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MSMS Faculty
president with students outside of the library

Meet Our MSMS Faculty

Meet MSMS faculty members at National University’s Illinois campus.

MSMS Program Director

Kathryn Rioch EdD, MS, RDN, LDN

Kathryn Rioch EdD, MS, RDN, LDN

BA, Illinois Wesleyan University, 2000
RDN, University of Illinois, 2002
MS, Benedictine University, 2014
Licensed Dietician-Nutritionist, 2014
EdD, Maryville University, 2021

Kathryn Rioch EdD, MS, RDN, LDN, has been Chair of the College of Allied Health and Distance Education since 2023. In Fall 2024, she helped launch the Master of Science in Medical Science Program and currently serves as Program Director. She has also been an instructor since 2010, teaching nutrition-related courses within the College of Allied Health and the College of Professional Sciences. 

MSMS Program Teaching Faculty

Ferrahs Abdelbaset

Ferrahs Abdelbaset

DC, Physiology, Anatomy, IHD 

BA – St. Louis University
DC – Logan College of Chiropractic

Dr. Abdelbaset is a licensed chiropractic physician with an active practice in the St. Louis-area focusing on maintaining wellness, pain management, and preventive healthcare. His areas of special emphasis are the spine, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and associated musculature.

In addition to his clinical practice, he is an experienced professor who has taught health professions education at various institutions in the St. Louis area for nearly a decade. He will be teaching courses in physiology and anatomy.

Shannon Green

Shannon Green

DC, Neuroscience, Histology

BS – Purdue University
DC – Logan University

Dr. Green is a licensed chiropractor with experience working in a fast-paced multidisciplinary practice committed to pain management and overall patient wellness. She brings a wealth of healthcare knowledge to the classroom as a health professions education instructor. At PHSU, she is an assistant professor teaching courses in Neuroscience and Histology.

Murad Odeh

Murad Odeh

PhD, Physiology

BS – Yarmouk University, Irbid
PhD – Louisiana State University

Dr. Murad Odeh received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Louisiana State University, where his doctoral research was focused on the role of curved DNA in Bacillus subtilis RNA polymerase-promoter interactions. Dr. Odeh is an excellent professor and quickly came to love the challenges and rewards of working with students. He has worked as an associate Professor of Biology, Chair of the Biology Department, and Interim Administrator for Curriculum & Student Learning at South Texas College.

Outside academia, Dr. Odeh collaborated with the McGraw-Hill technology team to develop innovative and continually evolving digital content as part of his role as a Digital Faculty Consultant (DFC). If he is not working, he enjoys cooking, watching movies, exercising, and traveling. His favorite quotation is, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” He will be teaching courses in Physiology.

Israel Alvarado

Israel Alvarado

PhD, Biochemistry

BS – California State University, San Marcos
PhD – University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Dr. Alvarado is a PhD scientist with extensive research experience both in academia and in private industry. He has previously taught at Nevada State College, Arizona College of Nursing, Touro University of Nevada, and the College of Southern Nevada and he has published articles and presented papers at scientific conferences on these topics. He will be teaching courses in the areas of microbiology and biochemistry.

Devi P. Ramakrishnan

Devi P. Ramakrishnan​

PhD, Gastroenterology

MBBS – Thanjavur Medical College
MS – Case Western Reserve University
PhD – Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Devi Prasadh is physician-scientist and practiced at a surgical gastroenterology hospital. His research interests are in the molecular mechanisms of sleep-apnea, oxygen-sensing, hypertension, angiogenesis, atherosclerosis, thrombosis and microparticles with implications in cardiovascular and cancer disorders.

He has published original research in clinical and basic sciences, taught and mentored students in the USA and abroad. At PHSU, he will be training students in clinical and basic medical sciences.

Andrea Reaka

Andrea Reaka

PhD, Bioengineering

BS – University of Illinois – Chicago
MS – University of Illinois – Chicago
PhD – University of Illinois – Chicago

Dr. Andrea Reaka received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago where her research focused on Molecular Modeling and Drug Design. She did a Post-doctoral Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis focusing her researching on beta-turn mimetics for a protein scaffolding library. She has presented and published her work in various media.

Dr. Reaka has previously taught at the School of Pharmacy at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Harris-Stowe State University, along with various community colleges including St. Louis Community College and Southwest Illinois College. She will be teaching courses in the areas of biochemistry and pharmacology.

Chiedozie Waturuocha

Chiedozie Waturuocha

PhD, Infectious Diseases

MBBCH – University of Calabar
MS – Oklahoma State University
PhD – Oklahoma State University

Dr. Chiedozie Waturuocha is a Pediatric infectious diseases specialist. He completed his Pediatrics Residency/ Fellowship at the University of Benin teaching hospital in Nigeria. He also holds MS and Ph.D. degrees from Oklahoma State University. He is a dynamic educator that brings almost 20 years of experience in academic/ research/ clinical roles to complement the training of future physicians.

Dr. Waturuocha leans on his professional skills in his interactions with students while integrating his practical clinical experiences into his lectures. He will be teaching courses in Gross Anatomy and Community Medicine.

Felix Matos

Felix Matos

PhD, Physiology

Dr. Matos has a PhD in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Neuroscience. During his PhD, he studied the role of glutamate transporters in the hippocampus of rats and how they affect learning and memory. Later, as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), he studied sex differences in nicotine addiction using a rat model. His research has been presented in many local and international conferences like the Society for Neuroscience. In addition to his research, he is an experienced professor who has taught at the University of Puerto Rico, UTEP and Ponce Health Sciences University.

In the MSMS program, he is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and contributes to the Physiology courses. As a researcher and professor, he likes to keep his classes up to date with the latest scientific findings. He believes this is imperative in the development of future professionals. As a minority and first-generation graduate student, he knows first-hand the struggles of earning a higher education degree. His humble roots have made him a big advocate for students, always supporting them in every way possible. He measures his success by the success of his students.

Danielle Peebles

Danielle Peebles

DC, Anatomy

Dr. Peebles is a Doctor of Chiropractic, author, and public speaker. Licensed in Missouri, she has an active practice in which she cares for patients, both locally and internationally. As a healthcare provider, she focuses on patient education, pain management, wellness, and preventative care. Her areas of special emphasis are the Nervous, Muscular, and Skeletal systems. With a passion for teaching, her experience reaches beyond the clinic. She has been a professor for St. Louis College of Health Careers and an instructor at the St. Louis Science Center.

In the MSMS program, Dr. Peebles is an adjunct professor of Anatomy. With the knowledge she has gained as a practicing physician and professor, she brings valuable information that will help mold the minds that are the future of healthcare. Her teaching philosophy is “anyone can learn something new if it is communicated well. [She] meets the student where he or she is and then elevates them.”