Institute for the Science of Origins

Navigation + Search
Home / About the Institute / Origins Fellows

Origins Fellows

The Institute for the Science of Origins is led by more than 100 fellows working at the interface among the interdisciplinary origins sciences. They range from faculty of Case Western Reserve University to curators at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to the COO of ideastream and well beyond to other institutions domestic and international. (Click on Fellow name to look at google scholar citations)


Origins Fellows

Eben Alsberg

Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Surgery


Eileen Anderson-Fye

Associate Professor of Bioethics; Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Medicine, Society, and Culture


Bud Baeslack

Chief Academic Officer of Case Western Reserve University.


Alethea Barbaro

Assistant Professor in Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics


Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan

Associate Professor, Associate Director for Bioinformatics, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Associate Director for Clinical Informatics, Institute for Computational Biology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine 

Contact: 216.368.4305


Dr. Jill Barnholtz-Sloan’s research focuses on genetic/molecular epidemiology of complex diseases, with a particular focus on cancer. She is multi-disciplinary trained in biostatistics, population genetics, and human genetics, and has extensive experience in multi-center cancer studies. She is Director of the Case CCC Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core Facility where she is responsible for directing the statistical analysis of high throughput “omics” data. She has extensive experience in hypothesis development, study design and analysis for studies of various phenotypes in humans. As the Principal Investigator of the Ohio Brain Tumor Study (OBTS), Dr. Barnholtz-Sloan leads a multi-center study in Ohio to study genetic and environmental factors and their association with brain tumor clinical outcomes.

Cynthia Beall

Professor of Anthropology, Professor of Anatomy and Global Health

Contact: 216.368.2277


Cynthia Beall is a physical anthropologist whose research focuses on human adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia, particularly the different patterns of adaptation exhibited by Andean, Tibetan and East African highlanders. Her current research deals with the genetics of adaptive traits and evidence for natural selection, with the role of nitric oxide in oxygen delivery at high altitude and with the human ecology of high-altitude Tibetan nomads. Professor Beall is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Gurkan Bebek

Instructor, Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics



Mike Benard

George B. Mayer Assistant Professor in Urban and Environmental Studies

Contact: 216.368.1080


My overall goal is to determine how changing environments affect organisms’ abundances, traits and ecological interactions. Achieving this goal requires understanding how species respond to natural environmental variation, as well as understanding how they respond to human-caused disturbance such as habitat destruction and climate change. Understanding species’ responses will play a critical role in developing conservation strategies for imperiled species, and control strategies for harmful species. My main study organisms are amphibians, which are undergoing severe worldwide declines. It is important to determine why amphibians are declining and how we can stop those declines because amphibians provide important ecological services (e.g., insect control) and they can also serve as a sensitive indicator of environmental change that might directly

Joe Bokar

Program Director, Hematology and Oncology, UH Cleveland Medical Center


Sarah Boysen

Professor of Psychology, Ohio State University



Ronald Blanton

Professor of International Health and Epidemiology and Biostatistics



Jenny Brynjarsdottir

Assistant Professor in Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics



Clemens Burda

Professor of Chemistry

Contact: 216.368.5918


Dr. Clemens Burda’s research centers around Nanoscience, Photoscience and Photomedicine, and he has developed an interest in pre-biotic molecular structures as they could relate to high-temperature and high-pressure aqueous conditions such as volcanic, cometary or planetary impact. His lab recently showed that even for such simple molecules as carboxylic acids and organic amines, condensation and nanostructure formation is very likely, which then can lead to the necessary compartmentalization that allows new reaction conditions under increased concentrations and thus increased reaction rates. This could lead to local self-perpetuation and compartmentalization of chemical reactions based on pre-biotic nanostructures. This may have been one of the earliest evolutionary events in prebiotic chemistry and such steps may have led to more complex organic chemistry, to biochemical molecules like amino acids and eventually to RNA and DNA. He has published over 150 articles in fields from nanoscience to laser spectroscopy. His current H-index is 60 and his research has been cited over 20000 times. His research has been funded by NSF, NIH, NASA, and the American Chemical Society. 

Nikki Burt

Curator and Head of Dep. of Human Health and Evolutionary Medicine at Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Contact: 216.231.4600 ext. 3531

Dr. Nicole Burt is the Curator and Head of Human Health and Evolutionary Medicine at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. She is developing the content for the new Human Health Gallery, which examines health from an evolutionary perspective. The Department has recently started a Biorepository for hard tissue biological specimens where researcher can curate their samples. Dr. Burt is beginning a new research program on Infant Feeding Practices in Cleveland using stable isotope analysis in combination with other techniques. Recently, Dr. Burt published Origins: An Evolutionary Journey with Co-author Dr. Mindy Pitre and Illustrator Holly Hunold. Origins is an educational game that teaches the concepts of evolution and the fundamentals of human origins through classroom play.

