Alumni Fellows

The list of OFDIR alumni is continually growing. We are privileged to have shared parts of the journeys of many incredible researchers. Some are still at OHSU, others have gone on to careers elsewhere. Get to know some of the past OFDIR Fellows below. 

Tunde Akinyeke, Ph.D.

Tunde Akinyeke

Instructor at Seattle Central College and Shoreline Community College 

Tunde Akinyeke was a postdoctoral researcher at OHSU from 2014-2017. His project was called Effect of c-Myc protein in Hypothalamic and Amygdala Brain Regions of Mice Following Alcohol Exposure. Tunde investigated the influence of alcohol on c-Myc levels in the brain in different human and animal models. He is now pursuing opportunities in the Seattle area in STEM education and/or biomedical research. He has a passion for STEM outreach and getting more students of color into successful careers in STEM fields and his professional interests include molecular biology and education.

Shandee Dixon, Ph.D.

Shandee Dixon

Associate Scientist, Knight Cancer Institute Center for Early Detection Advanced Research (CEDAR) 

Shandee Dixon is an associate specialist with the Knight Cancer Institute Center for Early Detection Advanced Research (CEDAR). She holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Michigan. Prior to her transition to CEDAR, she was an OHSU Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion in Research in the Microbiology and Immunology Department, served as an adjunct instructor at California State University, Los Angeles and led research projects in postdoctoral positions at the University of California, Irvine, and UCLA . After leading a project establishing an “in-house“ nanobody high-affinity binder technology platform at CEDAR, Shandee now supports molecular biology efforts on multiple cancer early detection projects and is leveraging her current position to advocate for support and inclusion of other aspiring scientists from low-income and under-represented backgrounds. Shandee founded the CEDAR Health Disparities Committee which, most recently, established a recurring seminar series at the Knight Cancer Institute to ensure researchers are aware of the impact health disparities have on early detection and treatment of cancers for all Oregonians. Click here to email Dr. Dixon.

Eugene Manley, Ph.D.

Eugene Manley

Assistant Director for Corporate Alliances at the American Association for Cancer Research 

Eugene Manley, Jr. recently finished his postdoctoral term at OHSU and moved to Philadelphia to accept the position of Assistant Director for Corporate Alliances at the American Association for Cancer Research. He is a Mechanical Engineer, Biomedical Engineer, and Molecular Biologist with expertise in musculoskeletal biology and biomechanics, genomics, gene therapy, and cancer biology. Eugene is passionate about advancing the understanding of complex biological systems, driving programs to completion, and diversity and outreach. Click here to email Dr. Manley

Ginnifer Mastarone, Ph.D.

Ginnifer Mastarone

User Experience Researcher at Answer Lab 

Ginnifer Mastarone is a social scientist who specializes in human-computer interaction. Her work centers around the usability and usefulness of Health Information Technologies (HIT) in operational settings. Another arm of her research is the evaluation of decision aid tools that facilitate patients as they learn about medical conditions, treatment options, and engage in shared decision-making with their providers. As an OFDIR Fellow, Ginnifer was a Health Services Research Informatics Fellow at the Portland VA Health Care System where she worked closely with Dr. Kathleen Carlson to evaluate the barriers and facilitators to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program use and with Dr. Blake Lesselroth on quality improvement initiatives. In her time at OHSU she contributed greatly to the design, implementation and evaluation of software applications to improve patient access to health services. She also worked with the National Office of Human Factors Engineering to develop a user experience (UX) Toolkit to improve informatics across the VA and has been very involved with implementing health care programs using applied social science techniques. She has now brought that skill and expertise to a new position at AnswerLab. Feel free to connect with Dr. Mastarone on LinkedIn.

Oscar Miranda-Dominguez, Ph.D.

Oscar Miranda Dominguez

Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Department of Pediatrics 

Oscar Miranda-Dominguez is a biomedical engineer with more than nine years of experience in research, industry and academy. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. After completing his postdoctoral training period through OFDIR, he remained at OHSU for several years as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, where he has developed expertise in neuroimaging and clinical research. Currently, Oscar is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Oscar's research focuses on combining the latest findings from neuroimaging, electrophysiology, and clinical psychology for early identification of the biomarkers of psychiatric and neurological disorders. To this end, he uses functional MRI to extract unique and stable personalized brain "fingerprints" and identify shared patterns of brain connectivity among groups that generalize across studies. The goal of Oscar's research is to develop methods and technologies for building model-based approaches to therapeutics. Click here to email Dr. Miranda-Dominguez

Binyam Nardos, Ph.D.

