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A Comprehensive Approach to Research and Innovation
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


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hsri member kirk jensen

Assistant Professor


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hsri member changqing li

Assistant Professor

(209) 228-4777


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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
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.
hsri member zawadzki

Assistant Professor

(209) 228-4787


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