DE-CTR ACCEL Leadership Team

PrincipaI Investigator and Program Director


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.

Program Coordinator


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.

Executive Committee

University of Delaware: Stuart Binder-Macleod, PhD and Thomas S. Buchanan, PhD



Julia Spencer Barthold, MD is Professor of Urology and Pediatrics, Thomas Jefferson University, Head of the Pediatric Urology Research Laboratory at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children/Nemours Biomedical Research and Adjunct Professor in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Delaware. She is a graduate of the Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University, and completed a residency in urology at Northwestern, a fellowship in pediatric urology at Wayne State University/Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and was an American Foundation for Urologic Disease Research Scholar at Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Barthold has served on the Executive Council of the Society for Pediatric Urology and the Editorial Committee of The Journal of Urology, and is presently Vice Chair of the American Urological Association Cryptorchidism Guideline Committee. In 2013, she was awarded the John W. Duckett Pediatric Urology Research Excellence Award by the Urology Care Foundation. Dr. Barthold’s research, focusing on the genetic basis of cryptorchidism in clinical and animal models, has been supported since 2000 by Nemours Biomedical Research and in the last 10 years by support from the Nemours Center for Pediatric Research COBRE program, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD and Delaware INBRE.

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC):


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:


William Weintraub, MD is Professor of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and an Adjunct Professor of Health Sciences at the University of Delaware. He received his MD from Johns Hopkins in 1975 and trained at Boston University, Mount Sinai, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he became faculty in 1980. In 1986 Dr. Weintraub moved to Emory University to direct outcomes research in cardiovascular medicine becoming a Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology in 1994. Since 2005, Dr. Weintraub has served as the John H. Ammon Chair and Cardiology Section Chief at Christiana, where he also leads the Christiana Care Center for Outcomes Research. Dr. Weintraub an internationally-recognized clinician-scientist who has extensive experience with multi-center clinical trials including as a principal investigator on the EAST, LRT, RESTORE, TACTICS-TIMI 18, SoS, EPHESUS, CURE, CREDO, COURAGE, and AIM HIGH projects. He is a leading expert in health status assessment, health care economics, informatics, and the use of advanced analytics to assess economic impacts and patient quality of life. He is currently PI for multiple grants including the NHLBI-funded ASCERT trial to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of revascularization strategies, the Data Coordinating Center of the NHLBI-sponsored registry of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and a CMS innovation grant to use advanced information technology and patient management to coordinate in-patient and out-patient care. Dr. Weintraub is Co-PI of ACCEL for Christiana and leads the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design Key Component Activity. Dr. Weintraub is also a national leader in both the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC). He chairs the ACC/AHA Task Force on Data Standards and has served on the Board of Trustees for the ACC. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the ACC in 2011 and the Science Advocacy Award from the AHA in 2013 and was inducted as a Master of the ACC in 2014. Dr. Weintraub is the immediate past President of the Great Rivers Affiliate (DE, WV, PA, KY and OH) of the AHA.

Co-Directors, Communication


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.


H. Timothy Bunnell, PhD is Director of the Center for Pediatric Auditory and Speech Sciences, Director of the Bioinformatics Core Facility and Head of the Speech Research Laboratory at Nemours Biomedical Research. He is Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Computer and Information Sciences and of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware. Dr. Bunnell earned his doctorate in experimental psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. His research involves the application of machine learning and digital signal processing techniques to study, diagnose and remediate neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders related to spoken language. His research has been supported by a wide variety of current and recently completed grants from sources including the National Institutes of Health (e.g., P20GM103464, U54GM104941, R01 HL114899, R42DC006193), the United States Department of Education (H133E080006), and the National Science Foundation (IIS 1116799, IIS 0712821), as well as from PCORI and Nemours Biomedical Research. Dr. Bunnell is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and a member of the International Speech Communication Association as well as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and American Speech, Language and Hearing Association. As director of the Nemours Bioinformatics Core, Dr. Bunnell oversees the development of software and web-based applications to support data analysis and general research activities. As co-director of communications for DE-CTR ACCEL, Dr. Bunnell is directing development of informatics tools for use by all participating organizations and investigators.

Key Component Activities (KCAs)

KCA 3.1

Clinical and Translational Pilot Grants Program: Thomas S. Buchanan, PhD

KCA 3.2

Clinical Research Education, Mentoring and Career Development Core


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).

