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Center Director: Ruba S. Deeb, Ph.D.

Center Manager: Fredrick Ferraro, M.S.

Purpose for UB CBRC

The current development of CBRC serves UB’s growing research enterprise by implementing a research facility that fosters a shared culture of research collaboration.  The ~4000 square foot facility is equipped with state-of-the-art research equipment and the necessary tools for studying and preserving valuable biological samples.

  • CBRC is an open environment with four interconnected laboratories that include biochemical laboratory, dry laboratory, preparation area, and sterile tissue culture facility.
  • The Design supports specific needs of the interdisciplinary and collaborative research in CBRC. The environment is meant to facilitate the development of a UB research identity that will translate to team discovery

CBRC is dedicated to best practices and to shared leadership in collaborative research across multiple disciplines.  These include Biomedical Engineering, Technology Management, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pathology, Physics and Health Sciences.

Research at the CBRC:

Approximately 70% of the research conducted in CBRC occurs at the cellular and molecular level.  Research of this nature deals with the smallest and most basic structural and biochemical components of a living organism that can only be studied and visualized using specialized research equipment.  These types of studies allow for the identification of knowledge gaps or defects in biological processes causing disease or predisposing to disease.  An example includes the study of cell-cell communication mechanisms that control cell growth and alterations that lead to malignant transformations and metastasis.  Another example includes the design of novel drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders as well as drug delivery mechanisms that can bypass the tightly regulated blood-brain barrier.

The remaining 30% of CBRC research is materials science-based, a discipline that looks into material properties, how they influence structure, and contribute to the creation of new materials.  This also includes the field of nanotechnology which enables us to tailor the structure of materials at billionth-of-a meter scale.  These type of studies have diverse applications that range from the creation of eco-friendly manufacturing processes to the design of drug delivery systems that are compatible with human organ systems.

It is expected that all SSEP researches will apply for internal and external funding for continued support of their research projects.

Stergios Bibis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Phone: (203) 576-4272

stergiob@bridgeport.edu

Dr. Bibis’ research involves paving the way for the development of drugs that target deadly diseases caused by parasites.  Protozoan parasites represent a significant source of disease that are concentrated in our most densely populated regions of the world. Not only are these diseases deadly, but in the absence of vaccines we are reliant on chemotherapeutics that are often toxic to the host, have unknown mechanisms of action, and are ever becoming increasingly ineffective due to resistance. The goal of Dr. Bibis’ research is to address these very serious issues by identifying novel drugs, drug targets, and vaccine development.

 

Ruba S. Deeb, Ph.D.

Director of Biomedical Research Development

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Technology Management

Phone: (203) 576-4399

rubadeeb@bridgeport.edu 

Over the last 20 years, Dr. Deeb has worked with a diverse team of investigators on unraveling the pathophysiology of lung and cardio-metabolic diseases.  Her research has focused on mechanisms regulating inflammatory processes as they relate to metabolic networks with the goal to discover disease biomarkers, monitor disease progression, and measure the efficacy of therapeutic intervention. The nature of this work involved engagement with powerful bioanalytical techniques and bioinformatics tools for high throughput measurements of biological molecules that enabled the generation of new concepts concerning the complex interactions between inflammatory mediators in human blood vessels and airways during oxidative stress.  Dr. Deeb is currently working on two research projects in the CBRC.  For the first project, she collaborates with colleagues at Weill Cornell Medical College to identify and characterize the role of soluble bioactive mediators in cellular repair processes that allow for the regeneration of the human airway following exposure to the high burden of oxidants and toxins in cigarette smoke.  The goal of this project is to identify molecular alterations that originate in the lung stem/progenitor cells of healthy smokers before progression and manifestation of diseases such as COPD and lung cancer.  For the second project, Dr. Deeb collaborates with colleagues at UB and at Yale University to understand how to minimize permanent organ tissue damage following periods of hypoxia and oxidative stress from lung collapse or lung disease.  Most recently, Dr. Deeb has identified a biochemical pathway that serves to repair oxidative damage of a critical biomolecule in the heart (SERCA2a).  SERCA2a is critical for calcium cycling and cardiac muscle contraction and relaxation. Together with collaborators, the research team will translate current findings into a clinical setting to elucidate mechanisms of tissue recovery following oxidative hypoxic injury from lung collapse.

