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Soundarapandian (Vijay) Vijayakumar


Title :  Associate Professor
Department: Natural Sciences & Mathematics
Office Location: WH 200
Office Phone: (518) 255-5467

Additional Title: Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University; Extended Faculty Mayo Translational Polycystic Kidney Disease Center, Rochester, MN

Areas of Expertise
Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, renal physiology, Polycystic Kidney Disease, STEM education

Courses Taught
Biology 1 (BIOL 111), Biology 2 (BIOL 112), Microbiology (BIOL 219), Anatomy & Physiology Lab (BIOL 258X), Cell Biology and Biochemistry at JIT

About Me
Before coming to Cobleskill, I served as the Assistant Professor of Pediatrics as well as of Pharmacology & Physiology at the University of Rochester. During my tenure at the University of Rochester, I developed an independent research project investigating the role of extracellular matrix in Polycystic Kidney Disease, and mentored undergraduate and high school research students. I have held research positions at the Columbia University in the City of New York as well as the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX. As a young scientist, I have spent time at the University of Ulm, Germany and International Center for Theoretical Physics, Italy. I have published in several leading peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Cell Biology and Journal of Clinical Investigation, primarily on the role of hensin in acid-base physiology. My research interests include structure of membrane proteins (CFTR, P450scc), Origin and evolution of life (primitive tRNA), Bioinformatics & genomics (P450scc, Polycystic Kidney Disease) as well as Developmental biology of the Kidney.

I have extraordinary interest in STEM education and interdisciplinary thought. I have served as adjunct faculty at the Bryant & Stratton College, Henrietta and at the College of Mount Saint Vincent at Bronx, NY. I routinely participate in the First Lego League events primarily in the Judging area as well as in the NYC Science & Engineering Fair. I am devoted to making concepts easily understandable to students, active learning strategies and mentoring.I am currently serving as a member of the SUNY University Faculty Senate Diversity Committee and spearheading SUNY Cobleskill’s efforts to develop learning communities.

Other Links

Curriculum Vitae
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
• Ph.D. in Biology, 1993
• Thesis: Structural Investigations on Cytochrome P450scc
• M.S. in Biology, 1992

RKM Vivekananda College, University of Madras, India
• M.Sc. in Physics, 1985
• Thesis: Lattice Dynamics of Strontium Oxide: Three Body Force Shell Model
• B.Sc. in Physics, 1983

Membership in Professional Societies:
2008 – Present: Recessive PKD Core Center, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham, AL 35294
2003-Current: American Society for Cell Biology, Bethesda, MD, USA
2003- 2012: American Society of Nephrology, Washington DC, USA
1995-1997: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Bethesda, MD, USA
1988-1990: Society for Biomolecular Recognition
1991-1995: Biophysical Society
1987-2000: International Society for the Study of Origins of Life (ISSOL)

Professional Service:
Member, Diversity Committee, SUNY University Faculty Senate (2015 -16)
NSF Review Panel Member (2015)
Associate Editor, Nephrology Open Journal (2015 – Current)

Selected Presentations and Participations in Conferences and Workshops:
 Panel Member, First Generation, Next Generation: Learning Communities for Inclusive Excellence, ACLC retreat, West Hartford, CT (Oct 28-30, 2015)
 7th Annual New York State Biotechnology Symposium at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY (May 12 & 13, 2015)
 Workshop Chair, The Eight International Conference On Ethics in Biology, Engineering & Medicine, St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY (April 24-26, 2015)
 Participant, CAT Train-the-Trainer Workshop, Lenox Hotel, Boston, MA (March 5-6, 2015)
 Participant, Full STEAM Ahead! Integrating the Arts and STEM Disciplines, ACLC retreat on Learning Communities, Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center,West Hartford, CT (Oct 22-24, 2014)
 Workshop Presenter, Incorporation of Evidence Based Teaching Methods and Active Learning Strategies in Introductory STEM Courses, 2014 NYS STEM Collaborative Institute, Alfred State SUNY College of Technology, Alfred, NY (July 13-15, 2014)
 Invited Speaker, Investigation of the role of aberrant laminin assembly in PKD cystogenesis, Mayo Translational PKD Center Retreat, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (May 11, 2012)
 Invited Speaker, Jim Hensin, A New Puppeteer In Epithelial Morphogenesis, Invited Speaker, Dept of Biology, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Brookhaven, NY (Feb 19, 2010)
 Invited Speaker, GSK-3/mTOR signaling regulates extracellular matrix deposition of hensin, a key regulator of kidney adaptation to metabolic acidosis by blocking galectin-3 secretion. American Society of Nephrology Renal Week, San Diego, CA (Oct 1, 2009)
 Invited Speaker, Molecular mechanisms of epithelial differentiation regulated by hensin, the rabbit homologue of innate immunity defense protein gp340/DMBT1. Invited speaker, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark (Jun 14, 2007)
 Invited Speaker, Cyclosporin Causes Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis by Preventing Hensin Polymerization, American Society of Nephrology Renal Week, San Diego, CA (Sep 30, 2003)
 Invited Speaker, Structural Investigations on P450scc and Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Receptor, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD (1995)
 Invited Speaker, Predicted three-dimensional structure of P450scc. American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Biophysical Society Joint Annual meeting, Houston, Texas (Feb 1992)
 Invited young scientist, A primitive tRNA model for the genetic decoding machinery, Invited Speaker and Visiting Scholar, International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy (1992)
 Invited young scientist, A primitive tRNA model for the genetic decoding machinery, Sektion Polymere, Univ. of. Ulm, Germany (1987)

