Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine Faculty
Boyd R. Buser, D.O., FACOFP
Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean for KYCOM
and Vice President for Health Services
Office: Coal Building 602
A native of Iowa, Dr. Buser received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. After earning his osteopathic medical degree from the Des Moines (Iowa) University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1981, he went on to complete an osteopathic internship at the former Cranston General Hospital in Cranston, R.I. He is board certified in family practice as well as osteopathic manipulative medicine.
As past-president of the American Academy of Osteopathy, the New England Academy of Osteopathy, the Maine Osteopathic Association (MOA), and former chairman of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Dr. Buser maintains a leadership role within the osteopathic medical profession. A member of the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) Board of Trustees since 2004, he serves the AOA in a number of other capacities, including chairman of the Bureau of Emerging States’ Concerns and member of the Bureau of Osteopathic Clinical Education and Research. A fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, in 2007 Dr. Buser was elected to the Current Procedural Terminology editorial panel by the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association. He is the first D.O. to be elected to the panel. He is a current member of the Kentucky Institute of Medicine and the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure.
Dr. Buser has been active in the osteopathic profession internationally as well. He has taught extensively around the world over the past 15 years. He has represented the American osteopathic profession in a number of World Health Organization (WHO) initiatives, including the WHO Congress on Traditional Medicine, held in Beijing, China, in 2008. He is also an officer of the Board of Directors of the Osteopathic International Alliance.
Since earning his D.O. degree, Dr. Buser has received many awards for outstanding achievements within the osteopathic medical community. In 1994, the AOA, along with the American Osteopathic Foundation, named him the osteopathic profession’s Educator of the Year. The Maine Osteopathic Association presented him with the Roswell Bates Award in 1994 and the Distinguished Service Award in 1996 and 2007.
Daniel H. Atchley, Ph.D., M.S., MT-ASCP
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Office: Coal Building
Dr. Atchley is Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM), Pikeville, Kentucky, where his responsibilities include teaching basic medical sciences and conducting biomedical research.
Before joining KYCOM, Dr. Atchley served as Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Director of Assessment at Harding University College of Pharmacy, Searcy, Arkansas, where he directed the college’s assessment efforts, taught basic medical sciences and conducted biomedical research. While at Harding University, Dr. Atchley won the Teacher Achievement Award for Teaching Excellence.
Immediately prior to joining the faculty at Harding University, Dr. Atchley completed a distinctive military career with the US Air Force, serving in various educational, research, clinical and advisory leadership roles. As an Associate Professor of Biology at the US Air Force Academy, Colorado, he directed department resource allocations, and earned several teaching & research awards, including the US Air Force Academy’s Outstanding Educator Award and Frank J. Seiler Excellence in Research Award for Basic Sciences. Additionally, he led molecular diagnostics research, and the Department of Defense Influenza Surveillance Program’s molecular diagnostics laboratory (a World Health Organization collaborating laboratory) as Chief of Molecular and Advanced Biotechnology, Brooks City-Base, Texas. Prior experience also includes managing a clinical diagnostics laboratory, mentoring scores of undergraduate students in applied research, and teaching various topics in microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology to medical technology students, physician assistant students, medical students, and dental students.
Dr. Atchley has served as an advisor to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for chemical and biological agent identification research. He advises hospitals and research centers on laboratory design and bio-containment. His current areas of research interest include applied research in reliable and portable methods to diagnose disease in remote regions of the world, and novel antimicrobial therapies for drug-resistant microorganisms.
Dr. Atchley received a B.S. in Medical Technology from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, an M.S. in Laboratory Medicine (Clinical Chemistry) from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the Medical University of South Carolina. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, the American Society for Microbiology, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Society of Armed Forces Medical Laboratory Scientists, and Beta-Beta-Beta Biological Honors Society.
William T. Betz, D.O., MBA, FACOFP, dist.
Chair, Department of Family Medicine
Senior Associate Dean for Osteopathic Education
Office: Coal Building 302
Clinical Rotations Survival
Clinical Skills Practicum
Quality Improvement in Medicine
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience
Master in Business Administration
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
G. Chad and Julianne Perry Endowed Chair of Family Medicine, 2002-2006
Fellow Award, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, 1999
Physician of the Year Award, Missouri Society of American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, 1993
President’s Award, Missouri Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians and Surgeons, 1996
Rho Sigma Chi Honorary Osteopathic Fraternity, 1981
Sigma Sigma Phi National Honorary Osteopathic Fraternity, 1981
Dr. Betz is a native of Kansas City, Mo., where he spent the first 18 years of his professional career in family medicine, geriatric medicine, and palliative care. He moved to Pikeville in July of 1998 as the initial chair of the department of family medicine and ultimately became the associate dean for clinical sciences. In 2006, Dr. Betz left Pikeville to become the founding dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and vice president/chief academic officer of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, Washington. He returned to Pikeville to become the senior associate dean of Osteopathic Medical Education in April 2009. He enjoys the challenges of the development of new and innovative educational programs as well as travel with his wife Cheryl.
Osteopathic Principals and Practices
Residency in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, St. Barnabas Hospital, Bronx, NY
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine – Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA
Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry – Bethany College, Lindsborg, KS
American Osteopathic Board of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
Fellow of the American Academy of Osteopathy 2008
Educator of the Year – Mercy General Health Partners 2003-2004
Wyeth Emerging Leaders Award – American Osteopathic Foundation 2002
UNT-HSC Outstanding Student Organization Advisor (UAAO) 2001-2002
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Dr. Carnes has been involved with developing and running residency programs in NMM-OMM on local, state, and national levels since completing his residency training program in 2000.
S. Michael DeAtley, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Basic Sciences
Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Office: Coal Building 301
Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Pharmacology
University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy
Faculty Congress President, Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, 2004-2008
Faculty Trustee, Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, 2004-2008
Student Government Award, Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, 2006
Student Advocate of the Year, Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, 2008-2009
Dr. DeAtley was born and raised outside of Maysville, Ky. As such he has been a lifelong Wildcat fan. He is a retired master scuba diving instructor and over the years has been blessed to have dived most of the exotic sites around the world. His hobbies include scuba diving, golf, UK sports, music, guitar, photography (land & underwater) and world travel with his better half Diana.
