drug shortages, Opioids, Medication Safety, Patient Safety, Pediatrics, Critical Care, hospital administration, Healthcare, Pharmacy, Polypharmacy

Deborah A. Pasko, Pharm.D., M.H.A., is the Sr. Director of Medication Safety and Quality at ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists). With more than 22 years of pharmacy practice experience, Dr. Pasko leads ASHP’s efforts to improve medication safety and reduce opioid misuse. 

Dr. Pasko’s role at ASHP includes working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the White House on national medication safety initiatives. She also serves as an advisor to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), the Joint Commission (TJC), the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC-MERP) safety committee, and the National Quality Forum (NQF).

Dr. Pasko earned her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the Ohio Northern University College of Pharmacy and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Idaho State University College of Pharmacy. She has a Masters of Health Administration from the Walden University School of Health Sciences and completed a fellowship in Nephrology and Critical Care at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. Dr. Pasko has received numerous awards including the Cheers Award for Medication Safety.

Exercise, pain, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Pain Measurement

Board certified rheumatologist and a clinical scientist whose area of research is in both the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of persistent pain. Dr. Ang has been the primary investigator of three National Institute of Health (NIH)-funded clinical trials in fibromyalgia. He has approximately 25 publications in peer reviewed journals in arthritis and pain. Dr. Ang has served as an ad hoc reviewer for NIH, and also a reviewer of research abstracts for the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). He is an active member of both the ACR and the American Pain Society.

Dermatology, skin, Nails, hair, Skin Cancer, Melanoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Atopic Dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Rosacea, Sun Protection, Indoor Tanning, Skin Diseases, Skin Conditions, Skin Disease, skin condition, Contact

Contact the AAD for referrals to board-certified dermatologist experts who can address a variety of skin, hair and nail topics.

Don Anderson

Director, U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal B

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

rted tide, harmful algal blooms, , Red Tide, Harmful Algal Blooms, Fish Kills, toxic algae, Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

Dr. Donald Anderson is the Director, U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms and a Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. His lab studies species of toxic algae responsible for disrupting human and ecosystem health. While some of these organisms create the phenomena commonly known as “red tides,” others can be less visible while still causing illness. From the Caribbean to the Arctic, his team is working
to understand the factors that drive these harmful algal bloom (HAB) events. Lab: https://www2.whoi.edu/site/andersonlab/

Donald Kohn

Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

Adenosine, X Linked Diseases, Bubble Boy Disease, Sickle Cell Disease, Genetic Disease, Gene Editing, Gene Therapy, Stem Cell, Stem Cell Therapy

Donald B. Kohn, M.D., studies the biology of blood stem cells, which are located in the bone marrow and have two important properties: they can duplicate themselves and they can create all types of blood cells. Over the course of 30 years of research, Kohn has developed new clinical methods to treat genetic blood diseases using blood stem cells that have been modified to remove genetic mutations.

Kohn’s blood stem cell gene therapy method collects some of a patient’s own blood stem cells and either adds a good copy of the defective gene or fixes the broken genes to eliminate disease-causing mutations. The patient then receives a transplant of their own corrected stem cells, which will ideally create an ongoing supply of healthy blood cells. Importantly, this method eliminates the risk of rejection associated with receiving a bone marrow transplant from a different person, meaning the patient doesn’t have to take a lifelong supply of anti-rejection drugs. 

Kohn’s clinical trials for adenosine deaminase-deficient severe combined immunodeficiency (also known as ADA-SCID or bubble baby disease), a condition where babies are born without an immune system and often don’t survive past the first two years of life, have cured more than 40 babies to date. Babies with the condition and their families have traveled to UCLA for this life-saving treatment from as far away as Lebanon and a new company was formed in 2016 to further develop the therapy and make it available at other centers and to more patients. 

Kohn is now applying similar blood stem cell gene therapy techniques in clinical trials for two other diseases. One of these diseases is X-linked chronic granulomatous disease, a rare inherited immunodeficiency disorder that prevents white blood cells from effectively killing foreign invaders such as bacteria, fungi or other microorganisms. If untreated, patients often succumb to chronic granulomatous disease within the first decades of life. 

The second disease is sickle cell disease, the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States. This disease causes abnormal ‘sickle-shaped’ red blood cells that block small blood vessels and do not provide the appropriate amount of oxygen to the body, resulting in debilitating pain and organ damage. Kohn’s clinical trial seeks to overcome or repair the genetic mutation that causes this devastating disease, which impacts millions worldwide. 

