Our Team

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Gordon Broderick, Ph.D.
Director and Principal Investigator, Clinical Systems Biology 

  • Visiting Professor, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Adjunct Professor, College of Psychology, Nova Southeastern University
  • Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Psychology and Neuroscience, Nova Southeastern University

An engineer by training, Gordon Broderick, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Montreal as well as a master's in chemical engineering and an undergraduate in mechanical engineering, both from McGill University.

He completed post-doctoral training at McGill’s School of Computer Science in cancer genomics and a research fellowship in computational biochemistry at the University of Alberta, where he led a high-performance computing effort in modeling the molecular dynamics of intracellular life. 

Building on this study of complex emergent behavior in biology, Dr. Broderick’s current research efforts focus primarily on the emerging field of computational immunology and on how an integrated systems perspective might improve our understanding of immune dysfunction and autoimmunity in complex multi-system illness.

This work is funded under a number of grants from the U.S. Department of Defense (CDMRP), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

A member of the editorial board for the new journal Systems Biomedicine (Taylor & Francis), Dr. Broderick also contributes as an associate editor to the journal BMC Systems Biology.

Dr. Broderick recently moved his research from the University of Alberta and Nova Southeastern University to join the research community at RGH in developing new initiatives in the area of translational and computational medicine. The new Center will bring together a truly cross-disciplinary mix of investigators from the computational, clinical and basic life sciences with the goal of developing immune and hormone-based therapies for complex illnesses that are both safe and effective.

Link to ReasearchGate

Sol Efroni, Ph.D
Associate Director, Clinical Systems Biology (Visiting Scientist)

Dr. Efroni is a distinguished Visiting Scientist; he is an Associate Professor at The Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar Ilan University, Israel.

He received his PhD from the Weizmann Institute and completed his post-doctoral work at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. He returned to Israel to Bar Ilan University, where he now heads the Systems BioMedicine Lab

Dr. Efroni has contributed significantly to the field of systems biomedicine, having designed and implemented an approach now known as Reactive Animation that facilitates the visual, computer legible and intuitive simulation of complex multi-agent systems through reactive technology of reactive animation. RA allows the experimenter to intervene mid-simulation, suggest new hypotheses for cellular and molecular interactions, apply them to the simulation and observe their resulting outcomes online. He has pioneered the use of these techniques to the modeling of cellular pathway logic, in particular in understanding various cancers. He has published extensively in Cell and Nature, and maintains ongoing research partnerships with colleagues at Harvard, MIT and the NIH.

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Mark Rice Jr.
Chief Programmer, Team Leader, Knowledge Acquisition 

A graduate of Florida International University (FIU) and native Floridian, Mr. Rice has extensive experience with large-scale distributed computing platforms and has directed the group’s initiatives in parallel model design and deployment on these systems for over 6 years. A computer scientist, Mr Rice continues to oversee our high-performance computing with long-standing partner the Center for Computational Science (CCS) at the University of Miami as well as new computing resources at the Center for Computational Research (CCR) at the University of Buffalo (UB). Mr Rice has a special research interest in Natural Language Processing as it applies to the mining of causal regulatory associations from medical texts in collaboration with research partners in the academic and private sectors. He will direct this towards the assembly of prototype biological models, translate these into a highly efficient code for deployment on the group’s large-scale distributed computing platforms and pursue improvements in computational efficiency.

Hooman Sedghamiz, M.S.
Team Leader, Regulatory Systems

Mr. Sedghamiz holds an M.Sc in Biomedical Engineering from Linkoping University in Sweden and has an extensive background in system dynamics and control theory. With leading contributions in medical signal processing at Med EL (Austria) and Philips Medical Systems (Netherlands), he now leads our initiative in regulatory systems modeling. He is fluent in discrete state modeling, the conceptual framework of executable biology and Thomas’ regulatory network formalisms. Using these formalisms and his knowledge of regulatory network biology he will be responsible for the design, assembly and validation of prototype models describing the causal interactions between cellular and molecular elements of host and pathogen interaction. Working with the research programming team led by Mark Rice his team will design and conduct the simulation studies and work to improve the fidelity of the biological models and the efficiency of the computational algorithms supporting their use in the design of clinical trails.