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship
University of Guelph, Ontario Canada
Doctor of Philosophy – Biological Sciences
Ohio State University
Master of Science - Biological Sciences
University of Kentucky
Bachelor of Science – Biology (Pre-med)
University of Kentucky
Publications and Scholarly Activity
Gearheart, A.S. and W. Gearheart. 2014. A Primer on the physiology of Obesity. Presented at the KY-American Physiological Society 2nd Annual Meeting. Louisville, KY.
Gearheart, W. and Gearheart, A. 2013. “The Physiology of Obesity”. Presented at the 99th Kentucky Academy of Science Annual Meeting, Morehead State University.
National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) - Level 1 Exam Item Writer.
Chapter Reviewer, July 2013. Anatomy & Physiology: From Science to Life by Jenkins and Tortora. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Publishers.
Gearheart, W. 2011. 13th Annual Kentucky Rural Health Association Conference.
Bowling Green, KY. Analysis of Health Trends for Patients of the Pike County (KY) Health
Clinic. (J. Watts, Co-PI; R. Rangel, Director Pike Co. Clinic).
Gearheart, W., J. Watts, and R. Rangel. 2010. Analysis of Health Trends for Patients of the
Pike County (KY) Health Clinic. Presented at the Global Obesity Summit, Jackson MS.
Watts, J., W. Gearheart and R. Rangel. 2009. Analysis of Health Trends for Patients of the
Pike County (KY) Health Clinic. Presented at the Appalachian College Association
Summit, Abingdon Va.
Gearheart, W. PI for Title III Grant (Baptist College Health Sci, Memphis, Tenn). Development of
Pathophysiology Course Specific Enrichment Activities as a Component of the Title III
Learning Lab. Funded, Summer 2007.
Gearheart, W. PI and Coordinator for U.S. Dept. of Energy. South Carolina Consortium for
Environmental Science. Morris College. Funded 2001-2003.
Gearheart, W.W. 1999. Alcoholism. In the Encyclopedia of Genetics. J.A. Knight, Ed.
Gearheart, W.W. 1999. Behavior. In the Encyclopedia of Genetics. J.A. Knight, Ed. pp
Gearheart, W.W. 1999. Sheep Cloning. In the Encyclopedia Of Genetics. J.A. Knight,
Ed., pp. 501-504.
Gearheart, W.W. and R. Goodwill. 1990. Divergent selection for pupa weight of Tribolium
castaneum in optimum and adverse environments. J. Anim. Breeding and Genetics
Gearheart, W.W., D.S. Keller and C. Smith. 1989. The use of elite nucleus units in beef
cattle breeding strategies. J. Anim. Sci. 68:1229.
Gearheart, W.W., M.E. Davis and W.R. Harvey. 1989. The effect of adjusting for yearly
selection trends on variance component estimates. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 69:487.
Gearheart, W.W. and C. Smith. 1989. Multiple ovulation and embryo manipulations in the
improvement of beef cattle: Relative theoretical rates of genetic change. J. Anim. Sci.
Gearheart, W. and P. Fernandes. 1997. Learning in undergraduate science courses:
Beyond the rhetoric and theory, can we really do anything to help? Presented at the 4th
annual HBCU Faculty Development Network Symposium, Atlanta, Ga.
Gearheart W., 1998. Characterization of a hazardous waste landfill in Pinewood, S.C.
Presented at the 5th Annual Faculty Development Network Symposium, Miami Fla.
Davis, M.E., J.J. Rutledge, L.V. Cundiff, W. Gearheart, and E.R. Hauser. 1987. Efficiency
of beef production: VII. Prediction of cow efficiency ratios for progeny weaned and
slaughtered. J. Anim. Sci. 64:50.
Davis, M.E., W.R. Harvey, M.D. Bishop and W.W. Gearheart. 1988. Use of embryo
transfer to induce twinning in beef cattle: Embryo survival rate, gestation length, birth
weight and weaning weight of calves. J. Anim. Sci. 67:301.
Keller, D.S., W.W. Gearheart and C. Smith. 1989. A comparison of factors reducing
selection response in closed nucleus breeding schemes. J. Anim. Sci. 68:1553.
Fulwood, W.W. Gearheart and K. Meier. 1995. Mechanism of phorbol ester-induces cell
death in El4 cells. Proceedings of the 9th National Conference on Undergraduate
Dr. Gearheart is a native of the Appalachian area of Eastern Kentucky, growing up and attending school just north of Pikeville (Harold and Allen elementary school and Prestonsburg high school). He taught at the undergraduate and graduate level in South Carolina, the Caribbean and Tennessee before joining the KYCOM faculty. Dr. Gearheart enjoys reading, sports and spending time with his wife Adrienne, daughter Mckenzie and son Zachary.
Laura Griffin, D.O., FAAO
Associate Professor & Chair, Dept. of Osteopathic Principles and Practices
Office: Coal Building 906
Osteopathic Principles and Practices
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bachelor of Science in Biology
State University of New York at New Paltz
Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
Fellow, American Academy of Osteopathy, 2009
Faculty Member of the Year, Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine Student Advocate Association, 2009
Dr. Griffin is a native of Red Hook, N.Y., but lived in Maine for nine years while attending medical school and completing her residency. She then lived in Grand Rapids, Mich., for seven years while teaching at Metro Health Hospital, before moving to Pikeville in 2008 to join Dr. Buser and the faculty at KYCOM. Dr. Griffin enjoys movies, reading, making stained glass artwork, cooking, gardening, spending time with family and her cat and sheepdogs.
Steven R. Harris, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology
Office: Coal Building 303
Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology & Toxicology
University of Georgia
Masters of Science in Pharmacology & Toxicology
Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Chemistry
Teaching Excellence Award, Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, 1999-2009
SAA Outstanding Faculty Award, Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, 2008
Staff Member of the Year, Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, 2008
Administrator of the Year, Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, 2003-2005
Dr. Harris was born in North Carolina but lived most of his life in Georgia. Following postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute, he moved to Pikeville in 1998 to organize and teach the medical pharmacology course at KYCOM. Since that time he has taken on administrative responsibilities as associate dean for Basic Sciences from 2002-2008, and as associate dean for Academic Affairs from 2008-present. He enjoys various sports activities including golf, football, baseball and basketball, as well as spending time with his wife, Barbara, and kids.
Dr. Herrmann joined KYCOM in 2013 with a desire to teach/serve with the medical school’s mission in bringing medicine to the mountains in the rural and underserved areas of Kentucky and Appalachia. The kindness of the local people and the beauty of the mountains have taken her breathe away.
