Active Researchers at the
College of Osteopathic Medicine

Michael B. Clearfield, D.O., F.A.C.O.I., F.A.C.P
Dean of College of Osteopathic Medicine and Professor

Dr. Clearfield is a nationally and internationally recognized researcher on clinical lipidology and atherosclerosis. He has just secured a participating investigator role in a of a large clinical study, the CIRT, a multicentric   study headed by Paul Ridker at Harvard, that will recruit 7,000 patients starting in 2012 to evaluate the effect of methotrexate in secondary prevention for CAD events.

Research Grants Awarded:

  • Research, Education and Metabolic Studies (DREAMS)
    Traditional and Emerging Risk Factors for Individuals Developing Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Coronary Heart Disease. Project 2.
    Principal Investigator
    2004-2006 Funded $766,854 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Phase II Double Blinded Randomized Controlled Parallel Group Study evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of three doses of RO4607381 Combined with Pravastatin over a 12 week period in Patients with Low HDL-C
    Principal Site Investigator
    2005-2006 Funded $90,331 Hoffman-LaRoche
  • A 6 week Open label Randomized Multi-Center Phase IIIb Study to Compare Efficacy and Safety of Rosuvastatin 10 mg with Atorvastatin 20 mg in Subjects with Hypercholesterolemia and either a History of CHD or CHD Risk Equivalent (PULSAR)
    Lead Principal International Investigator
    2003-2004 Funded $28,000 Astra-Zeneca
  • A Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo –Controlled , Multicenter Phase III Study of Rosuvastatin 20 mg in the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events Among Subjects with Low Levels of LDL-C and Elevated Levels of C-Reactive Protein. (JUPITER)
    Principal Site Investigator.
    2003-2006 Funded by Astra-Zeneca, $96,000
  • Hypo-Responders to Statins, UNTHSC Intramural Grant,
    2000, Martin Weiss, D.O. Principal Investigator; $10,400.
  • A 24 week Randomized Double-blind Multicenter Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Starting and Maximum Doses of ZD4522 and Atorvostatin in the Treatment of Subjects with Hypercholesterolemia and documented Atherosclerosis
    Principal Site Investigator;
    1999 Funded by Astra-Zeneca, $46,600.
  • A Multi-Center, Randomized, Parallel Group 8 Week Comparative Dose Efficacy and Safety of Once Daily Atorvastatin with Other Statins. (CURVES)
    Principal Investigator
    Principal Site Investigator
    1996, Funded by Parke-Davis $42,000.
  • Atherosclerotic Risk Reduction and Atorvastatin.
    Principal Site Investigator
    1996 Funded by Parke-Davis. $42,000.
  • Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study. A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Trial of the Effect of Lovastatin on the Incidence of Primary Coronary Heart Disease in Patients with Mild to Moderate Elevations in Total and LDL Cholesterol in Combination with Low-HDL Cholesterol.
    1992-1997, Funded by Merck Sharp and Dohme.
    Principal Investigator, $6,400,000
  • Effect of Pravastatin on Continuing Hypercholesterolemia.
    Site Co-Investigator
    1991-1992 Funded by Bristol Meyer-Squibb, $12,000                                                                
  • Educational Grant for Lipid Symposium.
    1990, Funded by Merck, Sharp & Dohme, $5,000.
  • The Potential Protective Effect of Captopril Against the Deposition of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol in the Arteries."
    1990 Funded by E.R. Squibb & Sons, Inc.
    Principal Investigator. $5,000
  • Educational Grant for Lipid Symposium.
    1989, Funded by Merck, Sharp & Dohme, $5,000.
  • "Regulation of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Levels in Human Plasma.   Stephen E. Weis, D.O., Principal Investigator, Michael B. Clearfield, D.O., Co-Investigator, 10% FTE
    1989, AOA Research Grant #89-11-299, $14,000

  • "A Double-Blind Comparative Study of Prinomide vs. Naproxen vs. Placebo in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis"
    1988 Funded by Ciba-Geigy Corporation, Bernard R. Rubin, D.O., Principal Investigator,
    Michael Clearfield DO co-investigator, $27,990
  • "An Open-Label Study of Voltaren Treatment in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Using Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales Protocol MCS #125A",
    1987-88 Funded by Ciba-Geigy Corporation, Bernard R. Rubin, D.O., Principal Investigator, Michael B. Clearfield, D.O. co-investigator $6,000

Publications – Journals (Last 5 years)

