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University of Delaware

Gregory Hicks, PT, PhD, FAPTA

Professor Hicks is a clinician-scientist and a full professor in the University of Delaware Department of Physical Therapy, which ranks #1 nationally. Recently, he completed a successful five-year term as Department Chair, during which time the DPT program thrived, expanded and became more diverse. Dr. Hicks’ laboratory has had significant funding from the National Institutes of Health since 2008, including major funding for projects focused on the development and testing of interventions to improve physical function for older adults with chronic low back pain. His publication record and ongoing research demonstrates a deep understanding of the relationships between spinal disorders and functional performance in the older population, as well as his ability to conduct studies of adults with painful conditions. In addition to this primary line of work, he has been intimately involved as a collaborator in NIH-funded studies focused on understanding physical function drivers among typically aging adults and older adults post hip fracture. Professor Hicks received two B.A. degrees and a MPT degree from the University of Delaware, a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Aging.

My tenure as a clinician-scientist at the University of Delaware and my scientific collaborations with investigators at leading institutions nationally have given me a unique perspective and vision for the future of clinical and translational research across our partner institutions. I have a distinct vision focused on reducing variability in research-related processes across our partner institutions so as to efficiently create large-scale improvements in our clinical and translational research capacities; this will ultimately lead to an improvement in the health outcomes for all Delawareans. To achieve and sustain this vision, we need to establish a layered infrastructure, which includes human resources, policies, procedures and a sustainable fiscal model for this infrastructure. In the coming years, I would like to see our team focused on (1) developing much-needed research resources to support clinical and translational research growth (i.e. centers focused on recruitment, project management and data coordination); (2) developing partnership networks with established CTSAs and CTRs to advance our mission of improving health in Delaware; (3) enhancing our focus on healthcare disparities (via increased community engagement efforts and strategic efforts to diversify the research workforce); and (4) developing a stewardship model focused on sustenance and continual growth of the infrastructure and foundation that has been laid by NIH resources.

Program Coordinator

David Edwards, PhD

Dr. Edwards is a Professor of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, and Biological Sciences, and previously served as Associate Dean of Research for the College of Health Sciences. His research focuses on vascular physiology, both understanding mechanisms of vascular dysfunction and studying interventions that may improve vascular function and involves numerous collaborations. His work is currently primarily focused in two areas, vascular and hemodynamic consequences of dietary sodium consumption and the study of mechanisms and potential interventions for vascular dysfunction and abnormal hemodynamics in patients with chronic kidney disease. His work has been funded by the NIH and the American Heart Association (AHA). He has served on several NIH and AHA study sections most recently serving on the NHLBI Mentored Transition to Independence Review Committee. He serves as. Senior Editor for Experimental Physiology and on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Applied Physiology. Dr. Edwards is a former Delaware INBRE pilot project investigator who successfully transitioned to independence. Currently, he serves on the DE-INBRE Research Committee and previously served as the DE-INBRE Cardiovascular Research Theme Leader. He leads the Phase II COBRE in Cardiovascular Health at the University of Delaware that was recently renewed by NIGMS. 


Mary M. Lee, MD, FAAP

Mary M. Lee, MD, FAAP is Professor of Pediatrics at Sidney Kimmel School of Medicine, Jefferson University, Enterprise VP, Nemours Children’s Health, and Physician-in-Chief at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware. Dr. Lee came from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she was the Stoddard Professor and Chair of Pediatrics and served as the pediatric lead for the UMass CTSA. Dr. Lee received her MD from the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and completed her Pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and her fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is immediate past president of the Pediatric Endocrine Society, outgoing past president of the American Society of Andrology, and has been a member of the American Board of Pediatrics SubBoard in Pediatric Endocrinology. She served on the Scientific Advisory council for NIEHS and on several NIH study sections. Dr. Lee’s research in developmental reproductive endocrinology, type I diabetes mellitus, and childhood environmental health has been funded by NIH, the Hood Foundation, and the March of Dimes.

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

Steven A. Kautz, PhD

Steven A. Kautz, PhD received his doctorate in biomedical engineering from the University of California, Davis, CA in 1992. He also received a Masters degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University. He worked for 10 years as a research scientist at the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center in Palo Alto, CA. He then moved to the University of Florida in 2002, where he was first an Associate Professor, then a Full Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. In Gainesville, Dr. Katz also had a joint appointment at the VA Brain Rehabilitation Research Center. Currently he is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Sciences and Research and a Professor in the Division of Physical Therapy in the College of Health Professions at the Medical University of South Carolina. He also holds an appointment at the Charleston VA Medical Center. Dr. Kautz is a well-published expert in applying biomechanical and neurophysiological principles to understand the coordination of locomotion in persons with post-stroke hemiparesis. He has had NIH and/or VA funding for stroke rehabilitation research for the past 12 years and has been PI or Co-PI of 16 different awards totaling >$18 million. In addition, he has served as a mentor for more than $4 million dollars of awards to junior faculty. His research combines theoretical and experimental studies of the control of locomotion, functional biomechanics, and clinical neurorehabilitation with the goal of improving walking in persons with neurological disorders. Current ongoing research continues to build on this foundation and is expected to develop fundamental concepts related to walking performance, its measurement and its rehabilitation in the hemiparetic population.

Christiana Care Health System

Mia Papas, PhD

Mia Papas, PhD. Dr. Papas’ current research projects focus on understanding the determinants of obesity among vulnerable populations. She is actively engaged in research focused on the role of maternal dietary factors and food insecurity in Hispanic families, understanding obesity among adolescents with disabilities, and health risks associated with away from home food use. Dr. Papas has extensive experience in supporting multiple research projects representing various disciplines. After receiving her PhD in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow for the Division of Growth and Nutrition in the Pediatrics Department of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Through this experience she supported multiple projects during various phases including the development and implementation of these research projects as well as the analysis.

She has designed and analyzed data for randomized controlled trials and observational studies conducted within the Division. She also developed her own research investigating the impact of the built environment and fast food intake on obesity among adolescents residing in low-income rural and urban communities. This work has resulted in authorship of over 20 peer reviewed articles ranging from examinations of the built environment on adolescent overweight, investigations of growth rates among children who experienced early growth deficiency, dietary factors of inner-city adolescent mothers, fiber and colorectal cancer, and the influence of pain on adherence to mammography screening guidelines. Her expertise includes experimental and observational study designs, the assessment of validity and reliability of screening tools, sample size and statistical power, the analysis of longitudinal data, hierarchical linear modeling, the use of GIS in understanding the effect of place on health and health behaviors, factor analysis, survival analysis, and multivariate logistic and linear regression.

Delaware State University

Sangeeta Gupta MD MPH

Sangeeta Gupta, MD MPH is Associate Professor of Public Health at Delaware State University. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Gupta has served as a senior chronic disease epidemiologist in health departments. Dr. Gupta has been the Principal Investigator and co-investigator for projects funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to cancer, tick-borne diseases, HIV and Coordinated Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Program. She is interested in applying epidemiologic methods to address the influences of socioeconomic and place-based factors on chronic diseases. Her interest is in applying epidemiologic methods to address health disparities and inequities through analyzing and addressing social determinants of health. Dr. Gupta has experience in coordinating and conducting surveillance studies, program evaluations in low and middle income countries. Recent research includes work on the role of health literacy in managing the dual burden of infectious diseases and non communicable diseases (NCDs) in Ghana and Uganda. Dr. Gupta serves on several national committees and organizations including Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), American Public Health Association (APHA) and National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD).