Members of the Center of Excellence for Integrated Heath Research | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
TTUHSC students walking through Lubbock campus courtyard.

Who We Are

The Center’s faculty is made up of our director, our steering committee, and other core faculty members/faculty associate members.

Faculty & Staff

Translational Neuroscience Therapeutics

Centers and Institutes Staff 

Member Profile

Center of Excellence for Integrative Health

 Director of Integrated Health Research 

Leslie Shen
Chwan-Li (Leslie) Shen, PhD, Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP)

Office: (806) 743-2815
Cell: (806) 787-6971

Clinical trials and animal studies – dietary supplement/phytochemicals in musculoskeletal health and obesity.

Mind-body exercise (clinical only) in musculoskeletal health and obesity.
Clinical trials - obesity-related chronic diseases (diabetes, metabolic syndrome).


Mohamad Al-Rahawan, M.D. M.P.H.
 Al-Rahawan, Mohamad M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor and Division Chief of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, SOM.

Phone: (806) 775-8600

Research Interests: Pediatric Cancer treatment and prevention. Vitamin deficiency and supplementation in survivors of childhood cancer.

Brismee Jean-Michel PT ScD Rehabilitation Sciences SHP Lubbock TTUHSC
Brismée, Jean-Michel PT, ScD
Rehabilitation Sciences-SHP-Lubbock, TTUHSC

Office: (806)743-3243
Cell: (806) 789-0387

Clinical trials, intervertebral disc hydration/height, musculoskeletal health including, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, diagnostics, manipulative therapy, mind-body therapies including yoga, meditation, Tai Chi.

 Blanton Michael P  PhD Pharmacology Newroscience SOM Lubbock TTUHSC
Blanton, Michael P. PhD
Pharmacology & Neuroscience
School of Medicine Lubbock, TTUHSC

Office: (806) 743-3496
Cell: (806) 319-1778

Structure/function of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; development of smoking cessation agents and PAMs (positive allosteric modulators) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinsonism, and other disorders of the nervous system.

Narissra M. Punyanunt-Carter, PhD Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of International Affairs, Department of Communication, College of Media & Communication TTU
Punyanunt, Narissra M.  PhD
Associate Professor & Assistant Dean of International Affairs, Department of Communication, College of Media & Communication TTU
Research Interests: Health communication; health advocacy, the crafting of messages about health, and strategies for the promotion of health-care services.

Office: (806) 834-3273 

Chyu Ming Chien PhD Mechanical Engieering TTU
Chyu, Ming-Chien PhD
Mechanical Engineering - TTU

Office: (806) 834-8982

Non-pharmacological approaches in musculoskeletal issues-healthcare engineering approach- biomechanics.


 Dufour Jannette PhD Cell Biology and Biochemistry SOM Lubbock TTUHSC

Dufour, Jannette PhD
Cell Biology and Biochemistry - SOM-Lubbock, TTUHSC

Office: (806) 743-2616

Use of immunoprotective Sertoli cells in transplantation. Specifically, mechanisms of Sertoli cell immune privilege, transplantation of genetically modified, immune privileged Sertoli cells and co-transplantation of Sertoli cells and pancreatic islets.

Sertoli cells, Immune privilege, Transplantation, Diabetes, Islets, Gene therapy, Cell Therapy 

 Christopher Enakpene MD Maternal Fetal Medicine Obstetrics Gynecology SOM TTUHSC
Enakpene, Christopher A MD
Maternal-Fetal Medicine  Obstetrics & Gynecology - SOM, TTUHSC
Midland/Permian Basin

Cell: (347) 217-5127

Diabetes in pregnancy and obesity. On going clinical trial on randomization of early diabetes screening in obese pregnant women.
Impact of gestational diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance on short and long-term maternal and child health.
Multimodal approach in the prevention of preterm birth. REDSOAP Study: NCT03116009.

