Master of Science in Bioinformatics

Secondary Faculty Appointments


Faculty members with a primary appointment in another department or at an external institution who contribute expertise through guest lectures, the Research and Statistical Consult Service, and/or in course development.

Photo of Peter Almenoff, M.D., FCCP
Peter Almenoff, M.D., FCCP

Special Advisor, OSVA (Healthcare Value)
Senior Fellow, VA Center for Innovation
Director, Operational Analytics and Reporting
Office of Informatics and Analytics
Veterans Health Administration
Professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics and Internal Medicine
Vijay Babu Rayudu Endowed Chair of Patient Safety

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In 2013 Dr. Peter L. Almenoff was appointed as Special Advisor in the Office of the Secretary (Healthcare Value), and Senior Fellow in the VA Center for Innovation. Dr. Almenoff was also appointed Director, Operational Analytics and Reporting in 2012. He oversees the Office of Operational Analytics and Reporting (OAR), including the Office of Productivity, Efficiency, and Staffing (OPES); Business Reporting; Operations and Management Support; and Field Analytics.

Dr. Almenoff served as the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Quality and Safety from 2008-2012.  He was the Network Director for the VA Heartland Network from 2002-2008, serving veterans in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Western Indiana, and areas of Kentucky and Arkansas.  In March 2001, he was appointed Chief Medical Officer.  He joined the Network Office as the Chief, Specialty Care in 1999 while serving as Chief, Specialty Care at the Kansas City VA Medical Center.

He is Professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics and Internal Medicine at the UMKC School of Medicine and effective September 1, 2013 became the inaugural Vijay Babu Rayudu Endowed Chair of Patient Safety. He has published extensively in the areas of granulomatous diseases, pulmonary physiology, outcomes research, and quality and safety. Dr. Almenoff is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, member of the American Thoracic Society, and a Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Almenoff has worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for 28 years.

Photo of David Bamberger, M.D.
David Bamberger, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, UMKC School of Medicine
Vice-chairman, Educational Affairs, UMKC School of Medicine
Section Chief, Infectious Diseases, UMKC School of Medicine
Medical Director, Kansas City Health Department STD Clinic
Medical Director, Occupational Health, TMC

  • Specialty: Infectious Diseases
  • Bachelor of Arts: University of Kansas
  • Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine
  • Internal Medicine Residency: University of Minnesota
  • Infectious Diseases Fellowship: University of Minnesota
Karen Bame, Ph.D.
Associate Professor School of Biological Sciences
  • 1986, University of California-Los Angeles
  • Research interests:  Metabolism of heparan sulfate proteoglycan and molecular basis of enzyme action.

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Donna Buchanan, Ph.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics
Jie Chen, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair Department of Mathematics & Statistics
  • PhD — 1995, Bowling Green State University
  • Research Interests: Statistical Change-point analysis, Statistics in Bioinformatics, Applied Statistics/Biostatistics, Modeling Biological data (microarray, gene expression, aCGH, etc.)
Ian Z. Chuang, M.D., M.S., FCFP
Senior VP, Healthcare Informatics & CMO at Netsmart Technologies Adjunct Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Biomedical & Health Informatics
  • MD — 1990, University of Toronto

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Photo of Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., M.B.A.
Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., M.B.A.
Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor Internal Medicine Work Phone: (816) 235-1809
  • Specialty: Clinical Pharmacology
  • Bachelor of Science: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy
  • Masters of Business Administration: University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Doctorate of Pharmacy: University of Missouri-Kansas City
Photo of Hongying (Daisy) Dai, Ph.D.
Hongying (Daisy) Dai, Ph.D.
Children’s Mercy HospitalDepartment of Medical Research
  • 2006, PhD Statistics, University of Kentucky
  • Research Interests: Analysis of Pediatric data, Microarray Data Analysis, Multiple Comparison Adjustment, Mixture Modeling,Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS), Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (MDR), Semiparametric modeling, Genetic Analysis of Complex Traits, and Meta Analysis.
  • Personal webpage: http://d.web.umkc.edu/daih/

