1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Faculty
  4.  » Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct Faculty

Data Science related professionals outside of UD.


Robert Akins
Director, Center for Pediatric Clinical Research & Development, Nemours Children’s Health System

Dr. Akins is Director of the Center for Pediatric Clinical Research and Development for the Nemours Children’s Health System and an affiliated Full Professor in Materials Science & Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Biological Sciences at the University of Delaware. Dr. Akins received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania where he trained in the Biophysical Cytology and Cell & Molecular Biology Programs with an emphasis on computational imaging, dynamic systems, and advanced statistics. He has contributed seminal work in multiple areas including protein analytics, regenerative medicine, and muscle pathophysiology. Dr. Akins is committed to improving the health and care of children with complex perinatal and congenital diseases through research and innovation. He also currently leads mentoring and scientist development programs focused on building biomedical research and research capacity in the state.

Haider Ali
CEO and Founder, Crowdception Inc.
Assistant Professor, Data Science Institute

Helping society through artificial intelligence technologies

Dr. Haider Ali is an Adjunct Faculty (Assistant Professor) in the Data Science Institute at the University of Delaware. He is also a CEO and Founder of the Crowdception Inc. with over 15 years of extensive professional experience (mainly research and development in Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Applied AI, Robotics and Knowledge Based Systems) in Asia, Europe and the United States of America. Prior to joining the University of Delaware, he was an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Johns Hopkins University until April, 2019. He was an Associate Research Scientist at Center for Imaging Science (CIS), JHU from 2017-2018 and a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (RM) of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany from 2011-2017. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Vienna University of Technology, Austria in 2010.

Nii Attoh-Okine
Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of Maryland

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Moumita Bhattacharya
Senior Research Scientist, Netflix Research

Machine Learning, Information Retrieval, Recommender System and Large Scale Search Systems

Dr. Bhattacharya research focuses on leveraging machine learning and information retrieval algorithms to build at-scale recommender systems and search systems. Currently Dr. Bhattacharya is a Senior Research Scientist at Netflix Research, where she works on developing at-scale machine learning models for Search and Recommendation Systems. Prior to Netflix, she was a Senior Applied Scientist at Etsy, a two-sided marketplace. At Etsy, Moumita was tech leading a team that developed recommendation systems to show relevant products to Etsy users. Dr. Bhattacharya has a PhD in Computer Science with a focus on Machine Learning and its applications in disease prediction and patient risk stratification. She is actively serving as Program Committees for SIAM International Conference on Data Mining and The Web Conference 2023 since 2020 and is a reviewer for conferences such as WSDM, The Web Conference 2023, American Medical Informatic Association (AMIA), and journals including Journal of the American College of Cardiology, among others.

Hacene Boukari
Professor of Physics / Associate Dean for Research, Delaware State University

Imaging, Spectroscopy, Biophysics, Nanotransport, Machine Learning

Hacene Boukari, PhD, is Professor of physics and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture, Science, and Technology (CAST) at Delaware State University (DSU). He obtained his PhD degree in Chemical Physics from the University of Maryland. His career started while working on a 22-million-dollar NASA project (Zeno Experiment) to build and operate a spectrometer for studying supercritical xenon in microgravity aboard the NASA Space-Shuttle. Before joining DSU (2010), he held several positions, including Senior Scientist at NIH, Guest Researcher at NIST, and Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Maryland. He worked on diverse projects, including understanding the transport properties of supercritical fluids, determining interactions of biopolymers and cells, and probing diffusion of nanoparticles in complex matrices. His current work focuses on combining machine learning methods and novel optical and imaging techniques to investigate interactions of nanoparticles in crowded complex systems and their impacts on the overall behavior of the systems. He received the researcher award from NASA and the DSU research and service awards.

Tim Bunnell
Director, Biomedical Research Informatics Center, Nemours Children’s Health

Medical Informatics; Speech Processing; Deep Learning; Data Mining

I received my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University in 1983, although my dissertation research was conducted while working as a researcher at the University of Maryland, conducting studies on the perception of coarticulatory information with James G. Martin. After graduating, I worked as a Research Scientist in the Sensory Communication Research Laboratory (later Center for Auditory and Speech Sciences) at Gallaudet University from 1983 until 1989 conducting research on the application of digital speech processing techniques to hearing enhancement, primarily for acoustic hearing aid users. In 1989 I became the director of the Speech Processing Laboratory of the Applied Science and Engineering Laboratories at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, now named Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware (NCH-D) where my research interests in acoustic phonetics and speech processing expanded to include text to speech synthesis and speech recognition. Since 1989, I have held several positions at NCH-D and am now the director of the Nemours Center for Pediatric Auditory and Speech Sciences (CPASS). There are currently three laboratories in CPASS: the Audit