Carlos Bustamonte

Professor, University of California Berkeley



Daniela Calvetti

James Wood Williamson Professor, Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics



Mark Chance

School of Medicine Vice Dean for Research



Hillel J. Chiel

Professor of Biology, Neurosciences and Biomedical Engineering

Contact: 216.368.3846


Dr. Hillel J. Chiel graduated with a B.A. in English from Yale University, and then received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from M.I.T. in Neural and Endocrine Regulation. He did postdoctoral work in the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and in the Molecular Biophysics Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories, before joining the faculty of Case Western Reserve University. He is currently a Professor of Biology, Neurosciences and Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. His research focuses on the neural and biomechanical mechanisms of adaptive behavior in the marine mollusk Aplysia californica, and has served as the basis for novel biologically-inspired robots and novel technology that may have clinical applications. He is the author of more than 100 peer reviewed publications, has four patents, is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and serves as an editor of the Journal of Neural Engineering, and the journal Soft Robotics. He has won the university-wide Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2004), the Diekhoff Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (2009), and the Science (America Association for the Advancement of Science) Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction (2012). He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, London, England.

Juscelino F. Colares

Schott-van den Eynden chair in Business Law and Associate Director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Contact: 216.368.6387


Colares teaches courses in civil procedure, international business law and international environmental law. His scholarship explores interjurisdictional problems that emerge in litigation involving conflicts between domestic regulatory law and international trade, environmental and business norms. Colares’s research has appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals and law reviews, including the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Journal of International Economic Law, Journal of World Trade, Jurimetrics, Revista dos Tribunais (Brazil), Columbia Journal of European Law, Cornell International Law Journal, Georgetown International Environmental Law Review and Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. A former clerk for the Hon. Jean-Louis Debré, Chief Justice of the Conseil constitutionnel (the French Constitutional Court) (2008-09 term), Colares was also a visiting professor at Ecole normale supérieure in Paris. Prior to becoming a law professor, Colares, a Brazilian-born, naturalized U.S. citizen, practiced at Dewey Ballantine, LLP in Washington, D.C., where he litigated trade cases before federal agencies, federal courts and NAFTA panels. A versatile scholar, lawyer and economist, Colares was recently reappointed by the Office of the United Trade Representative to serve on the United States Roster of NAFTA Chapter 19 (Trade) Panelists.

Craig J. Copi

Instructor, Department of Physics



Corbin Covault

Professor of Physics

Contact: 216.368.4006


Corbin Covault leads the High Energy Astrophysics group within the physics department. His main research activity is the study of the origin of the highest energy cosmic rays using the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory. The origin and nature of cosmic rays remains a profound astrophysical scientific mystery, touching areas of particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. Corbin Covault also studies the application of astrophysical detector techniques to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI), and is working to develop the Scanning Observatory For Optical SETI (SOPHOS), a dedicated array of telescopes to look for nanosecond laser flashes from extra-terrestrial sources.

Darin Croft

Assistant Professor of Anatomy

Contact: 216.368.5268


Dr. Darin Croft is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy in the School of Medicine. He primarily divides his time between teaching head and neck anatomy to medical and graduate students and studying the anatomy and biology of extinct mammals. Dr. Croft’s research centers on the mammals of South America, which include a variety of rodents, sloths, armadillos, marsupials, and endemic hoofed mammals. He currently has active paleontological field programs in Bolivia and Chile and recently received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar fellowship to develop new projects in Argentina. Dr. Croft participates part in a variety of scientific and educational activities at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and is a Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the Field Museum in Chicago. He has authored a book entitled “Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys: The Fascinating Fossil Mammals of South America” that will be published by Indiana University Press in late 2016.

Christopher Cullis

Francis Hobart Herrick Professor of Biology

Contact: 216.368.5110


rofessor Cullis is the Francis Hobart Herrick Professor of Biology and is a past Dean of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Chair of the Department of Biology. His research for the past 45 years has focused on rapid changes in the plant genome. His primary project has been to identify the genome sites in flax that respond to environmental stresses and produce rearrangements that appear to be adaptive to the plant and how this related to plant adaptation to stress environments. In this work he has discovered a new genome editing process. His understanding of the plant genome is also being applied to food security issues in the developing world through collaborations with Namibian and South African scientists to domesticate the marama bean (Tylosema esculentum). This plant is one of the identified neglected orphan crops and has been used as a food and energy source by the San bushmen for many generations. He is involved in applying his knowledge and experience in the developing world to help produce new knowledge and opportunities for scientists and the students there..

Lisa Damato

Associate Professor of Nursing and Neurosciences

Contact: 216.368.2597


Elizabeth Damato, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Nursing and Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University. She completed her undergraduate work at Vanderbilt University and received graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Boston College. In addition to an extensive clinical background, she has also completed formal training in neurobiology and neuroanatomy, histology and ultrastructure at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. Her research program focuses on characterization of symptoms of central nervous system activity during stress, psychological challenge and sleep restriction, and includes defining neurobiological and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying symptoms of fatigue, cognitive impairment and persistent hypersomnolence.

