Faculty Research and Scholarly Activity

Establishing research is a priority that relates to the Campbell Medicine mission. Our faculty make contributions to the advancement of medicine through areas such as basic science, clinical science, medical and educational research.

Research Faculty

Agnello, Robert

Dr. Agnello’s clinical interest is in pain management via integrative osteopathic medicine. The focus is to develop osteopathic plans of medical care through using a combination of integrative medicine strategy. His research interests align with his clinical interests and includes complementary care modalities and the impact techniques such as osteopathic manipulation, auricular acupuncture and functional medicine including the use of the endocannabinoid system have on pain.

Alekseev, Oleg

Dr. Alekseev’s research interest is focused on the design of new diagnostic and prognostic tests for prostate cancer.  Specifically he is investigating the utility of using tNASP as a potential diagnostic marker for prostate and other cancers.

Bahnaman, Steve

Mr. Bahnaman is a librarian and has published work on the subject of information fluency, marketing library resources, and diversity in library/information science education. He is also available to inform faculty and student research with targeted database searching and search strategy support.

Baright, Amanda

Dr. Baright’s research focuses on general surgery availability for patients in NC and application of OMT for the surgical patient.  She is also involved in research projects related to surgical residency including wellness during residency training. 

Brenseke, Bonnie

Dr. Brenseke oversees laboratory animal care and use. Her more recent projects have focused on toxicologic pathology, medical education innovation, and disease surveillance. Within the last few years, she has created a research consortium involving multiple institutions, wildlife veterinarians, veterinary pathologists, parasitologists, entomologists, and researchers to study wildlife as potential sentinels for Chagas disease in the United States, particularly the eastern part of the country. Dr. Brenseke is dedicated to the advancement of excellence and innovation in teaching and to the promotion of human, animal, and environmental health.

Cappola, III, James J.

Dr. Cappola’s research interests include evidence-based medicine, critical appraisal of the medical literature and diagnostic reasoning.

Dogbey, Godwin

Dr. Dogbey’s published works have been multidisciplinary, a reflection of his eclectic academic background, experiences, and skills. They have addressed issues from biomedical sciences, social sciences, mathematics education, medical education, and clinical research among others.  He collaborates with CUSOM-affiliated residents and faculty on a number of research topics by providing guidance and expertise.

Dong, Xiuli

Dr. Dong’s research projects focus on developing biomedical technologies and nanotechnologies to inactivate pathogenic microorganisms and reduce infections in humans, testing antimicrobial effects, and studying the antimicrobial mechanisms.

Eldeeb, Khalil

Dr. Eldeeb’s basic research investigates cannabinoid receptors and associated proteins.  His medical education research primarily focuses on features associated with student learning and success in health and medical sciences education.

Fink, Christopher

Dr. Fink’s Research focuses primarily on medical education, particularly on curriculum design and mental health in medical education. His current research includes projects investigating alternative curricular design for medical school in the virtual age as well as changes in students’ lifestyle and mental health in response to the change of USMLE Step 1 and COMLEX Level 1 to pass/fail.

Foster, Adam

Dr. Foster’s current research utilizes quantitative motion analysis, force platforms, ultrasonography, and histomorphology to explore how lower limb anatomy modulates elastic energy storage in tendons, the scaling of motor unit density in skeletal muscle, how lower limb injuries impacts hindlimb force production in rodent models, and the efficacy of clinical interventions on joint range of motion and gait parameters. Dr. Foster also works with the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Research Fellows exploring the mechanisms of dextrose prolotherapy treatments on osteoarthritis using animal and cell models.

Gignac, Elizabeth

As an emergency physician, Dr. Gignac focuses on research related to population health in North Carolina’s underserved communities. Recent projects have explored social determinants of health, controlled substance use, literacy levels, and pediatric car seat restraint use. She also enjoys pursuing scholarly work related to educational methods in clinical skills and simulation.

Green, David J.

Dr. Green studies the evolution and comparative anatomy of the hominoid (humans and apes) shoulder.  This work incorporates both traditional and three-dimensional morphometric approaches to better understand shape variation among living taxa.  Dr. Green has also investigated the transition to dedicated bipedal locomotion in the hominin lineage by evaluating the evidence for climbing adaptations in the upper extremity of early hominin taxa.

Hamrick, Terri S.

Dr. Hamrick’s research interest in microbiology focused on virulence properties of Listeria monocytogenes.  Currently she is more involved in promoting collaborative efforts involving the CUSOM affiliated clinical sites and providing support for research activities within the medical school and at affiliated clinical sites. 

