Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Newsletter Committee

Co-editors:
Debbie Winn-Horvitz, MS
Ora A. Weisz, PhD

Jimette Gilmartin
Janet Brunner
Tim Bragg
Shelley Rowe

Office of the Chair
Department of Medicine

1218 Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-648-9636

New Faculty Profiles


Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Dr. Sudhir K. Narla, MD, received his medical degree from Gandhi Medical College in Hyderabad, India. After completing both his internship and one year of general practice at Gandhi Hospital, he completed a residency in internal medicine and psychiatry at the Philadelphia State Hospital and St. Agnes Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Narla followed this training with an additional internal medicine residency and his gastroenterology fellowship at McKeesport Hospital in McKeesport, PA. Dr. Narla is the Chief of the GI Unit at UPMC McKeesport, and he joined the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in January 2011. Dr. Narla will continue to serve patients at UPMC McKeesport.

Dr. Joshua Novak, MD, earned his medical degree from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and he completed his internship and residency at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. Dr. Novak completed research (T32 NIH) and clinical gastroenterology fellowship training at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center as well. He then participated in an additional Clinical Nutrition Fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Novak will join the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in August 2011, and he will provide primary service for the Division's Nutrition Support Service.

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Division of General Internal Medicine

Welcome to Full-Time MD Faculty

Andreas Achilleos, MD, was recently hired as a clinician-educator and assistant professor of medicine. Dr. Achilleos received his MD in 1996 from Athens Medical School in Greece and completed a residency in 1998 at Sotiria General Hospital in Athens. He then came to Pennsylvania, where he completed an internal medicine residency at Western Pennsylvania Hospital in 2001 and served as a chief resident until 2002. After working for 2 years as a primary care physician in Nicosia, Cyprus, he returned to the United States, where he held positions as a faculty member at Temple University and West Penn Hospital (2004–2008), as an associate program director for the Department of Internal Medicine at West Penn Hospital (2006–2008), and as an associate staff member in the Cleveland Clinic Department of Internal Medicine (2008–2010).

Dean Frate, MD, was recruited as a clinician-educator and assistant professor of medicine for the Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics. He will assume the role as director of palliative care at UPMC Presbyterian. Dr. Frate received a BS in chemistry from the University of Akron in 1993 and an MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 2004. He completed his residency at Summa Health System Akron City Hospital in Akron, Ohio, in 2007 and also completed a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine there in 2009. He has served as the associate medical director of Hospice of Summa since 2006, as assistant site director for medical student education at Summa Health System since 2006, as a faculty physician at Summa Physicians, Inc., since 2007, and as an assistant professor of internal medicine at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Pharmacy since 2008.

Anuradha Munshi, MD, MS, was recruited as a clinician-educator and assistant professor of medicine to work at our Shadyside site. Dr. Munshi received a BS in biology from the University of Akron in 1999 and received an MD from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in 2003. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, in 2006. She completed a fellowship in general internal medicine and women's health at UPMC in 2011 and also received an MS in medical education from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. She will be joining us in September 2011.

Erica Stovsky, MD, was recruited as a clinician-educator and assistant professor of medicine and will be working in the Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics. Dr. Stovsky received a BS in integrated life sciences from Kent State University in 2003, received an MD from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Pharmacy in 2007, completed her residency in internal medicine at Summa Health System in Akron in 2010, and completed a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at Summa Health System in 2011.

Fadeke Akanbi, MD, was recruited as a nocturnist for the Section of Hospital Medicine and as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Akanbi served in this same position from 2006 to 2009. She received a BS in pharmacy from Oregon State University at Corvallis in 1989 and received an MD from Drexel University College of Medicine in 2002. She completed a residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at UPMC in 2006 and a fellowship in cardiology at the University of Cincinnati in 2011.

Laura Ferreira Provenzano, MD, was recruited as a nocturnist for the Section of Hospital Medicine and as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Ferreira Provenzano earned her MD from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine in Argentina in 2003 and completed her internal medicine residency at Caritas St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston in 2009. She completed a fellowship in nephrology at UPMC and also completed the Research Education in Advancing Investigative Careers for Housestaff and Fellows (REACH) Program at the University of Pittsburgh in 2011.

Faris Khan, MD, was recruited as a nocturnist for the Section of Hospital Medicine and as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Khan studied at the Khyber Teaching Hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, where he received his MBBS in 2004 and trained in the medical and surgical wards in 2005–2006. After undertaking additional training at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, he came to UPMC, where he completed his residency in internal medicine in 2011. He is currently working toward an MS in clinical research.