Saurabh Vashishtha, M.S.
Team Leader, Network Biology

Mr. Vashishtha holds an M.Sc in Biomedical Engineering and will have defended his PhD thesis in network biology by the summer of 2017. He has an extensive background in network biology and graph theory. is completing his PhD in Computational Medicine at the University of Alberta, Canada. Based at RGH, he will be responsible for overseeing the design, assembly and validation of network models (undirected and directed) describing the regulatory signaling interactions at the cellular and molecular levels of biology. Central to his role, he will use his knowledge and experience in network biology, he will direct the analysis of network structural and information processing properties with a focus towards robust identification of characteristic network motifs. His team will continue development of approaches for the seamless superposition, reconciliation and integration of empirical networks derived from data with causal networks derived from text mining. Working with the group for 5 years, he now leads our initiatives in this arena where he continues to work closely with Mr. Rice and Sedghamiz to implement improvements to the biological models and underlying data-mining algorithms.

 Matt Morris, Ph. D.
Team Leader, Bio-modeling

Dr. Morris is a research scientist with expertise in immunology, molecular biology, and computer science. At Virginia Tech, he studied intracellular signaling dynamics governing the innate immune response to bacterial endotoxin. At RGH, he has focused on mucosal immunology in children, including adaptive responses in the tonsils and adenoids and neutrophil responses in the nasopharynx. In the Clinical Systems Biology group, he applies an interdisciplinary skill set that spans applied computation, cellular and molecular biology to construct executable network models of living systems. He is currently active in developing comprehensive network models of signal transduction pathways as they apply to neurotoxic exposure, in collaboration with colleagues at the CDC NIOSH, as well as overseeing new initiatives in modeling cell-cell signaling mechanisms at various levels of biology ranging from molecular to organ systems as they apply to cancer biology, vaccine immunology and endocrine-immune disorders.


Jonathan Tory Toole, M.S.
Team Leader, Behavioral Systems (Visiting Scientist)

Jonathan Tory Toole is originally from Georgia where he completed bachelors’ degrees in psychology and religion at the University of Georgia. He also holds Master’s degree in General Psychology from New York University (NYU), where he studied fear memory reconsolidation and pain processing. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) College of Psychology and continues his work with the Broderick group in computational psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Over the past 3 years he has brought his extensive background in clinical psychology to the team and become a key contributor to the integration of symptom severity constructs into multilevel models that bridge the molecular and cellular realms with symptom burden. He has used these models to study the characteristic network biology and bio-behavioral dynamics of complex chronic illnesses such as Gulf War illness (GWI) and Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), bringing a new perspective to understanding the molecular underpinnings of symptomatology and developing more effective treatment approaches.

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Gary Skuse, Ph.D.
Bioinformatics Lead (Visiting Scientist)

Dr Skuse is a distinguished Visiting Scientist at CCSB and a Professor of Biological Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

With a B.A. in Biology from the University of Rochester and Ph.D. in Developmental Genetics from Syracuse University, he pursued his postdoctoral training in Molecular Virology at Harvard Medical School under a fellowship from the Damon Runyon Walter Winchell Cancer Fund. As faculty for over a decade at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Dr. Skuse studied the genetics of a neurofibromatosis type 1, a common disease which predisposes affected individuals to tumors of the central and peripheral nervous systems. At RIT he was responsible for designing, implementing and fostering the success of their BS and MS programs in Bioinformatics. He has co-authored several US and European patents, written and edited professional books, published numerous scientific articles and has served as the Chief Information Officer and founding partner of a scientific information and services provider. He also provides consulting services to a number of local, national and international clients in the areas of human genetics, biotechnology, forensic DNA analysis, information management and communications.

Research Staff

Lindsey Russell, M.D.

(B.Sc., Honors, M.D. U Alberta class of 2016, Resident Internal Med. U Alberta) Broderick Lab University of Alberta. Research intern. Lindsey is active in developing computational models of physiology that span the brain and peripheral immune and endocrine function. She brings a deep expertise in molecular and cellular physiology combined with a unique clinical perspective as she continues her residency training in internal medicine. Actively pursuing her interests in medical research throughout her studies, she has been a member of the Broderick lab since 2013. She holds a B.Sc. with Honors in biochemistry from the University of Calgary and an MD degree from the University of Alberta, Canada.

Katherine Cooney

(B.Sc. Biotechnology, senior year, RIT). Katherine is completing her B.Sc. in Biotechnology at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and is currently developing computational models that describe sex, stress and metabolic hormone oversight of immune function as it applies to female physiology. Under the supervision of Dr. Matt Morris, she is working with the CCSB at RGH in applying these models to explore the cellular signaling mechanisms that support the persistence and resistance to treatment of chronic immune and endocrine deficiencies. Her cross-disciplinary background in engineering and biology make her uniquely qualified to advance this research.

