Admin Core Leaders

Stuart Binder-Macleod, PhD

Stuart Binder-Macleod, PT, PhD, FAPTA is the Principal Investigator and Program Director of the DE-CTR ACCEL Program, as well as the Lead for KCA 2.0. Dr. Binder-Macleod is the Associate Deputy-Provost for Clinical and Translational Research and the Edward L. Ratledge Professor of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware. He is also the immediate past chair of the University of Delaware’s Physical Therapy Department. Dr. Binder-Macleod received a BS in Physical Therapy from the State University of New York at Buffalo, M.M.Sc. in Physical Therapy from Emory University, and PhD in Physiology from the Medical College of Virginia.

He was the 2010 recipient of the American Physical Therapy Association Section on Research’s John H.P. Maley Award for Outstanding Contributions to Leadership in Research and is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA. Dr. Binder-Macleod has enjoyed over 20 years of continuous NIH research funding and has served as chair and member of numerous NIH review panels. He is also the Program Director and Principal Investigator for an NIH funded T32 training program that is designed to train physical therapists to become scientists and leaders in rehabilitation-related research and the Program Director for an NIH-funded inter-institutional K12 training program for new investigators to acquire the research skills necessary to become independent investigators in rehabilitation approaches.

Communication – Marketing

Michael Peterson, PhD, EdD

Michael Peterson, PhD, EdD is Professor and Chair of the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition at the University of Delaware. He received graduate degrees in Health Promotion and Behavioral Medicine from the University of Kentucky. His work experiences include developing and managing worksite health promotion programs, implementing state and community level health programs, and creating state and national level social marketing and health communication interventions. He created and founded the graduate Health Promotion program and the Health Coaching program at the University of Delaware. As a graduate faculty member at the Thomas Jefferson School of Population Health, he also teaches and mentors students in social marketing and health communications.

Dr. Peterson was a health expert with Lluminari Inc (a health and media firm), and on the Social Marketing and Health Communications advisory board for the Nemours Health and Prevention Services organization. Over the past 14 years he has directed of the State of Delaware’s physical activity social marketing campaign “Get Up And Do Something”. Dr. Peterson has been primary investigator on many state and federally funded grant projects that promote health in communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, and has created highly acclaimed cutting-edge population-based psychometric tools (BMI-SMT and STORM Index) for assessing health-related behavioral, psychosocial, and ecological measures. His research focuses on implementing and assessing health promotion programs at the community level, developing innovative psychometric assessment techniques, and developing social marketing/media interventions. Most recently he has worked with national organizations (e.g. Help Me Grow National Center, Hartford, CT), and the National Foundation for Fitness Sport and Nutrition (Washington DC) in developing marketing and communication efforts.

Communication – Website

Erin Crowgey, PhD

Erin Crowgey, PhD is Associate Director of Bioinformatics at Nemours/ Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children whose primary expertise is in molecular biology and bioinformatics. She works on multiple projects with the goal of implementing a learning healthcare system which will enhance precision medicine efforts. From the outset, her doctoral dissertation focused on building clinical and translational tools for rare childhood diseases. She has expertise in developing custom computational pipelines to analyze genomic data, including metagenomics and pan-omics integration. With her clinical collaborators across the country, she is working on establishing comprehensive computational pipelines that will enable the use of ‘omics’ data in clinical research projects, with the ultimate goal of applying these methods in real-time at the bedside. She is the Chair for the Genomics and Translational Bioinformatics working group for the American Medical Informatics Association, and has an affiliated faculty position at the University of Delaware.

Pilot Projects Program Leader

Thomas S. Buchanan, PhD

Thomas S. Buchanan, PhD is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware and Program Coordinator of the DE-CTR ACCEL Program. He is also the Principal Investigator for KCA 3.1. He received a BS from University of California, San Diego in Applied Mechanics & Engineering Sciences (Bioengineering) and a PhD in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics from Northwestern University. After doing a post-doc at MIT in Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Dr. Buchanan was given a faculty appointment at Northwestern in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and had a lab at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. From there he moved to the University of Delaware’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and became Director of the Center for Biomechanical Engineering Research.

He also served as Academic Director of UD’s interdisciplinary Biomechanics & Movement Science graduate program. Buchanan served as Chairman of UD’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and as Deputy Dean of the College of Engineering before being appointed the inaugural Director of the Delaware Rehabilitation Institute. Outside of UD, he has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics and as President of the American Society of Biomechanics. Buchanan holds the rank of Fellow in theAmerican College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the American Society of Biomechanics(ASB). Dr. Buchanan has been principal investigator of NIH research grants for over 25 years.

