Faculty Profiles

Lalarukh, Aftab
Aftab, Lalarukh, MDAssistant Professor
Email: aftab@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-859-2655

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Research Summary:
I am a pathologist with twenty-four years of post-residency experience and sub-specialize in hematopathology.

Ayesha, Arshad
Arshad, Ayesha, MDAssistant Professor
Email: aarshad@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 834-9200

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Research Summary:
My interest in pathology dates back to my Medical school years. However it was not until I had spent some time in Internal Medicine and clinical Hematology / oncology that I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in pathology. As a pathologist my interest and training is broad based in both clinical and anatomic pathology, however my fellowship in Oncologic surgical pathology from Roswell Park Cancer Institute steered me towards that path. Ever since I started working in Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo New York, I noticed the increasing incidence of HPV related head and neck squamous cell carcinomas and that sparked a curiosity to understand the mechanism of disease and why HPV is slowly replacing smoking as the predominant causative agent in the pathogenesis of squamous cell carcinoma especially in the Head and Neck region and what are the prognostic implications of its prevalence to the disease. This has thus become my research interest. In addition to oncologic surgical pathology, I am also interested in Hematology. Fortunately working at VAMC provides me with ample opportunity to continue to polish and improve my skills in diagnostic Hematology and also acquire additional skills in the form of flow cytometric evaluation and diagnostic molecular pathology, with the support of my colleagues who have unique expertise in these fields. The kind of clinical material that we evaluate here every day is also very challenging and the opportunity for growth provided, very gratifying.

Yongho, Bae
Bae, Yongho, PhDAssistant Professor
Email: yonghoba@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-3523

Specialty/Research Focus:
Cell growth, differentiation and development; Cytoskeleton and cell motility; Genomics and proteomics; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Molecular Basis of Disease; Gene Expression; Signal Transduction; Cell Cycle

Research Summary:
I am a cell biologist and bioengineer, and my primary research focuses on the rapidly growing area of cell mechanics and mechanotransduction: the role that mechanical forces play in regulating cellular function from healthy to diseased phenotypes. (1) Cardiovascular Biology, Mechanics and Disease: Funding source: American Heart Association (7/1/2018–6/30/2021; PI) Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the main cause of death globally. Arterial stiffness is associated with many CVD. The molecular mechanisms governing arterial stiffening and the phenotypic changes in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) associated with the stiffening process are key areas in cardiovascular biology, mechanics and disease. Evidence suggests that arterial stiffening can drive aberrant migration and proliferation of VSMCs within the vessel wall. Yet, the underlying mechanisms regulating vascular stiffening and the molecular changes within VSMCs associated with the stiffening process remain unclear. While medications reduce hypertension, none specifically target pathways directly related to arterial stiffness. The overall goal of work in my lab is to address this gap in our understanding by investigating how changes in arterial stiffness affect VSMC function and fundamentally contribute to the progression of CVD. This study also addresses an important concept in vascular tissue remodeling (the interaction between extracellular matrix stiffness and VSMC behavior). Methodologically, my lab use a novel approach to dissect the molecular mechanism in VSMCs: My lab combines methods for manipulating and measuring tissue and cell stiffness using atomic force microscopy and traction force microscopy for simultaneously modulating substrate stiffness and measuring contraction force by culturing cells on a compliant substrate that mimics in vivo mechanical environments of the VSMCs. (2) Smooth Muscle Cell (and Cancer Cell) Heterogeneity: Highly heterogeneous responses of VSMCs to arterial stiffness or CVD make it difficult to dissect underlying molecular mechanisms. To overcome this, my lab integrates Mechanobiology, Vascular Cell Biology, and Machine Learning to manipulate stiffness and assess responses with unique precision. Machine learning is used to deconvolve inter- and intra-cellular heterogeneity and identify specific subcellular traits that correlate with stiffness and VSMC behavior. My lab also applies Machine Learning approaches to identify specific breast cancer cell behaviors that respond to different stiffness conditions. (3) Optogenetics and Biophotonics in Stem Cell Biology: Funding source: National Science Foundation (8/1/2017–7/31/2020; co-PI) Major breakthroughs in the field of genomics, embryonic stem cell biology, optogenetics and biophotonics are enabling the control and monitoring of biological processes through light. Additional research in my laboratory focuses on developing a nanophotonic platform able to activate/inactivate gene expression and, thus, control stem cell differentiation in neuronal cells, by means of light-controlled protein-protein interactions. More specifically, the light-controlled molecular toggle-switch based on Plant Phytochrome B and transcription factor Pif6 will be utilized to control the nuclear fibroblast growth factor receptor-1, which is a master regulator of stem cell differentiation. Open Positions: The Bae lab is currently accepting graduate students through the Pathology Masters program (or other programs) as well as motivated undergraduates. For Graduate Students: I am looking for one or two graduate (MS) students who understand my research interests, have read my previous publications, and have their own (crazy!!!) ideas as to where my research efforts should be directed. All graduate students are required to complete and submit internationally recognized Journal article(s) before graduation from my lab. A Masters thesis should generate at least one first author publication. For Undergraduate Students: I encourage all UB undergraduates (with GPA 3.0 or higher) to get "hands on" experimental training in the sciences. An undergraduate research project tends to be part of a larger whole, but I make sure to include credit for students work in presentations and publications.

Lucia, Balos
Balos, Lucia, MDAssociate Professor
Email: lbalos@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Autopsy; Neuropathology; Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
Board Certified in Anatomic and Neuropathology

Saad, Baqai
Baqai, Saad, MDAssistant Professor (HS)
Email: saadbaqa@buffalo.edu

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Cytopathology; Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
After earning my Bachelor’s degree, I completed my residency in anatomic and clinical pathology followed by fellowship training in oncologic surgical pathology and cytopathology. I thoroughly enjoy the practice of this subspecialty, which I chose due to longstanding interest in oncologic disorders as well as ample opportunity for clinical interaction and correlation. During the course of my training I have gained extensive experience in frozen section interpretations, rapid on-site cytology evaluations, fine needle aspiration biopsy and diagnosis of complex surgical pathology, gynecologic and non-gynecologic exfoliative cytopathology cases. I have actively participated in patient care through daily exchanges with physicians, oncologists and surgeons and in weekly multidisciplinary conferences (tumor boards), taught residents and also participated in research. My interests in pathology are broad and diverse. Being trained at a Roswell Park Cancer Institute my main focus has been on neoplastic diseases. As a fellow, I became very familiar with specialized pathology of tumors and cancer-related conditions. My clinical responsibilities at Kaleida Health System are primarily in anatomic pathology including general surgical pathology and cytopathology. As a well-trained board certified pathologist I look forward to provide high quality clinical service to the patients as well as participate in research as I believe is the most important way to help us keep practicing up-to-date medicine and improve our clinical practice.

