the virology cores for the AIDS Clinical Trials Group and the Microbiocide Trials Network. His expertise and interest in HIV pathogenesis, treatment and prevention intersects well with the scientific priorities of the Center for Microbiome and Medicine.
Tagbo H R Niepa, PhD
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
Dr. Niepa joined the University of Pittsburgh on July 1, 2017 as an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering to focus on the interactions of microbes with biointerfaces through his Microbiointerface Lab. He received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering with honors from Syracuse University in March 2014, focusing on electrochemical treatment of surface-attached and drug-resistant bacterial cells. Upon graduating, he joined the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) as a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow for Academic Diversity. At UPenn, he worked with Professors Kathleen Stebe and Daeyeon Lee in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, in collaboration with Professor Mark Goulian in Biology to develop new methods to study microbial dynamics in artificial microniches and thin films. He deciphered the interfacial properties of bacterial films occurring during bacterial interactions with fluid interfaces. Also, he created functional microbial nanoculture systems to advance the understanding of multispecies microbial dynamics such as those involved in microbiomes. This expertise provides a platform for him to make unique contributions to diverse fields ranging from microbial-based methods of oil recovery to the development of technologies having applications for personalized therapeutics, or in high-throughput screening of currently unculturable microbial communities relevant to biotechnology and drug discovery. He will also leverage his efforts in bioelectrochemistry toward the design of devices and bioelectrical systems for the control of microbial pathophysiology. Also, Dr. Niepa is a co-founder of Helios Innovative Technologies Inc. (now PurpleSun Inc.), a medical device company that develops automated sterilization systems to fight bacterial cross-contamination and hospital acquired-infections
Andrew Prout, MD, MPH
Pediatric Critical Care Fellow
Critical Care Research Fellow
Dr. Prout is in the Department of Critical Care Medicine’s Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program. He attended medical school at Wayne State University and completed his residency in Pediatrics at University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital. Dr. Prout is also a Research Fellow in CCM. His research focuses on the epidemiology and risk factors for development of sepsis and septic shock in children, with a focus on comorbid conditions, indwelling devices, and immunosuppression, as well as late outcomes after septic shock in chronically ill children. Mentored by Dr. Sachin Yende, he is currently performing a retrospective cohort analysis to define these risk factors and evaluate long-term outcomes in this population.
Shulin Qin, MD, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine
Dr. Qin is focusing on the pathogeneses of chronic pulmonary diseases in HIV-infected individuals. He is also interested in the role of the microbiome in the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in HIV-infected persons.
Anuradha Ray, PhD
Host Immune Response Focus Group Co-Leader, Center for Medicine and the Microbiome
Professor of Medicine and Immunology
Endowed Professor of Lung Immunology
Dr. Ray has pursued two main areas of research. In one, she has studied immune responses elicited in the airways by allergens and pathogens to understand the immunological and molecular basis of inflammatory diseases like asthma. In the second, she has investigated mechanisms that counter inflammation. Her overall research interest is to elucidate mechanisms of immune tolerance versus inflammation as they relate to pulmonary diseases such as severe asthma as well as host-pathogen interactions in the respiratory mucosa. Early research from her lab led to the identification of NF-κB as a target for glucocorticoid-mediated repression of gene expression and the discovery of GATA-3 as a master regulator of Th2 cells, which promote allergic diseases including asthma. Her laboratory also identified a key role for Tregs expressing membrane-bound TGF-β with cross-talk with the Notch pathway in promoting immune tolerance in the airways. In a study published recently by her group, rather than a dominance of Th2/type 2 immune response, which is commonly associated with asthma, an IFN-γ/Th1 immune bias was detected in more than 50% of severe asthmatics. The heightened Th1 response was shown to inhibit expression of an important protease inhibitor, SLPI, by airway epithelial cells. This study also utilized a newly developed animal model of severe asthma established in her lab, which can be used to test novel therapeutics for severe asthma. In the context of immune tolerance, her recently published study has identified an important role of mitochondrial metabolism in lung dendritic cells in the maintenance of immune tolerance in the airways. Studies in her lab are conducted using animal models of disease and human samples, which are analyzed using cutting-edge immunological, molecular, biochemical, physiological and imaging techniques.
Matthew Rogers, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Rangos Research Center, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
My primary focus is in applying proteomics methods to understanding necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). I have further wide ranging interests in identifying dysbioses and biomarkers from a broad range of childhood illnesses.
Hyagriv N. Simhan, MD, MS
Professor and Division Chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Dr. Simhan is a practicing Maternal-Fetal Medicine physician and a funded, experienced perinatal researcher. He is experienced in clinical and translational research, with focus on infection/inflammation, and gene-environment interactions in spontaneous preterm birth. He has led single-center human subjects and translational projects in this arena since 2002. His research interest, broadly defined, is understanding the in utero conditions that lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes and program offspring phenotypes.
Ken Urish, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering
Associate Director, The Magee Bone and Joint Center
Dr. Urish is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in adult reconstruction and arthroplasty. His research interest is focused on surgical implant infections and biofilm antibiotic tolerance. Current projects include prospective clinical studies investigating biofilm antibiotic tolerance on implants, use of new antibiotics and antimicrobial peptides to eliminate bacteria persisters, and bacteria diversity and mutation during an infection. www.aadlab.org
Alexandre Vieira, DDS, MS, PhD
Oral Microbiome Focus Group Leader, Center for Medicine and the Microbiome
Professor of Oral Biology
Dr. Vieira is interested in exploring how oral health impacts overall health as well as the genetics of dental, oral, and craniofacial conditions. By profiling microbial species from whole saliva, and comparing the profiles to those of other microbiome samples (such as from the gut or genital tract), he hopes to explore the oral microbiome interacts with the host to explain systemic and oral disease.
David Wilson, MD, MPH
Director, Georgia Cooper Memorial Lung Cancer Research Registry
Associate Director, Lung Cancer Center
Associate Professor of Medicine (PACCM), Cardiothoracic Surgery and Clinical/Translational Science
Dr. Wilson’s research interest is in lung cancer screening and early detection, focusing on high risk populations and risk prediction incorporating clinical data, imaging and serum biomarkers.
Zongqi Xia, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Associated Scientist for the Program in Medical and Population Genetics, Broad Institute
Collaborator and Visiting Scientist for Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Dr. Xia is a principal investigator in the Pittsburgh Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases and a core faculty member in the Pittsburgh Institute of Multiple Sclerosis Care and Research. His Laboratory of Translational Neurology and Neuroinflammation harnesses multi-dimensional patient-derived information (genomics, transcriptomics, epignomics, microbiomes, immune profiling, electronic health records, biometric measurements, neuroimaging phenotypes, cognitive performance, and social structure) and deploys integrative computational and analytical approaches to gain insights into the underlying disease process and translate these findings into the clinical arena to improve individualized risk prediction, prevention, and management in multiple sclerosis and other related disorders of neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.