Photo of Deendayal “Dinakar” Dinakarpandian, M.S., M.D., Ph.D.
Deendayal “Dinakar” Dinakarpandian, M.S., M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor School of Computing & Engineering
  • 1999 – Case Western Reserve University
  • Research interests: Biomedical knowledge representation, sequence and structural analyses of biomolecules.
Photo of John Foxworth, Pharm.D.
John Foxworth, Pharm.D.
Work Phone: (816) 235-1925

Associate Program Director
Director of Research
Professor of Medicine
Assistant Dean for Faculty Development
Chair, Continuing Medical Education, Truman Medical Center and UMKC School of Medicine
Faculty Officer, AOA Chapter, UMKC Medical School

Joined UMKC Faculty since 1975

  • University: UMKC for BS Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Residency: Kansas City General Hospital
  • Medical Interests: teaching research methodology, biostatistics & evidence-based medicine to others

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Photo of Dev Maulik, M.D., Ph.D.
Dev Maulik, M.D., Ph.D.
Chairman & Professor Senior Associate Dean, Women’s HealthDepartment of Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • M.D. Degree: Calcutta Medical College, Universtiy of Calcutta, India
  • Residency: Edn Hospital-Calcutta Medical College, Charing Cross Hospital Medical School-University of London, UK
  • Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship: University of Rochester, NY
  • Postgraduate: Ph.D.: University of London, UK
Photo of Jill Moormeier, M.D., M.P.H.
Jill Moormeier, M.D., M.P.H.
Chair, Department of Internal Medicine Professor of Medicine

Joined UMKC Faculty in 1990

  • Medical School: University of Nebraska
  • Residency: Internal Medicine, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center – New York
  • Fellowship: Hematology/Oncology, University of Chicago Medical Center
  • Masters of Public Health: St. Louis Unversity
  • Medical Interests: assessment, program administration
Photo of Shauna Roberts, M.D.
Shauna Roberts, M.D.
CPE Associate Professor Corporate Medical Director of Quality ResourcesTruman Medical Center
Photo of Gary Salzman, M.D.
Gary Salzman, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
  • Specialty: Pulmonary
  • Bachelor of Arts: University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Medical School: University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Internal Medicine Residency: Wake Forest University
  • Pulmonary Fellowship: University of Missouri-Kansas City
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Research Interests

In 1999 UMKC School of Medicine led by Gary A. Salzman MD, FCCP in partnership with Truman Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital established the UMKC Asthma Clinical Research Center (ACRC) funded by a $500,000 grant over five years from the American Lung Association (ALA). In 2004 UMKC was awarded increased funding from the American Lung Association of $750,000 over 5 years.  Recently funding was extended for another 3 years until 2012.  The American Lung Association- Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ALA-ACRC) has successfully completed five clinical trials with several additional trials under way or in preparation. Currently there are 17 clinical centers and a data coordinating center at Johns Hopkins University.

Why did the ALA fund this large network? Health care providers caring for patients with asthma need answers quickly to provide the best care for their patients. Clinical studies performed at one center or even three or four centers may take up to five years to enroll enough subjects to answer such important questions.

The ALA recognized that 17 clinical centers will be able to enroll a large number of subjects in a relatively short period of time so the studies’ results can be published and health care providers can have the answers they need to provide the best evidence-based care to their patients with asthma.

Another advantage of a large network of clinical centers is the ability to enroll subjects from diverse populations. The populations represented in the ALA-ACRC studies include the same type of patients encountered by health care providers across the country.
Five practical and clinically important questions addressed by the ALA-ACRC are summarized below.

