Expert Directory

Monica Y. Bartlett

Associate Professor & Chair of Psychology

Gonzaga University

Psychology, psychology & social behavior, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Social & Emotional Learning, Social Psychology, Relationship Attitudes , relationship building, emotional awareness

I run the Positive Emotion and Social Behavior Lab. We examine how specific emotions influence relationship building and personal well-being outcomes. Much of my work has focused on the emotion gratitude and its role in shaping our relationships with others, both through our personal experience of gratitude and in our expression of gratitude to others.


Dr. David Baskin is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He completed his medical training at Mount Sinai School of Medicine of the CUNY, and a residency at the University of California. He completed a fellowship in neural protection at the University of Capetown Medical School. He also completed a fellowship in brain endorphins at the University of California. Baskin is the primary investigator for a number of clinical trials looking at different novel diagnostics and treatments for primary brain tumors and autistic spectrum disorder. His clinical focus is on the treatment of brain and spinal tumors.

Metabolic Disorders, Diabetes, Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease

Dr. Bastarrachea is a Staff Scientist in the SNPRC and the Department of Genetics. His research focuses on the biology and genetics of complex metabolic traits with focus on cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. His research has helped to develop and establish the baboon as a non-human primate (NHP) model to study the physiological mechanisms regulating fat tissue metabolism in obesity and diabetes, with a special emphasis on hormone regulation and action.

Lina Begdache

Assistant Professor of Health and Wellness Studies

Binghamton University, State University of New York

Nutrigenomics, Neurodegeneration, Nutrition, Mental Distress, Microbiota, Food

Craig Bennett

Orthopedic Surgeon

LifeBridge Health

Sports Injuries, Acl Tears, cartilage damage, hip damage, Rotator Cuff Tears, shoulder instability

Dr. Bennett is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, fellowship-trained in sports medicine, with more than 20 years of orthopedic surgery experience. He has provided medical care to teams at every athletic level, most recently serving as the director of sports medicine at the University of Maryland, where he was the team orthopedic surgeon for University of Maryland athletics. He has treated a number of NFL and Division 1 college athletes, helping them return successfully to their sports.

John Bernal

Assoc, Dir. of Veterinary Resources

Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Animal Behavior, Veterinarian

Dr. Bernal oversees all aspects of the SNPRC animal care and use program. He has more than 36 years of experience in laboratory animal care and medicine. To increase the number of certified laboratory animal technicians at Texas Biomed and other institutions, he has developed institution-wide training and certification programs. Dr. Bernal has been integral to developing the SNPRC study process manual that details all of the steps required to complete a study from start to finish. Dr. Bernal oversees and develops standard operating procedures for:

Comprehensive socialization and environmental enrichment plan
Preventative medicine program (frequent physicals, TB testing, parasite evaluation, viral testing)
Veterinary care program
Aseptic technique
Management of pain and distress
Animal enclosure sanitation.

Eric Bernicker

Thoracic medical oncologist

Houston Methodist


Dr. Eric Bernicker is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in medical oncology. He completed his medical training, a residency in internal medicine, and a fellowship in hematology at Baylor College of Medicine. He also completed a fellowship in medical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Bernicker is the primary investigator for a number of clinical trials looking at different novel therapies for lung cancer, including immunotherapy. His main clinical focus is on solid tumor oncology, specifically cancers that arise in the thorax such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, head, and neck cancer, and uveal melanomas.  He is also interested in targeted therapy for specific mutations that can lead to more personalized treatments for patients battling cancer.
He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

Biomaterials, Nanomedicine, Nanomaterials, Diseases, Vitro, VIVO, Biosensors, Texas, San Marcos, Texas State University, Higher Education

Research in the Biomaterials and Nanomedicine Laboratory focuses on capturing the promise of nanomaterials for the development of new strategies for the detection and treatment of diseases. Specifically, our group develops functional nanostructures that can act as highly specific contrast agents for bioimaging, in vitro and in vivo biosensors, targeted and intracellular drug delivery systems, and stimuli controlled delivery systems. These responsive nanomaterials incorporate functional nucleic acid linkers, enzymatically cleavable linkers, polyelectrolytes, and amphiphilic copolymers to mediate physico-chemical changes in the polymeric networks upon interaction with target molecules, leading to the desired material response. Work in the laboratory encompasses the synthesis and characterization of copolymers and nanoparticles, in vitro confirmation of stimuli-responsive behavior, and the evaluation of the particle functionality on cultured human cells. Dr. Betancourt’s group collaborates with academic and industrial researchers for preclinical evaluation of the compatibility and efficacy of the developed biomaterials and technology transfer.
Current projects in Dr. Betancourt’s laboratory include the development of: (1) aptamer-based responsive nanostructures that can be activated by disease-specific molecules, and on the study of the applications of these functional materials in targeted drug delivery, bioimaging, and biomolecular sensing; (2) highly specific nanoparticle-based near infrared contrast agents and drug delivery systems for optical detection and treatment of cancer; (3) photoablation agents and biosensors based on conductive polymers.

Aerosol, Engineering, Nanotechnology, Air Pollution

Biswas has been honored for his outstanding contributions to aerosol research; however, his academic interests span a wide range of topics. He also studies nanoparticle technology, air quality, combustion, environmental technologies and thermal sciences. Holding leadership positions with the McDonnell Academy of Global Energy & Environment Parternship and the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy & Sustainability, Biswas also has nearly 300 journal publications, presents his work internationally and holds six patents.