Joanne, Becker
Becker, Joanne, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: jbecker2@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 845-7700

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Paul, Bogner
Bogner, Paul, MDStaff Pathologist and Dermatopathologist
Email: bogner@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 845-4585

Specialty/Research Focus:
Dermatopathology - Anatomic Pathology

Richard, Cheney
Cheney, Richard, MDClinical Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Clinical Affairs
Email: rtcheney@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-5213

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology; Dermatopathology - Anatomic Pathology; Autopsy

Research Summary:
My clinical interests have been in diagnostic anatomic pathology with a focus on non- small cell lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, soft tissue sarcoma, and all aspects of dermatopathology including inflammatory dermatoses, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer and the cytologic evaluation of fine needle aspiration biopsy material. Participation as a panel member in the NCCN‘s development of empirically based guidelines for clinical care of cancer patients with thoracic malignancies and non melanoma skin cancer was a major focus during the previous decade. My career focus has evolved over time such that currently mentoring of faculty and participation in the development of innovative approaches to medical education occupies the vast majority of my effort.

Christopher, Cohan
Cohan, Christopher, PhDSUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor
Email: ccohan@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 829-3081

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology

Research Summary:
Current experiments focus on the dynamics of microtubule assembly in spindles during the process of meiosis using live imaging of fluorescent labeled microtubules. We utilize cranefly spermatocytes isolated into acute cultures containing cells at various stages of cell division that can be studied for several hours. Microtubule dynamics are studied by the technique of fluorescent speckle imaging whereby spermatocytes are injected with low concentrations of fluorescent-labeled tubulin that incorporates into microtubules at low density. This creates a patterned, discontinuous labeling of microtubules that enables quantification of the rates and sites of assembly. We currently are testing the role of tension as a modulator of microtubule polymerization during anaphase. Chromosome kinetochores exert dragging forces on attached microtubule ends favoring microtubule assembly as chromosomes move from spindle equator to spindle poles. However, microtubule disassembly is induced when dragging forces are eliminated by laser ablation of attached chromosomes. These observations may reveal some of the self-organizing mechanisms that control the orderly separation of chromosomes during cell division. In previous experiments, we studied cytoskeletal changes in neuronal growth cones as they navigated through their environment. Reorganization of actin filaments and microtubules was visualized using fluorescent cytoskeletal analogs in neuronal cultures. Dynamic flow of actin filaments in growth cone lamellipodia and their effect on microtubule extension into growth cones was studied to understand the basis of growth cone turning.

Joseph, Costa
Costa, Joseph, PhDInstructor (HS)
Email: jcosta2@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-2541

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Molecular and Cellular Biology

Research Summary:
I am a functional morphologist with a background rooted in physical anthropology and both human and comparative anatomy. Central to my role as an instructor is the use of digital imaging technology to visualize the human body at both the micro- and macroscopic levels. While classic teaching methods such as dissection remain vital components of biomedical education, there is a wealth of opportunity to examine the human body more deeply through computer-aided investigation. Of particular interest to me is the impressive potential of imaging techniques such computer tomography (CT) to create both physical and virtual representations of anatomical elements. More recent techniques such as diffusible iodine-based contrast-enhanced computed tomography (diceCT) provide the means to visualize the nuance of soft-tissue architecture and therefore contribute to more realistic digital representations of the various systems of the body. Three-dimensional (3D) printed specimen provide the means to observe both healthy and pathological specimen without the need for potentially destructive dissection. 3D meshes created from scans serve an equally important role as teaching tools, and can prove invaluable to clinicians and researchers alike. These technologies have proven invaluable to my ongoing research on the function of the long canines of saber-toothed cats in killing prey. I employ both physical and digital three-dimensional models created from scans of fossil specimen in simulated biting experiments. In this way, I attempt to observe the response to mechanical loading on the skulls, jaws, and teeth of animals not seen for millennia. Methodologies such as these have important implications to biomedical education as well as research, and open the door for student learning opportunities both in and outside of the dissection lab.

John, Cotter
Cotter, John, PhDAssociate Professor
Email: jrcotter@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 829-3685

Specialty/Research Focus:
Vision science

Research Summary:
I am interested in bringing people together who have an interest in anatomy but are trained as educators, artists, computer scientists programmers or graphical designers. For example, a graphical artist by training completed a master’s degree in our department by designing a computer-based tutorial on the anatomy of the renal corpuscle. Other projects include a computer-guided tutorial for the histology laboratory (see http://www.buffalo.edu/news/3016), a highly interactive computer-based examination that has a broad range of applicability, and a computer-based video examination. In the future, I expect to introduce virtual microscopy to our course in histology. I am also interested in the evaluation of computer assisted instruction and the way CAI contributes to learning.

Laurie, Derby
Derby, Laurie, BS, CNMTClinical Instructor
Email: derby@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 838-5889 x 115

Research Summary:
I have served as an instructor in the Department of Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences for over 15 years. I bring to my role the many years of experience I gained teaching students while simultaneously working as a nuclear medicine technologist in a variety of clinical settings, from large university hospitals to private offices. I have been a member of clinical trials teams, contributing my expertise in molecular imaging technology alongside other health care providers. My expertise includes electronic dual- and triple-head detectors, nuclear cardiology, positron imaging and monoclonal imaging for specialized tumor detection. Balancing the demands of diagnostic imaging, patient care and management and clinical competencies has enriched my capacity to instruct students as emerging technologists. I lecture and serve as lab instructor for Anatomy 113. The classroom and lab allow me to bring my clinical experience to bear in teaching students about the relevance of lifestyle, fitness and nutrition in precipitating anatomical and physiologic changes which alter wellness and promulgate disease. I also teach the Radionuclide Therapy course (NMD 415) for the Nuclear Medicine Technology Program and parts of the In Vivo I& II Studies courses. I am one of the instructors for the Patient Care and Management (NMD 340) course and the Clinical Conference course I & II for senior students. I am on the Admissions Committee that screens new applicants to the department. Challenging, demanding and rewarding careers in health care continue to expand. I enjoy my role in advancing the knowledge base and personal development of each student I teach and mentor.

Scott, Doyle
Doyle, Scott, PhDAssistant Professor
Email: scottdoy@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-2005

Specialty/Research Focus:
Biomedical Image Analysis; Biomedical Imaging; Digital Pathology; Image Analysis; Machine Learning; Quantitative Histology; Bioinformatics

Research Summary:
Our group specializes in building quantitative image and data analysis algorithms for biomedical datasets. For the past 9 years, I have been developing computerized methods to quantify and analyze large medical imaging datasets. These methods include data processing, object detection / segmentation, feature extraction and selection, dimensionality reduction, and classification (supervised and unsupervised). I strongly believe in translating academic research into real-world products and services. To that end, along with my colleagues, I have worked at a start-up company to bring my work into the marketplace -- an experience that has given me great insight into the business side of academia. This experience broadened my understanding of how basic research is translated into a profitable enterprise, and I believe these lessons have made me a better engineer. I am currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology & Anatomical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, where I am focused on building a teaching and research program for quantitative modeling of anatomy and cell biology. This program will introduce students of both medicine and engineering to pattern classification approaches developed in recent years, applying them to real-world clinical problems.