Vaccine safety

Is the influenza vaccine safe for patients with asthma?
The ALA-ACRC Network’s first endeavor was the Study of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine in Asthmatics (SIIVA). Influenza causes substantial morbidity in adults and children with asthma. However, the rate of vaccination for patients with asthma has been low partly due to fears of increased exacerbations from the vaccine.

The purpose of SIIVA was to evaluate the safety of the influenza vaccine in patients with asthma. The trial enrolled 2,032 participants in a three-month period between September and November 2000. Results showed rates of asthma exacerbations between vaccine and placebo injections were equivalent in a diverse population of adults and children with asthma, including severe asthma.  The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Health care providers should encourage patients with asthma to be immunized. Not only is the vaccine safe in this population, but vaccination also reduces the morbidity and mortality associated with influenza in patients with asthma.

Add-on controller medications

Which add-on controller medications work well for patients with uncontrolled asthma?
The ALA-ACRC Network’s second clinical trial was the Effectiveness of Low Dose Theophylline as Add-On Therapy in Treatment of Asthma (LODO).  Current guidelines recommend adding a controller medication to the treatment regimen of poorly controlled patients with asthma. Theophylline, a relatively inexpensive asthma medication, and anti-leukotriene agents such as montelukast, are convenient choices because both are once-a-day medications taken by mouth.
The comparative effectiveness of these two add-on treatments for poorly controlled asthma is unknown. LODO is the first clinical trial to directly compare theophylline to both active (montelukast) and placebo control.

The study enrolled 489 adolescents and adults with poorly controlled asthma over an 11-month period between 2001 and 2002.  The primary outcome was the rate of episodes of poor asthma control (EPACs). An EPAC is a composite measure of asthma control including measures of asthma control, need for medical care, and lung function.

Results showed neither low-dose theophylline nor montelukast decreased the rate of EPACs in patients with poorly controlled asthma as compared to the placebo group.  Both treatments did, however, improve lung function as measured by spirometry.

In a sub-group of patients not taking inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), monotherapy low-dose theophylline resulted in both statistically and clinically significant improvements in asthma control and symptoms. Montelukast was less effective in patients not on an ICS. As such, low-dose theophylline may provide an effective, safe and low-cost treatment alternative for patients with poorly controlled asthma who can’t or won’t use ICS because of side effects, preference, or cost.

Step-down therapy

Which step-down therapy options work well for patients with mild asthma?

Current guidelines for the treatment of patients with mild persistent asthma are to establish control of symptoms using inhaled corticosteroids and then “step-down” therapy to the minimum needed to maintain control. Although step-down therapy has been studied in patients with moderate to severe asthma, it hasn’t been systematically evaluated in patients with mild asthma. This was the purpose of the Leukotriene Modifier or Corticosteroids or Corticosteroid-Salmeterol (LOCCS) trial.

A large number of patients with asthma have a mild form of the disease. Encouraging patient adherence to asthma treatment regimens continues to present challenges. Providing patients with convenient, efficacious alternative treatments associated with fewer side effects could enhance adherence and reduce unnecessary medication exposure.

This clinical trial compared three alternative treatments for patients whose asthma was well controlled on low-dose inhaled corticosteroids. The treatment groups were fluticasone (100 mg twice a day), fluticasone plus salmeterol (100/50 mg once daily) or montelukast (10 mg or 5 mg daily for adults and children, respectively). The study randomized 500 children and adults; participant follow-up was completed in July 2005.

Results showed patients with asthma well controlled on twice-daily inhaled fluticasone can be stepped-down to once daily fluticasone/salmeterol without increased rates of treatment failure.

Stepping-down to montelukast resulted in an increase in treatment failures and decreased asthma control. Notably, however, there were a high number of symptom-free days for patients in all treatment groups, including 79 percent of days for patients taking montelukast over a four-month follow-up period.  Hence, oral montelukast isn’t as effective as either low-dose ICS (twice a day) or a low-dose ICS with salmeterol (once daily), but montelukast still provided good asthma control for most patients. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Patient education

Are the effects of patient education real or not?