  • Boekholdt SM, Arsenault BJ, Mora S, Pedersen TR, LaRosa JC, Nestel PJ, Simes RJ, Durrington P, Hitman GA, Welch KM, DeMicco DA, Zwinderman AH, Clearfield M, Downs JR, Tonkin AM, Colhoun HM, Gotto AM, Ridker PM, Kastelein JJ. On statin LDL-cholesterol, non-HDL –Cholesterol and apolipoprotein B and risk of cardiovascular events; a pooled analysis.
    J Am Med Assoc (JAMA) 2012;307:1302-1309.
  • Lack of effect of lowering LDL Cholesterol on Cancer: Meta-analysis of Individual Data from 175,000 peopled in 27 Randomized Trials of Statin Therapy. Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ (CTT) Collaboration PLoS ONE 2012;7(1):e29849. Epub 2012;Jan 19
  • Clearfeld MB. Cardiovascular benefits of aggressive cholesterol lowering therapy. J Am Osteo Assoc 2011;111(suppl 3):1-3.
  • Clearfield M. Combination lipid therapy in type 2 diabetes. Curr Athero Reports 2011;Feb;13(1):1-3.
  • Clearfield M. Statins in combination: From ARBITER-6 HALTS to ACCORD-What works? Curr Athero Reports 2011;Feb;13L1):4-8.
  • Efficacy and safety of more intensive lowering of LDL-C: a meta-analysis of data from 170,000 participants in 26 randomized trials. Cholesterol Treatment Trialist’ (CTT) Collaboration. Lancet 2010;376:1670-1681.
  • Clearfield MB. Altering the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis: The multidimensional role of statins. J Am Osteo Assoc 2010;110(suppl 4):52-56.
  • Hiserote P, Clearfield M. Treating risk components of the metabolic syndrome.                        
    J Am Osteo Assoc
    2010;109(suppl 3):e56-eS13
  • Sattar N, Preiss D, Murray H, Welsh P, Buckley B, deCraen A, Seshasai S, McMurray J, Freeman D, Jukema J, Macfarlane P, Packard C, Stott D, Westendrop R, Shepherd J, Davis B, Pressel S, Marchioli R, Marfisi R, Maggioni A, Tavazzi L, Tognoni G, Kjekshus J, Pedersen T, Cook T, Gotto A, Clearfield M, Downs J, Nakamura H, Ohashi Y, Misuno K, Ray K, Ford I. Statins and risk of incident diabetes: a collaborative meta-analysis of randomized statin trials. Lancet 2010;375:735-742
  • Clearfield M. Efficacy of atorvastatin reload in patients on chronic statin therapy undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. Curr Atheroscl Rep 2010;Jan;12(1):8-10.
  • Clearfield M. Rosuvastatin and clinical outcomes in individuals who are not deemed appropriate for baseline statin therapy. Curr Atheroscler Rep 2010:Jan;12(1):5-7.
  • Clearfield M. New evidence extending the benefit of treating LDL-C beyond the current guidelines. Curr Atheroscl Rep 2010:Jan;12(1):1-4.
  • Bray GA, Clearfield MB, Fintel DJ, Nelinson DS. Overweight and Obesity: the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic risk.   Clin Cornerstone 2009;9(4):30-40.
  • Cui Y, Watson D, Girman C, Shapiro D, Gotto AM, Hiserote P, Clearfield M. Effects of increasing High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol and decreasing Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol on the Incidence of first acute coronary events (from the Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study). Am J Cardiol 2009;104:829-834.
  • Licciardone JC, Clearfield MB, Guillory VJ. Clinical Practice Characteristics of Osteopathic and Allopathic Primary Care Physicians at Academic Health Centers: Results from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.
    Academic Medicine
  • Shah BM, Kemp R, Clearfield M. Using statins to treat ‘healthy’ patients: are we there yet?
    Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
    . 2009;9(2):103-105.
  • Hiserote PA, Clearfield M. Predicting Cardiometabolic Risk: The Evolution Continues
    Whole Patient Supplement to JAOA/DO 2009;7(1):7-9
  • Clearfield M Clinical Trials Reports (ENHANCE, CORONA, CTT-Diabetes)
    Curr Atheroscl Reports
  • Clearfield M. Another Inconvenient Truth: Combining the Risks from Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome with Global Warming. Curr Atheroscl Reports, 2008;10:273-276.
  • Consensus Report of the American Osteopathic Association, American College of Osteopathic Internists, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Diabetes Consortium. Addressing Overweight and Obesity: Evolving to a Medical Consensus.
    J Am Osteopath Assoc
    2008;Suppl 1:108:S2-S15.
  • Clearfield M. Clinical Trials Reports (SAGE, METEOR, ILLUSTRATE)
    Curr Atheroscl Reports
    , 2008;10(1):5-10.
  • Efficacy of cholesterol lowering therapy in 18,686 people with diabetes in 14 randomized trials of statins:a meta-analysis. Cholesterol Treatment Trialists (CTT) Collaborators
  • Clearfield M, Smith-Barbaro P, Guillory VJ, Cavalieri TA, Wood DL, Sharp GF, Hahn MB. Research Funding at Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine: 15 Years of Growth.
    J Am Osteopath Assoc
  • Clearfield M, Smith-Barbaro P, Guillory VJ, Cavalieri TA, , Hahn MB.
    How can we keep research growing at Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine?
    J Am Osteopath Assoc
  • Clearfield M. Clinical Trials Report (IDEAL, ASTEROID, Cholesterol Treatment Trialists Collaboration-CTT)
    Curr Atheroscl Reports

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Tamira Elul, PhD
Associate Professor of Biophysics

I received a PhD in Biophysics, from UC Berkeley in 1999.