Jean-Eudes Dazard

Assistant Professor, Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics



Claudia de Rham

Associate Professor of Physics

Contact: 216.368.3009


Claudia de Rham is a theoretical cosmologist studying the mysteries of the Universe and particularly the nature of dark energy which accounts for about 70% of the Energy budget of the Universe. Claudia de Rham is exploring the validity of General Relativity on cosmological scale and contemplating the possibility that gravity could have a finite range. From an effective quantum field perspective this possibility would correspond to giving a mass to the particle carrier of the gravitational force: the graviton and may help explaining the late time acceleration of the Universe.

Mike Decker

Associate Professor of Nursing, Neurosciences, Physiology and Biophysics

Contact:; 216.368.2912


Michael Decker, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Nursing, Neurosciences, Physiology, and Biophysics. He received his doctoral training from the Department of Anatomy, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He subsequently was recruited into the Department of Neurology at Emory University (2000-2007), and then into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007-2011). He is a basic and clinical scientist with extensive experience characterizing physiologic mechanisms facilitating life at high altitude and central nervous system function. His research interests focus upon (1) defining mechanisms conferring resilience to extreme environments, (2) characterizing brain dysfunction induced by low environmental oxygen, and (3) developing novel interventions to augment and protect central nervous system function.

Emily Dragowsky

Senior Research Associate



James Edmonson

Chief Curator Dittrick Medical History Center and Adjunct Associate Professor of History

Contact: 216-368-6391


James Edmonson is Chief Curator of the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum, an interdisciplinary study center in the College of Arts and Sciences at CWRU. He received his M.A. and Ph.D in the history of technology in the Hagley Graduate Program of the University of Delaware. Edmonson spends most of his time working with the remarkably rich collection of rare medical books, archives, and medical objects at the Dittrick. He is the author of American Surgical Instruments (1997), and his most recent work is Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine, 1880-1920 (2009). Notable collections under his care at the Dittrick include the Percy Skuy Collection on the History of Contraception and the Stecher Collection of Darwiniana, which includes 180 letters of Charles Darwin’s correspondence. Edmonson has served on the Council of the American Association for the History of Medicine (2006-10), UMAC (University Museums and Collections) of ICOM (International Council of Museums), and is the American liaison and secretary general of the European Association of Museums of the History of Medical Sciences. He has been consultant to medical museums and collections including the Warren Anatomical Museum of Harvard University and the New York Academy of Medicine, and has served on grant review panels of the National Library of Medicine and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Charis Eng

Department Chair, Genomic Medicine Institute



Steve Eppell

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering



Peter Faulhaber

Professor of Radiology, CWRU School of Medicine



Simon Fitzpatrick

Associate Professor, John Carroll University



Chris Flask

Associate Professor, Radiology, CWRU School of Medicine



Rodney Folz

Division Chief, Pulmonary and Critical Care, UH Cleveland Medical Center



Roberto Fernandez Galan

Assistant Professor of Engineering



Evalyn Gates

Executive Director and CEO, Cleveland Museum of Natural History



Rebecca German

Professor of Anatomy/Neurobiology, Northeast Ohio Medical University



Stan Gerson

Professor of Hematological Oncology; Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center; Director, Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

Contact: 216.844.8565


Dr. Gerson’s research interests include stem cells and DNA repair. In his stem cell research, he developed mesenchymal stem cells as a therapeutic infusion for blood stem cell transplantation and for the correction of genetic disorders. He identified a gene therapy strategy method that creates drug-resistant stem cells capable of selectively repopulating the recipient without the need for high-dose toxic therapy. He has developed inhibitors of DNA repair to improve the efficacy of anti-cancer agents, and transgenic mouse models that examine the role of critical genes in the stability of stem cell populations over the lifetime of the animal. These studies may predict stem cell diseases of aging and cancer. His research has generated 12 patents in the area of gene therapy and cancer drug development that have been licensed to three companies. His leadership of the Stem Cell Center and the Cancer Center involve coordinating research throughout the medical centers in Cleveland. He is also leading University Hospitals’ effort to bring cancer care under one roof in the New Cancer Hospital scheduled to open in 2010.

