CICMD Upcoming Seminar Speakers
CICMD Past and Future Seminar Series

Spring 2024

September 14th, 2023

Dr. Jose R. Fernandez: Mentorship: the science, the lessons and the future

Dr. Fernandez is a researcher interested in the interconnectivity of genes, environment and behaviors and the overall individual and collective impact of these aspects in obesity, obesity-related comorbidities, body composition and overall wellness. He has particular expertise in the area of population differences, with a focus of his research work in racial/ethnic disparities. Dr. Fernandez is nationally and internationally recognized as a pioneer in the use of genetic admixture as a tool to assess and account for the ancestral genetic background that correlates with race as a sociological construct and how it relates to obesity and body composition. For more than twenty years, Dr. Fernandez has worked in mentoring undergraduate, graduate, post docs and junior faculty of underrepresented groups, training and leading them toward successful careers in industry and academic settings. Various awards, including the UAB Minority Health Research Center Post-Doctoral Mentoring Award and The Obesity Society Shariki Kumanyida Diversity Leadership Award, have recognized his outstanding mentoring and his work toward improving diversity.

Dr. Hernandez

November 29th, 2023

Dr. Clintoria Williams: Zinc Deficiency: A Hidden Driver in the Detrimental Cycle of Hypertension and Chronic Kidney Disease

Clintoria Williams, PhD, FAHA, is the Principal Investigator of the Kidney PathoPhysiology Research Group. Dr. Williams leads a dynamic team of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Their paradigm-shifting research has identified cellular and molecular mechanisms driving the pathogenesis of kidney disease in the settings of zinc deficiency and chronic calcineurin inhibitor treatment. Exploitation of the underlying mechanisms that their research has identified will serve as the bedrock of new drug targets for the treatment of both kidney disease and hypertension. To date, her group’s research has received international and national recognition and has been featured in numerous news articles. Notably, the therapeutic potential of these studies was recently recognized by the American Society of Nephrology and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease as worthy of receiving two multi-year awards.

Dr. Williams

January, 24th, 2024

Dr. Sarah Lindsey: Estrogen Protects Against Arterial Stiffness

Dr. Sarah Lindsey received a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from LSU Health Sciences Center and postdoctoral training at the Wake Forest Hypertension and Vascular Research Center and was a recipient of an NIH Pathway to Independence Award. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at the Department of Pharmacology at Tulane School of Medicine, holds the Barbara S. Beckman Professorship in Pharmacology, and is the Associate Director of Tulane Center of Excellence in Sex-Based Biology & Medicine.
Dr. Lindsey has expertise in estrogen receptor pharmacology and sex differences in cardiovascular disease, specifically in vascular function and remodeling. The goal of her research is to understand how the loss of estrogen at menopause impacts these processes. Moreover, her work to elucidate nongenomic estrogen signaling and its interactions with the renin-angiotensin system will allow the development of pharmaceuticals that can selectively elicit vascular protection to improve health in aging women. She holds an NIH R01 investigating estrogen’s effects on arterial stiffness and is the project leader on a newly funded PPG investigating the impact of cardiometabolic health on the cognitive effects of estrogen.

Dr. Lindsey

February 14th, 2024

Dr. Alexander Staruschenko: Mechanisms contributing to kidney injury in type 2 diabetic nephropathy

Dr. Alexander (Sasha) Staruschenko is a Professor and Director of the Hypertension and Kidney Research Center at the University of South Florida.  The research in his laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms controlling the activity of ion channels and electrolyte homeostasis, respectively, in the control of blood pressure and kidney diseases.  The NIH, VA, and other funding agencies continuously  fund his laboratory.  He has published more than 175 peer-reviewed manuscripts in leading nephrology and hypertension journals.  Dr. Staruschenko mentored a number of students, postdocs, and junior faculty.  His dedication to research has been recognized nationally, as evidenced by multiple invited talks and numerous awards from the American Physiological Society (APS), American Heart Association (AHA), and American Society of Nephrology (ASN).  He is a member of the editorial boards or Associate Editor of several journals, including his appointment as a Deputy Editor of Am J Physiol: Renal Physiol.  He is an Immediate Past-Chair of the AHA Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease (KCVD) Council and served as a Chair or member of multiple AHA, APS, and ASN committees.  He also served as a Chair, standing member, and ad hoc reviewer on numerous study sections, including NIH, VA, DOD, AHA, ADA, JDRF, and various international agencies.

