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Our principal investigators focus their efforts on carrying out studies to develop and verify knowledge relating to the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. 


Specialty: Cardiology, Electrophysiology


Dr. Huizar’s research interests include cardiac pacing and cardiac arrhythmias, specifically consequences of premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) and arrhythmia-induced cardiomyopathy. Learn more

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Specialty: Psychiatry, Neuroscience

As a neuroscience researcher for 30+ years, he has been a lead researcher for the NIDILRR TBI Model Systems program since 1992 and involved with military and Veterans polytrauma (TBI, mental health disorders, pain) research since 2000. Learn more

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Specialty: Research Psychology

Dr. McDonald’s research aims to better understand mental health, resilience, and adjustment after acquired physical disability.  Learn more

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Stéphanie B. Mayer, MD, MHSc

Specialty:  Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Dr. Mayer's clinical research is focused on outcomes of weight loss and weight regain in Veterans. Learn more

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Specialty:  Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders

The major goals and objectives of Dr. Gorgey's current research studies include developing and testing the safety and feasibility of a home-based upper limb rehabilitation program for individuals with tetraplegia...Learn More


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Jessica Lehosit, DO

Specialty: Neurology

Dr. Lehosit's research interests include Parkinson’s disease, Essential tremor, and Ataxia.


Specialty: Anatomy, Neurobiology

Dr. Dupree's lab studies multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and aging. Learn more

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Specialty: Anesthesiology, Pain Management, and Addition Medicine

Dr.  Lester leads several research studies on the use of implantable peripheral nerve stimulation programs for acute, chronic and cancer pain.

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Specialty: Biomedicine

Research in Dr. Ren's laboratory mainly deals with chemical structure characterization, metabolic pathways, and roles of oxysterols...Learn More

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Specialty:  Psychiatry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Neuroscience

Dr. Bjork's studies cognitive orientation in Veterans who are entering recovery, deployment experiences of Veterans, and the mental health and quality of life of those living with chronic pain. Learn more


Neil Lewis, MD

Specialty:  Cardiology

Dr. Lewis' current projects consists of research on a wearable monitoring device in reducing readmission rates following hospitalization for acute decompensated heart failure. He also studies probenecid in patients with HFrEF.

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Paul B. Perrin, PhD

Specialty: Data Science and  Health Disparities

Dr. Perrin's research area of “social justice in disability and health” encompasses three facets: (a) cultural, familial, and international approaches to disability rehabilitation and adjustment, particularly in medically underserved minority and Veteran populations with neurological condition...

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Specialty: Gastroenterology


Dr. Fuchs’ research spans non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its complications, and non-invasive biomarkers and diagnostic tools in gastrointestinal and chronic liver diseases. Learn more

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Huiping Zhou, PharmD, PhD

Research Career Scientist, AGAF, FAASLD

Specialty: Pharmacology, Microbiology, Immunology


The major research interest in Dr. Zhou’s laboratory is related to bile acid- and sphingolipid-mediated signaling in liver diseases, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), alcoholic liver disease (ALD), drug-induced liver disease, and cholestatic liver diseases.

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Specialty:  Gastroenterology, Hepatology. and Nutrition

Dr. Bajaj conducts clinical, translational, and basic research into gut-brain axis, hepatic encephalopathy, cirrhosis and acute on chronic liver failure. Learn more

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Sarah Krzastek, MD

Specialty:  Urology

Dr. Krzastek's research interests are in male infertility and erectile dysfunction.

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William M. Pandak, Jr., M.D., FAASLD, AGAF, FACP, FAHA

Specialty: Gastroenterology

Dr. Pandak Has greater than 35 years of research experience as a physician-scientist. Awarded a Fellowship acknowledgement in the American College of Physicians, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Gastroenterology Association, and the American Heart Association. His research covers Basic and Clinical Science. Learn More

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Specialty: obesity/type 2 diabetes and complications in heart and liver

Dr. Cowart’s research seeks to understand the mechanisms by which obesity leads to disease including diabetes, fatty liver disease, and heart failure. 

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