Professional Development Core Leader

Robert E. Akins, Jr., PhD, FAACPDM, FAHA

Robert E. Akins, Jr., PhD, FAACPDM, FAHA is a Principal Scientist, Director of the Center for Pediatric Clinical Research and Development, and Head of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Research at Nemours. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Delaware. Dr. Akins received both his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He was the first American honored as a fellow of the Japan Foundation on Aging and Health, and he is an inaugural Fellow of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia. He is recipient of a Delaware INBRE Summit Award, was named “Neuroscientist of the Year” in 2013 by the DE Society for Neuroscience to honor his efforts to expand neuroscience research and education, and was recently named Researcher of the Year for 2014 at Nemours.

Dr. Akins has served on multiple editorial boards, scientific advisory committees, and NIH and VA review panels. Since 2009, he has worked extensively to integrate basic and translational research into the clinical environment at Nemours and has established cross-campus, multi-disciplinary Mentoring and Advisory programs to support clinical and translational scientists. His research focuses on the development of regenerative therapies for pediatric diseases, especially congenital and acquired diseases of muscularized tissues, and his work has been generously supported by the Swank Foundation, the Nemours Foundation, NASA’s Biotechnology and Cell Science Program, and the National Institutes of Health (NHLBI, NICHD, and NIGMS).

Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design Core Leader

Claudine Jurkovitz, M.D., MPH

Claudine Jurkovitz, M.D., MPH has been the director of operations of the Christiana Care Center for Outcomes Research (CCOR) since it was created in December 2005. As such, she supervises the day-to day management of the center, prepares budgets for grant submissions—including NIH, foundation- and industry-funded grants—leads the data-acquisition and management team and works closely with the CCOR director and CCOR director of biostatistics to establish CCOR’s research priorities. As a nephrologist epidemiologist, Dr. Jurkovitz also actively develops her own research interests. These are mostly in the field of chronic kidney disease, focusing on preventing progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and preventing cardiovascular events in CKD patients, and more recently in the field of health services research, focusing on the interaction between primary care physicians and nephrologists.

As a nephrologist epidemiologist, Dr. Jurkovitz also actively develops her own research interests. These are mostly in the field of chronic kidney disease, focusing on preventing progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and preventing cardiovascular events in CKD patients, and more recently in the field of health services research, focusing on the interaction between primary care physicians and nephrologists.

Prior to working at Christiana Care, Dr. Jurkovitz was assistant professor of medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, with a dual appointment in nephrology and cardiology. While pursuing her research interest in the prevention of progression of kidney disease, she also became an active member of the Institutional Review Board and was later nominated vice chair of the Emory University Institutional Review Board.

Dr. Jurkovitz is deeply committed to public health and to the prevention of the progression of CKD, as evidenced by her 2004 appointment to the Steering Committee for the Kidney Early Evaluation Prevention Program (KEEP)—a nationwide screening program for kidney disease conducted by the National Kidney Foundation. She also served as chair of the Prevention Committee of the National Kidney Foundation Medical Advisory Board of Georgia in 2005.

Community Engagement and Outreach Core Leader

Heather Bittner Fagan, MD, MPH, FAAFP

Heather Bittner Fagan, MD, MPH, FAAFP is a practicing family physician and researcher. Dr. Fagan is an Associate Professor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, the Associate Vice Chair for Research in Family & Community Medicine at Christiana Care Health System, and is the lead of the Delaware ACCEL CTR Community Engagement and Outreach component. Dr. Fagan has made regional and national contributions to research on cancer screening and shared decision making in primary care and underserved populations.  She has also made regional and national contributions on methods of community engagement, specifically engaging physicians and their primary care practices and building community-academic teams.

Dr. Fagan received the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Control Career Development Award, which recognizes and develops national leaders in cancer control and prevention, and has received research funding from the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Fagan serves on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Christiana Care and the University of Delaware. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of professional organizations including the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, North American Primary Care Research Group, the Medical Society of Delaware, a board member of the Delaware Academy of Family Physicians and an invited member of the Delaware Health Care Consortium’s Early Detection and Prevention Committee.

Tracking and Evaluation Core Leader

Sue Giancola, Ph.D.

Sue Giancola, Ph.D. is Associate Director of the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) at the University of Delaware. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Policy Research, Evaluation, and Measurement program. Dr. Giancola has over 20 years of experience as an evaluator in both academia and private business. Her career has largely been focused on research and evaluation of programs to improve human services, as well as developing evaluation methods that can be embedded within programs. Dr. Giancola’s current work focuses on developing methodological processes to embed evaluation into programs, such that program development can be driven by reliable and valid information and impact findings can be properly interpreted. In July 2018, she was appointed as lead evaluator of the DE-CTR ACCEL Program.

Stay Connected

Join the ACCEL newsletter and keep up to date with the latest news, events and funding opportunities!