Please join us in welcoming these recent additions to the College of Medicine faculty.
Katie Ryan, Ph.D., has joined the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology faculty as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Ryan received her doctoral degree at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. She served as a Research Associate in the department prior to her faculty appointment. Dr. Ryan’s research focuses on the role of Rho GTPase Rnd3, a molecular switch, in normal keratinocyte regulation and melanoma. Rnd3 expression is correlated with progression toward an invasive phenotype in melanoma cells. Dr. Ryan’s lab is working to define Rnd3 mechanisms that promote aggressive, metastatic myeloma.
Alicja Urbaniak, Ph.D., has been promoted to Instructor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Urbaniak received her master’s and her doctorate in chemistry from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. She completed requirements for an additional Ph.D. in sports sciences from the University of Physical Education, also in Poznań. Dr. Urbaniak joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UAMS as a Research Intern in 2016. She went on to serve as a Research Technician and subsequently as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Since September 2019, Dr. Urbaniak has been supported by a grant from the Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program under the co-direction of Dr. Angus MacNicol and Dr. Tim Chambers. Her work has been honored nationally, and she currently serves on the Executive Committee and as a Communications Officer for the Division of Drug Discovery and Development of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET).
Mark Manzano, Ph.D., has joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Manzano received his doctoral degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago. Dr. Manzano’s research focuses on functional genomics to study host-pathogen interactions and biological processes. His lab uses functional genomics to study primary effusion lymphoma, an aggressive B cell cancer caused by the Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus or human herpes virus 8 (KSHV/HHV8).
Steven Dahl, M.D., has joined the Department of Pediatrics as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases. He received his medical degree and completed his pediatrics residency at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. He completed his fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri. During residency, Dr. Dahl served as a delegate to the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Medical Student, Resident and Fellowship Trainees. He also served on the Infection Prevention Control Committee at Texas Tech UMC. While a fellow, he received two Trainee Travel Awards for the IDWeek national conference.
Matthew H. Merves, M.D., has joined the Department of Pediatrics as an Associate Professor in the Division of Neonatology. Dr. Merves received his medical degree at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He completed his residency in pediatrics at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He continued his training with clinical fellowships in neonatal-perinatal medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he won the Medical Student Teaching Award, and at the University of Colorado, Aurora. Dr. Merves served as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta from 2014 until his recruitment to UAMS.
Ming Hwei Yek, Psy.D., has joined the Department of Psychiatry as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Yek received a master’s in clinical psychology from McGill University in Montreal and her doctorate in clinical psychology from Baylor University. She recently completed a fellowship in clinical health psychology at the University of Florida at Gainesville. Dr. Yek sees patients in the UAMS Psychiatric Institute’s Walker Family Clinic. She also provides evaluation and treatment for pre- and post-transplant patients at UAMS.