TACHL Leadership

Dr. Ken Ruggiero, TACHL Director
ruggiero headshot

Dr. Ruggiero’s work centers on improving access and quality of mental health care to vulnerable and underserved populations, particularly children and adults who have been affected by traumatic events such as disasters, serious injury, child abuse, and occupational incidents. This includes research on self-help apps for disaster victims (bouncebacknow.org) in collaboration with the American Red Cross, technology-enhanced treatments for survivors of traumatic injury (trrphealth.org), and resources for firefighters who experience critical incidents (cffbh.org). He also leads an initiative (sparktoolkit.org) to improve quality of behavioral health care in partnership with over 30 youth-serving community mental health centers in the Carolinas and Florida. These initiatives have resulted in over 200 scholarly publications and have been supported by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Homeland Security, Veterans Administration, and MUSC Center for Telehealth.

Dr.Frank Treiber, TACHL Co-Director
treiber headshot

Dr. Treiber is a Professor and Co-Director of the Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles (TACHL). He was the founding Director of TACHL (8/10-4/18). Dr. Treiber’s research includes longitudinal studies identifying contributions of environmental stress in concert with underlying stress activated genetic pathways in the development of chronic diseases, especially hypertension. Findings from these studies helped in formulation of patient centered, cognitive behavioral lifestyle behavior primary prevention programs (e.g., stress reduction, physical activity). He is best known for use of technology in the remote monitoring of physiological functioning, cognitive and affective states and delivery of tailored technology enabled cognitive behavioral interventions designed to prevent or delay disease onset. Over the last decade he has also focused upon development of patient and healthcare provider centered mobile health technology programs to facilitate patients’ sustained self-management of their medical regimens. Dr. Treiber has had continuous extramural funding from the NIH as a PI since 1988. He has published more than 225 peer reviewed research articles and has been PI on 23 NIH grants (20 RO1s) and CO-I on 20 (13 RO1s). He is currently PI/CO-PI on 2 NIH RO1s and CO-I on another 5 NIH awards. He has successfully mentored a number of doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty. Among these individuals, 4 MD/PhDs, 8 MDs and 8 PhDs have subsequently received extramural funding as PIs on NIH RO1s /R21s.

Dr. Jessica Chandler, TACHL Liaison
chandler headshot

Dr. Chandler’s serves as the Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles’ Liaison to MUSC Faculty and Students. Her role as liaison is to assist investigative teams conceptualize the integration of technology into their research design. Additionally, Dr. Chandler helps guide investigators through the initial phases of app development employing a user-centered, iterative design to incorporate technology experts’ and study populations’ input to design, test and refine technology solutions. She has experience with NIH-funded, large-scale clinical trials focused on management of chronic diseases using mobile health technology (e.g., smart phone apps and peripheral devices) to increase and sustain medical regimen adherence. Patient populations have included multiple ethnic groups with uncontrolled hypertension, chronic kidney disease, post stroke patients and sarcoidosis. She currently serves as the PI on an active NHLBI grant (through 2021) focused on the implementation of an mHealth, medical regimen self-management program for African American hypertensive adults. She also serves as a Co-Investigator on several federally funded research grants focused on development and implementation mHealth programs addressing the management and prevention of various chronic diseases in multiple patient populations.