Sign-up for One of  Our Research-in-Action 


These THINK TANKS will be platforms for sharing ideas, proposing grant-competitive solutions to shared research problems, networking with colleagues and forming transdisciplinary collaborations. The THINK TANKS Sessions will meet online the  afternoon of November 21, 2020,  under the team leadership of Denise Perry Simmons, Ph.D., UNT Engineering Senior Scientist, Visiting Biomedical Faculty Chemistry, and Faculty Scholar Jim McNatt Logistics Research Institute-Healthcare.


THINK TANK 1  - Building an Industry, Medicine, Science and Community-based Collaboration for Genetic Niche biospecimen, authenticated cell lines and an archival portfolio of their comprehensive marker profiles (retrospective and prospective), data/information sciences/cyber security.  

Cognizant Co-chair Nicole Bollinger, MBA, University Hospitals Research & Education Institute, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

THINK TANK 2  Strategic Analysis of the Ancestral Genomic Theoretical Model Equation for Empirical Testing -- Proof of Concept

Cognizant Co-Chair, Jeffrey Long, Ph.D. College of Arts & Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque


THINK TANK 3  Hypothesis Modeling in Improving Health Disparities Outcomes -- Epidemiological, Anthropological, Genomic and Proteomic, Precision Nutrition Approaches

Cognizant Co-Chair, Victor Prybutok, Ph.D., CQE, CQA, CMQ/OE, PSTAT®, G. Brint Ryan College of Business & Toulouse Graduate School, University of North Texas

THINK TANK 4  Biosensor and Nano-agent Design, Development and Testing to Target Ecological/Genetic Niche Identified Medical Paradoxes

Cognizant Co-chair Pudur Jagadeeswaran, PhD., College of Science, Dept Biological Sciences, University of North Texas


THINK TANK 5  Precision Medicine: Investigating Translation of Single Case Experimental Design (SCED) in Preclinical and Clinical Research Models for Advancing Diversification of the Human Genome

Cognizant Co-chair Prathiba Natesan Batley, Ph.D,  College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Brunel University London

THINK TANK 6  Communication Pathways to  Health Equity: Investigating Awareness, Education and Training Approaches and Methods in 6.1 race versus ancestry in Genome Medicine,

6.2 Pharmacogenomics versus Racialized Medicine. 
Cognizant Co-Chair Gayle Prybutok, BSN, MBA, PhD, College of Health and Public Service, Dept Rehabilitation and Health Services.


The Conference workshops and panels will take place on Friday, November 20, and Saturday, November 21, 2020.  NO REGISTRATION FEE  but virtual seating is limited.


Friday, November 20, 2020

(All Sessions (Central Standard Time/GMT -6 hours)

      10 AM (CST)     Welcome: Mark McLellan,Ph.D.,  Vice-President for Research & Innovation, UNT.



      10:10 AM (CST)  Greeting from Department Host:  Professor Jennifer Wallach, Chair, UNT Department of                                                        History, author of Getting What We Need Ourselves: How Food Has Shaped  African American                                             Life   

10:20 AM (CST)       Introduction:  Constance B. Hilliard, Ph.D.,

                              “Therapeutic & Other Health Applications for the Ancestral Gene Variant Theoretical Model in                                           African-Americans & Other  Underrepresented Populations ​


 10:30 AM (CST)    KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D.
                               "Population Heterogeneity and Human Nutrition – Where do we go from here?"​


 11:45 AM (CST               WORKSHOP SESSION I:  Kim D. Pruitt, Ph.D. 

                              IRB, Consents, Cybersecurity, DATA: Digital, Sharing, Entry, Mining, Sites, Repurposing, Retrieving.                                  REPOSITORIES:                   

                              Resource Access, Building and Joining (special emphasis on human data) “Resources, and the                                        Challenges of Translating Theory into Empirical Studies & Clinical Research Protection of Human                                    Subjects throughout the Data Life Cycle”    

 1:00 PM (CST)               WORKSHOP SESSION IIShannon J. McCall, M.D.

                               Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Protection Human Subjects, Required Certification, Protocols,                                       Recruiting, Consent, Confidentiality, HIPAA, Patient Safety, Tissue /Cell Repositories Biobanks,                                         Collaborations – whose IRB? “Protection of Human  Subjects Challenges in Basic, Pre-clinical                                          and  Clinical Research: Responding to the Authentication Crisis”

    2:15 PM (CST)      HEALTH EQUITIES SESSION:  Rick Kittles, Ph.D.

   3:15 PM (CST)        Neal Hanchard, Ph.D.



Saturday, November 21, 

9:30 A.M.- 11:30 A.M. (Central Time)  Students ONLY Special Interest Workshop NSF & NIHKim E. Barrett, Ph.D. &                                                 Shauna Clark, Ph.D.

                                          “Education, Training Opportunities for the Pipeline High School through Graduate School”

8:30.                    Opening Plenary Session: Xuexia Wang, Ph.D.  

8:45.                     Subject Matter Session I:  Matthew Anderson, Ph.D.

                                “Approaching Native American communities on their own terms in microbiome research”.

9:50                     Subject Matter Session II: Alice B. Popejoy, Ph.D.

                            “Precision Medicine requires precise measures and methods: Examining current perceptions and                                   use of 'race, 'ethnicity' and 'ancestry' among clinical genetics professionals and researchers”

10:45                    Subject Matter Session III: Bertha A. Hidalgo, Ph.D., MPH  

                            “Coronary Disease, Diabetes and Multi-factor in Ecological Niche Population-associated Variants in                                Hispanic/Latino Health”


11:45                    Subject Matter Session IV: Alexander Sobolevsky, Ph.D.

                           “The structure and function of the calcium-selective channel TRPV6 and its possible role in                                              disease" 

12:45 PM (CST)   Subject Matter Session VI: Patricia A. Francis-Lyons, Ph.D.

                            “Bioinformatics, Ancestral Databases and Delineations in Ancestral Populations: A look at                                                   Health/Bio-informatics and cancer disparities in under-represented populations”


4:15 PM (CST)     Subject Matter Session VII: Rafiki Cai

                            “"How Do We Interest The Lay Person In The Matter of Genomics"  

12:45 PM (CST)   THINK TANK SESSIONS/Simultaneous: Denise Perry Simmons, Ph.D. - Introduction

                            Research Concepts: Empirical Investigations Causative Variants, Proof of Concept Ancestral                                            Genomics Variant Model;    Translation 6 SRIM target diseases bench to clinic; Funding                                                      Opportunities: Developing  subject matter collaborative research


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3:00 PM (CST) Think Tanks Plenary  Session                                                                

4:00 PM (CST)  Closing Session: Pudur Jagadeeswaran, Ph.D