Nicolaas Deutz, MD, PhD

Deutz Nov 2014Dr. Deutz is the Director and Professor of the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. His research and interests are in clinical nutrition and metabolism research in animals and humans. He has published over 250 papers during his 25 years in this research field. His clinical interest is using nutritional supplements to treat malnutrition in older adults, and during acute and chronic disease states.Click here to read more about Dr. Deutz

Mariëlle P.K.J. Engelen, PhD

Dr. Engelen is the Co-director and Associate Professor the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. Her interests are translational research on disturbances in protein and amino acid metabolism underlying muscle wasting, on and the anabolic effects of clinical nutrition and exercise in the elderly and on chronic wasting diseases (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis and cancer). She has published over 45 papers in this research field and has given many presentations at national and international meetings. Click here to read more about Dr. Engelen.

John J. Thaden, PhD.

Dr. Thaden is a Research Scientist of the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. He is interested in furthering tracer-based  translational science (as described in his colleagues’ bios on this page) through the application of high-performance liquid and gas chromatography and quantitative triple-quadrupole mass spectrometry. Click here to read more about Dr. Thaden.

Gabriella ten Have, B.Sc

Gabriella ten Have is a Research Associate of the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. She received her BSc in Biology at the Ghijsen Instituut in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Her thesis was on Endotoxin-induced reduction of ß-adrenoceptor number in guinea pig splenic lymphocyte membranes. She later worked at the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Animal Medicine, University of Utrecht, and at the Department of Molecular Biology, NKI (Dutch Cancer Institute) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Click here to read more about Gabriella ten Have.

Dillon Walker, PhD

Dr. Walker is a Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity within the Department of Health & Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. His research interests include the molecular and metabolic influences of nutrition in diseased animal and human models. Click here to read more about Dillon Walker

Cindy Lieben, PhD

Dr. Lieben is an Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity within the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. She obtained her Master’s degree in Neuropsychology and finished her PhD at Maastricht University, the Netherlands (Serotonin and Behavior; animal studies applying the method of acute tryptophan depletion). Her research interests include nutritional neuroscience, translational research and cognitive neuropsychology. Click here to read more about Cindy Lieben.

Sunday Simbo, PhD

Sunny Simbo is a Research Associate at the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. He received his BSc in Biochemistry at the University of Dschang, Cameroon in Africa. After completing his Masters at Baylor University in Waco Texas, he began his doctoral work at the Exercise and Sports Nutrition Lab in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University in exercise Physiology in 2008. This was completed in 2013 (thesis title: Effects of exercise and diet-induced weight loss on overweight/obese women on characterization of serum/white blood cells microRNAs and cytokine gene transcription). During his time as a doctoral student, he also conducted research on cells: MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and animal research on obese Zucker rats and mice. Click here to read more about Sunday Simbo.

Agata McNew, MSc Eng

Agata 2016 - small size for website

Agata McNew is a Research Associate at the Center for Translational Research in Aging&Longevity in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. She studied Biotechnology at West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Poland, where she obtained her Master of Science in Engineering in 2010. After graduation, she completed post-diploma studies from Human Nutrition and Health Promotion at the same university and then registered for a Ph.D. degree conferment procedure at Faculty of Agronomy and Bioengineering, Poznań University of Life Sciences. Her thesis is focused on identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for reproductive performance of Sus scrofa domestica (domestic pig) and molecular analysis of candidate genes for those traits. In her current work, Agata’s research interest encompasses genomic and metabolic impact of nutrition in animal and human models with emphasis on energy metabolism in obesity.

Liz Martinez, RN

Liz Martinez is a Registered Nurse. She earned her degree at Blinn College, and has been a licensed RN since December of 2008. Her experience includes 6 years of hospital nursing, as well as experience as a flight transport nurse in San Antonio, TX. Upon her return to Aggieland, Liz has become a part of the CTRAL team as a research nurse assisting with the many ongoing research studies. Some of her duties include providing necessary medical care, advocating for human subjects, and ensuring their overall health and well-being.

Sabine Roeske, MBA

Sabine Roeske is the Program Manager at the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity. She also is one of two Managing Editors of the journals Clinical Nutrition and e-SPEN. She has earned a Master in Business Administration from the University of Cologne, Germany. She has had several years of accounting and financial reporting experience in the real estate and health care industry before joining the group.

Laura Ruebush, PhD

Laura Ruebush September 2015Dr. Ruebush is a Research Associate at the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. She completed her BS and MS in Chemistry at Arizona State University and Texas A&M University, respectively. Her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, completed in 2012,  focused on policy, professional development of high science school teachers, and student science achievement in Texas (dissertation title: Identifying patterns of relationships between professional development and professional culture with Texas high school science teachers and students). Prior to joining the group, Dr. Ruebush worked in the Research Compliance office at TAMU. Dr. Ruebush will be coordinating education efforts for CTRAL and assisting with regulatory compliance.

Dee Ann Stastny, BS

Dee Ann Stastny is a Research Associate – Study Coordinator at the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. She is a recent graduate of Texas A&M University, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and a Business Minor. Her relevant work and volunteer experience include volunteering at Texas A&M Physician’s and Office Administration for St. Joseph Physician Associates. Dee Ann assists with the recruitment of subjects for various studies, participates in clinical procedures, and coordinates study details.

Clayton Cruthirds, MS

Clayton for websiteClayton Cruthirds, MS is a Ph.D student in the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity of the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. He studied biology at the University of Missouri and obtained his Bachelor’s degree in May 2013. As part of his education he performed research for two years under Dr. Frank Booth in the Department of Biomedical sciences. Dr. Booth’s lab uses a rat colony that is selectively bred for either high or low wheel running in order to study the effects of exercise on various physiological systems. His projects ranged from quantifying muscle mRNA expression after chronic exercise training to the vasodilation response of an oral ATP supplement. These projects, among others, were performed under the supervision of Drs. Mike Roberts and Joe Company at the University of Missouri.

