PSOM – Presidential Professors

Nduka M. Amankulor, MD

Nduka M. Amankulor, MD

Presidential Professor of Neurosurgery
 Nduka.Amankulor@Pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 800-789-7366

RESEARCH

In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Amankulor is a cancer biologist and immunologist engaged in developing new therapeutic strategies for primary (diffuse gliomas and GBM) and metastatic brain tumors.

PREVIOUS INSTITUTION

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Learn More

Donita C. Brady, PhD

Donita C. Brady, PhD

Harrison McCrea Dickson, MD & Clifford C. Baker, MD Presidential Associate Professor of Cancer Biology
 bradyd@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 215-573-9705

RESEARCH

Dr. Brady's research program is founded in a new paradigm in nutrient sensing and protein regulation, termed metalloallostery, where redox-active metals control kinase activity, and is advancing our knowledge in basic science and disease-focused areas.  Her focus lies at the intersection of kinase signaling and copper (Cu) homeostasis with the goal of defining the mechanistic features of Cu-dependent kinases to target them in cancer via drug repurposing or development. 

PREVIOUS INSTITUTION

Duke University

Learn more

Sharlene M. Day, MD

Sharlene M. Day, MD

Presidential Associate Professor of Medicine
 sharlene.day@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

RESEARCH

Dr. Day's research focuses on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the most common genetic cardiovascular disease of Mendelian inheritance, and integrates basic, translational and clinical science.  She has a strong interest in learning how genetic and non-genetic factors (particularly exercise) influence the cardiovascular phenotype and clinical outcomes in patients.

PREVIOUS INSTITUTION

University of Michigan

Ramon R. Diaz-Arrastia, MD, PhD

Ramon R. Diaz-Arrastia, MD, PhD

John McCrea Dickson, MD Presidential Professor of Neurology
 Ramon.Diaz-Arrastia@uphs.upenn.edu

RESEARCH

Dr. Diaz-Arrastia's research focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuronal injury and neuroregeneration, with the goal of developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.  He studies the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and combines imaging, genomic, and tissue biomarkers to develop more targeted, personalized therapies.

PREVIOUS INSTITUTION

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Kellie Ann Jurado, PhD

Kellie Ann Jurado, PhD

Presidential Assistant Professor of Microbiology
 kellie.jurado@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 215-573-6378

RESEARCH

Dr. Jurado's research focuses on delineating disease pathogenesis of emerging viruses in order to uncover mechanisms of immune control.  She primarily focuses on emerging viral pathogens that present with unknown mechanisms of disease in the nervous system or placenta. 

PREVIOUS INSTITUTION

Harvard University

Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBe

Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBe

John Russell Dickson, MD Presidential Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy
 lynchhf@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 215-746-7327

RESEARCH

Dr. Fernandez Lynch's research focuses on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy, access to investigational medicines outside clinical trials, clinical research ethics, and the ethics of gatekeeping in health care.  Her specific areas of expertise include Institutional Review Board (IRB) quality, payment to research participants, research prioritization, pre-approval access pathways (e.g., Expanded Access, Emergency Use Authorization, and Right to Try), and efforts to balance speed and certainty in drug approvals, including pathways that rely on post-approval trials such as accelerated approval.

PREVIOUS INSTITUTION

Harvard University

Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA

Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA

Ralph Muller Presidential Associate Professor of Medicine
 mpatel@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

RESEARCH

Dr. Patel’s research leverages concepts from behavioral economics to design connected health approaches to improve individual health behaviors.  He has led several randomized, controlled trials that used wearable devices, smartphone applications, and workplace weight scales to track health behaviors.  His work also evaluates how information technology-based interventions can be designed to use concepts from behavioral economics to change physician behaviors to reduce low-value services and increase the delivery of high-value care.

PREVIOUS INSTITUTION

University of Michigan

Richard Phillips, MD, PhD

Richard Phillips, MD, PhD

Presidential Assistant Professor of Neurology
 richard.phillips@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

RESEARCH

Dr. Phillips' research is interested in understanding how epigenetic mechanisms drive the development of brain cancer and sits at the interface of chromatin biology, neuroscience and cancer biology.  Drawing from his focused investigations into epigenetic regulation, in addition to more unbiased approaches, his goal is to identify novel therapies for patients with brain cancer.

PREVIOUS INSTITUTION

Rockefeller University

Learn more

Natalí Chanaday Ricagni, PhD

Natalí Chanaday Ricagni, PhD

Presidential Assistant Professor of Physiology
 Natali.Chanaday@Pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 215-898-8725

RESEARCH

Dr. Chanaday uses molecular and pharmacological tools combined with live fluorescence imaging (microscopy) and electrophysiology of cultured neurons to investigate how neurotransmitter release is modulated and how synaptic vesicles are recycled. She is particularly interested in trafficking mechanisms of synaptic vesicle molecules and atypical calcium sources that have the potential to set basal neuron properties and shape the type of information neurons can transfer, as well as investigating novel forms of neuronal communication.

PREVIOUS INSTITUTION

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Learn More

Christina Roberto, PhD

Christina Roberto, PhD

Mitchell J. Blutt & Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Associate Professor of Psychiatry
 croberto@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 215-746-7064

RESEARCH

Dr. Roberto's research aims to identify and understand factors that promote unhealthy eating behaviors linked to obesity and eating disorders and design interventions to promote healthy eating. In her work, she draws upon the fields of psychology, marketing, behavioral economics, epidemiology, and public health to answer research questions that can provide policymakers and institutions with science-based guidance.

PREVIOUS INSTITUTION

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Cornelius Y. Taabazuing, PhD

Cornelius Y. Taabazuing, PhD

Voorhees Presidential Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics
 cornelius.taabazuing@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 617-755-4838

RESEARCH

Dr. Taabazuing's research combines biochemistry and cell biology approaches to study the molecular regulation of cell death.  Specifically, he is interested in pyroptotic and apoptotic cell death.  His goal is to understand how cell death impacts the immune system and to leverage that to develop therapeutics for human diseases.

PREVIOUS INSTITUTION

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center