Through bold thinking, rigorous scholarship and cross-cutting collaborations, Katz School faculty are pushing the boundaries of knowledge with their latest research to benefit people and society.


Dr. Jochen Raimann, Industry Professor, and Ariella Mermelstein ’21, M.A. in Mathematics

Dr. Raimann and Mermelstein, the lead author and a senior data analyst at the Renal Research Institute, published the study, “Ultrafiltration Rate Levels in Hemodialysis Patients Associated with Weight-Specific Mortality Risks,” in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology in June. Their epidemiological study of dialysis patients conducted at the Renal Research Institute with the Katz School of Science and Health found that higher ultrafiltration rates in hemodialysis therapy tailored to body weight may put heavier patients at a higher risk of death.


Dr. Honggang Wang, Founding Chair

Dr. Wang and colleagues presented the paper, “Precision Polysubstance Use Episode Detection in Wearable Biosensor Data Streams,” at the the IEEE/ACM international conference on Connected Health: Applications, Systems and Engineering Technologies (CHASE) in Orlando in June 20. Using data streams from a study of patients recovering from cocaine use disorder, the researchers demonstrated early results of a novel method to detect poly-substance use without precisely labeled training data using an anomaly detection paradigm.

Dr. Youshan Zhang, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Zhang co-authored the paper, “BirdSoundsDenoising: Deep Visual Audio Denoising for Bird Sound,” in the proceedings of the 2023 IEEE/CVF Winter Conference in Applications of Computer Vision (WACV) in January. He and a colleague create a novel noise removal method that could benefit the hearing impaired and improve the listening experience for audiophiles everywhere.


Dr. Marian Gidea, Associate Dean for STEM Education and Research

Dr. Gidea co-authored the paper, “Diffusing Orbits Along Chains of Cylinders,” in the journal of the American Institute of Mathematical Sciences in December. In the paper, Dr. Gidea helped develop a geometric mechanism to prove the existence of orbits that drift along a prescribed sequence of cylinders under some general conditions on the dynamics.

In Arnold Diffusion in a Model of Dissipative System, Dr. Gidea and co-authors Samuel Akingbade and Tere Seara made a surprising finding. Real-world systems typically lose energy when exposed to mechanical friction but the researchers discovered that when under the combined influence of time-periodic perturbations and dissipation, it is possible for them to gain energy.

Dr. Yuri Katz, Industry Professor

Dr. Katz recently co-authored the study, “Topological Data Analysis of Noise: Uniform Unimodal Distributions,” in the journal Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation. The results optimize selection of the hyperparameters of topological data analysis (TDA) and augments the interpretation of TDA in a broad range of real-world problems in noisy systems, including forecasting of market instabilities.


Dr. Ran Drori, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. Drori co-authored the study, “Accumulation of Antifreeze Proteins on Ice Is Determined by Adsorption,” published by the American Chemical Society in August. The researchers found that antifreeze proteins passively “swim” to ice surfaces faster than finding the right orientation allowing them to adsorb, or bind, to the ice. Adsorption is the process by which ions, atoms or molecules adhere to the surface of a solid material, whereas absorption occurs when a fluid penetrates the entire volume of a material.

This binding to ice inhibits ice growth and limits freezing damage to organisms such as plants, fish and insects. These findings are universal for small ice crystals (150 micrometers—about the width of one human hair), which is the upper limit of crystals found in these organisms. They tested antifreeze proteins from fish and insects and the results were the same—diffusion is faster than adsorption to the ice surface.

Dr. Emil Prodan, Professor of Physics

In Smart Patterning for Topological Pumping of Elastic Surface Waves, Dr. Prodan and co-authors built a material that displays a never-seen behavior when coupled with a source of mechanical waves, and this behavior will very likely find applications in energy, information and signal transfer. By patterning the surface of a solid slab of material, the mechanical wave, instead of spreading like ripples when a stone hits the surface of a lake, follows a pre-defined path that can connect to any point on the surface, demonstrating that no wires are needed to transfer energy or signal between any two points on such a surface.


Dr. Amiya Waldman-Levi, Clinical Associate Professor

Dr. Amiya Waldman-Levi co-authored the paper “Understanding Father–Child Joint Play Experience Using a Convergent Mixed-Methods Design” in the September/October 2022 issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. This paper stems from a large mixed-methods study exploring the role parents and caregivers hold in supporting children’s psychosocial well-being.

In the same issue, she co-authored “Cognition Mediates Playfulness Development in Early Childhood: A Longitudinal Study of Typically Developing Children.” The paper, which contributes to the understanding of the development of playfulness while exploring its relationship with cognitive functioning in typically developing children, fills important gaps in pediatric practitioners’ knowledge and contributes to delivery of early intervention, especially when cognition or playfulness are at risk.

Dr. Alexandra Wagner, Clinical Assistant Professor, and Melanie Evangelista, Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Wagner and Professor Evangelista presented “Changing Perspectives: Addressing Occupational Needs of Dementia in a Safety-First World” on June 6 at the AOTA specialty conference on Aging My Way in Bethesda, MD.


Dr. Fredy Zypman, Professor of Physics; Dr. Ran Drori, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Martin Zalazar, Postdoctoral Researcher

They published the paper, “Micro-Thermography for Imaging Ice Crystal Growth and Nucleation Inside Non-Transparent Materials” in the Review of Scientific Methods in May. The paper provides experimental proof that high-quality imaging of ice growth is achievable, thus paving the way for quantitative measurements of ice growthkinetics and ice nucleation in solid materials.


Dr. Marissa Barrera, Assistant Dean of Health Sciences and Program Director

In her invited oral presentation, Dr. Barrera discussed “Referring to Rehab? An Advanced Practitioner’s Guide to Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis” at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers in Denver. She also spoke on “Speech, Language and Swallowing Difficulties in PWMS: Medical & Psychosocial Implications” as part of the nationally syndicated webinar, National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Expert Teleconference Series on May 18.

Dr. Barrera also co-published “The Association of Trigeminal Neuralgia with Multiple Sclerosis: A Comprehensive Review of Neuropathic Pain Treatment” in the Journal of Multiple Sclerosis Research, and “Cognitive Impairment, Fatigue and Depression in Multiple Sclerosis: Is There a Difference Between Benign and Non-Benign MS?” in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

In addition, she received the ARTY Award from the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers in the 2023 Best Practices in MS Care: Rehabilitation category.


Comments are closed.