   Figueroa Arturo MD PhD Kinesiology and Sport Management TTU

Figueroa, Arturo MD, PhD
Kinesiology and Sport Management - TTU

Office: (806) 834-5587

Arterial function and skeletal muscle health (mass and strength) in middle-aged and older adults, especially in women. Aging, hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, sarcopenia/dynapenia, and cardiovascular diseases. Resistance exercise training and dietary supplements with vascular effects.

Arterial stiffness, aortic hemodynamics, wave reflection, blood flow, endothelial function, L-citrulline supplementation, resistance exercise, muscle metaboreflex

 PhD Medical Education SOM Lubbock TTUHSC

Kaur, Gurvinder PhD
Medical Education SOM-Lubbock, TTUHSC

Diabetes (both type 1 and type 2)

Transplantation immunology (allo- and xeno-transplantation, rodents)
Islet isolation (from rodents and pigs)
Immune cell (T cells, macrophages and dendritic cells) analysis by immunostaining and flow cytometry
Amyloid formation in beta cells


Kwanghee Jung PhD. Educational Psychology
Jung, Kwanghee, PhD
Education Psychology TTU

Office: (806) 834-0023

Multivariate Statistics and Functional Data Analysis, Psychological Measurement and Testing Theory, Data Analytics and Big Data Analytics, Bio-medical Data and Patient-Reported Outcomes Research, Human Brain and Mental Health Research, Statistical Software Development, Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Development.

Lee Jaehoon PhD Educational Psychology TTU

Lee, Jaehoon (Jason) PhD
Educational Psychology -TTU

Office: (806) 834-5907

High dimensional data analysis, experimental design and sample size calculation, as well as multiple testing adjustments

 Lee Sue Ann S Phd CCC-SLP Speech Language Hearing Sciences SHP TTUHSC

Lee, Sue Ann S. PhD, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, SHP,  TTUHSC

Office (806) 743-9051

Speech and language in children with hearing loss and cleft palate, Bilingual speech and language development, treatment effectiveness using ultrasound and telepractice
Speech-language impairment, bilingualism, speech-language intervention, speech-language instrumentation, ultrasound, telepractice

Hui Ying Luk PhD Kinesiology Sport Management TTU
Luk, Hui Ying PhD
Kinesiology & Sport Management -TTU 

Office: (806) 834-0827

Immunoendocrine response on skeletal muscle regeneration and hypertrophy
Musculoskeletal recovery and growth/ strength and conditioning/ inflammation/ hormones/ muscle mass


Conrad Lyford PhD
Lyford, Conrad PhD.
Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics, TTU 

Phone: (806) 834-688

Research Interests: Behavioral change towards healthy behavior and disease prevention. Community/school interventions for obesity prevention. Cost-benefit analysis. Developing country food security and health systems

Natalia Schlabritz-Lutsevich, MD, PhD Associate Professor of OB/GYN, TTUHSC (Odessa)
Schlabritz-Lutsevich, Natalia , MD, PhD
Associate Professor of OB/GYN, TTUHSC (Odessa)

Office: (432) 703-5169

Research Interest: Comparative placental physiology (non-human primates and human) in normal and pathological pregnancies. Non-human primate model in pregnancy-related research. Maternal-placental-fetal interaction in maternal obesity, maternal alcohol consumption, pre-eclampsia and racial discrepancies. Fetal programming of adult diseases, in utero fetal brain protection, placenta-fetal brain axis. Placental stress, transport and synthesis of amino acids, lipid derivatives (endocannabinoids), lipid-soluble vitamins and hormones in adverse maternal environment. Microbiome and its role in the reproduction.

