Public Health Faculty & Staff

Program Director
Christopher Stobart
Christopher Stobart
Associate Professor, Biology


Dr. Stobart is a microbiologist specializing in virus structure, stability, and function. He received his B.S. degrees in biology and chemistry from Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) in 2008 and his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) in 2013. His doctoral thesis was titled "Structural and Functional Analysis of Coronavirus Cysteine Protease nsp5" and was completed in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Denison. He continued his research in virology by completing a postdoctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Martin Moore at Emory University (Atlanta, GA) where he played a central role in the development of a live-attenuated vaccine candidate for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a major human pathogen among infants and the elderly. Concurrent with his research training, he taught MCAT and DAT test-prep courses with The Princeton Review and was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Life and Earth Science at Georgia State University – Perimeter College (Dunwoody, GA) before joining the Butler University Department of Biological Sciences in the Fall of 2016.


The Stobart lab aims to identify the fundamental structural and functional determinants that govern RNA virus environmental stability, infectivity, and replication. Studies in the lab focus on 3 different RNA virus systems: respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus (hMPV), and mouse hepatitis virus (MHV). 

Pnuemoviruses – RSV and hMPV

RSV is a pneumovirus with a negative-strand RNA genome that is associated with upper and lower respiratory disease in young infants and the elderly. To date, RSV is a leading cause of viral mortality worldwide for children under age 1. Although RSV is a human pathogen, it rarely causes clinical disease in healthy adults due to pre-existing immunity. Despite over 50 years of research, there remains no commercially-available vaccines and considerable work is currently underway to develop one. We recently showed substantial differences in the stability of RSV strains to temperature and that the stability was dependent upon the virus attachment protein (F). Preliminary study of RSV identified mutations in the RSV fusion (F) protein that govern virus thermal stability and contribute to stabilizing the prefusion conformation, which is required for infectivity.  Current research projects on RSV will focus on examining the environmental stability of reconstituted RSV clinical strains and site-directed mutagenesis to identify key regulatory regions governing RSV stability and replication.

HMPV is a pneumovirus that is very closely-related to RSV and is also associated with upper and lower respiratory disease in young infants and the elderly. Discovered in 1989, very little is known regarding its environmental stability and there remain no vaccines available for the prevention of hMPV disease. Current research projects on hMPV will focus on examining the environmental stability of a panel of hMPV clinical isolates. These studies may provide new insight into mechanisms to create stable live-attenuated vaccine candidates and novel approaches to limit hMPV spread in high risk environments.


MHV is a viral model for coronavirus biology. Coronaviruses are associated with upper and lower respiratory disease and are the 3rd leading cause of the common cold. Recent outbreaks of SARS-CoV,  MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 (causative agent of COVID-19), three emerging coronaviruses, highlight the pathogenic potential of coronavirus evolution. Our work focuses on understanding the relationship between structure and function of the coronavirus protease nsp5. This work aims to identify key molecular determinants that are critical for coronavirus replication and may be targeted for antiviral or inhibitor design.

Students interested in doing research in the Stobart lab are encouraged to contact Dr. Stobart directly.

Stobart Lab Website

Dr. Stobart’s ResearchGate Profile

Marabeth Pereira
Marabeth Pereira
Administrative Specialist, Interdisciplinary Programs

Marabeth joined Butler’s Interdisciplinary Programs in August 2022. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Michael’s College and a Master of Arts from Sacred Heart University. She previously worked for Hamilton Southeastern Schools Corporation.