Associate Professor: Department of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, SUNY Cobleskill, Cobleskill, NY; Sep 2015 – present
Assistant Professor: Aug 2013 to Aug 2015
• Prepare and present General Biology courses (BIOL 111, BIOL 112) lectures to a large class-size (60 +students)
• Redesigned General Biology courses to incorporate active learning strategies in classroom
• Interact with students during regularly scheduled office-hours and other times.
• Develop course syllabus, calendar, exams etc., and conducted two BIOL 258X Anatomy & Physiology labs
• Instructor for Microbiology lecture (BIOL 219) and lab (219X) courses
• Instructor for BIOL 111 lab as well as coordinator of BIO 111 labs; redesigned BIO112 lab to include activities of Hardy Weinberg, Cladistics and Plants.
• Instructor for Biochemistry and Cell Biology courses in Nanjing, China
• Research mentor for Honors program research projects
• Active member of the committee involved in developing informatics minor
• Participated in Student advising (currently – 9 students for Spring 2015)
• Member, SUNY University Faculty Senate Diversity committee (current)
• Participated in department and campus-wide meetings
• Committee member, Fiscal Affairs & strategic Planning governance committee.
• Lead role in the development of learning communities on campus
• Presented STEM workshop, participated in learning community retreat and CAT assessment workshops

Assistant Professor, Departments of Pharmacology & Physiology and Pediatrics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. Dec 2010 to present
• Undergraduate teaching: independent study (PHP 395- Spring 2012 & Spring 2013).
• Led Problem Based Learning (PBL) sessions entitled Just Say Yes! A patient odyssey through a cornucopia of pharmacopeia to medical students (one course/year)
• Mentored undergraduate students Alisa Johnson, Aditi Mulgund, Nicole Hook, Thomas Dieringer, Michael Hsu, Avni Patel and Suparna Dang in cell & developmental biology/protein biochemistry research on kidney diseases.
• Interviewed graduate students to the Pharmacology & Physiology graduate program
• Actively participated in faculty development workshops arranged by the Dean’s office

Adjunct Professor, Department of Natural Sciences, College of Mount Saint Vincent, Bronx, NY Sep 2012 to June 2014
• As the instructor for Anatomy & Physiology I Lab, worked with other adjuncts and professors to finalize the syllabus and calendar
• Prepared power-point presentations from various sources to thoroughly illustrate various anatomical structures to undergraduate students
• Conducted practical labs such as dissecting the pig-brain and dialysis experiment
• Led classes using an active learning strategy that included assigning group work, pop-quizzes and improptu student participation
• Earned the respect and appreciation of students that led to many of them waking up before 5AM to sign up for my next semester Anatomy & Physiology II class
• Also served as Instructor for College Physics (lecture) and lab courses
• Adjunct Professor, Allied Health Program, Bryant & Stratton College, Rochester, NY April 2010 to June 2013 (every semester)
• Taught Anatomy & Physiology II and Pharmacology courses to students from diverse backgrounds by incorporating kinetic, visual and auditory learning tools
• Worked efficiently with the program director to develop the syllabus, tracking calendar, reflective essay and research project topics
• Incorporated puzzles and games to encourage reciprocity and cooperation among students
• Actively sought student suggestions to improve their learning outcomes and incorporated their suggestions such as providing hand-outs of the presentation and introducing “make your own word bank” assignment
• Significantly improved sustained student engagement in a three-hour long class by giving in-class assignments in their work-book, text book and models
• Clearly explained the learning outcomes and work place relation of the topics at the beginning of the class and communicated high expectation
• Guided students in their writing projects such as the disease project by giving prompt and constructive feedbacks on their first and second draft
• Incorporated multiple choice questions and by reviewing a list of study material before their tests to enhance student success in CMA testing
• Actively participated in faculty development process by responding to Class Room Observation critiques

