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Dr. Thomas, Ida Castro, Rev. Jenkins, Dr. Simoyan group shot from Dedication

Basic Sciences Faculty

Ayotunde Adeagbo, PhD is Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology in the Basic Science Department.  He was a postdoctoral fellow of the Neurosciences Division Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada and Fogarty International Research Fellow at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.  He has held professorships at the University of Louisville and the University of Calgary.  His research focus has been in the roles of endothelial-derived factors in the pathophysiology of Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus and Aging. Learn more.
John Arnott, PhD John Arnott, PhD is Associate Professor of Cell Biology in the Basic Sciences Department.  He received his PhD in Anatomy and Cell Biology and previously worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.  His research focuses on understanding the signaling mechanisms in osteoblasts that are important for bone formation and fracture repair. Learn more.
David B. Averill, PhD, is Professor of Physiology in the Department of Basic Sciences.  Dr. Averill received a BS in Chemistry from Kent State University and a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Washington.  He was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Albert J. Berger, PhD, at the University of Washington and in the laboratory of Carlos M. Ferrario, MD, at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.  Before coming to The Commonwealth Medical College, Dr. Averill had an active research laboratory at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine where his research focused on the role of the renin-angiotensin system in the brain in the regulation of the cardiovascular system.  He held faculty positions in the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center and the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine; he was an adjunct faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy at Winston-Salem State University.  Most recently, Dr. Averill was Professor of Physiology at Ross University School of Medicine where he was course director for physiology and Semester 2 Curriculum Director.  In addition to teaching, Dr. Averill’s academic interests are directed to curricular development and implementation of a physiology teaching laboratory where students serve as clinical subjects.
 Michael Bordonaro, PhD

Michael Bordonaro, PhD is Associate Professor of Molecular Biology in the Basic Sciences Department.  Dr. Bordonaro holds a PhD in the Biological Sciences from Fordham University, Bronx, NY.   Additionally, Dr. Bordonaro completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Oncology at the Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York, where he received an American Institute for Cancer Research Postdoctoral Award for his work on the effects of dietary components on the development of colorectal cancer.  Dr. Bordonaro later held the position of Associate Research Scientist at the Yale University School of Medicine and has also served as a research coordinator for Keren Pharmaceutical.  His research interests are in molecular oncology, particularly the Wnt signaling pathway in colorectal cancer, as well as in studying the role of cell signaling pathways in type 2 diabetes and human aging. Learn more.

 Patrick Boyd, PhD Patrick M. Boyd, PhD is Associate Professor of Biochemistry in the Basic Sciences Department.  Dr. Boyd holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York.  Dr. Boyd has held assistant and associate professorships as well as a directorship in the medical technology department at Utica College of Syracuse University.  More recently he held an associate professorship of chemistry at Utica College of Syracuse University and has served as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Utica College of Syracuse University.  His research interests have been in protein and enzyme chemistry, the specificity of proteases, proteomics, and clinical chemistry. Learn more.
  Diana Callender, MBBS, DM is Professor of Pathology in the Basic Sciences Department. She holds an MBBS from the University of the West Indies, (UWI), Mona, Jamaica.  
  Youngjin Cho, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Cell Biology in the Basic Sciences Department.
  Pat Coughlin, PhD, is Professor of Anatomy in the Basic Sciences Department. He received his PhD in anatomy and cell biology from the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Coughlin completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Boston University Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He joins TCMC from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine where he was professor of anatomy for nearly 24 years. Dr. Coughlin has participated in team-taught courses in neuroscience and histology, however, his primary responsibility has been teaching gross anatomy to DO, PA-C, and biomedical science students. He has also taught courses and given presentations to attending physicians, residents and manual therapists in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Jess Cunnick, PhD Jess Cunnick, PhD is Assistant Professor of Cell Biology in the Basic Sciences Department.  Dr. Cunnick received his PhD from Kansas State University and completed his Postdoctoral work at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, FL.  His research interests are in Actin cytoskeleton and associated proteins. Learn more.
 Kathleen Doane, PhD Kathleen Doane, PhD is Associate Professor of Anatomy in the Basic Sciences Department.  Dr. Doane received her PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  She did her Postdoctoral work at Tufts Medical School.  Her research interests concentrate on the interaction of cells with the extracellular matrix using matrix receptors.  Dr. Doane comes to us from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. Learn more.
Jeffrey Holt, MD Jeffrey Holt, MD is Professor of Pathology and Director of Pathophysiology in the Basic Science Department.  He graduated from University of Michigan Medical School, completed pathology residency at University of Rochester and was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Holt also held professorships at Vanderbilt University and University of Colorado.  Jeff is board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology with a special interest in breast pathology. His research focus has been in hereditary breast cancer and in the development and application of clinically relevant biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Learn more.
Uhnoh Kim, PhD, is Associate Professor of Neuroscience. He received his PhD from the Department of Neuroscience at Duke University School of Medicine. Following his postdoctoral training in the Department of Neurobiology at Yale University School of Medicine, he joined the faculty at Iowa State University as an assistant professor. Before coming to TCMC, he was an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and in the Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. He studies how the forebrain system functions in somatic motor integration. Learn more.  
 Raj Kumar, PhD Raj Kumar, PhD is Professor of Biochemistry in the Basic Sciences Department.  He received his PhD and did his Postdoctoral work at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.  His research focuses on:  Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology; Protein Biochemistry, Structural Biology, and Biophysical Chemistry; Thermodynamics of protein Folding/Unfolding; Cancer Biology; Pharmacology and pathology of Gastrointestinal Tract; Diabetes; Signal Transduction, Post transcriptional Modifications; Endocrinology; Biology of Nuclear Hormone Receptors; Inflammation; and, Allergy and Asthma.  Raj comes to us from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Learn more
 Darina Lazarova, PhD

Darina Lazarova, PhD is Associate Professor of Molecular Biology in the Basic Sciences Department.  She received her PhD in Cell Biology at Fordham University, New York and did her Postdoctoral work at Yale University School of Medicine.  Her research interests include the molecular mechanisms by which histone deacetylase inhibitors exercise their effects on cancer cells, the networks established between major signaling pathways that allow malignant cells to resist therapeutic interventions, and the modulation of these networks to overcome the robustness of the tumors. Learn more.

