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Ph.D. Alumni

Ph.D. Faculty

Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Interim Dean, College of Pharmacy
Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D.
Scholarly Activities:
  • Garnered in excess of $800,000 in research grants from the National Institutes of Health and private entities, as principal investigator and/or collaborator
  • Published more than 30 scientific papers, abstracts, and books
  • Served as a reviewer for numerous journals
  • Served as an American Heart Association local and national grant reviewer
  • Served as a reviewer for the NSU President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
Research Focus:
  • Central and peripheral signaling pathways for blood pressure regulation and control
  • Role of the central renin angiotensin system in the regulation of cardiovascular and other diseases
Peter M. Gannett, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Education
Peter Gannett
Scholarly Activities:
  • Won $15 million in research grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Justice, and Department of Defense as co-investigator, principal investigator, or program director
  • Published over 300 scientific abstracts, papers, book chapters, and patents
  • Serves as a reviewer for 30 journals and numerous NIH, AHA, Israel, and DOD review panels and study sections
  • Associate editor for Molecules
Research Focus:
  • Synthesis and structure/conformation of carcinogenic adducted DNA and carcinogenesis
  • Cytochrome P450 enzymes: structure, drug design, and electron transfer processes
  • Nanobioscience: fabrication of point-of-care devices, nano-platforms for biochemistry
  • Computational biology
Appu Rathinavelu, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Associate Dean, Institutional Planning and Development
Appu Rathinavelu
Scholarly Activities:
  • Garnered approximately $200,000 in research funding
  • Published over 50 articles in refereed journals
  • Made 100 presentations at regional and national scientific meetings
  • Primary inventor of 6 patents and co-author of 1 patent application
  • Co-authored 3 book chapters and 1 book
  • Reviewer for more than 10 scientific journals
Research Focus:
  • Drug discovery and testing
  • Biomarker development for disease diagnosis and management
  • Gene expression analysis in highly metastatic tumors
  • Understanding intracellular pathway regulating angiogenesis
  • ANP receptor regulation and cardiovascular function
Ana Maria Castejon, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Interim Chairperson, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Ana Castejon
Scholarly Activities:
  • Published 18 scientific research papers
  • More than 40 national and international scientific presentations
  • Collaborated in NIH funded grants
  • Reviewer for several scientific journals and book publishers
Research Focus:
  • Oxidative stress and autism
  • Pharmacist intervention in minority populations of diabetics
  • Statins effects in vascular smooth muscle cells
  • Molecular biology
Rais A. Ansari, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Rais Ansari
Scholarly Activities:
  • Published 20 scientific papers and abstracts
  • Reviewer of several journals
  • Grant submissions to NIH and several foundations
Research Focus:
  • Mechanism of alcohol-mediated hypertension
  • Toxicology
Luigi Cubeddu, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Luigi Cubeddu, M.D., Ph.D.
Scholarly Activities:
  • 160 publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • 23 book chapters
  • 300 presentations at scientific meetings
Research Focus:
  • Mechanisms and treatment of hypertension associated with obesity
  • Salt-sensitive hypertension: epidemiology, genetic and acquired factors
  • Early detection of insulin resistance and abnormalities in glucose metabolism
  • Statin withdrawal syndrome
  • Antiviral actions of statins
Richard C. Deth, Ph.D., Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Richard Deth
Scholarly Activities:
  • Over 150 scientific publications, research abstracts, and book chapters
  • Published a monograph
  • Obtained more than $1 million in research funding from NIH, the American Heart Association, and private foundations
  • Reviewer for numerous grant applications and manuscripts
  • Expert witness in court cases concerning vaccination and autism
  • Holder of 4 patents pertaining to the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia and related disorders
Young M. Kwon, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Young M. Kwon
Scholarly Activities:
  • Published 25 peer-reviewed scientific research papers
  • Authored two book chapters
  • Made 30 national and international scientific presentations
  • Co-authored 1 U.S. and several international patents
  • Reviewer for more than 10 scientific journals
Research Focus:
  • Targeted delivery and triggered release system for therapeutic macromolecules
  • Bioconjugate chemistry and PEGylation
  • Nonviral gene carriers and intracellular drug delivery
  • Protein stability and release from biodegradable polymer
Jean J. Latimer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Founding Director, NSU AutoNation Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research
Jean J. Latimer
Scholarly Activities:
  • Garnered over $6,700,000 in research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the Department of Defense, and private entities
  • Published 35 scientific papers, reports, book chapters, and books
  • Presented over 100 scientific abstracts at national and international meetings
  • Served as a reviewer for five journals, the National Cancer Institute, NASA, and the American Cancer Society
  • Served as study section chairperson for the Komen for the Cure, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the New York State Department of Health
  • Inventor of 2 patents
Research Focus:
