Nursing - General
My research focus on the musculoskeltal (MSK) system, more specifically on tendon, its biology and how it related to other tissues of the MSK system. Tendons have historically been studied to a lesser extent than bones and muscles, and there is a lot we do not know about it. Tendons are difficult to heal, and we can only improve tendon healing by knowing more about it and about the tendon cells, called "tenocytes".
Biology - General
I have a relatively wide range of research interests. Primarily I am a vertebrate anatomist and enjoy working on topics related to comparative anatomy as well as the anatomy of humans. I maintain dermestid beetle colonies and have had several students work on projects involving dissection, skeleton preparation, and mounting of skeletons. One such project resulted in the red kangaroo skeleton display that is located in the first floor corridor of the Biological Sciences building. I am currently working on a project that involves 3D scanning also. As well as the anatomy I am interested in investigating observable patterns relating to vertebrate evolution, and have a history of working in vertebrate paleontology. In addition I am also interested in invertebrate biology and have several colonies of beetles, isopods, and other invertebrates that will be the subject of future research. Topics may include observing the interactions between species as well as the feasibility of using different species in skeleton preparation. I have also had students that have worked out in the field collecting invertebrates, identifying them, and comparing their abundance at different localities. Other potential areas of interest include phylogenetic analysis, and gross-level morphological comparative studies.
Art & Art History
My current artistic research and practice is primarily in the fields video, animation, 3D modeling, and installation with interest in cultural mythology and the landscape. My artistic and academic history in the field of photography. My work has been shown internationally in over 30 solo exhibitions and over 80 group exhibitions and festivals and is also included in the permanent collections of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, KS, and the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY.
Current Research: I use partial, delay and ordinary differential equations for modeling and analysis of infectious diseases and population dynamics.
Research interests: Construction of traveling/stationary waves, speed of spread, analysis and numerical simulations of mathematical models in epidemiology and population biology.
You can learn about the past undergraduate projects that I supervised: http://b.web.umkc.edu/baniyaghoubm/pur.htm
I am also a member of UMKC Applied Mathematics Group: http://cas.umkc.edu/mathematics/amg/
Our team examines several aspects of health related to social cognition, with a particular focus on the creation of attributions following a chronic disease diagnosis, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cancer. We’ve examined causal attributions and their short- and long-term effects on physical and mental health status. We’ve also explored the effects of discrimination on affective and health outcomes among Hispanic Americans, as well as the effects of poverty and stress on health-related quality of life following a heart attack. More recently, our team has developed two scales to assess self-blame attributions in patients with CVD and cancer. In addition to these projects, we are studying benefit-finding during the COVID-19 pandemic among college-age adults in the US. We are interested in exploring how benefit-finding may affect adjustment processes and academic outcomes during this unprecedented time in our history. We are also conducting a study examining whether perseverative cognitions, like vigilance and worry, mediate the associations between experiences of discrimination, experiences of microaggressions, and sleep quality among Black Americans.
You can visit our team web page here: https://info.umkc.edu/soccogandhealth/
Thanks for your interest!
Dr. Best's research interests include the involvement of women in terrorism and insurgency, the reintegration of female veterans, the involvement of veterans in civil society and politics, negotiations between states and insurgencies, women in conflict, and the effectiveness of terror proscription regimes and watch lists.
English Language & Literature Women's & Gender Studies
Currently, the CODICES team, a group of Humanities, Sciences, and Computing specialists, is working on several book history and multispectral imaging projects. We are eager to have students from various disciplines participate in our project, which includes digitizing medieval and early modern books and taking multispectral images of these books to uncover that which cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Also, my own research focuses on medieval culture, both secular (romances such as King Arthur) and sacred (saints' lives).
The long-term goal of the research undertaken in the lab is to determine how interactions between cell recognition molecules underpin communication between cells during the development of the nervous system. Currently, our work is focused on a family of cell surface receptors called contactins and the complexes they form with amyloid precursor protein (APP) and its homologs APLP1 and APLP2. The role of APP in the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease is well described, while its normal physiological functions have not been explored as thoroughly. In particular, complexes between APP and contactins have been involved in axon guidance and synapse formation. My laboratory uses biochemical and structural (X-ray crystallography) approaches to gain insights into the contactin/APP interactions that underlie the development and maintenance of the nervous system.
An undergraduate student working in the lab can expect to acquire valuable skills in protein expression and purification. He/she will design and perform protein-protein binding assays and, hopefully, participate in protein crystallization and data collection.
Oral and Craniofacial Sciences
Our experiments not only reveal that neural crest mesenchyme (NCM) autonomously regulates cell cycle progression and the timing of osteogenic differentiation, but they also indicate that cell cycle and osteogenesis are inexorably linked as a developmental module in vivo as they are in vitro. Our work also uncovered a novel function for bone resorption, which is to help establish species-specific jaw length; and our transplant experiments indicate that the underlying molecular mechanisms stem from the ability of NCM to control the activity of its own derivatives (i.e., osteocytes) and also that of mesoderm-derived osteoclasts. We show the remarkable ability of NCM to maintain spatiotemporal control over the induction, differentiation, deposition, mineralization, and the resorption of bone is what integrates the determinants of jaw length across multiple embryonic stages, and is what empowers NCM with its ability to generate skeletal variation during disease and evolution
Physics and Astronomy
Theoretical condensed matter physics and material sciences. Study of electronic, magnetic, optical, dynamical, structural and superconducting properties of ordered and disordered solids, interatomic bonding (including H-bonding) by a variety of theoretical and computational methods. Development of computational methods and tools for interpreting experimental data, and in predicting new materials and phenomena as part of materials informatics. In recent years, major efforts are on the following systems focusing on complex materials.
