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2013 Central Region IDeA Conference Speaker Bios

Tatiana Bronich, Ph.D.

Professor, Pharmacy, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Title: Nebraska Center for Nanomedicine

Bronicn PhotoDr. Bronich is a Parke-Davis Professor at the College of Pharmacy and Co- Director of the Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Her educational background includes undergraduate training in Chemistry and graduate studies at the Department of Polymer Sciences at Moscow State University, Russia. She spent four years as a research fellow in the Institute of Elementoorganic Compounds of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and worked at the Department of Polymer Sciences at Moscow State University until her arrival to UNMC in 1995. Her research interests are in the area of self-assembling polymer materials and applications in medicine. Of special interest is the design and study of novel types of functional materials based on complexes formed between block ionomers and oppositely charged polymers and low molecular weight amphiphilic molecules. Her work has expanded to include the application of these amphiphilic block copolymers and block ionomer complexes in drug delivery to treat cancer and infectious diseases.


Sheila A. Caldwell, Ph.D.

Program Director, Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity, NCRR
Title: NIGMS Welcome

Caldwell PhotoDr. Caldwell is a Program Director in the Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity (TWD). Dr. Caldwell was transferred with NCRR’s IDeA program in December 2011. Dr. Caldwell manages IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) grants and Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) grants. In addition, she directs the Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH) program.

Dr. Caldwell earned a B.A. from Boston University and a Ph.D. from George Washington University in Molecular and Cellular Oncology. She joined NIH in 2001 as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute.


Kimberly A. Carlson, Ph.D., MSEd

Professor, Biology, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Title: Characterization of Site of Nora virus Replication in Drosophila melanogaster

Carlson photoDr. Kimberly A. Carlson is a Professor and Assistant Chair of Biology focusing on molecular genetics and teaching introductory as well as human genetics. Her training is in molecular genetics, developmental biology, and human disease. She received her B.S. And M.S.Ed in Biology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, her Ph.D. in Genetics, Cellular, and Molecular Biology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and was a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Center for Neurovirology and NeurodegenerativeDisorders at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). She became a Research Associate and Proteomics Core Director at UNMC before returning to UNK in 2003. She currently serves as the INBRE grant coordinator on the UNK campus and her research interests are in the genetics of aging, genetics of immunity, and the relationship between the two. Currently she is working on characterizing the recently discovered Drosophila picornavirus, Nora virus.


Julie Christianson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center
Title: Early Life Stress in Female Mice as a Model of Chronic Pelvic Pain

Christianson PhotoDr. Christianson, is an assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She received an A.B. in Biology and Chemistry from Drury University in Springfield, MO, and a Ph.D. in Anatomy from the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she studied the therapeutic effects of neurotrophic growth factors in diabetic neuropathy with Dr. Doug Wright. Dr. Christianson spent 7 years at the University of Pittsburgh, 4 years as a postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Dr. Brian Davis and 3 years as a research assistant professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. It was during this time that Dr. Christianson began focusing her research on sensory input from the viscera, specifically the effect that early life events have on nociceptive processing within the pelvis. She received NRSA, K01 and R03 funding from NIH while at Pittsburgh and is currently funded by the COBRE P20 GM104936 to study the impact of early life stress and injury on vulvovaginal sensitivity.


Pat Conway, Ph.D., MSW

Senior Research Scientist, Essentia Institute of Rural Health
Title: Factors That Influence Career Choices of Students in Rural and Tribal Communities

Conway PhotoDr. Conway has a BA and Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a social work educator and researcher prior to taking on research full time in 2006. Dr. Conway has 30 years’ experience with research and evaluation in the areas of programs designed to recruit tribal and rural students into science and health careers, Native American elder health, suicide prevention, health prevention in rural and tribal communities, and rural health networks. She is the Editor of the Journal of Family Social Work; recently published a chapter on rural Native American Behavioral Health issues, a book on family support and a book on prevention of intimate partner and sexual violence. She and the INBRE team published their initial article on NDINBRE in the Council on Undergraduate Research Journal.


