Team and Investigators

Ihab Hajjar

Ihab Hajjar, MD, PI
Associate Professor of Medicine and Neurology
Emory University School of Medicine 

Dr. Hajjar is an Internist and a Geriatrician at Emory University. He completed his medical degree at the American University of Beirut and his Internal Medicine Residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He also completed a 2 year fellowship training in Geriatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin. After completing his training he joined the faculty at University of South Carolina till 2006. He then moved to Harvard Medical School where he was an assistant professor of medicine and the associate director of the CV Research Lab. He moved to the University of Southern California in 2011 and then to Emory in 2013. 

Dr. Hajjar's research is focused on the link between hypertension and vascular disease with brain health including cognitive performance, cerebrovascular function. In particular, he is studying the effects of antihypertensive medications that modulate the renin angiotensin system on both prevention of cognitive decline and as potential therapeutic modalities for early dementia. Dr. Hajjar has published more than 50 scientific articles and book chapters and has been funded by grants from National Institute of Health and other governmental and private organizations since 2001.Dr. Hajjar sees patients with cognitive disorders and/or vascular risk factors at the Memory Disorder Clinic at the Emory clinic and is the Medical Director of the Integrated Memory Care Clinic (IMCC) at Emory. 

Goldstein Felicia Goldstein, PhD, Co-I

Felicia C. Goldstein is a Professor of Neurology (Neuropsychology Program) at Emory University School of Medicine.  She received her PhD at Emory University and did postdoctoral fellowships at the Emory Center for Rehabilitation Medicine and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.  Dr. Goldstein is Board Certified in neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology/American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology, and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.  Her clinical specialization is in geriatric neuropsychology, with a focus on the early detection of cognitive changes associated with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.   In 1989, Dr. Goldstein established a specialty neuropsychology clinic to provide support for the Department of Neurology Memory Disorders Program, and in 1991, she established a parallel clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital which serves a predominantly African American patient group.  Through these active clinical services, she  supervises and mentors undergraduate and graduate students in Clinical Neuropsychology..  Dr. Goldstein conducts clinical research on health disparities, the contribution of vascular comorbidities to disease features and progression in older adults, and the early detection of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.  She has over 80 publications in peer-reviewed journals and serves on the editorial board of several journals including Ethnicity and Disease and Neurosurgery.

John Hanfelt

John Hanfelt, PhD, Co-I
Learn more about Dr. Hanfelt on his Emory University Rollins School of Public Health biography.

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Omer T. Inan, PhD, Co-I

Omer T. Inan received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2004, 2005, and 2009, respectively.

He worked at ALZA Corporation in 2006 in the Drug Device Research and Development Group. From 2007-2013, he was chief engineer at Countryman Associates, Inc., designing and developing several high-end professional audio products. From 2009-2013, he was a visiting scholar in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford. In 2013, he joined the School of ECE at Georgia Tech as an assistant professor.

Dr. Inan is generally interested in designing clinically relevant medical devices and systems, and translating them from the lab to patient care applications. One strong focus of his research is in developing new technologies for monitoring chronic diseases at home, such as heart failure.

He and his wife were both varsity athletes at Stanford, competing in the discus and javelin throw events respectively.

More information on Dr. Inan’s lab website.

Peng Jin

Peng Jin, PhD, Co-I
Learn more about Dr. Jin on his Emory University Genetics biography and his lab website. 

Dean Jones

Dean P. Jones, PhD
Dean P. Jones, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Medicine (Pulmonary Division) at Emory University, Atlanta, GA. He received a PhD in Biochemistry from Oregon Health Sciences Univ., Portland, in 1976. He studied nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University and molecular toxicology at the Karolinska Institute as a post-doctoral fellow. He joined Emory University as an Asst Professor of Biochemistry in 1979, was subsequently promoted to Assoc. Prof in 1985 and Prof. of Biochemistry in 1990. He became Prof of Medicine in 2003. His central research focus is on redox mechanisms of oxidative stress. He currently directs the Emory Clinical Biomarkers Laboratory, which is focused on oxidative stress biomarkers and applications of 1H-NMR spectroscopy and Fourier-transform mass spectrometry for high-throughput clinical metabolomic analyses of nutritional and environmental factors in human health and disease.

The central research theme is to define redox control and signaling mechanisms and identify sites of disruption during oxidative stress. One aspect is focused on quantitative methods to measure redox state in subcellular compartments. This research has yielded new understanding of mitochondrial and nuclear redox during oxidative stress (Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 2006, 46:215-234). These studies have led to the concept that oxidative stress can be measured clinically in terms of redox state of glutathione and cysteine pools in plasma, a concept that has been validated and is actively being pursued in a number of clinical studies (Antiox Redox Signal 2006, in press). With the recognition that oxidative stress represents disruption of redox signaling and control pathways, a major new initiative has been to develop metabolomics and clinical proteomics to study metabolic consequences of oxidation of thiol/disulfide redox state associated with aging, environmental toxicity and chronic disease. This research uses Fourier-transform mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy along with bioinformatics to determine how oxidative stress linked to dietary and environmental exposures impacts pathophysiologic measures of health and health risk.

