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Leading Researchers

NSRI Fellows

NSRI Fellows amplify the University of Nebraska’s research contributions to the DOD and other federal agencies with national security missions.  The inaugural interdisciplinary cohort of 74 researchers from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Omaha contribute their expertise, talent and foresight to build multidisciplinary teams that develop solutions for complex problems across the spectrum of CBRNe threats.

Connect with a Fellow

Meet Our Fellows

Craig Allen

School of Natural Resources
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

T. Lynne Barone

Sociology and Anthropology
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Mark Bauer

Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Ken Bayles

Pathology and Microbiology
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Jesse Bell

Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

David Berkowitz

Chemistry
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Michelle Black

Political Science
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Justin Bradley

Computer Science and Engineering
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

David Brett-Major

Epidemiology
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

M. Jana Broadhurst

Microbiology and Infectious Disease
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Keely Buesing

Surgery
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Chris Burcal

Health and Kinesiology
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Ed Cahoon

Biochemistry
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Eric Carnes

Chemical Engineering
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Paul Davis

Biology
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Rebecca Oberley-Deegan

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Paul Denton

Biology
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Doug Derrick

Information Sciences and Technology
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Carrick Detweiler

Computer Science and Engineering
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Eric Dodds

Chemistry
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Brittany Duncan

Computer Science and Engineering
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Patrick Dussault

Chemistry
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Robin Gandhi

Information Science and Technology
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Chittibabu Guda

Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Tomas Helikar

Biochemistry
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Angela Hollman

Information Networking and Telecommunications
  • University of Nebraska at Kearney

Corey Hopkins

Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Terry Howell

Food Science and Technology
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Scott Johnson

Engineering
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Alexey Kamenskiy

Biomechanics
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Erin Kearns

Criminology
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Victoria Kennel

Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Brian Knarr

Biomechanics
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Kristy Kounovsky-Shafer

Chemistry
  • University of Nebraska at Kearney

Chris Kratochvil

Clinical Research, Psychiatry
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Rebecca Lai

Chemistry
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Marilynn Larson

Pathology and Microbiology
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

James Lawler

Internal Medicine
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Sy-Hwang Liou

Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Jeremy Lipschultz

Mass Communications
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Bethany Lowndes

Neurological Sciences
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dustin Loy

Veterinary Medicine, Microbiology
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Brandon Luedtke

Biology
  • University of Nebraska at Kearney

Elsbeth Magilton

College of Law
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Rupal Mehta

Political Science
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Aaron Mohs

Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Daniel Monaghan

Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Martha Morton

Chemistry
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Rod Moxley

Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Jody Neathery-Castro

Political Science 
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Lana Obradovic

Political Science
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Nicholas Palermo

 Computational Chemistry
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Gurudutt Pendyala

Anesthesiology
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Shanna Ratnesar-Shumate

Pathology and Microbiology
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

St. Patrick Reid

Pathology and Microbiology
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Roni Reiter-Palmon

Psychology
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Ben Riggan

Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Mark Riley

Biological Systems Engineering
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Matthew Rizzo

Neurological Sciences
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Mario Scalora

Psychology
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Daniel Schachtman

Agronomy and Horticulture
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Alicia Schiller

Anesthesiology
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dustin Slivka

Health and Kinesiology
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Mark Svoboda

School of Natural Resources
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

James Talmadge

Pathology and Microbiology
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Ben Terry

Mechanical and Materials Engineering
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Don Umstadter

Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Liz VanWormer

Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Shari Veil

Mass Communications
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Brian Wardlow

School of Natural Resources
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Dustin White

Economics
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

Tyler White

Political Science
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Steven Yeh

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

Craig Zuhlke

Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln

NU Principal Investigators

The University of Nebraska continues to demonstrate its prowess in national security research and solutions. With NSRI as a DOD-designated UARC, NU is a trusted-agent of the DOD and a tremendous asset to the federal government. Researchers who work with NSRI discover opportunities beyond their initial inclinations, and NRSI is proud to be a catalyst for leading national efforts coming out of the University of Nebraska.

Ben Terry

Ben Terry, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln

"The United States is huge and complicated. There are many folks who have a great ability to solve problems, but if no one knows about the problems, they won’t get solved. And you don’t want five groups trying to solve the same problem. NSRI helps ensure someone hasn’t done it already."

Gina Ligon

Gina Ligon, Ph.D.

Director

National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha

“As a collaboration expert, I try to figure out where those groups might go south, so we can anticipate it or foment some of those cleavages between people. We do the same thing domestically with extremist groups — to help make them less powerful.”

Keely Buesing

Keely Buesing, M.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center

“To see the oxygen levels rise and keep them raised for two to three hours versus having the animal die from a severe lung injury was a turning point for me. It lit a fire under me to keep going. This could actually help humans.”

Rupal Mehta

Rupal Mehta, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Political Science at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln

“I’m a perfect example of how important it is to leverage the experience and passion of the next generation. I want to get more people in the room."

NSRI Subject Matter Experts

The NSRI leadership team boasts more than 240 years of experience in or working with the Department of Defense. These experts have reached into their networks and beyond to bring some of the most experienced, well-trained scientists and strategists to NSRI. The institute's efforts towards its mission would not be possible without the significant contributions of our team located across the country.
Dan Polanski, NSRI Deputy Director of Field Operations & Training

Daniel Polanski

Deputy Director

Field Operations & Training

Polanski has more than 25 years of government service with more than 18 years working in the weapons of mass destruction arena.

April Shea

April Shea

Senior Scientist

Special Projects

Ms. Shea has more than 15 years of experience working "at the bench” in microbiology laboratories. She has spent her career supporting the military and Department of Defense (DOD), studying high consequence pathogens and various detection modalities.

Patrick Rhoads

Patrick Rhoads

Associate Director

NSRI Nuclear Enterprise Support

In his 38-year federal career, Rhoads rose to the executive level in 2004 and retired at this level 16 years later. Of note, Rhoads held many managerial and technical positions in what would become the National Nuclear Security Administration.

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