Our goal as the University System of Georgia MD/PhD program is to build a diverse, enthusiastic team of leaders who are driven to see success within the program, institutions, and the University System as a whole.
Below are brief biographies and contact information for each admissions committee member. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or concerns.
Richard S. Cameron, PhD
Professor of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine
Co-director, Medical Scholars Program, Medical College of Georgia
Co-director, M.D., PhD. Program, University System of Georgia
Office: CA-4009 Phone: 706-721-8740 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Richard S. Cameron received his Ph.D. in cell biology from the Section of Cell Biology at Yale University School of Medicine in 1985, with graduate and post-doctoral studies (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 1984-1986) focused on the identification of secretory granule membrane protein function related to the secretory process. After completing a research fellowship investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in neuronal-glial cell interaction during neuronal cell migration in the Department of Neurobiology at Yale Medical School, he joined the Medical College of Georgia faculty in 1993 with the founding of The Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics. Research studies at the Medical College of Georgia, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Georgia Cancer Coalition, include investigation of caveolin signaling complexes in developing brain as well as identification and functional characterization of the vertebrate specific class XVI myosin - MYO16, which may play a role in regulation of cell cycle and cell proliferation. Dr. Cameron has mentored multiple MD-PhD and PhD students and actively participates in the teaching of undergraduate, graduate and medical students.
Lawrence C. Layman, MD
Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, and Physiology
Chief, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Section of Reproductive Endocrinology, Infertility, & Genetics
Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Endocrinology
Co-director, M.D., Ph.D. Program, University System of Georgia
Office: CA-2006 Phone: 706-721-3832 Email: email@example.com
Dr. Lawrence C. Layman graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, completed residency in Ob/Gyn at the University of Louisville and a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrine and Genetics at the Medical College of Georgia. He is board certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology; Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility; Clinical Genetics; and Clinical Molecular Genetics. He serves on the Reproductive Endocrine Division of the American Board of Ob/Gyn. Dr. Layman actively sees patients and investigates genetic aspects of puberty and reproduction and has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1997. Research contributions include the identification of human mutations in patients with pubertal disorders and infertility including the GNRHR, FSHB, CHD7, WDR11, and ESR1 genes and their associated phenotypes. He is also actively involved in student training at both undergraduate and graduate levels and he serves on the Reproductive Endocrine Division of the American Board of Ob/Gyn.
Nevin A. Lambert, PhD
Regents’ Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Special Advisor, M.D., Ph.D. Program, University Systems of Georgia
Office: CB-3522 Phone: 706-721-6336 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Nevin Lambert received his Ph.D. in Neurobiology with a focus in synaptic electrophysiology from Kent State University in 1991. He completed postdoctoral training at Duke University, and joined the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia in 1996, where he is currently Regents’ Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He has mentored multiple undergraduate and M.D., Ph.D. and Ph.D. graduate students in his laboratory. He has served on the M.D., Ph.D. Admissions Committee since 2000, and as Director or Co-Director of the Program from 2010-2015. His research focuses on G protein-coupled receptor signaling complexes and regulation of G protein signaling in CNS neurons and other cells, and is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Kathryn Bollinger, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Opthalmology
Office: BA-2727 Phone: 706-721-6175 Email: email@example.com
Dr. Kathryn Bollinger received an M.D./Ph.D. degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin. She completed residency training in ophthalmology followed by a fellowship in glaucoma at the Cleveland Clinic, Cole Eye Institute. Dr. Bollinger is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and serves as a staff ophthalmologist and glaucoma specialist within the Augusta University Department of Ophthalmology. Her research focuses on development of novel neuroprotective treatments for glaucoma, and her laboratory is funded by the National Eye Institute. She is a recipient of the Alcon/ARVO Young Clinician Scientist Award, an American Glaucoma Society Mid Career Clinician Scientist Award, and a Medical College of Georgia Exemplary Teaching Award for Graduate Medical Education. She has mentored numerous medical students and residents in the laboratory and clinic. She serves as a Patient Education Ambassador for the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
Darren D. Browning, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Member, Augusta University Cancer Center
Director, Biochemistry and Cancer Biology Graduate Program
Office: CN-1164 Phone: 706-721-9526 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Darren Browning earned his Ph.D in Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Toronto in Canada in 1995 and carried out post-doctoral training in the Department of Immunology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. He joined the research faculty in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1999, moving to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Medical College of Georgia in 2001. Dr. Browning’s laboratory, funded by the Arthritis Foundation, Georgia Cancer Coalition, American Cancer Society, and currently the NIH, has a long-standing focus on cyclic-GMP signaling with current studies exploring the therapeutic effects of activating cGMP signaling in the colon mucosa; in particular, that phosphodiesterase inhibitors increase cGMP levels in the colon mucosa, and that this is chemopreventative for colon cancer, and is therapeutic for ulcerative colitis and constipation. Dr. Browning interacts regularly with clinical faculty in the Digestive Health Center at Augusta University, and with pharmaceutical companies to further the long-term goal of understanding the signaling mechanisms and translational potential to benefit human patients. He is actively engaged in education and teaches biochemistry to 1st year Medical students.