Brigid, Hannahoe
Hannahoe, Brigid, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: hannahoe@buffalo.edu
Phone: 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Cytopathology; Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
As a pathologist in the Department of Pathology and Anatomic Sciences, my clinical duties are primarily in anatomic pathology, including surgical pathology, cytopathology and autopsy. In addition, an important part of our department’s mission is resident and medical student education and I participate formally, giving didactic lectures, and informally, in the gross room and at the microscope. During the course of my residency, I developed an interest in breast pathology as well as cytopathology, and both of these areas have become a focus of my clinical work today. Since joining the department in 2007, I have participated in the breast pathology service. I provide diagnoses and prognostic information to assist in the appropriate treatment of breast diseases. Being a member of a subspecialty service has allowed me to develop relationships with surgeons and oncologists, which, in turn, facilitates better care for patients. After practicing pathology for several years and observing some of the inefficiencies that exist in the medical system, I became interested in applying process improvement principles to the laboratory. I have completed a certificate course in Lean Six Sigma through Villanova University, and participate in the department’s Process Improvement committee. After receiving my medical degree from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine in 2001, I completed a residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and a fellowship in Cytopathology at Cleveland Clinic. I am board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and Cytopathology.

Paul, Hosking
Hosking, Paul, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: phosking@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 8592232

Specialty/Research Focus:
Clinical Pathology; Hematology - Clinical Pathology; Hematopathology; Transfusion Medicine

Research Summary:
As a pathologist in the Department of Pathology and Anatomic Sciences, my clinical and administrative duties span the arenas of anatomic and clinical pathology. I am a fellowship trained hematopathologist acting as the section director for Laboratory Hematology of the Kaleida Health System as well as the Medical Director for Laboratory Hematology and Transfusion Services at the Erie County Medical Center. My clinical practice at Buffalo General Medical Center involves the interpretation of cases from across the community including all Kaleida sites, as well as those from Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and Erie County Medical Center. As such, I have the privilege of seeing cases from across a broad spectrum of clinical scenarios, and have had the opportunity to build relationships with hematologists and oncologists with a wide array of expertise. The scope of my diagnostic responsibilities includes the tissue diagnosis of lymphomas/leukemias and benign lymph node pathology, peripheral blood analysis including morphologic assessment, coagulopathy evaluation, and hemoglobiopathy identification, and oversight of transfusion practices including monitoring of compatibility testing and assessment of adverse transfusion reactions. I have developed a strong professional interest in medical education. Serving as the associate director for the pathology residency training program with a focus on clinical pathology, I facilitate the development of our trainees as effective laboratory consultants to our clinical colleagues and provide them opportunities to understand the responsibilities of the laboratory medical director. In addition, I am heavily involved in medical education at the undergraduate level. Currently, I give multiple lectures to the medical and dental student and am engaged in small group pathology activities across all organ systems. A current focus is the development of a didactic lecture series and elective pathology rotation that allow for a deeper understanding of concepts in laboratory medicine. The goals of this endeavor are to provide an opportunity for students to understand how the clinical pathologist oversees laboratory operations to ensure appropriate ordering practices, processing of specimens, analysis of these specimens, and how the results are reported. In addition, concepts including laboratory accreditation and quality assurance, specimen collection and mechanisms of testing interference, variability in testing between laboratories, reference ranges, and ordering practices/utilization as they pertain to diagnostic testing in hematology are also emphasized.

Ying, Huang
Huang, Ying, MD, PhDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: yhuang1@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 601-8633

Specialty/Research Focus:
Surgical Pathology; Renal Pathology

Research Summary:
I am board certified in anatomical and clinical pathology. I have a broad interest in surgical pathology, especially genitourinary and gynecological pathology. I am also interested in molecular diagnostic pathology.

Tracey, Ignatowski
Ignatowski, Tracey, PhDAssistant Professor
Email: tai1@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-3102

Specialty/Research Focus:
Neuroimmunology; Behavioral pharmacology; Gene therapy; Immunology; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Molecular Basis of Disease; Neurobiology; Gene Expression; Signal Transduction; Protein Function and Structure; Neuropharmacology

Research Summary:
My research spans three interrelated fields: chronic pain, depression and inflammation. Experiments in my laboratory focus on how brain-derived pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF), function as modulators of brain-body interactions during neuropathic pain and how brain-TNF is involved in the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs. My overall goal is to advance knowledge of, and therapeutic efficacy for pain, depression, neuro-inflammation and drug addiction. This research is based on my earlier work showing that neurons produce the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF and that the production of TNF by macrophages is regulated by neurotransmitters. Cytokines and neurotransmitters are principal signaling molecules that mediate bidirectional communication between the nervous and immune systems--the crosstalk important in maintaining homeostasis. Consequently, aberrant production of either of these two classes of mediators could profoundly affect signaling by the other, thereby impacting health. A shift in balanced cytokine-neuron interactions that regulate neurotransmitter release in the central nervous system (CNS), and that have potential behavioral consequences, manifest themselves as states of depression and chronic pain. My research uses both cell systems and animal models to test these hypotheses. Colleagues and I use a combination of imaging techniques to localize cytokine production, bioassays and ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays) for pharmacological and functional analyses, electrophysiological (brain slice stimulation) and molecular methods for our studies. In addition to investigating neuron functioning in the brain, trainees in my laboratory also study the peripheral macrophage, a major source of TNF during inflammation. Specifically studying neurotransmitter regulation of TNF production in the periphery is enhancing our knowledge of how the brain controls a peripheral inflammatory lesion. Our studies are designed to investigate the mechanisms of centrally mediated pain as associated with immune dysfunction and to elucidate mechanisms of drugs used to treat such pain states. My projects are evolving to investigate the mechanisms and neural pathways involved in TNF neuromodulator functions during chronic pain (due to peripheral nerve injury and diabetes) and stress-induced depressive behavior. We also study mechanisms contributing to the comorbidity of chronic pain and depression. I collaborate with researchers in several UB departments and at other institutions. Our projects include using noninvasive methods for delivery of anti-TNF therapeutics for chronic pain, elucidating the neural-immune mechanisms involved in the rapid recovery afforded by centrally administered anti-TNF therapy and using nanotechnology-mediated, targeted gene silencing within the CNS. I am invested in helping my undergraduate and graduate students, medical residents and postdoctoral fellows realize their potential and achieve their goals. Previous students have advanced professionally and hold clinical, academic and industrial positions.

Stuart, Inglis
Email: stuartin@buffalo.edu
Phone: 829-3113

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Biomedical Imaging; Molecular and Cellular Biology

Research Summary:
I am a classically trained gross anatomist with a specific interest in clinical anatomy. Although I received my PhD through the Interdisciplinary Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Ohio University, with a specific focus on skeletal muscle biology, my professional interest and focus since graduation has been in the teaching of the anatomical sciences, and in educational research and theory, in general. I am also involved in the development of anatomical models for teaching purposes and in research and documentation of anatomical variants identified during gross anatomy dissection. Presently, I am one of the instructors for the ANA 500 gross anatomy course for the medical and dental students and serve as the coordinator for the dental section of the course. I also serve as course director for the ANA 407 gross anatomy course for OT, PT, and exercise science students. My educational research interests involve the development and execution of a flipped classroom approach to teaching, with the replacement of traditional didactic lectures with facilitated active learning (FAL) sessions. The traditional university classroom, in which a content expert lectures and students take notes, dates back to the earliest universities and predates the printing press. This was therefore the most effective and efficient means by which to disseminate knowledge. Current technology makes this approach unnecessary, and allows instructors to explore other teaching approaches that may improve retention and help develop lifelong learning strategies. Pre-recorded lectures give students more control over the time and pace at which they view the didactic sessions. My classroom sessions are modelled after the Team Based Learning (TBL) paradigm and make use of the latest in audience response technology. I am also interested in the utilization of Open Educational Resources (OER) to deliver lessons to a wider population base without violating copyright restrictions.