  • Loss of DNA repair as causative factor in cancer formation
  • Breast tissue engineering
  • Ancestral disparity in breast cancer development and pharmacogenomics
  • Drug resistance (via cancer stem cells) in childhood leukemia
Anastasios Lymperopoulos, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
A. Lymperopoulos, Ph.D.
Scholarly Activities:
  • Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) with its Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS) Council since 2011
  • American Heart Association (AHA)`s Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (2005-2008) and Scientist Development Grant (SDG) active awardee (AHA National Center) for $314,000
  • 2006 American Heart Association`s Melvin L. Marcus Young Investigator Award in Cardiovascular Sciences finalist and 2010 Cardiovascular Research Award of the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) finalist
  • Over 28 publications in biomedical research journals
  • Chapter author in 3 educational textbooks
  • Peer reviewer for the American Heart Association`s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Council
  • Member of the editorial boards of the American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease and the Journal of Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis
  • Scientific manuscript reviewer for five journals
  • Co-inventor in two provisional patents
Research Focus:
  • Cardiovascular biology/pharmacology and gene therapy, with a focus on adrenergic system regulation in heart failure
  • Novel roles of G-protein coupled receptor kinases and their co-factors
David Mastropietro, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
David mastropietro
Scholarly Activities:
  • 17 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals
  • 6 patent applications
  • Two-time recipient of the NSU Chancellor’s Faculty Research and Development Grant
  • One-time recipient of the Health Professions Division Research Grant
  • Two book chapters
  • Over 20 poster and podium presentations
Research Focus:
  • Abuse deterrent formulations: dosage form development and abuse evaluation
  • Hydrogels: superporous hydrogels, biomedical applications, and gastric retention
  • Pharmacy compounding: formulation development, production, potency, and stability of solids, liquids, and semisolid preparations
Enrique A. Nieves, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Enrique Nieves
Scholarly Activities:
  • Served as reviewer for two scientific journals
  • Organized a symposium on nanotechnology applications in drug delivery in San Juan, P.R.