John T., Jr. (Tom) Giblin

Associate Professor of Physics, Kenyon College


Jerold S. Goldberg

Professor Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Contact:  216.368.6764


Dr. Jerold Goldberg spent most of his dental career at Case Western Reserve University where  he became chair of oral and maxillofacial surgery at CWRU Dental School/University Hospitals of Cleveland in 1985 and attained the rank of professor in 1992. While chairman, he established a unique five-year, double degree training program in oral& maxillofacial surgery. He was asked to serve as interim dean in 1997 and after approximately one year was appointed dean. Dr. Goldberg served as Interim Dean at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine during the 2002-2003 academic year. His areas of clinical interest included the treatment of children with congenital facial deformities, patience suffering from facial pain and those who would benefit from orthognathic surgery. His research interests are related to these clinical areas. He initiated the first program at CWRU exposing dental students to hospital activities and still remains active in this area. He has served organized dentistry on both the local and national levels. He was president of the Northeast Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons and has been active in the local dental society. He participated in the national board construction committee for the ADA and the advisory committee for the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. He was also chair for the section of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of the American Association of Dental Schools. Dr. Goldberg has had a long-time interest in dentistry and the international scene. He has been involved with surgical missions to Mexico, Equador and Nepal, as well as an ongoing commitment to a craniofacial center which he co-founded in Klaipeda, Lithuania. He was inducted into the Order of Knights of the Grand Duke Gidimitas by the President of Lithuania. He has supported student exchanges throughout the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Egypt, The Dominican Republic and Brazil.

Neil S. Greenspan

Professor of Pathology

Contact:  216.368.1280


Neil Greenspan is an immunologist and clinical pathologist. After studying biochemical sciences at Harvard, he received his M.D. and Ph.D. (in immunology) from the University of Pennsylvania and pursued post-graduate training in clinical pathology and molecular immunology at Barnes Hospital and Washington University. Since joining the Case Western Reserve faculty, Neil has studied immunity to bacterial pathogens and autoimmunity in a mouse model of lupus, pursued the conceptual implications of evolution for understanding immunology, and directed the Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory of University Hospitals since 1986. He also teaches immunology and related fields to medical students, graduate students and pathology residents. In other activities, Neil chaired the planning committee for Case Western Reserve’s Celebration of Darwin and Evolution that extends throughout the 2008-2009 academic year and recently joined the Evolution and Medicine Review as a senior correspondent.

Larry Greksa

Chair of Department of Anthropology



Mark Griswold

Professor of Radiology, Director of MRI Research



Yohannes Haile-Selassie

Curator of Physical Anthropology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Contact: 216.231.4600 x3242


Yohannes Haile-Selassie’s paleoanthropological work centers on the Afar region of Ethiopia. He and his team will scour large areas looking for fossil remains dating less than 10 million years old. Their goal is to find specimens of human ancestors, but they also reconstruct fossil material of other animals to determine the ecology of the region when our ancestors walked, and determine what species our ancestors consumed or competed with. Dr. Haile-Selassie has been head of the Department of Physical Anthropology since 2002, and received his Ph.D. from UC-Berkeley before joining the museum staff.

Joe Hannibal

Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Contact: 216.231.4600 extension 3233


Joe Hannibal has research interests in a broad range of paleontological, geological, and general natural history topics. His specialties include fossil millipedes and other fossil arthropods, particularly those found in Devonian and Pennsylvanian rocks. He has also been involved with a long-term study of the Paleozoic rock sequence of northeastern Ohio, and is also interested in the interface between geology and human culture.

Mark Hans

Chair of School of Orthodontics, CWRU



Paul Harding

Observatory Manager, Department of Astronomy



Peter Harte

Professor, Department of Genetics



Stanley Hazen

Section Head, Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic



Alexis Hobot

Graduate Student, Case Western Reserve University



Ralph Harvey

Associate Professor, Geological Sciences

Contact: 216.368.0198


A graduate of Beloit College with a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, Ralph Harvey has been the principal investigator and field team leader for the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites program since 1991. He is an author or co-author of more than 100 publications on diverse topics in the planetary sciences, ranging from micrometeorites to icesheet dynamics to the history of Mars. He is a principal investigator in NSF’s Office of Polar Programs as well as NASA’s Cosmochemistry and Mars Fundamental Research programs. He is a frequent contributor to science instrument and landing site definition panels for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Recently, he was a member of the preliminary examination team for the STARDUST sample return mission, and both an asteroid and an Antarctic mountain now bear his name.

Arthur Heuer

Distinguished University Professor Kyocera Professor of Ceramics Materials Science and Engineering



Michael Hinczewski

Professor of Biophysics



David Jarzen

Research Associate in Paleobotany & Paleoecology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Contact: 216.231.4600 ext. 3323


David M. Jarzen is a Research Associate at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, in Paleobotany and Palaeoecology. He earned his B.S. degree in 1967 from Kent State University, and two years later received his M.A. degree in Botany from the same institution. In 1973 he was awarded the Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Toronto. His research interests in the nature of extant and fossil plant life have provided extensive field work around the world, incorporates a global view aiming to understand the evolution of plant life during Earth’s history, with an emphasis on fossil floras recorded from the Paleogene, Neogene and Cretaceous. His work has been incorporated in several radio and television productions including CBC’s “Nature of Things” with David Suzuki, the PBS NOVA Series, the NHK (Japan) Series “The Miracle Planet”, the National Film Board of Canada, the Discovery Channel and other North American cable networks. David was elected as Fellow National to the Explores Club, and in 2005 he was elected Fellow of the Ohio Academy of Science. With his best friend and wife, Susan, he explores the natural history of the United States at every opportunity.

