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Faculty Research

Departments involved in research include biomedical informatics/medical education, public health, family medicine, geriatrics, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, immunology, and psychiatry/behavioral medicine. Each of these departments has a number of faculty members engaged in research efforts to understand the mechanisms tied to disease activity to target treatment more effectively, develop approaches to improve diagnosis of disease states, and understand economic costs tied to disease burden and reduce their impact on the health care system, as well as improve patient quality of life. KPCOM faculty not only engage other NSU faculty members and students but collaborate with faculty out of NSU, industry experts, and corporations. It is this unique collaborative approach to research that allows NSU’s KPCOM faculty members to expand the depth of knowledge they provide to the scientific community.



The medical education and bioinformatics department provides support for the design, development, and delivery of high-quality instruction and assessment in medical education for medical students, interns, residents, physicians, and other health professionals. The medical education department, which provides resources and expertise in education, assessment, and data analysis, use a variety of state-of-the-art technology tools and focus on research efforts to improve clinical practice management and patient care.


Stephen E. Bronsburg, Ph.D., M.S., M.H.S.A. is an Associate Professor, Interim Chair of the Department of Health Informatics, and Director of the Master of Science in Health Informatics Program, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (K.P.C.O.M.) Nova Southeastern University (N.S.U.) Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is a Site Reviewer for the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (C.A.H.I.I.M.). Dr. Bronsburg is an active board member of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Academic Form and Baccalaureate Educators Committee (B.C.C.), focusing on developing national accreditation standards for bachelor programs in health informatics. Dr. Bronsburg is an active South Florida Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (SFLHIMSS) member and a Co-Chair on several committees. He is also involved in several SFLHIMSS work groups, including coordinating the Annual Integrate Conference, the Annual Golf Event, which raises funds for students pursuing academic goals in health informatics, and the Annual Student and Professional Education Event. 


Steve Bronsburg, Ph.D., M.S., M.H.S.A

Headshot of Steve Bronsburg

Dr. Bronsburg is an assistant professor and continues his research in utilizing technology as a tool to address health care issues. Specifically, his current research efforts aim to explore the role of text messaging and Fitbit on chronic disease self-management among underserved populations. Bronsburg has also explored the use of text messaging and motivational interviewing to enhance a tobacco cessation program aimed at increasing quit rates. Dr. Bronsburg continues to conduct health information technology (H.I.T.) research in the areas of implementation, application, and evaluation, focusing on delivering health care and interventions addressing chronic diseases, addiction, and education. Dr. Bronsburg has authored, co-authored, and presented numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings, and demonstrations nationally and internationally. Dr. Bronsburg is also an annual conference peer reviewer for AMIA, H.I.M.S.S., and the International Institute for Applied Knowledge Management (I.I.A.K.M.). He is a member of the Editorial Review Board for the Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management.

Jeniffer R. Garcia, D.H.Sc., M.S.

Jeniffer R. Garcia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Informatics and the Interim Director of the Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics at Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine at Nova Southeastern University. Before assuming these roles, Dr. Garcia was an adjunct in the health informatics graduate program at Nova Southeastern University. She worked in the healthcare field for over 20 years in direct patient care, administrative roles, executive leadership roles, and as a clinical informatics professional, where she honed her expertise in healthcare technology, electronic health records, health policy and administration, and health informatics. Dr. Garcia obtained her master’s degree with honors in biomedical informatics from the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine at Nova Southeastern University. At the same institution, she earned a Doctorate in health science with a concentration in education in 2020, where she applied her expertise in health informatics and healthcare technology to investigate deficiencies in health informatics education programs, usability with electronic health records to identify training deficiencies and gamification for health promotion. Dr. Garcia is a South Florida Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (SFLHIMSS) member who serves on the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) professional development committee. Dr. Garcia is also an annual conference peer reviewer for the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). She is a Certified Scrum Master and a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Her research pursuits include artificial intelligence in healthcare technology, electronic health records, and process improvement.

Vanessa D'Amario, Ph.D.

Vanessa D'Amario is an Assistant Professor within the Health Informatics Department at Dr. Karen C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University. Before assuming this role, she honed her expertise in machine learning and deep learning methods through an internship at Fujitsu Research of America and as a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She obtained her bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from the Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy. At the same institution, she earned a Ph.D. in computer science in 2020, where she utilized signal processing and machine learning to investigate different forms of epilepsy. Her research pursuits revolve around machine learning and its application to healthcare.

Michelle Ramim, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Dr. Ramim is an assistant professor at the Health Informatics Department and the founding director of the Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics at the Dr. Karen C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University. She has over 28 years of experience in healthcare and information technology. She served in various roles across the medical insurance industry, nursing home and assistant living facility industry, information technology industry, and academia. She has extensive experience in large-scale system integration, data architecture, cybersecurity, and data privacy curriculum development, teaching, and research. Dr. Ramim's research investigates applied health informatics issues related to wearable medical devices, cybersecurity and systems implementation, data privacy and ethics, risk assessment, and information security governance. Dr. Ramim published over 32 papers in peer-review journals and conference proceedings over the past 18 years with nearly 700 citations. Dr. Ramim serves on the boards of the South Florida HIMSS as well as the South Florida InfraGard chapters.

Robin J. Jacobs, PhD, MSW, MS, MPH

jacobs-robin-headshot.jpgDr. Jacobs is a professor in Biomedical  Informatics and Medical Education and the Director of Graduate MedicalEducation. She also serves as a statistical Consultant for the HPD Statistical Consulting Center and Institutional Review Board (IRB) College Representative. Dr. Jacobs completed her doctoral training in social welfare at the FIU under a two-year research fellowship and has earned master’s degrees in biomedical informatics, public health, and social work, a bachelor’s degree in community health education and promotion, and a specialist degree in complementary alternative medicine. Dr. Jacobs is an internationally known researcher whose work includes 225 scholarly works including more than 100 peer-reviewed publications on various topics as well as two book chapters on evidence-based practice. She has served as a principal investigator, co-investigator, and statistical analyst with extensive experience in developing or being part of the development/implementation of several NIH- and CDC-funded research projects involving technology-driven platforms addressing health literacy, chronic disease self-management, and HIV. She has served on numerous Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) scientific review committees and peer-review scientific editorial boards. Additionally, she served as a reviewer for the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). She has a varied research background in health informatics and eHealth, behavioral health, medical education, public health, pharmacy education, and the social sciences. She currently serves as co-investigator on a multi-year project supported by the US National Institutes of Health to create health literacy tools to help people find, understand, and use information to maintain and improve their health. Her research focus has recently pivoted to medical education research, specifically to assess and reform the culture underlying medical education vis a vis undergraduate and graduate research training.


