Current Research Projects and Interests
Reem Abu-Sbaih, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 134
516.696.1312
Our group is studying the role of prior head and body trauma on development of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.
 
Kurt Amsler, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 314F
516.686.3716
Our group is studying the molecular mechanism(s) by which renal ischemia/reperfusion injury leads to renal injury and renal failure. The goal of the research is to identify potential targets for development of novel therapeutics to ameliorate or even block ischemia/reperfusion-induced renal damage.
 
Brian L. Beatty, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 369
516.686.7435
Our group is studying questions related to the vertebrate transition from terrestrial to aquatic, particularly the mammalian orders Desmostylia, Sirenia, and Cetacea. We are especially interested in paleoecology, functional anatomy and histology applications to examine this transition.
 
Gabe S. Bever, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 342
516.686.1249
Our group is studying the role of developmental evolution in the origin of vertebrate body plans. Our current work focuses on skull and forelimb evolution in the origin of birds and turtles.

William Blazey, D.O. (Family Medicine)
Serota Room 142
516.686.1276
Our group is studying the role of genetic testing in primary care settings and the competence of medical providers in offering these tests. We are also examining the role of global health experiences on medical student education and their competency in tropical medicine.
 
Elizabeth Caron, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 139
516.686.4027
Our group is studying the interface between allostatic overload and the effects of OMM specifically on the viscera. This research has implications for a range of disorders including coronary artery disease, GERD and inflammatory bowel disease.
 
Jack L. Conrad, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 321
516.686.3909
Our group is studying the anatomy, paleontology, and evolution of living and extinct reptiles. Current research topics include the evolution of crocodylians and squamates (lizards and snakes) from Kenya, broad squamate interrelationships, the description of new species, and the study of specific morphological characteristics in squamates.
 
Eduard Dedkov, M.D., Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 215E
516.686.3814
ededkov@nyit.edu
Our group is studying the impact of aging and sex/gender on post-myocardial infarction (MI) remodeling with a particular emphasis on the maturation of post-MI scar and structural adaptations of coronary microvessels.
 
Donna Dixon, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 307
516.686.3769
Our group is studying the possible role of gender differences in acheiving success in our medical school. Performance in the first two years, the clinical years, and on the COMLEX Board exams will be examined.
 
Theodore Flaum, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 137
516.686.3712
Our group is studying the effects of OMT on objective measures encompassing musculoskeletal changes secondary to sports, nutrition, and optimizing health and well-being.

Jonathan Geisler, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 367
516.686.7552
jgeisler@nyit.edu
Our group is studying the unique perspectives that emerge when data from living species are combined with that from the fossil record. Taxonomically, we study mammals, with particular emphasis on Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and their aquatic adaptations. A separate area of our research involves fossil mammals from Mongolia and how they responded to global and regional climate change. View website.
 
A. Martin Gerdes, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 212
516.686.4039
Our group is studying the role of cardiac tissue hypothyroidism in the development and progression of heart diseases. The goal of the research is to test the efficacy of thyroid hormone supplementation in the treatment of heart diseases in humans.
 
Patricia Happel, D.O(Family Medicine)
Serota Room 141
516.686.1426
Our group is studying the role of the physician in developing the patient awareness and knowledge-base related to the health implications of obesity, particularly with respect to physical activity and eating habits.
 
Robert Hill, Ph.D(Anatomy)
Riland Room 368
516.686.3807
rhill01@nyit.edu
Our group is studying evolutionary anatomy. Specifically, we are examining the structure of organisms at the gross and microscopic levels, and in an evolutionary context. Instead of focusing on a single taxon, we are investigating organ systems (e.g., skeletal, integumentary, circulatory) in various taxa.
 
Sharon Koehler, M.D. (Medicine)
Serota Room 123
516.686.1407
Our group is studying aspects of breast health including mastalgia, breast cancer genetics and breast cancer screening.
 
Patricia Kooyman, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 134
516.686.1309
Our group is studying the hypothesis that combined treatment with both osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and phototherapy will provide greater pain relief than either treatment alone or standard medical management for patients with chronic lower back pain.
 
Bhuma Krishnamachari, Ph.D. (Medicine)
Riland Room 20
516.686.7564
Our group is studying ethnicity-specific issues in genetic testing for hereditary cancer. We have also recently started to study the efficacy of adjunctive therapies for Parkinson’s disease.
 
Isaac Kurtzer, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 19A
516.686.3913
ikurtzer@nyit.edu

Our group is studying the sensori-motor coordination of the human arm.  We are particularly interested in how the body controls corrective responses to unexpected force perturbations, e.g., like steadying a cup as it is filled with coffee. Related to this, we are studying how Parkinson’s disease impacts the ability of corrective action to integrate information across the elbow and shoulder.
 
Deborah Lardner, D.O. (Family Medicine)
Serota Room 120
516.686.3989
dlardner@nyit.edu
Our group is studying the impact of access to nutritional information on the nutritional status of children in villages in Ghana.
 