Teaching Assistant, Department of Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Sep 1990 to Aug 1993
• Led undergraduate students in Advanced Biophysics laboratory course for three semesters and trained them in molecular modeling, bioinformatics and spectroscopic techniques (Instructor: Prof. John Salerno)
• Introduced bioinformatics and molecular modeling component to the course by designing the syllabus, lab exercises and tests
• Led undergraduate students in Advanced Biochemistry laboratory course for two semesters and trained students in the purification of cytochrome c from bovine heart and ferredoxin from spinach and in UV-Vis based protein assays and SDS-PAGE (Instructor: Prof. John Salerno)
• As a teaching assistant for Biochemistry course (lecture), acted as the preceptor for a small group of about 20 students by helping them with questions and concerns and grading their tests and quizzes (Instructors: Drs. Jane Koretz and Joyce Diwan)
• Led undergraduate students in Embryology lab course for three summer semesters
• As a teaching assistant for the Introduction to cell and molecular biology lab trained students in DNA extraction, cloning and agarose gel electrophoresis

University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, Departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacology & Physiology: Assistant Professor, Dec 2010 to present; Research Asst Professor Dec 2007 to Dec 2010)

Established a novel research program in Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) that included CTSI grant funded basic research and an industry sponsored clinical research project; successfully identified a novel biologic (laminin-332) for the treatment of PKD.

• Applying technical expertise in Cell Biology and Protein Biochemistry identified novel targets (galecti-3, laminin-332) PKD and renal fibrosis, hensin and integrin v1 in metabolic acidosis and DMBT1 in Prostate Cancer. Identified a lead biologic (laminin-332 antibody) for PKD.
• Planned the research project and as the Principal Investigator, developed the budget, drafted grant proposals, obtained funding, procured equipments, identified external and internal collaborators, obtained rat and mice model systems, designed animal care protocols and established new research program.
• Recruited Otsuka sponsored PKD clinical study to the University of Rochester and, as a sub-investigator, coordinated the study including obtaining IRB and ORPA approval, patient recruitment and enrollment.
• Edited a book on kidney diseases, published in peer-reviewed journals and presented lectures at the Brookhaven National Lab, American Society of Nephrology and at the Mayo Clinic.

Columbia University, New York, NY, Departments of Medicine: Associate Research Scientist, Jul 1996 to Dec 2007; Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Nov 1995 to Jun 1996; Adjunct Associate Research Scientist (Jul 1996 – Current); Also Adjunct Faculty AT Mayo Clinic, MN since 2011.

Discovered the function of a novel ECM protein, hensin, in terminal differentiation of kidney, prostate and intestinal epithelia. Discovered novel targets (hensin/DMBT1, integrin v1 and galectin-3) in kidney disease and prostate cancer using cell biological and proteomics tools.

• Identified integrin v1’s role in the matrix assembly of hensin (an alternatively spliced form of putative tumor suppressor protein DMBT1; published with cover picture in the Journal of American Society of Nephrology).
• Established the role of hensin in the differentiation of kidney, prostate and intestinal epithelial cells (published in the Journal of Cell Biology).
• Collaborated with other researchers in elucidating the role of hensin in prostate-cancer, alachlor-induced oncogenesis in rat olfactory mucosa and in metabolic acidosis of the kidney.
• Collaborated in identifying a novel protein, kanadaptin, and elucidated the influence of apical and basolateral lipids on chloride-bicarbonate exchanger protein

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, Department of Physiology: Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Sep 1993 to Nov 1995

Developed and executed a research project to determine the structure-function relationship of the membrane domain of Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Receptor (CFTR).

• Purified CFTR transmembrane peptides using HPLC, CE-MEKC and ESI-MS methods.
• Using biophysical techniques including circular dichroism (CD), discovered the conformational flexibility of a transmembrane peptide in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) (published in Biochemistry)
• Developed novel techniques to express and purify full-length recombinant Cystic Fibrosis protein (CFTR) in Sf9-baculovirus expression system

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, Department of Biology: Graduate student, Sep 1990 to Aug 1993

Successfully modeled the structure of Cytochrome P450scc, a protein that regulates steroid biogenesis and identified the active site and membrane binding domains.