Dr. Jones is also a Core Director of Emory’s Hercules Exposome Research Center.

 

ambar

Ambar Kulshreshtha, MD, PhD, Co-I

Dr. Kulshreshtha is an Assistant Professor at Emory University in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. Dr. Kulshreshtha did his residency training and earned his PhD in Epidemiology at Emory. Prior to Emory, he completed his MPH at Harvard University and did his medical school at University College of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. He has also been a research fellow at the Centers for Disease Control, Lown Cardiovascular Center and at Partner's Center for Connected Health in Boston.  He is a member of the American Heart Association and has also served as chief resident in his department and the resident quality lead at American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Kulshreshtha is interested in cardiovascular disease prevention, improving brain health, and quality improvement in Primary Care. He is the founding member of Emory Primary Care Progress- a grass-root movement for innovation in healthcare delivery and revitalizing primary care. Besides teaching residents and medical students, Dr. Kulshreshtha is also involved locally with community outreach programs in Greater Atlanta area to improve knowledge of heart disease, stroke and dementia. 


Tene Lewis

Tené T. Lewis, PhD, Co-I
Tené T. Lewis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Honors Psychology with Distinction from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1996), her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (2003), and completed postdoctoral training in Psychosocial Epidemiology at Rush University Medical School in Chicago, IL. Dr. Lewis’ primary area of research is in the area of psychosocial epidemiology, with an emphasis on cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women. She has a particular interest in understanding how social and psychological factors contribute to the disproportionately high rates of CVD morbidity and mortality observed in African-American women compared to women of other racial/ethnic groups. Dr. Lewis’ scientific work in this area has received honors from the American Psychosomatic Society and the Health Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association. Her research has been funded by the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and has been featured in the Washington PostUSA Today and onNational Public Radio (NPR). Dr. Lewis has held leadership positions in the American Psychosomatic Society, the American Heart Association and the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program.

Levey

Allan Levey, MD, PhD, Co-I
Dr. Levey is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Emory University, and he is Director of the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Dr. Levey has secondary faculty appointments in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.


Dr. Levey received a BS from the University of Michigan and an MD and PhD (Immunology) from the University of Chicago. He then trained in Neurology at Johns Hopkins, molecular biology at the National Institutes of Health, and then joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in the Departments of Neurology & Pathology.  Dr. Levey has been at Emory University since 1991, where he has held a number of positions, including Director of Graduate Studies for the Neuroscience PhD Program, Founding Director of the Emory Center for Neurodegenerative Disease, and Director of the Emory MD/PhD Training Program. 

Dr. Levey is a neurologist and neuroscientist internationally recognized for his work in neurodegenerative disease. He has more than 270 research publications.  His work has contributed to understanding the brain systems and mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and in identifying molecular targets for new therapeutic strategies. He has received several awards including the Derek Denny-Brown Neurological Scholar Award from the American Neurological Association, the Heikkila Research Scholar Award from the National Parkinson Foundation, the Health Advancement Research Award from Community Health Charities, the Team Hope Award for Medical Leadership from the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, and he was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars.  Dr. Levey was also named an ISI Highly Cited Researcher in the field of Neuroscience and has consistently been listed among one of the Best Doctors in America.

Deqiang Qui Deqiang Qiu, PhD, Co-I
Learn more about Dr. Qui on his Emory University Radiology biography.
Arshed Quyyumi

Arshed A. Quyyumi, MD
Dr. Quyyumi is currently a tenured Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine and Co-Director at Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute. He is Board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Medicine.

He graduated from Guy’s Hospital medical school in London, and after accomplishing part of his medicine and cardiology training in London, he completed his fellowship training at Massachusetts general Hospital, Harvard University in Boston and at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland. He was a Senior Investigator and director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at the Cardiology Branch of the National Institutes of Health for several years before arriving at Emory.

His research focus over the last quarter century has been on clinical and translational research in vascular biology, progenitor cells and angiogenesis, biomarkers and cardiovascular genomics. He has performed seminal studies investigating mechanisms of myocardial ischemia including silent ischemia in the past. His current studies include comprehensive assessment of vascular endothelial function and arterial stiffness and thickness in patients with arteriosclerosis and its risk factors. Other studies investigate the role of genetic and environmental risks on vascular disease, and particularly in relation to health disparities. He is also conducting clinical trials with bone marrow derived stem cells and progenitors in cardiovascular disease. He has published over 250 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Ganesh Chand Ganesh Chand, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Ganesh Chand is currently a postdoctoral fellow. He earned PhD in Physics with a focus in neurophysics and neuroimaging from Georgia State University in 2015. In graduate school, he used the computational techniques, EEG, and fMRI to advance our understanding of human perception and decision-making. At Emory, he is pursuing neuroimaging research in clinical studies under the co-mentorship of Dr. Ihab Hajjar (Medicine and Neurology) and Dr. Deqiang Qiu (Radiology).  His research goals aim to uncover the neuroimaging biomarkers of the aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease.
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Brandon Henley, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

Brandon Henley is a postdoctoral fellow. He earned his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California in 2016. His research focused on the mathematical modeling of cerebral hemodynamics and the development of model-based indices of cerebral vascular function for the improved diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. His current role at Emory involves the application of new methodologies for the processing and analysis of physiological signals relevant to vascular and cognitive health. Brandon enjoys basketball, golf, chess, and spending time with his family and friends.

