Cohort II (2019-2021)
Guenet Abraham, Visual Arts
Pamela Bennett, Public Policy
Patricia Young, Education
Cohort I (2015-2017)
Rachel Brewster, Biological Sciences
Research in the Brewster laboratory aims to understand normal and abnormal brain development. Inspired by the transparency of the small zebrafish embryo, which enables real time imaging and genetic manipulation, members of the Brewster laboratory have uncovered many of the cell behaviors that underlie this dynamic process and revealed the importance of the microtubule cytoskeleton and several of its regulators in mediating essential cell shape changes. The surprising conservation of several aspects of brain development revealed by these studies opens up exciting avenues for exploring the etiology of human neural birth defects using this unconventional model system
More recently, the Brewster laboratory began to investigate the adaptive response to low oxygen (hypoxia) and how this environmental stressor impacts the development of the zebrafish embryos. In most vertebrates, transient exposure to low O2 can have devastating consequences, particularly in organs such as the brain that require a lot of cellular energy. However, some organisms such as the zebrafish embryo are able to survive for prolonged periods in complete absence of O2, as they have evolved powerful adaptive mechanisms. It is expected that these studies may lead to the development of new therapeutic treatments for hypoxia-induced brain injury.
Vandana Janeja, Information Systems (Now Full Professor)
Dr. Vandana Janeja is an Associate Professor at the Information Systems department at UMBC. She has taught various courses including Advanced data analytics for cybersecurity, Data Mining. Her research is in the area of Big Data Analytics with a focus on data mining and anomaly detection across multiple application areas. She has published in various refereed conferences such as ACM SIGKDD, SIAM Data Mining, IEEE ICDM, National Conference on Digital Government Research, IEEE ISI and journals such as IEEE TKDE, DMKD, KAIS and IDA. Her research is funded through federal, state and private organizations including NSF, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, MD State Highway Administration.
Maricel Kann, Biological Sciences
Dr. Maricel Kann is an Associate Professor in the Biological Sciences Department and an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Computational Sciences and Engineering Department. Currently, she is developing computational methodologies to analyze large-scale genomic data, which would provide a better understanding of cancer and other complex diseases. These approaches aim to identify significant mutations in tumor genomes and bring insight about our current understanding about cancer. Her approach can also be translatable to phenotypes from other complex diseases as well.
Anita Komlodi, Information Systems
Dr. Jennie Leach is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering. She designs, synthesizes, and characterizes biomaterials that mimic the structure and biochemistry of human tissue. She currently has four main research areas: 1) tissue-mimetic scaffolds, 2) cell physiology in engineered microenvironments, 3) sensor platforms for mapping tissue hypoxia, and 4) nano-diagnostics and therapeutics. Her research is multi-disciplinary and can be applied to therapy treatments for tumor growth and nerve repairment.
Dr. Sreedevi Sampath is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Systems. Her research interests are in the areas of software quality assurance and software security. She currently has three main projects running in her laboratory: 1) developing a framework to test Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), 2) security testing of web applications, and 3) testing PHP-based web applications through the combination of static and dynamic analysis techniques.
Dr. Lina Zhou is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Systems. Her research focuses on improving human decision making and knowledge management through the design of intelligent systems and understanding of human behavior. She has several ongoing projects that cover the following research areas: deception detection, natural language processing and text mining, mobile web adaptation, and health technology adoption.