Kohn earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School Of Medicine. He completed a pediatric internship and residency in Wisconsin followed by a medical staff fellowship in the Lymphoid Malignancies Branch (formerly the Metabolism Branch) of the National Cancer Institute.

Kohn began working on gene therapy as a fellow at the National Institutes of Health in 1985 and then began practicing as a pediatric bone marrow transplant physician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in 1987.  While practicing at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, he started his own lab focused on stem cell research and has continued this work, advancing new therapies from the lab to the clinic. 

Donald Abrams

Chairman, Ophthalmogoly

LifeBridge Health

Donald Abrams, MD, Krieger Eye Institute, Sinai Hospital, Lifebridge Health, Cataract, Glaucoma, ophthmology, eye treatment

Dr. Abrams has practiced at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore for more than 30 years. He has been chairman of ophthalmology at the Krieger Eye Institute at Sinai for more than a decade. Dr. Abrams earned his undergraduate degree from Lehigh University, attended medical school at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, completed his residency at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and his fellowship at Dohney Eye Institute, USC in glaucoma. 

Donald Nieman

Provost, Executive VP for Academic Affairs

Binghamton University, State University of New York

History, Civil Rights, Reconstruction, Law

Donald Nieman is Binghamton University’s Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and also Professor of History. His research focuses on law, race, and civil rights in U.S. history, emphasizing the role that African Americans have played in using law and the Constitution to expand the nation’s understanding of citizenship, rights, politics, and the Constitution.

Doug Hales

Professor of Operations & Supply Chain Management

University of Rhode Island

Trade, trade and transportation, Supply Chain, Supply Chain & Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management, Business, Tariff, Tariffs, Cold Chain, Lean & Process Improvement, transportation logistics, Operations Management, Production and Operations Manag

Douglas Hales is an Associate Dean and Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Rhode Island. His primary teaching expertise is Global Supply Chain Management and Lean Six Sigma. His research interests include Global Port Competitiveness and Applied Process Improvement. 

Hales has more than 20 years of operational and supply chain management experience for the U. S. Marine Corps as well as the plastics and construction industries. He can speak to the impact of U. S. imposed tariffs on Chinese goods and U. S. goods in many industries. He can discuss the delay between the tariffs and the arrival of goods being shipped to the U.S. and what consumers can expect, in terms of the timing of price hikes on goods purchased by Americans. He can discuss the “cold chain,” agricultural goods, electronics and commodities in general that ship by container vessel.

Hales is a special issue co-editor for the Transportation Journal on Seaport Competition for 2018 and 2019, as well as the past Program Chair of the Northeast Decision Sciences Institute. He is also the incoming President of the Northeast Decision Sciences Institute, beginning July 1, 2019.


Clinical Psychology, Neuropsychology, Neuroscience, Psychopathology

Aging and the Life Course Dementia Studies Family, Global Perspective, Sociology, Gerontology, Dementia, Aging, Elderly

Dr. Christopher J. Johnson received his Ph.D. in Sociology with a major in Aging and Family and minor in Social Psychology from Iowa State University, Sociology with major in Aging and Family. He earned his M.A. from University of Northern Iowa in Sociology with major in Aging. He earned his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Denver. In research, besides procuring over 3 million dollars in grant and private funding, his interests are in dementia and marriage, design for dementia, suicide, thanatology and religiosity and aging. At his previous university, he was twice awarded “Researcher of the Year” in the School of Arts and Sciences.  He has conducted a state-wide needs assessment of elderly in Iowa but specializes in oral histories. He was awarded an, Endowed Professorship in Gerontology based upon his outstanding teaching and research skills.  

Dr. Jennifer Irvin

Associate Professor - Director, MSEC Program

Texas State University

Electroactive polymers, Energy Storage, Sensors, Static Dissipation Synthesis, Dominate Ion

Dr. Jennifer Irvin is the Director of the Materials Science, Engineering, and Commercialization Program as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Texas State University. Her research focuses on electroactive polymers, that is, polymers that change their properties in the presence of an electric field. Projects include synthesis of novel n-doping polymers with enhanced stability, using electroactive polymers to develop energy storage devices as alternatives to traditional batteries and capacitors, using electroactive polymers to detect and treat cancer, using processing approaches to enhance electroactivity, developing nanocomposites for water purification, and preparing, modifying, and characterizing nanoparticles. Dr. Irvin received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Florida under the guidance of Dr. John R. Reynolds prior to spending two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Sandia National Laboratories. Dr. Irvin then spent eight years as a Research Chemist and Head of Analytical Chemistry in the Chemistry and Materials Division of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, CA. In 2008 Dr. Irvin joined the faculty at Texas State University as an Assistant Professor; she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. Dr. Irvin has more than 40 publications, 19 patents issued, and over 100 technical presentations. She is a member of the American Chemical Society.