After his graduation from the University of Missouri he joined the research group of Dr. Tim Lightfoot at Texas A&M University as a master’s student. During his two years in this lab he worked with mice looking into the genetic basis for physical activity. His thesis project focused on the effect of housing density and wheel number on daily running in SENCAR mice. That is, how would housing multiple mice and multiple wheels in the same cage alter distance, time, and speed ran over a six month period. Click here to read more about Clayton Cruthirds.

Oscar Alzate, PhD

Dr. Alzate is Asscociate Research Professor at CTRAL.  His research and interests are in Lipidomics, Proteomics and Systems Biology and their applications understanding normal biological functions and disease states.

Dr. Alzate obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He then joined the laboratory of Dr. D. Vandre at Ohio State as a Research Scientist developing and implementing Proteomics approaches for the D. Davis Heart and Lung research Institute. After this experience at OSU, Dr. Alzate moved to Duke University, in Durham – North Carolina – as an Assistant Professor in Neurobiology and the Lead Scientist of Neuroproteomics. This position was followed in 2008 by an Associate Professor position and Faculty Director of the Systems Proteomics Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In addition to his appointments in American Institutions, Dr. Alzate holds a Professor position in the Pontificia Bolivariana University in his native Colombia. He is currently an Associate Editor for North America of the Journal of Integrated OMICS, as well as an associate Editor of Archives in Medicine.

Renate Jonker, BSc

Renate Jonker is a Research Assistant and PhD student of the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. She studied Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Amsterdam and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in June 2009. As part of her education she performed a retrospective cross-sectional study in children with Cystic Fibrosis at the Emma Children’s Hospital, part of the Amsterdam University Medical Center, to assess their nutritional status over time. Her graduation thesis focused on different methodological principles to measure body composition and the validity of these principles in a healthy population, performed in the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity (CTRAL), at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), under supervision of Dr. Nicolaas Deutz. Click here to read more about Renate Jonker.

Gerdien Ligthart Melis, PhD

Gerdien Ligthart-Melis is an Adjunct (Research Assistant) Professor in the Center of Translational Research within the department of Health and Kinsiology atTexas A&M University. Her research interests include the digestion of protein, the absorption of amino acids, and the impact of nutrition on amino acid metabolism, especially under circumstances of critical illness. She completed her BSc in Nutrition & Dietetics in the Netherlands (Europe) in 1991 and worked until 2013 as an RD at the Departments of Surgery, Neurology, Pediatrics, Surgical Oncology, at the Intensive Care and as a member of the Nutritional Team (first at the Isala Hospital of Zwolle, Netherlands, and subsequently in the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands). After completing a Master of Science degree in 2003 (Nijmegen, Netherlands), she began her doctoral work at the VU University. She completed her PhD and graduated Cum Laude in 2008 (Thesis Title: The Metabolic Pathway of (Alanyl-) Glutamine into Citrulline and Arginine in Surgical Patients).

Victor Willson, PhD

Dr. Victor Willson is our group statistician. He helps design experiments, and then tests the significance of results. His methods include metabolic modeling. He is Professor and Head of the Department of Educational Psychology and Professor of Teaching, Learning and Culture in the College of Education and Human Development. Click here to read more about Dr.Willson.

David Kevin Randolph, RPh

Kevin Randolph is our staff pharmacist. He prepares custom compounded pharmaceuticals for use in our experiments. Kevin has a BS in Pharmacy from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, as well as a Masters in Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a Registered Pharmacist.

Robert Wolfe, PhD

Dr. Wolfe is adjunct Professor of the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity within the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. Dr Wolfe is among the most prolific and well‐published researchers in the fields of exercise science, nutrition, and aging. The stable isotope methodology that he pioneered has served as the principle method of assessing muscle protein breakdown and synthesis in response to exercise, disuse, disease and nutritional/pharmaceutical interventions. He has had over 35 years of continuous federal funding and has been funded by a number of pharmaceutical and nutrition- related companies to help them translate science into product development. According to ISI and SCOPUS, Dr. Wolfe has published over 800 publications, has an h‐index of 81, and has been cited in the literature over 13,000 times since 1995. He has also mentored a number of highly productive post‐doctoral students and junior faculty members in conducting research and obtaining federal grants.

Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

HarrykissonDr. Harrykissoon, at the College Station Medical Center, is an important collaborator for our research studies in COPD and Critical Care. He is a graduate of University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care,Pulmonary Diseases, and Sleep Medicine. As part of the collaboration he provides significant scientific input on the most current practices in his field and new ideas for research projects relevant to improving clinical practice. He will also assist with the recruitment of patients for ongoing projects.

Gene Veley, MD

Dr. Veley is an important collaborator for our research studies in COPD and studies at the Intensive Care Unit. He is the Section Head of the Department of Pulmonary Critical Care at the Scott and White Hospital. He is a graduate of Ross University School of Medicine, Domenica, WI, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care, and Pulmonary Diseases. He provides valuable ideas for new research projects in his fields of expertise and advises investigators on ways to improve the validity of ongoing research projects. He will also assist with the recruitment of patients for ongoing projects.

Anthony Zachria, DO

ZachariaDr. Zachria, at the College Station Medical Center, is an important collaborator for our research studies in COPD and Critical Care. He is a graduate of University of North Texas Health Science Center, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care, Pulmonary Diseases, and Sleep Medicine. As part of the collaboration he provides significant scientific input on the most current practices in his field and new ideas for research projects relevant to improving clinical practice. He will also assist with the recruitment of patients for ongoing projects.