Jennifer Lyden, MD, was recruited as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Lyden received a BA in sociology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 2002 and then worked for 2 years at Children's Hospital in Boston. She received an MD from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 2008 and completed her residency at UPMC in the Global Health Track in 2011.

Bayo Olaoye, MD, was recruited as a hospitalist for the Section of Hospital Medicine and as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Olaoye received an MBChB from Obafemi Awolowa University in Nigeria in 1998, served as a resident at the Irish Surgical Residency Program of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland from 2003 to 2005, was an education fellow in the Department of Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2008, and was a resident in internal medicine at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center in Pennsylvania from 2008 to 2011.

Anil Purohit, MD, was recruited as a nocturnist for the Section of Hospital Medicine and as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Purohit earned a BS in biology from the University of South Carolina Honors College in 2002 and received an MD from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2007. He completed his residency in internal medicine in the Global Health Track at UPMC in 2011.

Julie Skapik, MD, MPH, was recruited as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Skapik received a BA in biology and psychology from the New College of Florida in Sarasota in 2001, earned her MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2007, and received her MD from the John Hopkins School of Medicine in 2008. She completed her residency at UPMC in 2011.

Janelle Williams, MD, was recruited as a hospitalist for the Section of Hospital Medicine and as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Williams received a BS in biology from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2001. After receiving an MD from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 2005, she completed her residency in internal medicine and pediatrics there in 2009. Since that time, she served as an internal medicine hospitalist and inpatient specialist in Rockville, Maryland.

Welcome to Full-Time PhD Faculty

Lauren Broyles, PhD, RN, has been hired as a researcher and assistant professor of medicine. Dr. Broyles received a BSN in nursing from Johns Hopkins University in 1998, worked for many years as a nurse in the University of Maryland Medical System, and earned a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing in 2008. Since that time, she has worked as a postdoctoral fellow and researcher at the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) and the Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. She has also served as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and as an adjunct clinical faculty member in the graduate program at Duquesne University School of Nursing. Dr. Broyles will be a core faculty member of CHERP, and her office will be located at the VA Highland Drive site.

Seo Young Park, PhD, has been hired as a statistician for the Center for Research on Health Care (CRHC) Data Center and as an assistant professor of medicine. Dr. Park received a BSc in statistics and mathematics from Seoul National University in Korea in 2004 and received a PhD in statistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010. She then served as a research associate at the University of Chicago.

Dana Tudorascu, PhD, has been hired as a statistician for the CRHC Data Center and as an assistant professor of medicine. Dr. Tudorascu earned a BS in mathematics from the University of Craiova in Romania in 1999. She received an MS in computational mathematics from Duquesne University in 2003 and a PhD in biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009. She then worked as an assistant researcher and provided statistical consulting services at the Waisman Lab for Brain Imaging at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

2011 General Internal Medicine and Palliative Care Fellowships

Michael Barnett, MD, was recruited as a fellow in general internal medicine and as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Barnett received a BS in engineering science from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 2002 and received an MD from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 2006. He completed his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2009 and served as a chief resident there in 2009–2010. Dr. Barnett is completing his second year of a palliative care fellowship. During his fellowship with general internal medicine, he will be pursuing an MS in medical education.

Jennifer Corbelli, MD, was recruited as a fellow in general internal medicine and as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Corbelli received a BA from Cornell University in 2003 and an MD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2007. She completed her residency in internal medicine in the Women's Health Track at UPMC in 2010 and served as a chief resident at UPMC in 2010¬–2011. During her fellowship, she will be pursuing an MS in medical education.

Jed Gonzalo, MD, was recruited as a fellow in general internal medicine and as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Gonzalo earned his BS in biology and philosophy from the University of Scranton in 2002 and received his MD from Pennsylvania State College of Medicine in Hershey in 2006. He completed his residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston in 2009 and began a fellowship in general internal medicine at UPMC in 2010. He then returned to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to serve as a chief resident in internal medicine in 2010–2011. He will complete his fellowship at UPMC in 2012 while pursuing an MS in medical education. Dr. Gonzalo's office will be located at UPMC Shadyside.

Carolyn Casey Lefkowits, MD, MPH, received a fellowship in palliative care. Dr. Lefkowits earned bachelor's degrees in life sciences and physical and health education from Queen's University at Kingston in Ontario, Canada, in 2001. She received an MD and MPH from Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health in 2007, and she completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California in San Francisco in 2011.

