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Media Sources Guide

CATEGORY: Health CareClear

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Donald Seto

Associate Professor of Microbial Genomics, Diversity and Bioinformatics

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Expertise: Bioinformatics, Genome Analysis, Genomics, Adenovirus, Biochemistry, DNA sequencing, Biodetection

Seto is an associate professor in Mason’s Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology specializing in microbial and viral genomics. He recently collaborated with the University of Hong Kong, Guangzhou Children’s Hospital, the South China Institute of Technology and the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences to develop a DNA-based vaccine that has effectively protected mice from the human adenovirus type-3 which is also known as the “uncommon cold.” In addition to his post at Mason, Seto was concurrently a scientific advisor to the USAF Surgeon General and the Director of molecular diagnostics for the USAF-EOS program. His research interests include bioinformatics, genome analysis, genomics, biochemistry, DNA sequencing, and biodetection.

Seto’s lab team is currently focusing on the genomic and bioinformatics analysis of adenovirus genomes, with an interest in mechanisms of molecular evolution of these virus pathogens. In addition, his lab is working on software tools development for whole genome data mining and analyses. A current collaboration with scientists from Canada and Belgium is using these tools to sort out bacteriophage taxonomy. He also has expertise in nucleic acids core facilities development, operations and management. Prior to joining Mason, Seto was involved in several biotech companies as well as a pharmaceutical company, immediately after a position at the National Institutes of Health. He earned a doctorate in biology from The Johns Hopkins University and was a postdoctorate fellow with Dr. Leroy Hood at the California Institute of Technology.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

Robert F. Smith

Professor of Psychology and Director of Biopsychology Programs

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Expertise: Substance Abuse, Brain Development, Adolescent Substance Abuse, Prenatal Drug Use, Brain Function

Smith is a professor of psychology and the director of biopsychology programs at Mason where he teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in introductory psychology, physiological psychology, neurochemistry, developmental psychobiology, and biological bases of substance abuse. His research interests center around the neural and behavioral effects of drugs during the adolescent years. Recent publications include demonstrations that the effects of adolescent nicotine use on behavior and neuroanatomy persist into adulthood. Smith holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

Regine Talleyrand

Associate Professor, Coordinator, Counseling and Development

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Expertise: Racial Identity Theory, Multicultural Counseling Competencies, Eating Disorders in Women of Color, Childhood Obesity

Talleyrand is assigned to the Counseling and Development Program in the College of Education and Human Development and is primarily responsible for coursework, research, and outreach in the community agency counseling track. Her research interests focus on the use of racial identity theory, acculturation, and multicultural competencies to support the development of new physical and mental health models for people of color. Talleyrand’s main area of study includes examining the relationship between stress, race and eating disorders in black women. She is the primary investigator for a Mason Summer Research grant that has supported her study of eating disorders in black college women. Talleyrand has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Black Psychology and Assessment.

Watch Regine Talleyrand present "Cultural Factors Contributing to Eating Disorders in African American Women."

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

Janusz Wojtusiak

Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy

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Expertise: Use of Intelligent Systems in Health Data Security, Health Data Security Education

Wojtusiak is an assistant professor in Mason's Department of Health Administration and Policy and the director of the GMU Machine Learning and Inference Laboratory and the Center for Discovery Science and Health Informatics. His research interests include theoretical and practical aspects of health informatics, in particular development and use of artificial intelligence in clinical decision support and knowledge discovery in healthcare data, machine learning, evolutionary computation, knowledge mining, intrusion detection, virtual collaboration and advising, and a wide range of applications of these fields in health care.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

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Yuntao Wu

Professor, Molecular and Microbiology

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Expertise: AIDS, HIV, Virology, Infectious Diseases

Wu, assistant professor in the College of Science’s Molecular and Microbiology Department, has spent the last six years decoding the molecular processes of the AIDS virus. AIDS, a devastating disease that is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), affected more than 33 million people worldwide in 2007, according to World Health Organization statistics. A widely published researcher whose work has appeared in prestigious scientific journals such as Science, Journal of Virology, Virology, Retrovirology and Current HIV Research, Wu believes that a solution to the AIDS epidemic is possible. The 2009 NYCDC AIDS Ride (http://nycdc.org), which takes place in September, will support the next stage of Dr. Wu's research which has the potential to stop the HIV virus from becoming AIDS. Wu earned a doctorate in virology in 1998 from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, after spending four years studying the DNA replication of the baculovirus family — a group of viruses that are fatal to insects and are often used for nonchemical pest control. He subsequently served for four years as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he began examining HIV infection in humans prior to joining Mason’s faculty in 2003. Wu has been the recipient of many awards and honors including the 2007 "Tomorrow's PIs" by Genome Technology Magazine, the 2006 Siemens Mentor Award by the Siemens Foundation, and the 2003 NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence by NIH. His research interests include HIV infection of resting CD4 T cells and lentiviral vector development for targeting HIV infection.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

Tony Yang

Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy

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Expertise: Health Law, Policy, and Ethics

Yang is an assistant professor in Mason’s Department of Health Administration and Policy. His current research focuses on legal and policy issues in the health care sector. Prior to joining Mason, Yang worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds graduate degrees in Public Health (Harvard), Health Policy (Harvard), and Law (University of Pennsylvania).