Affiliate Faculty
Kendra Damer
Kendra Damer
Associate Professor and Director, Introductory Experiential Education – Pharmacy

Dr. Kendra Damer is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice and the Director of Introductory Experiential Education at Butler University. She received her PharmD from Butler University in 2004 and completed a PGY1 and PGY2 Specialty Residency in Infectious Diseases at Clarian Health Partners (now IU Health) in Indianapolis. Dr. Damer joined Butler University as faculty in 2008. She currently directs and teaches the pharmacokinetics course series in the PharmD program. In addition, she teaches in the therapeutics and the interprofessional education and professional development course series. In her experiential education role, she facilitates the preparation, scheduling, and oversight of the required Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) rotations for first-year and second-year PharmD students. Dr. Damer was awarded the Terry L Hageboeck Award in 2019. She serves the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and the American College Health Association (ACHA) as an active member and the AACP Experiential Education Section as chair of the Awards Committee. Her research interests and experience include infectious diseases, antimicrobial stewardship, public health, vaccines, and immunization practices.

Carla Jones
Carla Jones
Chad Knoderer
Chad Knoderer
Professor – Pharmacy Practice

Chad Knoderer, PharmD, FPPA is a Professor in the Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. After graduating with his PharmD from Butler University in 1999, he completed 2 years of residency training, specializing in pediatrics. After practicing with the pediatric cardiovascular surgery and pediatric infectious diseases sections at Riley Hospital for Children he joined the Butler University faculty in 2008 as a co-funded faculty member. Dr. Knoderer established the Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Riley Hospital for Children and served as stewardship program director and directed Riley’s PGY2 Pediatric Pharmacy Residency until moving to his current campus-based faculty role in 2011. Dr.  Knoderer currently teaches pediatric pharmacotherapy and biostatistics in Butler’s Doctor of Pharmacy program where he also coordinates the patient care research concentration and he offers Analytical Reasoning and Social World courses in Butler’s Core CurriculumHe completed the AACP Academic Leadership Fellow Program in 2014 and served as chair of the Butler faculty senate from 2016 to 2020. He publishes and presents on a variety of pediatric topics and is a recent Board member of the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA). Dr. Knoderer is also a past Chair of the PPA Research Committee, contributes to the PPA Preparation Program for the Pediatric Pharmacy Specialty Certification Exam as a section lead, and served as program Co-Chair from 2016 to 2021.

Molly Nebiolo
Molly Nebiolo
Assistant Professor – History

Dr. Nebiolo is a historian of the early Atlantic world. She studies the history of health and medicine, spatial history, and early modern urban history. In 2023, she received her PhD in world history from Northeastern University. Her work also encompasses the digital humanities, with a focus on maps, modeling, and pedagogy. Here at Butler, Dr. N teaches courses on the early colonial period, the history of medicine, and digital humanities.

Her current project, Constructing Health: Concepts of Well-Being in an Urbanizing Atlantic World, has been supported by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the American Philosophical Society, the South Caroliniana Library, Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections, the Huntington Library and Corpus Christi College at Oxford, the John Carter Brown Library, the American Historical Association, and the Francis Wood Institute at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

In her spare time, she likes to run, go camping, eat ice cream, and hang with her cat.

Dr. N is always excited and open to be a part of conference panels, participate in writing opportunities, and network with other scholars. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Katherine Novak
Katherine Novak
Professor – Sociology

Dr. Katherine (Kate) Novak is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology where she teaches courses in criminology, mental illness, social psychology, research methods and statistics. She holds a B.A  in sociology and in psychology, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology, with a concentration in criminology, and a Ph.D. minor in Criminal Justice from Indiana University-Bloomington. 

Much of Dr. Novak’s current research focuses on adolescent and college student substance use and delinquency and has been published in academic journals such as Crime & Delinquency, Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Criminal Justice, Sociological Inquiry, Journal of Social Psychology, The Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, The Journal of Family Issues, The Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, and The Journal of Primary Prevention. She is the co-author of two textbooks- Individual and Society:  Sociological Social Psychology (with Lizabeth A. Crawford) and Applied Communication Research (with Judith M. Buddenbaum).  Additionally, Dr. Novak has collaborated with other faculty on research projects focusing on homelessness in Indianapolis, perceptions of crime and safety in the local community, immigrants’ perceptions of prejudice and discrimination, faculty work-load satisfaction, and student learning in a topically-focused introductory sociology course. She has published several class assignments and activities in TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology and serves on the advisory board for the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Dr. Novak regularly mentors students, supervising internships and directed research projects, and serving as the faculty advisor for department and university honors theses. Her students have presented their research at college and sociology conferences and to organizational leaders and administrators and have published papers in peer-reviewed research journals. 

