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Scientific Faculty Members

The faculty of The Miami Project are a talented multidisciplinary team. In the following Profiles, each faculty member describes their specific research focus and highlights of recent progress.

SCIENTIFIC LEADERSHIP

W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.
W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.

W. Dalton Dietrich, III, Ph.D.
Scientific Director, The Miami Project;
Kinetic Concepts Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery; Senior Associate Dean for Discovery Science; Co-Director, Institute for Neural Engineering; Professor, Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Biomedical Engineering and Cell Biology
Research Interests: Neuroprotection and Improved Recovery of Function following Brain and Spinal Cord Injury

Barth A. Green, M.D.
Barth A. Green, M.D.

Barth A. Green, M.D.
Chairman, The Miami Project;
Executive Dean, Global Health and Community Service; Professor, Departments of Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Radiology, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Medicine
Research Interests: Translational Research for Spinal Cord Injury including Cellular Transplantation and Neural Tissue Protection, especially as applies to mild Hypothermia

Allan D. Levi, M.D., Ph.D.
Allan D. Levi, M.D., Ph.D.

Allan D. Levi, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S.
Clinical Director, The Miami Project
; Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery; Professor, Departments of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Medicine; Chief of Neurosurgery, Jackson Memorial Hospital; Robert M. Buck Distinguished Chair in Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Cellular Transplantation Strategies after Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve Injury

SCIENTIFIC FACULTY MEMBERS

Hassan Al-Ali, Ph.D.
Hassan Al-Ali, Ph.D.

Hassan Al-Ali, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Understanding the signaling pathways that regulate axon growth, and identifying components of those pathways that can be targeted with drugs to induce robust axon regeneration

Coleen Atkins, Ph.D.
Coleen Atkins, Ph.D.

Coleen M. Atkins, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Developing Novel Therapies for Traumatic Brain Injury
Laboratory Page

Nagi Ayad, Ph.D.
Nagi Ayad, Ph.D.

Nagi G. Ayad, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Co-Director, University of Miami Brain Tumor Initiative
Research Interests: Identifying therapeutic combinations in brain cancer and spinal cord injury

John Bixby, Ph.D.
John Bixby, Ph.D.

John Bixby, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology and Neurological Surgery
Vice Provost for Research
Research Interests: High Content Screening and Functional Genomics of the Nervous System

 

Roberta Brambilla, Ph.D.
Roberta Brambilla, Ph.D.

Roberta Brambilla, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Neuroinflammation and neuro-immune interactions in neurological disease

Helen Bramlett, Ph.D.
Helen Bramlett, Ph.D.

Helen M. Bramlett, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: The Pathology and Treatment of CNS Injury

 

Ross Bullock, M.D., Ph.D.
Ross Bullock, M.D., Ph.D.

M. Ross Bullock, M.D., Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Preclinical Mechanistic and Neuroprotection Research in Traumatic Brain Injury and Clinical trials, and Neuromonitoring Techniques in the Injured Brain

Juan Pablo de Rivero Vaccari, Ph.D.
Juan Pablo de Rivero Vaccari, Ph.D.

Juan Pablo de Rivero Vaccari, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Understanding early inflammatory events corresponding to the innate immune response, the first line of defense against tissue damage and infections
Laboratory Page

Katie Gant, Ph.D.
Katie Gant, Ph.D.

Katie Gant, Ph.D.
Director of Education and Outreach, The Miami Project; Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Clinical Trials and Neuroengineering

David R. Gater, Jr. , M.D., Ph.D., M.S.

David R. Gater, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chair and Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship Director, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Medical Director of Rehabilitation, Jackson Memorial Hospital; Co-Director, NIDILRR South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System
Research Interests: Effects of diet and exercise training on energy metabolism

Mousumi Ghosh, Ph.D.
Mousumi Ghosh, Ph.D.

Mousumi Ghosh, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Altering Host Glial Response following CNS Injury and Disease to Promote Repair

James Guest, M.D., Ph.D.
James Guest, M.D., Ph.D.

James D. Guest, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Augmented Recovery after SCI; Application of Therapeutic Combinations in Preclinical Studies, and Early Phase Clinical Trials

 

Gillian Hotz, Ph.D.
Gillian Hotz, Ph.D.