Junjie Wu
Junjie Wu, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Junjie is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in BSHARP. His background is in neuroimaging and machine learning. His research interests include functional MRI, perfusion imaging and brain connectome.
Amyan Tahhan Ayman Samman-Tahhan, MD, Cardiology research fellow
Ayman grew up in Syria and went to medical school there. He earned his medical diploma from Aleppo University in 2011 and completed his residency at Emory University in 2016. Ayman’s research interest include vascular function, coronary artery disease, progenitor cells, and understanding the natural history for heart failure.
Mahsa Shokouhi Mahsa Shokouhi, Postdoctoral Researcher
Shokouhi received her PhD in Clinical Physics from the University of Glasgow, UK. Her research interests are the mathematical and computational methods in neuroimaging. She has worked on structural and functional MRI methods including brain/cortical morphometry, arterial spin labeling, white matter hyperintensity, and functional connectivity studies of several neurological conditions. Currently, she is investigating the role of vascular risk factors in changes in cerebral perfusion and white matter lesion volume for patients with mild cognitive impairment.
 

Staff

Elizabeth Sitek Elizabeth Dee, Program Manager
Elizabeth is currently the Program Manager for B SHARP. Her background is in Art History and Heritage Preservation but a little over three years ago she was introduced to the research world and has found her passion and her career in clinical research. She began her work in research in 2013 as a CRCI with the WIHS study in the Division of Infectious Diseases and in 2015 she joined Dr. Ihab Hajjar in the Division of Geriatrics and General Medicine.
Hina Ahmed Hina Ahmed, MPH, Clinical Research Coordinator II
Hina Ahmed earned her Master of Public Health from Georgia State University (2014). She has worked at Georgia State University and the DeKalb County Board of Health. She has been a clinical research coordinator at Emory University School of Medicine in the Department of Cardiology and currently works in the Department of Geriatrics & General Medicine. Hina’s research interests include women’s health, mental stress, and the social determinants of health. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, South Asian literature, trying new restaurants, baking, shopping, and watching movies.
Anushree Mahajan Anushree Y. Mahajan, MPH, Research Administrative Coordinator
Anushree recently graduated from the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University and obtained a Master of Public Health ('16) in Global Environmental Health. She also received a Bachelors of Science in Biology ('14) from Pepperdine University. She experienced her first taste of clinical research as an Emory Graduate Student at the Emory Behavioral Immunology Program and is excited to continue working in clinical research with the BSHARP Research team as the Research Administrative Coordinator.
malik Malik Obideen, Clinical Coordinator and Lab Specialist
Malik earned his MD from the School of Medicine at the University of Aleppo and after Med School he started his Neurology residency at Aleppo University Hospital. He traveled to the US 4 years ago to work in clinical research in the Departments of Cardiology and Geriatrics. He is very interested in both research and clinical science, and looking forward to apply for a US Hospital Residency Program in 2017.
Maureen Okafor Maureen Okafor, MBBS, MPH, Clinical Research Coordinator II
Maureen received her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. She has a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from Nigeria with several years of clinical experience. She is very excited to be a part of the B SHARP Program. In her role as Clinical Research Coordinator, Maureen will be the primary contact for the CEDAR study. She will be coordinating study participant recruitment, study visits, data collection and entry, as well as conducting administrative and other additional study activities. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, dancing and exploring the outdoors.
Tiffany Thomas Tiffany Thomas, MPH, Clinical Research Coordinator III
Tiffany currently works as a clinical research coordinator with the Department of Geriatrics and Neurology. She is delighted and considers it a pleasure to work with Dr. Ihab Hajjar in clinical research. She is able to combine all of her previous education and work experience to this position. She obtained her a graduate degree, M.S. in Public Health in 2012, a B.S. in Biology in 1999, and her LPN diploma in 2001 while serving in the U.S. Army. She has worked in the clinical care setting for 15 years. She is passion about health equity and addressing the social determinants of health.
 

Past Members

  • Archana Vedavyas - Clinical Research Coordinator I, April 2016-June 2017
  • Om Sharma - Postdoctoral Fellow, March 2016-April 2017
  • Elika Pourbohloul – Clinical Research Coordinator II, August 2015-August 2016
  • Sharion Smith – Clinical Research Coordinator II, August 2015-May 2016
  • Ben Tift – REAL Student, Clinical Research Coordinator I, September 2015-June 2016