Dr. Herrmann has been successfully teaching students in the health/medical sciences for over 15 years. Although she found her love for teaching early when she was teaching high school sciences in the mid 90’s, Dr. Herrmann had wanted to teach at the medical school level since the age of 17.
Dr. Herrmann has focused her teaching in the health/medical sciences in courses such as pathology, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, nutrition, anatomy & physiology and biology. Instead of pursuing a Ph.D, Dr. Herrmann decided to get a Medical Degree and more recently a Masters Degree in Public Heath to be effective in teaching students who are entering the health professions. Therefore all the classes she teaches will have a clinical twist as she gets students to already start thinking about the patient.
Dr. Herrmann has also enjoyed doing independent consulting work for medical education programs for colleges and universities in the US and overseas. For example she has taught online medical school courses at Oceania University of Medicine which is based out of Samoa.
Teaching runs in the family as virtually everyone in her family teaches or has taught from elementary school to graduate school level. Since both of her parents have held teaching and senior level management positions in colleges and universities it has given her an excellent perspective in management and student centered teaching/ learning as well. Dr. Herrmann’s father also served in the Appalachian region in university administration.
In the classroom setting Dr. Herrmann is known as a student advocate. She loves to have an open learning environment where students can always ask questions. Student success is very important to Dr. Herrmann. She also enjoys motivating students to achieve their very best.
In 2010, Dr. Herrmann graduated with an online Masters in Public Health from Florida International University with a special certificate in Health Promotion and Prevention.
In 2001, Dr. Herrmann graduated with a Medical Degree (Physician and Surgeon Diploma) from the International Program School of Medicine at Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. Dr. Herrmann has a BS in Microbiology from the University of Florida. She also has post graduate work (21 hours) in Nutrition and Biochemistry from UF.
For scholarly activities, Dr. Herrmann wants to continue writing/authoring textbook supplementals and/or textbooks in the health and medical sciences for example, she authored an Instructor Preparation Guide, for McGraw Hill Publishing, to accompany Cowan, Microbiology Fundamentals: A Clinical Approach, first edition, ©2012.
Dr. Herrmann loves to spend time with her husband and pets (fukids).
Osteopathic Principles and Practices
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, Pikeville, Ky., 2004
Marshall University, Huntington, W.Va., 1992-2000
Butler County Community College, Butler, Pa., 1991-92
Bachelor of Education
Master of Arts in Sanskrit Language
Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Sanskrit Language
Bachelor of Arts
Bangalore University, Bangalore, India
The Most Inspirational Student Awards in 2001 & 2002 at PCSOM
Dr. Krishnamurthy is a native of Bangalore, India. Dr. Krishnamurthy taught Sanskrit language in S.V.N. High School for more than 12 years, until 1990. Dr. Krishnamurthy came to U.S. in 1991 to join her husband, Muniramiah Krishnamurthy, M.D., who was a cardiologist and the chief of medicine at V.A.M.C. in Butler, Pa. Dr. Krishnamurthy began her pre-medical education at BC3 and continued at Marshall University. After graduating from the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (formerly Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine) in 2004, she received in internal medicine at Norton Community Hospital, in Virginia, and Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, W.Va. and returned to Pikeville to join the faculty at KYCOM. Dr. Krishnamurthy enjoys in teaching reading and translating Sanskrit Scriptures, swimming, travelling and spending time with family and friends.
Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology
Arizona State University
Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry
Golden Apple Award for excellence in Teaching 2007, 2008, 2013
Doctor Laurich was born in Kearney Nebraska and grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania. In addition to his college degrees he is a registered medical technologist and has extensive experience in clinical laboratory medicine. He spent four years with the Air Force serving as a Laboratory Officer at Andrews and Holloman Air Force bases. He has interest in infectious diseases and immunology. He enjoys travel with his wife Terri, following the Pirates, Steelers, Penguins and Cornhuskers, photography, and the challenge of the golf links.
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Pikeville Medical Center
Department of Medicine
Dr. Litman is a primary care internist from Philadelphia, Pa. He has been involved in medical education since 1994, and was appointed to the faculty of two Philadelphia area medical schools and five nursing schools before joining the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2004. He has been married for over 30 years and has two children.
Doctor of Philosophy, Plant Pathology
University of Kentucky
Bachelor of Science, In Vitro Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Minor: Chemistry
State University of New York at Plattsburgh
Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, 2007, 2009
Pikeville Research Projects
Development of a novel procedure for mitochondrial transformation
Antibiotic resistance in bacteria
The potential of corn stalk rot fungi for cellulosic bioconversion in fuel ethanol production (Awarded grant support through Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation)
Dr. Lushia was born in Scotland, but grew up in the Plattsburgh area of northern New York, in the Appalachian Adirondack mountains. When his dreams of becoming a rock star were crushed by a lack of talent, he pursued his love of science that eventually lead him to graduate studies and post-doctoral training at the University of Kentucky before joining the faculty at Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2004. In addition to his role in educating future medical doctors, Dr. Lushia has spent a lot of time pursuing research interests and establishing the laboratories at KYCOM as cutting-edge research facilities. During his free time, Dr. Lushia enjoys golf, pool, non-fiction TV, playing guitar and heavy metal music.
Doctor of Philosophy, Biomedical Sciences
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York
Master of Arts, City College of New York
Bachelor of Science, Tufts University
Merit Award, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Henry L. Rosett Award for lifetime achievement in fetal alcohol research
Superior Performance Award, Department of Veterans Affairs
Burroughs-Wellcome Visiting Scholar Award
Teaching and Service Award, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Owl Teaching Award, Tulane University
Dr. Miller’s research interests lie in understanding the effects of the environment on normal and abnormal development of the central nervous system (CNS). His recent work focuses on stem cells, the source of all cells in the body, e.g., cells comprising the skin, gut, heart and brain. To achieve this diversity, stem cells have the ability to divide, replace themselves and maintain flexible lineage-options. Dr. Miller investigates intrinsic (e.g., transforming growth factor beta 1) and extrinsic (alcohol) factors that regulate the growth and differentiation of stem cells in both the developing and adult CNS. He is particularly interested in understanding the etiology of fetal alcohol syndrome and (b) alcohol-induced memory loss in adolescents and adults.
Peer-reviewed papers (from a list of 111 articles):
108. Hicks, S.D., F.A. Middleton, M.W. Miller (2010) Ethanol-induced methylation of cell cycle genes in neural stem cells. J. Neurochem. 114:1767-1780.