Paul Davis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biology, University of Nebraska
Title: Investigating Novel Anti-Parasitic Compounds Using Next-Generation Sequencing

Paul Davis PhotoDr. Paul Davis completed a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine, where his pathogenesis work on the human gut parasite Entamoeba histolytica utilized proteomic and functional genomic approaches. In 2006, Dr. Davis began an NIH‐funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania under David Roos, where his work there was published in the journals Science and Nature. In 2010, Dr. Davis joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha as an assistant professor, where INBRE support served as the critical factor in attracting him to UNO. Since then, he has included literally dozens of undergraduates in his research, and has published multiple times. His current research investigates the human brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii.


Wei-Qun Ding, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Experimental Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Title: Antioxidant Enzymes and Docosahexaenoic Acid’s Anticancer Activity

QunDing Photo Dr. Ding is an Associate Professor of Experimental Pathology in the Department of Pathology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He received his Ph.D. in Sciences of Medicine from Lund University in Lund, Sweden, and completed his post-doctoral training in Molecular Oncology in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Mayo Clinic and Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Ding joined the Department of Pathology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as a faculty member in 2002. His research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms and anticancer actions of metal binding compounds and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA). He has published around 40 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals including Cancer Research, Gastroenterology, Blood, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular Pharmacology, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, and Biochemical Journal. Over the last 5 years, he has received over 1.8 million dollars in grant support.


John Dixson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Science, Black Hills State University
Title: Investigation into the Antimalaria and Antibiotic Properties of American Indian Medicinal Plants

Dixson Photo Dr. Dixson is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Science at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota. He earned his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Iowa where he worked with Professor Charles Barfknecht on topically active carbonic anhydrase inhibitors for the treatment of glaucoma. He did a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Peter Lansbury Sr, at SUNY at Buffalo, which was his introduction to natural products and the synthesis of natural products. Dr. Dixson was a Senior Research Chemist at FMC Corporations Research and Development Center in Princeton, New Jersey for 22 years prior to moving to Black Hills State University in 2007. He has been involved in the South Dakota INBRE Project since 2008 where he has mentored 8 undergraduate students. His research interests center around the exploration of natural products from American Indian medicinal plants. He is particularly interested in new chemistry to address an ever growing problem with resistance in many of the current antibiotics as well as finding new antimalarial chemistry.


Van Doze, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Biology, University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Title: Harvesting the Bountiful Fields of the Northern Great Plains: Leveraging Resources to Build a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program

Doze PhotoDr. Doze is an Associate Professor at the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine & Health Sciences. He completed a B.S in Chemistry at Wichita State University, KS, and received his Ph.D. in Molecular & Cellular Physiology from Stanford University, CA. He also completed postdoctoral fellowships in Neurophysiology and Neuropharmacology at Stanford. His research currently focuses on G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) regulation of adult neurogenesis and cognitive function. Along with peer-reviewed publications, he has co-authored a number of invited reviews and book chapters on GPCRs and neurogenesis. In addition to being a founding member of UND’s first COBRE award, he has been active in the ND INBRE since 2007. He also has successfully administered several NSF projects including CAREER, MRI, and REU Site grants, as well as currently mentors two graduate students with GRFP awards. Throughout his career at UND, Dr. Doze has been actively involved in promoting science and research education for disadvantaged rural and tribal students.


Kristi Egland, Ph.D.

Assistand Professor, OB/GYN, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine
Title: Raw Functions of Sushi Domain Containing 2 (SUSD2) in Breast Tumorigenesis

England Photo Dr. Egland attended Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Iowa in 2000. She continued her training as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD where she developed a molecular approach to discover new genes encoding proteins that could be used either to diagnose breast cancer or as a target for therapy. In 2004, she moved to Sioux Falls, SD where she is an Associate Scientist at the Cancer Biology Research Center, Sanford Research/USD and Assistant Professor in the Department of OB/GYN at Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota.


