Research

Khadijah Breathett, MD, MS

Personal Information
Assistant Professor, UA College of Medicine - Tucson, Division of Cardiology
Heart Failure Specialist, Advanced Heart Failure, Mechanical Circulatory Support and Cardiac Transplantation Team, Banner - University Medical Center Tucson
(520) 626-2301
kbreathett@shc.arizona.edu

Khadijah Breathett, MD, MS, is an assistant professor in the UA College of Medicine - Tucson, Division of Cardiology and a heart failure specialist with the Advanced Heart Failure, Mechanical Circulatory Support and Cardiac Transplantation Team at Banner - University Medical Center Tucson.

She is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology and advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology.

Dr. Breathett's clinical interests include heart failure, cardiac transplantation, mechanical circulatory devices, and women's health.

Her research interests include reducing racial/ethnic and gender disparities in advanced heart failure and preventing those populations from developing advanced heart failure.  Dr. Breathett has developed several outcomes and population studies as well as community interventions focused on reducing racial/ethnic and gender disparities in cardiovascular disease.  She serves on multiple national committees within the American Heart Association and Heart Failure Society of America.

EDUCATION:
2004, BS, Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
2008, MD, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
2017, MS, Clinical Science, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, Aurora, CO

POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING:
06/2008 - 06/2011, Internal Medicine Residency, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC  
07/2011 - 06/2014, Cardiovascular Diseases Fellowship, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH
07/2014 - 06/2015, Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Fellowship, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH
07/2015 - 06/2016, NIH T32 Cardiovascular/Obesity Outcomes Fellow, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, Aurora, CO
07/2016 - 06/2017 American Heart Association Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant Outcomes Research Fellow for Strategically Focused Research Network, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, Aurora, CO

CERTIFICATION AND LICENSURE:
American Board of Internal Medicine 8/2011 - 12/2021
American Board of Internal Medicine, Cardiology 10/2014 - 12/2024 
American Board of Internal Medicine, Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, 10/2016 - 12/2026

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES:
Member, American Heart Association, 2011- present
    Women in Cardiology Committee, Clinical Cardiology Council, 2014 - 2015
    Fellows in Training (Early Career) Committee, Clinical Cardiology Council, 2015 - present
    Social Determinants of Health Committee, Epidemiology and Quality of Care and Outcomes Research
    Councils, 2015 - present

Member, American College of Cardiology, 2011 - present
Member, Association of Black Cardiologists, 2013 - present
Member, International Society of Heart and Lung Transplant, 2014 - present
Member, Heart Failure Society of America, 2014 - present
    Early Career Committee, 2017 - present

For physician appointment information, please call 520-MyHeart (694-3278) or 520-626-2000.

For more health information, please visit our Heart Health page.

If you appreciate the content found on our website, please consider a donation to the Sarver Heart Center.

 

David G. Marrero, PhD

Personal Information
Director, UA Center for Border Health
Professor, UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
Professor, UA College of Medicine - Tucson, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology
(520) 626-3281
dgmarrero@email.arizona.edu

David G. Marrero, PhD, is the director of the UA Center for Border Health at the University of Arizona Health Sciences. The Center for Border Health works to develop programs and strategies to improve health and wellbeing along the U.S.-Mexico border and across the greater Southwest.

Dr. Marrero, whose research has focused on medication adherence, community health programs, early diabetes intervention and translational medicine, also is professor of public health at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion Sciences, and professor in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology.

The Center will focus on building extensive collaborative efforts to affect treatment of type 2 diabetes in border populations. Working with the Arizona Area Health Education Centers (AzAHEC) and other UAHS centers, the Center for Border Health is establishing Regional Arizona Centers of Excellence in Clinical Research (or RACER sites) in Yuma and Nogales to provide mental health services for individuals with diabetes and to develop culturally appropriate and relevant training programs. 