• Using bioinformatics, computer modeling and EPR spectroscopy modeled the 3D structure of P450scc, a membrane protein involved in the biosynthesis of steroid hormones (P450scc) and predicted the active site, heme and membrane binding regions of this protein.
• Deposited the structure data in the Protein Data Bank (pdb:1scc) and published the findings in the Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
• Invited to present at the ASBMB and Biophysical Society Joint meeting, Houston, TX and participated in Second Albany Conference on Computational Biology, Albany, NY.
• Participated in the Frontiers of Life Conference, Blois, France and was visiting student at the International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy

• Volunteer Judge/Referee, First Lego League, New York since 2005; Judge Coordinator since 2013
• New York City Science & Engineering Fair Judge since 2013
• Tri-beta chapter conference Judge, College of Mount Saint Vincent, 2013
Research Mentoring Experience:
 T. Wiederholt, Graduate student from Germany (2000)
 Tanya Johnson,Graduate student from Nephro-Urology unit, University College London, London, UK (2002)
 Michael Hsu, Northwestern University, Illinois (Summer 2008)
 Avni Patel, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (Summer 2009)
 Thomas Dieringer, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (Summer 2010)
 Nicole Hook, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY (Summer 2010)
 Aditi Mulgund, University of Akron, Ohio (Summer 2010)
 Kanchan Parkhi, University of Rochester (2011)
 Alisa Johnson, University of Rochester, (Summer 2011 & Independent Research Course, Spring 2012)
 Suparna Dang, University of Rochester Undergraduate (Summer 2012)
 Several High School students through Friends of Strong, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (2008-2012)
 Honors Research Projects, SUNY Cobleskill

1. The role of Microfibril-associated protein 4 in vascular morphogenesis and in the development of vascular diseases. Lundbeck Foundation Dec 2007-2009; 1,000,000 kroners (declined)
2. Travel Grants from International Society for the study of Origins of Life, NASA and International Center for Theoretical Physics (1987-95).
3. Junior Research Fellowships from the Department of Science and Technology, India & University Grants Commission India (1986-89).
4. Best student of the College, RKM Vivekananda College, Chennai, India (1983).

