2019 Clinical Research Scholars

Nicholas Fears, Ph.D.

Nicholas Fears, Ph.D.
Nicholas Fears, Ph.D.

Nicholas Fears is a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the Autism and Developmental Disorders Research Team at UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth. He received his BS in Psychology at Indiana University and his PhD in Psychology from Tulane University. Currently, his research uses mobile eye-tracking and motion analysis to determine how visual and motor abilities impact activities of daily living in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Amy Hughes, Ph.D.

Amy Hughes, Ph.D.
Amy Hughes, Ph.D.

Dr. Amy Hughes is formally trained in geospatial information sciences and spatial statistics (PhD in GIS, UT Dallas '16), econometrics (MS in Economics, UT Dallas '12; BS in Economics, Cal Poly SLO '09), and cancer prevention and control (NCI-funded postdoc, UTSW '18). Her research interests include applications of spatial statistics and econometrics to understand geographic differences in health behaviors, outcomes, and policies. Her past research has focused on using large surveillance, administrative, and electronic medical record databases to investigate how patient, physician, health system, environmental, and neighborhood factors influence health behaviors and outcomes. Dr. Hughes' will leverage her THR Clinical Scholars award and training gained with the Center for Translational Medicine to build her research portfolio with innovative work using geospatial methods to identify patient contexts that carry high risk for diabetes, asthma exacerbations, and poor management of multimorbid conditions.

Rachel Leon M.D., Ph.D.

Rachel Leon, M.D., Ph.D.
Rachel Leon, M.D., Ph.D.

Rachel Leon is an Instructor in the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. Her research focus is in placental connections to fetal health, and specifically, placental influences on fetal brain development, a new field called neuroplacentology. Using advanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques and analysis, she is investigating placental perfusion and oxygenation, and how this vital organ supports brain development in fetuses with congenital heart disease. Her passion for this area of research evolved through her journey in undergraduate school at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, then during the MD/PhD program at West Virginia University, where her doctoral studies in neuroscience focused on the role of estrogen on neurologic injury in an aged animal model of stroke. During Pediatric residency and fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Indiana University, she became interested in advanced functional and perfusion MR imaging and using those techniques to study placental connections to fetal neurologic development and injury.

Syed Kazmi, M.D.

Syed Kazmi, M.D.

Dr. Kazmi completed medical training at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan where he graduated as the best graduate of his class. He then pursued a Master of Research degree at University of Glasgow, UK in Biological and Biomedical Sciences and graduated with honors. He completed his internal medicine residency training at UT Health Science Center at Houston followed by a three-year Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he was named chief fellow for Hematology and was recipient of Young Investigator Award from ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation.

His clinical practice at UTSW is focused towards gastrointestinal malignancies and his research is geared towards colorectal cancer research. He is interested in all aspects of clinical research including patient centered outcome research, quality assessment and designing interventions to improve delivery of cancer-care to underserved populations. At UTSW he wants to utilize the strength of its basic science faculty to find novel therapies for colorectal cancer patients.

In his clinical care, he believes in establishing a warm, supportive connection with his patient and their families. He always wants empathy to infuse in the care he provides. He makes sure he is approachable by patients and colleagues, takes time to listen carefully and create the trust necessary to promote confidence and optimism. When he is not working, he likes to spend time with family, cook, and enjoy outdoor activities.