Dr. Lawrence Fulton

Assistant Professor and Program Director, BSHS

Texas State University

Machine Learning, Optimization, Simulation, Decision Sceince, R Coding, Python, Statistics, Sustainability, Modeling, Health Administration

Larry Fulton is an Associate Professor of Health Administration at Texas State University, San Marcos. He earned his Doctorate of Philosophy / Masters of Science in Statistics from the University of Texas at Austin, his Master of Health Administration from Baylor, and three other graduate degrees. Dr. Fulton is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and maintains the credentials of Chartered Scientist and Chartered Statistician (CStat CSci) as a Fellow in the Royal Statistical Society. He is a Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) of the Institute for Operations Research & Management Science, a Certified Quality Engineer and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CQE CSSBB) of the American Society for Quality and a Professional Statistician (PStat) of the American Statistical Association.

Dr. Maureen Keeley-Vassberg

Professor — Director of Graduate Studies

Texas State University

Family Communication , Relational Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Nonverbal Communication,, Speech, End Of Life

Dr. Keeley is the senior faculty member in the area of Interpersonal Communication. In the classroom, she encourages and challenges students to look at their own communication and to use pragmatic, theoretical, and scholarly knowledge to improve their lives and their relationships. Her courses include upper division Undergraduate courses and Master’s level courses in: Nonverbal Communication, Relational Communication, Family Communication, End-of-Life Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Relational Health Communication.

Dr. Keeley is an applied communication researcher that focuses on the communication that occurs within close relationships in the midst of difficult situations. She utilizes theory to describe and explain the communication that focuses on health and/or relational challenges revealing the verbal and nonverbal messages that help people to gain meaning, grow, heal, and connect more fully with one another in the midst of strong emotions and life changes. The practical applications of her research make a real difference in people’s everyday lives. She is nationally recognized as one of the leading researchers on relational communication at the end of life. The nature of Dr. Keeley’s research calls primarily for the use of qualitative methodologies.

Dr. Keeley comes from a family filled with civil servants (police officers, fire fighters, and nurses) that placed a high value on helping and serving others. Her family’s values inspires Dr. Keeley to serve others by providing workshops for members of the community on final conversations, nonverbal, relational, and gender communication; she is active as a reviewer for numerous national and regional academic journals; and she is committed to meeting the needs of her department, college, and university.

Dr. Pete Blair

Professor of Criminal Justice and the Executive Director of ALERRT

Texas State University

Mass Casualities, ALERRT, Policing, Investigation, Mass Shoot, Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Training

Dr. Blair is a Professor of Criminal Justice and the Executive Director of the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University. He received his Doctoral Degree from Michigan State University and his Master's and Bachelor's degrees from Western Illinois University. His current research involves active shooter events.

Dr. Ron Walter

Professor and Director Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center

Texas State University

Science, Xiphophrus, Genetics, Molecular Bioscience, Research, Bioinformatics, Inheritance, Fish Ecology

Dr. Walter has spent his 28-year academic career at a primarily undergraduate campus that has just recently been designated an “Emerging Research Institution.” He has served in the Department of Biology (9 years) and then moved to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry to assist in development of a Biochemistry undergraduate program. Dr. Walter developed partnership grant proposals aimed towards providing scholarships for student groups that are underrepresented in the sciences (URM). In Fall 2013, he was awarded a Bridges to Biomedicine (B2B) grant wherein Texas State University is partnering with two Alamo Community College campuses to establish a program focused on increasing success of URM students in the biomedical sciences upon transfer to the baccalaureate institution. The B2B program addresses the most important obstacles to upper-division degree completion experienced by students showing an early commitment to a biomedical career. Additionally, Dr. Walter serves as Co-PI for the South Texas Doctoral Bridge Program (STDBP).  The STDBP is aimed at student matriculation from the MS degree into highly competitive doctoral programs. The STDBP is established between the Univ. of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA, medical school) and Texas State University. The STDBP is designed to provide a combination of mentoring and student development activities as well as enhance didactics and research training during a thesis-based M.S. degree in Biochemistry.