Research Interests:

  • In my laboratory, we study molecular, cellular and biophysical mechanisms that shape neuronal circuits during embryonic development. Molecularly, our current objective is to define novel mechanisms by which downstream effectors of Wnt and Cadherin axon guidance ligands coordinate to regulate pathfinding behaviors of optic axons and their growth cones during formation of the visual projection in situ and in vivo . In complement to these molecular/cellular experiments, we are also pursuing studies involving detailed quantitative analysis of filopodial and lamellipodial interactions in growth cone motility that drives optic axon pathfinding in vivo . Our research will help define how visual connectivity first forms, is degraded in various neurological disorders (such as Down's syndrome and Alzehimer's disease), and potentially, can be regenerated following disease or injury in the visual system.  
Number of Recent Publications
  • 2 publications in 2008, 2 in preparation. 
Previous Grant Support
  • Intramural grants from Touro, 2006-2007, 2009-2010.  
  • NIH R01, (PI) Novel interactions between Wnt and cadhrin signaling in optic axon pathfinding in vivo. Requested 1, 226,000. If funded start 04/01/2012.

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Nathalie Garcia-Russell, PhD
Associate Professor

  • Project #1 : Effects of environmental stress on Salmonella typhimurium virulence and evolution .
  • Investigate of the effects of the bacterial environment on prophage induction, i.e. reactivation, of these transferable elements, and its role in the emergence of new virulent strains.

Peer reviewed publications: 1

Research Support: Touro University Start-up fund
  • Project #2 : Using Osteopathic Manipulations to Facilitate Acclimatization to High Altitude.
  • The specific aim of the present project is to determine if OMM treatment, before or during high altitude exposure, can prevent and/or decrease the incidence of Acute Mountain Sickness in unacclimatized individuals sensitive to hypoxia exposure.
Research Support:
  • Intramural Grant: Touro University California 2008-09 / Dr. Garcia-Russell, PhD (PI)
  • UC White Mountain Research Station Award for David Hakopian OMSI – May 2009-June 2010 / Dr. Garcia-Russell, PhD (PI)
  • Intramural Grant: Touro University California 2009-10 / Dr. Garcia-Russell, PhD & Dr. Janet Burns, DO (Co-PI)
  • AOA Research Fellowship for Rung-Chi Li – September 2010-October 2011 / Dr. Garcia-Russell, PhD (PI)

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Miriam Gochin, PhD

Research project
  • Structure-based drug discovery, applied to HIV. The lab is involved in compound design using computational and structural tools, compound synthesis, protein preparation, assay development and application (both biochemical and cell based) and NMR spectroscopy.

Number of Peer Reviewed Publications(since joining Touro): 16

Current funding
  • NIH R01 General Medical Sciences, NIH R21 AIDS and Infectious Diseases.
Past funding
  • NIH (4), California HIV-AIDS Research Program (2)

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Alejandro Gugliucci, MD, PhD
Associate Dean for Research
Professor of Biochemistry

Research project (s) description:

  • Paraoxonases and cardiovascular risk: we specialize on the antioxidant enzyme carried by HDL and explore its role in diseases with high CVD risk: renal failure, stroke, sleep apnea.
  • Advanced glycation and diabetes: studies on the role of AGEs in diabetic complications: in vitro; cell culture; human studies. Role of natural antiglycation agents.
  • Metabolic impact of fructose restriction in obese children. The goal of this project is to assess the effect of fructose restriction diet on hepatic de novo lipogenesis , liver fat content and triglyceride levels.

Current funding (at Touro) specify if extra or intramural.

  • 1R01DK089216-01 (Schwarz, Lustig )  7/1/10-6/30/15 Metabolic impact of fructose restriction in obese children
  • Role: Co-PI. PI Schwarz (Touro), Lustig (UCSF)

Past funding (at Touro or specify if you recently joined us).