Narasimhan, Madhusudhanan Assistant Professor (Research), Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, SOM
Madhusudhanan, Narasimhan PhD
Assistant Professor (Research), Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, SOM

Office: (806) 743-4079

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms underlying fetal alcohol developmental toxicity, Neuropathic pain mechanisms and treatments, Oncogenic signaling in cancer progression and metastasis and oncogene-directed treatment options

 Moustaid-Moussa, Naima PhD/Nutritional Sciences -TTU

Moustaid-Moussa, Naima PhD. FTOS FAHA
Founding Director of the Obesity Research Institute, TTU 

Office: (806) 834-7946

Basic and integrated nutrition and obesity research. Endocrine function of adipose tissue and nutrient-gene interactions in metabolic diseases. Beta cell function in diabetes and childhood obesity. Mechanisms of anti-inflammatory bioactive compounds in metabolic and aging-related diseases; beta cell function in diabetes; and childhood obesity prevention 

Mary Murimi PhD RD Nutritional Sciences TTU

Murimi, Mary, PhD
RD: Nutritional Sciences - TTU 

Office : (806) 834-1812

Investigates the effects of the community environment on the nutrition status of the residents, and coping strategies for food insecure households especially among low-income populations.  Applies Community based participatory research. Dr. Murimi has collaborative relationship with institutions in both Ethiopia and Kenya.

Food security, maternal and child nutrition, Nutrition education

Professor, Division of cardiology/Department of Internal Medicine

Office: (806) 743-3659

Research Interests: Molecular basis of heart failure, proteomics and genomics of chemo related cardiotoxicity, development of risk models to assess cardiovascular outcomes in the post cardiac transplant and mechanical assist device populations

Neugebauer Volker MD PhD Pharmacology Neuroscience SOM Lubbock TTUHSC

Neugebauer, Volker MD,PhD
Pharmacology & Neuroscience SOM-Lubbock, TTUHSC

Office: (806) 743-3880

Neurobiological mechanisms of brain dysfunction in preclinical setting related to chronically relevant disorders, such as chronic pain, comorbid conditions of anxiety, depression, alcohol use disorder, and epileptogenesis.

 Wilna Oldewage Theron PhD RD (SA)_ Nutritional Sciences TTUWilna Oldewage Theron PhD RD (SA)_ Nutritional Sciences TTU

Oldewage - Theron, Wilna PhD, RD (SA)"
Nutritional Sciences - TTU 

Office: (806) 834-0567

Community Nutrition using food fortification, supplementation, nutrition education, food product development and implementation, as well as school feeding programs on food insecurity, dietary diversity and nutritional status of women and children as well as the elderly.

Palmer Ty PhD Kinesiology Sport Management TTU

Palmer, Ty PhD
Kinesiology and Sport Management/TTU

Office: (806) 834-7884

Impact of age-related disparities on muscular function.

Interventional strategies to improve functional performance in older adults

 Park Oak Hee PhD Nutritional Sciences TTUP

Park, Oak-Hee PhD
Nutritional Sciences -TTU

Community nutrition. Food environment.

 John Pelly

Pelly, John

Mindfulness strategies in learning and mind-body wellness, integrative medicine education

Phy Jennifer MD Obstertrics Gynecology SOM Lubbock TTUHSC 

Phy, Jennifer MD
Obstetrics & Gynecology - SOM-Lubbock, TTUHSC

Office: (806) 743-4256

Polycystic ovary syndrome and weight loss by dietary modification.
Acupuncture on vascular tone and stress levels in infertile women undergoing in vitro fertilization.

Ramalingam Latha PhD Nutritional Sciences TTU

Ramalingam, Latha PhD
Nutritional Sciences -TTU

Office: (806) 834-0841

Bioactives in maternal obesity.
Renin Angiotensin System (RAS) in beta cells, and  the interactions   between adipocytes and beta cells and their influence on diabetes and obesity.

Rivas Eric PhD Kinesiology Sport Management TTU

Rivas, Eric PhD
Kinesiology and Sport Management/TTU

Office: 806-834-8563

Exercise and Thermal Physiology. Acute and chronic exercise, cold, heat, and hypoxia effects on metabolic and vascular function in healthy, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
Exercise training, microvascular, macrovascular, metabolic, body temperature regulation.

Singh Sharda PhD TTUHSC

Singh, Sharda PhD

Office: (806) 743-1540

Clinical trials and animal studies – dietary supplement/phytochemicals in prevention of doxorubicin induced cardiotoxicity. Molecular mechanisms involved in protein-protein interaction that prevents cancer development.