The public health department focuses on health of the population through education, research, and service, with emphasis on multicultural and underserved populations. The departments research efforts are geared toward defining, critically assessing, and resolving public health problems globally. The department aims to promote health, prevent disease, develop and evaluate programs, and enhance clinical practice through their research efforts and clinical practice.


To be a trusted academic public health resource center for students, communities, public health organizations, health care centers, and policymakers, dedicated to improved local and global health outcomes and equity.


  1. Education - To provide quality and broad-based education in public health.
  2. Research/Scholarly Activity - To contribute to the discovery and application of knowledge in public health, with an emphasis on multicultural and underserved populations.
  3. Service - To provide public health leadership and service in the community, with an emphasis on multicultural and underserved populations.


To develop a competent public health workforce that improves the health of the population through education, research, and service, with an emphasis on multicultural and underserved populations.



Claudia A. Serna holds a dental degree from Javeriana University, a master and doctoral degree in public health with a specialization in health promotion and disease prevention from Florida International University and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. She furthered her education by completing a residency in dental public health at NYU Langone Health, and a certificate in social media marketing from Rutgers University School of Business.

Dr. Serna is also master certified in health education, a certified communicator in public health, board certified in public health, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health. She is the recipient of the 2017 American Public Health Association Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Post-Professional Award, the 2017 Leverett Graduate Student Merit Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dental Public Health from the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD), and the 2020 KPCOM M.P.H. Golden Apple Award.

Dr. Serna’s research in Dental Care Utilization Among Hispanic Migrant Farmworkers, Dental-Related Use of Hospital Emergency Department by Hispanics and Non-Hispanics, Community- Based HIV Prevention Intervention for Hispanic Migrant Workers and the Latino Migrant Worker HIV Prevention Program has been published in scientific journals, including the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, American Journal of Public Health, AIDS Education and Prevention, Family and Community Health, and the International Public Health Journal. She also authored a chapter in the American Public Health Association Book Oral Health in America: Removing the Stain of Disparity.


Christi M. Navarro, PhD, MS

Dr. Navarro's research is community engagement focus on promoting mental health and well-being, with a particular emphasis on improving mental health literacy. Her current grant project investigates levels of and factors that contribute to mental health in a university community. Project activities include measuring baseline mental health literacy levels, training participants in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and assessing the effectiveness of MHFA on improving mental health literacy. The overarching goal is to improve mental health outcomes on campus by increasing the mental health literacy of individuals that interact with and provide support to college students.

Luca Hollar, PhD

Lucas Hollar has evaluated federally funded initiatives addressing long COVID, COVID-19 health literacy, hazardous materials trainings for maritime workers, tobacco, childhood obesity, interprofessional primary care and public health, and Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS. He has performed foundation and corporation-funded research and evaluation for initiatives addressing zoning and urban planning, sports and physical activity, patient experience of care in community health centers, cancer screening and education for underserved women, and childhood obesity interventions in public schools. His current research focuses on policy, systems, and environmental change to improve population health; the political determinants of health; and social vulnerability.

Ashleigh Bennett, DHSc, MPH

Ashleigh Bennett, DHSc, MPH, has focused her research on the coproduction of health. This includes creating and piloting patient education materials, patient-reported outcome measures, conversation guides, and educational toolkits. Dr. Bennett has also worked on bridging the gap between technology integration and healthcare, utilizing artificial intelligence to improve academic research experiences for medical residents and focusing on how technology can improve patient outcomes. Her current study is analyzing the perceptions of patients in using generative artificial intelligence to help them better understand their care and make treatment decisions, potentially fostering a better shared decision-making space between physician and patient.

Stephen Grant, PhD

Stephen Grant, PhD is a geneticist and toxicologist and Professor of Public Health in the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has spent the last 40 years investigating environmental and occupational causes of cancer, primarily through the development and application of blood-based biomarkers.  He has published 95 scientific papers and two books, made almost 300 presentations, brought in almost 19 million dollars in grant funding and mentored 76 students over his career.

Jennifer Maizel, PhD, MPH, CHES

Jennifer Maizel, PhD, MPH, CHES, leads research aimed at improving outcomes for people with and at risk for diabetes. She is a Site Principal Investigator for a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)-funded grant focused on reducing disparities in diabetes technology utilization. She also has led grant-funded studies examining COVID-19 outcomes affecting underserved adults with diabetes and social support interventions for this patient population. Her research has been published in journals such as Diabetes Care and Diabetes and presented at the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions and American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting and Expo.

Kasi Lou Van Hell, Dr.P.H, M.P.H

Kasi Lou Van Heel, Dr.P.H., M.P.H. is an assistant professor whose research explores non-medical factors that influence health outcomes such as access to credible information resources for lay audiences and college access and participation among marginalized groups. Her research interest is grounded in investigating social determinants of “access” specific to community expressed interests. Her goal as an early career researcher is to apply participatory approaches to helping underserved populations with accessing, navigating, trusting, and utilizing credible resources for improving quality of life. Her current research explores parent involvement among student athletes of underserved communities and post-secondary education pursuits.

Jayson Forbes, PhD

Jayson Forbes focuses on the ideology of forming and assessing a Culture of Health in various environments. His passion is in Health Equity but has expertise in patient safety culture and quality of care in hospitals. He is currently working on multiple projects that expand his work. Dr. Forbes is assessing patient safety culture in medical offices and bridging the gap of knowledge with how it is affected by health equity from both the providers and patients. Additionally, Dr. Forbes is working on creating a measurement tool for the creation of a culture of health in communities.

Stacey Pinnock, MSW, DHSc., CPH, CWP

Stacey Pinnock is an Assistant Professor in Public Health and is a health equity champion. She previously worked as a licensed clinical social worker and as a health promotion specialist.  Over the course of her career, she has been involved in initiatives related to health literacy in minority populations, geriatric workforce education and training, occupational health and safety, interprofessional collaboration, and the association of parental wellness to children’s mental health.  Her main areas of interest are health literacy within family systems; and resilience, thriving, and wellness in, among, and as a result of communities.

Josiah Alamu, PhD, MPH

Josiah Alamu has a broad-based scientific background and professional experience that cuts across epidemiology, population health science, and data science fields. He has initiated, managed, and successfully implemented several research projects, including but not limited to evaluation of viral hepatitis C transmission among homeless individuals, water quality assessment and water-borne diseases, and population screening for hypertension and diabetes in rural developing countries. He is currently working with institutions in West Africa to examine the pathogenesis and co-morbidities of HIV and Hepatitis B.