Peer-reviewed Publications:
1. Paragas N, Kulkarni R, Werth M, Schmidt-Ott KM, Forster C, Deng R, Zhang Q, Singer E, Klose AD, Shen TH, Francis KP, Ray S, Vijayakumar S, Seward S, Bovino ME, Xu K, Takabe Y, Amaral FE, Mohan S, Wax R, Corbin K, Sanna-Cherchi S, Mori K, Johnson L, Nickolas T, D’Agati V, Lin CS, Qiu A, Al-Awqati Q, Ratner AJ, Barasch J (2014). α-Intercalated cells defend the urinary system from bacterial infection. J Clin Invest. 124:2963-76.
2. Vijayakumar S, Dang S, Marinkovich MP, Lazarova Z, Yoder B, Torres V and Wallace D. (2014) Aberrant Expression of Laminin-332 in ARPKD Contributes to Cystogenesis by Altering Principal Cell Proliferation. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 306:F640-54.
3. Vijayakumar S, Peng H and Schwartz GJ. (2013) Galectin-3 Mediates Oligomerization of Secreted Hensin Using its Carbohydrate Recognition Domain. Am. J. Physiol. 305:F90-99
4. Peng H, Vijayakumar S, Schiene-Fischer C, Li H, Purkerson JM, Malesevic M, Liebscher J, Al-Awqati Q Schwartz GJ.(2009). Secreted Cyclophilin A, A peptidyl prolyl cis/trans isomerase mediates matrix assembly of hensin, a protein implicated in epithelial differentiation. J Biol Chem. 10: 6465-6475. (* Equal first author)
5. S. Vijayakumar, H.Erdjument-Bromage, P.Tempst and Q. Al-Awqati. (2008) Role of Integrins in Hensin Assembly and Function in Cultured Intercalated Cells. J. Am. Soc. Neph. 19: 1079–1091
6. S. Vijayakumar, J. Takito, X. Gao, GJ. Schwartz and Q. Al-Awqati. (2006) Differentiation of columnar epithelia: the hensin pathway. J Cell Sci. 119:4797-801.
7. A.L. Schwaderer, S. Vijayakumar, Q. Al-Awqati, G. J. Schwartz (2006) Galectin-3 Expression is Induced in Renal -Intercalated Cells during Metabolic Acidosis. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 290:F148-58
8. S. Watanabe, S. Tsuroka, S. Vijayakumar and G. J. Schwartz. (2005) Cyclosporin produces Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis by blocking hensin polymerization. Am. J Physiol. 288(1): F40-47
9. Q. Al-Awqati, S. Vijayakumar, J. Takito. (2003). Terminal differentiation of epithelia. Biol Chem, 384:1255-1258.
10. Q. Al-Awqati, S. Vijayakumar, and J. Takito. (2003) Terminal differentiation of epithelia from trophectoderm to the intercalated cell: the role of hensin. J Am Soc Nephrol. 14 Suppl 1:S16-21.
11. M. B. Genter, DM. Burman, S. Vijayakumar, CL. Ebert and B. J. Aronow. (2002) Genomic analysis of alachlor-induced oncogenesis in rat olfactory mucosa. Physiol Genomics 12: 35-45.
12. G. J. Schwartz, S. Tsuroko, S. Vijayakumar, S. Petrovic, A. Milan and Q. Al-Awqati. (2002) Acid incubation reverses the polarity of intercalated cell transporters: An effect mediated by hensin. J. Clin. Inves. 102, 89-99.
13. J. F. Ma, J. Takito, S. Vijayakumar, D. M. Peehl, C. A. Olsson and Q. Al-Awqati. (2001) Prostatic expression of hensin, a protein implicated in epithelial terminal differentiation. The Prostate. 49(1): 9-18.
14. G. J. Schwartz, A.M. Kittelberger, D. A. Barnhart and S. Vijayakumar. (2000) Carbonic anhydrase IV is expressed in H+-secreting cells of rabbit kidney. Am. J Physiol. 278, F894-F904.
15. Q. Al-Awqati, S. Vijayakumar, J. Takito,C. Hikita, L. Yan & Wiederholt (2000) Phenotypic plasticity and terminal differentiation of the intercalated cell: the hensin pathway. Exp Nephrol. 8,66-71.
16. C. Hikita, S. Vijayakumar, J.Takito, H.Erdjument-Bromage, P.Tempst and Q.Al-Awqati. (2000) Induction of terminal differentiation in epithelial cells requires polymerization of hensin by galectin-3. J Cell Biol. 151, 1235-1246.
17. S. Vijayakumar, J. Takito, C. Hikita and Q. Al-Awqati. (1999) Hensin remodels the apical cytoskeleton and induces columnarization of intercalated epithelial cells: processes that resemble terminal differentiation. J. Cell. Biol. 144, 1057-1067.
18. C. Hikita, J. Takito, S. Vijayakumar and Q. Al-Awqati. (1999) Only multimeric hensin located in the ECM induces apical endocytosis and reversal of polarity in intercalated cells. J. Biol. Chem. 274, 17671-17676.
19. J. Takito, L.Yan, J. Ma, C. Hikita, S. Vijayakumar, D. Warburton and Q. Al-Awqati. (1999) Hensin, the polarity reversal protein, is encoded by DMBT1, a gene frequently deleted in malignant gliomas. Am. J. Physiol. 277, F277-F289.
20. Q. Al-Awqati, S. Vijayakumar, J. Takito, C. Hikita, L. Yan and T. Wiederholt. (1999) Terminal differentiation in epithelia: the Hensin pathway in intercalated cells. Semin Nephrol. 19, 415-20.
21. W. C. Wigley, S. Vijayakumar, J.D. Jones, C. Slaughter and P. J. Thomas. (1998) Transmembrane domain of Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator: Design, characterization and secondary structure of synthetic peptides m1-m6. Biochemistry. 37, 844-853.
22. Q. Al-Awqati, S. Vijayakumar, C. Hikita, J. Chen and J. Takito. (1998) Phenotypic plasticity in the intercalated cell: the hensin pathway. Am. J. Physiol. 275: F183-F190.
23. J. Chen, S. Vijayakumar, X. Li and Q. Al-Awqati. (1998) Kanadaptin is a protein that interacts with the kidney but not the erythroid form of Band 3. J. Biol. Chem. 273, 1038-1043.
24. W. Van’t hof, A. Malik, S. Vijayakumar, J. Qiao, J. van Adelsberg and Q. Al-Awqati. (1997) The effect of apical and basolateral lipids on the function of the Band 3 anion exchange protein. J. Cell. Biol. 139, 941-949.
25. S. Vijayakumar and J. C. Salerno. (1992) Molecular modeling of the 3-D structure of cytochrome P-450scc. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1160, 281-286.
26. S. Vijayakumar and R. Balasubramanian, R. (1989) Origin of the discriminatory mechanism of proteinous aminoacids from the non-proteinous aminoacids by the protein synthesizing machinery. Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere. 19: 370-372.