Adam Sawatsky, MD, was recruited as a fellow in general internal medicine and as a clinical instructor of medicine. Dr. Sawatsky received a BS in biology from Wheaton College in 2002 and an MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2007. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education in 2010. During his fellowship, he will be pursuing an MS in medical education.

Patrick White, MD, received a fellowship in palliative care. Dr. White earned a BS with a double major in biology and theology and a minor in bioethics from the University of Notre Dame in 2002. He received his MD from Ohio State College of Medicine and Public Health in 2007 and completed his residency in internal medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2010. He spent the next year as a clinical instructor in the Hospitalist Division, Department of Internal Medicine, at Washington University School of Medicine.

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Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Annerose Berndt, PhD, DVM, received her D.V.M. from the University of Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany, in 2003 and her Ph.D. in Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, in 2007. After completing her graduate studies, she became a postdoctoral fellow and — in 2008 — an associate research scientist under Beverly Paigen at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Dr. Berndt was recruited to join the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in March 2010.

Dr. Pierre Alain-Dauby, MD, received his MD from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in 1996. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center and a fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center. His background includes broad experience in adult and pediatric allergy, asthma, and immunology in civilian clinic and military hospital-based setting. He served in the USAF from 1992 – 2008, and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Prior to joining us, he worked at the Asthma & Allergy Specialists of Greater Washington.

Dr. Merritt Fajt, MD, completed her undergraduate education at Duke University in Durham, NC where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and graduated cum laude in 2000. She then attended medical school at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA and graduated in May 2004. This was followed by Internal Medicine Residency training at the Pennsylvania State University Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA which she completed in June 2007. She then began her fellowship in Allergy-Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center which she completed in June 2010. Dr. Fajt is board certified in Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Internal Medicine.

Dr. Cynthia J. Gries, MD, MSc, completed medical school at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. In addition to completing her Internal Medicine residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and her Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellowship at the University of Washington (UW). Dr. Gries received a Masters of Epidemiology from the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. Dr. Gries joined the University of Washington faculty as a lung transplant sub-specialist in 2007 and subsequently joined the Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in 2010.

Dr. Daniel Kass, MD, received his MD from New York University School of Medicine. He completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Kass trained in basic science research under Dr. Steven Greenberg. Dr. Kass was appointed to the faculty at Columbia in 2006 and is currently supported by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as well as the Entelligence Scholars Program in Pulmonary Hypertension. Dr. Kass joined the faculty in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in July, 2010.

Dr. Ana Mora, MD, joined the Vascular Medicine Institute in August 2010. Dr. Mora received her MD in 1987 from Universidad Nacional de Colombia Medical School in Santafe de Bogota, Colombia. After Research Trainee and Research Associate positions in Colombia, Dr. Mora had her postdoctoral training as a Fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. During this time Dr Mora's research was focused in the determination of the role of NF-kB proteins in the development and function of T cells and the dissection of the IL-4Ra signal motifs in Th2 differentiation. Awards include the Sidney P. Colowick Award for Outstanding Post-Doctoral Fellowship. In 2002, Dr. Mora moved to Emory University as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine of the Emory University Department of Medicine and Scholar of the McKelvey Lung Transplantation Center. In August 2010, Dr. Mora joined the Vascular Medicine Institute and the Division of Pulmonary at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Mora's research is focused in the understanding of the pathogenesis of idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). Based on clinical studies that show presence of herpesvirus infection in lungs of IPF, Dr. Mora developed a novel mouse model of pulmonary fibrosis using the murine gherpesvirus 68, a virus closely related to Epstein Barr Virus. She has authored and co-authored more than 45 publications in peer review journals, reviews, editorials and book chapters. Her laboratory has been funded by NIH grants including as well as grants from the American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association. Dr Mora is member of the Southern Society of Investigation, the American Society of Immunologist, the American Society of Microbiology and the American Thoracic Society.