Sirisa, Kandel Amatya
Kandel Amatya, Sirisa, MDAssistant Professor
Email: skama@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 238-2188

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Abdur, Khan
Khan, Abdur, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: arkhan2@buffalo.edu
Phone: 878-1481

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Pediatric Pathology

Research Summary:
I spend most of the time at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo taking care of routine Surgical Pathology, and Frozen sections. We cover a broad spectrum of cases which are received not only from children but also from adult patients. We have a very close relationship with Gastroenterology Group. All endoscopic biopsies are reviewed every week in a joint conference attended by Physicians, Fellows, Residents and Medical students. Pathology Residents from SUNY program rotate through this hospital for Pediatric Pathology training. I serve as Site Director for this training. Neonatal and Pediatric autopsies are performed here and they are later discussed with a group of pediatricians, surgeons, radiologists and OB/GYN, whoever is involved in that particular case. I am and Assistant Director for the Clinical Laboratories of Women’s and Children’s Hospital and also Assistant Director of Blood Bank at Buffalo General Hospital. I am responsible for all hemoglobin electrophoresis performed at the specialty lab of Women’s and Children’s Hospital and, on rotation basis, cover Immunofluorescence at Kaleida Health Lab at Flint Road. I represent Roswell Park Cancer Institute as Principal Investigator of Pathology at National Children Oncology Group (COG) and as an Investigator for NIH- Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. We discuss all malignancies at Tumor Board. The Tumor Board is held every week at Women’s and Children’s Hospital with video link to Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Thaer, Khoury
Khoury, Thaer, MDAssistant Professor
Email: tkhoury@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 845-4178

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

John, Kolega
Kolega, John, PhDAssociate Professor / Graduate Program Director
Email: kolega@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 829-3527

Specialty/Research Focus:
Cardiovascular Disease; Cytoskeleton and cell motility; Molecular Basis of Disease; Molecular and Cellular Biology

Research Summary:
My primary research interest is the behavior of endothelial cells, which form the inner lining of blood vessels and are key players in the remodeling events that occur during wound healing, aneurysm formation, tumor growth, and a wide variety of disease conditions. There are two questions about endothelial behavior that drive most of the research in my laboratory: (1) How does an endothelial cell migrate during wound healing and blood-vessel remodeling? We are particularly interested in the motor protein, myosin II, and how it exerts force within the cytoskeleton to push or pull the cell as it moves. In order to study the organization and movements of cytoskeletal proteins - and not just there biochemical properties - we use a variety of light microscopic methods to examine the dynamics and biochemistry of cytoskeletal proteins in living migrating endothelial cells. We also use conventional biochemical, genetic, and pharmacological manipulations to investigate the regulatory events that control myosin II behavior in situ. (2) How do endothelial cells sense and respond to their mechanical environment? Blood vessels remodel to accommodate long-term changes in blood flow. Certain flow environments can cause destructive remodeling that leads to cerebral aneurysms (local “ballooning” of vessels). Working with biomedical engineers in the laboratory of Dr. Hui Meng at the Toshiba Stroke Research Center, we use cell culture and whole animal systems to examine how endothelial cells respond to specific hemodynamic micro-environments in order to understand the mechanism and regulation of flow-induced remodeling, especially as it relates to cerebral aneurysms. A third interest is understanding the response of cultured endothelial cells to electrical fields, which have been shown to orient endothelial migration in vitro and to suppress edema in vivo by enhancing the endothelial permeability barrier.

Elizabeth, Korangy
Korangy, Elizabeth, MDAssistant Professor
Email: eam2@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 568-3705

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
I am a board certified pathologist in both anatomic and clinical pathology. I practice general surgical pathology as well as some clinical pathology. My area of expertise is breast and gynecological pathology. I completed a fellowship at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Magee Hospital, where I studied both breast and gynecological pathology and was able to participate in their active consult service. Working in a place with so many breast/gyn. cases has really helped me in my diagnostic skills today. I also enjoy participating in the multidisciplinary breast conference where we discuss challenging patient cases and look at many aspects of patient care including pathology, radiology, oncology, and surgery. I also have an interest in teaching residents and medical students. I give some of the core curriculum lectures to our pathology residents in my areas of interest. I also work with residents when they are rotating through the surgical pathology service. I spend some of my time doing research predominantly in breast and gyn. areas. I especially enjoy clinical research and working with colleagues from other specialties.

Rafal, Kozielski
Kozielski, Rafal, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: rk56@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 323-2034

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Pediatric Pathology; Surgical Pathology; Autopsy

Research Summary:
I am a surgical pathologist with nearly twenty years of experience and specialty expertise in Pediatric Pathology. I gained first entrance into this career field at the pediatric teaching hospital affiliated with Medical University in Warsaw, Poland and continued my training in Pediatric Pathology at the Cincinnati Children‘s Hospital Medical Center, followed by practices at the Hopital Ste Justine in Montreal and Children‘s Hospital at Scottish Rite in Atlanta. My current clinical and academic responsibilities include surgical pathology sign-out service at Oishei Children‘s Hospital, teaching of the residents and fellows, participating in the Pathology core lecture series for Pathology Residency Program, multiple interdepartmental conferences held at Oishei Children‘s Hospital as well as meetings held jointly with Roswell Park Cancer Center. My interests are focused on pediatric disorders with emphasis on pediatric gastrointestinal and liver disorders and childhood tumors. My clinical duties also include perinatal and placental pathology as well as pediatric and perinatal autopsy service. I offer expert consultation service in the area of Pediatric Pathology. I actively collaborate in research projects with multiple pediatric subspecialty divisions affiliated with Oishei Children‘s Hospital.

Keith, Krabill
Krabill, Keith, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: krabill@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 323-2036

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology; Hematology - Clinical Pathology; Immunopathology; Surgical Pathology; Transfusion Medicine; Toxicology; Microbiology; Bioinformatics; Virology