106. Powrozek, T.A., M.W. Miller (2009) Ethanol affects transforming growth factor β1 signals: cross-talking pathways in the developing rat cerebral wall. J. Neurosci. 29:9521-9533.
101. Mooney, S.M., M.W. Miller (2007) Postnatal neuronogenesis in the thalamic ventrobasal nucleus. J. Neurosci. 27:5023-5032.
94. Siegenthaler, J.A., M.W. Miller (2005) Transforming growth factor β1 promotes cell cycle exit through the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 in the developing cerebral cortex. J. Neurosci. 21:8627-8636.
75. Miller, M.W., Pitts, A.F. (2000) Neurotrophin receptors in the somatosensory cortex of the mature rat: co-localization of p75, trk isoforms, and c-neu. Brain Res. 852:355-366.
67. Luo, J., M.W. Miller (1999) Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) mediated signal transduction underlying astrocyte proliferation: site of ethanol action. J. Neurosci. 19:10014-10025.
28. Miller, M.W., G. Potempa (1990) Numbers of neurons and glia in mature rat somatosensory cortex: effects of prenatal exposure to ethanol. J. Comp. Neurol. 293:92-102.
20. Miller, M.W., R.S. Nowakowski (1988) Use of bromodeoxyuridine-immunohistochemistry to examine the proliferation, migration, and time of origin of cells in the central nervous system. Brain Res. 457:44-52.
12. Miller, M.W. (1986) Fetal alcohol effects on the generation and migration of cerebral cortical neurons. Science 233:1308-1311.
10. Miller, M.W. (1985) Co-generation of projection and local circuit neurons in neocortex. Dev. Brain Res. 23:187-192.
2. Miller, M.W. (2006) Brain Development. Normal Processes and the Effects of Alcohol and Nicotine. Oxford Univ. Press, New York.
1. Miller, M.W. (1992) Development of the Central Nervous System. Effects of Alcohol and Opiates. Wiley-Liss, New York
Chapters and reviews (from a list of 27):
27. Mooney, S.M., P.L. Lein, M.W. Miller (in press) Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: targeted effects of ethanol on cell proliferation and survival. In: Rakic, P., J.L. Rubenstein (eds.) Neural Circuit Development and Function in the Brain: Comprehensive Developmental Neuroscience. Volume 3. Chapter 139. Elsevier, New York.
26. Powrozek, T.A., B.A. Vogt, M.W. Miller (2009) Dopamine in the cingulate gyrus: organization, development, and neurotoxic vulnerability. In Vogt, B.A. (ed.) Cingulate Neurobiology and Disease. Birkhauser, Boston. Chapter 7. pp. 163-187.
21. Miller, M.W., L.P. Spear (2006) The alcoholism generator. Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. 30:1466-1469.
10. Luo, J., M.W. Miller (1998) Effects of ethanol on growth factor-mediated proliferation of neural cells. Brain Res. Rev. 27:157-167.
5. Pentney, R., M.W. Miller (1992) Effects of ethanol on neuronal morphogenesis. In: Miller, M.W. (ed.) Development of the Central Nervous System. Effects of Alcohol and Opiates. Wiley-Liss, New York. Chapter 5. pp. 71-107.
1. Miller, M.W. (1988) Development of projection and local circuit neurons in cerebral cortex, In: A. Peters and E.G. Jones (eds.) Cerebral Cortex. Vol. 7. Development and Maturation of Cerebral Cortex. Plenum, New York. Chapter 5. pp. 133-175.
Dr. Miller joined the KYCOM faculty in July 2013. His outside interests include enjoying his family (including his new grandchildren), hiking, taking nature photographs, learning about forensic history and playing racquet and water sports.
Osteopathic Principles and Practices
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
Doctor of Chiropractic
Logan College of Chiropractic
Bachelor of Science
Indiana State University
Golden Apple Award for excellence in Teaching 2011-2012
Student Advocate of the Year KYCOM 2011-2012
Doctor Oteham is a native of Attica, Indiana. He comes to UPIKE from private practice in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. “Dr. O” is Board Certified in Family Medicine. Along with his teaching duties, he supervises the Family Medicine Residents at Pikeville Medical Center and KYCOM second year students at the Hyperbaric Medicine/Wound Care Center at PMC. Dr. O is a pilot and scuba instructor. He enjoys golf, barbecue, fishing, boating and horseback riding.
Ph.D. in Biological Science: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Masters in Biological Science: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Mentoring faculty at West Virginia State University
Served as a mentor of Dr. Hankins at West Virginia State University with his grant awarded
Grant title: Sex Steroid Hormones and Epigenetics in Meningiomas
Grant period: 5/01/2010 - 4/30/2014,10% effort for Maiyon Park
Research fellowship for two graduate students (Matt Harlow and Ryan Mackie): Agent: NASA West Virginia Space Grant (7/01/2010 – 6/30/2011)
- Title: Chmp1A regulates tumor growth by the control of retinoblastoma protein
- Title: Chmp1A mediated histone modification in HEK 293T and PanC-1 cells
- 1 P20 RR020180-01 (PI of Project 3), NIH/NCRR, 7/1/04-6/30/09 (50% effort)
- Title: Transcription Factors in Cancer
Committee Service at KYCOM
Research Committee (Vice Chair): 2012 - present at KYCOM
Faculty Affair: 2013 - present
KY-PHYS (Kentucky Physiology Society), member from 2013
AACR (American Association for Cancer Research), active member from 2005 to 2012
1. Sumanth Manohar, Matthew Harlow, Hahn Nguyen, Jing Li, Gerald Hankins, Maiyon Park, Chromatin modifying protein 1A (Chmp1A) of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT)-III family regulates ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) in pancreatic tumor (PanC-1) cells: Cell Cycle, Aug/1, 2011; 10(15)
2. Li, J., Orr, B., White, K., Belogortseva, N., Niles, R., Boskovic, G., Nguyen, H., Dykes, A., and Park, M. Chmp1A is a mediator of the anti-proliferative effects of All-trans Retinoic Acid in pancreatic cancer cells, Molecular Cancer 2009, 8:7 doi:10.1186/1476-4598-8-7
3. Jing Li, Natalia Belogortseva, David Porter and Maiyon Park, Chmp1A functions as a novel tumor suppressor gene in human embryonic kidney and ductal pancreatic tumor cells. Cell Cycle, Sep/18, 2008 15; 7(18)
4. Park, M., Moon, RT. The planar cell polarity gene strabismus regulates cell behaviour and cell fate in vertebrate embryos. Nature Cell Biology (cover story). 2002 Jan; 4(1): 20-25.
