PhD in Applied Health Sciences Faculty

Andrew Balas, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Public Health and Health Management
Expertise: Innovative biomedical research responsive to societal needs, advanced digital technologies for transfer of research to practice

Lori Bolgla, Ph.D.

Professor of Physical Therapy
Expertise: Comparison of hip and knee exercise protocols on function in subjects with patellofemoral pain syndrome

Raymond Chong, Ph.D.

Professor of Physical Therapy
Expertise: Movement theories, human multisensory organization and postural control in healthy and neurologically impaired individuals

Steve Coughlin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Clinical and Digital Health Sciences

Dr. Coughlin has a broad background in outcomes research, public health, epidemiology, and clinical research. During the eleven years that he was a senior epidemiologist in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the CDC in Atlanta, he participated in numerous collaborative studies on cancer of the breast, cervix, colon, and ovary. Dr. Coughlin was a CDC technical advisor for the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network. While a senior epidemiologist at the VA Office of Public Health in Washington, DC, he was principal investigator of the Follow-up Study of a National Cohort of Gulf War and Gulf War Veterans (n=30,000 men and women); coinvestigator of the National Health Study for a New Generation of US Veterans (n=60,000); and co-principal proponent of Cooperative Studies Program protocol 585 Gulf War Veteran Biorepository and Survey, which includes questions on woman’s health. 

Dr. Coughlin carried out the first case-control study of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM) conducted anywhere in the world. His primary findings were that African Americans have a 2 to 3-fold increased risk of developing IDCM and that persons with a history of asthma, hypertension, obesity, or diabetes are at increased risk. While at Georgetown and Tulane universities, he served as principal investigator of the Washington, DC Dilated Cardiomyopathy Study, which was funded by NHLBI for 6 consecutive years. The study included both case-control comparisons and a longitudinal follow-up of the case series. His primary findings were that African Americans have a 2 to 3-fold increased risk of developing IDCM and, among persons who develop IDCM, African Americans are up to 5 times more likely to die from the condition than whites.

He is currently principal investigator of the Gulf War Women’s Health Cohort, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. While at Augusta University, Dr. Coughlin has been engaged in collaborative studies of healthy lifestyle interventions for adult clinic patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus; the effectiveness of patient web portals for improving glycemic control among patients with diabetes; and the health of women veterans.

Dr. Coughlin serves on the editorial boards of several journals including Journal of Environment and Health Sciences and BMC Medical Ethics. He is an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Gianluca De Leo, Ph.D.

Department Chairman, Associate Professor of Health Management and Informatics
Expertise: Innovative virtual reality systems, health care mobile technologies, simulation tools, gaming technologies,augmentative and alternative communication systems

Vahe Heboyan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Health Management and Informatics
Expertise: Multi-disciplinary approaches to economic evaluation of health programs, economic efficiencies in health care delivery

Lester G. Pretlow, Ph.D.

Interim Dean and Professor of Medical Laboratory, Imaging and Radiation Science
Expertise: Clinical chemistry, management instrument evaluation and validation 

Pavani Rangachari, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Practice and Community Health, Associate Professor of Public Health
Expertise: Change and innovation in health care organizations based on evidence-based practices, health information technology and patient-centered care

Yoon Ho Seol, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Public Health
Expertise: Information retrieval, decision support systems, data analytics in patient care and public health domains

Jeane silva, PhD, MPA, EdS, MB(ASCP)CM

Assistant Professor of Clinical Laboratory Science
Expertise: molecular oncology, tumor biomarkers, and drug discovery

Dr Silva is board-certified in Molecular Biology by the American Society of Clinical Pathology. Her research interest are in the area of diagnostics sciences, specifically molecular diagnostic testing. Diagnostic tests are used to detect, diagnose, and monitor diseases and disease processes. In addition, they are performed to provide prognostic information on people with established disease and determine a course of treatment. They are done at the most basic molecular level (DNA and RNA) with high accuracy and specificity. Concern to drug discovery, my research involves the use of molecular fragments that have the potential of being used in the development of new anti-metastatic drugs. Working in collaboration with investigators at Georgia Cancer Center, Dr Silva's lab uses a wide range of investigative procedures including leading-edge technologies, such microarrays and next-generation sequencing.