Vicki Geiser, Ph.D., MS

Assistant Professor, Biology, Mount Marty College
Title: Development of an Organotypic Raft Culture System to Study the Role of Latent Membrane Protein 1 During Epstein-Barr Virus Replication

Geiser PhotoDr. Geiser is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of Medical Laboratory Sciences at Mount Marty College. She grew up in Lincoln, NE and attended the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) graduating with a BS, MS, and PhD in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in molecular virology. Dr. Geiser completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital’s Infectious Disease Division and Harvard Medical School’s Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. During her fellowship, she was a recipient of a Kirschstein-NSRA Postdoctoral Fellowship, an American Association for Cancer Research Pathobiology of Cancer Workshop Travel Award, and an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Geiser currently serves as an Undergraduate Research Fellows (UGF) Program Mentor in the South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (SD-BRIN) where her laboratory is investigating how Epstein-Barr Virus causes cancer. Dr. Geiser is a collaborator in the Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute Undergraduate Research Program in Microbial Genome Annotation, was a recipient of a travel award from the Microbial Genome Annotation Network, and recently has received funding to establish a DOE supported South Dakota Genomics Consortium which she serves as the regional liaison.


Jared J. Grantham, M.D.

Professor, Nephrology, University of Kansas Medical Center
Title: From the Kitchen Floor, to the Bench, to the Bedside in 65 Years

Grantham PhotoDr. Grantham is the Harry Statland Professor of Nephrology and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He is also Professor of Internal Medicine and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He graduated from Baker University in 1958 with an A.B. degree in Biology and Chemistry and membership in the Alpha Delta Sigma honorary scholarship society. He graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1962, having been elected to membership in Alpha Omega Alpha in the junior year.

He trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Kansas for two years before entering a Nephrology Research Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. He served as a Staff Investigator at the NIH for three years, returning in 1969 to the University of Kansas to join the Nephrology Division of the Department of Medicine.

In 1970 he was named Director of Nephrology, a position he held until 1995. He is currently the most senior of 10 Kansas University Medical Center faculty members who have received the title University Distinguished Professor, the highest rank in the University of Kansas System.

Dr. Grantham served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the American Society of Nephrology, Chairman on the Council of the Kidney, American Heart Association, Chairman of the Cardio-Renal Study Section, American Heart Association, Founding Editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, co-founder and Chairman of the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation and Co-Founder and Director of the Kidney Institute.

Dr. Grantham has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1970. He has published 263 primary research papers, reviews and book chapters, co-authored or edited four books dealing with renal disease, and supervised the training of 34 research fellows and graduate students.


Jacqueline Gray, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Pathology, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Title: Three Sisters Garden: Growing a Native American Center of Excellence

Gray PhotoDr. Gray is a research associate professor and the associate director of indigenous programs at the Center for Rural Health and the Department of Pathology at the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She has research experience in the areas of health and mental health including suicide prevention, rural veteran health services, spirituality and health, psychometrics, and wellness and nutrition in adolescents. Her research with American Indians includes health, depression, anxiety, veteran’s health services, spirituality, suicide, career counseling and nutrition. Gray directs the Seven Generations Center of Excellence in Native Behavioral Health (SGCoE) and the National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative (NIEJI). She works with the National Resource Center on Native American Aging (NRCNAA), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Outreach Partnership, Rural Psychology and Integrated Care and the UND American Indian Health Research Conference.


Judith H. Greenberg, Ph.D.

Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Title: NIGMS Welcome

Greenburg PhotoDr. Greenberg became acting director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences on July 12, 2011. In this position, she oversees the Institute’s $2.4 billion budget, which primarily funds basic research in cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, biomedical technology, bioinformatics and computational biology. NIGMS supports more than 4,700 research grants—about 11 percent of the grants funded by NIH as a whole—as well as a substantial amount of research training and programs designed to increase the diversity of the biomedical and behavioral research workforce.

