PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS CURRENT STUDENTS FACULTY/STAFF ALUMNI COMMUNITY                                    
Banner office of Research University

FACULTY SPOTLIGHTS

Isain Zapata, PhD
Colorado Campus

Where if your hometown
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

What do you enjoy when not at RVU?
I enjoy eating new food, specially ethnic food. African, Asian, Latin american, Middle eastern... I also enjoy music, I have been producing electronic music for many years and have had the opportunity to showcase my work in many venues.

What is an interesting or little known fact about you?
My main directions always incorporate creativity. I like music and research because I can contribute with new ideas. Replicating what already exists is not wall interests me, I always try to add something new.

How long have you been doing research?
I have been doing research for over 15 years which include my graduate studies. I have dedicated my entire professional career to research.

Where did you get your undergraduate? What was your degree?
I attained my Bachelor's degree in Chemistry in Mexico at the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez. I got there also a minor in food technology but my main research line through the years has always been in biology, genetics and data analysis.

Did you do any research while in undergraduate? What was it?
Not  really, research opportunities at my undergraduate institution were not significant at that time, however, I got a lot of hands on experience working with the food industry and developing projects in a similar fashion to research projects.

What type of research are you currently doing at RVU?
At RVU I work for the most part as a data analyst. At some point every research project will likely need an analyst and because of that, I am involved in many different projects; from clinical trials for novel surgical procedures, epidemiological assessments of opioid usage in rural populations to evaluations of mental health proficiency within particular ethnic minority groups. For my personal research, I work on canine behavioral genomics. I do this work in collaboration with a team of researchers from several institutions across the nation. Our work in sponsored by federal agencies and private enterprises. Anything else you would like to share:
Creating an original idea is very hard, but executing that idea into a reality is even harder. Make sure you always surround yourself with the type of people who can help you grow your ideas and turn them into a reality. Don't forget to be there for those who are getting there as well.



Anthony Pappas, PhD
Southern Utah Campus

Where if your hometown
Boca Raton, FL

What do you enjoy when not at RVU?
I am an avid runner. I love to be out running early enough to watch the sunrise. I also enjoy cooking and baking. My New Year's resolutions is to try a new recipe every week.

What is an interesting or little known fact about you?
I maintain an electronic "Gratitude" journal. I add 2-3 entries per week. I strongly recommend this!

How long have you been doing research?
I have been involved in biomedical research (in one way or another) for the past 12 years.

Where did you get your undergraduate? What was your degree?
I completed my undergraduate degree at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). My degree was in Psychology. I completed my PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Vermont.

Did you do any research while in undergraduate? What was it?
My undergraduate research examined the influence of alcohol on spatial recognition tasks. My graduate research examined the impact of hemorrhagic stroke on cerebral blood flow.

What type of research are you currently doing at RVU?
As an anatomist, I am particularly interested in tissue structure and function. Here at RVU, I've been using histologic techniques to examine tissue morphology. Recently, I worked with one of our OMS-2 students to confirm the presence of salivary glands within the lateral walls of the nasopharynx. I have another project underway to investigate morphologic changes in the retina and optic nerve of a blind individual.



Rebecca Ryznar, PhD
Colorado Campus

Where if your hometown
New Hartford, Connecticut

What do you enjoy when not at RVU?
Playing and listening to rock music, reading good AI books, going on hikes with my dog Hendrix.

What is an interesting or little known fact about you?
I brew beer! Getting ready to brew a batch of a belgian white ale. 

How long have you been doing research?
Since my undergrad so over 10 years now. 

Where did you get your undergraduate? What was your degree?
I got my PhD from Wesleyan University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry 

Did you do any research while in undergraduate? What was it?
Undergrad and Master's I did research in the area of cardiac physiology studying the activity and regulation of ryanodine receptors. For my PhD my thesis focused on epigenetics, specifically investigating the link between flux in metabolism and changes in gene expression.

What type of research are you currently doing at RVU?
Currently at RVU, my research focus is on the biological basis of resilience ie how stress biomarkers can help to screen, diagnose and treat PTSD, depression and anxiety related disorders.



ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine has developed several specialized educational tracks and programs to further develop the education of interested students. These range from 3.5-year-long tracks to single-semester elective courses.

Student research/scholarly activity is a vital part of health provider education. Research enhances critical thinking skills and increases medical knowledge, as well as preparing students for graduate medical education. Therefore, all students are encouraged to participate in research activities while at RVU.

During their third and fourth years of medical school, students work on clinical externships, under the guidance of preceptors. RVU students have externships available to them through Colorado and the other Mountain West states.