5. Venkstesh, TV., Park, M., Ocorr, K., Nemaceck, J., Golden, K., Wemple, M., Bodmer, R. Cardiac enhancer activity of the homeobox gene tinman depends on CREB consensus binding sites in Drosophila. Genesis. 2000 Jan; 26(1): 55-66.
6. Kuhl, M., Sheldahl, LC., Park, M., Miller, JR., Moon, RT. The Wnt/Ca2+ pathway; a new vertebrate Wnt signaling pathway takes shape. Trends Genet. 2000 Jul; 16(7): 279-83. Review.
7. Sheldahl, L., Park, M., Malbon CC., Moon, RT. Protein kinase C is differentially stimulated by Wnt and Frizzled homologs in a G-protein dependent manner. Curr. Biol. 1999 Jul; 9(13): 695-698.
8. Park, M., Lewis, C., Turbay, D., Chung, A., Chen, J-N., Evans, S., Breitbart, R.E., Fishman, M., Izumo, S., Bodmer, R. Differential rescue of visceral and cardiac defects in Drosophila by vertebrate tinman genes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 1998 Aug; 95(16): 9366-9371.
9. Park, M., Yaich, L., Bodmer, R. Mesodermal cell fate decisions are under the control of the lineage genes numb and Notch. Mechanisms of Development. 1998 Jul; 75(1-2):117-126.
10. Park, M., Venkatesh, TV., Bodmer, R. Dual role for the zeste-white3/shaggyencoded kinase in mesoderm and heart development of Drosophila. Developmental Genetics. 1998; 22(3): 201-211.
11. Yaich, L., Ooi, J., Park, M., Borg, J-P., Landry C., Bodmer, R., Margolis, B. Functional analysis of the Numb phosphotyrosine-binding domain using site-directed mutagenesis. J. Biol. Chem. 1998 Apr 24; 273(1): 10381-10388.
12. Bodmer, R., Golden, K., Lockwood, W., Occor, K., Park, M., Su, M., Venkatesh, TV. (1997): Hear development in Drosophila. In Advances in Developmental Biology, (ed. P. Wassweman), JAI press, Greenwich, CT. Vol 5, pp, 201-236.
13. Park, M., Wu, X., Golden, K., Axelrod, DJ., Bodmer, R. The wingless signaling pathway is directly involved in Drosophila heart development. Dev. Biol. 1996 Jul 10;177(1).
Doctor of Philosophy, Plant Pathology
University of Kentucky (2005)
Dissertation: “Sequencing of chromosome ends and characterization of a
telomere-linked helicase gene family in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe
Master of Arts, Secondary Education with Biology Emphasis
Morehead State University (2003)
Bachelor of Arts, Teaching Biology, Music minor
Transylvania University (1995)
Starnes, J.H., D.W. Thornbury, C.J. Rehmeyer, I. Chuma, Y. Tosa, and M.L. Farman. (2012). Telomere-targeted retrotransposons in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae: agents of telomere instability. Genetics. 191(2):389-406.
Rehmeyer, Cathryn J. (2011) Male circumcision and HPV studies reviewed by infection stage and virus type. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 2011;111(3 suppl 2):S11-S18.
Stajich, J.E., S.K. Wilke, D. Ahrén, C.H. Au, B.W. Birren, M. Borodovsky, C. Burns, B. Canbäck, L.A. Casselton, C.K. Cheng, J. Deng, F.S Dietrich, D.C. Fargo, M.L. Farman, A.C. Gathman, J. Goldberg, R. Guigó, P.J. Hoegger, J.B. Hooker, A. Huggins, T.Y. James, T. Kamada, S. Kilaru, C. Kodira, U. Kües, D. Kupfer, H.S. Kwan, A. Lomsadze, W. Li, W.W. Lilly, L.J. Ma, A.J. Mackey, G. Manning, F. Martin, H. Muraguchi, D.O. Natvig, H. Palmerini, M.A. Ramesh, C.J. Rehmeyer, B.A. Roe, N. Shenoy, M. Stanke, V. Ter-Hovhannisyan, A. Tunlid, R. Velagapudi, T.J. Vision, Q. Zeng, M.E. Zolan, P.J. Pukkila. (2010) Insights into evolution of multicellular fungi from the assembled chromosomes of themushroom Coprinopsis cinerea (Coprinus cinereus). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 107(26):11889-94.
Rehmeyer, C.J., W. Li, Kusaba, M. and M.L. Farman. (2009) The telomere-linked helicase (TLH) gene family in Magnaporthe oryzae: revised gene structure reveals a novel TLH-specific motif. Current Genetics. 55(3): 253-62.
Rehmeyer, C.J., W. Li, and M.L. Farman (2006) Organization of chromosome ends in the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. Nucleic Acids Research. 34 (17): 4685-701.
Dean, R.A., Talbot, N.J., Ebbole, D.J., Farman, M.L., Mitchell, T., Orbach, M.J., Thon, M., Kulkarni, R., Xu, J., Pan, H., Read, N.D., Lee, Y., Carbone, I., Brown, D., Soanes, D.M., Djonovic, S., Kolomiets, E., Rehmeyer, C.J., Li, W., Harding, M., Kim, S., Lebrun, M., Bohnert, H., Butler, J., Calvo, S., Ma, L., Nicol, R., Purcell, S., Nusbaum, C., Galagan, J.E., and Birren, B.W. (2005) Analysis of the genome sequence of the plant pathogenic fungus Magnaporthe grisea, the causal agent of rice blast disease. Nature. 434 (7036): 980-6.
Li, W., C.J. Rehmeyer, C. Staben, M.L. Farman. (2004) TruMatch – A BLAST post-processor that identifies and reports bona fide sequence matches. Bioinformatics. 21(9): 2097-8.
Li, W., C.J. Rehmeyer, C. Staben, M.L. Farman. (2004) TERMINUS – Telomeric End-Read Mining IN Unassembled Sequences. Bioinformatics. 21(8): 1695-8.
