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UTSA Academy of Distinguished Researchers

 

 

 

The Academy of Distinguished Researchers was established in 2015 to select and honor outstanding faculty who are accomplished scholars and who share the University’s continuing commitment to research excellence; to foster the highest quality of research and scholarly activity by UTSA faculty; and to promote the University’s vision as a premier public research university.

 

 

 

Academy Members


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SOS AGAIAN
College of Engineering
Charter Member

My research focuses on the development of scientific tools applicable to the theory and practice of visual data analytics and security systems. As both an engineering professor and entrepreneur, I am often asked for my views on whether entrepreneurship can even be taught. After all, entrepreneurial experience may be tough to get within the bounds of a full-time educational and research experience. What follows is my research philosophy and vision on what I think it takes to help students develop the core technical and practical skills to change the world for the better. Over the past 20 years, I have taught and did research under three basic principles: 1) inspire knowledge in students; 2) stress creativity and imagination in their work; 3) offer them the opportunity to do more. These principles have been fundamental to my success as an instructor and researcher. My long-term research agenda is to work with students and faculty to help form a global, interdisciplinary research team, emphasizing the usage of complex digital big-data processing technologies to solve the engineering challenges currently facing the military, biomedical, health and industrial organizations.

Dr. Agaian's webpage


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HAMID BELADI
College of Business
Chair, Academy of Distinguished Researchers
Charter Member

Teaching and research are complimentary and equally important. Research contributes to the production of knowledge, while teaching is concerned with the distribution of knowledge in society. The process of production and distribution in this context are so intertwined that any effort to disentangle them is simply meaningless. Teaching without research quickly becomes stereotyped, unexciting, and far removed from the ever growing frontiers of knowledge, while research without teaching becomes unintelligible and uncommunicative. Continuous interaction with fresh minds through teaching makes research more proactive and highly productive. A casual survey of top tier research institutions shows the existence of a two-way causality between the “status and ranking of universities” and the “quantity of research” published in high quality and leading academic journals.

Dr. Beladi's webpage


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RENA BIZIOS
College of Engineering
Charter Member

Professor Bizios’ research interests include cellular bioengineering, tissue regeneration, tissue engineering, biomaterials and biocompatibility. Her research has used cultured mammalian cells, various biochemical/biological assays and novel, custom-made laboratory set-ups to address (at the cellular, molecular and gene levels) fundamental questions pertinent to functions of cells from select soft and hard connective tissues. In vitro studies investigated cell interactions with implant materials (including nanostructured ones), chemical modification of substrate material surfaces, as well as the effects of biochemical cues (e.g., growth factors) and select biophysical stimuli (specifically, sustained and cyclic pressure and electric current) to promote cell (including stem cell) functions pertinent to new tissue formation. In addition to elucidating fundamental scientific aspects relevant to cellular/biomedical engineering, the results of these research endeavors have the potential of applications in tissue engineering and biotechnology and of contributions to the medical milieu.

Dr. Bizios' webpage


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BANGLIN CHEN
College of Sciences
Inducted in 2016

My current research interests include solid state nanoporous metal-organic frameworks and nanoparticles, self-assembled by coordination of suitable metal ions/clusters with organic building blocks. Such porous materials are of great interest for their potential applications in gas storage, separations, sensors, catalysis and electronics. The current challenge for the synthesis of such materials is to functionalize their nano-sized cavities; so that they can be well suited for specific host-guest interactions and practical applications. Our goals here are to develop synthetic approaches to address the challenge by the emerging crystal design and pre-constructed building blocks strategies. The synthesized materials will be structurally characterized, examined and rationalized for above mentioned functional properties.

Dr. Chen's webpage


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WILLIAM COOKE
College of Education and Human Development
Charter Member

My research focuses on autonomic cardiovascular and cerebrovascular control mechanisms in humans. I have studied the influence of long- and short-duration microgravity exposure and exercise training on cardiovagal and sympathetic baroreflex responses. I have studied fundamental associations among arterial pressure, muscle sympathetic nerve activity and heart rate variability under resting conditions, and during challenges such as exercise, orthostatic and simulated orthostatic stress. I have applied my experience in human cardiovascular control mechanisms to issues of traumatic injury in both civilian and military populations, and I have focused on developing remote triage technologies for mass-casualty situations. My immediate plans involve documenting changes in autonomic neural and cardiovascular control mechanisms in patients recovering from severe burns, and in those suffering from post-traumatic stress.

Dr. Cooke's webpage


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CHRISTOPHER ELLISON
College of Liberal
and Fine Arts
Charter Member

Christopher G. Ellison has been Professor of Sociology and Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Social Science at UTSA since 2010. Ellison’s research centers on several topics: (1) the implications of religion and spirituality for mental and physical health and mortality risk; (2) religious variations in family life, with particular attention to intimate relationships and child-rearing; (3) the role of religion among racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States; (4) religious influences on attitudes and policy preferences in the United States; and (5) public opinion on issues involving race and ethnicity. He is especially interested in improving strategies for identifying and measuring the aspects of religiosity that are most germane to health, family life and other domains of life experience. Ellison has published two books and nearly 200 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in prominent outlets in sociology, public health, religious studies, psychology, gerontology, political science and allied fields.