A developmental biologist by training, Greenberg has directed the NIGMS Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology since 1988. In Fiscal Year 2012, the division’s budget was $555 million. She served as NIGMS acting director once before, from May 2002 to November 2003. Greenberg’s other leadership roles at NIGMS include overseeing the development of the Institute’s strategic plan issued in 2008 and its strategic plan for research training issued in 2011. She now chairs the implementation committee for the training strategic plan.

Her strong interest in bioethical issues related to genetics led Greenberg to hold the First Community Consultation on the Responsible Collection and Use of Samples for Genetic Research in September 2000. In addition, she chaired an NIH working group on community consultation in genetic research, which issued a document titled “Points to Consider When Planning a Genetic Study that Involves Members of Named Populations.” She currently serves on the NIH Bioethics Task Force. Greenberg has also advised NIH on human embryonic stem cells and gene therapy. She served as principal leader of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award program from 2004 to 2012 and of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award program from its inception in 2007 to 2012.

Greenberg was the NIH program representative to the Federal Demonstration Partnership from 1991 to 1998 and was a member of its executive committee from 1996 to 1998. Prior to joining NIGMS as a program administrator in 1981, Greenberg conducted research in the intramural program of what is now the NIH's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Her focus was on cell migration and differentiation in early embryonic development. Greenberg’s honors include a Public Health Service Special Recognition Award in 1991 and a Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award in 1999. Her leadership of the Pioneer and New Innovator Award programs was recognized with NIH Director’s Awards in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Greenberg earned a B.S. degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.A. degree in biology from Boston University and a Ph.D. degree in developmental biology from Bryn Mawr College.

Kenneth Humphries, Ph.D.

Assistant Member, Free Radical Biology and Aging Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Title: Mitochondrial Defects in the Diabetic Heart

K Humphries PhotoDr. Humphries is an Assistant Member in the Free Radical Biology and Aging Program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City. He obtained his B.S. in chemistry from John Carroll University and his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. His graduate work identified mechanisms of free radical damage in cardiac mitochondria. He then did is postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Diego in the laboratory of Dr. Susan Taylor, where he identified novel mechanisms of redox regulation of protein kinase A. He has been at OMRF since 2006. The focus of his current research is identifying how mitochondrial function and free radical production are affected by metabolic disorders.


Sidney A. McNairy, Jr, Ph.D., D.Sc, LHD

Past Branch Chief, Capacity Building Branch, NIGMS/NIH
Title: Translational Research: A National Imperative

McNairy PhotoDr. McNairy is an award winning academician and senior-level federal grants administrator. He has spent his entire federal career at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s premier biomedical research organization and principal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that evolves new knowledge that focuses on the causes, effects, prevention, and treatment of human disease. During his career at NIH, Dr. McNairy has been the driving force behind the success of a number of innovative programs that strengthened the biomedical research infrastructure at both emerging and research-intensive institutions throughout the nation. He has also been a leader in developing programs that address health-disparities and health-related science education for K-12 students and the general public.

From 1995 to 2012 Dr. McNairy served as the Associate Director for Research Infrastructure in the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), NIH and the Director of the Division of Research Infrastructure (DRI). The principal objective of DRI was to provide oversight for programs that provided much of the infrastructure needed by the nation’s research community to conduct biomedical and behavioral research.

As the Director of DRI, he ensured that the congressional directives to develop and implement programs to increase the research competitiveness of investigators in underserved states and developing institutions were achieved. Dr. McNairy was the driving force behind the success of the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Program, the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program, the Animal Facilities Improvement Program (AFIP), the Research Facilities Improvement Program (RFIP), the Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA), the Minority Summer High school Summer Research Program, and the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) Program. These programs provided funding to enhance, build, expand, remodel or renovate research facilities; facilitate research advances across a broad range of diseases that impact the nation’s health; and develop faculty, post-docs, graduate, undergraduate and high school students for careers in the biomedical sciences.