David Chen
Physician-Scientist, ChristianaCare Health System – Institute for Research on Equity and Community Health

violence, firearms, guns, Covid-19

Dr. David Chen is a hospitalist at Christiana Care Health System. He graduated from Princeton University with a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering and received his M.D. and M.P.H. in Health Systems and Policy from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. He completed his combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at ChristianaCare Health System and Nemours/Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children and lived in the North side of Wilmington for two years during his training. He has received funding to study healthcare utilization and disparities in assault injured men and the impact of community violence exposures on health related quality of life. At ChristianaCare Health system, he is a physician-scientist for the Institute for Research on Equity and Community Health (IREACH) and the medical director for Empowering Victims of Lived Violence (EVOLV), a hospital violence intervention program. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, he performed real-time analytics of inpatient Covid-19 data to inform and adapt frontline clinical care at CCHS.

Fang Fang Chen
Senior Research Biostatistician /Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Nemours

Psychometrics, Structural Equation Modeling, Psychological Well-Being

Dr. Chen is a senior research biostatistician at the Nemours Center for HealthCare Delivery Science, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Thomas Jefferson University. Before joining Nemours, Dr. Chen was an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Delaware and later at the University of Hong Kong. Dr. Chen obtained her Ph.D. from Arizona State University, where she pursued a rigorous course of training in both quantitative methodology and social psychology. Dr. Chen’s scholarly work builds on the foundation of her dual training in quantitative methodology and social psychology. She conducts basic research on measurement, basic research on social/health psychology, and applies her work on measurement to key constructs in social/health psychology. Dr. Chen’s work has been widely cited by researchers, including top ranked journals’ most cited list, and Classics in Academic & Psychological Testing.

Karthik Devarajan
Associate Research Professor, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University Health System

statistical machine learning, bioinformatics, survival analysis, data mining, high-dimensional data analysis

Dr. Devarajan is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (TU). He has been an affiliated faculty member in the Center for High-dimensional Statistics in the Department of Statistics, Operations and Data Science at TU. His primary research interests encompass statistical machine learning and data science with applications in bioinformatics, genomics, neuroscience, biomedicine and natural language processing; its principal focus is the development of statistical and computational approaches for massive data sets and includes methods for pattern recognition, outlier detection, feature selection, biomarker discovery, and predictive modeling. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and pre-prints. Dr. Devarajan serves as Co-Chair of the Data Safety and Monitoring Board at FCCC and on the editorial board of scientific journals. Previously, he held research positions at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

Chad Forbes
Associate Professor, Psychology; Associate Director, FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute,

Social neuroscience, self/identity, stigma/prejudice, STEM achievement

Chad E. Forbes, Ph.D., is a social neuroscientist, an associate professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and the Associate Director for the FAU Brain Institute. As a first generation college student, he earned his bachelor’s in Psychology (minors in Biology and Chemistry) from Long Beach State University, followed by his master’s and doctorate degree in psychology with emphases in social and cognitive neuroscience from the University of Arizona. Dr. Forbes also completed postdoctoral training in the Cognitive Neuroscience Section at the NINDS and the NIBIB. His research examines the dynamic modulation of self and identity as a function of biology, memory, context, and time, and how these processes are altered vis a vis the consequences of prejudice and implicit bias on stigmatized individuals’ career aspirations, and physical and mental health. This work has resulted in a number of federally funded grants and publications in a variety of top-tier journals in the field, including Annual Reviews of Neuroscience and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and recognition from the American Psychological Association as a “Rising Star” in psychology.

Angela Herman
Chair, Health Sciences Programs, Wilmington University

Cardiovascular Disease, Technology in HealthCare and healthcare education

Angela Herman, DNP, RN is the Health Sciences Programs Chair within the College of Health Professions and Natural Sciences at Wilmington University. She teaches Health Sciences courses in all levels as well as research in the BSN and MSN nursing programs, and the Doctor of Social Science in Prevention Science program. She serves as the co-chair of the Human Subjects Review Committee at Wilmington University.
Prior to her role as Chair of Health Sciences, Dr. Herman was the manager of the Cardiovascular Clinical Trials program at Christiana Care for 24 years. During that time she oversaw the successful implementation of many international clinical trials as well as many published local trials. Her research interests include technology in healthcare and healthcare education, ethical decision-making in nursing, and depression and anxiety in cardiac patients.

