Research Staff

Yale researchers have introduced countless medical and health advances over the last century, including the first success with antibiotics in the United States and the first use of chemotherapy to treat cancer. University scientists have been responsible for the identification of Lyme disease and the discovery of genes responsible for high blood pressure, osteoporosis, dyslexia, and Tourette's syndrome, among other disorders. Early work on the artificial heart and the creation of the first insulin pump took place at Yale, as did seminal discoveries about how the cell and its components function at the molecular level. Today, research activities take place in a wide range of departments, programs, and centers.

As of fiscal year 2013 Yale research has had 1,815 awards totaling $510.4 million, 416 U.S. and 704 worldwide active patents for Yale inventions, and 58 Yale-founded biotech companies.

The School of Medicine has extraordinary strength in the basic sciences and consistently ranks in the top handful of medical schools receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Toby C. Chai, MD

Vice Chair of Research and Co-Director of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery clinical program at Yale-New Haven Hospital

Toby C. Chai, MD, received his BA from Johns Hopkins University, MD from Indiana University School of Medicine. He did his urology residency at University of Michigan Medical Center. He then completed a 2-year AFUD Research Scholar fellowship at the University of Virginia. Dr. Chai was a urology faculty at University of Maryland School of Maryland over the last 15 years and holder of the John D. Young Professorship. He recently moved to Yale University in January 2013 to become the Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Urology and Co-Director of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery clinical program at Yale-New Haven Hospital.  

Dr. Chai has an active research interest in urinary incontinence and bladder physiology. He was a Principal Investigator in the NIH Urinary Incontinence Treatment Network (UITN) which published several landmark articles in the New England Journal of Medicine related to evaluation and management of stress urinary incontinence. Dr. Chai has been investigating how bladder urothelial cell pathophysiology affects bladder function has contributed important foundational articles in this field. He has published over 100 papers and reviews and chapters. 

Dr. Chai's laboratory investigates bladder urothelial cellular physiology testing the hypothesis that certain urothelial signaling mechanisms are critical to regulating micturition and continence function of the bladder. Techniques used in his laboratory include single cell micropuncture (patch-clamp) electrophysiology and cellular calcium microfluorimetry. His laboratory is currently working on creating a urothelially-restricted transgenic mouse, based on data he has acquired from human bladder urotheilal cells from overactive bladder (OAB) subjects,  to assess whether there is altered bladder behavior in this animal, as well as whether there is altered urothelial cellular physiology, mimicking what his lab has published from cells from OAB subjects. His ultimate goal is to effectively perform translational research reflecting true bedside-to bench-to bedside science.

He has been nationally recognized with key awards including the recipient of the 2001 Young Investigator Award from the SBUR (Society for Basic Urologic Research), the 2005 Paul Zimskind Award from SUFU (Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction), and recently, the 2013 Victor A. Politano Award from the AUA (American Urological Association) for his outstanding work in the treatment of urinary incontinence and innovations in bladder research. He is the Basic Science Section Editor for Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Journal and is an Assistant Editor for The Journal of Urology. He serves on the Editorial Board for the American Journal of Physiology – Renal.

Darryl T. Martin, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate 

I am a biomedical scientist currently training in the Department of Urology under the guidance of Dr. Robert Weiss. I received my PhD from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada under the supervision of Drs. Robert Gendron and Hélène Paradis in the Division of BioMedical Sciences. My graduate work focused on identifying a marker, Tubedown, which was linked to the aggressiveness and differentiation status in pediatric cancers. The level of Tubedown expression has the potential to represent a new prognostic factor in defining the different tumors subsets.  

My research interests involve determining effective targets for the initiation, growth, and recurrence of urologic cancers. Currently, my focus is in eradicating and suppressing the recurrence of cancer growth using both basic and translational approaches, with a specific interest in the development and assessment of nanoparticles for imaging and therapeutic applications. 

In the laboratory of Dr. Weiss we have been focusing on improving siRNA delivery using nanotechnology as well as finding more effective targets for the treatment of bladder cancer. We are focusing on pathways that are involved in the growth and recurrence of transitional cell carcinoma. In conjunction with Dr. Saltzman’s group in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, we are designing and testing nanoparticle delivery systems that stabilize and release siRNAs as well as chemotherapeutics. Additionally, I am collaborating with Dr. Hittelman to determine the optimal methodology for the biodistribution of liposomes in non-cancer bladder diseases. I am also working with Dr. Schulam in using tumor-homing nanoparticles for imaging and treatment of prostate cancer.

