People

Carolyn Smith-Morris is a medical anthropologist and Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University. Her research and work are dedicated to reducing chronic disease through culturally and structurally sensible strategies. She has conducted ethnographic research among the Gila River (Akimel O’odham) Indian Community of Southern Arizona, Mexicans and Mexican immigrants to the U.S, and Veterans with spinal cord injuries. Her most recent work has focused on bioethics and the need for kidney transplant associated with renal disease and diabetes.   Dr. Smith-Morris received her B.A. in anthropology from Emory University, an M.S. in rehabilitation services from Florida State University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Arizona. She is the author of several articles in minority and indigenous health, health and research ethics, the end-of-life, diabetes, and reproduction. She has published in the journals Medical Anthropology, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, JAMA Clinical Crossroads Online, Human Organization, Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, the Omega Journal of Death and Dying, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, and Urban Anthropology. Her first monograph, Diabetes Among the Pima: Stories of Survival, was published in 2006 by the University of Arizona Press. She co-edited Chronic Conditions, Fluid States: Chronicity and the Anthropology of Illness in 2010 with Lenore Manderson through Rutgers University Press. READ MORE

Nia Parson received her Ph.D. in 2005 from Rutgers University and joined SMU as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology in fall 2008. Dr. Parson, a cultural and medical anthropologist, is interested broadly in the relationships of gender, violence, the state, and health, in global perspective. Dr. Parson's new book, Traumatic States: Gendered Violence, Suffering and Care is forthcoming from Vanderbilt University Press. She has published articles in the journals Medical Anthropology Quarterly and Violence Against Women: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal and has chapters published and forthcoming in three edited volumes. Dr. Parson's work has been funded by Fulbright-Hays and Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research grants, a National Institute of Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute for Health at Rutgers University, the SMU University Research Council, the SMU Human Rights Education Program, the Rutgers University Institute for Research on Women, a Rutgers University Bevier Dissertation Award, and a grant from the Sam Taylor Fund. Dr. Parson has conducted research funded by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health on mental health care for Mexican immigrant women in Dallas, TX who have suffered domestic violence. She has served as a member of the Editorial Board of Violence Against Women: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal (2012-2013) and as a member of the Executive Board of the Association for Feminist Anthropology. READ MORE

Global health researcher Eric G. Bing, Ph.D., is professor of global health in a concurrent appointment with the George W. Bush Institute. At SMU he is a professor of global health in the Applied Physiology and Wellness Department in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development and in the Department of Anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.  He also is a senior fellow and director of global health at the Bush Institute. Bing has developed and managed global health programs in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, including HIV prevention, care and treatment programs in Rwanda, Angola, Nigeria, Namibia, Belize and Jamaica. For his efforts he was awarded the Alfred Haynes International Health Leadership Award in 2002, named in 2006 a Paul G. Rogers International Health Research Ambassador from Research! America and named 2010 Professor of the Year at Charles Drew University. Most recently, SMU students joined Bing in renovating a clinic for the screening and treatment of cervical cancer in Zambia. READ MORE

Neely Myers (Ph.D. 2009, University of Chicago) is a sociocultural anthropologist working at the intersections of medical and psychiatric anthropology among underserved people in low-resource settings in the US and (preliminarily) indigenous groups in East Africa and Costa Rica. Her interests lie at the intersections of culture, gender, global mental health, madness, trauma, neuroanthropology, health disparities, and human rights. Before coming to SMU, Dr. Myers new book, tentatively titled Right to Recovery: Madness, Moral Agency and Mental Health, is expected from Vanderbilt University Press in 2015. She has published articles in Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. Alternative Therapies in Clinical Practice, Psychiatry Research, Schizophrenia Research, Annals of Anthropological Practice, and Current Psychiatry Reports. She has several chapters forthcoming in edited volumes, as well, most recently a piece in Community Health Narratives (forthcoming University of New Mexico Press, 2014). Dr. Myers has conducted qualitative research on women who had experienced intimate partner violence and veterans using mindfulness-based interventions to cope with trauma. She was also recently funded by the Nathan Kline Institute's Center to Study Recovery in Social Contexts to investigate ethnographically the ways people cultivate moral agency in the context of peer mental health services, and some of this work is currently under review. Finally, with the funding from the Elliott School of International Affairs' Institute of Global and International Studies, Dr. Myers recently completed a new field project on women, development, and mental health in Tanzania. Her current project, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (R03), investigates how young people with early psychosis in the Dallas area make decisions to engage or not engage in early treatment. READ MORE