Book Chapter:
Extracellular Matrix Abnormalities in Polycystic Kidney Disease,
In: Novel Insights on Chronic Kidney Disease, Acute Kidney Injury and Polycystic Kidney Disease, (Editor: S. Vijayakumar) Intech Publishing, Croatia ISBN 978-953-51-0234-2; (2012)

Research and Grants:

Research Grants:
1. Title: SUNY Cobleskill’s multi-pronged, targeted initiative to enhance STEM retention through engaged learning
Principal Investigator: Dr. S. Vijayakumar, Ph.D
Agency: National Science Foundation
Project Period: 09/01/2015 – 08/31/2017 Budget: $524,400 (recommended for resubmission)

2. Title: SUNY Cobleskill’s multi-pronged, targeted initiative to enhance STEM retention
Principal Investigator: Dr. S. Vijayakumar, Ph.D Agency: National Science Foundation
Project Period: 06/01/2014 – 05/30/2017 Budget: $269,000 [Positive reviews, not funded]

1. Title: A Multi-Center, Longitudinal, Observational Study of Patients with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) to Establish the Rate, Characteristics, and Determinants of Disease Progression (PI Dr. Jeremy Taylor, M.D)
Role of Dr. S. Vijayakumar, Ph.D: Sub-Investigator Agency: Otsuka Pharmacutical
Study Period: Nov 2011- Oct 2014; Budget: approximately $58,000
(Dr. S. Vijayakumar initiated the efforts for bringing this study to the University of Rochester)

2. Title: Bicarbonate Transport by the Maturing Renal Tubule (PI Dr. George Schwartz, M.D)
NIH RO1 2 R01 DK050603-31A1 Agency: NIDDK (NIH)
Role of Dr. S. Vijayakumar: Co-investigator; Percent effort 20%
Period: July 01, 2011- June 30 2015; Budget: approximately $430,000 per year

3. Title: Role of Galectin-3 Mediated Extracellular Matrix Assembly in ARPKD Cystogenesis
Principal Investigator: S. Vijayakumar
Agency: NIH/NCRR (The University of Rochester’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute)
Funding Period: 07/01/2010 – 06/30/2011; Budget: $20,000

4. Title: Role of galectin-3 in Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease
Principal Investigator: S. Vijayakumar, Ph.D
Agency: Strong Childrens Research Center Small grants Program, University of Rochester
Funding Period: July 2008 – June 2010; Budget: $10,000

In the News:


Grace M. Begany

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Business and Information Technology
Office Location: Warner 114
Office Phone: (518) 255-5273

Areas of Expertise
Information science, informatics, information technology, digital project management

Courses Taught
Web Publishing, Spreadsheets and Databases, Microcomputer Applications

About Me
Prof. Begany joined the SUNY Cobleskill community in August 2015. Prior to arriving at SUNY Cobleskill, she was a full-time doctoral student in Information Science at the University at Albany’s College of Computer Engineering and Applied Sciences. Prof. Begany continues her Ph.D. research part-time while teaching at SUNY Cobleskill. In addition to this work, Prof. Begany maintains a digital project management consultancy and serves as a project management instructor for, a division of Web Media Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: WEBM).

Prior to her current roles, Prof. Begany was Director of Online and Software Development for Kaplan, Inc., which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Washington Post Company. At Kaplan, she spearheaded many large-scale online, mobile, and digital analytics initiatives. She has also managed digital projects for a publicly-held healthcare communications company and a software development start-up and has over 15 years of experience directing digital projects.

Curriculum Vitae
 Ph.D. Candidate, Information Science, University at Albany–State University of New York | College of Computer Engineering and Applied Sciences, Albany, NY

Research Interests: consumer health informatics, human information behavior, human-computer interaction, user experience, mobile information and communication technologies, health literacy, open health data, knowledge organization and management, digital government, information policy

M.A., Journalism (with Certificate in Science and Environmental Reporting), New York University | Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, New York, NY

B.A., Psychology (with High Honors–Psychobiology Major), Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

Research and Grants
2014 – Awarded the University at Albany Graduate Student Association (GSA) Professional Development Grant for “Designing the Future of Mobile Healthcare Support” workshop paper presentation at the Mobile Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) 2014 Conference

2014 –Awarded the University at Albany Graduate Student Association (GSA) Professional Development Grant for conference travel and poster presentation at the National Cancer Institute Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) Conference

2013 – Awarded the “Initiatives for Women” Award by the University at Albany | State University of New York which provides funds for scholarly activity