Kristi Messer, D.H.Sc, M.P.H, M.S.W., LCSW

Kristi Messer has presented her research and academic achievements at more than 40 international, national, state, and local conferences. Currently, Dr. Messer is investigating the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and parental/guardian vaping and smoking history on vaping behaviors among undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. In addition, she is examining the extent to which vaping history influences the perceived effectiveness of anti-vaping advertisements. Dr. Messer is also investigating the impact of the delivery style of a Down syndrome diagnosis on familial attitudes, specifically as it relates to help-seeking behaviors. Specifically, she is investigating the association of positivity, factual accuracy, and support resources provided by medical professionals on the impact of disclosing a Down syndrome diagnosis on familial attitudes. In the past, Dr. Messer’s HRSA-funded research investigated the malleability of medical student attitudes specific to the homeless as a function of exposure to this underserved population. Dr. Messer also created a template on educational techniques and opportunities in improving healthcare training in healthcare for the homeless.


Family Medicine encompasses the entire spectrum of health care for patients of all ages through a holistic approach to each individual patient. Members of the Family Medicine department actively practice osteopathic medicine at university-owned clinics and affiliated hospitals to deliver high quality patient care and to support the clinical education of our students and residents.


It is the mission of the department to provide outstanding osteopathic medical education for its students and residents, to refine and advance the skills and knowledge of it faculty, and to advance and promote the specialty of Family Medicine through the teaching of essential competencies and skills needed to provide high quality health care for all our patients.


The department provides preclinical and clinical training for medical students and family medicine residents at the college and its affiliated clinical sites. The Family Medicine department strives to improve the delivery of health care for its patients of today and tomorrow through research and scholarly participation with other members of the medical and educational community.


Barbara Arcos is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine. The focus of her department is to bring together clinical practice medicine and research efforts.



The Department of Geriatrics aims to improve the care of older adults and the elderly population. They seek to bring awareness to illnesses and co-morbid conditions that impact the aging population. The research efforts of this department aim to improve older adult patient care, increase awareness of conditions affecting this population, and increase the potential for earlier prevention.

The faculty educates and trains medical students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows in both clinical and academic settings. Faculty are also actively educating and training other students and residents from various disciplines in the Health Professions Division.


The Department of Geriatric Medicine has a mandate to educate future health professionals about geriatric medicine, increase awareness about the geriatrics field, and improve the health care of older adults.


Geriatric faculty members participate in clinical research and provide continuing medical education at Regional, State, National, and International conferences.


Naushira Pandya, M.D., C.M.D., F.A.C.P.: Dr. Naushira Pandya is professor and chair of the Department of Geriatrics at the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and the project director of the Health Resources and Services Administration-funded Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program. She is a certified medical director and a geriatrics fellowship program director at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center.

Pandya has an active clinical practice and teaches health professions students, residents, and fellows. In addition, she collaborates with health professionals in clinical research. Her publications focus on the care of frail older adults, especially those with diabetes. She is board-certified in internal medicine, geriatrics, endocrinology, and metabolism.

She is past president of the American Medical Directors Association National Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and past chair of the Interdisciplinary Clinical Practice Committee. She has participated in developing multiple clinical guidelines and position statements and is recognized for her work in diabetes in the elderly. Pandya also holds the distinction of being a Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholar.

South Florida Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (SFGWEP)


Naushira Pandya, MD, CMD

Headshot of Naushira PandyaDr. Naushira Pandya is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Geriatrics. She is the Principal Investigator and Project Director of the federally- funded Geriatrics Education Center at NSU. She is a reviewer for geriatrics journals and has published in the areas of diabetes, osteoporosis, hypopituitarism, and anemia in the elderly.




Sweta Tewary, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.S

Dr. Sweta Tewary is an experienced health care professional with specific training in the field of health care and technology. She is an assistant professor with the Department of Geriatrics and is also the administrative director of a federally funded Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant—the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program. She has worked on multiple grants funded through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Children’s Trust, HRSA, and the Retirement Research Foundation. Most of Tewary’s work involved developing program evaluations and measurements, identifying data trends and opportunities for program services improvement, making recommendations for future funding opportunities to enhance services, using data to explore and develop sustainability, and collaborating with health care providers for project implementation. She is passionate about data analytics and investigating questions that can help improve the health of the community, promote health equity, and contribute to a culture of health. Tewary has been involved in multiple projects with innovative outcomes that have led to the success of many organizations. Some of her strengths are designing evaluation protocols, conducting statistical analysis to employ the best available data using appropriate social-science research techniques, curriculum development, and developing quality-improvement measures.


The Couple and Family Therapy department is proud to be transparent about it values and relational/systemic practices on all levels of education, training, research, and community service. Students and faculty are committed to a collaborative and non-competitive learning environment where diverse ideas and cultures are embraced. Couple and Family Therapy students have the opportunity to work in a live, supervised, state-of-the-art, on-site community clinic and then pursue off-site experiences with community partners. They are prepared for leadership in the field of couple/marriage and family therapy through research, supervision, teaching, and clinical theory and practice. The renowned Couple and Family Therapy faculty are active in the field of couple/marriage and family therapy as researchers, authors, presenters, practitioners, and trainers, and they work diligently to train students to work with individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, and other systems using relational and systemic ideas.


NSU-KPCOM's Department of Couple and Family Therapy is dedicated to teaching and training its students to work with culturally and sexually diverse populations. The department prioritizes recruiting diverse faculty, supervisors, staff, and students so as to create an inclusive environment which empowers our students to become authentic and culturally aware practitioners who practice from an affirmative lens and who celebrate differences.


Fariha Niazi, PhD. LMFT, LMHC

headshotFariha Niazi is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Couple & Family Therapy. Dr. Fariha  Niazi is interested in using creative approaches to therapy and coaching. At the present time, she is in the process of designing a study about the use of photography in health and wellness coaching. Photography has been used in helping professions for decades. It can also be used as a resource and tool for self-care and wellness. Through this study, the perspectives of participants on how photography can improve wellness practices will be explored and examined. 


