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hsri member nancy burke

Professor

(415) 514-9419

Hometown: Nashville, TN

  • B.A.: UT Knoxville
  • M.A.: University of Oregon
  • PhD.: University of New Mexico

Joined UC Merced: 2015

Current Research Focus:

Current work focuses on a number of topics including:

  • Organizational health literacy innovative models and care for the structurally vulnerable
  • Understanding and promoting oral health literacy
  • Tobacco cessation interventions for LEP groups
  • Breast cancer screening and survivorship

Past Research Topics:
  • Oral Health Disparities
  • Cancer Clinical Trial Recruitment
  • Filipina Breast Cancer Suvivorship

Medical Anthropology

Areas of expertise:
  • Global Health
  • Cancer
  • Oral Health
  • Social Inequalities
  • Health Literacy
  • Clinical Trials Recruitment
  • Suvivorship
  • Tobacco Cessation
Graduate Student Research:
  • Health effects of immigration policy
  • Social capital and networks among rural African Americans
  • Breast cancer screening disparities
  • Family networks and long term care in Merced, Co.
  • Refugee Oral Health
  • Ethnography of Behavioral Health

Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate Courses: Qualitative Research Methods
Graduate Courses: Grant writing, Professional Seminar, Qualitative Research Methods, Mixed Methods, Health Behavior Theory
Current Graduate Students: 4

Community Affiliation:
  • Shanti Breast Cancer Program
  • Pilipino Senior Resource Center
  • Member of HSRI Executive
Current Funding Needs:
  • Funding to support community led research partnerships
  • Graduate student funding for health literacy and cancer disparities research
Recent Success:
  • Principal Investigator of National Institute of Nursing Research R01 (Health literacy systems in the safety-net: Lessons from complex care management.)

Acting Associate Professor

Hometown: Madrid, Spain

  • B.Sc.: University Complutense, Madrid
  • M.S.: University Complutense, Madrid
  • PhD: Spanish National Research Council

Post Doc: NIH

Joined UC Merced: 2017

Current Research Focus:

Applying our research findings to engineer proteins with altered functionality to serve as templates for potential therapeutic targets, and to the biotechnological application of protein molecular platforms and ultra-structures.

  • Molecular mechanisms that control cellular processes essential to life from a biochemical and biophysics perspective
  • Regulation of inflammation & programmed cell death
  • Autoimmune disorders, cancer, neurological and cardiovascular diseases

Past Research Topics:
  • Molecular bases of Inflammation and programmed cell death NMR Spectroscopy

Bioengineering

Areas of expertise:
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Protein Engineering and Design
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
  • Electron Microscopy
  • Inflammation
  • Programmed Cell Death
Graduate Student Research:
  • Application of biophysical techniques to the study of bio-macromolecular assemblies

Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate Courses: Biochemistry for Bioengineers
Graduate Courses: Potentially: Macromolecular Assemblies in Biology; Advanced Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Current Graduate Students: 0

Community Affiliation:
  • Red Cross
  • Member of HSRI Executive Committee
Current Funding Needs:
  • Funding for research on the structure, function and biotechnological applications of biomacromolecular assemblies
Recent Success:
  • Watch this Space
Dr Sidra Goldman-Mellor

Assistant Professor

(209) 228-2498

Hometown: Tucson, AZ

  • B.A.: Cornell
  • MPH.: UC Berkeley
  • PhD: UC Berkeley

Post Doc: UNC / Duke

Joined UC Merced: 2014

Current Research Focus:

The majority of work focuses on understanding how the social environment can affect risk for psychological problems like depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior – and, in turn, how those psychological problems affect our risk for other kinds of poor health outcomes. Current research examines the causes and long-term health consequences of suicidal behavior.


Past Research Topics:
  • Social factors as causes of psychological disorder
  • Effects of psychological disorder on physical health and economic outcomes

Mental Health / Epidemiology

Areas of expertise:
  • Suicide epidemiology
  • Depression & anxiety
  • Links between mental and physical health problems, including violence
  • Economy & mental health
Graduate Student Research:
  • Access to and quality of behavioral health care in rural California.
  • Use of technological innovations in improving elders’ health and quality of life.

Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate Courses: Intro to Epidemiology; Research Seminar: Analysis of Epidemiologic Data.
Graduate Courses: Epidemiology; Research Methods
Current Graduate Students: 2

Community Affiliation:
  • Involved in Fresno County Suicide Prevention Collaborative.
  • Serves as Director of HSRI Biostatistics & Data Support Core.
  • Memeber of HSRI Executive Committee
Current Funding Needs:
  • Research funding for graduate students
  • Staff funding for HSRI Biostatistics & Data Support Core to better support medical research being conducted by healthcare providers within the San Joaquin Valley
Recent Success:
  • Awarded $750,000 NIH grant in 2017 to evaluate health outcomes of suicidal behavior in CA
HSRI member Ajay Gopinathan

Associate Professor

(209) 228-4048

Hometown: Novi, MI

  • B.A: Vanderbilt University
  • PhD: University of Chicago

Post Doc: UC Santa Barbara

Joined UC Merced: 2012

Current Research Focus:

Translating mathematical and computational understanding of biological systems to predict strategies for controlling or optimizing processes such as transport within cells, metastasizing tumors, division & growth in bacteria to aid development of therapeutic interventions.


Past Research Topics:
  • Actin based Motility
  • Polymer transport
  • Elasticity of thin sheets
  • Colloidal dynamics

Theoretical and Computational Biological Physics

Areas of expertise:
  • Intracellular Transport
  • Bacterial cell growth, division and shape maintenance
  • Protein Biopolymer Structure and Dynamics
  • Collective dynamics of flocks and swarms
Graduate Student Research:
  • Cargo transport in complex intracellular environments
  • Foraging in networks and in groups
  • Disordered proteins transport

Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate Courses: Biophysics, Physics for Biological Sciences
Graduate Courses: Statistical Mechanics
Current Graduate Students: 5

Community Affiliation:
  • Member of HSRI Executive Committee
Current Funding Needs:
  • Graduate student funding for research: Collective motility in cellular clusters, flocks and swarms
  • Graduate student funding for research: Mechanisms of bacterial growth, division and shape
Recent Success:
  • Director, NSF-CREST Center for Cellular and Bimolecular Machines
  • James S. McDonnell Foundation. Grant awarded for research on complex systems that "breaks new ground or challenges common assumptions".
hsri member sachin goal

Assistant Professor

(734) 576-2200

Hometown: Agra, India

  • B.Tech.: IIT-Varanasi, India
  • M.S.: University of Michigan
  • PhD: University of Michigan

Joined UC Merced: 2012

Current Research Focus:

The Biomechanics and Mechano-biology program focuses on research in core areas of Mechanics, Dynamics or Controls with applications to Biology and Medicine:

  • Deformations of Biological Filaments
  • Constitutive Modeling from Atomistic Details
  • Understanding Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) from Controls Theory
  • Early Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease
  • Effect of Deep-Brain Stimulation on PD
  • Management of Motor Symptoms of PD from the Perspective of Human Biomechanics

Past Research Topics:

Biomechanics

Areas of expertise:
  • Dynamics and Controls
  • Mechanics of Biological Filaments
  • Human Biomechanics
Graduate Student Research:
  • Inverse Methods for Mapping Constitutive Law of Biological Filaments
  • Dynamics of Active Filaments

Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate Courses: Strength of Materials, Introduction to Multi-body Dynamics
Graduate Courses: Introduction of Multi-body Dynamics, Continuum Mechanics
Current Graduate Students: 3

Community Affiliation:
  • Member of HSRI Executive Committee
Current Funding Needs:
  • Graduate student, post-doc research
  • Collaborative research on Parkinson’s disease
Recent Success:
  • ILTI grant for development of Online course on Strength of Materials
Katrina Hoyer

Assistant Professor

(209) 228-4229


Past Research Topics:

Areas of expertise:
Graduate Student Research:

Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate Courses:
Graduate Courses:

Community Affiliation:
Current Funding Needs:
Recent Success:
hsri member changqing li

Assistant Professor

(209) 228-4777


Past Research Topics:

Areas of expertise:
Graduate Student Research:

Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate Courses:
Graduate Courses:

Community Affiliation:
Current Funding Needs:
Recent Success:
hsri member mark sistrom

Assistant Professor

(203) 623-9979

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

  • B.S.: Macquarie University
  • M.S.: Victoria University
  • PhD.: University of Adelaide

Post Doc: Yale University

Joined UC Merced: 2015

Current Research Focus:

Understanding the evolutionary processes which drive the emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens and develop new strategies to combat them:

  • Examining how microbes evolve over time and space using a broad range of organismal systems, with a focus on microbiome studies, multi-drug resistant bacteria and RNA viruses. Utilizing high throughput genetic sequencing to provide genomic scale data, which is then analyzed to test developed hypotheses.