Binyam Nardos

Instructor at Washington University in Saint Louis, Occupational Therapy and Neurology

Binyam Nardos joined OHSU in early 2016 as a postdoc, working first with Dr. Damien Fair, and subsequently with Dr. Mary Heinricher, variety of projects until his appointment as an Instructor of Occupational Therapy at Washington University. One such project at OHSU was a collaboration on a multi-site research study that uses an impulse-control-based face perception task and functional MRI techniques to understand how face perception is influenced by race and socioemotional contexts.  In another project, Binyam worked with a team investigating behavioral and brain-based (using functional MRI) underpinnings of chronic pain in Veterans that have sustained a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Based on observations that photosensitivity is associated with generalized chronic pain, particularly in the context of a traumatic brain injury, the study tested the hypothesis that heightened photosensitivity could be a window into characterizing potentially altered pain processing in patients with TBI and subsequent chronic pain.

While at OHSU, Binyam also served as the co-director of the Youth Engaged in Science (YES!) Initiative, a STEM outreach program founded in the Developmental Cognition & Neuroimaging Labs aimed at countering educational and health disparities in underrepresented minority communities. YES! exposes underrepresented minority students to scientific research and related careers in a number of ways including providing extensive multi-year research mentorship on independent research projects, career mentorship panels, as well as providing opportunities for mentees to educate younger peers and become mentors themselves. Click here to email Dr. Nardos.

Jeffrey Proulx, Ph.D.

Jeffrey Proulx

Assistant Professor at Brown University School of Public Health 

Jeffrey Proulx's primary expertise is in developmental health psychology with a focus on the effects of stress on physical health as people age and whether stress is associated with health disparities in ethnic minority communities. His efforts bridge Native American and African-American traditional contemplative and healing practices and mainstream mindfulness practices and how mindfulness affects resilience and well-being across a person's developmental trajectory. Jeffrey’s work includes studying changes in physiological markers, such as cortisol or blood sugar levels, their relationship to stress and how responses to stress earlier in life may affect health later in life. He is recognized as a developmental health psychologist and his work integrates other disciplines including public health, medicine, molecular biology, and lifecourse sociology. After completing his postdoctoral research at OHSU, Jeffrey joined the faculty at Brown University School of Public Health where he teaches about Psychiatry and Human Behavior.

Anita Randolph, Ph.D.

Anita Randolph

Assistant Professor at University of Minnesota Medical School, Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Anita Randolph is a proud first-generation college graduate who has a passion for research and service. She graduated in 2011 from the University of Georgia (UGA) with a triple major in Animal Science with an emphasis in Animal Biology (BSA), Microbiology (BS), and Genetics (BS). In 2014, Anita began her dual Ph.D. graduate studies at the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston). Her dissertation research focused on characterizing ovine central nervous damage after acute exposure to smoke inhalation with and without third-degree skin burn injury. After the completion of her dissertation in 2018, Anita came to OHSU where she is currently researching addiction in collaboration with Dr. Damien Fair (OHSU) and Dr. William Hoffman (Portland VA Medical Center- OHSU). Anita’s research aims to elucidate differences in brain function between people with and without a history of substance abuse using MRI imaging modalities. Additionally, Anita served as the co-director for the Youth Engaged in Science (YES!) outreach program and is engaged in several outreach projects throughout the greater Portland area and abroad. Currently she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Co-director of Community Engagement and Education Core of the Masonic Institute of the Developing Brain. Click here to email Dr. Randolph

Marquitta L. Smith, Ph.D.

Marquitta Smith

Associate Professor at the University of Portland

Marquitta L. Smith is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Portland. In her time at OHSU she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. She completed her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. During her time as an OFDIR fellow, her research involved understanding how impaired glymphatic function leads to the accumulation and propagation of proteins in protein accumulation disorders such as Alzheimer’s and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Marquitta also has an interest in teaching and promoting STEM amongst minority and disadvantaged individuals. Feel free to connect with Dr. Smith via LinkedIn

Cirila Estela Vasquez Guzman, Ph.D.

Cirila Estela Vasquez Guzman

Assistant Professor at Oregon Health & Science University

Dr. Vasquez Guzman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. Estela trained at the University of New Mexico, where she specialized in medical sociology, race, and ethnicity. She has developed a strong understanding of the diverse factors affecting racial/ethnic health inequities both within and outside of the health care system. Her involvement with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Center for Health Policy, Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI) and the State Priorities Partnership (SPP) has provided an interdisciplinary training influential to her multi-dimensional understanding of racial/ethnic health and healthcare disparities. Dr. Guzman has specific interest in social-cultural-structural-humanistic curriculum for medical students and residents as well as investigating inequities in medicine, health, and health delivery among Native American and Latinx communities. Currently, through two grants, she is analyzing the structural factors impacting cervical cancer and documenting Latina women’s unique lived experiences. She utilizes a range of qualitative methods including interviews, focus groups, and case study data. As a first generation Latina immigrant indigenous scholar, she aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice from an equity and inclusion perspective because we all win when we have a compassionate, representative, and humanistic healthcare system. Outside of work, you can find Estela running, dancing, hiking, swimming and/or doing arts and crafts. She also enjoys traveling and cooking authentic Oaxacan food with her mother and family.