Research Summary:
I serve the Department of Pathology and Anatomic Sciences as a general pathologist in anatomic and clinical pathology. My primary areas for service work include surgical pathology and cytopathology as an attending pathologist rotating among the Kaleida hospital sites and clinical pathology activities in clinical chemistry, transfusion medicine, microbiology and hematology. I serve as the laboratory medical director for the clinical laboratories at the John R Oishei Children‘s Hospital and the Center for Laboratory Medicine, Williamsville (Flint). I also provide more specialized medical support for the Forensic Toxicology laboratory, the Virology Laboratory, and the fetal defect screening program at the Center for Laboratory Medicine in Williamsville, and the Therapeutic Plasmapheresis program at the Buffalo General Medical Center. I have developed an interest in Clinical Informatics and regularly employ those skills to retrieve and analyze data from Kaleida and elsewhere to support clinical decision making, research activities, EHR development and business development. Within the department, I am the pathologist overseeing the Transfusion Service across Kaleida and also provide pathology direction to the Kaleida Clinical Chemistry and Microbiology programs. In addition, I support the leadership of Kaleida in their Utilization Program, the Gainsharing Program, Peer Review and as Chair of the Site specific Transfusion Committees. In 2013 I served as the laboratory director of the Erie County Public Health Laboratory and continue there as assistant laboratory director for Virology. Since January 2018 I have served as the assistant laboratory director for Transfusion Services and Hematology at the Erie County Medical Center. Previously I have served as the laboratory director at the Center for Laboratory Medicine, Amherst (Suburban), Buffalo General Hospital and as an assistant laboratory director at Gates Circle. Each of these positions has been valuable to me in learning how different groups work together and how different groups of clinicians see and set expectations for a pathology department. Outside of Kaleida, I serve the region as representative to the Erie County Medical Society Legislative Committee and the Economic Affairs Committee. I have also served as president of the Western New York Society of Pathologists (1999-2000) and as Delegate to the College of American Pathologists House of Delegates (2005 - present). The overall theme of these activities is to leverage the skills cultivated by any practicing pathologist to recognize patterns. Those patterns recognized are then directed to purposes that can be quite diverse, ranging from diagnosis to data integrity. Data retrieved from multiple sources are used to provide an unbiased review for departmental and hospital leaders to troubleshoot, drive test menus or to review patterns of practice. Good data can drive good decisions, but only to the degree that the data can be recognized and understood. My professional time is divided in four parts, with anatomic pathology service work comprising about one quarter of my time, clinical pathology service work a second quarter, administrative activities a third quarter and clinical informatics the last quarter (plus or minus 5%), but with the added bonus that on any one day, these duties can shift dramatically to address the needs of the department and hospital. One of the most rewarding parts of my career has been the opportunity do all of these to the best of my ability and to support the efforts of the excellent professionals around me. The variety of responsibilities I have translate into a job that is never dull. I have used my own situation as a model for the pathology residents I train to provide a live demonstration that the field of Pathology is big enough to have something of interest for any interested person.

Charles, LeVea
LeVea, Charles, MD, PhDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: clevea@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 845-7701

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Juan, Liu
Liu, Juan, PhDAssistant Professor
Email: liujuan@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-3276

Research Summary:
I am an evolutionary biologist and vertebrate paleontologist with a research program focused on the auditory system of vertebrates, including fishes and human beings. My research interests span systematic interrelationships (phylogeny), functional anatomy and structural changes related to hearing impairment. My research goal is to understand the mechanisms underlying normal functions of vertebrates and the disorders and dysfunctions of human auditory structures; this understanding may lead to improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention of auditory disorders. Among organisms, there is a general correlation between form (anatomy) and function. I study the anatomical specializations for sound conduction and reception across vertebrate species. The evolutionary aspect of my research is centered on: 1.) exploring the utility of anatomical features for estimating phylogeny, 2.) describing important fossil taxa to provide deep-time longitudinal data and 3.) conducting integrated phylogenetic analyses using anatomical features and molecular data. I use Otophysi fishes as a model system, including suckers, carps, zebrafish and catfish--all fish with specialized sound-conduction apparatus. About one in eight people in the U.S. (age 12 and older) has some degree of hearing loss in both ears. My clinically oriented research is focused on the anatomical changes of the human auditory system, with regard to ontogeny and aging and the degree of hearing loss. I use methods in both descriptive and quantitative anatomy, including computed tomography, 3-D modeling and geometric morphometrics, to understand the normal function of human auditory system, along with its diseases and disorders. I also use zebrafish for experiments and computational simulations to test hypotheses on hearing loss.

Lin, Liu
Liu, Lin, MD, PhDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: linliu@buffalo.edu
Phone: 7168592140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
I am interested in all aspects in general surgical pathology with major focus on medical renal and genitourinary pathology. I also have special interest in immunology and molecular pathology. Due to my previous long years research training, I would like to continue the endeavor in research directed to address clinical related questions and disease mechanisms.

Weiguo, Liu
Liu, Weiguo, MD, PhDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: wliu2@buffalo.edu
Phone: 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
I have broad interests in pathology with special interests in oncologic surgical pathology and gastrointestinal pathology. After graduating from medical school and practicing general surgery for a couple of years, I enrolled in a Ph. D program at Roswell Park Cancer Institution in the department of molecular pharmacology and cancer therapeutics to fulfill my interest in finding tumor makers that can help to diagnose cancer earlier and to develop target therapy to improve cancer patients’ life quality. I finished my Ph. D program successfully with a couple of publications and a patent. Realizing that pathology is the best specialty that can help me to combine my research interests with clinical practice, I did four years’ pathology residency training at State University New York at Buffalo followed two years’ fellowship training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. These trainings not only helped me to develop excellent clinical skills but also provided me with good opportunities to perform translational research. I regard that my career is composed of three major parts and it is in these three parts that I have set my career goals and been working hard to achieve them. The first is clinical service. As a well-trained and board certified pathologist on anatomic and clinical pathology, I practice general surgical pathology and some clinical pathology. I corporate with clinicians to provide high-quality clinical service to our patients for the management of their diseases. The second is research. I think research is the most important way to help us keep practicing up-to-date medicine. The fast developing advanced techniques provide us with many opportunities to improve our clinical practices. Currently, I continue working on a project I started during my fellowship which is using next generation sequencing to analyze genomic alternations in ampullary carcinoma. I am also interested in evaluating liver fibrosis by using quantitative image analysis tools. The university and department of pathology provide great research opportunities. The third is teaching. I have been actively involving in teaching medical students and residents during my residency and fellowship training and I really enjoy it. Now my teaching activities include core lectures, signing out cases with residents and giving unknown conferences.

Mihai, Merzianu
Merzianu, Mihai, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: merzianu@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 845-7701

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Wilfrido, Mojica
Mojica, Wilfrido, MDAssociate Professor
Email: mojica@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Molecular Genetic Pathology - Clinical Biochemical; Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
Professional Summary: As a pathologist, I help cover the clinical duties for the Kaleida Health system’s anatomical pathologist needs at the Buffalo General Medical Center, Suburban Hospital and DeGraff Hospital. I am Board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology with an interest in oncologic pathology and approaches related to precision medicine. The majority of my time is allocated for clinical service work, which includes general surgical pathology, some clinical pathology coverage, and the teaching of pathology residents. Additional clinical duties include overseeing the laboratory’s immunohistochemistry section and involvement in the build-up of the CTRC’s biobank. For resident education, one major emphasis currently being undertaken is the deciphering of the technical and bioinformatic bridges that separate pathologists from those involved in the field of genomic sequencing. Dedicated research time has allowed me to be involved in investigations centered on improvements in sample procurement and biomarker studies for antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) characterization. Current work on the former is centered on the development of an automated prototype for the processing of cells recovered from washed core needle biopsies, but with utility for any ‘wet’ type biopsy or sample (e.g., cytology specimens). This prototype is intended to enable unfixed cells to travel through a microfluidic platform that will allow for their quantitative evaluation and assessment of their cytologic features for diagnostic purposes, and their recovery for downstream molecular studies. Because of their unfixed nature, we are assessing the utility of the DNA extracted from these cells for long read sequencing technologies, believing these devices will ultimately replace both multi-panel, next generation tests and FISH assays for the elucidation of molecular abnormalities at both the single nucleotide and structural variation level. This approach will preserve the original core needle biopsy tissue for further tissue-based testing that requires morphologic evaluation, in particular, the profiling of tumor tissue to guide treatment with the aforementioned ADC currently being tested in clinical trials. The underlying effort is to maximize the amount of informative data derived from diminutive biospecimens and prevent the current problems associated with tissue exhaustion.

