Career-Life Balance On-Ramps Research Grant Award Recipients


Dr. Rachel Brewster

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.


 image002Dr. Vandana Janeja

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.

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Dr. Maricel Kann

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.

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Dr. Anita Komlodi

Dr. Anita Komlodi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Systems and the Graduate Program Director for Human-Centered Computing. Her research areas span the fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Human Information Behavior. She studies information behavior in various contexts and and designs user interaction with information-intensive applications. In her current projects she focuses on information behavior and literacy across cultures and information and collaborative information behaviors in virtual reality environments.

sreedevi_tmbDr. Sreedevi Sampath

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.

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linazhou_tmbDr. Lina Zhou

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.

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Jennie-150x150Dr. Jennie Leach

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.

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