Dr. Pete Blair

Professor of Criminal Justice and the Executive Director of ALERRT

Texas State University

Mass Casualities, ALERRT, Policing, Investigation, Mass Shoot, Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Training

Dr. Blair is a Professor of Criminal Justice and the Executive Director of the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University. He received his Doctoral Degree from Michigan State University and his Master's and Bachelor's degrees from Western Illinois University. His current research involves active shooter events.

Cancer, Breast Cancer Screening, Radiology, Mammography, breast cancer early detection, Breast Cancer, Breast Imaging, breast biopsy

Clinical Chief of Breast Imaging, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Areas of expertise: Breast cancer early detection, mammography/breast imaging, breast biopsy, breast cancer screening, radiology

Dawn Bowdish

Professor, Pathology & Molecular Medicine

McMaster University

Microbiology, Pathology, Molecular Medicine, Infectious Disease

In 2009, she joined the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine at McMaster University and was promoted to associate professor in 2014. In 2019, she was promoted to tenure professor in the same department. The Bowdish lab focuses primarily on the effects of aging on the immune system, specifically macrophages. Her lab has been able to elucidate a mechanistic explanation for how aging alters myeloid cells and how these cells increase susceptibility to pneumococcal pneumonia. In 2017, the Bowdish lab demonstrated that age-associated gut microbe dysbiosis in mice increases age-associated inflammation. Bowdish currently holds an h-index score of 38. Bowdish's published works have received much media attention and continue to contribute more information regarding the interplay between the immune system, the gut microbiota, susceptibility to infection and aging.

Jennifer Brannock Cox

Director for the Salisbury University Media Literacy Institute

Salisbury University

Multimedia Journalism, mass communication, Social Media, Civic Journalism, Media Literacy, Community, Immersion

Sociology, Demographics, Birthrate, birthrates, population aging, fertility rate

Melanie Brasher is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Rhode Island. She holds a master's and Ph.D. from Duke University. She is a demographer and expert in population aging whose research includes unintended births and health. She is particularly interested in the impact of economic disparities, social support, and community context on the health and well being of older adults in China. As a grad student at Duke, she was a National Institute on Aging pre-doctoral trainee for social and medical demography of aging. She also served as a visiting scholar at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing in 2011, and continues to collaborate with public health researchers on investigations of risk factors and health among elderly Chinese.

Gavin Britz

Director of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute

Houston Methodist


Dr. Gavin Britz completed his medical training at the University of Witwatersrand. He completed a residency in and fellowships in cerebrovascular and interventional neuroradiology at the University of Washington. Britz also completed a fellowship in general surgery at John Hopkins Hospital. Britz is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Britz conducts scientific research that seeks to understand the cerebral microcirculation. His clinical research includes evaluating new and novel tools to treat a wide variety of problems such as brain aneurysms and skull base tumors. His clinical areas of expertise include neurological tumors and surgeries.

Conservation, Endangered Species, Wolves

My research is centered on understanding and explaining how people make conservation-related judgments and decisions, and the intersection of such judgments with conservation policy.  I am particularly interested in how people make decisions related to the conservation of wildlife, and the origins of resource-related conflicts, especially those that involve wildlife. Much of my recent work is focused on understanding judgments and behaviors concerning large carnivores.

Natural resources-related values, attitudes, behaviors
Natural resources conflicts
Wildlife management and policy
Human-wildlife conflict


Rachel Ida Buff is an immigration historian and program coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). She is available to discuss contemporary and historical immigrant populations in Wisconsin and across the United States. She can also speak to how the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals legislation impacts American higher education on a systemic and individual level and how universities, faculty and affected students are responding. Buff is available for radio, television and print interviews.
Her most recent book is “Against the Deportation Terror: Organizing for Immigrant Rights in the 20th Century” (Temple University Press, 2017). She is the editor of “Immigrant Rights in the Shadows of Citizenship” and the author of “Immigration and the Political Economy of Home: West Indian Brooklyn and American Indian Minneapolis, 1945–1992.”

Exercise, pain, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Pain Measurement

Board certified rheumatologist and a clinical scientist whose area of research is in both the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of persistent pain. Dr. Ang has been the primary investigator of three National Institute of Health (NIH)-funded clinical trials in fibromyalgia. He has approximately 25 publications in peer reviewed journals in arthritis and pain. Dr. Ang has served as an ad hoc reviewer for NIH, and also a reviewer of research abstracts for the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). He is an active member of both the ACR and the American Pain Society.
Executive director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and a visiting professor of Law at Georgetown Law. He is a co-director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law. Cabrera has worked on projects with the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, among other organizations. He has studied and is interested in various health law-related fields, such as public health law, sexual and reproductive rights, health and human rights, global tobacco litigation and health systems law and policy. 

Cabrera can comment in English or Spanish on the actions of the WHO and International Health Regulations related to Ebola.

Maternal Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Obstetrics, preeclampsia (PE)

I practice obstetrics, specializing in maternal fetal medicine. This includes treatment of preeclampsia and other problems that can occur during pregnancy. I also treat women experiencing preterm labor and those who have a history of adverse pregnancy outcomes. 

Patient-centered care is important to me. In obstetrics, there can be gray areas in approaches to treatment. It is important that healthcare decisions be made as a team with the patient and family as key and essential parts of this team. 

Something many people don't know about me is that, during my career as a Navy physician, I was deployed and provided care in Haiti, Afghanistan and Central America.