Kathryn P. (“Kit”) Jensen

Chief Operating Officer WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN ideastream



Emmitt Jolly

Associate Professor, Department of Biology



Andy Jones

Director of Science, and William A. and Nancy R. Klamm Endowed Chair of Ornithology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Contact: 216.231.4600 x3332


Andy Jones conducts research on the biogeography and evolution of birds using specimens in natural history museums. His primary interests are in effects of Pleistocene climate change on bird populations, particularly in the Philippines and the Appalachian Mountains. By sequencing DNA from many populations of a single species, he reconstructs colonization and diversification patterns. Dr. Jones received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He has been Curator of Ornithology since 2006, and Director of Science since 2011.

Jonathan Karn

Reinberger Professor of Molecular Biology


Joe Keiper

Former Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Director of Science, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

 Joe Keiper focuses on insect biology and how this knowledge can help us use insects as 21st-Century tools. His work in wetlands documents the biodiversity that occurs there, but he strives to use insect morphology community composition as a means to determine ecosystem health. In Northeast Ohio, he utilizes fly maggots as forensic evidence during investigations into human death under mysterious or suspicious circumstances (forensic entomology). Dr. Keiper received his Ph.D. from Kent State University and had been head of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology since 2000.

Laura Khan

Research Scholar, Princeton University



Joe Koonce

Professor Emeritus Biology

Contact: 216.368.3557



Mehmet Koyuturk

T & A Schroeder Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science



Joseph LaManna

Jeannette M. and Joseph S. Silber Professor for the Study of Brain Sciences Professor of Physiology & Biophysics, Neurology, Neurosciences, and Pathology

Contact: 216.368.1112


Joseph C. LaManna, received his undergraduate degree in Biology at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and a PhD in Physiology and Pharmacology from Duke University in Durham, NC. He has been the Faculty of the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University since 1981. Dr. LaManna is currently a Professor of Physiology & Biophysics, Neurology, Neurosciences, and Pathology, and he is the former Chair of the Department of Anatomy at CWRU (1993-2008).  He has been involved in cerebrovascular research for more than 40 years. Research conducted in his laboratory is concerned with energy demand, energy metabolism, and blood flow in the brain. The role of these mechanisms in the tissue response to pathological insults such as stroke, cardiac arrest and resuscitation, and hypoxia is being actively investigated. His most recent research has centered on cerebral angiogenesis and the role of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 in physiological adaptation to hypoxia, neuroprotection and ischemic preconditioning. He has authored or co-authored over 200 research papers and review chapters. He is a Past President of The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Applied Physiology, the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism and Brain Research. He is an active member of multiple scientific societies including the Society for Neuroscience, American Physiological Society, International Society for Oxygen Transport to Tissues, AAAS, International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, and the American Association of Anatomists. He served as a regular member of the NIH Neurology B-1, and Brain Injury and Neurovascular Pathologies (BINP), Study Sections.

Bruce Latimer

Professor of Anthropology and Anatomy

Contact: 216.531.8187


CHO director Bruce Latimer is Professor of Anthropology, Anatomy, and Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University. Physical anthropologist Latimer is internationally recognized as an expert on the evolution of human locomotion. His research has helped shape our present understanding of the evolutionary processes that led to the ability of humans to walk upright on two feet. Latimer is among a group of scientists who analyzed the famous 3.2 million-year-old “Lucy” fossil skeleton. In the fall of 2009, Latimer and other members of an international scientific team announced the discovery and identification of a new species of early human ancestor, Ardipithecus ramidus. In June, 2010, Latimer and and an international team of scientists announced the discovery and analysis of the oldest-known Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, which has led to the biggest leap forward in understanding this species since the initial “Lucy” discovery. This new and much larger male specimen is nicknamed “Kadanuumuu,” meaning “big man” in the Afar language.

Austin Leeds

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo




Jing Li

Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department



Yu Liu

Senior Research Associate, Case Western Reserve University


Bryan Lynn

Visiting Professor, Department of Physics



Harsh Mathur

Professor of Physics



Mike Martens

Profess of Physics



Peter McCall

Director, Environmental Studies Program, Benthic Ecology, Paleoecology


Stacy McGaugh

Professor, Department of Astronomy



Colin McLarty

Truman P. Handy, Professor of Philosophy



Chris Mihos

Professor of Astronomy



Claudia Mizutani

Associate Professor, Department of Biology



Carol Musil

Marvin E. & Ruth Durr Denekas Professor of Nursing

Contact: 216.368.8775


Carol Musil is the Marvin E. & Ruth Durr Denekas Professor of Nursing at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Her research focuses on the stress and health of middle aged and older community dwelling adults, primarily women and caregivers, and development of self-management interventions to support them, particularly during times of strain and transition. Currently, she is also Pilot Core Director of CWRU’s SMART (Self-Management Advancement through Research and Training: Brain-Behavior Connections) Center at Case Western University, where investigators are evaluating the neurologic, psychosocial and physical effects of cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness interventions to support illness self-management.

