Scroll back to the top

Spring 2021 Fellows


Spring 2021 ADVANCE NCFDD Faculty Success Fellows


Adela Olivia Chavez
Assistant Professor
Department of Entomology
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
aolivachavez@tamu.edu

PhD, Entomology, University of Minnesota, 2013
M.Sc., Entomology, University of Minnesota, 2008
Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, 2019 – Present

Interests: "My lab focuses on the molecular host-pathogen and vector-pathogen interactions. Vector-borne pathogens have evolved in close relationship with their vectors and hosts for thousands of years. I am interested in how vector-borne pathogens influence host and vector cellular responses, such as immune responses, cellular trafficking, and vesicle secretion. I am also interested in how tick-borne pathogens sense environmental changes when moving between the vector and the mammalian host."

Alicia Cooperman
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
College of Liberal Arts
alicia.cooperman@tamu.edu

PhD, Political Science, Columbia University, 2019
M.Phil., Political Science, Columbia University, 2016
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Texas A&M University, 2020

Interests: “My research applies core political questions of distributive politics, collective action, and democratic accountability to study local and global challenges in international development and the environment, with a focus in Brazil. Through in-depth field research and rigorous statistical analysis, I provide a deeper awareness of local social and political realities and their influence on sustainable development."

Anjel Helms
Assistant Professor
Department of Entomology
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
amhelms@tamu.edu

PhD, Ecology, Pennsylvania State University, 2015
B.S., Biology, B.A. Biochemistry, Pepperdine University, 2009
Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, 2018 – Present

Interests: “My research combines analytical chemistry and behavioral ecology in laboratory and field-based studies to investigate how organisms use chemistry to communicate, navigate within their environments, form associations with other organisms, and defend themselves against threats. My research is focused on 1) how plants and insect herbivores use chemical information from the environment to assess their risk of attack, 2) how herbivore natural enemies use such information to locate potential prey, and 3) how these interactions affect the broader ecological community."

Rachel Blume
Public Health Librarian
Medical Science Library
Texas A&M University Libraries
rachel.blume@tamu.edu

M.L.I.S., Library and Information Science, University of Washington, 2017
B.A., English Literature and New Media, Marylhurst University, 2014
Public Health Librarian, Texas A&M University, 2020

Interests: “My research is built upon a foundation of diversity, equity, and inclusion and seeks to explore ways in which libraries can move beyond the theoretical and into actionable steps to improve the service, education, and experience of university community members from underrepresented groups. I would like to research this focus as it pertains to medical libraries, because the literature is greatly lacking in this area."

Jenna Lamphere
Assistant Professor
Department of Liberal Studies
Texas A&M University at Galveston
jlamphere@tamug.edu

PhD, Sociology, The University of Tennessee, 2016
M.A., Sociology, The University of Tennessee, 2012
Assistant Professor, Department of Liberal Studies, Texas A&M University, Galveston, 2019 – Present

Interests: "My research goals are threefold: (1) address structural causes of the climate crisis by (2) accelerating socially and environmentally just transitions through (3) inclusive planning, evidence-based action, and community empowerment. Given the immediate and profound systemic change needed to avoid climate catastrophe, I am especially interested in strengthening the impact of my research. I see opportunities to do so by bolstering my productivity, enhancing student learning via greater alignment between my teaching and research, and strengthening local relationships as part of my participatory approach to research."

Limei Tian
Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering
College of Engineering
ltian@tamu.edu

PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, 2014
M.S., Structural Engineering, Shan Dong University, China, 2009
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University, 2018 – Present

Interests: "My primary research goal is to design and develop novel functional nanomaterials, wearable and implantable biosensors and therapeutic devices to advance health care. We design the biosensors to enable real-time, quantitative, continuous monitoring of molecular biomarkers in body fluids. Continuously monitoring physical, chemical and biological parameters of the human body can provide real-time information for accurate disease diagnosis and health care."

Ping Ma
Assistant Professor
Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences
School of Public Health
pma@tamu.edu

PhD, Philosophy in Public Health, Tulane University, 2013
Masters, Dynamics of Health and Society, Sweden and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Link√∂ping University, Paris, France, 2008 
Assistant Professor, Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences Department, Texas A&M University, 2017 – Present

Interests: "My prior work focuses on identifying social determents and multi-level mechanisms that contribute to health disparities, specifically, investigating how social, cultural, psychosocial and contextual factors are associated with unhealthy risk-taking behaviors (e.g., smoking, sedentary behavior) and adverse health outcomes (e.g., children injury, mental disorders) among vulnerable populations."

Aart Verhoef
Assistant Professor
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
aart.verhoef@tamu.edu

PhD, Experimental Physics, Ludwig Maximilian University at Munich, 2007
M.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 2002
Assistant Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2019 – Present

Interests: "My research program is centered around applications of advanced imaging to agricultural questions. This involves development of new techniques and improving existing techniques to allow studying biological systems under physiologically relevant conditions. This development starts from the development and modification of laser sources to optimize the performance for each application and extends to the optical design of the imaging setup and the data-acquisition hardware."

Issac Adjei
Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering
College of Engineering
adjeii@tamu.edu

PhD, Molecular Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, 2014
B.S., Biochemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, 2007
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University, 2019 – Present

Interests: "My long-term is to use engineering, immunology, chemistry, and cell biology to 1) develop novel treatment options for cancer and 2) engineer 3D tumor models to study cancer progression and serve as tools to predict patient responses to therapy. Our current objective is to use nanomedicine to improve the efficacy of natural killer (NK) cell immunotherapy against advance-staged cancer. We are developing nanoparticles that modulate different aspects of the tumor microenvironment (TME) to make it immune permissive to improve adoptive NK cell therapy's efficacy."

Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez
Associate Professor
Texas A&M University School of Law
ggarciasanchez@law.tamu.edu

S.J.D., Harvard Law School, Harvard University, 2017
LL.M. Harvard Law School, Harvard University, 2012
LL.M. in International Law, Tufts University, 2011
Associate Professor, School of Law, Texas A&M University, 2017 – Present

Interests: "My area of research is the resolution of international energy disputes. I currently have an external research grant that I am working on involving the legal barriers for the integration of the U.S.-Mexico energy markets. My research and publications have included the analysis of the impact that energy investments have on minority communities in the Americas."