  • Foundation Nitration of Plasminogen Impairs Fibrinolysis -2004-236, $52, 400 (PI)
  • Pfizer Education grant to invite Professor V. Monnier as a visiting professor for 3 days, $7, 500 2007 ;
  • Foundation for the Support of Research State of Sao Paulo $ 15,000, Visiting Professor, A. Gugliucci, host:2007: Prof Dr. D. Bastos , Dept Nutrition, USP, Sao Paulo Prof Dr. E. Santos, Biochemistry, UFSC, Florianopolis ,


  • Polyamines as antiglycation agents PI Granted by Touro University, $50,000, 2003-2004
  • Glycated products and macrophages PITUCOM, $15,700 2000

Pending funding:

  • AHA, PI. Paroxonase in HDL subclasses as a risk factor, Requested 140,000. If funded start 01/01/2012
  • NIH/NIHLB1 R01, ( coPI ) Lipogenesis , lipoprotein flux and CVD risk: role of meal composition and frequency. Requested 3, 647,000 If funded start 04/01/2012


  • We collaborate and publish (20 articles in last 5 years) with colleagues at Kyoto Medical Center and Showa University in Japan.

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Evan Hermel, PhD
Professor of Immunology

Evan Hermel, PhD in Immunology, 1992. U. TX Southwestern Medical Center 
Research project (s) description:
  • My lab is interested in CASPASE-12 (CASP12) , a gene that is functional only in persons of African heritage. CASP12 down-regulates the inflammatory immune response, and we are investigating whether the gene is a risk or a protective factor in African-Americans with rheumatic diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Number of Peer Reviewed Publications (at Touro): 11
  • Co-PI/Intramural Pilot Project Grant: Examination of altered monocarboxylate transporter expression in HD transgenic mice. (Direct costs $3,000). Gloria Klapstein, PI. Touro University CA.
  • Co-PI / COHS Pilot Project Grant: Role of Caspase-12 genes in African-Americans with rheumatoid arthritis. Kevin Klapstein, Co-PI (Direct costs $3000). Touro University-CA, Vallejo, CA
  • Collaborator, R21 NS066469, Assay development for high affinity non-peptide HIV-1 gp41 inhibitors (Direct costs $100,000). NIH-ADDT Miriam Gochin, Co-PI. Touro University-CA, Vallejo, CA. In progress
  • Collaborator, R21, Improved idiotype immunotherapy for lymphoma by RNA vaccine delivery. (Direct costs $275,000, total $420,750). NIH/NCI. Alison A. McCormick, PI. Touro University-CA, Vallejo, CA. in progress through 3/31/2012.
Past funding (at Touro)
  • 2008 Collaborator, Intramural Pilot Project


  • Analysis of Toll-like Receptor Signaling by Encapsidated RNA (Direct costs $15,000). Alison A McCormick, PI. Touro University-CA
  • 2005  Primary Investigator, Intramural Pilot Project Population Genetics and Characterization of Human Caspase-12 , (Direct costs $40,000). Touro University, Vallejo, CA

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Gloria J. Klapstein, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

(Pharmacology) University of Alberta, Canada. Postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA (Neurology, Psychiatry)

  • I use brain slice electrophysiology, pharmacology, histology, biochemistry, and behavioral testing to study neuronal and synaptic pathophysiology in mouse models of neurodegenerative disorders. A) Changes in neuronal ischemic sensitivity and cardiovascular targets elucidate cardiovascular contributions to Alzheimer's disease. B) Alternate energy substrate use in Huntington's disease.
Intramural grant:
  • Expression of altered monocarboxylate transporter expression in HD transgenic mice.

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Athena Lin, PhD
Associate Professor

  • Signaling mechanism in aging and cancer

    The overall goal of this laboratory research is to help identify therapeutic intervention for cancer and other age-related diseases by studying the biology and signaling mechanism of senescence (cellular aging) and neoplastic transformation (tumorigenicity).

    This laboratory focuses on using Ras signaling as a model to study the biology of senescence and neoplastic transformation.  Constitutive activation of the Ras protein is known to cause either neoplastic transformation or senescence depending on the cellular context.  However, the specific underlying signaling mechanism remains to be further elucidated.  Currently four topics of basic science research are being conducted in this laboratory (see below).  Experimental approaches used in the laboratory include biological (cell culture/assay), biochemical (protein assays), and molecular (DNA/RNA assays) methods.

    1. To help understand aging biology as well as early detection of aging cells and management of age-related diseases, we would identify and characterize biomarkers of aging cells by using Ras-induced senescence as a model system. 

    2. To help understand the relevance of specific Ras isoform associated with particular cancer types, we would dissect differential signaling pathways among three Ras isoforms (H-Ras, N-Ras, K-Ras).

    3. To help understand development of age-related diseases, we would explore biological impact of senescent cells on neighboring tissue.

    4. To help identify effective chemotherapeutic strategies in cancer treatment, we would explore the role of tumor senescence in chemo-response in tumor cells.

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