Dr. Novak has received many internal grants for both research and teaching, and she has won a number of university awards.  She received the Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in 2016 and the Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award in 2010 and 2003.

Recent Publications:

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B.  2013.  Individual and Society: Sociological Social Psychology. Routledge/Taylor& Francis. [2nd edition released March 2018]

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B. 2023. “Beliefs About Alcohol and the College Experience as Determinants of Academic and Social Outcomes Among Undergraduate Students.”  College Student Journal 56(4):371-381.

Kowalski, Jennifer R., Lineweaver, Tara L., and Novak, Katherine B.  2021.  “DevelopingIntegrative Thinking in Undergraduate Students through an Interdisciplinary General Education Course on Mental Illness.”  College Teaching.\

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine, B.  2020.  "College Student Activities, Social Capital, and Drinking Behavior."  Journal of Alcohol and Drug Eductation 64(1):9-32.

Crawford, Lizabeth A, Novak, Katherine B, and Rasitha R.Jayasekare.  2019. “Volunteerism, Alcohol Beliefs, and First-Year College Students’ Drinking Behaviors: Implications for Prevention.”  The Journal of Primary Prevention. Advanced On-line Publication.

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B.  2018. “Being with Friends and the Potential for Binge Drinking During the First College Semester.”  Journal of the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition 30(2):79-96.

Crawford, Lizabeth A., Novak, Katherine B., and Foston, Amia K. 2016 (online)/ 2018 (print).“Routine Activities and Delinquency: The Significance of Bonds to Society and Peer Context.”  Crime & Delinquency 64(4):472-509.

Howard, Jay R., Novak, Katherine B., Scott, Marvin B. and Cline, Krista M.C.  2014. “Another Nibble at the Core: Student Learning in a Topically-Focused Introductory Sociology Course.”  Teaching Sociology 42(3):177-186.

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B.  2013. “The Effects of Public Self-Consciousness and Embarrassability on College Student Drinking: Evidence in Support of a Protective Self-Presentational Model.”  The Journal of Social Psychology 153(1):109-122.

Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B.  2011.  “Beliefs about Alcohol and the College Experience, Locus of Self, and College Undergraduates’ Drinking Patterns.”  Sociological Inquiry 81(4):477-494.

Crawford, Lizabeth A., and Novak, Katherine B.  2010. “Beliefs about Alcohol and the College Experience as Moderators of the Effects of Perceived Campus Drinking Norms on Levels of Alcohol Use among College Undergraduates. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education. 54(3):69-96.

Novak, Katherine B.and Crawford, L. A.  2010.  “Routine Activities as Determinants of Gender Differences in Delinquency. Journal of Criminal Justice 38(5):913-920.

Menendez-Alarcon, Antonio V. and Novak, Katherine B.  2010. “Latin American Immigrants in Indianapolis: Perceptions of Prejudice and Discrimination.”  Latino Studies. 8:93-120.

View CV

Amy Peak
Amy Peak
Associate Professor

Dr. Amy Peak is the Director of the Health Science and Healthcare & Business programs, and Chair of the Health Science department at Butler University.   She has over 20 years experience in higher education and is a clinical pharmacist, certified wellness coach, and group fitness instructor.  She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy from Butler University, completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at St. Vincent Hospitals and Health Services, and was a Visiting Scientist at Eli Lilly and Company. She is a past president of the Indiana College of Clinical Pharmacy as well as the founder and a past president of the Drug Information Practice and Research Network within the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.  Her primary practice, research, and interest areas are related to community health, vaping/electronic cigarettes, CBD & cannabis, providing health services to the uninsured, and improving the mental health of students, faculty, and clinicians in health professions.  She is well-published and has provided a myriad of presentations on these topics at local, state, and national levels.  