Joshua L, Boe, Ph.D., LMFT

Dr. Josh Boe is interested in exploring the individual and relational health outcomes of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people, reconnecting with his family scientist identity. In particular, he became interested in romantic relationships as much of the relational literature focuses on TGD youth and their parents (i.e., early intervention). At the individual and partner levels, he seeks to examine how experiences of everyday discrimination and internalized transphobia impact health outcomes. To address this examination, he is currently working on a manuscript (forthcoming) that explores associations among these constructs using a nationally representative dataset of TGD people. Results indicate that an increase in everyday discrimination predicts greater psychological distress, and this relationship is mediated by internalized transnegativity. Follow-up studies from this study will be proposed. The first study focuses on a multigroup analysis to determine how individual and relational factors shape the experiences of everyday discrimination, internalized transphobia, and psychological distress. Such an analysis is warranted as TGD women of color continue to experience greater health disparities compared to White TGD people. The second follow-up study will examine how family acceptance and community connectedness serve as protective factors between everyday discrimination, internalized transphobia, and psychological distress. In addition to the aforementioned studies, he is currently collecting public data from crowdsourcing websites (i.e., GoFundMe) to examine how the narrative constructions for transition related care differ based on the requester's geographic location. Such findings have implications for access to quality care and can help illuminate needs specific to a person's space and place.


The Department of Internal Medicine aims to improve care for adults. They seek to bring awareness to illnesses that impact the adult population and practice in both the inpatient hospital setting, as well as, in the outpatient setting. The research efforts of this department focus on preventative medicine strategies, as well as, illness management. The department aims to improve conditions affecting adults and increase the potential for earlier prevention and intervention to reduce the development of co-morbid complication as these individuals age. The Department of Internal Medicine has more than 100 years of collective clinical experience and provides the following services:

  • Specialty and Expert Consultation
  • Complex Chronic Disease Management
  • Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Rheumatology Clinic and Research Unit
  • Allergy and Immunology Clinical Care


We are striving to be the best Department of Internal Medicine in the osteopathic profession. Our most important role is to provide superior medical education and training in internal medicine and its subspecialties to our medical students and residents. We are also dedicated to serve our patients and colleagues by expanding our current services to enable expert consultative care in both General Internal Medicine as well as its subspecialties. NSU's Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine Department of Internal Medicine will be the source for expert opinion and an authoritative resource for patients and physicians. Our Clinical Expert Consortium serves as a forum to engage community physicians, medical students, residents, fellows and health care leaders in collaborative opportunities that drive clinical excellence, research, publications, academic rigor and mentorship and build strategic alliances.


Some of our noteworthy research and publications are in the following areas:

  • Achieving health equity and understanding health disparities (Caribbean community)
  • COVID-19 health disparities and public health interventions
  • Understanding burnout among physicians globally
  • Rheumatologic diseases: nutrition and scientific advances
  • Allergy and immunology research
  • Technology advances to diversify the health care workforce


Marc Kesselman, DO




Samuel Snyder, DO

Headshot of Samuel Snyder

Samuel Snyder is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. His research efforts focus on gaining insight into the effectiveness of internal medicine programs and understanding unmet needs.



Farzanna Sherene Haffizulla, MD FACP FAMWA 

Farzanna Sherene Haffizulla is the 2014-2015 national President of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) and served as the South Florida AMWA branch President and one of its founding officers. Dr. Haffizulla is the Assistant Dean for Community and Global Health, Chair of the Diversity Committee, past Co-Chair of the Admissions Committee and designated representative for the American Association of Medical College’s Group on Women in Medicine and Science at Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine (NSU MD). Dr. Haffizulla provides essential leadership to the college’s faculty and staff to ensure the expansion, maintenance, and sustainability of community-engaged initiatives that promote human health and health education both domestically and abroad. These efforts will improve partnership and community engaged capacity building, as aligned with the institution’s mission and strategic plan. Her current work at NSU MD aims at eliminating health disparities and improving health equity in the Caribbean diaspora residents of South Florida.

Dr. Farzanna Haffizulla is also board certified in Internal Medicine. She has a special focus on Diabetes, Hypertension, Weight Loss and Women's Health. Dr. Haffizulla is Host and Anchor of Mission Critical Health. She also served as national President of the American Medical Women's Association and is an esteemed national speaker and author. Her books, "Harmony of the Spheres-Career,Family & Community" and "Lead with your Heart: A Doctor's Rx for Personal and Professional Success," advises readers on how to achieve harmony and balance of the work, family, and community spheres in life, from the point of view of a working and involved mother. She runs the websites BusyMomMD, an informative site for modern, educated women juggling career, family and community



The Department of Pediatrics aims to improve the care of adolescents and young adults. They seek to bring awareness to illnesses and conditions that impact a younger generation of patients. The research efforts of this department aim to improve young adult and adolescent patient care, increase awareness of conditions affecting this population, and increase the potential for prevention.

Pediatrics is the medical specialty concerned with the study and treatment of children in health and disease during development from birth through adolescence. Pediatrics differs from adult medicine in many respects. The obvious body size differences are paralleled by maturational changes. The smaller body of an infant or neonate is substantially different physiologically from that of an adult. Congenital defects, genetic variance, and developmental issues are of greater concern to pediatricians than they often are to adult physicians. Childhood is the period of greatest growth, development and maturation of the various organ systems in the body. Years of training and experience (above and beyond basic medical training) goes into recognizing the difference between normal variants and what is actually pathological. Treating a child is not like treating a miniature adult. A major difference between pediatrics and adult medicine is that children are minors and, in most jurisdictions, cannot make decisions for themselves. The issues of guardianship, privacy, legal responsibility and informed consent must always be considered in every pediatric procedure. In a sense, pediatricians often have to treat the parents and sometimes, the family, rather than just the child. Adolescents are in their own legal class, having rights to their own health care decisions in certain circumstances only.


The goal of this department is to prepare medical students, through didactic teaching and clinical training, to provide good primary health care to infants, children and adolescents. We provide mentorship to the students, direct them to appropriate learning resources and motivate them to acquire the essential skills, which would enable them to deliver good health care to the pediatric population. We also support and encourage scholarly activities and community service among our students and faculty.


Bruce Peters, D.O

Currently I am a Professor and Chair of our Pediatric’s department in both our Tampa and Fort Lauderdale campuses. I’m the former chair of Pediatrics at KCUMB and former Clinical Dean at TouroCOM in Harlem while simultaneously serving as medical director at multiple medical schools and clinics. I’m a former Lay Pastor at Oasis Church of Pembrook Pines, currently at Grace Family church in Tampa (Ybor) and currently active in multiple mission outreaches. I am still active in medical missions/ministry’s to Haiti, Jamaica, Homeless shelters, community healthfairs, and other ministry outreaches. I have done Med/Peds at Jessie Trice Community Health Center & FIU and help out whenever I can at Pediatric Associates. My current clinical practice is at Evara Health in their Pediatric department at their Clearwater location where I humbly serve the residents of Pinellis County.