Colin, Moore
Email: cwmoore2@buffalo.edu
Phone: 829-3661

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Biomedical Imaging; Molecular and Cellular Biology

Research Summary:
I am a gross anatomist having received formal training in the teaching and learning of the anatomical sciences from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. During my doctoral education at the University of Western Ontario, I used surface and indwelling electromyographical (EMG) techniques to study structure-function relationships of atavistic musculature in the human upper limb. My professional focus and research interests are in the areas of functional human anatomy, including the functional and clinical implications of variant anatomy, and anatomy education. Currently, I am interested in studying anatomical variations and their potential use as assessment tools in anatomy education. Having ‘digitally preserved’ several unique muscular variations by generating three-dimensional (3D) computer models from micro-CT images, I plan on exploring the use of these 3D variant anatomy models in teaching and learning of the anatomical sciences. My current teaching activities include teaching medical histology and gross anatomy within both the School of Dental Medicine and Jacobs School of Medicine. In the histology curriculum within the Medical School, I am developing ‘flipped classroom‘ active learning sessions, in which students can view and interact with virtual microscope slides of normal and pathological/atypical structures. Furthermore, I have developed a corresponding educational resource webpage (https://ubwp.buffalo.edu/histology) for students to access text notes and YouTube video‘s of narrated microscopy slides in preparation for the active learning sessions.

Hassan, Nakhla
Nakhla, Hassan, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: nakhla@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
I spend my professional time working in anatomic pathology service work, clinical pathology service, administrative activities and teaching pathology residents from SUNY Pathology residency program. I serve as the medical director for the clinical laboratories at DeGraff Memorial Hospital, director of Outreach Services at Kaleida Health and as assistant director to the Center for Laboratory Medicine, Williamsville (Flint). I had also served as the laboratory director of the Erie County Public Health Laboratory STD clinic. I serve the Department of Pathology and Anatomic Sciences at Kaleida Health as a general pathologist in anatomic and clinical pathology. My primary areas for service work include surgical pathology and cytopathology as an attending pathologist rotating among the Kaleida hospital sites. Each of these positions has been valuable to me in learning how different groups work together and how different groups of clinicians see and set expectations for a pathology department.

Ted, Ondracek
Ondracek, Ted, MDClinical Assistant Professor; Attending Pathologist for UB Pathologists, Inc.
Email: ondracek@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology; Dermatopathology - Anatomic Pathology; Immunopathology; Medical Microbiology; Surgical Pathology; Autopsy; Bioinformatics

Research Summary:
I pursued undergraduate and graduate education in biomedical engineering because of my interest in the application of basic science to solve real world problems. My studies included biomaterials and medical imaging. An interest specifically in medical science led me to medical school and eventually into pathology. After close to four years practicing community pathology, a desire to reestablish connections with UB pathologists initiated during my Roswell Park fellowship brought me back to Buffalo as a UB pathologist. My clinical responsibilities include surgical pathology, cytopathology, autopsy pathology and clinical pathology. I routinely work with pathology residents during their surgical pathology, cytology and autopsy rotations. I have particular interest in dermatopathology and gastrointestinal pathology. Image processing and analysis and bioinformatics also intrigue me. I am currently searching for new opportunities to collaborate with faculty in the anatomical sciences half of our department.

Rana, Samuel
Samuel, Rana, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: rsamuel@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 862-8701

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Pinaki, Sarder
Sarder, Pinaki, PhDAssistant Professor
Email: pinakisa@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 829-2265

Specialty/Research Focus:
Biomedical Imaging; Biomedical Image Analysis; Image Analysis; Digital Pathology; Quantitative Histology; Machine Learning; Bioinformatics

Research Summary:
We develop novel computational methods to study and understand tissue micro-anatomy using multi-modal whole-slide microscopy images as well as associated genomic datasets. Our method facilitates decision making in a clinical work-flow (both for diagnosis and predicting progression of diseases), and also allows studying fundamental systems biology of disease dynamics. Currently, our major focus involves studying diabetic kidney diseases in mouse models and human samples.

Yousef, Soofi
Soofi, Yousef, MDClinical Assistant Professor/Pathologist
Email: yousefso@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-859-2259

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology

Ewa, Stachowiak
Stachowiak, Ewa, PhDAssistant Professor
Email: eks1@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-5210

Specialty/Research Focus:
Cell growth, differentiation and development; Gene Expression; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Neurobiology; Signal Transduction

Research Summary:
The long term mission of my research has been to understand developmental and regenerative processes within the mammalian CNS. Towards these goals I have employed stereological and microscopic imaging techniques, stem cell cultures and in vivo models to analyze brain development, regenerative capacity, etiology of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. I have established a quantitative Neuroanatomy Stereology laboratory within a multi-disciplinary Molecular and Structural Neurobiology and Gene Therapy Program. Current projects: Developmental disorder- Schizophrenia The studies that I have been engaged in the last several years have addressed fundamental aspects of organismal development, their pathological disruptions and their targeting for regenerative medicine. With the advent of multicellular organisms, mechanisms emerged that imposed new controls which limited the natural propensity of organisms composed of single cells to proliferate, and to invade new locales, which ultimately results in the formation of tissues and organs. How such an immense task is accomplished has been largely unknown. Our collaborative studies have revealed a pan-ontogenic gene mechanism, Integrative Nuclear Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 1 (FGFR1) Signaling (INFS), which mediates global gene programing through the nuclear form of the FGFR1 receptor (nFGFR1) and its partner CREB Binding Protein, so as to assimilate signals from diverse signaling pathways[1]. My work, which has contributed to these findings, has been focused on the role of INFS in cellular development. I have shown that INFS is central to the development of neural cells and that pluripotent ESC and multipotent NPCs can be programmed to exit from their cycles of self-renewal, and to undergo neuronal differentiation simply by transfecting a single protein, nFGFR1. Using viral and novel, nanotechnology based gene transfers, I have demonstrated that it is possible to reactivate developmental neurogenesis in adult brain by overexpressing nFGFR1 in brain stem/progenitor cells. We have shown that similar effects can be produced by small molecules that activate the INFS. These findings may revolutionize treatments of abnormal brain development, injury and neurodegenerative diseases by targeting INFS to reactivate brain neurogenesis. Schizophrenia (SZ) has been linked to the abnormal development of multiple neuronal systems, and to changes in genes within diverse ontogenic networks. Genetic studies have established a link between FGFs and nFGFR1 with these networks and SZ[1]. nFGFR1 integrates signals from diverse SZ linked genes (>200 identified) and pathways[2-6] and controls developmental gene networks. By manipulating nFGFR1 function in the brain of transgenic mice I have established a model that mimics important characteristics of human schizophrenia: including its neurodevelopmental origin, the hypoplasia of DA neurons, increased numbers of immature neurons in cortex and hippocampus, disruption of brain cortical layers and connections, a delayed onset of behavioral symptoms, deficits across multiple domains of the disorder, and their correction by typical and atypical antipsychotics[6, 7]. To understand how SZ affects neural development, I have begun to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) using fibroblast of SZ patients with different genetic backgrounds. In my studies I employ 3-dimensional cultures of iPSCs, co-developmental grafting of the iPSCs neural progeny into murine brain, FISH (Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization), gene transfer and quantitative stereological analyses. I am testing how genomic dysregulation affects the developmental potential of schizophrenia NPCs (formation of 3D cortical organoids, in vivo development of grafted iPSCs) which may be normalized by correcting nFGFR1 and miRNA functions. In summary, my studies are aimed to develop to new treatments for Schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders including potential preventive therapies. Effect of maternal diet and metabolic deficits on brain development (collaboration with Dr. Mulchand Patel, Department of Biochemistry, UB) Approximately 36% of the adults in the US are classified as obese. Available evidence from epidemiological and animal studies indicate that altered nutritional experiences early in life can affect the development of obesity and associated metabolic diseases in adulthood and subsequently in the offspring of these people. Furthermore, there is an increased risk for mental health disorders that is associated with these conditions. Our studies show that an altered maternal environment in female rats produced by consuming a high fat (HF) or high sugar diet (HS) negatively impacts the development of brain stem cells and fetal brain circuitry in the offspring[8, 9]. Increased numbers of immature, underdeveloped neurons are found in the hypothalamus, which controls feeding behavior. Similar changes are found in areas of the cerebral cortex involved in other diverse behavioral functions. These changes reveal an alarming predisposition for neurodevelopmental abnormalities in the offspring of obese female rats. Blast induced brain injury and regeneration (collaboration with Dr. Richard Salvi, Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, UB) Sound blast induced brain injury is a major concern in military exposure to excessive noise. In mice exposed to the sound blast we found marked loss of myelinated fibers and neuronal apoptosis in brain cortex. These degenerative changes were accompanied by increased proliferation of brain neural progenitor cells in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles. Immunohistochemical and stereological analyses reveal that these initial changes are followed by the gradual reappearance of myelinated cortical fibers. This is accompanied by increased proliferation of oligodendrocytic progenitors. I found that these progenitors also differentiate to mature oligodendrocytes in brain cortex. Our findings show that the blast-induced activation of the brain neural stem/progenitor cells generates predominantly new oligodendrocytes. The capacity of these new cells to myelinate damaged and regenerating neurons will be addressed in my planned future investigation.