 Jun Ling, PhD

Jun Ling, PhD is Assistant Professor of Biochemistry in the Basic Sciences Department.  Dr. Ling holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Ling completed a postdoctoral fellowship in University of California, Riverside. He was a research assistant professor in the biomedical division with UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Biomedical Program.  Dr. Ling was also a visiting scientist at the School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, CA.  His research interests are in the molecular and cellular mechanism of cancer cell growth regulated by signal transduction and protein synthesis, and the development of vaccines against infectious diseases and cancers. Learn more.

 William McLaughlin, PhD

William McLaughlin, PhD is Assistant Professor of Computational Biology in the Basic Sciences Department. He completed graduate work at the joint program in computational biochemistry at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. His postdoctoral training was done as a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award fellow at the University of California, San Diego. He is a member of the Center of Theoretical Biological Physics, the Biophysical Society and the American Chemical Society. His research interests include the energetics of macromolecular association (protein/DNA and protein/protein), protein/drug interactions, data mining, and high throughput molecular biological experiments. Learn more.

Planey Sonia L. Planey, PhD is Associate Professor of Biochemistry in the Basic Sciences Department.  She received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Thomas Jefferson University and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Florida, where she was promoted to Research Assistant Professor. She has also held industry positions at Medarex Inc., in Bloomsbury, NJ and at Genaera Corporation in Plymouth Meeting, PA.  Her primary research interests are in signal transduction and cancer biology. Learn more.  
 Greg Shanower, PhD Greg Shanower, PhD is Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology in the Basic Sciences Department.  Dr. Shanower holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Wright State University, Dayton, OH.  Greg performed his postdoctoral work at both Princeton and Rutgers University in New Jersey.  His research interests include epigenetic maintenance of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster, repair of DNA double strands breaks in the fly, and developmental regulation of fly hematopoiesis. Learn more.
 Jennifer Smith, PhD Jennifer Smith, PhD is Assistant Professor of Microbiology/Immunology in the Basic Sciences Department.  Dr. Smith received her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Marshall University, Huntington, WV.  She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI.  She held the position of Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH.  Most recently, Dr. Smith was a Research Associate at Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, NH.  Her research interests include innate immunity in the female reproductive tract, sexually transmitted infections, and female sex hormone regulation of immunity. Learn more.
Ying-Ju Sung, PhD, is Associate Professor of Anatomy in the Basic Sciences Department. She received her PhD from City University of New York. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University in New York and received her bachelor’s degree from Taipei Medical University in Taipei, Taiwan. Dr. Sung joins TCMC from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where she was assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology since 2006 and, prior to that, associate research scientist in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology since 2001. Dr. Sung was instrumental in identifying a molecular pathway that is activated in chronic pain states and recently headed a drug development program at Columbia University to synthesize analgesics by targeting one of the kinases in the pathway. Learn more.
John Szarek, PhD John L. Szarek, PhD is Professor and Director of Clinical Pharmacology and Education Director for Simulation. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Vermont college of Medicine, Burlington. He has held professorships and professorships with administrative positions at Marshall University (Joan C Edwards) School of Medicine, a Chair and Director of the Simulation PBL Program at Ross University School of Medicine, and, most recently, Director of Human Simulation at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona.  His research interests are direct toward the use of technology in medical education and students’ emotions during learning. Learn more.
Cathy Wilcox, PhD is Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology in the Basic Science Department. She received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Albany Medical College and completed postdoctoral training in the Molecular Genetics program at the Wadsworth Center for Research, New York State Department of Health in Albany, NY and the Magee-Womens Research Institute, Department of Gynecologic and Reproductive Sciences, Ovarian Cancer Center of Excellence, University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA. Her research has focused on the regulation of eukaryotic transcription and includes work on collagenase regulation in the post-partum uterus; the peptidyl-prolyl isomerase, Ess1, whose human homolog, Pin1, is implicated in cancer and Alzheimer’s disease; hypermethylation of the BRCA1 promoter in ovarian cancer; and gene regulation in ovarian surface epithelium. She has also held positions as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Binghamton and Patient Services Director at the Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania, Northeast in Scranton, PA. She began her career as a High School Chemistry and Physics teacher, teaching first in Togo, West Africa as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer and then in Pawling, NY. She earned her Master’s in Science Education at Syracuse University.
William Zehring, PhD

William Zehring, PhD is Professor of Biochemistry in the Basic Science Department.  Following his graduate work in prokaryotic gene expression at the University of Chicago, he did postdoctoral work at Brandeis University on the genetics of circadian rhythms and at Duke University on gene expression in higher eukaryotes.  He then served on the faculty of Wayne State University, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where he continued his studies in gene expression.  Subsequent to that he joined the faculty at RWJMS-UMDNJ as an associate professor of biochemistry and assistant dean for curriculum.  Prior to his joining TCMC, he was at Touro University College of Medicine where he served as Course Director of Foundations of Medical Science, Program Leader of Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Molecular Biology/Genetics, as well as Invited lecturer at RWJMS-UMDNJ. Learn more