MBS-Doylestown Course Instructors

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth)

David Averill, PhDAverill_Davidweb, Vice Chair for the Basic Sciences Department and Professor of Physiology





Boardman_JenniferwebJennifer Boardman, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Jennifer M. Boardman, Ph.D., is associate professor of microbiology and immunology in the Basic Sciences Department. Dr. Boardman received her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She held the position of adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire. Dr. Boardman was a research associate at Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Her research interests include innate immunity in the female reproductive tract, sexually transmitted infections, and female sex hormone regulation of immunity.


Lucchesi_PamelawebPam Luchessi, PhD, Chair of Basic Sciences and Professor of Physiology

Pamela Lucchesi, Ph.D., FAHA, is chair of Basic Sciences and professor of physiology. She brings to Geisinger Commonwealth an extensive background in research, education and curriculum development. Dr. Lucchesi is involved in developing opportunities for translational research programs that will result in improved patient care in our community. Prior to arriving at Geisinger Commonwealth, Dr. Lucchesi served for seven years as center director and professor of pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio State University. Before that, she was professor of pharmacology at Louisiana State University. Dr. Lucchesi has 30 years of NIH-funded research in cardiovascular disease and 25 years of experience as a medical-student educator. She is an expert in coronary artery disease and heart failure and is a fellow of the American Heart Association. Dr. Lucchesi is the author of 90 scholarly publications and five book chapters. She has chaired several study peer review panels at the NIH and is an associate editor of Physiology. She earned a BA in biology from Assumption College and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, both in Worcester, Massachusetts.


Schmude_Michelle1webMichelle Schmude, EdD, Associate Dean for Admissions, Enrollment Management and Financial Aid and Assistant Professor

Michelle Schmude, EdD, Associate Dean for Admissions, Enrollment Management and Financial Aid & Assistant Professor, earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, an MBA from Point Park University and her Ed.D. from Wilkes University. During her 18 years in higher education, Dr. Schmude held various positions in the admission office at Point Park University including the dean of full-time admission and the director of college marketing and advertising and dean of admission at King’s College. Prior to joining Geisinger Commonwealth, Michelle was the chairperson of the department of Mass Communications at King’s College. In addition to her academic work, Dr. Schmude was named to the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal’s “Top 25 Women in Business” for 2012, served on the Marketing Task Force for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and has published and presented on integrated marketing communications in higher education and non-profits, and admission trends regionally and nationally. She serves on the Board of Directors for Meals on Wheels and on many college committees and volunteers in the community. Research Interests: Communication and professionalism skills for healthcare providers, assessment of students’ interpersonal communication skills, and emergency department and urgent care center usage.


Shanower_GregwebGregory Shanower, PhD, Interim Vice Chair for Basic Sciences, Director of the Masters Program in Biomedical Sciences, and Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology 

Greg Shanower, Ph.D. is assistant professor of molecular biology in the Basic Sciences Department. Dr. Shanower holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. He performed his postdoctoral work at both Princeton and Rutgers University in New Jersey. His research interests include epigenetic maintenance of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster, repair of DNA double strands breaks in the fly, and developmental regulation of fly hematopoiesis.



Gabi N. Waite, PhDWaite Gabi web, Professor of Physiology and Immunology 




Baruch S. Blumberg Institute (BSBI)/Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County

cohenwebChari Cohen, DrPH, MPH,  Hepatitis B Foundation, Director of Public Health

Chari Cohen is the director of public health for the Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF), in Doylestown. For the past 16 years, she has planned, implemented and evaluated community programs and research projects focusing on hepatitis B and liver cancer. Her research focuses on reducing hepatitis B-related health disparities, including developing culturally competent models for improving healthcare access. Dr. Cohen is co-founder and director of Hep B United Philadelphia, a coalition and campaign to increase testing, vaccination and linkage to care in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Nationally, she is chair of CHIPO: Coalition Against Hepatitis for People of African Origin. She is also an adviser to Hep B United, a national coalition in 14 states to address and eliminate hepatitis B. She sits on the steering committee for NVHR, the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, and currently serves as Policy Chair for the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Cohen received her MPH from Temple University and her DrPH in Community Health and Prevention from Drexel University School of Public Health.


kinneyBill Kinney, PhD, BSBI, Director of Natural Products Discovery Institute, Medicinal Chemistry