Austin BaldwinAustin Baldwin, Associate Professor of Psychology. In my research, my students and I focus on theoretically-guided questions aimed at understanding individuals’ decisions to engage in and maintain health behaviors. This works spans different health domains including smoking cessation, weight loss, physical activity, chronic illness management, and vaccinations. My research bridges basic and applied science with work in laboratory and field settings, addressing factors that are relevant to people’s decisions at different phases of health behavior change. The questions that guide my research sit at the interface of social, clinical, and health psychology and include questions such as “Why are people’s own persuasive arguments effecting in changing health behavior?”, “How can self-persuasion be used effectively to change health behavior?”, and “Why are most people unsuccessful at maintaining health behavior changes?”. My research has important clinical and public health implications as we work to identify important factors on which interventions can more effectively be tailored, as well as making important theoretical contributions as we also work to refine and enrich psychological theory of behavioral decision-making. In my research, my students and I focus on theoretically-guided questions aimed at understanding individuals’ decisions to engage in and maintain health behaviors. This works spans different health domains including smoking cessation, weight loss, physical activity, chronic illness management, and vaccinations. My research bridges basic and applied science with work in laboratory and field settings, addressing factors that are relevant to people’s decisions at different phases of health behavior change. The questions that guide my research sit at the interface of social, clinical, and health psychology and include questions such as “Why are people’s own persuasive arguments effecting in changing health behavior?”, “How can self-persuasion be used effectively to change health behavior?”, and “Why are most people unsuccessful at maintaining health behavior changes?”. My research has important clinical and public health implications as we work to identify important factors on which interventions can more effectively be tailored, as well as making important theoretical contributions as we also work to refine and enrich psychological theory of behavioral decision-making. READ MORE 

David Son

David Y. Son, Professor of Chemistry. I am interested in the application of thiol-ene and related click chemistry for the synthesis of dendrimers, networks, and small molecules capable of molecular recognition.

Santosh D'MelloSantosh D'Mello, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences. My research interests include molecular mechanisms regulating neurodegeneration and brain development. Specifically, primary cultures of neurons, transgenic and knockout mice, and animal models of neurological disease are used to study genes, proteins, and signal transduction pathways regulating neuronal cell death. I am also researching neurodegenerative disorders such as AD, PD, and HD which are progressive and fatal disorders that affect millions of individuals in the US and cost the economy over $100 billion annually. My lab is interested in identifying molecules that play a key role in either promoting or preventing neurodegeneration and whose altered function contributes to neurodegenerative disorders. READ MORE
John WiseJohn G. Wise, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences. My research interests include: Multiple Drug Resistance Proteins – structural studies, drug transport mechanism studies, small molecule drug docking, and virtual screening technologies for new inhibitors; Rotary Motors from Biology and ATP Synthase Research – enzymatic mechanism studies, mechanisms of multisite cooperative catalysis, mechanisms of ligand binding in complex multisubunit systems, and membrane protein complex ion-pumping mechanisms in coupled membrane systems; Combinatorial Biology and the Evolution of DNA Binding Proteins – design and construction of combinatorial mutagenesis systems for altering DNA binding protein sequence specificity, design and optimization of in vivo reporter assays for screening combinatorial DNA binding protein variants for altered specificities and affinities, and applications of combinatorial approaches to determining specific protein-DNA recognition and binding mechanisms; Toxins and Toxic Genes for Selection Systems and Therapies – use of antigen-ribosomal toxin fusions for therapy development in autoimmune disease (A Myasthenia gravis model), toxic-gene expression systems and suppressor-based toxin expression for in vivo selection applications, and chemical synthesis of novel, metabolic “pre-toxins” activated by beta-galactosidase; and In Silico Simulation and Modeling of Protein and Small Molecule Structures – modern computational methods give novel insight into the structure and function of proteins and enzymes. READ MORE

Leslie DeArman, Lecturer and Undergraduate Advisor to Department of Sociology and Markets & Culture. READ MORE

BranchDebra Branch, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology. My research interests include organizations, occupations, research methods, social problems, social stratification, sociology of gender, race and ethnicity, social statistics, power, and bureaucracy. READ MORE
Portrait of Sheri KunovichSheri Kunovich, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology. My research interests include women’s political representation, democratization in Eastern Europe, wealth and consumption, social stratification and inequality. READ MORE
Megan Murphy, Director of Health Promotion Management & Clinical Associate Professor, joined the faculty at SMU in the fall of 2011 as a Clinical Assistant Professor. Dr. Murphy completed her Ph.D. in Integrative Physiology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) in 2008. While at UNTHSC, Dr. Murphy served as a SCORE and MKITS fellow volunteering in the ninth grade science classes of local Fort Worth ISD high schools with the goal of increasing the students' interest in and awareness of science as a career. Dr. Murphy completed a postdoctoral fellowship from 2008-2011 at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in the Weinberger Laboratory. During her fellowship she received a Recognition award and the Beginning Investigator Military Physiology award from the Exercise and Environmental Physiology section of the American Physiological Society. Dr. Murphy's research has focused on the physiological adaptations to exercise observed in very high fit athletes as well as the potentially deleterious effects of acute exercise in populations with cardiovascular disease. Dr. Murphy enjoys running outdoors, reading and cooking. She resides in Haslet with her fiance, Graig and daughter, Emma.
Patty Wisian-Neilson 2013Patty Wisian-Neilson, Professor, Department of Chemistry. The major focus in our labs is the synthesis, characterization, and applications of both cyclic and polymeric phosphazenes. These inorganic materials consist of rings or linear chains of alternating nitrogen and phosphorus atoms. Our work focuses on the family of phosphazenes in which there are two substituents attached to each phosphorus atoms by direct P-C bonds. We prepare both the parent cyclic and polymeric phosphazenes from condensation reactions of N-silyphosphoranimines, Me3SiNP(OPh)RR1.