KCA 3.3

Clinical Research Design, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Core: William Weintraub, MD

KCA 4.1

Faculty Recruitment: Steven Kautz, Ph.D.


Lynn Snyder-Mackler, PT, ATC, SCS, ScD is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her doctoral degree in applied anatomy and physiology from Boston University and joined the UD faculty in 1989. A prolific author, she has written more than 150 research articles, 30 book chapters and monographs, and textbooks on electrotherapy and sports physical therapy. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, Journal of Sports Rehabilitation, and Physical Therapy in Sport and has given more than 300 presentations on her research in the U.S. and 12 foreign countries. Dr. Snyder-Mackler is a principal investigator or co-investigator on 5 NIH grants including her work with patients with ACL injury that was recognized with a prestigious MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her study results also have been reported by The New York Times, USA Today, United Press International, and other major media. She is the recipient of numerous awards from the American Physical Therapy Association, which named her a Catherine Worthingham Fellow, the highest honor in the profession. In 2009, she won the Francis Alison Faculty Award, the University's highest faculty honor. She is a board-certified sports physical therapist. Dr. Snyder-Mackler is academic director of the University of Delaware Physical Therapy Clinic and residency director of the Sports Physical Therapy Residency at UD.

KCA 4.2

Community Engagement and Outreach

bittner fagan

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.


Brian Rahmer, PhD, MS, is the Research Program Director for Community Engagement and Health Services in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Christiana Care Health System. Brian completed his PhD in Urban Affairs and Public Policy with a concentration in Health Policy at the University of Delaware School of Public Policy and Administration. He has more than a decade of experience in implementing, evaluating, and advocating for equitable health throughout the socio-ecological spectrum with an emphasis on a Health in All Policies framework. He is experienced in program evaluation, health promotion program design and implementation, multivariate statistical analysis, policy network analysis, qualitative research methods and participatory action research. This multidisciplinary mix of inquiry is oriented toward evidence-informed, community-guided solutions to root causes of poor health. Current research activities include a multi-method analysis of patient-provider interactions in the patient-centered medical home, as well as a community-based participatory approach to understanding how social networks and social capital among youth can help create more meaningful outcomes measures in obesity research. Brian is the past Chair and a current board member for the Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living (DE HEAL), a nonprofit statewide collaborative. He is a member of the Healthy Neighborhoods committee at the Delaware Center for Health Innovation and a member of the policy and evaluation working group for the Governor’s Council on Health Promotion & Disease Prevention in Delaware. Other professional memberships include the American Evaluation Association, Society for the Study of Social Problems, American Public Health Association, Society for Participatory Medicine, and Academy Health’s Public Health Systems Research Group. Brian and his wife, Juliana, live in Wilmington, Delaware with their two daughters and one son.

KCA 5.0

Evaluation Core


Steven S. Martin, MSc, MA is a Senior Scientist at the Center for Drug and Health Studies at the University of Delaware. He was educated at Harvard College, the London School of Economics and the University of Michigan. He has taught and done research at the University of Michigan, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Kentucky and the University of Delaware. His research interests include health services delivery and research on substance abuse, health surveillance, prevention, treatment and evaluation research. He is a PI/Co-PI for several NIH, NIJ and SAMHSA awards on treatment, HIV, health services delivery, prevention, and translational research. In Delaware, he directs the administration of statewide surveys for the CDC’s YRBS and YTS surveys as well as the statewide school survey of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs, and Health. He has published over 130 articles on substance abuse, delinquency, attitudes and behavior, and methodology. He co-directs the Evaluation KCA of the DE-CTR ACCEL Program with Dr. Barret Michalec.


Barret Michalec, PhD is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, and the Assistant Director of Health Research for the Center for Drug & Alcohol Studies (CDAS) at the University of Delaware. He is also an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Michalec received is PhD in Sociology from Emory University in 2009, and has been at the University of Delaware since that time. His research interests include: health professions education, disparities in health and healthcare, experiences of health and illness, and interactions in the healthcare setting. His current projects include exploring the experiences of minority premedical students, investigating issues related to occupational status among healthcare providers, examining the concept of "leadership" and student leaders in medical education, and dissecting health professions students' perceptions of and engagement with interprofessional education programs. In addition to his role as Co-Chair of the Evaluation KCA of the DE-CTR ACCEL Program, he serves as a co-investigator for both the Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Community Engagement and Outreach KCAs.