BLaST Advisory Committee
The BLaST Advisory Committee (BAC) manages and oversees: program goals for the Fairbanks and rural campuses; policies and procedures; internal awards for travel, pilot projects, and equipment. General BAC duties include coordinating biomedical research engagement and training across the BLaST network, expanding biomedical research partnerships within, between, and outside the universities, facilitating linkages between research and teaching for Alaskans of all ages and educational levels, and developing sustainable funding.
The BAC was established with a teleconference on 1/22/2015.
James Berner, M.D., is a PI on an EPA STAR grant to implement community-based environmental monitoring of emerging environmental threats. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, but his research interests has involved a wide range of areas, including focusing on village-based environmental assessments and developing monitoring tools to develop individual adaptation strategies, enhance food and water security, ensure village sustainability, and studying direct contaminant and micro-nutrient levels in pregnant Alaska Native women.
Stacy Rasmus, Ph.D. is a researcher with the Center of Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) at UAF. Her research primarily focuses on understanding the intersections between culture, health and wellbeing and the role of social determinants in reducing health disparities among American Indian and Alaska Native peoples. She is trained in the social and behavioral sciences with specific expertise in the translation of cultural knowledge and practice into health interventions to reduce disparities and increase wellbeing. She is currently PI of several federal grants that focus on increasing indigenous community and youth resilience and reducing disparities of alcohol misuse and suicide in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
Marsha Sousa earned her Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics at Colorado State University. Her research interest is reproductive physiology of ungulates; she has studied regulation of the female reproductive cycle in sheep, caribou, reindeer, and muskox. Her primary teaching interest is in physiology and human health. Sousa taught and conducted research at UAF from 1989 – 2010 in the Biology Department and in Health Programs at the Community and Technical College, where she was Director of Allied Health Programs and Associate Dean for Academics. In 2010 she moved to the University of Alaska Southeast as the Dean of Arts and Sciences and Vice Provost for Research. She returned to UAF in 2014 as Director of the Honors Program and Professor of Biology.