Dr. Alexander Staruschenko

Dr. Stephanie Goldstein: Optimizing Interventions for weight-related behaviors using digital tools, advanced analytics, and novel research designs

Dr. Stephanie Goldstein is a clinical health psychologist who conducts research focused on leveraging digital health tools to study and intervene in weight-related behaviors implicated in cardiovascular disease risk, particularly eating and diet. Examples of her current NIH-funded research projects include: optimizing a smartphone-based just-in-time adaptive intervention (JITAI) that uses machine learning to deliver preventative support when an individual is at risk for ‘slipping’ from their dietary goals, combining multimodal digital health technologies to phenotype dietary non-adherence behaviors, and validating commercially-available devices (smartwatches and smart rings) for automatically monitoring eating during daily life.

Dr. Stephanie Goldstein

April 17th, 2024

Inmaculada Hernandez: Drug Prices and Manufacturer Discounts: Implications for Patients and Policy Reform

Dr. Inmaculada (Inma) Hernandez is a Professor at the University of California, San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Hernandez is a pharmacist and a scholar whose research focuses on improving medication use, outcomes, and equity in access. She has made major contributions to improving transparency in the drug reimbursement system.  Dr. Hernandez has authored over than 100 scientific articles and currently serves as the National Academy of Medicine Fellow in Pharmacy.
Dr. Hernandez received her PharmD from the University of Navarra (Spain), and her PhD in Health Services Research and Policy from the University of Pittsburgh. She was recognized on the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2018 and in 2021 she became the first pharmacist to be recognized with the Academy Health Alice S. Hersh Emerging Leader Award. She is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

Dr. Inmaculada Hernandez

Spring 2023

January 11th , 2023

Dr. Daniel T. Lackland: The Burden of Hypertension and Stroke: An Ongoing Pandemic

Dr. Daniel T. Lackland is Professor of Epidemiology at the Medical
University of South Carolina. He is a Fellow in the American College of
Epidemiology, American Society of Hypertension, and American
Heart Association. He directs the Division of Translational Neuroscience and Population Studies, and the Masters of Science in Clinical Research Program. He is the principal investigator for the
Black Pooling Project assessing the disparities in cardiovascular
diseases and hypertension. Dr. Lackland was appointed to Joint
National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and
Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 8), and the work group for
the NHLBI Clinical Guidelines for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction
(Global Risk Assessment).

Lackland 2

April 19th , 2023 (re-scheduled from 1-18-2023)

Dr. Mark Pletcher

Dr. Mark Pletcher is an epidemiologist and a general
internal medicine physician at the University of
California San Francisco. His research is designed to
inform clinical decision-making and policy relevant to
primary care and prevention. His focus is on
prevention of cardiovascular disease, and have
particular interests in early life causes of
atherosclerosis, primordial and primary coronary
heart disease and stroke prevention, clinical decisionmaking
regarding use of preventive medications
(statins and anti-hypertensive medications) and
screening for subclinical cardiovascular disease.

Mark Pletcher 2

February 1st , 2023

Dr. Paul A Estabrooks, PhD

Dr. Paul Eastbrooks Research intrest is dissemination and
implementation science—studying the process of moving
health promotion evidence into community and clinical
action. Integrated research-practice partnership processes
to improve system supports for physical activity promotion,
healthful eating, and weight control. Testing innovative
health promotion programs, policies, and practice
interventions that can be adapted and adopted in schools,
workplaces, communities and healthcare clinics—and
provide health promotion opportunities for populations
experiencing racial, ethnic, or geographic disparities. Dr.
Eastbrooks is an Adjunct Professor at the Department of
Health Promotions in the University of Nebraska Medical
Center, College of Public Health.


March 8 Th, 2023

Dr.Yvonne M. Ulrich-Lai, PhD.

Dr. Yvonne M. Ulrich-Lai, PhD is a Professor of Pharmacology & Systems
Physiology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The goal of her
research program is to identify the neural and hormonal substrates that are
responsible for the interactions among diet, obesity and stress. Obesity is a
major health problem affecting 30% of adults in the United States. Despite public
health efforts to combat obesity, it continues to rapidly increase in incidence,
along with obesity-related diseases and health costs. Similarly, stress-related
psychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety, affect large segments of
the population.