Hilda DeGaetano, DO, MSEd., FACOP, FAAP

Headshot of Hilda DeGaetanoHilda DeGaetano is Senior Assistant Dean of Pre-Clinical Education/Professor and a practicing pediatrician. She has made significant contributions to research, scholarship, and exceptional instruction. Her research efforts focus on implementation of clinical education programs, as well as, whether changes and/or additions should be made to such programs.

DeGaetano served on active duty in the U.S. Army Medical Corps between 1992 and 1999. He is board certified by both the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. Currently, Dr. De Gaetano serves as a Professor of Family Medicine and the Associate Dean for Clinical Curriculum and Graduate Medical Education and the Executive Director for the Consortium in Excellence in Medical Education (OPTI) at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Dr DeGaetano has received many awards for academic and administrative accomplishment during his career to include the Parke-Davis Teacher Development Award, induction into the AOA’s mentors’ hall of fame, the Sigma Sigma Phi national honorary osteopathic fraternity for service to the osteopathic profession and the Florida Society of the ACOFP’s Educator of the Year Award. He has also attended the Harvard Macy Institute program for Leaders in Medical Education. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. He also has served as the President of the Florida Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians and is a past President of the Broward County Osteopathic Medical Association.


The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology aims to aid in the care of women before, during, and after pregnancy. The research efforts of this department focus on illness that impact the urinary, endocrine, and reproductive systems. 

Obstetrics is the branch of medicine concerned with the care of a woman during her pregnancy, delivery (parturition), and recovery from childbirth (puerperium). Gynecology is the branch of medicine concerned with diseases unique to the female genital tract, endocrine system, and reproductive system. Obstetrics was originally a separate branch of medicine, and gynecology was originally a division of surgery. Years ago, most medical schools presented separate theoretical courses in obstetrics and gynecology in the second year followed by clinical clerkships in the third and fourth years. As knowledge of the pathophysiology of the female reproductive tract increased, obstetrics and gynecology merged into a single specialty. Didactic obstetrics and gynecology at the Nova-Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine has, therefore, been condensed into a course known as "Women's Health" taught in the second year, with the practical work in the clinics and hospitals condensed into core clerkships or rotations in the third year.


The Mission of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is to advance the specialty through practice and research, to educate and train future osteopathic physicians to provide competent, compassionate, and comprehensive health care for women, and to recognize those situations where the patient's gender makes a difference in diagnosis and/or treatment.


Renee Alexis, MD, MPH

Renee Alexis, MD, MPH is not only a practicing OBGYN but also focuses on the research of ailments that impact overall women’s health. Her current research efforts focus on gaining insight into cervical pathology and aiding clinicians in making more informed decisions and reducing the economic, physical and, emotional burden tied to current diagnostic protocols by evaluating alternative diagnostic approaches.


Renee Alexis, MD, MPH

Headshot of Renee AlexisRenee Alexis, MD, MPH is not only a practicing OBGYN but also focuses on the research of ailments that impact overall women’s health. Her current research efforts focus on gaining insight into cervical pathology and aiding clinicians in making more informed decisions and reducing the economic, physical and, emotional burden tied to current diagnostic protocols by evaluating alternative diagnostic approaches.


The department of immunology, as part of the Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine aims to provide insight into complex, poorly understood neuro-inflammatory illnesses through the integration of research, clinical care, and education. Current research focuses at the Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine (INIM) includes Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Gulf War Illness (GWI). Investigators, clinicians, and educators are committed to applying scientific advances to promote efficiency, enhance patient care, and improve clinical utility. This advancement is done through clinical, laboratory, computational, and integrative cardiovascular immunological research, all of which are conducted at the INIM by renowned researchers in their respective fields.

The Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine and Nova Southeastern University is taking decisive and informed action to keep students, faculty, staff and patients, as well as the community, safe. We are strictly following guidance from the CDC, the Florida Department of Health, and the Broward County Health Department. Temperature checks will be performed prior to entry at our facilities. Telehealth appointments are available, and we are seeing patients in clinic as need be.


The Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine at Nova Southeastern University strives to advance knowledge and care for people with complex neuro-inflammatory illnesses through the integration of research, clinical care, and education. 


Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), Gulf War illness (GWI), as well as other fatigue-related illnesses are poorly understood. Individuals can experience severe, long-lasting fatigue, which cannot be properly explained through extensive diagnostic procedures. Our research partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Miami VA Healthcare System, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other universities and private institutions furthers the understanding of these illnesses which can be used to improve health care.



Nancy G. Klimas, MD

Nancy Klimas, MD, has more than 30 years of professional experience and has achieved international recognition for her research and clinical efforts in multi-symptom disorders, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), Gulf War illness (GWI), fibromyalgia, and other neuro-immune disorders. She is the immediate past president of the International Association for CFS and ME (IACFS/ME), a professional organization of clinicians and investigators, and is also a member of the VA Research Advisory Committee for GWI, the NIH P2P CFS Committee, and the Institute of Medicine ME/CFS Review Panel. Dr. Klimas has advised three Secretaries of Health and Human Services, including Kathleen Sabelius, during her repeated service on the Health and Human Services CFS advisory committee. Dr. Klimas has been featured on Good Morning America, in USA Today and the New York Times.



Headshot of Nancy Klimas

Nancy G. Klimas, MD

Nancy G. Klimas, MD is internationally recognized for her research and clinical efforts in multi-symptom disorders, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Gulf War illness (GWI), Parkinson’s disease, and Fibromyalgia. Under her leadership, NSU’s Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine was established and has grown to more than 60 employees and more than $20 million in external federal funding (sponsored research, training, and service programs). Among many other honors, Klimas was the recipient of the 2014 Perpich Award by the International Association for CFS/ME (IACFS/ME) for distinguished community service. She also was featured as a “Woman to Watch” on WFOR CBS 4. She is also professor emerita at the University of Miami School of Medicine, director of clinical immunology research at the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), and leads the GWI and ME/CFS clinical and research program at the Miami VA. Klimas is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a diplomate in diagnostic laboratory immunology. She is a past president of the IACFS/ME and is also a member of the VA Research Advisory Committee for GWI, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) P2P CFS committee, and served on the Institute of Medicine’s ME/CFS review panel. She has advised three U.S. secretaries of health and human services during her repeated service on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services CFS Advisory Committee. She is currently funded by the VA, Department of Defense, and NIH to study these complex disorders using a systems biology approach with a strong focus on illness models that lead to therapeutic targets and clinical trials.