Dr. Michael Risbano, MD, MA, received his B.S. in Theology from Boston College in 1996. He then obtained his Master's degree in 1998 and M.D. degree in 2002 at Boston University School of Medicine. He remained at Boston University for residency training in Internal Medicine, which he completed in 2005. After working as a hospitalist for a year in a nearby suburb of Boston, Massachusetts Dr. Risbano began his fellowship training in Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver. During his fellowship he subspecialized in pulmonary hypertension under the mentorship of Drs. Todd Bull and Mark Geraci. Upon completion of his fellowship training Dr. Risbano joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh where he is now an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Mauricio Rojas, MD, received his MD degree from the Universidad Nacional of Colombia Medical School in Bogota, Colombia. After having the positions of Research Trainee and Research Associate in Colombia at the National Institute of Immunology, he moved to Vanderbilt University. There, he received postdoctoral training as a Fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. During this time, Dr. Rojas had seminal contributions in the study of the signaling of Epithermal Growth Factor that resulted in the creation of a novel technique that allows the in vivo regulation of growth factors. This work is part of a worldwide patent. After finishing his postdoctoral training, he began as a Junior Faculty at the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology where he continued to work in the regulation of growth factors signaling. He moved to Emory University in 2002 as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine and Scholar of the McKelvey Lung Transplantation Center. In 2010, Dr. Rojas joined the faculty of the Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Diseases at the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Yutong Zhao, MD, received his MD from Dalian Medical University, China and PhD in Biochemistry from Gifu Medical University, Japan. He completed his post-doctoral fellow training in molecular biology at University of Delaware and in pulmonary diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and became a junior faculty in Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Following with Drs. Joe Garcia and V. Natarajan, Dr. Zhao moved to University of Chicago and was promoted to Assistant Professor (RA) in Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care. In March 2010, Dr. Zhao joined the Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care faculty at the University of Pittsburgh as an Associate Professor.

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Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology

Dr. Erin Snell, MD, will be joining our division as a new Faculty member on July 1, 2011. Dr. Snell received her medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the UT Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX. Previously a fellow in the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Snell will be practicing in the North Hills area.

Dr. Praveen Jajoria, MD, MPH, will be joining our division as a new Faculty member on July 1, 2011. Dr. Jajoria received his medical degree from the University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India. He completed his rheumatology fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch and will be practicing in the North Hills area.

Dr. Nehal Shah, MD, will be joining our division as a new Faculty member on July 1, 2011. Dr. Shah received her medical degree from Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College, Gujarat University in Ahmedabad, India. She completed her residencies in India at NHL Municipal Medical College, Gujarat University Ahmedabad, India as well as St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital, in Pontiac, MI. Previously, Dr. Shah was a fellow in the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh. She will be practicing in McKeesport.

Dr. Ernest Raymund, MD, Vina will be joining our division as a new Faculty member on August 1, 2011. Dr. Vina received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School, Chicago, IL. He completed his residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Vina completed two fellowships in rheumatology and health services research at the University of Chicago and the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His will be practicing at both the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and the UPMC Lupus Center of Excellence.

Dr. Partha Biswas, D.V.M., PhD, will be joining our division as a Faculty Researcher on September 1, 2011. Dr. Biswas received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences in Kolkata, India. He obtained his PhD degree in Comparative and Experimental Medicine at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Biswas is coming from the Hospital for Special Surgery, NY and will be conducting research focused on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders.

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Division of Vascular Medicine Institute

Dr. Ana Mora, MD, joined the Vascular Medicine Institute in August 2010. Dr. Mora received her MD in 1987 from Universidad Nacional de Colombia Medical School in Santafe de Bogota, Colombia. After Research Trainee and Research Associate positions in Colombia, Dr. Mora had her postdoctoral training as a Fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. During this time Dr Mora's research was focused in the determination of the role of NF-kB proteins in the development and function of T cells and the dissection of the IL-4Ra signal motifs in Th2 differentiation. Awards include the Sidney P. Colowick Award for Outstanding Post-Doctoral Fellowship. In 2002, Dr. Mora moved to Emory University as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine of the Emory University Department of Medicine and Scholar of the McKelvey Lung Transplantation Center. In August 2010, Dr. Mora joined the Vascular Medicine Institute and the Division of Pulmonary at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Mora's research is focused in the understanding of the pathogenesis of idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). Based on clinical studies that show presence of herpesvirus infection in lungs of IPF, Dr. Mora developed a novel mouse model of pulmonary fibrosis using the murine gherpesvirus 68, a virus closely related to Epstein Barr Virus. She has authored and co-authored more than 45 publications in peer review journals, reviews, editorials and book chapters. Her laboratory has been funded by NIH grants including as well as grants from the American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association. Dr Mora is member of the Southern Society of Investigation, the American Society of Immunologist, the American Society of Microbiology and the American Thoracic Society.

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