Brookshield Laurent, D.O. (Family Medicine)
Serota Room 141
516.686.1228
blaurent@nyit.edu
Our group is studying Primary Care Physicians adherence patterns to clinical practice guidelines for breast and cervical cancer screening and the effect of informational materials on their adherence patterns.
 
Joerg Leheste, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 24
516.686.3764
jleheste@nyit.edu
Our group is studying the fundamental mechanisms involved in the early pathogenesis of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
 
To Shan Li, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 136
516.686.3821
tli05@nyit.edu
Our group is studying the efficacy of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, autism, and low back pain. We are also interested in the role of technology in health care delivery and the use of complementary treatments in patient care.
 
Qiangrong Liang, M.D., Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 207
516.686.1331
qliang03@nyit.edu
Our group is studying several aspects of cardiac physiology/pathophysiology. 1) We are exploring mechanisms of myocardial protection by caloric restriction and exercise training and developing drugs that mimic the beneficial effects of caloric restriction and exercise. 2) We are investigating why diabetic patients and animals are predisposed to heart failure and developing mechanism-based approaches to reduce the susceptibility. 3) We are investigating why the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin can cause heart failure and how myocardial homeostasis can be restored by coordinately promoting survival mechanisms and blocking cell death pathways.
 
Matthew Mihlbachler, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 329
516.686.3808
mmihlbac@nyit.edu
Our group is studying convergent evolution and how environmental change influences the evolution of reoccurring anatomical systems. Current projects include investigations into the evolution and functional morphology of limbs and joints and the study of dental wear to understand the role of dietary change in the evolution of mammalian dentitions.
 
Michael Passafaro, D.O. (Medicine)
Serota Room 120
516.686.3753
Our group is studying field techniques for identification of Chagas’ disease in remote populations and the effect of access to informational materials on recognition of the disease in these remote populations.
 
Charles Pavia, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 215B
516.686.3778
cpavia@nyit.edu
Our group is studying host immune responses against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease with an aim towards developing improved treatment and prevention options. Another area of research involves investigating methods of eradicating potential environmental bacterial pathogens that may contaminate certain food products and water.
 
Kathleen Mangunay Pergament, D.O. (Medicine)
Serota Room 139
516.686.4001
kpergame@nyit.edu
Our group is studying the various barriers to HPV vaccination and developing programs to promote increased HPV vaccination and increased women’s health literacy.
 
Ely Rabin, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 28
516.686.3941
Our group is studying how tactile and proprioceptive cues are integrated with other sensory feedback in the control of posture and locomotion in individuals with Parkinson's disease and healthy populations. We will apply the results of this research to developing sensory aids for improving movement control in impaired populations.
 
Raddy Ramos, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 19B
516.686.1318
rramos02@nyit.edu
Our group is studying the diversity of neurons in the brain, both anatomic and functional, during brain development and in brain pathologies.
 
Sonia Rivera-Martinez, D.O. (Family Medicine)
Serota Room 116A
516.686.1418
srmartin@nyit.edu
Our group is studying the impact of interoperator reliability on assessment of diagnostic palpation in practicing osteopathic physicians. We are also investigating the effect of access to accurate information on diabetic patients’ health habits.
 
Karen Sheflin, D.O. (Family Medicine)
Serota Room 116A
516.686.3760
ksheflin@nyit.edu
Our group is studying the effect of race, level of education and health literacy on the extent of Type II diabetic patient’s knowledge of diabetes.
 
Nikos Solounias, Ph.D. (Anatomy)
Riland Room 304
516.686.3766 
Our group is studying the evolutionary development of the modern horse.
 
David Tegay, D.O. (Medicine)
Serota Room 122
516.686.3897
Our group is studying the genetic basis for hereditary conditions including Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Essential Tremor (ET) and Fascioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD).

Michael Terzella, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 136
516.686.1307
Our group is studying the role of the use of smartphones, tablet computers, laptop computers and desktop computers on development of head, neck and upper back pain in the medical student population.
 
German Torres, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 32
516.686.3806
Our group is studying the neurochemical mechanisms underlying disease progression in several brain disorders. The objective is to develop therapeutic treatments to ameliorate or revers progression of these disorders.
 
Aleksandr Vasilyev, M.D., Ph.D.(Biomedical Sciences)
Riland Room 21/22
516.686.3829
Our group is studying the molecular mechanism underlying the collective cell migration that occurs during renal development in zebrafish and, possibly, in higher vertebrates. We are also using a novel zebrafish model system to define the molecular mechanisms mediating recovery from acute kidney injury.

Sheldon C. Yao, D.O. (OMM)
Serota Room 127
516.686.3754
Our group is studying the efficacy of OMT to produce detected changes in objective measures of the autonomic, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems. We are also examining the role of manual training and video presentations on osteopathic medical student mastery of OMT.

Steve Youmans, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 215B
516.686.3796
Our group is collaborating with the Gerdes group in examining the role of cardiac tissue thyroid hormone deficiency in the cause and progression of heart disease.

Youhua Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences)
Rockefeller Room 211
Phone: 516.686.3810
Our group is investigating potential mechanisms causing atrial remodeling and increased atrial fibrillation arrhythmogenesis in heart failure. The objective is to identify potential treatment options to improve outcome.