  • Established research collaboration with local and international universities
  • One-time recipient of the Health Professions Division Research Grant
  • Various poster and podium presentations at professional meetings
  • Author or co-author of U.S. and international patents
Research Focus:
  • Applications of nanotechnology in drug product development and pharmaceutical process designs in small and large scale
  • Applications of PAT technologies in drug development and manufacturing
  • Development of co-excipients for improved drug formulations
  • Nanotechnology applications in the extraction and isolation of new drugs from natural sources
  • Applied research in new technology applications in drug design and development from molecule to market

Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Founding Director, NSU Center for Drug Discovery and Development
Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji
Scholarly Activities:
  • 3 licensing contracts for my patents
  • Main inventor for 39 provisional, international, U.S., European, and Canadian patent applications
  • 2 U.S. issued patents
  • Principal investigator and project manager for 4 extramurally funded contracts
  • Invited grant reviewer for NASA, the University of Connecticut, and California Northstate University
  • Featured multiple times on national news channels and websites
  • Published more than 98 peer-reviewed, scientific papers and abstracts
  • Over 86 presentations in national and international meetings
  • Reviewer for major pharmaceutical journals
  • Selected NSU Professor of the Year (2014)
Research Focus:
  • Enhancing the permeability and relative bioavailability of poorly absorbed drugs by nanotechnology
  • Formulation and delivery of drug-loaded nanoparticles through non-invasive and user-friendly routes of administration
  • Formulation and evaluation of sublingual ODT tablet as an alternative, non-invasive dosage form
Hamid Omidian, Ph.D., Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Hamid Omidian
Scholarly Activities:
  • Primary inventor of 3 issued U.S. patents, 10 patent applications, and 30 invention disclosures
  • Author or co-author of 81 peer-reviewed journal publications and 150 conference presentations
  • Author or co-author of 25 books and book chapters
  • Principal investigator, co-principal investigator, and co-investigator of grant proposals and industry contracts worth $2.9 million
  • Three-time Golden Apple nominee and one-time Golden Apple winner for teaching excellence
  • Google Scholar’s citations of 4280, h-index of 29, and i10-index of 46
  • Frequent reviewer for 8 scientific journals
Research Focus:
  • Abuse deterrent pharmaceutical formulations
  • Gastric retention oral drug delivery
  • Hydrogels
  • Pharmaceutical polymers
Robert C. Speth, Ph.D., Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Robert Speth
Scholarly Activities:
  • Published over 190 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals
  • Authored 39 book chapters and other scholarly publications
  • Co-edited 1 book
  • Co-edited special issue of the International Journal of Hypertension
  • Organized symposia for the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics and a symposium for the Southeastern Pharmacology Society
  • NIH supported research on renin-angiotensin
Research Focus:
  • Renin-angiotensin system and regulation of the cardiovascular system by the brain
  • Development and analysis of novel compounds to study the renin-angiotensin system
  • Radioligand preparation and use to study receptors
  • Development of a novel rodent brain atlas
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
Malav S. Trivedi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Malav Trivedi
Scholarly Activities:
  • Recipient of $500,000 in research/scholarship grants from private organizations and funding agencies as co-investigator or principal investigator
  • Reviewer for three scientific journals
  • Associate editor for the Journal of Frontiers in Biosciences
Research Focus:
  • Nutritional biochemistry and molecular effects of nutritional interventions in vitro, in vivo, and in clinical samples
  • Pre-clinical and clinical evaluation of metabolic and epigenetic changes on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA in neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Tumor biology and microenvironment
  • Gulf war illness and chronic fatigue syndrome
Manuel J. Carvajal, Ph.D., Professor and Chairperson, Department of Sociobehavioral & Administrative Pharmacy
Manuel Carvajal
Scholarly Activities:
  • Author/editor of 8 books
  • Over 120 journal articles, reports, and book chapters
  • Reviewer for over 10 scientific journals
Research Focus:
  • Applied econometrics geared to problem solving
  • Various areas of human capital including fertility, migration, poverty, and discrimination
  • Gender and ethnic differences in labor market outcomes and job satisfaction
  • Pharmacist workforce
Barry Bleidt, Ph.D., Pharm.D., RPh, FAPhA, Professor, Sociobehavioral & Administrative Pharmacy
Barry Bleidt
Scholarly Activities:
  • Published 16 peer reviewed articles
  • Obtained federal, state, foundation, and private company funding for multiple research projects
  • Developed one of the first expert systems for computerized drug utilization review
Research Focus:
