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Learn more about our current scholars below.

Rupal C Mehta, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine - Nephrology and Hypertension

Faculty Profile

Project Title: Pathogenesis of Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction in Chronic Kidney Disease

Rupal Mehta, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and a core member of the Center for Translational Metabolism and Health within the Institute for Public Health and Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, completed her internal medicine residency and chief residency at Case Western Reserve University, and completed her nephrology fellowship and post-doctoral fellowship in clinical research at Northwestern University. Dr. Mehta’s broad research focus is in generating new evidence to improve diagnostics and therapeutics for cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease. Her research program uses complementary population-based and interventional patient-oriented research studies to identify and advance potential targets for the prevention and treatment of heart failure in patients with chronic kidney disease. With support from the Multidisciplinary Career Development Program (KL2), Dr. Mehta aims to phenotype subclinical heart failure with preserved ejection fraction in patients with chronic kidney disease and to better understand mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. With KL2 support, Dr. Mehta will lead a collaborative team to conduct innovative cross-disciplinary research.

Prakash S Jayabalan, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Faculty Profile

Project Title: Biomarker Assessment of In Vivo Cartilage Response to Stress in Health and Disease

Prakash Jayabalan MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Physician Scientist at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. He received his medical degree from King’s College London and PhD from the University of Missouri in Pathobiology where his research focused on tissue engineering of cartilage and biological markers of joint disease. He completed a PM&R residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he was Chief Resident, and completed Sports Medicine Fellowship at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. His research project focuses on the development of a novel cartilage stress test to evaluate cartilage metabolic state and specifically its response to loading and exercise. This project, under the mentorship of Dr Levi Hargrove and Dr Thomas Schnitzer, will lead to the future development of individualized exercise programs that optimize cartilage health based on individual biological and biomechanical responses to joint loading.

Xiaolong (Alan) Zhou, MD

Assistant Professor of Dermatology

Faculty Profile

Project title: Characterization of the Skin Microbiome in Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma

Alan Zhou, MD is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He received his MD from Duke University, completed his dermatology residency at University of Miami / Jackson Memorial Hospital, and a T32 post-doctoral fellowship in cutaneous oncology at Northwestern. Dr. Zhou specializes in cutaneous lymphoma and complex medical dermatology and his research project aims to characterize the microbiome of cutaneous T cell lymphomas (CTCL). His project focuses on understanding the microbial profiles of CTCL and its subtypes and how they shift with standard treatments such as narrowband UVB therapy. He is also investigating demographic, lifestyle, and environmental risk factors for CTCL and skin proteomic changes in the disease. These data will be examined in association with microbiome data. Ultimately, Dr. Zhou’s goal is to understand the role of the microbiome in CTCL progression or response to therapy and develop new ways to better diagnose and treat skin lymphomas.

Lisanne Jenkins, PhD

Research Assistant Professor - Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Faculty Profile

Project title: Structural Brain Network Properties of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms Across Dementias

Lisanne Jenkins, PhD is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in Feinberg School of Medicine. She received her PhD in 2013 from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests are in the domain of affective neuroscience, and she uses neuroimaging to identify biomarkers of psychiatric symptoms in neurological and psychiatric populations. Her current project involves creating structural connectomes of functional brain networks to identify properties associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms across behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. The results of her study will inform treatments for these symptoms which are highly distressing to patients and caregivers and extremely difficult to treat, to improve quality of life.

Ravi Patel, MD, MSc

Instructor of Medicine-Cardiology

Faculty Profile

Project Title: Longitudinal Characterization of Disproportionate Left Atrial Myopathy in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction

Ravi Patel MD MSc is an Instructor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine (Division of Cardiology). He received his medical doctorate at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Subsequently, he completed his fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease and his post-doctoral research fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention at Northwestern University. Ravi's global research interest surrounds identification of mechanisms and therapeutic targets for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). His current research aim is to understand the clinical impact and pathogenesis of left atrial mechanical dysfunction prior to the development of HFpEF.

Hadijat-Kubura M. Makinde, PhD

Research Assistant Professor of Medicine - Rheumatology

Faculty Profile

Project title: The Utilization of Monocyte Transcriptional Profiles to Classify Systemic Sclerosis Disease State

Hadijat Makinde, Ph.D. is a Research Assistant professor in the Division of Rheumatology at Northwestern University. She received her Ph.D. training from Rush University Graduate College in 2015 and completed her postdoctoral training at Northwestern University Department of Surgery. Dr. Makinde’s current research aims to addresses the impact of monocytes and macrophages in scleroderma, an autoimmune disorder that affects the skin and internal organs. Her long-term research goal is to utilize computational models to develop a precision medicine approach for the patients who suffer from the disease.

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