Hinkelman, Amy

Dr. Hinkelman is engaged in multiple different research projects.  One area of interest is focused on examining the factors that contribute to and/or are associated with rural populations accepting or rejecting immunizations.  She also collaborates on multiple projects involved in investigating the pathogenic or protective role of the immune response in various disease states.  In collaborative project with other CUSOM faculty, she is investigating the mechanisms of prolotherapy with a focus on the immune mediators being secreted in response to this therapeutic treatment.

Holmes, Brianne

Dr. Holmes’ research is focused on multiple aspects of higher education including leadership, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Her interest is in learning about the culture and community of higher education, and the student and faculty experiences. 

Huff, Matthew

Mr. Huff’s academic interests include population health in rural communities, increasing access to care for rural populations, and building a healthcare system that works in meeting the needs of rural communities.

Kaprielian, Victoria

Dr. Kaprielian’s primary academic interests focus around education, including innovative teaching methods and assessment of effectiveness of various educational modalities.

Kelly, Alexa

Dr. Kelly’s research explores the relationships between climate, body size, and metabolic demand within the human nasal cavity.  To investigate this, her lab group utilizes 3D geometric morphometrics and computed tomography (CT) scans from individuals around the world. 

Khandelwal, Christine

Dr. Khandelwal brings her experience and expertise in education to provide interprofessional medical education and training in the field of geriatrics and palliative medicine to improve the care of our vulnerable population.  Her projects include quality improvement in the clinical practice and medical education.

King-Thiele, Robin

Dr. King-Thiele’s academic interests are focused on palliative medicine and hospice care.  Additional areas of interest include Graduate Medical Education, resident assessment and developing residency training sites in rural locations. 

Krepps, Jeff

Dr. Krepps’ current interests and work include performance enhancement and wellness/wellbeing services for medical students, physicians, other health professions students and professionals, as well as amateur and professional athletes.

Langdon, Lori

Dr. Langdon’s academic interests include adolescent mental health, breast feeding, the use of media in medical education, such as YouTube channels, podcasts, etc. She also has an interest in and is an active advocate for all things related to childhood safety.

Li, Yunbo

Dr. Li’s research interest is focused on oxidative and inflammatory stress in degenerative disorders and mechanistically-based chemoprotection.

Lushia, Warren A.

Dr. Lushia’s research interest focuses on novel transformation procedures to modify the mitochondrial genome.

Mikhail, Ash

Dr. Mikhail has concentrated his efforts on improving the availability, accessibility and delivery of quality mental health services in Eastern North Carolina through innovative practice models. 

Mitchell, Terence Reid

Dr. Mitchell is interested incorporating emerging and established technology into the anatomical sciences including 3D printing, high definition videography for prossections, and synthetic cadavers.

Motyka, Thomas

Dr. Motyka’s research and clinical interests are in pain, tissue healing, musculoskeletal disease, and the osteopathic approach to patient care. 

Pennings, Nicholas

Dr. Pennings is a champion for advancing the education of current and future health professionals by incorporating obesity education into the medical school and authoring core competencies for obesity education and online obesity education content for health professional students and residents. Other areas of interest include evaluating practice guidelines for Type 2 diabetes.

Petrovic, Snezana

Dr. Petrovic has a long-standing research interest in acid-base and kidney physiology.  Her laboratory described an acid sensor in the kidney and demonstrated how deficiency in acid sensor lowers blood pressure in mice. She continues this work by looking into the expression of the same acid sensor in the brain.  Additional studies are looking at metabolic changes associated with oral bicarbonate supplementation in older adults,   

Proia, Alan D.

Dr. Prioa’s research interests focus on pathology of ophthalmic and intraocular diseases.

Sparks, Jackson Thomas

The Sparks lab investigates the molecular components of arthropod chemosensation and how this toolbox relates to important behaviors. We have characterized receptor gene expression in mosquito and vinegar fly sensory organs. We are exploring anthocyanins as potentially informative cues for insects broadly. We are uncovering the mechanisms by which isopods sense volatiles and exploring the effects of economically important chemicals on Drosophila gene expression, behavior and development. Future directions include augmenting the nutritional profile and development of Black Soldier Fly larvae.

Toler, Maxx

Dr. Toler’s research interest focuses on the scaling of motor unit density in skeletal muscle as a frame work for understanding functional adaptation and evolution. 

Vaskalis, Zachary

Dr. Vaskalis’ research interests focus on statistics education, teaching and learning statistics and statistical thinking. 

Zhu, Hong L.

Dr. Zhu has extensive research experience in the field of free radical biology and medicine. Her research projects focus on the study of oxidative stress mechanisms in the pathogenesis of diseases and the development of anti-oxidant based modalities in the prevention and treatment of such diseases.