Expert Directory

Kimberly Balsam, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Psychology, Professor, Director of the LGBTQ Area of Emphasis, Director of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-Based Applied Research (CLEAR)

Palo Alto University

community mental health, LGBTQ Psychology, Trauma, Depression, Anxiety

Kimberly F. Balsam, Ph.D., received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Vermont in 2003 and her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from University of Oregon in 1994.  She completed a predoctoral internship at the VA Puget Sound in Seattle, WA from 2002-2003, a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Washington from 2003-2006, and was Research Assistant Professor in the UW School of Social Work from 2007-2012. 

Dr. Balsam’s research focuses broadly on the health and well-being of stigmatized populations, with an emphasis on ethnically diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and queer people. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, many in top journals in the field of psychology.  She has also authored numerous book chapters related to LGBTQ psychology and is the editor of the 2004 book Trauma, stress, and resilience among sexual minority women: Rising like the Phoenix.  Dr. Balsam has been the principal investigator on grants funded by National Institutes of Health continuously since 2003.  Most recently, she was awarded an R01 grant from NICHD to conduct a 10 year longitudinal follow up study of same-sex and heterosexual couples previously surveyed in 2001-2 (R01HD069370, Longitudinal study of legal status, stigma, and well-being among diverse couples). CUPPLES Study. Current projects in collaboration with students include studies of Compassion Cultivation Training with LGBTQ adults, transgender and gender nonconforming parents, emotion and behavior among transgender and cisgender adults, and gender diversity/non-binary gender within LGBTQ communities.  Dr. Balsam supervises student research in the RISE (Research on Intersectional Sexual and gender minority Experiences) lab. RISE.

Dr. Balsam is Past President of APA’s Division 44 (Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity) and is currently Co-Chair of the Division 44 Task Force on Racism. She is also a Fellow of this Division and was the 2010 recipient of their Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. Her presidential columns detailing her activities during her presidential year, which focused on intersectionality, non-binary identities, mentoring, and dissemination can be found here

Dr. Balsam also has a 20-year history of clinical practice in a wide range of settings including community mental health, correctional, inpatient, and most recently private practice.  Her clinical interests include cognitive behavioral therapy with adults experiencing depression, anxiety, and PTSD and couples therapy with same-sex and heterosexual couples. 

At PAU, Dr. Balsam is Professor, Director of the LGBTQ Area of Emphasis, and Director of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-Based Applied Research. She teaches research methods and clinically-oriented courses in the Ph.D. program and psychopathology in the M.S. program.


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.

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

Begdache’s research interests include nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics, neurodegeneration, nutrition and mental distress, and microbiota. She teaches several courses, including Human Nutrition and Metabolism, Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology, Principles of Cell Biology, Molecular Genetics, and Pathophysiology of Nutrition-Related Diseases.

Begdache was featured by publications such as Bustle and The New York Post for her researching showing a connection between food and mood, and she wrote a piece for The Conversation on the hefty price of study drug misues on college campuses. 

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.

Steven Bennett, PhD

Senior Vice President, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs

Household and Commercial Products Association

Scientific policies, Green Chemistry, Air Quality, Sustainability, household and commercial products

Steven Bennett leads the Scientific Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, International Affairs, and Strategic Alliances & Industry Relations functions, including Retail Engagement. Steven is responsible for leading the scientific department, developing science policies and positions, and providing scientific guidance on issues covering HCPA’s product divisions.  He is currently leading HCPA’s TSCA implementation efforts and is the staff executive for the Floor Care and Pest Management Divisions. Steven serves on EPA’s prestigious Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC). Steven works with HCPA member companies on technical aspects pertaining to green chemistry, air quality, sustainability, California’s Proposition 65, and poison prevention issues.  Steven serves as the Association’s primary external spokesperson on scientific, technical and sustainability issues.

Prior to joining HCPA, Steven worked as a scientist and chemist for E.A. Engineering, taught several years in academia, and continues to lecture in the Environmental Science and Policy Master’s Program at Johns Hopkins University. Steven holds a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Lock Haven University (Pennsylvania).

John Bernal, DVM

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, MD

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, Ph.D. Criminal Justice

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

Andrea S. Boyles, Ph.D

Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies

Tulane University

Race, Gender, Black citizen-police conflict, racial-spatial politics, Containment

Author of books, You Can’t Stop the Revolution:  Community Disorder and Social Ties in Post-Ferguson America (UC Press 2019) and Race, Place, and Suburban Policing:  Too Close for Comfort (UC Press 2015). 

As a feminist, race scholar, and ethnographer, her work accounts for social inequality and (in)justice regarding, but not limited to the following: race; the intersection of race, gender, and class; Black citizen-police conflict; crime; racial-spatial politics, segregation, and containment; poverty; social ties; and resistance.