Theoharis Theoharides, MD, PhD

I have been studying the regulation of mast cells and their role in allergic and inflammatory diseases for over 30 years. I was the first to report that mast cells can: (a) secrete specific mediators selectively without degranulation; (b) regulate blood-brain-barrier permeability; (c) be activated by corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) secreted under stress to release VEGF selectively; (d) be activated by synergistic action of CRH and neurotensin; (e) can be activated by IL-33 and substance P (SP) synergistically to secrete the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL1b and TNF; (f) secrete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) extracellularly that is mistaken by the body as a pathogen resulting in inflammatory reactions; (g) communicate with microglia and are involved in inflammation of the brain especially as they may relate to n the pathogenesis of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Mastocytosis, diseases that are often comorbid and affect multiple organs without effective treatment. We have shown that secretion of mast cell mediators is inhibited by the natural flavonoids luteolin and methoxyluteolin. My laboratory has been committed to uncovering ways to regulate secretion of mast cell mediators for which there is no clinically effective drug since the only “mast cell blocker” cromolyn in weakly effective and shows rapid tachyphylaxis. I have published over 449 peer-reviewed papers (h-index 91) and have been placed in the top 5% of authors most cited in pharmacological and immunological journals. I, therefore, believe I am well qualified to contribute substantially to the proposed application.


Lubov Nathanson, PhD

Headshot of Lubov NathansonLubov Nathanson, PhD is assistant professor in the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine (INIM). Her research efforts focus on understanding complex, poorly understood neuroimmune conditions including ME/CFS and GWI using modern genomic technologies, such as an RNA sequencing, copy number variation, and genomic DNA methylation to identify underlying mechanisms of disease activity and target treatment more effectively. She is well funded through the NIH for her research efforts in ME/CFS as well as through the VA an DoD for her efforts tied to GWI.

Lubov Nathanson is an experienced, versatile and multidisciplinary trained scientist with over 20 years of work experience in basic and translational genomics and proteomics research. She has a combined expertise in bioinformatics, molecular biology, biochemistry and systems biology. As an Associate Professor for the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine, her work involves analysis of gene expression data of microarrays and RNA-seq experiments, analyzing systems biology including metabolic pathways and gene ontology, building gene interaction networks, creating custom pathways, and searching for upstream and downstream gene interactions.


The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine focuses on the evaluation, identification and management of psychiatric conditions. The department combines clinical practice expertise with research efforts to gain insight into the dynamics of psychiatric conditions and gain insight into improved diagnosis and treatment. While the medical specialty of psychiatry utilizes research in the field of neuroscience, psychology, medicine, biology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, it has generally been considered a middle ground between neurology and psychology. Psychiatrists at NSU use a combination approach to treatment and in their research efforts including drug therapy, laboratory testing, neuroimaging techniques, and physical examinations.

Psychiatry is a medical specialty which exists to study, prevent, and treat mental disorders in humans. The science of the clinical application of psychiatry has been considered a bridge between the social world and those who are mentally ill. Both its research and clinical application are considered interdisciplinary. Because of this, various subspecialties and theoretical approaches exist in psychiatric research and practice. Psychiatrists can be considered physicians who specialize in the doctor-patient relationship utilizing some of medicine's newest classification schemes, diagnostic tools and treatments. While the medical specialty of psychiatry utilizes research in the field of neuroscience, psychology, medicine, biology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, it has generally been considered a middle ground between neurology and psychology. Unlike other physicians and neurologists, psychiatrists specialize in the doctor-patient relationship and are trained in the use of psychotherapy and other therapeutic communication techniques. Psychiatrists can therefore prescribe medication, order laboratory tests, utilize neuroimaging in a clinical setting, and conduct physical examinations.


The Mission of the Department of Psychiatry is to advance the specialty through practice and research, and to educate and train future osteopathic physicians to be competent in the study, prevention and treatment of mental disorders in humans.


Raymond Ownby, MD, PhD, MBA

Raymond Ownby is a professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and a professor in the public health and biomedical informatics programs. He completed his undergraduate education at Ohio University, where he was elected as member in Phi Beta Kappa, and completed his medical education at the Northeastern Ohio Medical University College of Medicine, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha.Ownby has been selected for inclusion in Best Doctors in America and is board certified in adult psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, clinical neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry.He has published more than 200 research articles and has been the recipient of several research grants from the National Institutes of Health. He was awarded the NSU Provost’s Research and Scholarship Award in 2014. He was formerly the director of the Memory Disorders Program at the University of Miami. His current research includes two projects funded by the National Institutes of Health. These include the development of a mobile app targeting older individuals with low health literacy that is designed to help them improve their ability to manage chronic health conditions. The other project investigates whether the use of transcranial direct current stimulation in combination with computer-based cognitive training can improve cognitive problems in persons 50 years of age and older with an HIV infection.



Raymond Ownby, MD, PhD, MBA

Headshot of Raymond OwnbyRaymond Ownby, MD, PhD, MBA is a professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and also a professor in the Public Health and Biomedical Informatics Programs. He completed his residency training in psychiatry at the University of Miami during which he received awards from the National Institutes of Health as an Outstanding Psychiatry Resident as well as the American Psychiatric Association’s Resident Research Award. While at the University of Miami, he also completed the MBA program with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration and Policy. He has been selected for inclusion in Best Doctors in America and is board certified in Adult Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, Clinical Neuropsychology, and Neuropsychiatry. He has published more than 100 research articles and has been the recipient of several research grants from the National Institutes of Health. He is Board Certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine and a founding member of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine.


Knowledge of surgery, surgical indications and surgical contraindications is essential for the competent practice of Osteopathic Medicine. The Department of Surgery closely partners with all areas of clinical instruction of all academic courses and programs of a clinical nature in the College of Osteopathic Medicine. This is most evident in the systems courses, which provide for an integration of clinical content from all medical disciplines within a physiologic instructional format (e.g. cardiovascular system, nervous system, genitor-urinary system, etc.). This approach allows students to be exposed to the key basic didactic concepts of surgery. The Department of Surgery is closely involved with small group courses to expose the student to surgical thought processes. A procedures course is designed to introduce the pre-clinical student to various surgical techniques prior to their rotations.



The Department of Surgery is a dynamic innovative Department dedicated to providing high quality surgical training to students, post-graduates and in continuing medical education. The Department of Surgery prepares students for lifelong learning and leadership roles in the field. The Department of Surgery shares in the College of Osteopathic Medicine's and the Health Professions Division's rich learning resources, innovative learning systems and the philosophy that inquiry, research, professional development, and clinical knowledge lead to outstanding performance in the practice of Osteopathic Medicine and the practice of the art and science of surgery.