March 22 Th, 2023

Dr.Annet Kirabo, D.V.M., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Dr. Annette Kirabo is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology, Associate
Professor in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Vanderbilt Institute for
Infection, Immunology and Inflammation. The current goal of her research program is to define
the molecular mechanisms underlying activation of the immune system in response to
hypertensive stimuli including excess dietary salt, sympathetic nerve outflow, and oxidative
stress. Her group is attempting to uncover the mechanisms by which hypertensive stimuli lead
to accumulation of isolevuglandins (IsoLGs) in antigen presenting cells and how these may
activate the immune system. They are using novel cutting-edge methods to isolate MHCassociated
peptides, and use mass spectrometry and proteomics to identify IsoLG-modified
peptides presented by MHCs in hypertension. Their goal is to use these modified peptides to
design immunotherapeutic approaches in hypertension and cardiovascular disease.


April 5th, 2023

Dr.Matt Hayes

Dr. Hayes is the Albert J. Stunkard Associate Professor in Psychiatr at Associate
Professor in the Secondary Faculty, School of Nursing, Associate Vice Chair of
Basic and Translational Neuroscience, Director, Molecular and Neural Basis of
Psychiatric Disease Section, Department of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of
Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. The overarching goal of the Hayes lab is to
identify and characterize the neural signaling pathways controlling for food intake
and body weight regulation in an effort to treat obesity and associated comorbidities.
To this end, his research examines the behavioral, intracellular,
neuronal and endocrine mechanisms governing energy balance and how these
processes are dysregulated in obesity. A major theme of research in his lab
focuses on the neuropeptide glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and its role in
regulating energy balance through action in the periphery on the vagus nerve
(cranial nerve X), as well as the central nervous system (CNS).


April 26 Th, 2023

Dr. Sangaralingham, S. Jeson, Ph.D., M.S.

Dr. Sangaralingham, S. Ph.D., M.S., is a translational cardiovascular investigator who studies biological mechanisms and signaling cascades that contribute to adverse cardiorenal fibrosis, remodeling, and failure. His primary focus is on the protective role of the natriuretic peptide-particulate guanylyl cyclase-cyclic guanosine monophosphate
(NP-pGC-cGMP) system. Using this scientific knowledge, Dr. Sangaralingham and his team are leading efforts to discover, engineer, and develop innovative drugs that enhance the protective actions of the pGC-cGMP system for cardiorenal diseases such
as heart failure, ischemic heart disease, hypertension and chronic kidney disease. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Physiology at the Mayo clinic in Rocheste, Minnesota. Dr. Sangaralingham’s translational cardiovascular research program is of
great clinical impact, as the burden of cardiorenal disease worldwide is significant. He is highly focused on transforming scientific ideas and discoveries at the bench into novel
therapeutic, diagnostic and prognostic strategies at the bedside, with goals of reducing the burden of cardiorenal disease and improving the quality of life for patients.

Dr. Jeson

CICMD Past Speakers 2022

Fall 2022

September 14th , 2022

Dr. Martin Young “Circadian Regulation of Cardiac Processes

Dr. Young is a professor in the college of medicine at the University of
Alabama at Birmingham. His research interest is focused on understanding
the interaction between extrinsic (i.e., environmental factors such as
nutrition and time-of-day) and intrinsic (e.g., cell autonomous mechanisms)
influences on skeletal and cardiac muscle metabolism, and how these
relationships impact whole body metabolic homeostasis and myocardial

Dr. Young

October 5th, 2022

Dr. Loneke T. Blackman Carr, PhD, RD. “Getting to wellness: Finding an Effective Approach to Weight Loss for Black Women”.

Dr. Loneke T. Blackman Carr, Ph.D., R.D.
is an Assistant Professor of Community and Public Health Nutrition at the University of Connecticut. Her expertise is in behavioral weight control interventions and obesity health disparities. She develops and evaluates interventions that leverage social relationships to improve weight loss and related diet and physical activity behavior change. A recent project includes a culturally-relevant, physical activity barrier reduction intervention for weight loss with black women.

Dr. Blacman Carr

Spring 2022

January 12th , 2022

Dr. Lawrence Reagan, PhD.

11:00 to 12:00 PM.
Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience, Vice Chair at the University of South Carolina. Research interest: determining the underlying structural, neurochemical and
functional changes that are produced by stress in the hippocampus in order to achieve a greater understanding of how these alterations may contribute to the development of cognitive impairments in a variety of clinical situations,
including recurrent depressive illness.

