The WNE COVID-19 Advisory Team was established to advise the Administration in its efforts to monitor, prevent, contain, and mitigate the spread of coronavirus to members of the University community.
The Advisory Team is composed of faculty and staff with medical, scientific, and related experience/expertise to assist in the University’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic. As WNE’s in-house panel of experts, the Advisory Team will recommend policies, reiterate public health protocols, and facilitate communications to optimize the health and wellbeing of our campus community.
Covid-19 Advisory Team Members
Dr. Jilla Sabeti (Chair)
Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Jilla Sabeti is a neuropharmacologist and received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She completed her postdoctoral training in neurophysiology at The Scripps Research Institute where as a NIH-funded National Research Service Fellow she studied the pathophysiology of alcohol and drug addiction using animal models. Much of Dr. Sabeti’s research has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and she has published in peer-reviewed journals on brain receptor systems and the physiological or neurobiological factors that affect drug responses and drug dependence, including in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Hippocampus, and Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Currently, her research program at Western New England’s College of Pharmacy is investigating several receptor systems in brain as potential targets of addiction therapeutics and memory-based interventions that could potentially benefit recovery from addiction or other psychiatric diseases. Funded projects in her lab are aimed to understand the basic properties of neurochemical transmission and plasticity in the brain’s motivation and memory systems and how these properties are modified by exposure to addictive drugs. Dr. Sabeti has taught in graduate psychopharmacology courses and serves as one of the instructors of record for the Integrative Pharmacy Care & Patient Management modules in Neurology (PHAR 721) and Psychiatry (PHAR 722).
Nurse Practitioner and Health Educator, MS APRN, BC
Lauren Dansereau is a board certified adult nurse practitioner and the Health Educator. She provides direct care and develops and implements health education for both employees and students. Lauren mentors nurse practitioner students. Lauren was previously employed in gastroenterology and is presently a clinician with AFC Urgent Care.
Dr. Seth Housman
Clinical Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases
Seth T. Housman received his Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Public Administration degrees from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He then completed an ASHP-accredited PGY-1 Pharmacy residency at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA and during this time served as adjunct assistant professor at MCPHS – Worchester/Manchester. Following residency, Dr. Housman completed a two-year Infectious Diseases Pharmacotherapy fellowship at the Center for Anti-Infective Research and Development (CAIRD) at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT. Prior to his arrival at WNE College of Pharmacy, Dr. Housman was the Associate Director, Clinical and Developmental Pharmacology at CAIRD in Hartford, CT. Dr. Housman served as adjunct assistant professor at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy during his tenure at CAIRD.
Dr. Housman’s research interests include optimizing antimicrobial dosing through the use of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles and strategies to overcome antimicrobial resistance. He has authored a number of peer-reviewed publications and presented at several national and international conferences. Dr. Housman is a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists, and the American Society for Microbiology.
Director of Digital Strategy and Senior Lecturer
Serving as the Director of Digital Strategy, Shaun has been with the University since 2003, beginning in the Office of Information Technology as a Web Applications Developer and Analyst. Shaun obtained his B.S. in Computer Information Systems and M.B.A. from Western New England University, is also a Senior Lecturer for the departments of Business Analytics and Information Management and Computer Science and Information Technology. Shaun serves as the point-person for the COVID-19 Campus Updates website, including maintaining up-to-date information on the COVID-19 Dashboard.
Director for Health and Wellness, MBA, BSN, RN
Kathleen is a Registered Professional Nurse with an extensive background in clinical operations and healthcare business management in both the ambulatory and acute care settings. Kathleen is the Director for Health and Wellness and is responsible for the strategic planning, program development and operational management for all Health and Counseling Services at WNE.
Dr. Mary Rothermich
Professional Educator in Biology
Mary Rothermich received her Ph.D in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts in 2000 and then undertook postdoctoral work at UMass studying microbial degradation of petroleum contaminants in Boston Harbor sediments. She published her doctoral and post-doctoral research in peer-reviewed journals that include Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Science and Technology, and others.
She subsequently shifted her focus to infectious diseases and environmental factors that affect human health, earning a Masters of Public Health degree from Harvard University in 2003. Prior to joining Western New England University in 2011, Dr. Rothermich was employed as a Microbial Risk Analyst with the National Center for Environmental Assessment, a research group within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There she worked on improving methods for waterborne infectious disease assessment and developing methods for estimating the waterborne disease burden in the United States. She coauthored formal, published EPA reports on waterborne disease burden and dynamic transmission models for microbial risk assessment. Here at WNEU Dr. Rothermich has been teaching various courses in the Department of Physical and Biological Sciences that are related to human biology and public health including Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Epidemiology, and Environmental Health.
Dr. Mike Rust
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Michael J. Rust received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, in 2003 and 2009, respectively. During his undergraduate training, he worked for Ethicon Endo-Surgery and AtriCure, companies that specialize in the development of novel surgical devices. While completing his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Rust served as an NSF GK-12 Graduate Fellow, which allowed him to develop hands-on engineering activities for high school students. In 2009, he joined the faculty of Western New England University where he currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Rust is the Director of the Honors Program and Co-Director of the First Year Program in the College of Engineering. He teaches undergraduate courses in bioinstrumentation, physiology, lab-on-a-chip, and global health. Dr. Rust has published numerous papers in professional conferences and technical journals, and he is a co-inventor on four US patents. He is a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Dr. Rust has served in many positions for the Biomedical Engineering Division (BED) of ASEE, including Program Chair (2019) and Division Chair (2020). Dr. Rust’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Society for Quality (ASQ), Kern Family Foundation (KFF), and the Jenzabar Foundation. His research interests involve the development of point-of-care medical technologies, including bioinstrumentation for use in low-resource settings.