Michal, Stachowiak
Stachowiak, Michal, PhDProfessor, Director Molec. and Structural Neurobiol. Gene Therapy Prog. Director Stem Cell SCEF
Email: mks4@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 829-3540

Specialty/Research Focus:
Bioinformatics; Cell growth, differentiation and development; Gene Expression; Gene therapy; Genome Integrity; Genomics and proteomics; Molecular Basis of Disease; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Neurobiology; Signal Transduction; Stem Cells; Transcription and Translation

Research Summary:
The long term mission of our laboratory, which I co-direct with Dr. Ewa Stachowiak, is to understand the principles governing molecular control of neural development, the implications for developmental- and aging-related diseases and the wide ranging effects on brain functions including behavior. The main achievement of our program has been the discovery of “Integrative Nuclear FGFR1 Signaling”, INFS a universal signaling mechanism which plays a novel integral role in cell development and complements other universal mechanisms such as mitotic cycle and pluripotency .Based on these revolutionary findings we have formulated a new theory called “Feed-Forward End-Gate Signaling” that explains how epigenetic factors either extracellular like neurotransmitters, hormonal or growth factors or intracellular signaling pathways control developmental gene programs and cellular development. This discovery is a product of our twenty-year multidisciplinary research that has been reported in several peer-reviewed papers in major journals including Proc. Natl. Acad. of Science (USA), Integrative Biology, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Journal of Cell Biology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Physical Chemistry (etc.). In addition, we have applied this theory to analyze the etiology of neurodevelopmental /neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer in order to utilize it in new potential therapies. Towards these goals we have employed new technologies for an in vivo gene transfer, developed new transgenic mouse models for Schizophrenia and Parkinson-like diseases and established an interdisciplinary Molecular and Structural Neurobiology and Gene Therapy Program which has o engaged researchers from the different UB departments, other universities in the US as well as foreign institutions including Hannover Medical School (Germany), Gdansk Medical University, and Polish Academy of Science. Detailed research activities and future goals of our research program: 1. Molecular mechanisms controlling development of neural stem and related cells. In studying molecular mechanisms controlling development of neural stem and related cells we have established a novel universal signal transduction mechanism -Feed-Forward-And Gate network module that effects the differentiation of stem cells and neural progenitor cells. In the center of this module is the new gene-controlling mechanism "Integrative Nuclear Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor-1 (FGFR1) Signaling" (INFS), which integrates diverse epigenetic signals and controls cell progression through ontogenic stages of proliferation, growth, and differentiation. We have shown that, Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor-1 (FGFR1) a protein previously thought to be exclusively involved with transmembrane FGF signaling, resides in multiple subcellular compartments and is a multifactorial molecule that interacts with diverse cellular proteins In INFS, newly synthesized FGFR1 is released from the endoplasmic reticulum and translocates to the nucleus. In the nucleus, FGFR1 associates with nuclear matrix-attached centers of RNA transcription, interacts directly with transcriptional coactivators and kinases, activates transcription machinery and stimulates chromatin remodeling conducive of elevated gene activities. Our biophotonic experiments revealed that the gene activation by nuclear FGFR1 involves conversion of the immobile matrix-bound and the fast kinetic nucleoplasmic R1 into a slow kinetic chromatin binding population This conversion occurs through FGFR1’s interaction with the CBP and other nuclear proteins. The studies support a novel general mechanism in which gene activation is governed by FGFR1 protein movement and collisions with other proteins and nuclear structures. The INFS governs expression of developmentally regulated genes and plays a key role in the transition of proliferating neural stem cells into differentiating neurons development of glial cells, and can force neoplastic medulloblastoma and neuroblastoma cells to exit the cell cycle and enter a differentiation pathway and thus provides a new target for anti-cancer therapies. In our in vitro studies we are using different types of stem cells cultures, protein biochemistry, biophotonics analyses of protein mobility and interactions [Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleaching (FRAP), Fluorescence Loss In Photobleaching (FLIP), and Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)] and diverse transcription systems to further elucidate the molecular circuits that control neural development. 2. Analyses of neural stem cell developmental mechanisms in vivo by direct gene transfer into the mammalian nervous system. An understanding of the mechanisms that control the transition of neural stem/progenitor cells (NS/PC) into functional neurons could potentially be used to recruit endogenously-produced NS/PC for neuronal replacement in a variety of neurological diseases. Using DNA-silica based nanoplexes and viral vectors we have shown that neuronogenesis can be effectively reinstated in the adult brain by genes engineered to target the Integrative Nuclear FGF Receptor-1 Signaling (INFS) pathway. Thus, targeting the INFS in brain stem cells via gene transfers or pharmacological activation may be used to induce selective neuronal differentiation, providing potentially revolutionizing treatment strategies of a broad range of neurological disorders. 3. Studies of brain development and neurodevelopmental diseases using transgenic mouse models. Our laboratory is also interested in the abnormal brain development affecting dopamine and other neurotransmitter neurons and its link to psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia. Changes in FGF and its receptors FGFR1 have been found in the brains of schizophrenia and bipolar patients suggesting that impaired FGF signaling could underlie abnormal brain development and function associated with these disorders. Furthermore the INFS mechanism, integrates several pathways in which the schizophrenia-linked mutations have been reported. To test this hypothesis we engineered a new transgenic mouse model which results from hypoplastic development of DA neurons induced by a tyrosine kinase-deleted dominant negative mutant FGFR1(TK-) expressed in dopamine neurons. The structure and function of the brain’s DA neurons, serotonin neurons and other neuronal systems including cortical and hippocampal neurons are altered in TK- mice in a manner similar to that reported in patients with schizophrenia. Moreover, TK- mice express behavioral deficits that model schizophrenia-like positive symptoms (impaired sensory gaiting), negative symptoms (e.g. low social motivation), and impaired cognition ameliorated by typical or atypical antipsychotics. Supported by the grants from the pharmaceutical industry we are investigating new potential targets for anti-psychotic therapies using our preclinical FGFR1(TK-) transgenic model. Our future goals include in vivo gene therapy to verify whether neurodevelopmental pathologies may be reversed by targeting endogenous brain stem cells. Together with the other researchers of the SUNY Buffalo we have established Western New York Stem Cells Analysis Center in 2010 which includes Stem Cell Grafting and in vivo Analysis core which I direct. Together with Dr. E. Tzanakakis (UB Bioengineering Department) we have written book “ Stem cells- From Mechanisms to Technologies’ (World Scientific Publishing, 2011). Educational Activities and Teaching: I have participated together with the members of our neuroscience community in developing a new Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the SUNY, Buffalo. I am teaching neuroanatomy courses for dental students (ANA811) and for graduate students (NRS524). At present I participate in team-taught graduate courses in Neuroscience and Developmental Neuroscience (NRS 520, 521 and NRS 524). I am serving as a mentor for several undergraduate, graduate (masters and doctoral students) and postdoctoral fellows in the Neuroscience Program, Anatomy and Cell Biology Program and in the IGERT program in the Departments of Chemistry and Engineering. Additionally to mentoring master and Ph.D. students at the UB, I have helped to train graduate students in the University of Camerino (Italy) and Hannover Medical School (Germany). The works of our graduate students have been described in several publications.