For a comprehensive research profile, refer to: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ruba_Deeb/publications

 

Maria Gherasimova, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics

Phone: (203) 576-4259

mgherasi@bridgeport.edu

Dr. Maria Gherasimova investigates the synthesis and directed assembly of semiconductor materials for application in microelectronics and nanophotonics. Her most recent work, conducted in collaboration with colleagues at IBM, utilizes in situ transmission electron microscopy to conduct directed assembly of germanium nanoclusters on silicon. Nanoscale precision in positioning of germanium quantum dots on a substrate can enable construction of quantum cellular automata for a new type of microelectronic devices. Characterization of semiconductor samples requires a range of imaging and analysis techniques, including electron and optical microscopy. The state of the art Nomarski microscope based on the principle of differential interference contrast imaging installed at the CBRC enables detailed investigation of surface texture of semiconductor samples on a sub-micron scale.

 

Isaac Macwan, Ph.D.

Research Associate in Biomedical Engineering

Phone: (203) 576-4101

imacwan@bridgeport.edu 

Dr. Macwan is currently working on two bio-engineering research projects. The first project is on the development of specialized polymeric nanofibrous films that eliminate the toxicity associated with using graphene oxide nanoparticles in therapeutics. This technique will enable the utilization of graphene oxide antimicrobial properties in synthesis of scaffolds and implants involving human cells. In the second project, Dr. Macwan utilizes the magnetic properties (magnetotaxis) of the bacterium Magnetospirillum magneticum for selectively targeting and isolating tumor cells.  Not only does this system allow for the visualization of selected tumor cells, but will also open the doors for developing new methods such as magnetic invasive assays. Furthermore, it also facilitates the engineering of therapies that can be used in clinic for systematically penetrating and destroying tumor cells.

For a comprehensive research profile, refer to:

 https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Isaac_Macwan

 

Prabir Patra, Ph.D.

Professor and Founding Chair of Biomedical Engineering

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Phone: (203) 576-4165

ppatra@bridgeport.edu

Dr. Patra’s research aims to understand the fundamentals of physical science processes at a nano-scale and apply their underlying principles on novel bioengineering/biomedical engineering applications. His team seeks to exploit our biophysical science understanding to develop such as but not limited to tissue-engineered structures, biomimetic/bioinspired materials, biomedical devices, bioelectronics, hydrogels, 3D/4D printing of biomaterials and several other areas of bioengineering using combinations of experimental and mathematical/computational modeling approach. Dr. Patra’s team aims to combine fundamental science and forward looking engineering in a creative environment to bring in impactful technological changes to the society. For specific details on our research, please see

http:// http://www1bpt.bridgeport.edu/soe/patra/

 

Tom Price, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Health Sciences

Coordinator of the Exercise & Fitness Program

Phone: (203) 576-4197

tprice@bridgeport.edu

In order for skeletal muscle cells to initiate a contraction cycle there must be a transient increase in sarcoplasmic Ca++ levels. This is accomplished when a sarcolemmal depolarization triggers the release of Ca++ stored in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). These transiently released Ca++ ions then bind to troponin triggering a conformational change which allows tropomyosin to move and reveal myosin binding sites on G-actin. Myosin heads can then bind G-actin and a power stroke ensues as the actin & myosin filaments “slide” together. Following this myofibrillar shortening, ATP is required to break the myosin/G-actin bonds. ATP is also needed to power SERCA proteins (sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase) which reside on the SR membrane and transport Ca++ ions into the sarcoplasmic reticulum against a concentration gradient. This prepares the skeletal muscle cell to shorten again. As we age the concentration of SERCA proteins declines by as much as 35%. My research employs an animal modelling system to examine the effect of exercise upon this age-related decline in SERCA protein. It is the goal of these studies to quantify and compare the effect inactivity with varying levels of activity upon SERCA protein levels in murine subjects as they age. The ultimate goal is to be able to relate the results obtained in our animal studies to the potential effect of exercise upon age-related SERCA decline in humans.