2012 – Awarded the Analysis Exchange Scholarship prize (which provides funds for digital analytics activity) from The Analysis Exchange and Web Analytics Demystified for digital analytics services performed for The Ford Foundation, The Henry Ford Museum and

Katrina M. Pearl

Katrina Pearl

Title: Assistant Professor of Management
Department: Department of Business & Information Technology
Office Location: 206 Warner Hall
Office Phone: (518) 255-5381
Office Hours:  Monday & Wednesday 5-6pm and Tuesday & Thursday 9:30-11:00am

Areas of Expertise
Real Estate

Courses Taught
Principles of Marketing
Advertising & Promotion

About me
Prof. Pearl primarily teaches courses in Marketing at Cobleskill. Prior to joining SUNY Cobleskill in August 2015, she worked for Schenectady County Community College as an Assistant Professor of Management. She also has five years of industry experience in accounting, finance, and real estate. She is currently in the last stages of her dissertation to complete her Doctorate of Management degree from the University of Maryland University College.  

LinkedIn URL:  

Curriculum Vitae
University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Maryland
Doctor of Management, Anticipated December 2015 (ABD as of Apr. 2014)

Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York
Master of Business Administration, December 2008

Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, New York
Bachelor of Professional Studies in Business Management
Specialization in Accounting, Minor in Economics, December 2007
GPA: 3.9/4.0 Summa cum Laude
Economics Master Student, ALD Academic Honor Society, Alpha Chi, Excellence in Accounting Graduation Award, Business Management Senior Project Award

“The Influence of Culture and Implicit Beliefs on the Leadership Development of Women in Global Higher Educational Institutions” presented at the International Journal of Arts and Sciences Conference at Harvard University and the paper was published in the Humanities and Social Sciences Review, CD-ROM. ISSN: 2165-6258: 2(4):31-44 (2013)

“Faculty as Opinion Leaders: A Major Source of Influence on Innovation Opportunity in Higher Education” presented at The Northeast Business & Economics Association at Monmouth University.


Jennifer A. Golden

Title: Master Teacher at Effie Bennett-Powe Child Development Center
Department: Early Childhood
Office Location: 129 Holmes Hall
Office Phone: (518) 255-5696  

Adam D. Wild


Title: Visiting Professor
Department: Plant and Animal Science
Office Location: CANR 215
Office Phone: (518) 255-5503

Other Links:

Areas of Expertise: Dendrology, Ecology, Botany, Forest Soils, Maple Sugar Industry, Landscape Design and Construction

Courses Taught: ORHT 121 Woody Plant Materials, AGSC 186 Entomology, BIOL 116 Botany

Curriculum Vitae:
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY
Masters of Science, Forest Ecology & Ecosystem Science
Thesis: “Soil Nutrients Affect Sweetness of Sugar Maple Sap”
May 2014

State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, Cobleskill, NY
Bachelors, Landscape Contracting,
May 2012

Wild, A.D. & Yanai, R.D. (2015). “Soil Nutrients Affect Sweetness of Sugar Maple Sap.” Forest Ecology and Management. 341:30-36.

Research & Grants:
SUNY 4E Network of Excellence Award “Aphid-like Biosensors for Ecosystem Studies: NANAPHID Proof of Concept” January 2014

Northern States Research Cooperative Graduate Research Grant “Sugar Content of Maple Sap after N, P, or Ca Fertilization” January 2013-May 2014 – P.I.

Jack Rivituso

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Business and Information Technology
Office Location: Warner Hall Room 113
Office Phone: (518) 255-5274

Additional Titles: Ed.D.

Areas of Expertise: Information Technology, Information Security, Informatics, Cyber crimes, Python and Cobol programming

Courses Taught: Intro to Information Security; Intro to Information Security Lab; Project Management; Systems Analysis; Management Information Systems;
Microcomputer Applications; Database Concepts; Python programming

About Dr. Rivituso: He primarily teaches courses in the Information Technology domain at Cobleskill. Prior to joining SUNY Cobleskill in August 2014, Dr. Rivituso worked for New York State first as a computer programmer then as a Network Administrator. He also has 20 years of experience as a law enforcement officer, and taught courses in criminal justice and cyber security courses at both community college and at other four year institutions.