Isaiah Nengo

Anthropology Professor, De Anza College

Contact: 408.864.8812


Rui Sousa Neves

Research Scientist, Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences



Ronald Oldfield

Instructor, Department of Biology


Thomas Orlando

Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech


Hunter Peckham

Executive Director, Cleveland FES Center; Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedics


Patricia Princehouse

Director of the Program in Evolutionary Biology




Patricia Princehouse is an evolutionary biologist and historian of science. She earned her masters from Yale and a PhD from Harvard, where she worked with Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin. She has conducted fieldwork on primate evolution in Africa and North America, and also has research interests in what artificial life and digital organisms can tell us about patterns and processes of evolution. Princehouse grew up on a farm near Dayton, Ohio, and has always had a keen interest in the natural world, especially animals. Princehouse has received many teaching awards, and in 2003 was honored by the National Center for Science Education’s “Friend of Darwin” award for helping preserve the integrity of Ohio’s public school science curriculum. She is currently working on a book titled Can Evolution Help You Choose a Puppy?.

John Protasiewicz

Professor, Associate Department Chair, Department of Chemistry


Brian G. Redmond

Curator and John Otis Hower Chair of Archaeology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Contact: 216.231.4600, x3301

Website: ?

Brian G. Redmond is Curator and John Otis Hower Chair of Archaeology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, CWRU. His research focuses on the archaeology and prehistory of pre-European contact Native American societies in the Midwest of North America. Major research interests include the development of settled village life and community organization in the lower Great Lakes, the origin of maize agriculture, and Paleoindian bone modification.

Jeremy Rich

Staff, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic


John Ruhl

Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Contact: 216.368.4049



Steve Rissing

Professor, Department of Evolution, Ecology, Organismal Biology, Ohio State University



Sandra Russ

Distinguished University Professor, Louis D. Beaumont Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences



Michael Ryan

Curator and Head of Vertebrate Paleontology, Cleeveland Museum of Natural History

Contact:; 216-231-4600 x3246


Michael Ryan’s research interests are primarily in the description of new species of ceratopsian (horned) dinosaurs, and the documentation of their diversity and biology as seen in the fossil record. He works on the paleoecology and paleobiogeography of the Late Cretaceous dinosaur fauna of the western interior of North America, and also conducts expeditions to the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Dr. Ryan has been head of the Vertebrate Paleontology department at CMNH since 2004, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Calgary.

Professor in Department of Polymer Science, University of Akron

Contact: 330.972.5795


Professor Nita Sahai has been in the Department of Polymer Science, University of Akron since August 2011. Prior to this, she obtained tenure and was a Full Professor in the Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison for 11 years. Prof. Sahai’s research focuses on the physical- chemical aspects of cellular and biomolecular interactions at composite biomaterials or mineral surfaces, in processes relevant to bone biomineralization, bone tissue engineering, and the origin and early evolution of life. Her current and former research is supported by NSF, NASA, ACS-PRF and the Simons Foundation, NY. Prof. Sahai is currently serving on the Editorial board of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, the flagship journal in geochemistry, and has served previously on the Editorial boards of the journals, American Mineralogist and Geochemical Transactions. She has edited Medical Mineralogy and Geochemistry, volume 64 of the Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry Series as well as the Medical Mineralogy and Geochemistry thematic issue of Elements magazine. Prof. Sahai has been interviewed on the U.S. National Public Radio on the program, “To The Best of Our Knowledge,” and on Hungarian National Television News, and her research was reported on in the most widely circulated newspaper in Hungary. Prof. Sahai has received the NSF Post-Doctoral Fellowship, the NSF CAREER award, the Romnes Faculty Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the Ohio Research Scholar in Biomaterials at University of Akron, a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America and is the Distinguished Lecturer of the Mineralogical Society of America for 2013-2014.

Robert Savinell

George S. Dively Professor of Engineering



Beverly Saylor

Associate Professor, Statigraphy and Sedimentology



Ashutosh Sheth

Department of Family Medicine, Research Division at Case Western Reserve

Contact: 216.286.5005

Ashutosh Sheth’s interests are focused on clinical and translational research relating to cancer. He is currently in the Department of Family Medicine at Case Western, working on understanding different pathways of colon cancer carcinogenesis and alternative screening methods for it. Specifically, he is investigating its relationship with behavior and lifestyle, as well as its relationship to the gut microbiome. In addition he is the co-instructor for the undergraduate evolution course: BIOL 225. Ashu has received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and his M.S from Case Western Reserve University.