John, Tomaszewski
Tomaszewski, John, MD, MASCPSUNY Distinguished Professor and Peter A. Nickerson, PhD Chair of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences
Email: johntoma@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-2846

Specialty/Research Focus:
Immunopathology; Surgical Pathology; Renal Pathology

Research Summary:
Patient care for a Pathologist is centered on assisting patients and clinicians in the understanding and the use of clinical laboratory data for the planning of therapeutic decisions. My personal specialty focus areas are in renal pathology, immunopathology, and urological pathology. I provide tissue biopsy and clinical laboratory diagnose , prognoses, and therapeutic advice to patients and clinicians on medical and surgical diseases of the kidney (including kidney transplants), bladder, prostate , and testis. These services include the interpretation of biopsies and pathology specimens, consultations on the ordering and/or the results of clinical laboratory lab tests. Raised in Philadelphia, PA I received my undergraduate education from LaSalle College in Philadelphia in 1973. I attended the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine and received my MD in 1977. After finishing medical school I did an internship in Internal Medicine at Pennsylvania. I completed my Pathology Residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1982. During that training I had special concentrations in immunology, HLA testing, and nephropathology. I was a Fellow in Surgical Pathology in 1982-1983. I joined the faculty in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. In my first year of appointment I was given the opportunity to do a specially arranged fellowship with Dr Conrad Pirani in Nephropathology at Columbia University. At Penn I rose through the ranks to become Professor, Vice Chair for Anatomic Pathology-Hospital Services, and Interim Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine My research interests are translational and have been focused in the domain of genitourinary pathology. Over the last decade I have had the great opportunity to work collaboratively with a group of image scientists in the development of quantitative image analysis tools tailored to the needs of the digital pathology community. Our vision is to create a new analytic paradigm fusing the data from the quantitative analysis of high resolution images with multidimensional molecular data. This “fused diagnostics” approach will support personalized predictive modeling of disease and its response to therapy. Our collaborative group is funded and is working hard to develop platforms which will support this new way of addressing complex multivariable testing. Over the years I have had the great good fortune to teach many classes of undergraduate medical students in nephropathology and genitourinary pathology. I have been Program Director of the Surgical Pathology and Immunopatholgy Fellowships at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and instructed 56 Fellows. I have been a member of 9 PhD and 1 MS candidates’ thesis committees. I continue to instruct at the UME, GME, and Graduate student levels. I have been active in the work of many Pathology societies both as a speaker and in varied leadership roles. My volunteer work has been with the ACSP, USCAP, CAP, Pathology Informatics, ASIP, ICPI, and APC. I was a member of the ASCP Board of Directors for many years and rose through the leadership sequence to be elected ASCP President for 2010-2011. My society work has helped me understand both the challenges and the opportunities which face our profession in these times of great change. In 2011 I moved from Philadelphia to Buffalo to become Chair of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. I continue to maintain an active collaborative research program in image science and focus my efforts as Chair on building our clinical, educational, and research programs at UB. I am excited to be part of this great University which is on the rise.

Jack, Tseng
Tseng, Jack, PhDAssistant Professor
Email: jacktsen@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-2752

Specialty/Research Focus:
Function and Structure

Research Summary:
I am an integrative and evolutionary biologist, and my research focuses on the quantitative and functional anatomy and evolution of the mammalian craniodental system. One of the oldest endeavors in the study of gross anatomy is the exploration of the link between musculoskeletal structure and function. For centuries, scientists and artists alike have been digging into anatomical systems to draw connections between animal forms and the functional adaptations that allow some species to out-compete and out-survive others. Scientists’ and physicians’ understanding of current structure-function relationships can be improved by incorporating the long-term, evolutionary histories of anatomical systems. Research in my laboratory is focused on the macroevolutionary-scale patterns of structure-function relationships in mammals and other vertebrate groups. My model system of choice is the skull of carnivoramorphan mammals (dogs, cats, bears, hyenas and their living and extinct relatives). Despite the suggestion of a meat-eating lifestyle implied by the name of this mammal group, living carnivoramorphan species include not only specialists of vertebrate soft tissues, but others that are adapted to feed on insects, plants, fruits--or even bones. Projects in my lab include analysis of important variables such as diet, evolutionary relationships and non-masticatory functional constraints and their interplay on the structure and function of the skull as a feeding tool. I use methodologies such as landmark-based shape analysis (geometric morphometrics), model-based assessments of feeding performance (finite element analysis) as well as experiment-based model validation approaches and field-based and collection-based research on extinct mammal groups. I also use theoretical modeling approaches based on computed tomography (CT) to test functional optimality in skull structures of carnivoramorphans and primates (including humans). My goal is to develop a prototyping approach to better understand structure-function patterns of musculoskeletal systems. This will lead, eventually, to novel biomedical devices such as body implants and replacement body parts (e.g., artificial limbs) that benefit from a design approach informed by evolution. My lab is currently at full capacity for 2019-2020. Students interested in either the PhD or Master's programs are encouraged to check back in early 2020 for potential openings.