Bill Kinney is the director of the Natural Product Discovery Institute and director of medicinal chemistry at the Blumberg Institute.  Dr. Kinney began his industrial career in the CNS group at Wyeth, where he invented perzinfotel that progressed to phase II clinical trials for pain.  At Magainin Pharmaceuticals, he directed projects on trodusquemine (phase II, obesity) and squalamine (phase II, eye disease), two shark-derived natural products.  In 2000, he joined Johnson & Johnson, where he pursued peptide-mimetic integrin antagonists and urotensin-II receptor modulators for cardiovascular indications.  Dr. Kinney directs business development and collaborations involving former Merck Natural Product Collection. He has built drug discovery partnerships with Drexel faculty members on PI3K p110 delta kinase inhibitors (flu), HDAC inhibitors (HBV), and mono-amine transport activators (depression and anxiety).  He is an adjunct faculty member at Drexel University and Founder of IteraMed Consulting, a company focused on leading virtual drug discovery projects.  His scientific contributions include 50 publications and inventorship on 39 issued U.S. patents.  


kulpJohn Kulp, PhD, BSBI, Director of Academic Affairs and Assistant Professor, Computational Chemistry

John Kulp is the director of academic affairs and assistant professor, computational chemistry, at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. His background is in the field of bioorganic chemistry with specialization in protein nuclear magnetic resonance structure determination, computational methods for studying protein structure, synthetic peptide chemistry, and computer-aided drug design with a specialty focus on computational fragment-based methods. After completing his postdoctoral fellowship at the Naval Research Laboratory, Dr. Kulp was hired as a federal staff scientist where he helped develop a program to study biointerfaces. He chose to leave the Navy and follow his research interests in therapeutic discovery. In 2010, Dr. Kulp joined BioLeap, a small business that specializes in protein-protein interactions and that had a proprietary fragment-based computational chemistry software platform. In 2014, Dr. Kulp founded Conifer Point Pharmaceuticals as a computational consulting company to help accelerate medicinal chemistry projects and increase customer success in: hit identification, lead qualification/optimization, and likelihood of grant awards, attracting investment funding, or licensing/collaboration opportunities. Dr. Kulp joined the Blumberg Institute in 2013 as an assistant professor. In addition to his active investigation program, Dr. Kulp, as director of academics, oversees educational training at the institute. This includes high school programs, college internships, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, post-doctoral training, and doctor of medicine education. Dr. Kulp earned his Ph.D. from New York University.


sung-parkSung Ryeol Park, PhD, Assistant Professor, Natural Products Discovery Institute (NDPI), Department of Translational Medicine

Dr. Park’s background is in microbial biochemistry and genetic engineering. In her Ph.D., she developed a heterologous expression system for natural product pathways using the terrestrial microbe. The system aimed to improve the production yield of secondary metabolites. She also leveraged the established heterologous expression system to better understand the biosynthesis of aminoglycoside antibiotics.

After completing her doctoral degree, she moved to University of Michigan as a postdoctoral fellow. During that time, she led multiple projects that span a variety of biosynthetic enzyme classes including polyketide synthases, nonribosomal pepetide synthetases, methyltransferases and cytochrome P450s. She also biochemically characterized several enzymes from different natural product biosynthetic pathways and is actively exploring the substrate scope and biocatalytic potential of these enzymes. In addition, she generated microorganism-based biotransformants in which a native cytochrome P450 is replaced by multiple P450 variants capable of selectively oxidizing C-H bonds in non-native substrates.

Her time during Ph.D and postdoctoral fellowship inspired a strong desire to expand her research scope to include diverse natural product biosynthetic systems that are ideal for discovery of promising lead compounds. This led her to the natural products discovery institute (NPDI), a division of Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, as a senior microbiologist in 2015, where she was appointed as an assistant professor in 2016. Dr. Park currently applies her expertise and experiences in bacterial culture/fermentation and characterization of biochemical pathways of microorganisms derived from the vast NPDI collection.

Her professional experiences and deep understanding of the biochemistry, genetics and enzymology of microbial natural product biosynthesis, and the fermentation process enable her to contribute to the screening and optimization of biologically active molecules. Moreover, her research will attract scientists and pharmaceutical societies from biology, chemistry, applied microbiology, and bioinformatics to develop novel tools and strategies for the discovery of new potential drug leads.


freelandCatherine Freeland



mooreChris Moore