The Trial of Asthma Patient Education (TAPE) was designed to evaluate the effect of patient education on the treatment response to both placebo and montelukast. The National Heart Lung Blood Institute-funded trial completed enrollment in 2005, eight months ahead of schedule.

Patients randomized to montelukast or placebo was randomized again to receive either an enhanced presentation of the study treatment or a neutral presentation. The enhanced presentation was designed to increase expectancy of therapeutic benefit.

We compared effects of the enhanced presentation independently in the montelukast and placebo groups. This comparison addressed the question — does increasing expectancy improve outcomes equally in active treatment and placebo groups?

The usual care group was compared to the placebo group receiving the neutral presentation to estimate the placebo effect. Results showed the placebo and education effects were small for measures of lung function. However, there were effects on symptom indices such as Asthma Control Score.

Furthermore, “nocebo” effects were observed on side effects, such that more patients reported headache in the placebo group after receiving information about possible side effects than those on placebo who didn’t receive similar information. These results address the specific question about the best ways to evaluate new therapies for asthma and, more generally, how the use of placebo may affect the results of clinical trials.

The main results of the trial are currently being prepared for publication as well as results from several sub-studies evaluating adherence and education effects.

GERD & asthma

Can treatment with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) of gastroesophogeal reflux disease improve asthma control?

GERD is common in patients with asthma, even in patients who have no symptoms of heartburn. It’s predicted that GERD may contribute to poor control of asthma but its unknown if empiric treatment of GERD in patients with poorly controlled asthma can improve control.

Two complementary clinical trials funded by the NHLBI in adults and children were  conducted by the ALA-ACRC. Both trials examine whether treatment with a PPI for GERD will improve asthma control in patients with poorly controlled asthma despite relatively high doses of inhaled steroids. Subjects undergo esophageal pH monitoring for the accurate diagnosis of GERD and have methacholine challenge testing to determine changes in bronchial reactivity. The adult study was completed in 2009 and demonstrated no improvement in asthma control with high dose proton pump inhibitor treatments. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The pediatric study will be completed in 2011.

The ALA-ACRC has provided answers to important clinical questions for health care providers working in the trenches caring for asthma patients every day. Investigators on the ALA-ACRC steering committee are planning several future studies to improve the quality of life for adults and children living with asthma.  We recently have acquired funding from the NIH for two additional studies.  One study evaluates the administration of Soy supplements to uncontrolled asthmatics to determine if there is improved asthma control.  The other study evaluates the treatment of allergic rhinitis/sinusitis on asthma control.

The UMKC ACRC is one 17 centers nationwide undertaking a multi-center research approach to discovering improved methods to manage asthma with the long term goal to find a cure for asthma.  UMKC joins Johns Hopkins, Duke, Washington University in St. Louis, and many other prestigious universities in the largest industry independent research consortium to ever study asthma.

UMKC Lung Research Center

The Lung Research Center at UMKC was started by Dr. Salzman in 2005 to expand on the successes in clinical asthma research to include collaboration with UMKC basic science researchers.  Areas of planned studies include metabolic bone disease related to the use of systemic corticosteroids, discovery of novel mechanisms of disease in sarcoidosis, lung injury related to fat embolism from long bone fractures, and the genetic characteristics of asthma.

The collaboration of the clinical and basic science investigators with expertise in many aspects of lung disease will lead to significant discoveries that will be taken from bench to bedside to improve the treatment for many types of lung disease.  The addition of an endowed chair in lung research will serve as a catalyst for the expansion of research activities and funding.  Building on the strong foundation of existing funding and the talent of existing faculty the UMKC Lung Research Center will obtain international prominence in the next five years.

