HBCU-UP STEM Faculty Mentors

NSF STEM Faculty Research  Mentors

Vida A. Dennis

     Dr. Vida A. Dennis, Program PI/Director
     Professor of Microbiology, Department of Biological Sciences
     Associate Director, Center for Nanobiotechnology Research (CNBR)

     Research Focus: Dr. Dennis' current research is focused on nanotechnology to develop novel
     nanotherapeutics and nano-vaccines against viral and bacterial pathogens and to understand
     the mechanisms of antimicrobial peptides prevention of bacterial and viral infections.

     Email: vdennis@alasu.edu
     Phone: 334-604- 9205


     Dr. Komal Vig, Program Co-PI, Manager
     Professor of Biology, Department of Biological Sciences
     Director, NSF-REU Program

     Research Focus:  Dr. Vig’s current research is focused on tissue engineering, nanobiotechnology
     and microbiology to develop vascular grafts for 
cardiac disease and for skin wound healing. 

     Email: komalvig@alasu.edu 
     Phone: 334-604- 8189

Lula Smith

     Dr. Lula Smith, Associate Professor of Biology
     Department of Biological Sciences

     Research Focus: Dr. Smith's research focuses on the Role of Cytoskeletal Proteins in Inflammatory
     Conditions, with emphasis on the correlation of myosin light chain kinase isoforms in heart disease
     and cancer. 

     Email: lbsmith@alasu.edu
     Phone: 334-604-

Emmanuel Tadjuije

     Dr. Emmanuel Tadjuidje, Associate Professor of Biology
     Department of Biological Sciences

     Research Focus: Dr. Tadjuidje’s research is focused on understanding the molecular
     control of normal vertebrate development and the mechanisms by which environmental
     factors cause birth defects.

     E-mail: etadjuidje@alasu.edu
     Phone: 334-604-8402


     Dr. Derrick Dean, Professor of Biomedical Engineering
     College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

     Research Focus: As PI of ASU’s Integrated Bio-Engineering & Advance Materials (I-BEAM) Center,
     Dr.  Dean’s research is focused on developing micro- and nanostructured polymer composites,
     which are used in a variety of fields ranging from tissue engineering, drug delivery, aerospace, and
     the automotive industry. Dean’s research lab specializes in using nano- and microfabrication
     techniques to develop multifunctional materials for biological and non-biological applications.

                                                 Email: ddean@alasu.edu
                                           Phone: 334-604- 9314  

gulnaz javan

      Dr. Gulnaz Javan, Professor of Forensic Science
      Coordinator of Forensic Biology Program
      Department of Physical Sciences and Forensic Science Programs

      Research Focus:  Javan Thanatos’ Lab at Alabama State University has had access to national
     and international cadaver samples obtained during autopsy
 since 2013. Dr. Javan's current research
     is focused on the thanatomicrobiome” 
(microbiome of death) and changes in gene expression in
     different cadaver 
tissues triggered by death, which can be used to predict time of death.

     Email: gjavan@alasu.edu
                                                 Phone: 334-604-8130

Dr. Cleon Barnett

     Dr. Cleon Barnett, Associate Professor of Physics
     Department of Physical Sciences

     Research Focus: Dr. Barnett is developing methods to improve the analytical capability of the LIBS
     technique. His current research focuses on understanding 
the role of irradiation wavelength on
     emission enhancement in 
nanoparticle-enhanced laser-induced plasmas.

     E-mail: cmbarnett@alasu.edu
     Phone: 334-604-9084


     Dr. Sapna Jain, Associate Professor of Chemistry
     Department of Physical Sciences

     Research Focus: Dr. Sapna Jain’s multidisciplinary research interests are located on the frontiers
     between surface engineering of advanced materials for therapeutics, biosensors and novel catalysts
     discovery for addressing current 
energy and sustainability challenges.

     E-mail: sjain@alasu.edu
     Phone: 334-604-9210

C jones

     Dr. Cadavious Jones, Associate Professor of Mathematics
     Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

     Research Focus: Dr. Jones' current research is focused on combating vaccine-hesitant behaviors in
     communities of color through public health awareness and fundamental training in epidemiology
     with an emphasis on disease modeling and various transmission routes. 

     Phone: 334-604- 9011


      Dr. Rajendran Swamidurai, Professor of Computer Science
     Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

     Research Focus: Dr. Rajendran Swamidurai's current research is focused on Artificial Intelligence
     and Machine Learning to develop deep learning algorithms for predicting novel patterns in
     interdisciplinary big data.

     Email: rswamidurai@alasu.edu 
     Phone: 334-604- 8119

Rajnish Sahu

     Dr. Rajnish Sahu, Post-doctoral Research Scientist
     Center for Nanotechnology Research (CNBR)

     Research Focus:  Dr. Sahu’s current research is focused on formulation and development of
     biodegradable nanoparticles as nanovaccine candidate against bacterial pathogen Chlamydia and
     understand the mechanism of adaptive immune responses induced by nanovaccine.

     Email: rsahu@alasu.edu
     Phone: 334-604-9126