Research Activities

Subha Arthur, Ph.D.

Current Focus: Bile Acid

Dr. Subha Arthur’s research interests are broadly focused on understanding the regulation of intestinal ion and nutrient transport processes, with emphasis on their regulation in pathophysiological states such as inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Her primary research focus as a COBRE ACCORD investigator has been to understand the regulation of increased intestinal bile acid absorption in obesity-associated dyslipidemia by deciphering the signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in the transcriptional regulation of ASBT, the primary transporter of bile acids in the intestine, in Zucker rat model of obesity as well as in a diet induced rat model, both of which are appropriate models to study obesity-associated dyslipidemia. Her research will also explore the novel regulation of ASBT at the level of the caudal-oral length of the intestine as well as along the crypt-villus axis in obesity. Her research will enable better understanding of the regulation of intestinal bile acid absorption in obesity, which may result in novel and efficacious treatment modalities for treatment of obesity-associated dyslipidemia.

Balasubramanian Palaniappan, Ph.D.

Current Focus: Colon Cancer

Dr. Balasubramanian Palaniappan’s research primarily focuses on intestinal nutrient and electrolyte transport physiology, specifically their regulation in normal and pathophysiological states such as in inflammatory bowel disease and, in obesity and associated disorders such as diabetes, hypertension and, obesity-associated colon cancer. Currently, as a COBRE ACCORD investigator, his major focus is to study and understand the molecular mechanism of regulation of chloride absorption mediated by chloride bicarbonate exchanger (DRA) during obesity and obesity-associated colon cancer in in vivo genetic and diet-induced obesity models and in vitro models of obesity using adipocyte-derived secretome (ADS). He is also involved in a collaborate research project aimed to understand constitutive nitric oxide-mediated regulation of NaCl and glucose absorption and its regulation in normal physiology using stable in vitro and in vivo SGLT1 KO and NHE3 KO models. The novel outcome of the above study will provide a clear picture of the pathogenesis of genetic obesity, and obesity facilitated development of colon cancer, which could define more efficacious treatment options for obesity-associated colon cancer for a large percentage of the population afflicted with obesity.

Soudamani Singh, Ph.D.

Current Focus: Adipocyte Derived Secretomes

Adipocyte Derived Secretome Soudamani Singh, Ph.D., is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical and Translational Sciences at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Dr. Singh received her Ph.D. in Endocrinology from the University of Madras in Chennai, India, for her work studying the detrimental effects of diabetes on proper sexual development and maturation in male rats. She also obtained her M.Sc. and M.Phil., in Zoology from the University of Madras. She received her postdoctoral training in Na-glutamine co-transporter studies under the tutelage of Umapathy Sundaram MD., at the Department of Medicine at West Virginia University. Her current research interests involve studying the regulation of intestinal nutrient transport in in-vitro and in-vivo systems during inflammation and obesity. Her future research goals are to explore the influence of obese adipose-derived secretome (ADS) on the absorption of the nutrient transporters like B0AT1, SN2, and SGLT1

Jennifer Haynes, Ph.D

Current Focus: Organoids

Jennifer Haynes, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical and Translational Sciences at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. She received her B.Sc. in Cell Biology and Genetics from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and her Ph.D. in Molecular and Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada. Throughout her training, Dr. Haynes’ primary research focus has been cancer cell biology. Her research projects have been diverse, and include studying conserved cellular processes such as cell cycle, signal transduction, transcriptional regulation, polarity, and cytoskeleton remodeling.
Previously, Dr. Haynes was a Research Associate at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada, where she investigated new therapeutic strategies for targeting colorectal cancer stem cells. In addition, she established a panel of long-term epithelial organoid cultures from human colorectal cancer tissue, representing different mutation profiles and molecular subtypes. Her current research interests include understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying alterations in nutrient transport in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and IBD-related cancer, primarily using three dimensional organoid culture models derived from human small intestine and colon stem cells

Alip Borthakur, Ph.D.

Current Focus: Microbiota

My research interests broadly encompass the role of gut microbiota cross-talk with host intestinal epithelium and its relevance to the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and obesity.
Project 1: Probiotic bacteria stimulate intestinal nutrient/ion absorption and counteract dysregulated ion transport in IBD and infectious diarrhea
Project 2: Gut microbes regulate energy homeostasis in obesity

Rajan Lamichhane, Ph.D.

Current Focus: BioStatistics

Rajan Lamichhane, Ph.D., MSc, is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical and Translational Sciences at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Dr. Lamichhane directs the Biostatistics and Study Design Core in the department. He attained a Ph.D. degree in Statistics from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA in 2013. Dr. Lamichhane has strong teaching, research, and analytical background. He aims to integrate the development of novel analytic approaches and their application to a wide range of areas in health and health care. His current research interests include sampling, time series, model selection, big data analytics, and machine learning. Dr. Lamichhane has several publications in the areas of food insecurity, obesity, sleep behavior, breastfeeding and health disparities. For more details about his publications, please check the publications link to the side. Dr. Lamichhane has a strong background in statistical modeling, analysis, and simulation. He has expertise in several programming languages including SAS, R, STATA, SQL, and StatXact. Dr. Lamichhane also has a very good experience of teaching a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses

Alfred A. Cecchetti, Ph.D., MSc, MSc IS

Current Focus: BioInformatics

Alfred Cecchetti, PhD, MSc, MSc IS, is currently a Research Assistant Professor and Director of the Division of Clinical Informatics (DCI) for the Department of Clinical and Translational Sciences at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. He has a Ph. D in Information Management, Master of Science in Information Science, a Master of Science in Biostatistics, all from the University of Pittsburgh, and an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Previously, Dr. Cecchetti was a Research Associate as well as Co-Director of the Clinical Pharmacology Data & Analysis center and Co-Director of the General Clinical Research IT Core in the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, in the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. In these positions, he provided advanced database management, analytics, statistical, academic, and administrative as well as research support for a number of multi-center projects and grants. Dr. Cecchetti was also the director of research management for the Department of Cardiology at the University of Pittsburgh as well as a database and analytics consultant for a number of commercial and pharmaceutical companies.

Usha Murughiyan

Current Focus: Clinical Trials

Clinical research and scientific progress often go hand in hand with interdisciplinary research and technological advances. Without a support infrastructure that provides specific technologies and goal-specific expertise, it would be challenging to accomplish the targeted goal.
The current biomedical revolution, manifested by the ever-increasing speed of technological innovations and interdisciplinary nature of medicine, means that an individual researcher can no longer afford and master all state‐of‐the‐art techniques. Marshall University has an active research community in translational and basic sciences and has procured several sources of external funding. Furthermore, research activities have grown rapidly over the last few years, especially in obesity-related disorders. Most of the research in this area is conducted by individual researchers and there is a growing need for a core facility that can provide cutting-edge technologies and other research-relevant expertise in an affordable manner. As a result, we have established a “Translational Science Core” which facilitates obesity and obesity-related disorder research in both basic and clinical sciences by providing translational research consultation services. These services include patient de-identified data collection, patient sample collection, research design and protocol development for patient sample collection, analytics of translational data, and publication assistance.

Obesity Research Centers

ACCORD: Established to provide administrative oversight for the career development of ACCORD investigators as well as growth and sustainability of Center infrastructure.
ACTSI: Established in to provide administrative oversight for the career development of ACCORD investigators as well as growth and sustainability of Center infrastructure.