Gillian A. Hotz, Ph.D.
Research Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Director, KiDZ Neuroscience Center
Director, Concussion, WalkSafe®, BikeSafe® and SkateSafe® Programs
Research Interests: Neurocognitive Deficits and Injury Prevention

Emad Ibrahim, M.D., HCLD
Emad Ibrahim, M.D., HCLD

Emad Ibrahim, M.D., HCLD
Assistant Professor, Departments of Urology and Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Fertility

 

 

Robert Keane, Ph.D.
Robert Keane, Ph.D.

Robert W. Keane, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Physiology & Biophysics and Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Regulation of Innate Immunity after CNS Trauma

 

Jae Lee, Ph.D.
Jae Lee, Ph.D.

Jae K. Lee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Glial and Fibrotic Scar Formation in the CNS; Axon Regeneration

 

Vance Lemmon, Ph.D.
Vance Lemmon, Ph.D.

Vance Lemmon, Ph.D.
Walter G. Ross Distinguished Chair in Developmental Neuroscience; Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: High Content Screening and Functional Genomics of the Nervous System
Lemmon-Bixby lab

Dan Liebl, Ph.D.
Dan Liebl, Ph.D.

Daniel J. Liebl, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Molecular Mechanisms that Regulate Cellular Dysfunction and Death Following CNS Injury; Mechanisms to Promote Regeneration and Recovery

 

Alberto Martinez-Arizala, M.D.
Alberto Martinez-Arizala, M.D.

Alberto Martinez-Arizala, M.D.
Clinical Associate Professor, Departments of Neurology, Neurological Surgery and Orthopedics & Rehabilitation Medicine
Research Interests: Pathophysiology and Treatment of Secondary Complications in Spinal Cord Injury

 

Mark S. Nash, Ph.D.
Mark S. Nash, Ph.D.

Mark S. Nash, Ph.D., FACSM
Professor, Departments of Neurological Surgery, Rehabilitation Medicine, Kinesiology & Sports Sciences and Physical Therapy
Research Interests: Physiological Assessment of Secondary Complications following SCI: Cardiometabolic and Vascular Physiology, Cardiovascular Pathology, Exercise and Nutritional Biochemistry, Electrical Stimulation and Bionics for Movement and Health

Brian R. Noga, Ph.D.
Brian R. Noga, Ph.D.

Brian R. Noga, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Brain and Spinal Mechanisms Controlling Walking

 

Kevin Park, Ph.D.
Kevin Park, Ph.D.

Kevin Park, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Mechanisms of Axon Regeneration and Neuroprotection

Damien Pearse, Ph.D.
Damien Pearse, Ph.D.

Damien D. Pearse, Ph.D.
The John M. and Jocelyn H.K. Watkins Distinguished Chair in Cell Therapies; Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Exploration and Translation of Therapeutic Strategies to Repair the Injured Spinal Cord and Brain

 

Jacqueline Sagen, Ph.D.
Jacqueline Sagen, Ph.D.

Jacqueline Sagen, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Interests: Cell Transplantation and Gene Therapies for Alleviation of Chronic Pain

 

 

Thomas Sick, Ph.D.
Thomas Sick, Ph.D.

Thomas J. Sick, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita, Department of Neurology and Physiology & Biophysics
Research Interests: Cellular and Neuronal Circuit Alterations after Traumatic Brian Injury That Contribute to Cognitive Decline and Epilepsy

 

Pantelis Tsoulfas, M.D.
Pantelis Tsoulfas, M.D.

Pantelis Tsoulfas, M.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery and Cell Biology & Anatomy
Research Interests: Neurotrophins: Specificity of Action

 

Michael Wang, M.D.
Michael Wang, M.D.

Michael Y. Wang, M.D.
Chief of Neurosurgery, University of Miami Hospital; Professor, Departments of Neurological Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine
Research Interests: Spinal Cord Injury Outcomes

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Eva Widerstrom-Noga, Ph.D.
Eva Widerstrom-Noga, Ph.D.

Eva Widerstrom-Noga, Ph.D.
Research Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neuroscience Program; Health Scientist, Veterans Affairs
Research Interests: Neurotrauma-related Neuropathic Pain Phenotypes and Biomarkers; Standards for Pain Assessment, Taxonomy and Classification after Spinal Cord Injury