22nd Annual K-INBRE Symposium

Speaker Bios


Kyle Baumbauer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center

Title: Combining neurophysiologic and transcriptomic data to understand functional pain disorders

Dr. Kyle Baumbauer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He received his Ph.D. from Kent State University in Experimental Psychology in 2005. Dr. Baumbauer was then a Postdoctoral Fellow at Texas Aandamp;M University (Behavioral and Cellular Neuroscience) until 2011, followed by a second postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in the Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research (Neurobiology). In 2014 Dr. Baumbauer moved to the University of Connecticut, where he was an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, until 2019 when he joined the faculty at KUMC.




Gustavo Blanco, M.D., Ph.D.

Department Chair, University of Kansas Medical Center

Keynote Speaker

Dr. G. Blanco obtained his MD and PhD degrees from the Faculty of Medicine, National University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina. As a Fellow of the National Council of Scientific Investigations of Argentina he conducted his Doctoral Thesis at the National University of Cordoba, which received the Award of the Medical Faculty. He served as Instructor at that University, first in the department of Physiology from 1982-1986 and then in the department of Biochemistry from 1986 to 1990. Between 1990 and 1995 he performed his postdoctoral training at the department of Cell Biology and Physiology in Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (MO), USA. In 2000 he was appointed Assistant Professor at the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology in Kansas University Medical Center. He raised through the ranks, becoming promoted to Associate Professor in 2006 and to Professor in 2012. Currently, Dr. Blanco serves as the Kathleen M. Osborn Chair of the department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. He also serves as the Director of the Mentoring Core for the Kansas IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE).



Sree Vamsee Chintapalli, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Title: Metabolomics-Driven Protein Target Prediction: An In-Silico Methodology

Dr. Chintapalli’s laboratory studies how sub-cellular pathways and molecular functions in tissues influence whole-body metabolism, and vice-versa. The group leverages a wide array of cell, molecular, and physiology techniques to address questions relevant to metabolic health and to diseases such as heart failure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Working in a multidisciplinary collaborative environment, the team applies in silico, in vitro and in vivo studies to gather a broader picture of physiological function. These studies further leverage key insights towards development of clinical studies including controlled feeding experiments, fitness intervention and monitoring whole-body and molecular physiology during acute exercise and fatigue. By understanding the fundamental biology and regulatory systems that define metabolic health, their lab aims to provide the evidence base needed to craft effective strategies to thwart disease and improve health and development of children and adults.



Dinah Davidson, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher, Kansas State University

Title: The reorganization of protein interaction networks during the transition to multicellularity

Dinah Davison is a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow whose research focuses on how interactions between genes, development, and the environment have shaped the evolution of differentiated multicellularity. She is conducting her postdoctoral research with Dr. Brad Olson at Kansas State University. Dr. Davison received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona, where she worked with Dr. Rick Michod to examine the evolution of somatic cells in the volvocine algae. Dr. Davison obtained a master’s degree in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Bath and a bachelor’s degree in Animal Biology from the University of California, Davis.




Anuradha Ghosh, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Pittsburg State University

Title: Diagnostic applications of the microbiome

Dr. Ghosh is an associate professor in the Department of Biology at Pittsburg state University. She is a microbiologist, and her research is based on the One Health perspective. Her projects focus on various aspects of food safety, antibiotic resistance and virulence of food borne pathogens, and molecular diagnostics. A few projects deal with host-pathogen interaction in vectors such as ticks and mosquitoes. She also has projects related to restoration of environmental health. She has introduced whole genome sequence analysis and bioinformatics in the undergraduate curriculum and teaching.




Scott Lovell, Ph.D.

Director of Protein Structure & X-Ray Crystallography Laboratory, University of Kansas

Title: High Throughput Structural Biology Methods and Applications

Dr. Lovell has served as Director of the Protein Structure and X-ray Crystallography Laboratory (PSXL) at the University of Kansas since 2008 and has over two decades of experience in the structural biology field. Prior to joining KU, he managed an industrial structural biology group at deCODE biostructures in the Chicago area and directed projects focused on drug discovery and development. His current laboratory collaborates with a diverse range of investigators from various academic and industrial institutions to obtain structural information of proteins using high-throughput structural biology methods and completes more than 75 structures annually. Additionally, Dr. Lovell is a Co-principal investigator for the NIH-NIAID funded Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Diseases (SSGCID) and his group performs the majority of the structure biology tasks for the Center aimed at elucidating the structure/function properties of proteins that play an important biological role in human pathogens.



Bradley J.S.C. Olson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Kansas State University

Title: Data Science Core Opening Remarks

Dr. Olson's long-term research interest is to understand the molecular and ecological basis of major evolutionary state transitions. The primary question his laboratory investigates is how did multicellular organisms evolve? Multicellular organisms are those we most commonly perceive in our “macro” environment, yet little is known about the molecular and ecological basis of multicellular evolution unknown. Understanding how and why individual cells evolved into multicellular organisms is an important evolutionary question and is important for our understanding of how human bodies maintain organizational control over cells. For example, human cancer is a fundamental loss of control of the growth and division of cells within the tissues of the body. Many of the genes defective in human cancers have been identified, however little is known about how multicellular organisms evolved control over their individual constituent cells. Long term, research in his laboratory is aimed at understanding how organisms evolved regulatory pathways controlling cell growth, division, and differentiation so that new approaches to cancer treatment could be developed.



Dong Pei, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center

Title: Optima: An open-source R package for the Tapestri platform for integrative single cell multiomics data analysis

Dr. Dong Pei is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Data Science. Dr. Pei joined the University of Kansas Medical Center in after the completion of his doctoral training in Biology (emphasis in Bioinformatics) at New Mexico State University. His research focus on the development and application of bioinformatics tools/pipelines to analyze high-throughput 'omic data. His research interests involve the development and application of bioinformatics tools/pipelines to analyze high-throughput 'omic data, including: DNAseq, RNAseq, scRNAseq, Infinium Methylation microarray, etc. Most of his previous and ongoing research efforts have focused on studying the genetic alterations in model organisms and the application of novel bioinformatics/statistical methodologies to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying disease development and progression. In addition to his research activities, he also provides leadership in high-performance computing to the Department of Biostatistics and Data Science as co-Manager of the Biostatistics group that is a member of the KU Community Cluster operated by the Center for Research Computing at KU-Lawrence.



Erin Young, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center

Title: Harnessing the microbiome to treat visceral hypersensitivity

Dr. Young's work primarily focuses on identifying the genetic variations and patterns of gene expression that contribute to chronic pain risk across a number of pain types. Her team uses a variety of methodologies to address questions in the lab, including behavioral modeling in animals, analysis of whole tissue and single cell gene expression, RNASeq, SNP genotyping in human subjects, human subjects pain phenotyping and whole genome methods. A critical component of their research program is translation into human subjects, so they often utilize clinical research collaborations to validate and explore genes identified in their animal and molecular lab studies. They not only work from the “bench-to-bedside” but also “bedside-to-bench” where they begin with clinically relevant candidate genes and use lab-based methods for determining the mechanisms underlying these genetic effects.