Faculty and Research

Arnold B. Rabson, MD

Arnold B. Rabson, MD

Director
Laura Gallagher Endowed Chair of Developmental Biology and
Professor of Pediatrics, Pharmacology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street, Room 3210
Phone: (732) 235-9523
Fax: (732) 235-7318
Email: rabsonab@rwjms.rutgers.edu

Biography

Arnold B. Rabson is Professor of Pediatrics, Pharmacology and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. After completing his M.D. at Brown University, Dr. Rabson moved to Harvard Medical School, where he pursued residency training in anatomic pathology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, including pediatric pathology at Boston Children's Hospital. He then moved to the National Institutes of Health where he studied the molecular biology and pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS and cancer. His laboratory elucidated the roles of the NF-kappaB transcription factors in the regulation of HIV. Dr. Rabson moved to Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 1990 as a Resident Member of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, where he continued his research on the molecular pathogenesis of human retroviral infections and also discovered roles for the NF-kappaB pathway in the pathogenesis of human lymphomas.

He was the founding leader of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey's Transcriptional Regulation and Oncogenesis Program and, in 1997, he became Associate Director of the Cancer Institute for Basic Sciences. In 2002, he founded a division of Cancer Genomics and Molecular Oncology at the Cancer Institute and he became Deputy Director of Cancer Institute in 2005. He also served as Chair of the NIH Cancer Molecular Pathobiology Study Section. Dr. Rabson was appointed Interim Director of the Child Health Institute of New Jersey in 2007 and permanent Director in 2009. Under his direction, the Child Health Institute has established a vibrant research program and recruited outstanding scientists focused in the four major research areas of inflammation, immune and infectious diseases of childhood; neurodevelopment and autism; pediatric cancers and stem cells; and childhood obesity and metabolism.

Laboratory

The Rabson laboratory studies the pathogenesis of human retroviral infections including the human T cell leukemia virus type 1-an important cause of human leukemias and inflammatory diseases, and the human immunodeficiency virus. He also studies the roles of the NF-kB transcription regulators in the genetic basis of normal and malignant T cells, and the molecular basis of hematopoiesis and childhood leukemias.
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Davide Comoletti, DVM, PhD

Davide Comoletti, DVM, PhD

Assistant Professor
Division of Neuroscience and Cell Biology
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street, Room 3275
Phone: (732) 235-9523
Fax: (732) 235-7318
Email: comoleda@rwjms.rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Davide Comoletti is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  He earned his PhD degree from the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy, and did his postdoctoral work at the University of California San Diego. He joined the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 2011 and works on the structure and function of synaptic cell adhesion proteins linked to autism.

Laboratory

The Comoletti laboratory studies the structural and molecular basis of synapse formation and connectivity. We focus on the atomic structure and cellular functions of trans-synaptic adhesion molecules such as CASPR2, latrophilin, lgLONs, and other related proteins and their complexes. We use structural biology and molecular neuroscience tools to gain insights into how mutations of these proteins associate with autism and other common neurodevelopmental disorders.
Lab Web site

Lisa Denzin, PhD

Lisa Denzin, PhD

Associate Professor
Division of Child Health Sciences
Department of Pediatrics, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street, Room 4272
Phone: (732) 235-9523
Fax: (732) 235-7318
Email: lisa.denzin@rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Lisa Denzin is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Child Health Institute of NJ, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She received a B.S. degree in Medical Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987 and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Illinois-Urbana in 1992. After 5 years of post-doctoral studies in Immunology under the tutelage of Dr. Peter Cresswell at Yale University, she was an Assistant Professor of Immunology at Duke University. In 1998 she moved her research laboratory to the Sloan-Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan where she was an Assistant and then an Associate Member. She also held a joint appointment at the Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University in Manhattan. Dr. Denzin joined the faculty of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in September 2011. Her research interests include the control of immunity and autoimmunity and also in the molecular control of hematopoiesis.

Laboratory

The Denzin laboratory studies antigen presentation and regulation of the immune response. Her studies have shown the roles of variant MHC molecules in the regulation of autoimmune disorders including type 1 diabetes. Her laboratory also studies the role of novel cell cycle regulatory proteins in leukemias.
Lab Web site

Andy V. Babwah, PhD

Andy V. Babwah, PhD

Associate Professor
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology
Department of Pediatrics, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Clinical Academic Building
125 Paterson Street, Cab 7107
Phone: (732) 235-9206
Email: avb58@rwjms.rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Andy Babwah is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and studies mechanisms underlying the attainment and maintenance of fertility. Dr. Babwah is committed to the training of highly qualified personnel through research mentorship and teaching, particularly in the area of continuing medical education.

Laboratory

Dr. Babwah's studies have led to an in-depth understanding of how the kisspeptin receptor regulates fertility, centrally at the level of the hypothalamus and peripherally at the level of the uterus and placenta. Through his studies, he aims to better understand the pathogenesis of pubertal disorders, female infertility and early pregnancy loss and thereby advance the clinical treatment and care of women and children. He conducts his studies on novel genetically-modified mouse models of human infertility and biopsies from the reproductive tract of fertile and infertile women.

Zhiping Pang, MD, PhD

Zhiping Pang, MD, PhD

Associate Professor
Division of Neuroscience and Cell Biology
Department of Pediatrics, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street, Room 3277
Phone: (732) 235-9523
Fax: (732) 235-7318
Email: pangzh@rwjms.rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Zhiping Pang, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is a neuroscientist with a broad background in neurobiology and stem cell biology. Both his graduate and postdoctoral trainings were under the supervision of Dr. Tom Südhof at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Stanford University, where he mainly focused on elucidating the molecular mechanism of calcium-triggered synaptic vesicle release. Dr. Pang was recruited to Rutgers University in November 2011 and joined the Child Health Institute of New Jersey as a Resident Member.  His current research focus is on utilizing both mouse and human neurons as model system to study the molecular underpinnings of neuropsychiatric disorders including eating disorders.  The research activity of the Pang Laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, US-Israel Binational Foundation, Sinsheimer Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Pang has more than 70 publications with an H-index of 33 (as of October 2019).  He is a recipient of the 2012 Daniel X. Freedman Prize from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and was recently awarded the NIH BRAIN Initiative grant to develop novel tools for detecting neuropeptide release in the brain.  

Laboratory

Dr. Pang’s laboratory studies the neural basis of the regulation of feeding, satiety, metabolism and obesity. His studies may provide insights into the neural causes and consequences of childhood obesity. He has also developed novel techniques for deriving neuronal cells from primary skin cells providing novel opportunities to study the pathogenesis of neurological disorders, including pediatric developmental disorders and autism.
Lab Website

Sally Radovick, MD

Sally Radovick, MD

Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Chancellor's Scholar Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

Clinical Academic Building
125 Paterson Street, CAB 7105
Phone: (732) 235-9288
Email: s.radovick@rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Sally Radovick, received her medical degree from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine.  She completed her residency in Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University and her fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  She is currently the Henry Rutgers Term Chair of Pediatrics and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  Prior to this position, she was the Division Director of Pediatric Endocrinology and the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Radovick has been NIH funded in conducting biomedical research and mentoring students and fellows for over 25 years.  She has trained over 50 predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty and has remained clinically active during her career, precepting teaching clinics in Pediatric endocrinology.  She is the curator of a tissue repository for patients with hypopituitarism.  Dr. Radovick's most notable teaching efforts have been in training individuals for scientific research.

Laboratory

The major research interest of Dr. Radovick's laboratory is to determine the mechanisms of growth and development of children.

Her research is focused on determining the regulation of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) gene, which has a central role in controlling the onset of puberty. Her group was the first to generate GnRH-expressing neuronal cell-lines and in vitro map the cellular regulation of this critical gene by growth factors which has increased knowledge of the relationship between growth, puberty and nutrition. She has progressed to development of genetically modified mouse models to elucidate mechanisms of in vivo regulation of GnRH secretion in response to neuroendocrine and growth factor stimulation and sex steroid feedback regulation. Of particular interest has been to determine the roles of neurotransmitter/hormone receptors in mediating the large increase in GnRH secretion to adult levels at puberty, which results in the attainment of fertility. These studies will provide insights into pubertal disorders, PCOS, as well as provide future therapies for infertility. She has been continuously funded for this work by the NIH since 1992.

The other major area of this research has been to characterize the transcription factors important for normal pituitary development. Her initial studies provided the first genetic mechanism of a child with short stature due to hypopituitarism; this involved a mutation in the Pit-1 gene that is necessary for pituitary cell lineage determination and differentiation. She has gone on to describe the mechanisms by which novel mutations in other pituitary-specific transcription factors responsible for pituitary hormone deficiencies in man. These studies are supported by a U01 collaborative agreement with investigators at the NIH at the NIH Clinical Center.