Dr. Marrero joins the UA Health Sciences after 20 years at Indiana University, where he served as director of its Diabetes Translational Research Center and the J.O. Ritchey Professor of Medicine. He was instrumental in the development of a Diabetes Prevention Program and the TRIAD study, which evaluated strategies to improve diabetes care delivery in managed-care settings, among many other achievements.

Twice awarded the Allene Von Son Award for Diabetes Patient Education Tools by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Dr. Marrero has been nominated to Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care in 2000, served as associate editor for Diabetes Care (1997-2002) and is the associate editor for Diabetes Forecast. He was selected for an Alumni of the Year award from the University of California, Irvine in 2006 and Outstanding Educator in Diabetes in 2008 by the American Diabetes Association. In 2016, he served as the president for health care and education of the American Diabetes Association. His research interests also include strategies for promoting diabetes prevention, improving diabetes care practices used by primary care providers and the use of technology to facilitate care and education. His clinical interests include diabetes, obesity and coping.

Dr. Marrero received a bachelor’s degree (1974), master’s degree (1978) and doctorate (1982) in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine.

Lee Ryan, PhD

Personal Information
Department Head, Psychology
Professor, Psychology
Associate Director, Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute
Director, Cognition and Neuroimaging Laboratory
(520) 621-7443
ryant@email.arizona.edu

Dr. Lee Ryan completed her undergraduate work at the University of Toronto, received a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Clinical Psychology at the University of British Columbia in 1992, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at San Diego. Currently Dr. Ryan is the Director of the Cognition and Neuroimaging Laboratory, the Head of the Psychology Department and the Associate Director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Arizona. 

Research:

  • Investigating the aging brain and how memory changes with age
  • Developing state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging techniques to visualize the aging brain
  • Identifying ways to maintain a healthy brain through heart-healthy lifestyle choices

Dr. Ryan's research focuses on the neural basis of memory, age-related changes in memory, and how these changes relate to brain functioning. Her research is currently funded by the National Institute on Neurologic Disorders and Stroke, the Arizona Disease Control Research Commission, and the Arizona Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. She has a special interest in memory disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease, AIDS-related dementia, and diseases of white matter including multiple sclerosis.

Teaching/Clinical:

As a professor in the Cognition and Neural Systems program and the Clinical Neuropsychology program in the University of Arizona's Department of Psychology, Dr. Ryan teaches undergraduate classes in human memory and graduate level courses such as Human Brain Behavior Relationships, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Principles of Neuroanatomy. As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Ryan works with individuals and families who are coping with chronic and progressive diseases that affect cognitive functioning, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. 

Research Areas: 

Healthy Brains

Healthy Lives

Healthy Minds

Research Program: 

Clinical

CNS

Lawrence J. Mandarino, PhD

Personal Information
Director, UA Center for Disparities in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism
(520) 626-6453
mandarino@email.arizona.edu

Lawrence J. Mandarino, PhD, is the director of the UA Center for Disparities in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism at the University of Arizona Health Sciences. Dr. Mandarino also serves as chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in the Department of Medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

Prior to joining the UA, Dr. Mandarino served as director of the Center for Metabolic Biology and director of the Mayo/ASU Center for Metabolic and Vascular Biology at Mayo Clinic Arizona at Arizona State University. Dr. Mandarino spent more than 12 years at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in the Departments of Medicine, Biochemistry and Physiology. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of California, San Diego, after performing a postdoctoral fellowship in endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic.

The UA Center for Disparities in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism serves as a nucleus for interdisciplinary research that forms the foundation for advanced, evidence-based clinical care. A major focus of the center are innovative approaches to delivery of care and prevention, serving a diverse population in one of the most high-risk yet underserved regions in the nation.

Dr. Mandarino’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health for more than 25 years. Currently, he is principal investigator on two studies with grant funding totaling more than $5 million. His research interests include the mechanisms of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and liver and the mechanisms of fatty liver development. His research is aimed at providing new targets for treating insulin resistance syndrome – sometimes referred to as metabolic syndrome – which increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other cardiometabolic conditions, all areas of special concern in the Latino population. In 2009, he received the American Diabetes Association’s Cure Award, presented to a key researcher who is engaged in basic or clinical research focusing on the treatment, cure or prevention of diabetes and its complications.