Dr.Lawrence Reagan

March 2nd , 2022

Dr.Darleen Sandoval PhD.

11:00 to 12:00 PM.
Dr. Sandoval is an integrated physiologist, her research focuses on advancing our
understanding of the role of the gut brain-axis in the regulation of metabolism and revolves around two general themes. One is focused on
understanding the role of a gut peptide, with the onset of type 2
diabetes mellitus. The second focuses on the adaptations of the gutbrain
axis with bariatric surgery and how this contributes to the
profound weight-loss and improvements in glucose and lipid
homeostasis seen with these surgeries.

Dr Sandoval

March 16th, 2022

Dr. Yumei Feng Earley, MD,PhD.

11:00 to 12:00 PM.Dr.
Yumei Feng Earley, MD,PhD.
The University of Nevada Reno.
Research Interest: Neural circuitry mechanisms of
cardiovascular metabolic diseases including hypertension,
diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases and Alzheimer’s
diseases. physiological and pathophysiological role of the
renin-angiotensin system (RAS).


April 6th, 2022

Dr. Adam Bress, PharmD, MS.

11:00 Am to 12:00 PM.
Dr. Bress is currently an Associate Professor of Population Health
Sciences with Tenure in the Division of Health System Innovation
and Research and an Investigator at the VA Salt Lake City Health
Care System. His research is focused on the prevention and
treatment of cardiovascular disease, optimizing medication use,
and reducing health disparities

adam Bress

April 13th, 2022

Dr. Jessica LaRose, PhD.

11:00 Am to 12:00 PM.
Dr. La Rose is the Director, OPT for health. Associate professor of Health Behavior and Policy in the VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) School of Medicine and a clinical psychologist with specialized training in behavioral medicine in both pediatric and adult populations.

La Rose

May 5th, 2022

Dr. Alessandro Bartolomucci, PhD. Early Career Showcase and Mixer- Keynote Speaker-

Dr. Bartolomucci is an Associate Professor of
Physiology – Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, University of Minnesota.
Research Interest: Stress pathophysiology and Vgf gene-derived peptides. His group investigates the pathological consequences of
chronic stress exposure in animal models of human disease, with the ultimate goal of understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms. Specific pathologies investigated include depression-like disorders,
neuroendocrine disease, obesity, and diabetes.


CICMD Past Seminar Speakers

Fall 2021

November 10th, 2021

Dr. Alejandro Chade, MD. FAHA. “Renal-cardio pathophysiology in CKD. Work in progress and future directions”

11:00 Am to 12:00 PM.
Dr. Alejandro Chade, MD. Professor of Physiology and Radiology. He is the Associate Director for Translational Research for COBRE. His research interest is renovascular disease and chronic kidney disease, the use of imaging to study renal physiology and pathophysiology, renal microcirculation, and the development of novel therapeutic

Alejandro Chade

Spring 2021 Speakers

January 27, 2021.

Dr. Paul Welling, MD. “How the Kidney Adapts to the Modern Diet at the Expense of Hypertension”

Dr. Welling is an authority on the molecular bases of potassium and sodium
balance, electrolyte disorders and hypertension. His laboratory is
recognized for elucidating how ion transport molecules in the kidney
control salt balance and discovering how these molecules go awry in
disorders of electrolyte homeostasis and blood pressure. He has a special
interest in the interaction between diet and faulty genes.

paul welling 3

February 10, 2021

Dr. Tannaz Moin. MD, MBA, MSHS. “Translating Evidence to Practice for Diabetes Prevention”

Dr. Moin is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Divisions of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism and General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is also a Core Investigator at the VA Greater Los Angeles HSR&D Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy and serves as an Assistant Director for the Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program at UCLA. Zoom

Tannaz Moin

February 24, 2021.

Dr. Rebecca Pearl “Weight Stigma and Health: What Do We Know and What Can We Do?”.

Dr. Rebecca L. Pearl is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida. Dr. Pearl joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor at the Penn Center for Weight and Eating Disorders and Department of Psychiatry in 2016, where she remains on the Adjunct faculty. She began her position at the University of Florida in 2020.

dr. Pealr

March 17th, 2021.

Dr. Nadia Drake Ph.D. “Speaking of Science: Sharing Expertise in Ways that Work.”

Dr. Nadia Drake, Ph.D. is a freelance science journalist and contributing writer at
National Geographic. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic,
Scientific American, Nature, Wired, and Science News, among other publications.
Nadia has a PhD in genetics, from Cornell University, and a graduate certificate in science
communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Nadia 2

Fall 2020 Speakers

July, 2020

Dr, Kristen L. Knutson, Ph.D.