Scott Simpson

Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, CWRU School of Medicine

Contact: 216.368.1946

Scott W. Simpson’s research focus is on better understanding the nature and context of human evolution. Since 1992, he has been conducting field research in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, first with the Middle Awash and Gona research teams and now as project leader of the Galili project. He has published on the paleobiology of a number of ancient hominins, including Ardipithecus kadabba, Ar. ramidus, Australopithecus afarensis, Au. garhi, Homo erectus, and modern humans. Professor Simpson teaches human anatomy to medical and graduate students. He received his BA from the University of New Hampshire and his MA and PhD from Kent State University.

Lynn Singer

Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, CWRU School of Medicine



Daniel Solow

Professor in Department of Operations Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University

Contact: 216.368.3837


Daniel Solow has a B.S. in Mathematics from Carnegie-Mellon University; an M.S. in Operations Research from the University of California at Berkeley; and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Stanford University. He has been a professor in the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University since 1978. He is an applied mathematician who uses mathematical models, analysis, and computers to provide insights regarding the evolution of biological and human systems. For example, he has built mathematical models that shed light on why life has become so specialized in the tasks needed for growth and survival. He has also developed models for studying the emergence and value of leadership in human societies and for addressing such questions as how much central control is beneficial in complex systems.

David Spergel

Professor, Department of Astrophysics, Princeton University



Erkki Somersalo

Professor, Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics



Linda Spurlock

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Kent State University

Contact: 330.672.5972


Spurlock teaches courses in biological anthropology, forensic anthropology and archaeology.She received her Ph.D. in biomedical science from Kent State with a dissertation about reproductive suppression in the pygmy marmoset, a tiny New World Monkey. Spurlock is a forensic facial reconstruction artist and provides sketches and sculptures of unidentified persons for Coroner and Medical Examiner’s offices throughout the region. She is also a scientific illustrator who specializes in primate fossil reconstruction and has recently worked on reconstructing the fossil pelvis of Ardipithecus ramidus. In 2006 she co-edited Caves and Culture: 10,000 Years of History in Ohio, Kent State University Press.
Date: Apr 1, 2008 8:07 AMNumber of Comments on Photo:0View Photo

Glenn Starkman

Professor Physics and Astronomy



Glenn Starkman is a professor of physics and astronomy, director of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics, and director of the Institute for the Sciences of Origins at Case Western Reserve University. His research extends from searching for habitable planets around other stars to understanding the shape of the universe, from looking for miniature black holes in particle accelerators to extending and testing Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

Nicole Steinmetz

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, CWRU School of Medicine



Giuseppe Strangi

Professor, Department of Physics



Kingman P. Strohl

Program Director, Sleep Medicine, UH Cleveland Medical Center



Denise Su

Curator and Head of Paleobotony and Paleoecology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History



Gavin Svenson

Curator and Head of Invertebrate Zoology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History



Cyrus C. Taylor

Albert A. Michelson Professor of Physics and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Contact: 216.368.4437


Prof. Taylor is the author of more than 60 scientific papers and has given more than 70 invited talks in recent years. As a physicist, he has worked in both theoretical and experimental high energy physics, serving as co-spokesman of the MiniMax collaboration (FNAL T-864) at Fermilab (1993 – present) and as co-spokesman of the FELIX collaboration at CERN (1996-present). Prof. Taylor has also been a leader in creating new programs aimed at empowering scientists as entrepreneurs. He is Director of the Physics Entrepreneurship Program at Case Western Reserve University, Coordinator of Case’s Science Entrepreneurship Programs and Co-Director of InTICE, the Institute for Technology Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship. Prof. Taylor was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society for providing a new paradigm for graduate education in Physics through the creation of an innovative Physics Entrepreneurship Master’s Program, and was awarded the prestigous 2003 Price Institute Innovative Entrepreneurship Educators Award for pioneering the innovative Physics Entrepreneurship Program.

Peter Thomas

Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics
Contact: 216.368.3623
Peter Thomas studies principles of communication and control in complex adaptive biological systems.  He studied philosophy and physics at Yale, taught physics and chemistry to high school students in the first years of the Teach for America program, moved to the University of Chicago to study in the Conceptual Foundations of Science program, and completed a PhD in mathematics (2000).  His thesis work, directed by Jack Cowan, explored spontaneous symmetry breaking in statistical mechanics models of the mammalian visual cortex.  As a postdoctoral student with Terrence Sejnowski at the Salk Institute, he became interested in information theory as a framework for understanding fundamental limits in cellular-level signaling networks.  After teaching in the mathematics and neuroscience programs at Oberlin College, Peter moved to Case Western Reserve University in 2006. His current projects include redefining the notion of “asymptotic phase” for stochastic oscillators, studying the effects of randomly gated ion channel “noise” on patterns of activity in nerve cells, understanding principles of control in evolved motor systems, and finding the Shannon capacities for communications channels arising in cell biology.  He teaches courses in probability, differential equations, computational neuroscience, and stochastic biological modeling.