Dr. McNairy considers strong mentoring to be a central and integral component of the systems that lead new researchers to choose careers in biomedical research. Consistent with his belief in the value of mentoring, in 2006 he led the U.S. delegation of students to the 56th Meeting of Noble Prize Winners in Lindau, Germany. Among the one thousand students from all over the world who attended this conference were 12 students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities that participated in the weeklong meeting that included lectures by 23 Nobel Laureates.

From 2000 to 2010 $0.556 and $2.379 billion respectively was appropriated for the RCMI and IDeA Programs. With these resources, these communities successfully competed for $ 2.379 and $ 14.8 billion from the NIH to support biomedical research. These funds enabled the scientists in twenty-three states and Puerto Rico associated with the IDeA Program and scientists at 18 minority institutions to contribute to research advances in basic, clinical, and translational biomedical and behavioral research, thereby facilitating the movement of research from the bench to the bedside into the community. This was a crucial step for the 34 medical schools associated with these two programs. Moreover, in FY 2009, the operating budget for DRI was ca. $400 million. This included ca. $100 million from the American Recovery and Re-investment Act (ARRA). These resources provided support for the conduct of basic, clinical, and translational research as well as the development of the infrastructure needed to support this research. Support for the information technology (IT) infrastructure was a vital part of this infrastructure, ensuring that both IDeA states and minority institutions funded via the RCMI Program could develop a more robust IT infrastructure for collaborative research. As the complexity of DRI increased (due in large measure to the growth of the budget), many of these programs were reassigned to other parts of NCRR and NIH.

For example, from 1995 to 2005, $660 million was appropriated for the RFIP Program in DRI. During this time, approximately 356 research facilities were built throughout the nation. The grantee community leveraged these funds to produce over $2.1 billion of biomedical research space. When the construction budget was increased to $ 1 billion through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 1999, the Construction Program became an independent office. However, the Construction Systems Management Approach developed in DRI was key to the successful management of the ARRA projects and funding.

Dr. McNairy considers among his greatest career accomplishments notable contributions to fundamental research in biochemistry as well as to planning and administration of national research initiatives. His research has focused on the isolation, chemical characterization, and molecular mechanism of actions of triterpenoid glycosides. In addition, as a visiting scientist at Eli Lily, he worked with the pioneering research team that isolated proinsulin, sequenced the insulin connecting polypeptide, and developed a radio-immunological assay for proinsulin.

In the past decade, serving as Director of the Division of Research Infrastructure at NCRR, Dr. McNairy eveloped and implemented an entirely new concept, which was that research opportunities for students and faculty in states that traditionally have had limited participation in the nation’s biomedical research agenda deserve expansion and significant support. Moreover, he also launched the RCMI Translational Research Network, a multi-site network that enabled 18 minority institutions to collaborate with each other and with the greater biomedical research community through cyber workspaces.

Dr. McNairy received his B.S. in chemistry/mathematics from LeMoyne-Owen College and both the M.S and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University in biochemistry with minors in human physiology and organic chemistry. He has done further study at Columbia University. Prior to coming to NIH, he was a Professor of Chemistry at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, and the Director of the Health Research Center. During his tenure at Southern University, he was a visiting scientist at Charles Pfizer, Eli Lily, General Electric, Standard Oil of California, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. McNairy has received numerous awards and honors, including 8 honorary doctorate degrees, designation as an “Old Master” by his alma mater Purdue University, membership in the Golden Parade of alumni and election to the Board of Trustees of LeMoyne –Owen College. He is an honorary member of the Tuskegee Veterinary Medical Alumni Association, has been designated an “Arkansas Traveler” by the governor of Arkansas, and is a member of the Nebraska Admiral’s club.

He has received two University “Presidential Awards”, the NIH’s Director’s Award, is a member of federal government’s Senior Executive Service, and was selected by Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government to participate in the Program for Senior Managers in Government. In 2002 he was the first recipient of the Frederick C. Greenwood Award, in recognition of his excellence as a research administrator and meritorious service to the RCMI grantee community. At the second biennial national IDeA Biomedical Research Symposium in June of 2008, a lecture series was named in his honor.