An active supporter of the training of physician-scientists and biomedical researchers, he has mentored many post-doctoral and medical research fellows and graduate and undergraduate students. He has more than 140 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. He has been associate editor of Diabetes; a reviewer for Diabetes Care, Diabetologia, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Metabolism; and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Proteome Research. His professional memberships include the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, American College of Sports Medicine, American Federation for Clinical Research, American Physiological Society and American Diabetes Association.

Dr. Mandarino earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at ASU. After earning his doctorate in 1978, he joined the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he was a senior research fellow and also an assistant professor at Mayo Medical School. He then joined the faculty of the University of California, San Diego, in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and was core laboratory director of the General Clinical Research Center. From 1987 to 1992, he was assistant professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He then served as associate professor in the Departments of Medicine, Biochemistry and Physiology and as professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Diabetes, at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

In 2005, he joined ASU as professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology and founding director of the Center for Metabolic Biology, which brings together basic scientists and physician-investigators to understand the mechanisms involved in the development of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. In 2010, ASU and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale partnered to create the Mayo/ASU Center for Metabolic and Vascular Biology, to combat obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and other related conditions, and Dr. Mandarino was appointed director.

Rick G. Schnellmann, PhD

Personal Information
Dean, College of Pharmacy
Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Professor, Medicine
520-626-1657
schnell@pharmacy.arizona.edu

Rick G. Schnellmann, PhD, is dean of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. A leading pharmacologist, researcher and drug discovery entrepreneur, he joined the UA in August 2016 from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Schnellmann earned his doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Arizona Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine in 1984. At the South Carolina College of Pharmacy at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, he was eminent scholar and distinguished university professor and was chair of the college’s Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences from 2001 to 2015. During his tenure as chair, Dr. Schnellmann assisted in the merger of the colleges of pharmacy at the University of South Carolina and MUSC, facilitating the transition to distance education on campuses 100 miles apart. Under his guidance, his department’s NIH grant funding increased, and in 2014 the school was ranked 11th in NIH funding to colleges of pharmacy.

Dr. Schnellmann’s research is focused on identifying and developing drugs to treat acute kidney injury, diabetic kidney disease, stroke, spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s disease. His research has been funded continuously since 1987 and includes NIH grant funding totaling more than $30 million. He has been instrumental in founding three MUSC spin-off biotechnology companies focused on drug discovery and development, including a drug for acute kidney injury, molecular compounds that could lead to new treatment for kidney failure and a compound being tested for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.

He has a strong commitment to education and mentoring future researchers. He has taught pharmacology and toxicology to pharmacy, medical and veterinary students and has served on the Society of Toxicology Education Committee and the Subcommittee on Minority Education Initiatives. In 2013, Dr. Schnellmann received the Society’s Education Award for “his distinguished teaching and training of toxicologists and for his significant contributions to education in the broad field of toxicology.”

Dr. Schnellmann was the editor of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics from 2004 to 2009. He also has served as associate editor of the American Journal of Physiology and Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed publications and reviews and authored more than 28 book chapters. Dr. Schnellmann received a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in renal toxicology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

David Thorpe, MD, PhD

Personal Information
Assistant Research Scientist
(520) 626-8467
davidthorpe@email.arizona.edu

David Thorpe, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Research Scientist at the Sarver Heart Center in Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine.  He is currently working on the proteomics of heart failure with a multisite clinical study of more than 1,300 subjects, and “disease in a dish” approaches of bench science such as iPSC – inducible pluripotent stem cells – from people with and without heart disease.

He brings over 30 years of biotech, pharmaceutical (Selectide to Sanofi in Tucson) and academic experience including 12 years each in cardiovascular, diabetes and inflammatory disease research with emphasis of 8 years on guanylate cyclases, plus anticoagulants (with Xa IND), myosin & other heart failure targets, 8 years each on incretins (mainly GLP-1) and chemokines.  He has published work on drug target discovery and validation using chemical tools, combinatorial chemistry, drug discovery and worldwide patents for experimental chemokine-directed anti-inflammatory drugs.