Dr. Brian Shuch

Brian M. Shuch, MD  is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received his MD from New York University before completing his urology residency and surgery internship at the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA). During residency he completed an NIH/K30 fellowship program in Translational Investigation. He later completed a urologic three-year urologic oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He has had several years of kidney and prostate cancer laboratory research experience in the laboratories of Drs. Arie Belldegrun, Marston Linehan, Don Bottaro, Iman Osman, and Samir Taneja. Additionally he has received extensive clinical trial experience from his time at UCLA and the NCI.

Dr. Shuch's research interests involve both translational research and clinical trials. His research focus is the identification of genetic causes of kidney cancer, integrating genomic tools into the patient management, understanding the mechanisms of sarcomatoid transformation, and the development of new therapeutic strategies for high-risk patients. He is working closely with Drs. Harriet Kluger and Mario Sznol to expand the translational kidney cancer research efforts and the clinical trial portfolio at Yale.

Since coming to New Haven, Dr. Shuch has helped established a biospecimen repository for the urologic oncology translational research. Additionally he has partnered with Dr. Allen Bale and Ellen Matloff in the Hereditary Cancer Program to form a multi-disciplinary program for Kidney Cancer Genetic Evaluation. This program provides comprehensive genetic evaluation for individuals with familial kidney cancer, early-disease onset, and bilateral/multifocal kidney cancer. Nationally, he is a member of SWOG, the Society of Urologic Oncology Clinical Trials Consortium- Renal Committee, and is a member of the working group for the Cancer Genome Atlas Chromophobe and Papillary Kidney Cancer groups.

Christopher Loose, Ph.D.

CBIT Executive Director

Dr. Loose serves as Executive Director of CBIT, while holding an appointment as Assistant Professor Adjunct in Urology at Yale University. He is also an Accelerator Executive at the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT).

In 2006, Dr. Loose co-founded Semprus BioSciences with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Institute Professor Robert Langer and David Lucchino, and served as Chief Technology Officer until the company was acquired by Teleflex Incorporated in 2012 (TFX: $80M). A peer-review of the Semprus Technology was published in Science Translational Medicine and received a Frost and Sullivan Breakthrough Technology Award in 2010. Semprus’ first product, a vascular catheter with a surface modification designed to have reduced thrombus (clot) formation, was FDA-cleared in 2012.

Dr. Loose received the prestigious Hertz Foundation Fellowship and was selected by MIT’s Technology Review as a member of the “TR35,” naming the world's top 35 innovators under the age of 35. He was awarded the inaugural Peter Strauss Entrepreneurial Award from the Hertz Foundation in 2011 and was also named to Boston Business Journal's 40 emerging business leaders under 40.

While earning his PhD. in Chemical Engineering at MIT, Dr. Loose co-authored the Semprus Biosciences business plan which won entrepreneurial competitions at MIT, Harvard University and Oxford University. Prior to his graduate work, Dr. Loose was a chemical engineer at Merck Research Labs after graduating summa cum laude with a B.S.E in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University.

Ying (Jean) Zheng, Ph.D.

CBIT Engineering Director 

Jean is the Engineering Director for the newly established Center for Biomedical and Interventional Technology (CBIT) at Yale University where she oversees the integration of engineering and medical disciplines to address challenges in patient care. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and M.S. and Ph.D. from Yale, also in Mechanical Engineering. Her doctoral research focused on haptic feedback for variable attention capture (VAC), from which she developed a posture sensing and feedback chair to study seated posture guidance, and a biofeedback weight bearing shoe for partial weight bearing compliance post lower limb orthopedic surgery. 

Prior to graduate school, Jean worked for Boston Scientific as an R&D Mechanical Engineer, developing a new line of implantable pacemakers and defibrillators. She was involved in the entire product development lifecycle from concept design and risk assessment (FMEA) to validation testing to final manufacturing (including operator training). Later, she joined Coloplast as an R&D Engineer where she designed female laparoscopic surgery tools and tested them alongside surgeons in cadaver labs. 

Jean’s current interests include medical device development (through CBIT), user interface design, social and medical robotics, and STEM outreach.

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