Dr, Kristen Knutson is a biomedical anthropologist and she is currently an Associate Professor in the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine in the Department of Neurology at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on the association between sleep, circadian rhythms and chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. “Human Variation in Sleep Patterns: Implications for Cardiometabolic Disease Risk”.


September 30, 2020

Jessica Faulkner, Ph.D

Post Doctoral Fellow, Vascular Biology Center at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Research Interest: increases in endothelial cell mineralocorticoid receptor expression underlie leptin induced, obesity-associated cardiovascular diseases in premenopausal females. High leptin levels in obese pregnant woman may predispose them to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, notably preeclampsia, via activation of endothelial mineralocorticoid receptors. “Sex Specific Implications of Leptin and Mineralcorticoide Receptors in Endothelial Function and Hypertension”

faulkner 2

September 23,2020

Kiarri Kershaw, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine (Epidemiology). Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Research Interest: Understanding the contributions of the social environment to cardiovascular health and health disparities. “Understanding the contributions of the social environment to cardiovascular disease risk.”

kreshaw 3

OCTOBER 14,2020

Gary J. Schwartz, Ph.D.

“Feel the Burn:Feeding, Nutrient Sensing and Thermogenesis” Gary J. Schwartz, Ph.D., studies how the gut and the brain interact with each other to regulate food intake and associated metabolic processes. Dr. Schwartz and his colleagues aim to identify therapeutic targets for eating behaviors associated with obesity, diabetes and related diseases.


OCTOBER 28, 200

Dr. Jessica Breland, Ph.D.

“Obesity, Mental Health and Inequity” Dr. Breland, MS, PhD is a licensed psychologist and a Core Investigator/CDA Awardee at the Center for Innovation to Implementation in the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.


NOVEMBER 4, 2020

Dr. Brent Myers, Ph.D.

“Cortical stress integration: implications for behavioral and cardiovascular systems.” Dr. Meyer’s research is generally focused on the integrative neuroscience of stress. Specific projects combine behavioral neuroscience, cardiovascular and endocrine physiology, and neurocircuit analysis to determine the mechanistic basis of stress effects on health.


Spring/Fall 2019 Speakers


Dr Kevin Hall.

Senior Investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institute of Health. Dr. Hall is the recipient of the NIH Director’s Award, the NIDDK Director’s Award, the Lilly Scientific Achievement Award from The Obesity Society, the Guyton Award for Excellence in Integrative Physiology from the American Society of Physiology, and his award winning Body Weight Planner Co-Sponsored with the Department of Nutritional Sciences,FSHN. “Carbs, Calories, or Quality? What matters most for weight loss”

kevin hall


Dr. Aaron S. Kelly, Ph.D.

Professor of Pediatrics, Minnesota American Legion and Auxiliary Chair in Children’s Health, Co-Director, Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine, University of Minnesota. “Precision Medicine for Obesity.”

Aaron Kelly

September, 2019

Dr. Joseph Breza PHD

Assistant Professor Psychology; Neuroscience, Eastern Michigan State. Co-Sponsor with the Center for Smell and Taste. “Lightly Salted: An Optogenetic Approach to Illuminate the Role.” of Type I Cells in Salt Taste.”



Kathryn Ross, Ph.D.,M.P.H.

Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology and in the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. “Identifying and Characterizing High-Risk Periods for Weight Regain after Initial Weight Loss”

CICMD Speaker

April, 2019

April Carson, Ph.D., MSPH, FAHA

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham “Preventing diabetes and its complications: Where do we go from here?”

CICMD speaker 4

March, 2019.

Jennifer Pollock, Ph.D.

Co-Director and Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology School of Medicine University of Alabama at Birmingham “Not All Nitric Oxide is created equal”

CICMD Speaker 3

February 2019

Michael Rosenbaum, MD

Professor, Pediatrics and Medicine Associate Director, Clinical Translational Research Award/Clinical Research Resource Columbia University Medical Center “Obesity: Why Is It So Hard to Keep Weight Off?”

CICMD speaker 2

January, 2019

Dr. Linda Rinaman

Professor of Psychology Neuroscience Graduate Group Florida State University “Gut-Brain Signaling and Motivated Behavior “

CICMD speaker 1