Lab Web site


Derek B. Sant'Angelo, PhD

Derek B. Sant'Angelo, PhD

Harold L. Paz, M.D. Endowed Professor of Developmental Biology
Associate Director of Basic Science, Child Health Institute of NJ
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Chief, Division of Child Health Sciences
Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street, Room 34273
Phone: (732) 235-9523
Fax: (732) 235-7318
Email: santandb@rwjms.rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Derek Sant’Angelo received his B.S. from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Derek was an HHMI Postdoctoral Fellow at the Yale under the mentorship of Dr. Charles A. Janeway, Jr. As a faculty member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Derek initiated studies that led to the discovery that the BTB-ZF transcription factor, PLZF, is essential for NKT cell effector functions. In 2011, Derek moved to Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. In 2015 he was appointed Associate Director for Basic Science of the Child Health Institute.

Dr. Sant'Angelo has continued to work on identifying key transcription factors that define and maintain the functional identity of lymphocytes. Current interests include TCR mediated control of adipose resident iNKT cells and how alteration of PLZF expression impacts the onset of obesity and related metabolic disorders

Laboratory

The Sant'Angelo laboratory studies the functions of the PLZF family of transcription factors in the immune system. Of particular interest is how these genes control the effector functions of innate T cells in the pathogenesis of numerous pediatric diseases including asthma, autoimmune diseases, obesity and cancer.

Max A. Tischfield, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience
School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street, Room 3269
Phone: (732) 235-9523
Fax: (732) 235-7318
Email: max.tischfield@rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Max Tischfield is a graduate of the Rutgers College General Honors Program (2002) and a Henry Rutgers Thesis Scholar in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience. He has a long standing interest in human and mouse genetics, and also cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate normal human development and the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental, vascular and craniofacial diseases. Dr. Tischfield began his research career as an undergraduate student with Dr. James Millonig at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, where he received the outstanding undergraduate award. As a graduate student in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School with Elizabeth Engle, he cloned and functionally characterized several human gene mutations, including transcription factors and cytoskeleton proteins, that are critical for the development of neurons and blood vessels. In 2005, Dr. Tischfield received the National Pre-doctoral Finalist Award by the American Society of Human Genetics in recognition of his work. During post-doctoral studies at Johns Hopkins Medical School (Jeremy Nathans) and Boston Children's Hospital (Elizabeth Engle), Dr. Tischfield used mouse genetics to investigate the requirement of the Wnt/Beta-Catenin signaling pathway for blood barrier development and maintenance. He also helped characterize dural cerebral vein malformations in children with TWIST1 mutation-positive craniosynostosis, and discovered that paracrine BMP signaling from the developing skull and dura is critical for venous angiogenesis in the head. In addition to his vascular research, Dr. Tischfield continued to investigate nervous system development, with a strong emphasis on cranial motor neurons.

Laboratory

Dr. Tischfield's lab utilizes mouse genetics/behavior, high resolution imaging, brain slice electrophysiology, optogenetics, and various molecular biology and cell culture approaches to model human disease. His lab provides a multi-disciplinary research program that includes: deciphering how blood and lympathic vessels develop in the head and their impact on brain health; how meningeal malformations impact brain development; mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders, with a particular focus on Tourette syndrome. Dr. Tischfield also places a very strong emphasis on the mentoring and education of undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral fellows.

M. Chiara Manzini, PhD

Associate Professor
Division of Neuroscience and Cell Biology 
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street, Room 3274 
Phone: (732) 235-3245
Fax: (732) 235-7318
Email: chiara.manzini@rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. M. Chiara Manzini is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She was initially trained in Human Genetics at the University of Pavia in Italy and received her PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University exploring how neuronal circuits are assembled during development in both normal and diseased brains. With this combined expertise, Dr. Manzini then joined Dr. Chris Walsh’ group at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School to further train in Neurogenetics. She started her independent career as an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Neuroscience at the George Washington University. The main goal of Dr. Manzini’s research is to bridge the genetics and mechanisms of disease to identify genes that are essential for human cognition and to define the molecular mechanisms underlying neuromuscular and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Laboratory

The Manzini lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cognitive development and of neurodevelopmental diseases. Our work combines human genetics with molecular, cellular, and behavioral approaches in murine and zebrafish models to link human genetics to neuronal cell biology and behavior. Current focuses of the lab are signaling pathways establishing sex bias in autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions and the role of extracellular matrix in neuromuscular disease.

Lab website

www.manzinilab.org

Nancy E. Reichman, PhD

Nancy E. Reichman, PhD

Professor
Department of Pediatircs
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street, Room 3272
Phone: (732) 235-9523
Fax: (732) 235-7318
Email: reichmne@rwjms.rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Nancy E. Reichman is a health economist with a broad portfolio of research focusing on linkages between socioeconomic status and health, including studies of determinants of infant and child health, effects of child health on family resources, socioeconomic disadvantage and health accross the lifecourse, and health in an international comparative context.