From January 2012 to January 2013, Dr. McNairy was the Branch Chief for the Capacity Building Branch in NIGMS/NIH. He was responsible for providing management oversight for the IDeA, NARCH and SC1,2, and 3 programs.

On January 3, 2013 Dr.McNairy elected to end his 37.5 year federal career as a member of the Senior Executive Service, the highest civilian rank in the federal government.


Courtney Montgomery, Ph.D.

Associate Member, Arthritis & Clinical Immunology Research Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Title: Modeling, Genetic Information Networks and HLA imputation: Tools to Dissect Inflammatory Disorders

Montgomery PhotoDr. Montgomery has been engaged in genetic epidemiology and biostatistics research for over 10 years, including projects on Metabolic Syndrome, energetics and cancer, autoimmunity and inflammatory disorders. As an advisor for the Human Genetic Analysis Resource, she also spent several years working on the development and refinement of methodology for both linkage and association studies, with a special emphasis on family-based methods. Dr. Montgomery currently has NIH grants to study the genetics of Sarcoidosis (R01) as well as serve as Bioinformatics Core Director for a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence and a Center of Research Translation. Her current work centers on the genetics of inflammation including a large exome sequencing study in Sarcoidosis and whole genome and RNA sequencing studies in Lupus and Sjögren’s.



Kristi L. Neufeld, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas
Title: Nuclear APC Suppresses Inflammation-Associated Colon Tumorigenesis

NeufeldPhotoA Kansas native, Dr. Neufeld graduated from Bethel College in 1987 with a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in biology. She obtained a PhD in cellular, viral, and molecular biology from the University of Utah in 2003 with the last two years of her thesis research performed at the University of California, Irvine. Her PhD work, under Dr. Ellie Ehrenfeld, was focused on poliovirus replication. She returned to the University of Utah for post-doctoral work in human genetics in the laboratory of Raymond White and was subsequently a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. In 2003 she joined the University of Kansas. Dr. Neufeld’s laboratory studies the tumor suppressor protein adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) to understand how mutations in the APC gene lead to colon carcinogenesis. Dr. Neufeld previously demonstrated that nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling of APC is critical for its function and her research now uses both cultured cells and mouse models to further define both upstream triggers and downstream consequences of nuclear APC.


Matthew Portnoy, Ph.D.

Director, Division of Special Programs, NIH
Title: Introduction to the NIH SBIR and STTR Small Business Programs

Portnoy PhotoDr. Matthew Portnoy is the NIH SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator and Director, Division of Special Programs, Office of Extramural Programs, Office of Extramural Research, NIH. In this role, he manages the SBIR/STTR programs at NIH and coordinates the 24 NIH Institutes/Centers that receive funding for the programs. Matt received his B.S. in molecular and cell biology from Penn State University. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Matt then joined the Intramural Program of National Human Genome Research Institute as a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Portnoy made the leap to the extramural side of NIH in 2005 and joined the National Institute of General Medical Sciences as a program director. Over his time at NIGMS, he managed R01 grant portfolios in DNA repair, recombination and replication, SBIR/STTR grants, F32 post-doctoral fellowships, cooperative agreements, R25 education grants. Dr. Portnoy also served as SBIR/STTR program lead for NIGMS for nearly 6 years prior to his current post.


Emily E. Scott, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Kansas
Title: Structure and Function of Cytochrome P45017A1: Prostate Cancer Drug Target

Scott PhotoDr. Scott first became interested in heme proteins during undergraduate research with brittle stars containing hemolgobin, leading to studies on myoglobin for her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Rice University. Emphasis on heme proteins continued with cytochrome P450 research during postdoctoral training in the Pharmacology and Toxicology Department at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Now an associate professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas, Dr. Scott works on human cytochrome P450 enzymes. Research on these intriguing membrane proteins employs biochemical and structural biology techniques to understand the roles of P450 enzymes in drug metabolism and to exploit them in the prevention and treatment of lung and prostate cancer, respectively.

Last modified: Jul 26, 2018