KYCOM Golden Apple Teaching Award, 2007, 2010, and 2011
Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation, 2003-2006
M.S. Fuller Travel Award for travel to the 2005 MSA annual meeting in Hilo, Hawaii, Mycological Society of America, 2005
Program for Excellence in Science awardee, AAAS/Science, 2004-2006
Travel award to present research at the 9th U.S.-Japan Seminar on Plant Pathogen
Interactions: Genomic and Genetic Analysis of Plant Parasitism and Defense, Shizuoka,
Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, 2003
Benjamin Cummings Publishing Campbell Biology Prize, Second Place, 1994
Dr. Rehmeyer joined the KYCOM family in January 2006. She enjoys gardening, backpacking, fishing, hunting, playing music and travel. She lives in Pikeville with her husband, John, and young daughters, Vivian and Caroline.
John E. Rehmeyer
Instructor in Family Medicine
Executive Director of A-OPTIC
Office: Community Technology Center 424
Master of Arts in English Education
Morehead State University
Bachelor of Science in English Education
California University of Pennsylvania
John Rehmeyer grew up on a farm in Tolna, Pa., the south-central portion. He has spent the past 10 years in Kentucky, mostly in the Knobs around Lexington and Pikeville for the last three. After undergraduate school near Pittsburgh, Pa., he spent a few years farming and building houses. Since moving to Kentucky, he has taught English and Humanities in the public schools. He became the executive director of A-OPTIC in April 2009. He enjoys spending time with his daughter, reading, hunting, fishing, playing music and travelling with his wife Cathryn.
Renay Scales, Ph.D
Director of Faculty Development and
Assistant Professor in Family Medicine
Office: Coal Building 313
Osteopathic Patient Care
Ph.D. Higher Education/Management, University of North Texas
M.A. Human Resources, University of Houston Clear Lake
Career Skills and Accomplishments
Service on three (3) presidential teams with additional assignments relative to cultivating donors, participation in task force initiatives, and other duties in support of the leadership
Successful management of budgets as small as 50,000 and large as 60 million (corporate)
Leading strategic planning process for my institution and other organizations
Service on accreditation and program review teams
Trained in Moves Management as a fundraising process
Obtaining funding and implementing a study abroad partnership in South Africa
Leadership on non-profit, community and national boards and advisory councils
Consultancy with contracts for professional services to more than 60 colleges and universities
Key duties and responsibilities for faculty and labor relations and faculty development
Responsibility for installation of new HRIS and other data management systems
Key roles in change leadership and management on several campuses
Grant-writing for program support – (Individual - $50,000) (Collaborative Group - $500,000)
Chair of Faculty Affairs Committee, and Research Committee member
Developing Diversity Strategic Plan and Professional Development Activities under the leadership of the Chief Academic Officer
Best Practice designation from the DOE Office for Civil Rights for Cultural Competency Program
Development of curriculum for ethics and cultural competence across 9 disciplines
Higher Education Experience
Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) Present
Director of Faculty Development and Faculty in Family Medicine
Provide leadership and oversight of development programs for physicians and PhDs who teach science and clinical skills and supervise rotations on topics relative to effective andragogy, assessment and advising
Teach Medical Ethics and Cultural Competence as part of the Osteopathic Patient Care curriculum
Work in tandem with associate deans and faculty in addressing faculty affairs, teaching effectiveness and scholarship
Collaborating with other schools and colleges for funding for programs and activities, and research and service
George Mason University (GMU) 2007 – 2011
Director of Research Center/Administrative Faculty
Assisted 9 academic program areas with development of curriculum infused with cultural competency
Developed, supervised and taught in a co-curricular global health education program at University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa with U.S. and South African students
Provided curricular and co-curricular programs via the Center for Teaching and Learning and in collaboration with other campus partners
Instituted Journal, Mosaic, to house scholarship on social justice and inclusion by faculty and gradate students
Taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Leadership and Higher Education
Slippery Rock University (SRU) 2003 – 2007
Assistant Vice President/Program Manager for Academic Affairs
Worked closely with Provost and served as a member of the presidential leadership team
Oversight of diversity, human resources/labor relations and professional development departments including all recruitment, hiring and retention of executives, faculty and staff
Campus Strategic Planning Coordinator, Strike Plan Coordinator, and Representative for University on the Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Advisory Council
Oversight of installation of new HR/Payroll System (SAP)
Kutztown University (KU) 1997 – 2003
Social Equity Officer
Served as a member of the presidential strategic leadership team responsible for the recruitment and hiring of faculty
Responsible for implementation of programs to positively effect faculty retention including a research collaborative
Oversight of investigations of allegations of misconduct, harassment and discrimination
Collaboration with system-wide officers to address Board of Governors’ performance indicators for the collective 14 campuses through commissions and partnership programs
University of North Texas (UNT) 1992 – 1996
Assistant Vice President
Served as Chancellor’s cabinet member
Worked closely with Office of General Counsel and professional team assigned to me to ensure University’s compliance with employment laws
Oversight of presidential commissions on equity and personnel in colleges assigned to monitor hiring practices
Sponsored events to support the recruitment of candidates of excellence for faculty and administration positions and to support retention to increase the University’s profile of academic excellence
Classroom Teaching Experience
KYCOM Osteopathic Patient Care, Ethics and Cultural Competency
GMU New Century College, Leading in a Changing Environment and Diversity in Higher Education
KU Co-taught Womens Studies
UNT College of Business, Management Department, Organizational Behavior
DCCCD Brookhaven College Department of Marketing and Management, Human Resources Management, Introduction to Management and Marketing and Management
Scales, R. (2010). Effectively addressing critical incidents on campus. Net Results, NASPA: Washington D.C.
Scales, R. (2010). Orienting students for global experiences [in medicine]. Workshop presented at Association of International Education Administrators, June 2010.
Scales, R. (2011). A model of American Council on Education’s at home in the world: Building bridges in South Africa to develop global partnerships. Paper presented at the International Conference on Social Sciences, Honolulu, Hawaii, May 31 – June 4, 2011.
Scales, R., Vakalahi, H. & Davis, M. (2012). Identifying and addressing mental health challenges for medical school and non- medical school students. Paper presented at the International Conference on Social Sciences, Honolulu, Hawaii, May 29 – June 2, 2012.
Davis, M., Vakalahi, H. & Scales, R. (2014). Women of color in the academy: From trauma to transformation. In A. Stepnick (Ed.), Disrupting the culture of silence:: Women navigating hostility and making feminist change in the academy. Sage Publishing.