She has served in various capacities in academia, as well as, worked with corporations and organizations such as American Airlines, Amnesty International, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE) on matters pertaining to race and discrimination.  She has also served as a delegate to the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) and presently, as member and secretary of the Council for Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS).  Additionally, she previously taught within the Missouri prison system and presented research on the effects of incarcerated parents on children.   

She holds a B.A. in English and M.A. in Sociology from Lincoln University of Missouri, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Kansas State University with concentrations in Gender and Criminology.

Astrophysics, LIGO, LSC, LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Gravitational Waves, Patrick Brady, UW-Milwaukee , Cosmology, Black Holes, Universe

Astrophysicist Patrick Brady at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee yesterday began his duties as spokesperson for the international scientific collaboration that studies gravitational waves using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). 
The spokesperson of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) speaks on behalf of the 1,300 scientists in 20 countries who are engaged in gravitational wave research with data from observatories located in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana.
Brady, a UWM professor of physics and director of the Leonard E. Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics, is sixth in an elite group of scientists who have served as LSC spokespersons since the LSC formed in the late 1990s. Former spokespersons were Nobel Prize winner Rainer Weiss (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Peter Saulson (Syracuse University), Dave Reitze (Caltech), Gabriela Gonzalez (Louisiana State University) and David Shoemaker (MIT). 
Brady’s research focuses on the analysis and interpretation of data from the network of gravitational-wave detectors. He served on the executive committee of the LSC from 2004-2006, and has co-chaired the LSC Inspiral Analysis Group and chaired the LSC Data Analysis Software Working Group. He joined the UW-Milwaukee faculty in 1999, after a fellowship at Caltech. In 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and he shared in the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize. Video from 2017:

Jennifer Brannock Cox, Ph.D.

Director for the Salisbury University Media Literacy Institute

Salisbury University

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

Jennifer Brannock Cox is an assistant professor in the Communication Arts Department at Salisbury University. She earned her bachelor’s degrees from Appalachian State University double majoring in journalism and public relations. She received her master’s degree from the University of Alabama in community journalism and doctorate from the University of Florida in mass communication. Her specialties include multimedia journalism, newsroom culture and social media. Cox worked as a reporter in newsrooms throughout Florida covering multiple beats for print and online publications. She gained multimedia reporting experience as an intern at The Washington Post’s Loudoun Extra. Cox teaches courses in journalism incorporating new and social media techniques alongside traditional media writing skills and theory.

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, MD, MBA, MPH, MBBCh

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.

Kendrick Brown, Ph.D. psychology

Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

University of Redlands

race and ethnic studies, Psychology, Social Psychology, Racial Identity, allyship, Allies

University of Redlands social psychologist Kendrick Brown, who also leads the institution's College of Arts & Sciences as dean, researches racial attitudes, the effect of skin tone bias (treating others differently because of their skin color), and other issues including allies, ethnicity and culture, and discrimination.  

He recently co-authored, "Are allies who we think they are?: A comparative analysis" in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology and presented “Through the looking glass: Leadership lessons on negotiating race and identity in the 21st-century academy" at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Conference of Academic Deans, in Washington, DC.

Brown holds a Ph.D. and master's degree in psychology from the University of Michigan. 

Lisa Brown, Ph.D.

Professor & Director of the Emph Risk and Resilience Lab

Palo Alto University

Clinical Psychology, Trauma, Stress, vulnerable and underserved populations, Violence, Suicide, Aging, Resilience, disasters and terrorism

Lisa M. Brown, Ph.D., ABPP is a tenured Professor, Director of the Trauma Program, Director of the Risk and Resilience Research Lab at Palo Alto University, and faculty advisor for the Association of Traumatic Stress Studies. Her clinical and research focus is on trauma and resilience, global mental health, aging, and vulnerable populations. As a researcher, she is actively involved in developing and evaluating mental health programs used nationally and internationally, crafting recommendations aimed at protecting individuals and communities during catastrophic events, facilitating participation of key stakeholders, and improving access to resources and services. Dr. Brown’s current funded research is focused on developing a suicide assessment and treatment educational program for students at the Navajo Technical College and the development and evaluation of trauma and peace building interventions to reduce the likelihood of further escalation of conflict in Central African Republic. 

From 2007 to 2014, Dr. Brown served as the Assistant Clinical Director of Disaster Behavioral Health Services, Florida Department of Health where she helped write the state disaster behavioral health response plan, develop regional disaster behavioral health teams, and conduct program evaluations of SAMHSA and FEMA crisis counseling programs. From 2008 to 2011, Dr. Brown was appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary to the Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee of the National Biodefense Science Board Federal Advisory Committee, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she contributed to the development of a national behavioral health response to disasters, terrorism, and pandemics. Her research experience and collaborative relationships with first responder groups and long-term care organizations led to the development of the 2nd edition of the Psychological First Aid Field Guide for Nursing Home Residents. 

Dr. Brown is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association Division 20, Gerontological Society of America, and a Senior Fellow of the Palo Alto University Institute of Global Mental Health. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Specialist awards with the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica (2014) and with Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand (2015).

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