University of Pittsburgh

A partnership with the University of Ghana and the University of Pittsburgh's
Center for Translational and International Hematology

  Solomon Ofori-Acquah PhD

Solomon Ofori-Acquah, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology) and Human Genetics
Director, Center for Translational and International Hematology
Program Director, Pittsburgh Intensive Training in Hematology Research (R25)

  • Genetics of Acute Chest Syndrome

Dr. Ofori-Acquah was trained as a hematology and molecular genetics scientist in the National Health System in England. He has a longstanding research interest in molecular hematology, sickle cell disease (SCD), and in endothelial biology research related to novel therapies for pulmonary vascular dysfunctions. His long-term research is focused on acute and chronic pulmonary complications of SCD. His lab recently developed the first mouse model of acute chest syndrome, and defined hemin as a prototypical erythroid DAMP molecule that triggers this lung condition.


Eleanor Feingold, PhD

Professor, Human Genetics and Biostatistics
Associate Dean for Education, Office of the Dean
Senior Associate Dean, Office of the Dean


David Finegold, MD

Professor, Human Genetics
Director, Multidisciplinary MPH Program

  • Statistical Human Genetics

  • Genetics of Lymphedema

Dr. Feingold has been working in statistical genetics to develop statistical methods for gene mapping - for finding genes that affect risk for various diseases.  She also applies these methods to research on Down syndrome, premature birth, dental health, lymphedema, and a number of other traits and diseases.  She has been particularly fascinated over the years by the statistical challenges posed by successive generations of genomics technology.

Dr. Finegold focuses his research on lymphatic vascular biology and genetic variation underlying primary and secondary lymphedema. He is the co-principal investigator for the Pittsburgh Lymphedema Family Study, which aims to identify genes responsible for primary (or inherited) lymphedema, also known as Milroy's and Meige's Disease. He is Director of the Multidisciplinary Masters of Public Health Program at the Graduate School of Public Health.


Mark Gladwin, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine
Director, Vascular Medicine Institute


Susanne Gollin, PhD, FFACMG

Professor, Human Genetics
Director, Cell Culture and Cytogenics Facility

  • Genetics of Pulmonary Hypertension 

  • Cytogenetics

Dr. Gladwin’s clinical research and expertise focuses on pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease.  He served as PI on the multi-center clinical trials Walk-PHASST (Pulmonary Hypertension and Sickle Sildenafil Therapy Trial) and DeNOVO (Delivery of NO for Vaso-Occlusive pain crisis in sickle cell disease). He has served as a principal or associate investigator on more than 25 human subjects protocols.  In 2015, Dr. Gladwin was appointed Chairman of the Department of Medicine in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Gollin is the Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cell Culture and Cytogenetics Facility of Research and Clinical Cytogenetics Consultant in the Pittsburgh Cytogenetics Laboratory. Her research interests include: Cytogenetic alterations as diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic biomarkers for cancers; mechanisms involved in chromosomal instability; defects in the DNA damage response in cancer cells. 


Indrani Halder, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology


Jeffrey Isenberg, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine

  • Bio-behavioral Genetics of CVD

  • Cardiovascular Genetics

​Dr. Halder completed her Posdoctoral Associate training in Cardiovascular Behavioral Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute in 2011. Her research interests include Biobehavioral genetics of CVD, Genetic basis for racial differences in CVDs, Genetic admixture analysis and mapping, Statistical and population genetics of CVD, and genome wide association tests for CVD. 

Dr. Isenberg's research interests have centered on the need to enhance tissue blood flow, perfusion and wound healing, and stem from his background as a reconstructive microsurgeon. He currently studies the molecular aspect of blood flow and perfusion, and has recently discovered a novel inhibitory pathway that blocks physiologic nitric oxide (NO) signaling.


Candace Kammerer, PhD

Associate Professor, Human Genetics


Lisa Parker, PhD

Associate Professor, Human Genetics
Director, MA Program in Bioethics
Director of Graduate Education, Center for Bioethics and Health Law

  • Statistical Genetics 

  • Genetic Epiemiology 

  • Ethical Issues in Genetics 

Dr. Kammerer studies the genetic epidemiology of risk factors of common human diseases such as hypertension and healthy aging. Her current research projects involve the statistical genetic analyses of data on large, multigenerational families of Afro-Caribbeans, Mexican Americans and long-lived individuals as well as large, population-based cohorts of Afro-Caribbeans and European Americans. 

 Dr. Parker's research focuses on ethical issues in genetic/genomic research, genetic counseling, and pharmacogenomics, with particular attention to return of results, management of incidental findings, and informed consent. She has a long-standing interest in the effect of new technologies and policies on health disparities and on those situated with less power in social hierarchies. She directs the University’s interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Bioethics program and is director of the Area of Concentration in Humanities, Ethics, and Palliative Care in the School of Medicine.


Beth Roman, PhD

Assistant Professor, Human Genetics
Research Director, HHT Center


Iain Scott, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology

  • Genetics of HHT

  • Human Mitochondrial Genetics 

Dr. Roman's lab studies the autosomal dominant genetic disorder, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). The Roman lab uses zebrafish models of HHT and molecular, genetic, advanced imaging, and biochemistry approaches to uncover the molecular and cellular errors that lead to arteriovenous malformations development. Her ultimate goal is to develop therapeutics that specifically target HHT.

Dr. Scott's work focuses on the intrinsic mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial protein acetylation, and how this fundamental alteration affects organelle function at the cellular and tissue level. In particular, he is interested in the coordination between acetylation levels and mitophagy, a quality control mechanism that mediates the removal of dysfunctional mitochondrial organelles. 


John Shaffer, PhD

Assistant Professor, Human Genetics


Adam Straub, PhD​

Assistant Professor, Pharmacology and Chemical Biology

  • Genetic Epidemiology

  • ​Redox Cell Biology and Genetics

Dr. Shaffer's research program involves the application of statistical and bioinformatics approaches to understand the genetic contributors to common complex human diseases. In particular, Dr. Shaffer is interested in heritability, linkage analysis, genetic association, epigenetics, and gene-by-environment interactions. His current research interests are focused on oral health outcomes, birth defects, and recovery from brain injury.

​Dr. Straub investigates novel redox-controlled cell signaling mechanisms that regulate endothelial and smooth muscle cell biology and cell-cell communication in the microcirculation. His work focuses on two important pathways: 1) the mechanisms by which endothelial cell expressed hemoglobin a-regulates nitric oxide signaling in the blood vessel wall and 2) the mechanisms by which the intracellular nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) pathway controls basic redox signaling functions in vascular cells. 


Liza Villanueva, MD

Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
Vice-Chair for Pre-Clinical Research, Department of Medicine
Director, Center for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics


Daniel Weeks, PhD

Professor, Human Genetics and Biostatistics

  • Gene delivery via microbubbles 

  • Statistical Human Genetics

Dr. Villanueva is the Director of the Center of Ultrasound and Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics. Her lab is the first to demonstrate that molecularly targeted microbubbles bind to biological surfaces overexpressing the molecular target, ultimately allowing ultrasonic imaging of disease/function-specific epitopes in vivo. Her group has led the study of how unique acoustic behaviors of microbubbles can be harnessed to therapeutic effect.

Dr. Weeks' research focuses on statistical human genetics in the area of mapping susceptibility loci involved in complex diseases. His primary interest is developing new mapping methods, which involves developing algorithms and statistics, implementing them in computer programs, and testing them on real and simulated data. In addition, he is actively involved in a large number of collaborative disease gene mapping projects.

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