Andrew Tolley

Associate Professor, Department of Physics



Blanton Tolbert

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry



Mark Turner

Institute Professor and Professor of Cognitive Science



Mark Turner is the founding director of the Cognitive Science Network. His most recent book publication is an edited volume, The Artful Mind: Cognitive Science and the Riddle of Human Creativity, from Oxford University Press. His other books and articles include Cognitive Dimensions of Social Science: The Way We Think about Politics, Economics, Law, and Society (Oxford), The Literary Mind: The Origins of Thought and Language (Oxford), Reading Minds: The Study of English in the Age of Cognitive Science (Princeton), and Death is the Mother of Beauty (Chicago). He has been a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Advanced Study of Durham University. He is external research professor at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study in Cognitive Neuroscience and distinguished fellow at the New England Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology. In 1996, the Académie française awarded him the Prix du Rayonnement de la langue et de la littérature françaises.

Jim Van Orman

Associate Professor of Geochemistry and Mineral Physics

Contact: 216.368.3765


An alumnus of Florida State University (BS) and MIT (PhD), Jim Van Orman did his postdoctoral work at the Carnegie Institution of Washington before coming to Case Western Reserve. His research extends from studies of Earth’s core and mantle, to atomic transport in solids and liquids at high pressures and temperatures, to unraveling the history of the early Solar System recorded in meteorites. In 2005 he was awarded the F.W. Clarke Medal by the Geochemical Society in recognition of his experimental and theoretical contributions to our understanding of diffusion in the deep Earth and its consequences for trace-element geochemistry and rheological behavior.
DCF 1.0

Saba Valadkhan

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry Department



Rajesh Viswanathan

Frank Hovorka Assistant Professor, Chemistry


Major Jameson Voss

Teaching Fellow, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (School of Medicine), Associate Faculty, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine (Preventive Medicine), Epidemiology Consultant, Epidemiology Consult Services, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Adjunct Assistant Professor in Community Health, Wright State University School of Medicine

Changes in function emerge with sufficient differences in selection and changes in selection emerge with sufficient differences in function. I expect the same interplay between selection and function to play out in the science of origins. When the science practice and culture is driven to answer real and current questions with important societal utility (i.e., when the science functions) it will be successful in competing for funding and public regard. Thus, my priority for origins science is applied and futuristic rather than primarily nostalgic. How can we develop better evolution experiments that account for synergy, horizontal evolution, and other complex phenomenon? I’ve been involved in proposing pawnobiome evolution and packet randomization to test complexity theories experimentally. Further, I believe recent and ongoing human phenotypic changes in body size and other traits offer opportunities to investigate questions currently impacting society that capture the public’s interest. In the future, manipulating emergence in synthetic biology and nanotechnology could hold tremendous utility or unintended consequences and will be important to understand. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this description are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

Leslie Wade

Assistant Professor of Physics, Kenyon College


Madeline Wade

Assistant Professor of Physics, Kenyon College



Sean Watterson

Co-Owner Happy Dog



Michael Weiss

Professor of Biochemistry

Contact: 216.368.5991


Michael Weiss, born and raised in Cleveland, has been chair of the Department of Biochemistry at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine since 1999. He is also a professor of medicine in the Endocrine Division. Dr. Weiss received his undergraduate degree at Harvard College and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the joint Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and began his faculty career in the Endocrine Unit of Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to relocating to Case Western Reserve, Dr. Weiss was a professor of biochemistry and medicine at the University of Chicago. Dr. Weiss’s research promises to enhance the clinical care of patients with diabetes mellitus through the development of novel ultra-stable and receptor-isoform-specific analogs of insulin. These analogs may make feasible an implantable closed-loop insulin pump as an artificial beta cell and may enable tight glycemic control without weight gain. Dr. Weiss also is investigating the genetics of neonatal diabetes in an effort to circumvent the need for lifelong insulin therapy in this subset of patients.

Mark Willis

Professor and Chair, Department of Biology



Gary E. Wnek

Joseph F. Toot., Jr., Professor of Engineering



Thom Yantek

Associate Professor, Kent State University



Idit Zehavi

Assistant Professor Physics and Astronomy

Contact: idit.zehavi at 216.368.6832


Idit Zehavi is an associate professor in Astronomy and Physics and a member of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics at Case Western Reserve University. She received a Ph.D. in Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. She held research positions at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona, before joining CWRU in 2006. Her research interests include cosmology and the large-scale structure of the universe, galaxy formation and evolution, and cosmic flows. She is an astrophysicist working at the interface of theory and observations, performing studies using large surveys of galaxies as well as numerical simulations. In particular, she has been focused on measuring and interpreting galaxy clustering in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, an ambitious survey mapping a quarter of the sky.

Peter Zimmerman

Professor of Biology

Contact: 216.368.0508


Page last modified: March 9, 2017