Jobayer Hossain
Senior Research Scientist & Director, Biostatistics Program, Biomedical Research, Nemours Children’s Health

Biostatistics, Data Science, Machine Learning, Longitudinal Data, Classification

Md. Jobayer Hossain, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist and the Director of the Biostatistics Program at Nemours Children’s Health. He has over 20 years of experience in the design and analysis of clinical, epidemiological, and public health studies. His research interests focus on the innovative application of statistical, data science, and machine learning methods to explore etiologic pathways and health trends in diverse pediatric populations that improves the health of children affected by a broad range of diseases, disorders, and health conditions. Besides routine modeling of data, his research focuses on tracking changes in health trajectories; recognizing hidden patterns; creating and predicting classes of distinct patterns; and identifying individual and community-level demographic, clinical and other features responsible for diverse trajectories. Dr. Hossain provides training and education on statistics and analytical software skills at Nemours and affiliated institutions. As an active research and teaching faculty, Dr. Hossain is a lead or co-author for 134 published articles and more than 250 published abstracts and presentations.

Medina Jackson-Browne
Senior Staff Scientist, Division of General Pediatrics
Boston Children’s Hospital

Triclosan, Parabens, Asthma, Environment, Children

Medina Jackson-Browne is a Senior Staff Scientist in Division of General Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Jackson-Browne received her PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Previously, she was an assistant professor in the in Epidemiology program in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Delaware and a postdoctoral research scholar in the Department of Epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health. Her primary research focus is understanding the effects of exposure to environmental chemicals, particularly during gestation and in early childhood, on the alteration of immune function and the development of allergic diseases in children.

Claudine Jurkovitz
Director of Clinical Research, Institute for Research in Equity and Community Health, ChristianaCare Health Services, Inc.

Health Services Research, Epidemiology, Kidney Disease, Electronic Health Records

Claudine Jurkovitz, MD, MPH, has been working at ChristianaCare Health Services Inc. since 2005 and in 2019 was appointed Director of Clinical Research in the ChristianaCare Value Institute, recently renamed Institute for Research in Equity and Community Health (iREACH). She has been leading the Delaware ACCEL-Center for Translational Research (CTR) Biostatistics Epidemiology Research Design (BERD) core since 2017. BERD scientists provide consultations in biostatistics, health informatics and bioinformatics to Investigators from all ACCEL-CTR Institutions. She was appointed Director of the Delaware INBRE Centralized Research Support Network (CRSN) core in 2017. CRSN’s goal is to leverage existing infrastructure such as the BERD or large local claims databases to make these services available to the INBRE network’s investigators. As a Nephrologist Epidemiologist, Dr. Jurkovitz has developed her own research interests in the field of kidney disease and health services research.

Pengyuan Li
Research Staff Member, IBM Research – Almaden

Machine Learning, Text and Image Mining, Biomedical Informatics

Dr. Pengyuan Li is a Research Staff Member from IBM Almaden Research Center. His research focuses on machine learning, text-and-image mining, document analysis, and biomedical informatics. He has developed algorithms and web applications for enabling computer-aid diagnosis and for supporting the biocuration community. His work has been published at top conferences and journals, such as Bioinformatics, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, ISMB/ECCB, and CIKM. Dr. Li has served as a program committee member for conferences, such as WWW, and as a reviewer for journals such as Bioinformatics. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of California Los Angeles, the University of British Columbia, and Tongji University for discovering and developing new ideas with researchers from various backgrounds. Dr. Li obtained his PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Delaware.

Matt Mahoney
Principal Computational Scientist, The Jackson Laboratory

Computer vision, genomics, neuroscience

I am a Principal Computational Scientist at The Jackson Laboratory with expertise in neuroscience, computer vision, systems genetics, and machine learning. My graduate training was in pure mathematics, after which I transitioned to systems biology. As a post-doctoral researcher, I developed systems-biology tools to integrate heterogeneous gene-expression data sets and, in a separate post-doctoral position, studied the neural networks underlying learning and memory. In 2016, I was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences at the UVM Larner College of Medicine. In 2020, I took a new position at The Jackson Laboratory as a Senior Computational Scientist. Throughout this time, I have maintained a strong record of extramural funding in genetics, neuroscience, and data science, including a recently awarded R01 for “Integrating high-throughput histology with systems genetics through causal graphical models”. I am also the co-lead of the Data Analysis Core of the JAX-Sen Mouse Tissue Mapping Center. Through this project, my team is developing and implementing state-of-the-art methodologies for spatial ‘omics’.