  • Developing databases and information systems that assist in evaluation of drug therapy including improving drug selection, avoiding drug therapy problems, and diagnosing drug-induced disease
  • Use of meta-analysis techniques to obtain evidence from the literature
Nile M. Khanfar, Ph.D., M.B.A., Associate Professor, Sociobehavioral & Administrative Pharmacy
Nile Khanfar
Scholarly Activities:
  • Published more than 60 articles and abstracts
  • Over 70 presentations in national and international conferences
  • Served as a reviewer for multiple scientific journals
Research Focus:
  • Management leadership
  • Strategic management/marketing business cases
  • Direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medication and its influence on their behavior
L. Leanne Lai, Ph.D., Professor, Sociobehavioral & Administrative Pharmacy
Leanne Lai
Scholarly Activities:
  • Presented 108 research projects at national and international conferences
  • Published 24 scientific articles
  • Served as reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and multiple pharmacy associations
  • Received research funding from multiple sources
Research Focus:
  • Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
  • Pharmacoepidemiology and Secondary Data Analysis
  • International Education
Alexandra Perez Rivera, Pharm.D., Associate Professor, Sociobehavioral & Administrative Pharmacy
Leanne Lai
Scholarly Activities:
  • Participated in 9 funded internal and external research grants
  • Over 30 peer-reviewed scientific papers and abstracts
  • Over 60 presentations at local, national, and international pharmacy and non-pharmacy conferences
  • Manuscript reviewer for several pharmacy and diabetes-related journals
  • Grant reviewer or panel chair for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy New Investigator Award and the NSU President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant Programs
Research Focus:
  • Type 2 diabetes outcomes
  • Pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacoeconomics
  • Racial/ethnic disparities
  • Pharmacy health services
Ioana Popovici, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Sociobehavioral & Administrative Pharmacy
Ioana Popovici
Scholarly Activities:
  • Served as investigator on several grants and contracts funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the Florida State Department of Children and Families
  • Published 24 peer-reviewed articles in multidisciplinary, professional journals
  • Co-authored 3 book chapters
  • Frequent referee for 20 peer-reviewed, professional journals
Research Focus:
  • Specialized in the economics of substance use. Research interests pursued along four interconnected lines:
    1) economic evaluation of substance abuse treatment interventions,
    2) relationship between substance use and its economic consequences,
    3) econometric methods for studying substance use, and
    4) effect of public policies on substance use and health outcomes
  • Pharmacist workforce
Silvia E. Rabionet, Ed.D., Associate Professor, Sociobehavioral & Administrative Pharmacy
Silvia Rabionet
Scholarly Activities:
  • Served as principal investigator or co-investigator on various research grants
  • Published 15 articles and abstracts in professional journals
  • Co-authored one book chapter
  • Co-authored a book and 5 technical reports
Research Focus:
  • Health disparities
  • Public health issues
  • Research capacity building in HIV
Jesús Sánchez, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Sociobehavioral & Administrative Pharmacy
Jesuz Sanchez
Scholarly Activities:
  • Garnered in excess of $1.9 million in research grant funding
  • Published 15 manuscripts in professional journals
  • Authored one book
  • Made 36 presentations at international and national meetings
Research Focus:
  • HIV reduction among high risk Hispanic migrant workers
  • Building capacity and infrastructure in the migrant farm worker communities of South Florida
  • Susceptibility to pesticide toxicity in the endocrine systems of migrant farm workers
  • Prevalence of HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and associated risk factors among Hispanic intravenous drug users
Georgina Silva-Suárez, Ph.D., Assistanct Professor, Sociobehavioral & Administrative Pharmacy
Georgina Suarez
Scholarly Activities:
  • Co-investigator on a research grant awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Principal investigator of a developmental grant component of a grant awarded by the National Institute for HIV and Mental Health
  • Co-author of 3 journal articles
  • Over 20 presentations at national and international scientific meetings
Research Focus:
  • Adherence to antiretroviral therapy
  • HIV prevention
  • Life experiences of youth living with HIV
  • Adolescent health
Albert Wertheimer, Ph.D., Professor, Sociobehavioral & Administrative Pharmacy
Georgina Suarez
Scholarly Activities:
  • Authored or edited 43 books
  • Over 400 journal articles published in scientific and professional journals
  • Lectured or consulted in nearly 80 countries
  • Editor of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
  • Conducted outside funded research valued at several million dollars
  • Fellow of the International Pharmacy Federation
  • Recipient of the Research Achievement Award of the AAPS, the Dawson Award from the AACP, and a fellowship from the APhA
Research Focus:
  • Health economics
  • Outcomes research
  • Health policy
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