Peer Reviewed Publications

The American Lung Association Asthma clinical Research Centers (including GA Salzman). Clinical Trial of Low-dose Theophylline and Montelukast in Patients with Poorly Controlled Asthma. AJRCCM 2007. 175:235-242

The American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers (including GA Salzman). Randomized Comparison of Strategies for Reducing Treatment in Mild Persistent Asthma. N Eng J Med 2007; 356:2027-2039

Salzman GA. Smoking Ruins, The Prevention of Lung Disease. Missouri Medicine 2007; 104 (3): 208-209.

Khan ZU, Salzman GA. Management of Sepsis: The Surviving Sepsis Guidelines for Early Therapy. Hospital Physician 2007; 55:21-30.

The American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Center (including GA Salzman). Efficacy of Esomeprazole for Treatment of Poorly Controlled Asthma. N Engl J Med 2009;360:1487-99.

M Das, GA Salzman. Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis: An Overview for Internists and Hospital Physicians. Hospital Practice 2010;38(1):277-280.

Cox LS, Faseru B, Mayo MS, Krebill R, Snow TS, Bronars CA, Nollen NL, Choi WS, Okuyemi KS, Salzman GA, Benowitz NL, Tyndale RF, Ahluwalia JS. Design, baseline characteristics, and retention of African American light smokers into a randomized trial involving biological data. Trials 2011, 12:22

Jallu SS, Salzman GA. A Case-Based Approach to Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation. Hospital Practice 2011; 39(3):168-175.

The American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Center (including GA Salzman). Lansoprazole for Children with Poorly Controlled Asthma. JAMA. 2012;307(4):373-381

Saettele TM, Mohr J. Evaluation and Management of Acute Kidney Injury in the Intensive Care Unit. Missouri Medicine 2012:109(5):379-383

Research Support

The Leukotriene Modifier Or Corticosteroids Trial (The LOCS Trial):

A Comparison of Continued Low-Dose Inhaled Corticosteroids versus Leukotriene Modifier for Asthmatic Patients Well Controlled with Low Dose Inhaled Corticosteroids, Principal investigator. Funding from GlaxoSmithKline $4,633,888 total funding over 5 years to Asthma Clinical Research Centers 2001-2006 One of 19 principal investigators.

The Trial of Asthma Patient Education, Funding from National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute $2,570,617 total funding over 4 years to Asthma Clinical Research Centers 2002-2006. One of 19 principal investigators

Study of Acid Reflux in Asthma, Funding from National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute $3,800,627 total funding over 5 years to Asthma Clinical Research Centers 2004-2009. One of 19 principal investigators

Study of Acid Reflux in Childhood Asthma, Funding from National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute $2,414,841 total funding over 5 years to Asthma Clinical Research Centers 2007-2012 One of 20 principal investigators

American Lung Association: Asthma Clinical Research Center: 2009-2012 for $300,000. Principal Investigator

Missouri Hospital Association Regional Health Partnership Grant for Asthma Education and Research Programs- $100,000; 2002-2006. Principal Investigator

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City: $49,875. Developing a culturally tailored smoking cessation program for heavily addicted Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients; Principal Investigator 2007-2009

American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ACRC)
The Study of Soy Isoflavones in Asthma (SOYA) National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute: R01 HL0088367-01A2- total funding $1.5 million- one of 18 ACRC multi-center co-investigators 2010-2013

American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Study of Asthma and Nasal Steroids (STAN) National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute: U01 HL00895101-01A2- total funding $2.1
One of 18 ACRC multi-center co-investigators 2010-2013

Geldmacher Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Center 2012-2017 $400,000 Principal Investigator

Photo of Julie L. Strickland, M.D., M.P.H.
Julie L. Strickland, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor and Program Director of Pediatric Adolescent Gynecology Fellowship Program Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • M.D. Degree: University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine
  • Residency: University of Missouri School of Medicine
  • Certification: American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Gerald J. Wyckoff, Ph.D.
Associate Professor School of Biological Sciences
  • PhD — 2000, University of Chicago