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Meet Our Team of Preclinical Researchers

Meet Our Team of Preclinical Researchers

With more than 100 years combined experience, Preclinical Research Services is led by some of the nation’s top preclinical researchers and specialists. Browse biographies of some of our key preclinical experts below or view the entire directory of faculty at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Martha Alexander-Miller, PhD

Martha Alexander-MillerMartha Alexander-Miller, PhD, is an expert in immunity. Most recently, she is developing an influenza vaccine designed for infants younger than six months. For this research, her team established a preclinical neonatal nursery, possibly the only one in the world dedicated to translational sciences. Alexander-Miller seeks industry partners for both her discoveries and for research utilizing the capabilities of the preclinical neonatal nursery.
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Susan Appt, DVM

Susan Appt, DVM, associate professor of pathology / comparative medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, researches the effects of diet and reproductive hormones on chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. She works with nonhuman primate animal models of menopause to study risk factors in women across the transition from premenopause to postmenopause and functions as the scientific director of the Diet Laboratory and associate director of Preclinical Translational Services.
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J. Daniel Bourland, PhD

J. Daniel Bourland, PhD, head of Radiation Physics and Dosimetry Core at Wake Forest, works with industry and the government to assess therapeutic and medical device products for their ability to treat or protect from radiation skin injuries. He specializes in dosimetry, gamma radiosurgery and imaging applications, devising irradiation techniques and procedures for animal studies and human clinical trials.
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David Caudell, DVM, PhD

David Caudell, DVM, PhD, is assistant professor of pathology at Wake Forest School of Medicine and associate director of the Center for Comparative Medicine. A veterinary pathologist with a background in bone marrow pathology and cancer biology, Caudell’s current research focuses on B-cell biology and Megakaryocytes/Platelets. Caudell’s interests additional include radiation-induced immune injury and recovery, T-cell marker expression and total body irradiation.
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Heather DeLoid, DVM

Heather DeLoid, DVMHeather DeLoid, DVM, is an associate surgical research veterinarian in Preclinical Research Services. She specializes in preclinical surgical services for medical device and diagnostics companies. Her areas of expertise include medical device safety and efficacy, biocompatibility and veterinary clinical care.
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Debra Diz, PhD

Debra Diz, PhD

Debra Diz, PhD, professor of surgery, physiology & pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, is an established preclinical and clinical researcher who investigates hypertension and how neural and renal systems impact blood pressure regulation. She also serves as the director of the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center at Wake Forest School of Medicine, where she leads research efforts in cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
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James E. Jordan, PhD

James E. JordanJames E. Jordan, has over twenty years of experience in large animal surgical models studying cardiovascular-related issues. He is currently the in vivo team leader for a project centered on a novel tissue-engineered heart valve, and places emphasis in his research on cardiovascular solutions for pediatric patient populations. Overall, Jordan offers a vast amount of expertise in utilizing surgical models and testing cardiovascular therapeutics and devices.
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Jay R. Kaplan, PhD

Jay Kaplan, PhDJay Kaplan, PhD, directs the Wake Forest Center for Comparative Medicine Research, a leading research center that investigates diseases of human relevance. Kaplan has spent over 35 years researching the most prevalent diseases of Western society. A trained biological anthropologist, Kaplan places great emphasis on exploring and accounting for environmental factors that impact disease, such as psychosocial behavior, status and diet.
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Michael Nader, PhD

Michael Nader, PhDMichael Nader, PhD, is a leading expert in substance abuse, who specializes in neuropharmacology. Nader has conducted research in self-administering nonhuman primates for over 30 years. Utilizing brain imaging technology and behavior techniques he can study the effects of drugs as well as ways to mitigate their effects on health.
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Mark Cline, DVM, PhD, DACVP

  • Professor of Pathology – Comparative Medicine
  • Expertise and interest in diabetes, drugs/therapeutic agents and pharmaceuticals, infectious diseases
  • Research focusing on the effect of hormonal therapies (hormone replacement after menopause, oral contraceptives, and others) on breast and uterine cancer risk. Recent exciting results indicate that dietary soy supplementation may decrease estrogen-induced cell proliferation and cancer risk in the breast and uterus
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Kristen G. Jordan, PhD

  • Associate Director, Contract Research and Development Services
  • Scientific training and technical expertise in preclinical CNS disease/behavioral models
  • Industry research and scientific business experience spanning more than 14 years
  • Past roles as scientific project leader, laboratory manager and functional group director in a regulated drug discovery/development environment
  • Currently focused in negotiation and management of industry/sponsored contract research projects involving academic faculty at Wake Forest Medical Center.
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Thomas C. Register, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Pathology – Comparative Medicine
  • Clinical Chemistry and Endocrinology Core Laboratory Director
  • Nonhuman primate biomarker development and application
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Janice D. Wagner, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACLAM

  • Professor Emeritus of Pathology
  • Research interests in obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, nutrition and women’s health research
  • Experience with protocol development for numerous preclinical drug assessments in primate models
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