Nursing - General
My primary research interests are health behaviors in communities, particularly physical activity and nutrition. I like to examine how the environment is associated with our behaviors and health, and my research tries to find ways we can intervene to make the places we live more friendly for healthy eating and being active. Current projects include:
1. Assessing food insecurity and use of SNAP among college students in Missouri
2. Examination of knowledge and use of MyPlate nutrition guidelines and wellness policies among K-12 teachers
3. Randomized controlled trial of cycling and cognitive exercises among middle-aged ICU survivors
Previous projects that I would consider pursuing further:
1. Use of standing desks among college students
2. Understanding communication and health messaging among state policymakers
I am social and political historian of modern American history with research and teaching interests in race, media and the New South. I teach the History department’s large surveys of American history; several courses in the General Education Essentials curriculum; and upper-level history courses in Black history, the 1960s, and World War II film and propaganda. I am one of the history department’s undergraduate faculty mentors and I work with the High School College Partnership (HSCP) program to facilitate dual-credit courses taught in area high schools. As a certified teacher myself, I am the departmental contact for School of Education students interested in a history major/minor as they pursue a career as a social studies teacher.
I am a co-editor of a forthcoming digital project on Kansas City activism and have authored various articles and essays on race, education and politics. I am working on my first book with the University of Georgia Press dealing with Mississippi press coverage of the Black freedom struggle. My next research project will focus on the desegregation of the airlines and how Black people flew during and after Jim Crow.
Comp, Music Theory&Musicology
I am a musicologist with many interdisciplinary research interests. I specialize in opera, theater, and singing in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England, and I am currently working on research projects concerning the origins of the benefit concert in eighteenth-century England, miscellany and music, and and early modern celebrity. I also have broader interests in Baroque opera/theater, women in early music, and the history of singers before 1800. I have also been a researcher and cataloguer for a large body of musical prints and manuscripts owned privately in the Czech Republic; in the collection are works by late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Bohemian and Austrian composers, including pieces by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
English Language & Literature
My research interests are focused on Irish and English Studies, Discourse Analysis, representations of the Professional Author, and Rhetorics of Emancipation. I am currently working on civil rights and strategies of emancipation developed and used in Ireland in 1783 to 1922, in the period when the Irish used military, political, and cultural activism to radically shift their relationship with their immediate neighbors in the British Isles. The project uses newspapers, journals, and magazines from the O'Hegarty Collection at KU to illustrate how popular narratives of Ireland and Irishness were developed and disseminated, specifically in Dublin, suggesting that James Joyce's *Ulysses* gathers these narratives into a complex representation of how the people who experienced the Easter Rising in 1916 understood their various intersecting identities (based on assumptions about, and experiences of, gender, nationality, economic class, religion, and sexuality).
Why do we sleep? While the answer to this question may appear to be straightforward, the reality is that we still do not know what the function of sleep is. Sleep and more importantly the lack of sleep impacts virtually every aspects of our life. Sleep interacts with many physiological functions, like immune responses, metabolism and cognition.
In my laboratory, we study the relationship between sleep and memory. It has been known for a while that there is a strong link between sleep and the formation of memory but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We use the powerful fruit fly genetic model to address key questions about sleep, memory and plasticity. The methods we are employing in our studies include genetics, behavioral analysis, fixed and live brain imaging and molecular biology.
I use Drosophila to study intercellular signaling pathways that control basic developmental processes, including cell proliferation, migration and differentiation. I combine molecular, genetic and cell biological approaches to understand the mechanisms by which gene interactions control organogenesis. The outcomes of these approaches will illuminate the conserved role of gene pathways in both normal development and disease.
English Language & Literature
Within the field of English literature, my research centers on the literature and culture of Tudor and Jacobean England. My approach brings a blend of social history with literary criticism to the study of poetry, plays, and popular prose written by Shakespeare, Milton, Jonson, and their contemporaries. I am particularly interested in how issues of class, labor, and occupation shaped both authorial approaches and representations of individuals in texts. I am also interested in gender, particularly masculinity as it intersects with social class.
Civil & Mechanical Engineering
Unmanned Aircraft Systems - Advanced in-flight measurement systems; fault-tolerant control systems; efficient aircraft system identification techniques; flight testing platforms (test stands and motion capture-based testing); multipurpose/reconfigurable aircraft; and novel applications for UAS.
Parachute Systems - High-altitude parafoil modeling, control, and testing; parachute instrumentation development; novel techniques for control of circular parachutes.
My research interests are in the development and application of physiological measures of attention; individual differences in emotion regulation; attentional function and dysfunction; and attention and emotion in aging.