Returning to his Wildcat roots, Dr. Thorpe was a Principal Investigator at the UA Heart Center from 1990 – 1992, executing two grants from American Heart Association & the Arizona Disease Control Research Commission on guanylate cyclases, proteins important to the actions of nitrates and natriuretic peptides.

Dr. Thorpe earned his PhD in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, and his MD from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN. He earned his BS in Psychology from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.

John M. Ruiz, PhD

Personal Information
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology
(520) 621-2177
JohnRuiz@email.arizona.edu

John M. Ruiz, PhD is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, part of the School of Mind, Brain and Behavior (MBB) within the UA College of Science. Dr. Ruiz' research focuses on psychosocial determinants of cardiovascular disease (CVD) including significant work in racial/ethnic disparities in risk. In addition, he is interested in sociocultural aspects of racial/ethnic health disparities, particularly the epidemiological phenomenon referred to as the Hispanic Health Paradox.

His NIH (NHLBI)-funded research examines relationships between individual level psychosocial factors, social behaviors, and CVD risk with an emphasis on biobehavioral mechanisms including stress-related processes.  In addition, he has expertise in racial/ethnic disparities in CVD risk and focal expertise in Hispanic/Latino populations.  He serves on the editorial boards of several journals (Health Psychology, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Journal of Latina/o Psychology), and is an elected fellow of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research (ABMR).  He also serves on the external advisory board for NIH's Science of Behavior Change effort, and is a permanent member of the NIH Behavioral Medicine Interventions and Outcomes (BMIO) study section.

Dr. Ruiz received his BA in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  After earning his MA in Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, he completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology with Health Specialty at the University of Utah. He completed a Clinical Psychology Internship at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a NIH/NHLBI R25 "PRIDE" Fellowship - Programs to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research.

Michael Grandner PhD

Personal Information
Director of the Sleep and Health Research Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the UA College of Medicine- Tucson
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Assistant Professor of Psychiary
Assistant Professor of Psychology
(520) 626-6336
grandner@email.arizona.edu

        Dr. Michael Grandner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona. He is certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine. Currently, he is Director of the Sleep and Health Research Program. A large part of his research focuses on how sleep and sleep-related behaviors are related to cardiovascular disease, neurobehavioral functioning, mental health, and general well-being.

       Of his current research projects, one focuses on how sleep patterns relate to cardiometabolic disease risk as well as neurocognitive function. Another study focuses on various influences that impact sleep, including social, environmental, and behavioral factors.

       Dr. Grandner received his BA from the University of Rochester in 2001. He went on to receive both his MS and PhD from San Diego State University in 2005 and 2007 respectively.  He completed two fellowships with the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Department at the University of Pennsylvania between 2007-2012. Dr. Grandner has been American Board of Sleep Medicine certified since 2014.

Michael Grandner, PhD

Personal Information
Director of the Sleep and Health Research Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the UA College of Medicine- Tucson
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Psychology, Nutritional Sciences
(520) 626-6336
grandner@email.arizona.edu

        Michael Grandner, PhD, is director of the Sleep and Health Research Program in the Department of Psychiatry as well as the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic at Banner-University Medical Center, and assistant professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, Psychology, and Nutritional Sciences at the UA College of Medicine- Tucson. He is certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine. A large part of his research focuses on how sleep and sleep-related behaviors are related to cardiovascular disease, neurobehavioral functioning, mental health, and general well-being.

       Of his current research projects, one focuses on how sleep patterns relate to cardiometabolic disease risk as well as neurocognitive function. Another study focuses on various influences that impact sleep, including social, environmental, and behavioral factors.