Recent publication – A Novel Do-It-Yourself Approach to Simulating Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Surgery. Cureus  May 2023


Eric Goldsmith, D.O

Dr. Goldsmith received his Bachelors degree from New York University, and is a graduate of the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, Des Moines, Iowa Class of 1984.  He completed his internship at Des Moines General Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, and General Surgery residency at Metropolitan Hospital System, Springfield, Pennsylvania. As a resident he received the Meade Johnson Fellowship Grant for research in critical care nutrition.  Dr. Goldsmith is AOA board certified in General Surgery.  He has been named a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, 1995, International College of Surgeons, 1992, and American Society of Abdominal Surgeons, 2000.

Dr. Goldsmith has served on and chaired several committees of the ACOS including In-Depth Review and Bylaws.  He has served on a number of Boards including those of the ACOS Board of Governors, Florida and Iowa State Divisions of the American Cancer Society, Chair of the Iowa combined Professional and Public Education Board for the Iowa American Cancer Society, Des Moines University Alumni Association Board, Co-Chair of the Iowa Cancer Pain Relief Initiative, and Trustee of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association.  Dr. Goldsmith was Chair of the ACOS-General Surgery Discipline and in 2012, Dr. Goldsmith was elected President of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons. In 2019 he was elected as President of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association.

From 1999 to 2005, Dr. Goldsmith was appointed to and served as Surgeon, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County, Florida. Dr Goldsmith has also served as the Academic Officer for Lee Health overseeing all educational activities throughout the hospital system.Currently, Dr. Goldsmith is Associate Dean for Clinical Education and Chair Department of Surgery at NSU - KPCOM, Fort Lauderdale, FloridaDr. Goldsmith is a caring surgeon with a philosophy of “quality patient care first, always”.  He finds pleasure in medical education and the continued growth of the osteopathic profession.


2020-present Co-PI of Project SEAMIST-overseeing training in the recognition and response to hazardous material incidents

2020-Contributor to the Opioid Curriculum Integration Initiative


Darren Cohen, D.O

Darren Cohen is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician with a career-long interest in curriculum development, student mentoring and medical education. Through his time at Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Cohen has been the course director for multiple classes and director of Emergency Medicine’s simulation program. Currently, he is the chair of Emergency Medicine, medical director for the Department of EMS Education and Training and director of the Institute of Disaster and Emergency Preparedness.


Mayur Parmar, PhD

Mayur Parmar is an assistant professor in the Department of Basic Sciences at the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic MedicineIn addition to teaching, he is involved in multiple collaborative medical research projects with medical students. As a part of the college’s research practicum course, he is a faculty adviser to many student research groups. Working with several medical students, he is publishing research articles in the field of pharmacology and neuroscience. As an assistant professor, Parmar is continuing his passion for research in the field of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Currently, he is interested in evaluating newly synthesized medicinal agents for their ability to prevent tau and synuclein aggregation, thereby, neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, he has been a reviewer for the National Science Foundation, as well as for various peer-review journals.


President’s Faculty and Development Grants Award, Nova Southeastern University: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Detecting Mycotoxin Subgroup Goal: To build on and explore whether exposure to mycotoxins is detectable in patients with ME/CFS. The study will assess if mycotoxin exposure results in more severe symptoms in ME/CFS patients and evaluate if new treatment protocols can improve the quality of life of these severely ill patients.


Alison Bested, M.D

Alison Bested Alison Bested is the Chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Nova Southeastern University. She is also Associate Professor at NSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, Director of Student Research Development and Diplomate of the Board of Integrative Medicine, American Board of Physician Specialties. For the past 26 years, Dr. Bested has treated patients with complex chronic medical conditions including myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Gulf War illness and multiple chemical sensitivity. She is trained as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist as well as managed support and education groups using telemedicine in Toronto, to support her long distance patients. She completed her fellowship in clinical and laboratory hematology, genetics, immunohematology, internal medicine and oncology, as well as, receiving her diplomate in Integrative Medicine. Additionally, she has coauthored two books: Hope and Help for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, and The Complete Fibromyalgia Health Diet Guide and Cookbook.


Alison Bested, M.D

Dr. Bested's future goals focuses on the continued education to the public about ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, Gulf War illness (GWI) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) through various media channels as well as promoting NSU as the #1 treatment and research center in the United States for patients with ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, and GWI.


Faculty members are well-qualified, licensed providers who deliver clinical nutrition services as part of the health care team. The scope of services offered includes student health, employee wellness, healthy weight goals, athletics and sports medicine, pediatric feeding disorders, and general medical nutrition therapy. As one of the newest academic units within the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, the department was charged with enhancing the curriculum for osteopathic medical students and serving the college to promote a holistic approach to wellness through nutrition.There is a well-documented pandemic of malnutrition as a result of many influencing factors such as physical illness, behavioral choices, genetics, health literacy, and socioeconomic burden. The landscape and dynamics of proper nutritional care are extremely complex, but one significant factor in both is the role of medical management. Doctors have a unique position in society from which to influence this scenario at global, public and personal levels. Advancements in nutritional science and evidence-based guidelines are frequently changing, especially as health care moves towards prevention. Our vision includes a comprehensive approach to training future physicians who make nutrition a priority in practice.


The faculty and staff of the Department of Nutrition collectively strive to advance nutrition as the foundation of health and wellness. This effort includes a variety of engagement activities to improve the health of patients and to assist in the training of highly qualified and compassionate health care providers. It is successful in achieving this goal through participation in educational activities as well as mentoring and role modeling for students. The department supports faculty development events and provides opportunities for professional advancement, generates research and scholarly activities for its members, and participates in domestic and international outreach events and other philanthropic activities. Moreover, the members of the Department are active in the work of the college through committees, strategic initiatives and university networks.


Members of the Department of Nutrition are involved in the college and interact with all students of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Nova Southeastern University, which include undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. They play an active role in student mentoring and development, creative educational programs, medical outreach events and philanthropic activities, as well as student organizations and activities. The members of the department provide classroom instruction, small group facilitation, and are active in curriculum development and student evaluation. Faculty are active leaders in professional organizations that advance the science and practice of nutrition and advocate for the profession.