Yufang Shi, DVM, PhD

Yufang Shi, DVM, PhD

Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street, Room 4271
Phone: (732) 235-4501
Fax: (732) 235-7318
Email: shiyu@rwjms.rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Yufang Shi is a University Professor of Immunology. He studies the interactions between stem cells and inflammation in the tissue microenvironment during regeneration and pathogenesis. Dr. Shi is committed to develop stem cell-based strategies for the treatment of autoimmune and degenerative diseases.

Laboratory

The Shi laboratory studies the mechanisms and roles of cell death pathways in the regulation of the immune response. His work probes the roles of apoptosis in the development of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases including asthma. His laboratory also studies the roles of mesenchymal stem cells in the regulation of the immune response and is investigating the therapeutic potential of these cells for the treatment of inflammatory diseases of childhood.
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Abdelfattah El Ouaamari, PhD

Abdelfattah El Ouaamari, PhD

Assistant Professor
Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition
Department of Medicine
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street, Room 3270
Phone: (732) 235-8460
Fax: (732) 235-7318
Email: ae353@rwjms.rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Abdelfattah El Ouaamari completed his undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in Nice, France. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry in 2003, a master’s degree in Life Sciences and Health in 2005 and a doctoral degree in Aspects of Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2009. Abdelfattah trained at the School of Medicine in Nice, where he studied the role of microRNAs in the regulation of insulin signaling in the pancreatic β cells. After completion of his doctoral studies, he moved to Boston in 2010 and joined the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School for his postdoctoral training. During his fellowship, Abdelfattah had major interest in the role of organ cross-talk in adaptive islet β cell regeneration in pre-diabetic states. His studies culminate in the identification of serpinB1 as a novel growth factor that promotes selective replication of insulin-producing cells. In March of 2017, Abdelfattah became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He continues to study the role of inter-organ communications in glucose metabolism with an emphasis on the identification of molecular and cellular mechanisms promoting regeneration and function of islet insulin-producing β cells.

Laboratory

The El Ouaamari Lab employs a multidisciplinary approach to identify elements of organ cross-talks relevant to maintaining systemic glucose homeostasis. We are particularly interested in understanding how long-distanced organs communicate with the pancreas and modulate regeneration, survival and function of insulin-producing β cells—in health and diabetes.
Lab Website

Manuel Jimenez, MD, MS, FAAP

Manuel Jimenez, MD, MS, FAAP

Assistant Professor and Chancellor's Scholar
Department of Pediatrics & Family and Community Health
Director of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Education
The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Attending Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician
Children's Specialized Hospital

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street, Room 3271
Phone: (732) 235-6188
Fax: (732) 235-7318
Email: jimenema@rwjms.rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Jimenez is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics & Family Medicine and Community Health and an Attending Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at Children's Specialized Hospital. Dr. Jimenez's interests focus on making the health system more responsive to the needs of vulnerable populations. His research has focused on understanding the relationship between early adversity and child development, improving access to developmental services and therapies for young children, and promoting optimal child development in the medical home.

Moshmi Bhattacharya, PhD

Moshmi Bhattacharya, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Medicine
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Clinical Academic Building
125 Paterson Street, CAB 7148
Phone: (732) 235-5269
Email: moshmi.bhattacharya@rutgers.edu

Biography

Dr. Moshmi Bhattacharya is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Prior to joining Rutgers University, she was an Associate Professor in the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology, and Oncology, at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. She did her Ph.D in the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, at McGill University, Montreal, Canada followed by postdoctoral studies at the Robarts Research Institute in Ontario. Her research interests include a better understanding of the molecular regulation of tumor metastasis and metabolism.

Laboratory

Her research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate metabolic disorders such as cancer and diabetes, focusing on triple negative breast cancer and liver cancer. These multidisciplinary studies are conducted using cell and 3-D culture models, clinical biopsies and blood samples and animal models.

Fredric E. Wondisford, MD

Fredric E. Wondisford, MD

Professor and Chairman
Department of Medicine
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Chancellor's Scholar Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Medical Education Building, MEB 491
51 French Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: (732) 235-9838
Email: few11@rwjms.rutgers.edu

Biography

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Frederic Wondisford was Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Physiology and Director of the Metabolism Division and Diabetes Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Wondisford has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1990 and has scientifically mentored 64 trainees, and 41 have gone on to independent academic research careers.

Laboratory

Dr. Wondisford's laboratory has two main research interests: regulation of gene expression by nuclear thyroid hormone receptors and control of hepatic glucose production (HGP) in health and disease.
Lab Web Site