Carol Reeves
Carol Reeves
Professor – English

Carol Reeves, Rebecca Clifton Reade Professor of English,came to Butler from Texas in 1989 after receiving her Ph.D. from TexasChristian University.

Professor Reeves investigates how language and rhetoric shapeour knowledge and understanding of our world, ourselves, and others.  In particular, she examines how language bothenables and disables the growth of knowledge and consensus surroundingscientific claims, both inside science and in the public.  Her publications on the AIDS epidemic, MadCow Disease or Prion Disease, agricultural chemicals, addiction, and climatechange all demonstrate the tenuous relation between “reality” and the languagewe use to represent that reality.  Bias,context, and limited data inevitably lead to imperfect definitions,descriptions, labels, and visuals representations that can easily come to“stand in” for an unexplored or unknown totality.  She also explores the struggles scientistsface when they attempt to describe and establish new phenomena, engage incross-disciplinary debates over the nature of a phenomenon, when they areentrenched in high stakes disagreements over threats to the environment andhuman health, when they need to communicate risk to the general public, andwhen they want to change perceptions of stigmatized conditions. 

Professor Reeves’ teaching fields include courses in MedicalHumanities, Political Rhetoric, Scientific Rhetoric, Professional Writing abouthealth and the environment, and Literature.  

Professor Reeves has also made contributions to severalorganizations in Indianapolis and Indiana that have provided opportunities forher students.  Working with CAFO Watch,Indiana to increase regulatory oversight for Concentrated Animal FeedingOperations, Reeves has brought many students into the organization as internswho learn about the legislative process and environmental policymaking.  She and students worked with the RileyHospital Ryan White Pediatric Infectious Disease department to plan a campaignto create awareness of pre- and peri-natal HIV transmission and the importanceof testing.  She and her students alsowork with Women for Change Indianapolis and Planned Parenthood to help buildopportunities for women to access educational opportunities and healthcare and tocombat discrimination. 

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Susanna Scott
Susanna Scott

Dr. Susanna F. Scott is an assistant professor of health sciences in the Department of Health Sciences at Butler University. Her research focuses on narrative approaches to reproductive health. She teaches health communication and first-year seminar (medical humanities) and advises the healthcare and business club.

Prior to earning her graduate degrees, Susanna worked for IU School of Medicine. She earned her BA from Butler University, her MPA from Indiana University, and a PhD from Indiana University. Her work has been published in the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Breastfeeding Medicine, and Health Communication.

Key Publications

Scott, S. F., Johnson, N. L., Brann, M., Bute, J. J. (2022). ‘Had I gone into the office, they would have caught it a little bit sooner’: Narrative problematics in US pandemic birth stories. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 50(6), 711-729

Scott, S. F., Johnson, N. L., Kruer, K., Zimet, G. D., Head, K. J. (2021). Communicating positive HPV test results: A directed content analysis of women’s preferences using self-determination theory. Iowa Journal of Communication, 53(1). 

Johnson, N. L., Scott, S. F., Brann, M. (2020). "Our birth experiences are what binds us": Women’s motivations for storytelling about birth to build Motherwisdom. Communication Studies, 71(4), 649-668.

Shere, H., Weijer, L., Dashnow, H., Moreno, L. E., Scott, S.F., & Baker, H. Chronic lactation insufficiency is a public health issue. Breastfeeding Medicine, 16(12), 933-934.

Julie Searcy
Assistant Professor – Anthropology
Mike Trombley
Mike Trombley
Senior Lecturer, Biological Sciences

Educational Experiences

In 2015, I earned my Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology with a minor in Life Sciences from the Indiana University School of Medicine, where I was a graduate student in Dr. Margaret Bauer’s lab.  My thesis research focused on how pathogenic bacteria were capable of evading the immune response by specifically studying the sexually transmitted infection Haemophilus ducreyi.  We discovered and characterized multiple genes and mechanisms involved in this bacterium’s ability to escape destruction by the human innate immune system, which is ultimately ineffective in controlling this infection.

I completed my undergraduate education at Butler University in 2009 with a B.S. in Biology and a Chemistry minor.  As a student at Butler, I was involved in a number of campus organizations and activities, including but not limited to the Student Government Association, the Butler University Student Foundation, Greek Life, the Dawg Pound, and the Biology Department as a Lab Assistant and Tutor. I was a member of the Butler University Football Team for a portion of my undergraduate years and continued participating in a number of intramural activities after.  Lastly, I partook in several years of undergraduate research in Dr. Villani’s Lab, and I participated in the 2008 Butler Summer Institute.

Prior to my time at Butler, I grew up in the Cincinnati area and attended Archbishop McNicholas High School.

Courses Taught and University Service

As an instructor, I aim to provide a high quality of education by promoting an intellectually stimulating environment, developing a foundation of critical thinking, and demonstrating a personal interest in all students.  The main courses I teach are Principles of Immunology (BI 323) in the fall and Principles of Pathogenic Microbiology (BI 325) in the spring.  I also am heavily involved in the Biology Fundamentals series, specifically teaching Genetics (BI 210).  I will also occasionally teach Biology and Society (NW 200-BI) and the senior Biology Capstone class (BI 480).

As a faculty member, I actively serve as a committee member or faculty advisor to a number of campus organizations.  I currently serve as the Pre-Health Professions Advisor, and I am a member of the Faculty Development Advisory Committee, the LAS Essay Contest Committee, the Biological Equipment and Resources Committee, and the Biological Public Relations Committee to name a few.  I currently serve as a faculty advisor for the Pre-Dental Club, the Butler University Club Hockey Team, the Sigma Nu Fraternity, and the Butler Cru Campus Ministry, and I am a member of the Butler Giving Circle.

Research Interests

Summative focus: Studying microbial resistance to antimicrobial agents, including components of the immune system, chemicals used to disinfectant, and antibiotics used for treatment

Current Project:

Do we find potential fecal coliforms within water ways such as the canal and/or the White River, and is this influenced by different times of the year and different amounts of rain?  Do these fecal coliforms harbor resistance to antibiotics?  Are these organisms resistant to common "clean water" disinfectant methods suggested by the WHO and CDC?   These questions may tell us more about the impact that the combined sewer system of Indianapolis and northern septic systems and agricultural livestock on is having on our water systems as well as how resistant these organisms may be to various methods of antimicrobial control.

Former Projects:

  • Characterized human antimicrobial peptide resistance in the plant pathogens Pseudomonassyringae and Erwinia amylovora
  • Examined and characterized the normal flora and potential as a pathogen vector on the Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
  • Examined common surfaces for bacterial pathogens and antibiotic resistance phenotypes as well as resistance to household disinfectants
  • Analyzed the Butler University Canal and White River for the presence of fecal coliforms on a weekly basis, additionally assessing these coliforms for pathogenic strains and antibiotic resistance
  • Examined common surfaces for Staphylococcus aureus and assessing these strains for various forms of antibiotic resistance

Personal Life

In addition to my time spent here at Butler, I very much cherish my role as a husband to my wife Amanda and as a father to my daughter Olivia.  We love the Indianapolis Zoo, the Children’s Museum, going to the park, and walking our 180 lb English Mastiff named Kingsley!  When I’m not spending time with my family, I enjoy many different fitness activities, reading a good book, and taking an active role in my local church.  I also find myself heavily involved with Butler Athletics, and you can probably find me at basketball or football games. Go Dawgs!