Stephanie Petrosky, PhD

Stephanie Petrosky has enjoyed a diverse and exciting career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and loves to make nutrition fun. In addition to clinical practice in hospital and outpatient settings, she has held executive operations roles within national healthcare companies and senior living communities. She received her professional training from Florida International University and earned an M.S. in Health Services Administration from Capella University. Stephanie earned an advanced practice doctorate in clinical nutrition from the University of North Florida. With 30 years of teaching experience, she has been active in many leadership roles. She is proud to be a past-president of the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and currently serves as the Chair of the Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Council for Florida, which oversees the licensure in Florida. On a personal note, Stephanie enjoys the beach, reading, long walks, learning new things, and mentoring others.


The Department of Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) is a collegium of physicians, academicians, ancillary health providers, post graduate Fellows and undergraduate Fellows who are dedicated to the preservation and teaching of the history and philosophy of osteopathic medicine as developed by A.T. Still, M.D., D.O., and to the dynamic advancement of osteopathic medicine in the 21st century.The OPP faculty includes practitioners certified in Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Family Medicine, Sports Medicine, Cranial Osteopathy, Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine, Neurophysiology, Physical Therapy, Acupuncture and Psychology. The Department delivers instruction in Osteopathic Medicine to the Year 1 and Year 2 medical students, regular educational programs to Year 3 and Year 4 medical students, Osteopathic Postgraduate Training Institute (OPTI) interns and residents, as well as continuing medical education. The Department runs two outpatient clinics, is actively involved in research, and delivers lectures and collaborative presentations in the Departments of Family Medicine, Alternative Medicine, Athletic Training, and all Clinical Systems. The Department offers a one year Predoctoral OPP Fellowship to osteopathic students who are interested in the development of advanced skills in manipulative medicine. The Department also runs a one-year post graduate subspecialty residency in Sports Medicine. Department members lecture on national and international levels, and are strongly involved in the preparation of national board examinations. The OPP Department is also heavily involved in national and international community service.


  1. To educate students and faculty about the history and philosophy of osteopathic medicine
  2. To familiarize students with the concepts of wellness, health, and preventive medicine
  3. To familiarize students with the concepts of disease and a return to wellness
  4. To educate students in the biomechanical and neurophysiologic functions of the human body
  5. To expose students to common syndromes seen by the primary care physician as well as the OMM specialist and the sports medicine specialist
  6. To promote competency in the delivery of manipulative treatments with modalities including muscle energy, counterstrain, high velocity low amplitude technique, articulatory techniques, myofascial release and osteopathy in the cranial field
  7. To provide training to students and residents in the subspecialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine
  8. To provide instruction to students seeking advanced training in manipulative medicine
  9. To actively participate in the development of osteopathic research and knowledge on a national and international level
  10. To actively promote osteopathic medicine on local, national and international levels


We are committed to advancing the understanding of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) as a treatment technique and to understanding how best to train future osteopathic physicians in this skill. To this end, all our members are engaged in research focused on determining mechanisms, efficacy and characteristics of both palpatory diagnosis and OMT. Our research programs attract national and international collaboration. We encourage research involvement by interested students outside of Nova Southeastern University. Each year, the Predoctoral OPP Fellows and the Sports Medicine Fellows engage in ongoing research and development projects of their own. All Fellows are given additional training in osteopathic research design and methods.
  1. The Effects of Cranial Manipulation on Visual Function
  2. The Characteristics of Palpation used by Osteopathic Physicians and Physical Therapists
  3. The Characteristics of High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude Thrust Techniques used by Osteopathic Physicians
  4. The Effects on Active Range of Motion of OMT in Low Back Pain Patients
  5. The Correlation between Chinese Auricular Acupuncture Points and Diagnosed Thoracic and Lumbar Somatic Dysfunction


Mark Sandhouse, D.O, M.S


Student training in rural and urban underserved settings stresses development of primary care practitioner skills. This practitioner, with limited availability of sophisticated technical and ancillary services, will have the ability to diagnose and formulate a treatment plan based on information gathered through history, physical examination, laboratory and x-ray reports. The rural / underserved medicine rotation will increase the knowledge and awareness of multi-cultural health and unique value systems. It should also serve as an introduction to Community Medicine and the health care needs of the underserved population.


Marie Florent-Carre, DO, MPH 

Marie Florent-Carre, DO, MPH, is the director of the Department of Rural and Urban Underserved Medicine. Her research efforts focus on foreign borne illnesses including Zika, Dengue Fever, and Ebola. She is currently the Principle Investigator of a grant cosponsored by Broward Regional Health Planning Council for the Transforming Our Community’s Health project. She is also involved in outreach that has aided in her research efforts including international outreach trips to Jamaica, Haiti, and Ecuador. Her research efforts have received extensive recognition, especially tied to her expertise in Zika virus, where she has been involved in multiple panels attended by health care professionals and public officials.


Our research programs attract national and international collaboration. We encourage research involvement by interested students outside of Nova Southeastern University. Each year, the Predoctoral OPP Fellows and the Sports Medicine Fellows engage in ongoing research and development projects of their own. All Fellows are given additional training in osteopathic research design and methods.

  1. The Effects of Cranial Manipulation on Visual Function
  2. The Characteristics of Palpation used by Osteopathic Physicians and Physical Therapists
  3. The Characteristics of High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude Thrust Techniques used by Osteopathic Physicians
  4. The Effects on Active Range of Motion of OMT in Low Back Pain Patients
  5. The Correlation between Chinese Auricular Acupuncture Points and Diagnosed Thoracic and Lumbar Somatic Dysfunction


Alessandra Posey, D.O

Department Chair: Alessandra Posey: Dr. Posey began her first year as member of the NSU Sports Medicine Interdisciplinary Team in 2016. She serves as the Team Physician and is also an Assistant Professor of the Osteopathic Principles and Practice at NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. A native to Miami, Florida, Dr. Posey is a graduate of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Florida. She is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Medicine and trained in Family Medicine at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, Florida where she served as Chief Resident before completing her Sports Medicine Fellowship here at NSU. In her spare time, Dr. Posey enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach and playing sports, especially volleyball.

Featured Researchers:

Roody Joseph, PT, DPT, OCS

Roody Joseph, PT, DPT, OCS, board-certified orthopaedic physical therapist, is an assistant professor and team physical therapist for NSU Florida Sports Medicine. He graduated from Florida International University (FIU) receiving both his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees in 2009 and 2012 respectively. Dr. Joseph completed an orthopaedic residency at The Ohio State University (OSU) in 2014. He is a published researcher and entrepreneur who holds leadership positions within the Florida Physical Therapy Association and Broward County Athletics Association. Dr. Joseph joined the NSU Florida Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2016. In his role as an assistant professor, he advises and mentors undergraduate and graduate medical students while serving on multiple university committees.

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