CTM Partners

Joga Gobburu

Director, Center for Translational Medicine

Dr. Gobburu is a world-renowned scientific leader in the area of quantitative disease models and their applications to decisions. He is best known for transforming the field of pharmacometrics into a decision-supporting science. His experience as a senior biomedical research scientist and Director of Pharmacometrics at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives him unique insight into the technical, regulatory, and decision-making aspects in all phases of drug development. He obtained his BPharm and MSc in chemistry from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, his PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from North Dakota State University, and his MBA from Johns Hopkins University.


Mathangi Gopalakrishnan

Research Associate Professor

Dr. Gopalakrishnan's main research interests include pharmacometrics, Bayesian applications in drug development, and innovative clinical trial designs. She obtained her bachelor's and master's degrees in pharmacy (BPharm and MPharm) from Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India. She received her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in statistics from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Vijay Ivaturi

Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Ivaturi's research focuses on the development of methods and tools for quantitative clinical pharmacology. He obtained his doctorate in experimental and clinical pharmacology from the University of Minnesota, which he followed with a post-doctoral fellowship in pharmacometrics at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Jeffrey Barbers

Project Manager

Jeff coordinates the development of the Center for Translational Medicine by serving as a liaison between the Center's research team, the University's Center for Clinical Trials and Corporate Contracts, and industry clients. He assists with the tracking of business agreements and provides support for budget development, project analysis, and reporting for the parties involved with project execution. He returns to the University of Maryland after serving as a research manager at Johns Hopkins University. Previously, he worked as an epidemiologist with the University of Maryland Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and the Baltimore City Health Department.

Eliford N Kitabi

Post Doctoral Fellow

Dr Eliford Ngaimisi is a post-doctoral fellow at the center for translational medicine, university of Maryland, Baltimore. He is involved in development and validation of HPLC methods for clinical pharmacokinetic studies. He is also involved in developing innovative mathematical methods for identification of post-marketing issues related to loss of efficacy of generic drugs. Eliford completed his bachelor of pharmacy degree at the University of Dar es salaam (Tanzania) and his PhD in medical sciences at the Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden). Eliford’s previous studies focused on pharmacogenetic and pharmacokinetic aspects of drug-drug interactions in treatments of HIV, TB and Malaria.

Elyes Nahmane

Post Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Elyes Dahmane obtained his pharmacy degree from the University of Monastir, Tunisia. He completed his master of sciences and doctorate in Pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Dahmane research interests include drug bioanalysis and the application of pharmacometrics to support drug development and translational research for dosage optimization, individualization of therapies and therapeutic drug monitoring. At CTM, Dr. Dahmane is involved in developing pharmacometric approaches to propose objective criteria to designate narrow therapeutic index drugs.

Shailly Merhotra

2nd year student

Shailly earned a Bachelors of Pharmacy from Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, India. Her research focuses on application of pharmacometric approaches in promoting drug development and decision making, use of pharmacometric bridging (matching PK, understanding exposure response relationship) for dose selection in pediatrics and application of modeling and simulations to design informative clinical trials.

Tao Liu

2nd year student

Tao's research focuses on clinical trial design and simulation, development of new methodology in pharmaceutics, extrapolate efficacy of new anti-epileptics in pediatrics based on clinical trials in adults under the adjunct setting. Previously, he worked as a biostatistician with Peking Union Medical College Hospital Clinical Pharmacology Research Center. Tao holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Beijing Jiaotong University

Devin Pastoor

3rd year student

Devin's research focuses on utilizing quantitative models to support decision making through the drug development lifecycle. Devin completed his bachelor's degree in biochemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and his Master of Toxicology at North Carolina State University.

Hechuan Wang


Hechuan earned her bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical sciences and master degree in Pharmacometrics at Peking University. She also holds a bachelor degree of Economics from Peking University. Her research focuses on utilizing quantitative methods in promoting drug development and decision making, and development of pharmacometric methods in dose selection and clinical trial design of antibiotics in pediatrics and direct-acting antiviral agents in HCV treatment.

Shamir Kalaria


Dr. Kalaria’s research focuses on drug development, clinical trial design, and the optimization of therapeutic dosing regimens through use of various pharmacometric tools. He is currently working in the areas of diabetes and epilepsy. Dr. Kalaria graduated summa cum laude with a Pharm.D. from Rutgers University.

Jim Derby


After working in insurance, finance, and computer consulting, Jim is pursuing an MS in Pharmacometrics in preparation for a career change. He is currently assisting with the creation of materials for the Pharmacokinetics course in the PharmD curriculum. Jim holds a BA in mathematics from Bowdoin College and an MBA from the University of Hartford.