Women Faculty Network

Leadership Team Profiles:


Dana Litt 056 E Dana M. Litt, PhD – Women Faculty Network Chair
Associate Professor
Department of Health Behavior and Health Systems, School of Public Health

Dana M. Litt, PhD has been an Associate Professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in the School of Public Health since 2018. She received her PhD in Applied Social Psychology at The George Washington University in 2010, completed a post-doctoral fellowship on an NIAAA T32 training grant at the University of Washington in 2011, and was faculty in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington from 2012-2017. The overarching goal of Dr. Litt’s work is to advance the field in understanding the social and environmental factors that influence health risk behavior decision-making in order to inform theoretically sound and efficacious substance use prevention efforts for adolescents and young adults.  Her current research aims to address questions related to the utility of including socially-based variables in prevention programming, particularly with respect to social images, social comparison, social norms, and social networking sites. Dr. Litt is currently or has been the PI of 4 NIAAA funded grants (R00AA020869, R21AA024163; R34AA026004, R34AA026332) that are aimed at developing adolescent and young adult alcohol interventions.Professional Profile: https://experts.unthsc.edu/en/persons/dana-litt
Email: Dana.Litt@unthsc.edu
Melissa Lewis New Photo Final Use This  

Melissa A. Lewis, PhD
Department of Health Behavior and Health Systems, School of Public Health

Melissa A. Lewis, Ph.D., is a Professor in the School of Public Health. Her research expertise is in theory-driven research focused on the etiology and prevention of drinking, marijuana, sexual victimization, and risky sexual-decision making among adolescent, college student, and young adult populations. She has been the PI of five longitudinal federally funded (NIAAA) research projects, PI of three locally funded projects, and co-investigator on over fifteen other NIH research grants in the last decade. Across this portfolio of research, she has incorporated developmental and social influence theory and perspectives to her research questions and methodological approach, including the utilization of novel methods for assessment and intervention. Her program of research includes intensive designs using web-based surveys via mobile telephones to assess behavior and cognitions multiple times a day (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, R01AA025611), web-based interventions (R21AA021767, R34AA025159, R01AA021379), and interventions using web-conferencing and text messages (R34AA023047). A fundamental assumption of her research is that because social pressures and influences have been consistently and strongly implicated in risky health behaviors, especially among adolescents and young adults, interventions aiming to reduce susceptibility to these influences hold particular promise.

Professional Profile: https://experts.unthsc.edu/en/persons/melissa-lewis
Email: Melissa.Lewis@unthsc.edu

Liu J  

Jin Liu, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UNT System College of Pharmacy

Jin Liu received her BS and PhD in Chemistry from Peking University and The Ohio State University, respectively. She completed her postdoctoral training at National Cancer Institute-Frederick, NIH. She is currently an Assistant professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UNTHSC. Her lab is interested in protein allostery study, computer-aided drug design, CRISPR-Cas9 technology improvement, artificial intelligence for drug discovery, and big data analysis of health disparity diseases.

Professional Profile: https://experts.unthsc.edu/en/persons/jin-liu
Email: Jin.Liu@unthsc.edu


Caroline A. Rickards, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Physiology & Anatomy, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Caroline Rickards received her PhD from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia in 2005. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the US Army Institute for Surgical Research, and a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio before joining UNTHSC in 2012. Dr. Rickards’ research focuses on the development of novel therapies to improve vital organ perfusion under stress (including hemorrhage, cardiac arrest, and stroke). Her team has received funding for this research from the Department of Defense, the American Heart Association, the NIH, private foundations, and industry contracts. Dr. Rickards is an active member of the local UNTHSC community, and within her professional societies, including service as Chair of the American Physiological Society (APS) Women in Physiology Committee (2015-2017).

Professional Profile: https://experts.unthsc.edu/en/persons/caroline-rickards
Email: caroline.rickards@unthsc.edu


Nathalie Sumien, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacology & Neuroscience, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Nathalie Sumien is an established redox biogerontologist engaged in longitudinal and cross-sequential studies examining interventions that will improve brain function impairments associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Some of her research has focused on the effect of antioxidant intake on the beneficial outcomes associated with exercise, and on how exercise improves brain function.  She also has several lines of collaborative work on hyperbaric oxygen as a novel therapy for AD, on brain-related impairments associated with exposure to chemotherapy, on traumatic brain injury, and on how substance abuse may affect the aging process.  Her research efforts have been supported by NIA, NINDS, Alzheimer’s Association, Owens Medical Foundation, and BvB foundation.

Professional Profile: https://experts.unthsc.edu/en/persons/nathalie-sumien
Email: Nathalie.Sumien@unthsc.edu


April R. Wiechmann, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine 

April R. Wiechmann, PhD is the Director for the Neuropsychology and Memory Disorders Clinics within the Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. She is an Associate Professor within TCOM. Alumni of UNT and UNTHSC, she re-joined UNTHSC in 2011 after conducting her postdoctoral fellowship at UT Southwestern. She teaches first and second-year medical students clinical interviewing skills. She serves as a Faculty Advisor to 94 medical students and mentors Psychiatry fellows and fourth year medical students.  She is currently serving UNTHSC as Faculty Senate President-elect. Dr. Wiechmann’s research interests are in the area of neuropsychology. In 2013, she was awarded a federal grant through the NIH LRP.

Professional Profile: https://experts.unthsc.edu/en/persons/april-wiechmann
Email: April.Wiechmann@unthsc.edu


Veda Womack, MBA, PA-C
Assistant Professor
Department of Physician Assistant Studies, School of Health Professions

PA Womack graduated from Touro College, Bayshore, NY in 2001 with a baccalaureate in Physician Assistant Studies, followed by a Surgical Residency for PAs at Montefiore Medical Center. She later went on to complete her MBA at George Washington University in 2014. PA Womack has worked in various subspecialties in New York, Southern California and Texas that include: general surgery, renal transplant, urology, emergency medicine, critical care. Most of her clinical experience focused on plastic and reconstructive surgery (specifically lymphatic surgery and complex cancer reconstruction). PA Womack enjoyed teaching and training staff, residents and students during her clinical practice so much that she decided to switch to academia full-time in February 2018, when she joined UNTHSC PA Studies as an Assistant Professor. In April 2020, PA Womack took over the role of Director of Clinical Education for PA Studies. PA Womack has traveled internationally quite extensively to include volunteering with the medical mission organization, Amazon Promise in Iquitos, Peru in 2007.

Professional Profile: https://experts.unthsc.edu/en/persons/veda-womack
Email: Veda.Womack@unthsc.edu