       Dr. Grandner received his BA from the University of Rochester in 2001 and went on to complete his MS at San Diego State University. He completed his PhD from a Joint Doctoral Program at San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego. Most recently, Dr. Grandner earned a Masters in Translational Research from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. He completed two fellowships with the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Department at the University of Pennsylvania between 2007-2012. Dr. Grandner has been American Board of Sleep Medicine certified since 2014.

 

For more health information, please visit our Heart Health page.

If you appreciate the content found on our website, please consider a donation to the Sarver Heart Center.

Jason X.-J. Yuan, MD, PhD

Personal Information
Associate Vice President for Translational Health Sciences
Chief, Division of Translational Regenerative Medicine
Professor of Medicine
Professor of Physiology
(520) 626-6453
jasonyuan@email.arizona.edu

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Yuan's research interests include pulmonary vascular pathophysiology and pathogenic mechanisms of pulmonary vascular disease, including idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary hypertension associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, obstructive sleep apnea, sickle cell disease and scleroderma.

In his role as Associate Vice President for Translational Health Sciences, Dr. Yuan will advance AHSC research, including developing novel, high-impact training programs and centralized research and technical “core” facilities, in collaboration with AHSC deans, clinical department heads, institute and center directors, and key internal and external AHSC stakeholders. 

Dr. Yuan joined the faculty of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson as professor of medicine with a joint appointment as professor of physiology. He directs a highly competitive and innovative research program in translational and clinical pulmonary hypertension and vascular medicine, working with research groups across the UA campus. In addition, he has established a new Division of Translational and Regenerative Medicine to enhance the translational regenerative medicine research at the UA. (Regenerative medicine involves medical therapies that repair, replace or regenerate cells, tissues or organs damaged by disease, accident or aging or resulting from congenital defects.) 

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Yuan was professor of medicine and pharmacology, vice chair for scholarly activities for the Department of Medicine, director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Translational Research Program in the Institute for Personalized Respiratory Medicine, and director of the Program in Pulmonary Vascular Disease and Right Heart Function in the Center for Cardiovascular Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also has held faculty positions in the Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, and the Department of Physiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore. 

Dr. Yuan’s professional memberships include the American Thoracic Society and he is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He also is a fellow of the American Heart Association, American Physiological Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served as adviser and reviewer with many national and international associations, including the National Institutes of Health, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and National Science Foundation. He also was a member of the 2012 review panel of the site visit of the Integrative Cardiac Health Program at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, American Institute for Biological Sciences and Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) of the Department of Defense. 

He has been an invited lecturer at conferences and a visiting lecturer at institutions around the world. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award, a Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute Achievement Award and a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship Award. He is co-holder of a patent, “Regulating Expression of Transient Receptor Potential Channel Genes,” with C.V. Remillard, L.J. Rubin and Y. Yu.

He is co-editor with Dr. Garcia, C.A. Hales, S. Rich, S.L. Archer and J.B. West of the Textbook of Pulmonary Vascular Disease (2011, Springer) and is the author of numerous books and book chapters and more than 190 scientific journal articles. His articles in the American Journal of Physiology (AJP)-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology are among the top 10 cited articles for 1990-1999 and 2000-2011, and also are among the top 10 cited articles for 2000-2011 in AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology. He is editor-in-chief of Pulmonary Circulation, deputy editor and associate editor of the American Journal of Physiology Cell Physiology and section editor of Vascular Diseases of the Lung in PanVascular Medicine (2nd edition). He serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Physiology Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology, and Circulation Research

Dr. Yuan received his medical degree in 1983 from Suzhou Medical College, Suzhou, China, where he also completed an internship at Suzhuo Medical College Hospital and Suzhou Third City Hospital, followed by a research fellowship in the Departments of Physiology and Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore from 1988-1991. He earned his doctorate in 1993 in a joint training program with the University of Maryland and Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.

Arizona Health Sciences Center. (May 19, 2015). Dr. Jason X.-J. Yuan Appointed Associate Vice President for Translational Health Sciences at the Arizona Health Sciences Center [Press release].

 

Syndicate content