Dr. Ellison's webpage


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JOHN McCARREY
College of Sciences
Inducted in 2016

Research in Dr. McCarrey’s lab is centered on mammalian germ cells and stem cells. Experimental models include the mouse, the baboon, and the opossum. The lab is interested in the epigenetic regulation of cell functions, including determination of cell fates, maintenance of genetic integrity, regulation of gene expression, genomic imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation and meiotic sex chromosome inactivation, methods of assisted reproduction, the evolution of tissue-specific gene expression in mammalian species, and developing the baboon as a model system for testing stem cell-based therapeutic applications.


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JEANNE REESMAN
College of Liberal
and Fine Arts
Charter Member

Jeanne Campbell Reesman is the Jack and Laura Richmond Endowed Faculty Fellow in American Literature and Professor of English at UTSA. She is in her 30th year as a UTSA faculty member. She has been a highly-regarded teacher and teaches a broad range of courses mostly on the fiction of the fin de siecle period. She has served as Graduate Dean and earlier Division Director of English, Classics, Philosophy and Communication. She has an extremely extensive record of publications including approximately 60 books. These include monographs, edited collections, editions (in French), reference works and textbooks. She has served as a United States Fulbright Professor in Thessaloniki, Greece, and Aix-en-Provence, France. Her most recent publications include Jack London’s Racial Lives and Jack London Photographer. She is presently at work on a collection of reminiscences of Jack London for the University of Iowa Press and on her large project Mark Twain vs. God: The Story of a Relationship.

Dr. Reesman's webpage


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RAVI SANDHU
College of Sciences
Charter Member

Ravi Sandhu began his research career in cyber security models and systems with his Ph.D. dissertation in the early 1980s. His seminal work on role-based access control led to the current dominance of this model in commercial systems, including direct incorporation in an influential NIST-ANSI standard. His work on usage control models continues to lay the foundation for future access control systems. More recently, his team has developed models for attribute-based access control, relationship-based access control and provenance-based access control and studied their possible unification. Applications of these models have been investigated in cloud, mobile and social computing systems. His most recent project is to develop identity and access control models for the emerging Internet of Things. Looking ahead he expects many opportunities for ground breaking research in developing access control and authorization models and systems in future systems.

Dr. Sandhu's webpage


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JOACHIM SINGELMANN
College of Public Policy
Charter Member

Joachim Singelmann is chair of the Department of Demography and the Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at The University of Texas at San Antonio. His previous positions were at Louisiana State University, United Nations Population Division, University of California-San Diego and Vanderbilt University. He obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Singelmann’s research areas include industrial restructuring, transitions from central planning to market economies, development, sociodemographic consequences of disasters and inequality and poverty. His research has been funded by several foundations including NSF and by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, the Interior and Agriculture. Dr. Singelmann is the author of From Agriculture to Services (Sage); co-author of The End of Class Society? (Transfer); and co-editor of Inequalities in Labor Market Areas (Westview). He is currently editing the International Handbook of Poverty Populations (Springer) and Demographic Challenges for 2020 (Springer). His research has been published in the major social science journals in the United States and Europe, including Demography, American Journal of Sociology, European Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Rural Sociology and Demographic Research. Dr. Singelmann has been the editor of Rural Sociology and president of the Southern Demographic Association and the Rural Sociological Society.

Dr. Singelmann's webpage


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JOHN WALD
College of Business
Charter Member

John Wald is a Professor of Finance at The University of Texas at San Antonio. After getting his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley, John was on the faculty at Rutgers University, Penn State University and then at UTSA. John’s research is primarily in the area of corporate finance, and it includes issues in law and finance, international finance and executive compensation. He has published in the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial & Quantitative Analysis, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Business and other journals. He currently serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of International Business Studies. He teaches classes at the undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. levels on corporate finance and international finance topics.

Dr. Wald's webpage


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CHARLES WILSON
College of Sciences
Charter Member

Dr. Wilson’s lab studies the circuitry and neurons of the basal ganglia, with the goal of understanding the computational function of these structures at the cellular level, and their dysfunction in diseases, especially Parkinson’s Disease. Their experiments are focused on the ionic mechanisms that endow each cell type with its characteristic responses to synaptic input, the patterns of connectivity that deliver specific inputs to each cell and the dynamics that arise from the combination of these.

Dr. Wilson's webpage


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MIGUEL JOSE-YACAMAN
College of Sciences
Charter Member

My research has been centered in solving the correlation of atomic structure with properties in advanced materials. Everything is made of atoms and exploring the atomic structure we can tailor the material’s properties to the everyday more astringent demands of the modern society. In order to do that I use electron microscopy, which is the most powerful tool at our disposal. Nowadays electron microscopes can achieve a resolution of 50 pico meters which allow the researcher to see atoms in routine basis. At UTSA we are very fortunate to have one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, and that has been fundamental for the advance of my research. However my main goal is to prepare the next generation of microscopists that will produce exciting research.