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Megan Herceg

(B.Sc., Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland College Park, PhD Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, first year, George Mason University). A doctoral candidate in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program at George Mason University (GMU), Megan’s experience in computational methods, biology, and clinical research ideally positions her to bring unique contributions to the group’s work. Her primary area of research focuses on inflammation-related dysregulation of metabolism and pain. Currently she is working with the CCSB on developing computational models that describe the interactions between the immune system and the central nervous system in the processing of pathological pain.

Collaborators

  • Joel Zysman, Center for Computational Science (CCS) – U Miami
  • Dr. Patrick McGowan – U Toronto (Canada)
  • Drs. Jim O’Callaghan / Diane Miller - CDC NIOSH - Neurotoxicology group
  • Dr. Dane Cook – U Wisconsin Madison
  • Dr. Ross Tsuyuki – U Alberta (Canada)
  • Dr. Eileen Shinn – MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Drs. Sanjay Sethi, Peter Elkin, SUNY at Buffalo
  • Dr. Darrell Whitley, Colorado State University
  • Drs. Nancy Klimas, Mary Ann Fletcher, Mariana Morris, Miami VA Medical Center
  • Drs. Travis Craddock, Barry Nierenberg, College of Psychology, Nova Southeastern University

Partners/Funders

  • Center for Computational Science - University of Miami
  • Congressionally Directed Medical Research Projects (CDMRP) - Dept. of Defense
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • National Institutes of Health

Alumni

  • 2012-2017 Saurabh Vashishtha (M.S.), Ph.D. candidate, Broderick Lab, Dept. of Medicine, University of Alberta Graduate student research assistant “Dynamic Network Models of Response to Challenge in Complex Endocrine-immune illnesses”
  • 2014 Samuel Thomas (B.S., Behavioral Neuroscience, Nova Southeastern University, 2015) Research intern “A Biobehavioral Study of the Effects of Psychological Stress on the Sleep Patterns of Female College Students"
  • 2013-2015 Jeanna Harvey (B.A. Distinction, M.D., University of Miami, 2015). Research intern. “Mechanisms of Immune-endocrine Interaction in Episodic Exacerbation of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”
  • 2014, 2016 Shane Hills (B.S. Physics, Queen’s University, 2012) Research intern “Mapping Neurological Response to Exercise Challenge in Gulf War Illness”
  • 2013 Lundy McKibbin (B.S. Distinction, M.D. student, class of 2016) Research intern “A study of the effects of PTSD co-morbidity on immune signature in Gulf War Illness”
  • 2013 Simar Singh (M.S. Distinction, Stanford University)Graduate research assistant “A study of neuro-inflammatory mechanisms in Gulf War Illness”
  • 2013 Alanna Bowie (B.S. Distinction, M.D. student, class of 2016). Research intern.“Prognostic Clincal Markers for Early Detection Chronic Sequela from Infectious Mononucleosis”
  • 2013 Melissa Hwang (B.S. Distinction, M.D. student, class of 2016). Research intern. “Mechanisms of Immune-endocrine Interaction in Episodic Exacerbation of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”
  • 2012-2013 T. Craddock, Ph.D. (Ph.D., 2011). Research fellow. “Integrated Control and Multi-stability of the Fight or Flight Axis”
  • 2012 AnneLiese Smylie (B.S. Honours, M.D., 2015). Research intern.“A Cytokine-based Screening Test for Gulf War Illness”
  • 2012 Henrique Fernandes (B.Eng. Distinction, M.D., 2015). Research intern.“Identifying Common Molecular Traits and Emergent Patient Sub-groups in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”
  • 2011- Jeanna Harvey (B.S., M.D. University of Miami, 2015). Research intern.“Exercise Induced Immune Gene Expression in Gulf War Illness”
  • 2010-2011 Scott De Graff (B.S., M.D., 2012). Research intern.“Models for Cardiovascular Dysregulation in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”
  • 2009 Christina Yang (M.S., M.D., 2011). Research intern.“A Study of Cognitive Deficits in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”
  • 2009 Andrea Kreitz (B.S., M.D., 2011). Research intern.“Emergent Patterns of Cytokine Expression in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Gulf War Illness”
  • 2008-2009 Michael Gallagher (M.D. student, class of 2010). Research intern.“Immune Biomarkers in Gulf War Syndrome” 
  • 2007-2010 J Fuite, Ph.D. (Ph.D., 2008). Research fellow."Network Theoretical Study of Neuro-immune Deficiency in Chronic Fatigue and Gulf War Illness"
  • 2007 Ann Aspler (M.S.) (M.D., 2010). Research intern. “Evidence of Altered Neuroendocrine-immune Function in a Population-based Study of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”
  • 2007 Carly Bolshin (B.S.) (M.D., 2010). Research intern.“Evidence of Altered Neuroendocrine-immune Function in a Population-based Study of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”