Curriculum Vitae:
Doctor of Education, Northeastern University, 2012
Dissertation Title: Cyberbullying: An Exploration of the Lived Experiences and Psychological Impact of Victimization Among College Students – An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis

Master of Professional Studies, Informatics – Information Security Management, Northeastern University, 2008

Bachelor of Arts in History, Siena College, 1979

Associate in Science, Columbia-Greene Community College, 1976

Rivituso, J. (2014). Cyberbullying Victimization among College Students: An
Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Journal of Information System
Education (JISE), Volume 25 Number 1, Spring 2014.

2014 Best Paper Award, ISECON/CONISAR Conference, Baltimore, MD. Topic:
Cyberbullying or normal game play? Impact of age, gender, and experience on
cyberbullying in multi-player online gaming environments: Perceptions from one
gaming forum.

Fryling, M. and Rivituso, J. (2013). Investigation of Cyberbullying Phenomenon as an
Epidemic. Paper presented at the 31st International Conference of the System
Dynamics Society, Cambridge, MA.

View Dr. Jack Rivituso’s full curriculum vitae here. 


Suzanne Marie Fine

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Early Childhood Psychology
Office Location: Holmes 232C
Office Phone: 518-255-5245
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday 2-4pm; Thursday 10-11am and by appointment

Areas of Expertise: Diversity and social justice issues in early childhood education; child development; early childhood curriculum; the arts in education and the supervision of practicum students

Courses Taught:
ECHD 121 Expressive Arts
ECHD 130 Introduction to Early Childhood Programs
ECHD 150 Curriculum and Methods
ECHD 170 Child Growth and Development
ECHD 233 Practicum: Early Childhood Programs (Effie Bennett-Powe Child Development Center)
ECHD 234 Practicum: Elementary Schools and Community Agencies
ECHD 251 Anti-Bias Strategies
ECHD 252 Conflict Resolution
ECHD 351 Families as Partners

About Suzanne: She has been teaching at SUNY Cobleskill since 1999 and for six years was a Master Teacher in the Effie Bennett-Powe Child Development Center, a multi-age program for three-five year olds. She obtained a grant to purchase hydroponic equipment for the preschool classroom and collaborated with Professor George Crosby in the Plant Science Department on its integration into the curriculum.

She co-presented “A Tale of Two Supervisors: Using NAEYC Standards for Associate Degree Students to Evaluate Practicum Students” with a colleague, Lizabeth Whitbeck, at a national conference and has presented several times at the New York State Association for the Education of Young Children’s Annual Conference.

Ms. Fine travelled to Anguilla, BWI with a colleague to teach Curriculum and Methods to preschool and kindergarden teachers on the 32 square mile island.

She taught elementary school in rural Virginia and preschool in the Boston, Massachusetts area before earning her Master’s degree in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was also a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Early Childhood Education.

Associate Professor Fine is a licensed Kindermusik educator and Zumba instructor. During the summer she can be found rowing on the Mohawk River.


Crosby, George – Irrigation, Hydroponics, Greenhouse Management, Vegetable Production, Developmental Agriculture, Botany

Ellram, Alex R. – Turfgrass Management, Golf Course Management, Advanced Golf Course Management, Integrated Pest Management, Ag Chemicals

Evans, Jason Robert – Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Policy, Small-scale Beef Production Systems, Market Research, Experimental Economics

Greenwood, Carmen Marie – Entomology, Conservation Biology, Disturbance Ecology, Terrestrial Invertebrate Ecology

Marten, Timothy Erwin – Landscape Design, Landscape Estimating, Sustainable Sites, Ecological Design, Landscape Maintenance & Construction, Storm Water Management, Designed & Sustainable Agriculture, Permaculture

Testa, Nicholas D. – Small Engine Theory/Diagnostics, Diesel Engine Theory/Diagnostics, Electrical Troubleshooting

Thompson, David – Managing Multicultural Work Forces in Agriculture, Animal Reproduction, Bovine Hoof Care & Maintenance, Applied Bovine Reproduction

Tommell, Nicole L. – Equine Farm Management, Animal Science Techniques I, Agricultural Business Management, Agricultural Education Community Leadership, Animal Health

Wright, Bruce R. – Agricultural Equipment, Diesel Engines, John Deere Agricultural Equipment

Environmental Science

Amodeo, Paul A. – Information Technology: Introduction to Programming, Visual Programming, Advanced Java, Web Publication II, Web Programming. Environmental & Energy Technology: Unit Operations & Unit Processes, Pollution Prevention & Remediation

Greenwood, Carmen Marie – Entomology, Conservation Biology, Disturbance Ecology, Terrestrial Invertebrate Ecology

Lehman, Brent C. – Aquaculture: Cold, Cool, and Tropical; Tank & Pond Culture, Aquaculture Engineering