Connecticut Sickle Cell Translational Science


George Lykotrafitis, PhD

George Lykotrafitis is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He is also adjunct faculty of the Biomedical Engineering Program at UConn. Prior to his current appointment, he was Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Materials Science of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his PhD and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and his BS in Physics from the University of Athens, Greece. His current research interests focuses on the biomechanical and chemomechanical properties of abnormal erythrocytes. He combines atomic force microscopy, optical methods, and multiscale molecular dynamics approaches to study at the cellular and molecular level the structure, viscoelasticity, and cytoadherence of red blood cells from patients with sickle cell disease. Dr. Lykotrafitis has received the Hetenyi Award for the best paper published in Experimental Mechanics in 2006.

Michael Stevens, PhD

Dr. Michael C. Stevens directs two complementary programs of research. He leads the Clinical Neuroscience and Development Laboratory (LINK), which uses neuroscience research techniques to understand the neurobiological substrates of psychiatric illnesses that develop in childhood and adolescence. He also is the director of Child and Adolescent Research for The Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital. In this role, Dr. Michael C. Stevens is responsible for overseeing and contributing to all pediatric psychiatric research at the Institute. Dr. Stevens interests in neuropsychiatry include: 
1) Developmental psychopathology and clinical neuroscience, especially disruptive behavior disorders of childhood and adolescence and their adult sequelae. 2)Identifying functionally-integrated neural systems in the brain and determining how normal and pathological development influence how ensembles of brain regions interact to form the substrates of cognition and behavior. 3) Changes in neural correlates of cognitive development across the lifespan to help refine neurobiological models of cognitive development. 4) The neurobiological basis for disrupted attention and executive-functions in psychiatric disorders.

William T. Zempsky, MD, MPH

Dr. Zempsky is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and the Head of the Division of Pain Medicine at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Zempsky received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University.  He graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and completed a pediatric residency on the Harriet Lane Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also completed a pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Zempsky has lectured nationally and internationally on the pediatric pain management focused on an efficient systemic approach to pain relief. He has published numerous research papers, articles and chapters this area. He is a renowned expert in the area of transdermal drug delivery for local anesthesia. His research interests include pain in children with sickle cell disease, developing systematic approaches to pain management, and transdermal drug delivery. Dr. Zempsky is the lead author on the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement concerning pain management in emergency medical systems for children. Dr. Zempsky is a pain consultant for both the Brighton Collaboration, an international group of investigators focused on vaccination side effects, and the FDA. In 2008 Dr. Zempsky received 2 major awards, the prestigious Donaghue Investigator Award to carry out his research in sickle cell pain, as well as the Mayday Pain and Society Fellowship to enhance his abilities in pain advocacy. Dr. Zempsky also holds a 4 year Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health.


Bridgette Carter, BS

Biree Andemariam, MD

Dr. Andemariam received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine where she graduated with research honors. She completed her internship, residency and fellowship training at New York Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City. She has received several research honors including an Amgen Research Fellowship Award for her work in treating refractory and relapsed lymphoma, a Clinical Research Feasibility Fund Award for her research in hemophilia, and a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award. She was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholar. She is currently pursuing a master’s in clinical investigation at Weill Cornell Medical College.