Andrew C. Shin Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, TTU
Shin, Andrew C. 
Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, TTU
Research Interests: Neurobiology of appetite control, body weight regulation, and nutrient metabolism

Office: (806) 834-1713 

Sizer PHillip S Jr Pt PhD OCS FAAOMPT Rehabilitation Sciences SHP Lubbock TTUHC

Sizer, Phillip S. Jr. PT, PhD, OCS, FAAOMPT
Rehabilitation Sciences SHP-Lubbock, TTUHSC

Office: (806) 743-3902

Clinical pathoanatomy, sensorimotor control and functional biomechanics of the spine and extremities. 
Tissue and movement screening.

Huaxin Song, PhD. School of Nursing, TTUHSC
Song, Huaxin PhD.
School of Nursing, TTUHSC
Research Interests: Chronic Disease Management through inter-professional collaborative practice; Childhood obesity prevention; Big Data and measurement matrix for research and quality improvement programs for healthcare system.

Office: (806) 743-2661

Grace Sun, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Sun, Grace DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, TTUHSC
Research Interests: Education in Integrative Healthcare, Whole Body Wellness

Office: (806) 743-9246 

Tinsley Grant PhD Kinesiology Sport Management TTU

Tinsley, Grant PhD
Kinesiology & Sport Management TTU

Office: (806) 834-5895

Body composition assessment methodology, lifestyle interventions to improve body composition, intermittent fasting, dietary supplementation, resistance training
Body composition assessment; intermittent fasting; fat mass; muscle mass; resistance training

Vellers Heather PhD RCEP Kinesiology Sport Management TTU 

Vellers, Heather PhD, RCEP
Kinesiology & Sport Management -TTU

Office: (806) 834-8890

Mitochondrial biology and genetics-role in exercise training response and pathological etiologies.
Mitochondrial genetics, mtDNA, aerobic exercise training.

Wang Shu PhDE Nutritional Sciences TTU

Wang, Shu PhD
Nutritional Sciences TTU

Office: (806) 834-4050

Nutrition and nano-medicine for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease and obesity.

Fangyuan Zhang, PhD Assistant Professor of Statistics of Department of Mathematics and Statistics, TTU
Zhang, Fangyuan  PhD
Assistant Professor of Statistics of Department of Mathematics and Statistics, TTU.
Research Interests: Developing statistical methods to detect genetic effects, epigenetic effects, and interaction effects between genes and environment associated with human complex diseases. Application of bio-statistical methods to real data analysis.

Office: (806) 834-2587

Zhang Yan PhD LAc Family Medicine SOM Lubbock TTUHSC 

Zhang, Yan PhD, LAc
Associate Professor
Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences
TCU Box 298625
Fort Worth, TX 76129

Phone: (817) 257-7303

Clinical trials-acupuncture and mind-body intervention.
Health services research-secondary data analysis (NHIS) on CAM related topics, patient-outcome study.
Complementary and integrative health education. 
Clinical trials-acupuncture and mind-body intervention, integrative pain management study.
Health services research-secondary data analysis, patient-outcome study.

Julie Zook, Ph.D.
Zook, Julie Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, College of Architecture
Research Interests: Environmental determinants of health related to architectural and urban/community design; use of EHR data to better understand functioning of healthcare architecture

Office: (806) 742-1400

 Zumwalt Mimi MD Orthopedic Surgery Sports Medicine TTUHSC

Zumwalt, Mimi MD
Orthopedic Surgery - Sports Medicine TTUHSC

Office: (806) 743-2465

Female athletes/Injury prevention.
Exercise techniques/training Rx.
Natural/alternative nutrition.
Sex -Gender differences.
Female athletes.
Musculoskeletal injury.
Strength & conditioning.

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Chwan-Li (Leslie) Shen, PhD, CCRP
Founding Director
(806) 743-2815