Department of Medicine
SUNY Distinguished Professor; Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research; Director, Clinical and Translational Science Institute; Director, Community Health Equity Research Institute
As a physician scientist, research in my laboratory focuses on the respiratory tract bacterial pathogens, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis. Both are important causes of otitis media (ear infections) in children and lower respiratory tract infections in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Funded by the NIH, work is focusing on identifying how these bacteria cause disease in the human respiratory tract and developing vaccines and novel interventions to prevent and treat these infections. My work has resulted in ~220 publications, 13 patents, and chapters on Haemophilus and Moraxella in the major textbooks of medicine and infectious diseases.
I am also Director of the UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), founded in 2015. The CTSI provides support and expertise to perform clinical and translational research throughout UB and partner institutions with a vision to improve health and reduce health disparities in our community and the nation. The CTSI has catalyzed a transformation of the clinical and translational research environment with a tripling of actively recruiting clinical trials since 2015 at UB.
In response to a national shortage of physician scientists, I direct an NIH training grant entitled Training the Next Generation of Physician Scientists. The program introduces medical students to careers as physician scientists through mentored research projects and professional development training. The goal is to increase the shrinking number of physician scientists in the U.S. biomedical research workforce.
One of the most pressing problems facing the City of Buffalo is health disparities among African Americans who live in neighborhoods on the East Side. In 2019, UB launched the UB Community Health Equity Research Institute that will conduct research that addresses the root causes of these health disparities, while developing and testing innovative solutions to the social determinants of health to eliminate health inequities in the region. I am privileged to serve as Director of the Institute, which includes faculty from ten UB schools and works closely with community partners.