Loyola University Maryland

Department of Biology

Steering Committee Members

nsf logo




David Rivers

Dr. David Rivers is a Professor of Biology and the Director of Forensic Studies at Loyola University Maryland.  He received his B.S. in Biology from Ball State University, a Ph.D. in Entomology with a concentration in Insect Physiology from the Ohio State University, and was a NIH post-doctoral fellow in Cellular and Molecular Parasitology at the University of Wisconsin.  He is co-author of the critically acclaimed textbook The Science of Forensic Entomology and conducts research in several areas involving necrophagous flies and parasitic wasps as they relate to legal investigations.

Michael Tangrea
Mike Tangrea

Dr. Michael Tangrea is currently an Endowed Professor of Biology and the Simon Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Loyola University Maryland.  He earned a B.S. in Biology from Loyola College in Maryland and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Maryland.  Prior to joining Sinai Hospital in 2014, Dr. Tangrea spent over 12 years in the Laboratory of Pathology and Surgery Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland.  Dr. Tangrea leads an active, NIH-funded translational research lab with a focus on precision medicine and has co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications and 10 book chapters.

Chris Thompson

Dr. Christopher Thompson is a Professor of Biology and Co-director of the Microscopy Core Facility at Loyola University Maryland. He received his B.S. from Eastern Washington University with a double major in Biology and Chemistry and a concentration in Biotechnology. He earned a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Iowa, where he was also an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellow in Infectious Disease.  He is a broadly-trained cell biologist whose research focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which complementary and alternative medicines alter cellular functions of the innate immune system, the molecular mechanisms, stress, and heat shock, and the microbiome of forensically important insects.

Judy Costello
Judy Costello

Judy Costello is the Managing Director of Economic Development for BioHealth Innovation, Inc.(BHI). A longtime supporter of the region’s entrepreneur and start-up communities, Judy Costello joined BioHealth Innovation in August 2017. Prior to that she served as Director of the Maryland Department of Commerce's Office of BioHealth and Life Sciences and Deputy Director of the department's BioMaryland Center. She previously worked for fifteen years for the Business Alliance organizing venture pitch forums, entrepreneur bootcamps, tech transfer showcases, educational seminars, and other programs connecting entrepreneurs, faculty innovators, students, and industry leaders in Maryland, DC and Virginia with each other and with those providing funding and other resources to young companies

Brian Gaines

Brian Gaines is the Chief Executive Officer of the MdBio Foundation. Brian joined the MdBio Foundation in November 2012 after serving as Executive Director of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation. He has spent most of his professional career creating and working for several entrepreneurial endeavors at the intersection of the for-profit and nonprofit worlds.
In previous roles, Brian has held leadership positions with two of America’s most effective social change organizations: College Summit and KaBOOM! Brian also was the Founding Executive Director of the Joshua Venture, a national venture philanthropy fund working to launch and support innovative nonprofits. In his business career, he was the CEO and Managing Partner of a chain of Ben & Jerry’s retail outlets in the San Francisco Bay Area and served as the Western Regional Business Manager for Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. He has also helped to found several other nonprofit organizations and served as the President of the San Francisco Human Services Commission.

Profile photo placeholder
Kathleen Kennedy

Dr. Kathleen Kennedy currently serves as the Director of the Baltimore City Community College’s Life Sciences Institute at the University of Maryland BioPark.  She is a Professor of Biology and has been with the college since 1989. She has developed Biotechnology curriculum at 3 levels (high school, community college and baccalaureate degree) locally, nationally and internationally. Dr. Kennedy’s academic credentials include a Bachelors of Arts degree in Biology from Lycoming College, and a Ph.D in Genetics from the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine. She continued her post-Doctoral work at the University of Maryland, Center of Marine Biotechnology in Translational Regulatory Factors, Johns Hopkins University in Advanced Transfusion Practices, and with Cornell University studying the Eradication of Medically Important Multidrug Resistant Bacteria using Purple Sun Inc. Multivector UV Technology.

Amrita Madabushi
Amrita Madabushi

Dr. Amrita Madabushi is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Coordinator of Biotechnology and Lab Animal Science certificate at Baltimore City Community College. She received her M.S. from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India with a double major in Biology and Physics. She earned Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Her postdoctoral fellowship focused in diverse molecular and structural biology projects in University of Florida and University of Maryland. She is a biochemist with training in cell biology. Her postdoctoral research focused on DNA repair pathways and their relevance in cancer. Her present research work focuses on the effect of carcinogens on lung epithelial cell models and integrates strongly the student training component to promote the model of research based learning in community college.  

Rommel Miranda
Rommel Miranda

Dr. Rommel Miranda is an Associate Professor of Science Education in the Department of Physics, Astronomy & Geoscience at Towson University. He received both his B.S. in Biology and M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland, and an Ed.D. in Science Education from Morgan State University. He serves as the co-director for Project ASTRO, the Regional Director for the Mid-Atlantic Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), and the Co-Editor for the Innovations in Science Teacher Education journal. His research focuses on scientist-educator partnerships, science outreach programs, research experiences for teachers and undergraduate students, and inservice science teacher professional development.

Joseph Sanchez
Joseph Sanchez

Dr. Joseph Sanchez is a Learning and Development Business Partner supporting Manufacturing and Quality Control Sciences for AstraZeneca Biologics, LLC. He received his degree in Molecular Genetics from the University of Rochester (NY) and completed his post-doc and research fellowship with the National Institutes of Health (NIDA/NIH). He spent 20+ years as a research scientist and student mentor in government, biopharmaceutical and academic settings, ultimately focusing on the implementation of data-driven instructional practices and assessment methodologies.  

Natasha Schuh-Nuhfer
Natasha Schuh-Nuhfer

Dr. Natasha Schuh-Nuhfer serves as Director of the Center for Excellence in Education’s Teacher Enrichment Program. She has overseen the development and execution of the program since its launch in 2012. Prior to her role as TEP Director, Natasha served as the Academic Coordinator for the Center working on TEP and the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO). Dr. Schuh-Nuhfer has a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Virginia. Before joining CEE, Dr. Schuh-Nuhfer completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Center for Cancer Research at the National Institutes of Health.

Michael Smith
Michael Smith

Dr. Michael Smith is the Program Manager for Montgomery College Biotechnology. He received his degree in Zoology and also his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Duke University. He was a Postdoctoral Scholar at University of Michigan. He has almost 30 years’ experience in the Biotechnology industry in roles from bench to boardroom. His role at Montgomery College is to create awareness of the opportunities in the Maryland Biotechnology industry and to steer incumbents, students and job seekers along a path to success based on their abilities and interests.

Sarah Haley

Sarah Haley

Meet Sarah, a physician who calls upon her liberal arts education to build purposeful connections with her patients

Biochemistry, Philosophy
Two students watching over the shoulder of a teacher working with engineering equipment

Women in STEM at Loyola University

Women in STEM find a strong support system at Loyola—from female faculty leaders and fellow students to mentorship, clubs, and initiatives aimed at preparing women and minorities for STEM careers