CIMCR Research Faculty

Physician Scientists

Ali Keshavarzian, MD

  • Director, Center for Integrated Microbiome and Chronobiology Research
    Director, Rush Crohn’s & Colitis Center, Institute for Advanced Study of the Gut, Chronobiology and Inflammation
  • Investigates GI intestinal barrier and gut microbiota and how these are impacted by the Western lifestyle including: alcohol, stress, Circadian rhythms and sleep.
  • Investigates how “leaky gut” and dysbiosis promote inflammation-mediated diseases such as IBD, IBS, allergic disorders, colon cancer, HIV, hepatic (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, alcoholic steatohepatitis) disease, as well as disorders associated with neuroinflammation (Parkinson’s disease).
  • Preventive treatments of GI disorders with prebiotics and probiotics
  • Publications

Garth Swanson, MD, MS

  • Associate Director, Center for Integrated Microbiome and Chronobiology Research
    Director, Rush Crohn’s & Colitis Center
  • Medical Director, the Center for Clinical Chronobiology
  • Alcohol, circadian rhythms, intestinal permeability, GI inflammation, IBD and IBS
  • Publications

Faraz Bishehsari, MD, PhD

  • Associate Director for Molecular & Translational Research for the Rush Center for Integrated Microbiome & Chronobiology Research
  • GI cancers (colon cancer and pancreatic adenocarcinomas) and how these are impacted by the modern lifestyle including: abnormal food timing, circadian rhythms, diet and alcohol.
  • Publications

Rana Abraham, MD, MS

  • Circadian rhythms, gastroesophageal reflux disease, constipation and esophageal motility disorders
  • Publications

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Scientists

Christopher Forsyth, PhD

  • Department of Internal Medicine, Director, Training and Mentoring for the Rush Center for Integrated Microbiome and Chronobiology Research
  • Alcohol, cancer, circadian rhythms, gut-brain axis and IBD
  • Publications

Robin Voigt-Zuwala, PhD

  • Director, Circadian Rhythm Research Laboratory, Rush Center for Circadian Rhythms and Alcohol-Induced Tissue Damage, Director of Operations for the Rush Center for Integrated Microbiome & Chronobiology Research
  • Alcohol, circadian rhythms and gut-brain axis
  • Publications

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Adjunct Faculty

Majid Afshar, MD, MSCR

  • Assistant Professor, Director, Learning Health System, UW Health Physician Informatics
  • Department of Medicine
  • Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care
  • Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics

Kathrin Banach, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine/Cardiology
  • Division of Translational and Precision Medicine, Rush University Medical Center

Barbara Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN

  • Associate Dean for Research
  • Professor, Adult Health & Gerontological Nursing, Rush University College of Nursing

Thaisa M Cantu-Jungles, PhD

  • Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Department of Food Science, Purdue University

Neeraj Chhabra, MD, MSCR   

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Emergency Medicine, Rush Medical College, Cook County Health

Stefan Green, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Rush Medical College
  • Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases,
  • Director, Core Laboratory Services (Office of Research Affairs),
  • Director, Genomics and Microbiome Core Facility (Office of Research Affairs), Rush University Medical Center

Bruce Hamaker, PhD

  • Distinguished Professor of Food Science, Roy L. Whistler Chair
  • Director, Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research

Niranjan S. Karnik, MD, PhD

  • Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry
  • Director, Great Lakes Node, National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network

Frank C. Ko, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Rush University Medical Center

Alan L. Landay, PhD

  • Professor
  • Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine
  • Vice Chair of Research
  • Division Chief of Translational and Precision Medicine
  • Department of Internal Medicine, Rush University Medical Center

Babak Mokhlesi, MD, MSc

  • The J. Bailey Carter, MD Professor of Medicine, Chief, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, & Sleep Medicine
  • Co-Director, Rush Lung Center, Rush University Medical Center

D. Meghan Moran, PhD

  • Assistant Professor Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Rush University Medical Center

Ankur Naqib, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Rush University Medical Center

Jenna Nikolaides, MD, MA

  • Medical Director, Substance Use Intervention Team
  • Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology and Addiction Medicine
  • Departments of Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry, Rush University Medical Center

Anna H.K. Plaas, PhD

  • Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Orthopedics
  • Department of Internal Medicine, Rush University Medical Center

Heather Rasmussen PhD, RDN, LMNT

  • Associate Professor
  • Director, Professional Studies in Dietetics Graduate Program, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nutrition & Health Sciences

Juan C. Rojas, MD

  • Coggeshall Instructor of Medicine
  • Department of Medicine, Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care, The University of Chicago

Dino Samartzis, DSc

  • Director, International Spine Research and Innovation Initiative (ISRII)
    Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery,
    Rush Medical College

D. Rick Sumner, PhD

  • The Mary Lou Bell McGrew Presidential Professor for Medical Research
  • Chairperson, Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Rush University Medical Center

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