PROGRAM FACULTY: UB mentors for the HRTP represent both highly and newly experienced faculty in a broad variety of health sciences and other disciplines. The blend of specialties complement the core research areas of the HRTP and provide one or more experts to these areas.
UB Mentors: The UB mentoring team has had extensive experience with LMIC trainee mentoring. UZ trainees have been retained and are completing graduate degrees while also being appointed to staff fellowship position allowing them to contribute UZ faculty mentoring of undergraduate students.
Gene D. Morse, PharmD, is a tenured SUNY Distinguished Professor with ~30 years of experience in HIV Clinical Pharmacology research and mentoring. Dr. Morse has had continued NIH support from NIAID since 1987. Dr. Morse is the Clinical Pharmacology Core Director for the NIAID ACTG Laboratory Center Network, and directs UB’s Translational Pharmacology Research Core. He also directs the regional HIV Education Program that is located in the New York State-designated HIV Center at the Erie County Medical Center. Dr. Morse has been mentoring LMIC fellows since 1998, and has extensive experience with research mentoring programs for undergraduate, graduate, professional and post-doctoral mentees.
Qing Ma, PhD, is an Assistant Professor who has been a mentor for numerous LMIC fellows providing didactic and experiential training in clinical pharmacokinetics. Currently an NIMH K08 awardee, with an emphasis on neuroAIDS, Dr. Ma provides seminars and direct mentoring for fellows focused on compartmental and non-compartmental pharmacokinetic analysis, pharmacogenomics and central nervous system drug penetration studies. Dr. Ma provides mentoring for protocol development, biostatistics and pharmacokinetic analysis.
Charles Venuto, PharmD, is an Assistant Professor and a current K23 awardee, with a focus in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, with an emphasis in pharmacogenomics, drug-drug interactions, and disease progression modeling for optimizing drug delivery and development. Dr. Venuto coordinates the weekly research forum that has been attended by all LMIC with each presenting their research at UB or via teleconference from UZ.
Robin DiFrancesco, MBA, MT: Ms. DiFrancesco is a Research Assistant Professor with ~30 years of experience in managing a NIAID-supported clinical pharmacology laboratory. She has mentored numerous residents, LMIC fellows and post-doctoral fellows in the area of bioanalysis, assay development and validation and bioanalysis of clinical samples from research protocols. Ms. DiFrancesco is an internationally recognized expert in quality assurance for HIV clinical pharmacology laboratories and also mentors trainees in pharmacokinetic analysis software.
Richard Browne, PhD, is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences. Dr. Browne directs the medical technology program and has extensive mentoring experience with graduate students and fellows.
Stanley Schwartz, MD, PhD, is a tenured Distinguished Professor and a senior academic physician-scientist at UB. He has an extensive track record of LMIC mentoring of trainees in clinical pharmacology and is a highly productive researcher in HIV immunology with prior NIAID and NIDA support for research in HIV/AIDS. Dr. Schwartz was a member of the UB team that visited UZ for training program workshops and planning sessions.
Peter Horvath, PhD, is an Associate Professor with a research emphasis in carbohydrate and exercise nutrition. He is actively involved in distance learning and international education at UB. As an AITRP mentor, he provided direct mentorship to three fellows for graduate research projects in the area of clinical pharmacology and nutritional factors that influence treatment outcomes in patients with HIV and tuberculosis.
Paul Wallace, PhD, is an Associate Professor who is an internationally recognized expert in flow cytometry with a strong background in immunology and research interests in macrophage, dendritic cell and myeloid derived suppressor cells biology. Dr. Wallace directs the Flow and Image Cytometry Core at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and UB and provides trainees with access to an excellent core resource. Dr. Wallace has mentored two LMIC with an interest in macrophage targeting for HIV and TB treatment.
Alexander Cartwright, PhD, is a Professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering with an international reputation for biosensors and photonics applications development. Dr. Cartwright is an outstanding mentor and will contribute to mentoring HRTP projects with point of care clinical pharmacology and diagnostics applications.
Venu Govindaraju, PhD, is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at UB. Dr. Govindaraju is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Association of Pattern Recognition. Dr. Govindaraju has recently completed a visit to UZ to determine the health information technology environment for HRTP projects that includes point of care diagnostics applications.
Melanie Abas, MBChB, MSc, MRCP, MRCPsych, MD, is a senior lecturer at the Kings College and is an investigator in the UZ Medical Education Partnership Initiative supplement Improving Mental Health Education and Research in Zimbabwe program. The aim of this program is to develop a sustainable and relevant innovative mental health education curriculum with a strong emphasis on community-based intervention research and forms a natural collaboration with the HRTP. Dr. Abas mentors graduate students conducting research at UZ.
Chiedza Maponga, PharmD, MHPE, is a tenured Associate Professor and the Director of the UZ School of Pharmacy. Professor Maponga is the PI for a NIAID-supported Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory. He also was the Co-I for the prior Fogarty International Center AITRP. Under Professor Maponga’s leadership UZ was added to a select group of NIAID-supported pharmacology labs that receive blinded ARV and TB proficiency testing samples and receive technical guidance for assay development. He is a member of the ACTG Clinical Pharmacology Advisory Committee and an elected member of the ACTG HIV Cure and Eradication Transforming Sciences Committee. Professor Maponga chairs the Registration Committee and is a member the Zimbabwe Medicines Control Authority’s Executive Committee. With his Master’s degree in Health Professions Education, Professor Maponga has mentored 8 AITRP fellows and has extensive experience with research mentoring.
Collen Masimirembwa, PhD, the President and Chief Scientific Officer at the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology in Harare, Zimbabwe. A former UZ graduate in clinical pharmacology, Dr. Masimirembwa is an internationally known researcher in clinical pharmacology and pharmacogenomics. He has extensive experience mentoring graduate students and is a current mentor in a clinical pharmacology CFAR supplement for one of the prior UB-UZ HRTP fellows that is investigating ARV hair pharmacology.
Tariro Makadzange, MD, PhD, is an infectious disease physician scientist with training in immunology and a specific interest in adolescent HIV immunology. Dr. Makadzange is co-director of the Parirenyatwa Hospital Family Care Centre and the Opportunistic Infection (OI) Clinic, which is one of the largest HIV treatment programs in Zimbabwe. Dr Makadzange manages clinical and mentoring activities under the Global Fund Project and conducts clinical and operational research.
Star Khoza, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at UZ with an interest in clinical pharmacology, therapeutics and regulatory affairs. Dr. Khoza has mentored three prior HRTP fellows and is very interested in providing mentorship to UZ Masters, PhD and post-doctoral trainees during the new HRTP funding period.
Lynda Stranix-Chibanda, MD, is the IMPAACT Project Director for the UZ-UCSF Clinical Trials Unit. Dr. Stranix is currently a Co-I on the NIAID Promise protocol and has included hair clinical pharmacology testing at the UZ site as a sub-study in collaboration with a UB-UZ HRTP fellow and current UZ PhD candidate.