Biomaterials, Nanomedicine, Nanomaterials, Diseases, Vitro, VIVO, Biosensors, Texas, San Marcos, Texas State University, Higher Education

Research in the Biomaterials and Nanomedicine Laboratory focuses on capturing the promise of nanomaterials for the development of new strategies for the detection and treatment of diseases. Specifically, our group develops functional nanostructures that can act as highly specific contrast agents for bioimaging, in vitro and in vivo biosensors, targeted and intracellular drug delivery systems, and stimuli controlled delivery systems. These responsive nanomaterials incorporate functional nucleic acid linkers, enzymatically cleavable linkers, polyelectrolytes, and amphiphilic copolymers to mediate physico-chemical changes in the polymeric networks upon interaction with target molecules, leading to the desired material response. Work in the laboratory encompasses the synthesis and characterization of copolymers and nanoparticles, in vitro confirmation of stimuli-responsive behavior, and the evaluation of the particle functionality on cultured human cells. Dr. Betancourt’s group collaborates with academic and industrial researchers for preclinical evaluation of the compatibility and efficacy of the developed biomaterials and technology transfer.
Current projects in Dr. Betancourt’s laboratory include the development of: (1) aptamer-based responsive nanostructures that can be activated by disease-specific molecules, and on the study of the applications of these functional materials in targeted drug delivery, bioimaging, and biomolecular sensing; (2) highly specific nanoparticle-based near infrared contrast agents and drug delivery systems for optical detection and treatment of cancer; (3) photoablation agents and biosensors based on conductive polymers.

Adolescent, Psychology, Medication, Opiod, Misuse, Prescription Drug Abuse, Nicotine Addiction, Psychopathology

Ty S. Schepis, Ph.D., is an associate professor of psychology at Texas State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and he completed a National Institutes of Health-funded Postdoctoral Fellowship in Substance Abuse at Yale School of Medicine. His primary expertise is in prescription medication misuse and nicotine use across the lifespan, and his work has been published in notable academic journals, including Addiction, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and PAIN. He has been a principal investigator on four funded National Institutes of Health research grants, all from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, with over $1 million in total research funding.

Edward DeSimone III

Professor of Pharmacy Sciences

Creighton University

Opiod, opiod dependancy, Public Health, drug access, medicine cabinets

Dr. DeSimone received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has worked in both community and hospital practice. He also served as a consultant to the FDA, USP, and the pharmaceutical industry. He has been a Contributing Editor for U.S. Pharmacist since 1996. Dr. DeSimone has published more than 70 professional papers and has had chapters in three different textbooks. He taught at Butler University for 12 years and has been on the Creighton faculty since 1989. He serves as Professor of Pharmacy Sciences and currently teaches Calculations in Pharmacy Practice as well as a course on addiction and substance-related disorders.

Pain Management, interventional pain management, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, post stroke pain, Knee Pain, Sciatica, post amputation, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Dr. Soriano is an expert in pain management, interventional pain management, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. He treats patients at The Center for Pain Treatment and Regenerative Medicine at LifeBridge Health in Maryland. Dr. Soriano completed his residency at Temple University Hospital, his internship at Kennedy memorial Hospital and earned his medical school degree from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Eileen Sullivan-Marx

Dean and Prof., NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

New York University

Nursing, Nurses, Aging, Gerontolgoy, Medicaid, Medicare, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Primary Care, Advanced Practice Nurses, advanced practice nursing

Eileen Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the dean of the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing and the Erline Perkins McGriff Professor of Nursing. She is a distinguished nursing leader, educator, and clinician known for research and innovative approaches in primary care, testing methods of payment for nurses particularly with Medicaid and Medicare, sustaining models of care using advanced practice nurses locally and globally, and developing health policy in community-based settings. 

With a strong belief in the integration of practice, research, education, and interdisciplinary team work, Sullivan-Marx has built and sustained models of team care including a private family practice, growing a Program of All Inclusive Care for Elders (PACE) from 75 to 525 people in five years that saved the state of Pennsylvania fifteen cents on the dollar in Medicaid funding, and launched numerous older adult team programs in academic centers as well as the Veterans Administration. 

Sullivan-Marx will serve as the president of the American Academy of Nursing from October 2019 through October 2021. She is active in regional, state, and national policy, and served as an American Political Science Congressional Fellow and Senior Advisor to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Medicaid and Medicare Coordination in 2010, just after the passage of the Affordable Care Act. 
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