Scales, R. (2013). Transgender issues in patient care. Presented in poster session at AACOM Annual Meeting, April 23 – 27.
Scales, R., Vakalahi, H., & Davis, M. (2013). An examination of trauma at the intersections for women of color in the academy. (Journal review in progress)
Scales, R. Landmines: Navigating Ethical Dilemmas in Leadership
(Manuscript in progress)
Presentations, Achievements and Activities
Cross-Cultural Counseling and Education Conference for Research, Action, and Change, February 7-8, 2014, “Trauma for Women of Color in the Academy”
Named as National Faculty in the Clinical Department of Family Medicine for National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners and an item-writer for the medical board exam, January 2014
Oregon State University – November 14, 2013, “Building Team Relationships Based in Integrity”
International Conference on Social Sciences Presentation on June 1, 2012 – “Race-Trauma for Women of Color in the Academy: A Call to Action”
International Conference on Social Sciences Presentation on June 2, 2012 “Pre-College Programs for Aspiring Students.”
Northern Essex College – Symposium for Retention Task Force August 22, 2012 “Engaging Difference”
KYCOM Alumni CME on Women’s Health Fall 2012 “Transgender Issues in Patient Care”
University of Iowa National NCBI Campus Conference on November 15, 2012 “The Title IX Gamut”
Hosted Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Event with Juan Williams (at SRU)
Hosted State-wide Conference on Retention for Women Faculty in Pennsylvania (Grant funded)
Presented Political Ethics panel with national speakers, moderated by white house correspondent (at GMU)
Received a Barrier Breaker award from UNT during Brown v. Board 50th anniversary as first African American AVP
Received MLK Civil Leadership Award on 2 campuses
Outstanding Women Faculty award given by Gender Studies at SRU
Keynote and session speaker for various events and organizations including Xavier University (Ohio), National Association for Student Employment Administrators, Dorothy Height Leadership Institute, and others
Presentation on Academic Bullying, Ohio State Central Campus and Wooster Campus in 2012 and 2013
Outstanding Academic Achiever – Pittsburgh Gazette
Dr. Renay Scales has served as a senior administrator and faculty for more than thirty years. She has been employed in health care, business and industry, and in higher education.
Dr. Scales’ primary roles have been in human talent management and diversity, labor relations, corporate training, and faculty and curriculum development. In the last twenty years, she has worked on three presidential teams, and taught courses through the doctoral level in management and leadership, higher education, ethics and cultural competence.
Dr. Scales has been in relationship with the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) for more than 20 years, serving in various leadership capacities. She is currently responsible for faculty development at the University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine where she also teaches in family medicine. Of her accomplishments, Scales reports that her design, funding and implementation of a global health program focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment at University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, and receipt of a best practice designation from the Office for Civil Rights for cultural competency work are her proudest. Dr. Scales’ research focuses on ethical practices and the behavioral aspects of teaching and learning.
Dana C. Shaffer, DO, FACOFP dist.
Associate Dean for Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education
Professor of Family Medicine
Office: Coal Building 601
American Board of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ABOFP); 1993
Recertified in Osteopathic Family Medicine by ABOFP; 2013
Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, 1997
Distinguished Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, 2013
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine-Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bachelor of Science, Biology with minors in Chemistry and Philosophy- Wilkes University
Pikeville Medical Center
Preceptor in the Family Medicine Residency Program
After graduating in 1985 from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Dana Shaffer completed a rotating osteopathic internship at Des Moines General Hospital. For the next 22 years he practiced the complete spectrum of rural family medicine, including OMM, OB, and ER, as well as both inpatient and outpatient medicine in Exira, Iowa. Dr. Shaffer has been involved in teaching medical students for more than 22 years at many levels.
Over his career, Dr. Shaffer has served on numerous local, state and national committees and taskforces dealing with access to affordable medical care, scope of practice issues, use of chronic pain medication, electronic medical records, and legislation. Very active in community service, he has served as the Medical Director of a rural nursing home, free clinic, and EMS rescue squad.
Dr. Shaffer has been married for more than 34 years and has two children and two grandchildren.
Cell Biology and Developmental Microanatomy
Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy)
Marshall University School of Medicine
Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy)
Marshall University School of Medicine
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Gender Equity Award, American Medical Women’s Association, 1998
Class of 2003 Most Caring Professor Award, Marshall University, 2000
Dr. Soltesz is a native of Zelienople, Pa. She moved to Huntington, W.Va., to complete her graduate work and has remained in the region ever since completing her Ph.D. Dr. Soltesz started teaching at University of Pikeville in the undergraduate biology department in 2000. She moved to the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2007. She enjoys gardening, reading, needlepoint, music and movies. Dr. Soltesz and her husband, Dr. Harold Chittum, keep both marine and freshwater aquaria and enjoy spending time with their Boston terrier, Baxter, house rabbit Esther Bunny and cats Fran, Eddie, Bennie and Sophie.
Doctor of Philosophy, Cell & Developmental Biology
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Bachelor of Arts, Biology
Lindsey Wilson College
Nuclear Power Machinist & Mechanical Operator – Submarines
Naval Nuclear Power Training Program
Identify functional and structural similarities and differences of cIAP-1 and cIAP-2. These very similar proteins are often, if not always, misregulated in cancer. Determining the redundant and independent roles of these two proteins in both the healthy and diseased state may contribute significantly to our understanding of pathways leading to the inhibition and progression of cancer.
Dr. Younger grew up in North West Indiana (Portage, Ind.) near Chicago. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Providence SSN 719 Fast Attack Submarine stationed in Groton/New London, Conn., and is a Veteran of Foreign War having served during Desert Storm. He enjoys the outdoors and just about anything that involves wood construction, mechanical repair or troubleshooting, development of renewable energy sources or boating. He is dedicated to spending time with his children and two grandchildren and enjoys life in Pikeville, Ky.
Peter Zajac, D.O., FACOFP
Associate Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Clinical Skills Training and Evaluation
Office: Coal Building 436
Dr. Peter Zajac, D.O., currently serves as an associate professor of Family Medicine and director of the medical school’s Clinical Skills Training and Evaluation Program.
Dr. Zajac was previously an assistant professor of Family Medicine and clinician, and chair of International Clinical Rotations at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM). Prior to that, he was an osteopathic family practice residency program director and medical director of a rural family practice teaching facility affiliated with Clarion Hospital in Clarion, Pa. He was also chairman of the Department of Family Practice and OMM and a member of the Medical Executive, Credentials and Medical Education committees at Clarion Hospital.
A graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pa., Dr. Zajac received his D.O. degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). He completed a traditional osteopathic rotating internship at the Hospital of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/Graduate Hospital Health System and a residency in Family Medicine at Delaware Valley Medical Center in Langhorne, Pa. He is board certified in family practice by the American Board of Osteopathic Family Physicians. In addition to lecturing, as well as teaching and training medical students, interns, residents and allied health professionals, Dr. Zajac has practiced as both an urban and rural physician in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, providing a full scope of inpatient and outpatient care.
Dr. Zajac has served as a faculty member and speaker for Primary Care Network/EDUS, as an adjunct clinical assistant professor for the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, a contributor to the HEALTH TALK Column in the Clarion News, a member panel/chief examiner and OMT Subject Matter expert for the PA OMT Exam Administration, CPT instructor for the Clarion County Career Center, and an evaluator for the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME). Among other professional interests, such as research and continuing medical education, he remains active as a member of both national and state osteopathic medical organizations and as a student teaching preceptor for the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP).
Dr. Zajac has volunteered and enjoys working in the community along with spending time with family, friends, colleagues and close ones.
Gross Anatomy (lab)
Neuroscience (lecture & lab)
Bachelor of Arts, Biology, Wesleyan University
Doctor of Philosophy, Anatomy & Neurobiology, University of Kentucky Medical School
Postdoctoral Trainee Fellowship, National Institute of Mental Health
National Research Service Award (NRSA) Predoctoral Fellowship, National Institute of Mental Health
Predoctoral Trainee Fellowship, National Institute of Aging
Dr. Ziegler’s core research interest is the neuroanatomical and neurochemical pathways that activate or inhibit the release of stress hormones (glucocorticoids) and how dysfunction in these brain systems play a role in the development and treatment of such mental health disorders as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Regulation of this neuroendocrine stress response system by the brain is critical not only for catabolic energy mobilization and the physiological defense of homeostasis but also for adaptive behavioral responses and optimal cognitive function during and following stressful events. However, either deficient or excessive glucocorticoid secretion patterns can lead to impaired neuronal cell function and morphology, disrupted neurochemical signaling in the brain and dysfunctional regulation of gene expression because glucocorticoid receptors act as transcription factors in the periphery and brain.
Dr. Ziegler’s research has focused on dissecting the neuroanatomy and functional role of noradrenergic, glutamatergic and GABAergic pathways that encode stressful stimuli and act to activate or inhibit the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis via projections that converge on a key site in the brain: the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVH). This nucleus contains neurons that secrete corticotropin-releasing hormone, which initiates the HPA stress response and ultimately drives glucocorticoid secretion from the adrenal cortex.
More recently, Dr. Ziegler’s interests have expanded to examine the interactions between anxiety-related brain systems and HPA/stress neurocircuitry. Here at KYCOM, Dr. Ziegler will be primarily dedicated to teaching neuroscience and other anatomy courses. However, through collaborations with other neuroscientists, another research avenue of interest is to investigate the role of individual differences in HPA stress responses in two animal models of PTSD: 1) predator stress and 2) impaired fear conditioning or extinction learning. Collectively, these studies have involved a range of experimental approaches and techniques, including: localized neurotoxic or immunotoxic lesions or neuropharmacological infusions, tract-tracing, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and an array of behavioral tests.
Publications: primary, peer-reviewed papers (selected)
1. Ziegler DR, ME Krcmarik ME, YM Ulrich-Lai, JP Herman, WE Cullinan (2011), Brainstem origins of glutamatergic innervation to the rat paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. J. Comp. Neurol. 520(11):2369-2394
2. YM Ulrich-Lai, KR Jones, DR Ziegler, WE Cullinan, JP Herman. (2011) Forebrain origins of glutamatergic innervation to the rat paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus: differential inputs to the anterior versus posterior subregions. J. Comp. Neurol. 519(7):1301-1319.
3. DR Ziegler, WE Cullinan, JP Herman. (2005) Organization and Regulation of Paraventricular Nucleus Glutamate Signaling Systems: NMDA receptors. J. Comp. Neurol., 484(1):43-56
4. DR Ziegler and M Gallagher. (2005) Spatial memory in middle-aged female rats: assessment of estrogen replacement after ovariectomy. Brain Research 1052(2):163-173
5. KA Helm, DR Ziegler, M Gallagher. (2004) Habituation to Stress and Dexamethasone Suppression in Rats with Selective Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Lesions. Hippocampus 14(5):628-635
6. DR Ziegler, WE Cullinan, JP Herman. (2002) Distribution of vesicular glutamate transporter mRNA in rat hypothalamus. J. Comp. Neurol. 448:217-229
7. DR Ziegler, JP Herman. (2000) Local integration of glutamate signaling in the hypothalamic paraventricular region: regulation of glucocorticoid stress responses. Endocrinology 141(12):4801-4804
8. JP Herman, O Eyigor, DR Ziegler, L Jennes. (2000) Expression of ionotropic glutamate receptor subunit mRNAs in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus of the rat. J. Comp Neurol. 422:352-362
9. WA Pedersen, C Culmsee, DR Ziegler, JP Herman, MP Mattson. (1999) Aberrant stress response associated with severe hypoglycemia in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. J. Mol. Neurosci. 13:159-165
10. DR Ziegler, WA Cass, JP Herman. (1999) Excitatory influence of the locus coeruleus in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis responses to stress.
J Neuroendocrinology 11:361-369
Publications: reviews & chapters (selected)
1. WE Cullinan, DR Ziegler, JP Herman. (2008) Functional Role of Local GABAergic Influences on the HPA Axis. Brain Structure & Function. 213:63-72
2. DR Ziegler & JP Herman. (2002) Neurocircuitry of Stress Integration: Anatomical Pathways Regulating the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenocortical Axis of the Rat. Integr. Comp. Biol., Jul 2002; 42: 541 – 551
Dr. Ziegler joined the KYCOM faculty in August 2013. Outside the classroom and lab, he will often be found on the running trails in the area or running, hiking or biking through the great state parks close by, anywhere with live music and at the Jenny Wiley Theatre. Originally from the east coast, his career has taken him through Lexington (graduate school at University of Kentucky) and Cincinnati, then postdoctoral research in Baltimore and Milwaukee, before arriving in Pikeville.