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Twenty-eight rising academics complete Junior Faculty Development Program

Class of 2021 to graduate at virtual ceremony May 20

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

May 14, 2021

The 28 members of the Junior Faculty Development Program Class of 2021 will be honored for their achievements at a virtual graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 20. The celebration recognizes completion of the 9-month program as well as progress on individual projects conducted under the guidance of senior faculty mentors, who will also be recognized at the event.

The intensive professional development experience for junior faculty is designed to accelerate their academic and professional development. Project topics represent all mission areas of education, research and service, ranging from clinical trials to outcomes-based research to educational initiatives and planning for new clinical services.

The Class of 2021 had to shift from in-person classroom sessions to virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m proud of our participants, many of them clinicians, who were deployed to inpatient areas during the first two COVID waves. But all of them stuck with the program and showed flexibility and resilience,” said Susanne Muehlschlegel, MD, associate professor of neurology and director of the program. “For example, we shifted our poster session, which serves as a half-way progress report on the participants’ projects, to a virtual one with prerecorded presentations. We received so much positive feedback on this format, from participants, mentors and chairs alike, that we are considering repeating it next year.”

The program has a proven record of success for both individuals and the institution, with 250 junior faculty members having participated since the program was established in 2010. Faculty graduates are retained at UMMS and achieve academic advancement at much higher rates than nonparticipants, moving into leadership positions, including department chair or vice chair, division chief, residency director and principal investigator of an independent research lab.

Application for membership in the Junior Faculty Development Program is open until June 18 for the Class of 2022, which will run from Sept. 2, 2021, through May 19, 2022. Muehlschlegel urges those interested in participation to consult with their department chairs, whose approval is required.

The Graduation will be held via Zoom on Thursday, May 20, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

2021 Junior Faculty Development Program graduates

Hanna N. Ahmed, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine (mentor: Joseph Sabato Jr., MD, associate professor of emergency medicine)

Maria F. Barile, MD, assistant professor of radiology (mentor: Susan B. Gagliardi, PhD, professor of neurology)

Guy Carmelli, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine (mentor: Carolynn M. DeBenedectis, MD, associate professor of radiology)

Yoel Carrasquillo Vega, MD, assistant professor of medicine (mentor: Milagros Rosal, PhD, the Imoigele P. Aisiku, MD’97 Chair in Health Equity and Diversity and professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Wayne W. Chan, MD, PhD, assistant professor of orthopedics & physical rehabilitation (mentor: Andres Schanzer, MD, professor of surgery)

Erika Clark, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry (mentor: Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD, chair and professor of ophthalmology & visual sciences)

Wissam G. Deeb, MD, assistant professor of neurology (mentor: Jean A. Frazier, MD, the Robert M. and Shirley S. Siff Chair in Autism and professor of psychiatry)

Fei Jamie Dy, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics (mentor: Kathleen Mazor, EdD, professor of medicine)

David S. Gerson, MD, MBA, assistant professor of radiology (mentor: Carol Bova, PhD, RN, ANP, professor of nursing and medicine)

Nicholas M. Hajj, MD, assistant professor of family medicine & community health (mentor: Mary Hawthorne, MD, associate professor of medicine)

Neville M. Jadeja, MD, MPH, assistant professor of neurology (mentor:  Matthew J. Alcusky, PhD, PharmD, MS, assistant professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Sandeep S. Jubbal, MD, assistant professor of medicine (mentor: Kevin A. Kotkowski, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine)

Dhivya Kannabiran, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology (mentor: Yasmin Carter, PhD, assistant professor of radiology)

Anna Luisa Kuhn, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiology (mentor: Arlene S. Ash, PhD, professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Javed Mannan, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pediatrics (mentor: Anthony P. Nunes, PhD, assistant professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Jyothi Margapuri, MD, assistant professor of medicine (mentor: Sybil L. Crawford, PhD, professor of medicine)

Megan R. Miller, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology (Baystate Campus) (mentor: Katherine M. Callaghan, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology)

Mugdha Mohanty, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics (mentor: Bittie Behl-Chadha, PhD, director of the Office of Survey Research, Commonwealth Medicine)

Eman Nada, MD, PhD, assistant professor of anesthesiology & perioperative medicine (mentor: Eric J. Alper, MD, professor of medicine)

Alexandra Nordberg, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine (mentor: Frank J. Domino, MD, professor of family medicine & community health)

Laurel O’Connor, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine (mentor: David McManus, MD, the Richard M. Haidack Professor of Medicine and chair and professor of medicine)

Ricardo Poza, MEd, instructor in nursing (mentor: Christine M. Woolf, PhD, assistant professor of medicine)

Pooja Saraff, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry (mentor: Lori Pbert, PhD, professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Steven J. Sherry, MD, assistant professor of radiology (mentor: Nils Henninger, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology)

Justin Slavin, MD, assistant professor of neurological surgery (mentor: Shao-Hsien Liu, PhD, assistant professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Raffaella Umeton, MD, assistant professor of neurology (mentor: Robert J. Goldberg, MD, professor emeritus of population & quantitative health sciences)

Hongwei Yang, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurological surgery (mentor: Hemant Khanna, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology & visual sciences)

Chan Zhou, PhD, assistant professor of population & quantitative health sciences (mentor: Zhiping Weng, PhD, the Li Weibo Chair in Biomedical Research and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology)