Current Faculty Mentors

Dr. Andrew Adams

Andrew B. Adams, MD, PhD
– Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Training Faculty, Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis Program, Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Laney Graduate School, Emory University

Visit the website for Dr. Adams' transplant immunology lab, which is studying the immune response to transplanted organs, with a focus on therapeutics, diagnostics, xenotransplantation, and outcomes research.

Dr. I. Raul Badell

I. Raul Badell, MD
– Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. Badell is a kidney/pancreas transplant surgeon with a research focus on the optimization of current immunosuppressive strategies and the development of novel therapies to control production of donor specific antibodies following kidney transplantation.

Dr. Luke Brewster

Luke P. Brewster, MD, PhD, MA, RVT
– Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Institute of Bioengineering and Biosciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
– Staff Scientist, Yerkes National Primate Research Center

Dr. Brewster's lab is investigating the role of arterial stiffness in arterial remodeling after interventions and the regenerative opportunities of biologic therapies in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Matthew Clifton

Matthew S. Clifton, MD
– Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University SOM
– Program Director, Pediatric Surgery Residency & Clinical Research Fellowship, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University SOM

Dr. Clifton is the institutional surgical representative at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for the Childhood Liver Disease and Research Education Network (ChiLDREN), which studies biliary atresia as well as a host of other childhood liver pathologies.

Dr. Craig Coopersmith

Craig M. Coopersmith, MD
– Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Interim Director, Emory Critical Care Center, Emory University SOM
– Vice Chair of Research, Department of Surgery, Emory University SOM
– Director, Surgical/Transplant Intensive Care Unit, Emory University Hospital

Dr. Coopersmith is one of the top investigators of sepsis and shock in the country. He is a past president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, which requires its members to have an outstanding record of scholarly achievement in biomedical research.

Dr. Mandy Ford

Mandy L. Ford, PhD
– Associate Professor, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Scientific Director, Emory Transplant Center

Dr. Ford is a leading researcher in the study of the cellular mechanisms of T cell responses in transplantation and immunosuppression, and her work is funded by various federal, foundation, and industry grant awards.

Dr. Theresa Gillespie

Theresa W. Gillespie, PhD, MA, BSN
– (Primary) Professor, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– (Clinical) Professor, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Emory University SOM
– (Secondary) Clinical Associate, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University

Dr. Gillespie's research involves multiple cancer types, encompassing clinical, health services, and population-based investigations. Her breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer studies have been funded by multiple NIH institutes, AHRQ, CDC, American Cancer Society, Department of Defense, and the Avon and Movember foundations.

Dr. Michael Halkos

Michael E. Halkos, MD, MSc
– Professor of Surgery and Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Scientific Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery Center for Clinical Research (CCR), Department of Surgery, Emory University SOM

Dr. Halkos directs the Cardiothoracic Center for Clinical Research. He was Emory Surgery's first faculty member to receive an NHLBI K-23 Award, and currently serves as principal investigator for multiple industry- and NIH-sponsored trials.

Dr. Shishir Maithel

Shishir K. Maithel, MD
– Professor of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Scientific Director, Emory Liver and Pancreas Center

Dr. Maithel leads the translational research program in the Emory Division of Surgical Oncology, which focuses on identifying tumor specific molecular biomarkers as predictors of outcome and chemotherapeutic response for tumors of the liver, biliary tract, pancreas, and stomach.

Dr. Muralidhar Padala

Muralidhar Padala, PhD
– Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Director, Structural Heart Disease Research and Innovation Lab, Cardiothoracic Research Lab, Emory University SOM

Dr. Padala directs the Structural Heart Disease Research and Innovation Lab. Using novel animal models to manipulate mechanical forces, his research focuses on the mechanobiologic signaling in heart valve disease, heart failure, and atherosclerosis. His lab has developed new devices that can alter the disease state or tissue adaptation to these mechanical forces.

Dr. Rachel Patzer

Rachel E. Patzer, PhD, MPH
– Associate Professor, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Director, Emory Center for Health Services Research, Emory Departments of Surgery & Medicine, Emory University SOM
– Director, Transplant Health Services and Outcomes Research Program, Emory University SOM

Dr. Patzer's recent research projects have focused on the development of a novel surveillance data registry for kidney disease, the development of quality metrics, epidemiologic investigations of the causes of variability in access to renal transplantation among pediatric and adult end-stage renal disease patients, and the development and evaluation of pragmatic interventions to improve access to transplantation.

Dr. Ravi Rajani

Ravi Rajani, MD
– Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Associate Professor of Cardiology, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Emory University SOM
– Chief, Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Grady Memorial Hospital

Dr. Rajani has served as the principal investigator for several trauma-specific clinical trials, and is particularly interested in refining thoracic stent graft technology for treating blunt aortic injury. He is currently the national PI of a prospective, multi-center, non-blinded, non-randomized study of a novel stent graft in subjects with traumatic injury of the descending thoracic aorta.

Dr. Jyotirmay Sharma

Joe Sharma, MD
– Associate Professor of General and Endocrine Surgery, Division of General and GI Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Director, Thyroid and Endocrine Surgery, Emory University Hospital
– Chief Quality Officer, Department of Surgery, Emory University SOM

As Emory Surgery's chief quality officer, Dr. Sharma stewards the department's partnership with the American College of Surgeon's National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), and oversees and manages a variety of quality improvement projects throughout the department.

Dr. Patrick Sullivan

Patrick S. Sullivan, MD
– Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology & Division of Colorectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Chief Quality Officer, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory

Dr. Sullivan's research interests include recurrent and primary rectal cancer, enhanced recovery programs, diverticular disease, and presacral and retrorectal neoplasms.

Dr. Lily Yang

Lily Yang, MD, PhD
– (Primary Appointment) Professor of Surgery and Nancy Panoz Chair of Surgery in Cancer Research, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– (Primary Appointment) Director, Surgical Oncology Nanomedicine Research Lab, Emory University SOM
– (Secondary Appointment) Professor, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. Yang holds multiple NIH grants and is a translational cancer researcher who specializes in the development of novel cancer imaging and targeted therapeutic agents. She directs the Emory Surgical Oncology Nanomedicine Research Lab, which is engaged in a variety of investigations that address several types of cancer.

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