Suzanne Milbourne
Associate Chief of Staff – Research & Development, Wilmington VA Medical Center

veterans, health, services

Suzanne A. Milbourne, PhD, serves in the role of Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development at the Wilmington VA Medical Center. In 2006, she completed her PhD at UD with a focus on systems change. In 2008 Dr. Milbourne was recruited back to UD to co-lead an NIH-funded longitudinal study of children’s health and health services. She went on to serve as co-Investigator on a Department of Defense-funded multi-site musculoskeletal injury consortium that included VA programs. Dr. Milbourne was a PCORI-funded Principal Investigator on a UD award that focused on leveraging VA and NIH-IDeA research resources to expand veteran engagement in biomedical research in Delaware. Dr. Milbourne’s partnership with UD continues. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty of the UD Data Science Institute, the site-PI on a UD-DSU-VA data science pilot initiative funded by DE-INBRE, a Steering Committee Member for the Delaware INBRE program, and is the primary liaison for UD-VA research partnerships.

Cara Reedy
Research Data Scientist, Nemours Children’s Health

Machine learning, neural networks, natural language processing

Dr. Reedy received a Ph.D in Cognitive Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2020 with a thesis combining a diploid genetic algorithm with a social artificial life simulation. They joined the Biomedical Research Informatics Center at Nemours Children’s Hospital in 2022 as a research data scientist. At Nemours, they use machine learning, natural language processing, and data analysis to extract information from health records to better understand and improve children’s health.

Nii Tawiah
Assistant Professor, Delaware State University

Dr. Tawiah is an Assistant Professor at Delaware State University, where he teaches introductory and upper-level sociology courses. His research focuses on health disparities inequality, labor, family, machine learning, and data science education. He is also a consultant with the Food Science Program at Delaware State University, applying data science expertise. He has successfully obtained funding from USDA-AFRI and USDA-NIFA to introduce data science into classroom education.

Michael Vest
Attending Physician/Assistant Professor, Christiana Care Health System/Sidney Kimmel Medical College

ICU outcomes, clinical medicine

Dr. Vest graduated from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed internal medicine internship and residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, TX. After his military service, he completed fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Yale University School of Medicine-Yale New Haven Hospital. He is currently an attending physician in the section of Critical Care Medicine at Christiana Care and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. His research interest focus on improving outcomes for critically ill patients.

Laura Wallace
Researcher, Learning Support Division in the Early Childhood Hub at American Institutes for Research (AIR)

Integrated data, research and practice partnerships, data driven policy, research to policy best practices

Laura Wallace, Ph.D. is a researcher in the Learning Supports Division, Early Childhood practice area at American Institutes for Research (AIR). Dr. Wallace has over 10 years of research and evaluation experience. Many of her projects have been participatory evaluations and research-practice partnerships involving collaboration with a range of stakeholders including community, state, and national partners. Dr. Wallace’s focus is on zero to 3 intervention and prevention programs, and she has expertise in home visits and integrated early childhood programs. She has conducted research in child welfare, early childhood education workforce development, childcare cost analysis, and large-scale integrated state administrative data. Additionally, Dr. Wallace has direct service experience and worked as the Director of Early Learning at the Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Wallace holds a Ph.D. in School Psychology from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA where she focused on the evaluation of integrated birth to three child welfare programs. She also holds a MS in psychology from Villanova University with a specialization in child development and parent child interactions.

Zugui Zhang
Research Associate Professor of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University
Director of Biostatistics, Christiana Care Health System
Fellow, American Heart Association

Biostatistics, public health, health economics, bioinformatics, data analysis

As director of biostatistics at the Christiana Care Health System, I carried out study design, methodology research, data analysis, writing drafts as the lead author for peer reviewed research papers, and teaching courses. I published manuscripts in New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of American Medicine, JACC, Circulation, Journal of Clinical Hypertension, The Canadian Journal of Cardiology, among others. My work and papers have been widely reported via media and cited in academic journals. I have worked extensively on several large, international, multi-center, randomized clinical trials, including the Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation, the Enoxaparin and Thrombolysis Reperfusion for Acute Myocardial Infarction Treatment, American College of Cardiology Foundation-The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Collaboration on the Comparative Effectiveness of Revascularization Strategies, Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial, and Individual Breastfeeding Support with Incentives for Low-income Mothers.

Our Mission

The Institute aims to accelerate research in data science, serving as a nucleating effort to catalyze interdisciplinary research collaborations across fields impacting our society.