Past Research Topics:
  • Molecular ecology
  • Phylogenetics
  • Comparative genomics of trypanosomes

Bioinformatics and Genomics

Areas of expertise:
  • Genomics
  • Comparative genomics
  • High throughput sequencing
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Microbiomes
Graduate Student Research:
  • Microbial symbioses and venom production
  • Antibiotic resistance evolution and transfer

Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate Courses: Genetics, Evolutionary Medicine
Graduate Courses: Evolutionary Dynamics
Current Graduate Students: 2

Community Affiliation:
  • Society for the Study of Evolution
  • Society of Systematic Biologists
  • Memeber of HSRI Executive Committee
Current Funding Needs:
  • Funding to support research staff and generate sequence data for antimicrobial resistance studies.
Recent Success:
  • 2017 Hellman Fellowship
  • 2017 Mexus Award
  • 2016 JGI CSP Grant
  • 2016 UC Merced Faculty Research Award
  • 2016 JGI Director’s Grant

Associate Professor

(209) 228-4591

Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI

  • B.A.: University of Michigan
  • M.A.: UC Davis
  • PhD: UC Davis

Post Doc: UCSF

Joined UC Merced: 2008

Current Research Focus:

Understanding processes and developing the means to inform individuals, from teens to policy makers, to make better decisions that impact their health. Current research focuses specifically on:

  • Adolescent and Young Adult Risk Behaviors
  • Health Disparities in Health Behavior

Past Research Topics:
  • Personailty Profiling

Health Psychology; Psychological Epidemiology

Areas of expertise:
  • Tobacco Use
  • E-Cigarettes
  • Poly-Substance Abuse
  • UnHealthy Eating Patterns
  • Beliefs on Risks, Benefits, and Consequences Associated with Behaviors
  • Cultural Factors Affecting Health DIsparities
Graduate Student Research:
  • Smoking risk perceptions in adolescents and young adults
  • Eating and exercise behaviors

Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate Courses: Health Disparities and Personality Psychology
Graduate Courses: Health Disparities and Health Risk Behaviors
Current Graduate Students: 2

Community Affiliation:
  • American Public Health Association
  • HSRI's Translational Research Group
  • Memeber of HSRI Executive Committee
Current Funding Needs:
  • Funding to support research staff to facilitate participant recruitment and data collection
Recent Success:
  • Co-Primary Investigator on $3 Million grant NCI Grant Examining the Effect of Tobacco Advocacy at the State Level
  • Author for the last Surgeon General’s report on adolescent tobacco use (2012)
Deborah Wiebe

Professor

(209) 228-4614

Hometown: Beatrice,NE

  • B.A.: Bethel College, Newton, KS
  • MPH: University of Alabama
  • PhD: University of Alabama

Joined UC Merced: 2013

Current Research Focus:

Health and illness occur in the context of daily family life; by understanding these processes, we have the potential to promote better health, better illness management, and better family relationships.

  • Parent-child relationships and diabetes management
  • Ethnic disparities in diabetes management
  • Managing diabetes during adolescence
  • Executive functions and illness management; Depression and diabetes.

Past Research Topics:
  • Family interventions to promote HPV vaccine uptake in pediatric care
  • Stress, coping and health
  • Couples coping with prostate cancer

Health Psychology; Pediatric Psychology

Areas of expertise:
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Pediatric Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Adolescent Health
  • Emerging Adulthood
Graduate Student Research:
  • Socioeconomic and ethnic disparities in pediatric disease management
  • Resilience, stress, and health
  • Social support and diabetes management

Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate Courses: Health Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Graduate Courses: Relationships and Health; Teaching Practicum
Current Graduate Students: 3

Community Affiliation:
  • UCM Alliance for Child & Family Health and Development
  • Member of HSRI Executive Committee
Current Funding Needs:
  • Funding to support research staff to facilitate participant recruitment and data collection in health clinics and hospital settings
Recent Success:
  • Scholarly lead on a special issue of the American Psychologist to inform a wide audience (patients, providers, researchers, clinicians) about the central role of psychology in diabetes.