Askiel Bruno, MD
Professor of Neurology
Office: BI-3076 Phone: 706-721-5988 Email: email@example.com
Dr. Bruno graduated with a Master's of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of California in Los Angeles. He received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine, and completed an Adult Neurology Residency program at the West Los Angeles VA Hospital and UCLA. He did a Stroke Fellowship at the University of Iowa. Dr. Bruno provides clinical service primarily for in-patients with acute stroke. His research is focused on clinical stroke, including acute interventions and preventions. His latest National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funding is for leading a clinical efficacy trial of hyperglycemia management during acute ischemic stroke.
Adviye Ergul, MD, PhD, FAHA
Professor of Physiology
Director, Physiology Graduate Program
Office:CA-2094 Phone: 706-721-9103 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Adviye Ergul earned her M.D. from The University of Istanbul Cerrahpasa Medical School in Istanbul, Turkey in 1987. After her residency in Clinical Biochemistry at Haseki Hospital in Istanbul, she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Miami School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, in 1995. She joined the Program in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy (Augusta campus) in 2000, and the Department of Physiology at the Medical College of Georgia in 2007. The overall goal of Dr. Ergul’s laboratory, funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association and Veterans Administration, is to better understand the regulation of vascular structure and function in diabetes. In recent years, Dr. Ergul’s efforts have focused on determining the effects of diabetes on cerebrovascular structure and function because diabetes not only holds a 2-6 fold increased risk for stroke and cognitive impairment, but also is associated with poorer outcomes and increased mortality. To translate her findings into clinical use, Dr. Ergul collaborates with the Department of Neurology in an effort to identify biomarkers of vascular damage in diabetic and nondiabetic stroke patients that will guide treatment strategies.
Leslie Petch Lee, PhD
Associate Dean for Campus Integration and Academic Enhancement
Director of Phase 1 and 2 Curriculum, AU/UGA Medical Partnership
Office: Winnie Davis Hall 106 Phone: 706-713-2182 Email: email@example.com
Dr. Lee received her PhD in Pharmacology and carried out postdoctoral training in Cell Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). During her graduate and postdoctoral training, she studied growth factors and cell adhesion initiated signaling pathways involved in the regulation of cell growth and proliferation. Following postdoctoral training, Dr. Lee was appointed Associate Director of the Molecular Virology Core facility of UNC-CH's Center for AIDS Research. In this capacity Dr. Lee contributed to numerous national and international basic and clinical studies on HIV drug resistance and response to therapy. Dr. Lee joined the Provost's Office at the University of Georgia in 2005, was appointed Phase 1/2 Curriculum Coordinator for the Medical Partnership in 2008, and became Assistant Dean for Curriculum in 2010. In her current role as Associate Dean, Dr. Lee works with colleagues at MCG and UGA to promote clinical and basic science research opportunities at UGA for MCG students from all campuses, and to promote and develop existing and new dual degree programs. She also provides administrative oversight for the Medical Scholars Program at the Partnership and serves as the point of contact for dual degree programs that work with UGA degrees. Dr. Lee has an adjunct appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at MCG, and has represented the Medical Partnership on the Medical College of Georgia Instructional Technology Advisory Committee, the Phase 1/2 Curriculum Committee, the Curriculum Oversight Committee, and the Admissions Committee.
Xin-Yun Lu, MD, PhD
GRA Eminent Scholar Chair in Translational Neuroscience
Office: CA-3006 Phone: 706-721-0550 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Lu graduated from Binzhou Medical College in 1987. She received a master’s degree in biochemistry from Guangdong Medical College in 1990 and her Ph.D. in pharmacology from Washington State University in 1998. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan, and joined the faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2003, being promoted to associate professor in 2009 and becoming a full professor in 2013. In 2017, she was recruited to the Medical College of Georgia as the GRA Eminent Scholar Chair in translational neuroscience. Dr. Lu’s research aims to understand the molecular link between metabolic disturbances and neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). Her laboratory is particularly interested in adipocyte-derived hormones (ie, adipokines), determining how adipokines signal to target neurons in the brain, modulate neural plasticity, and contribute to emotional control and cognitive regulation. Her research has revealed new insights into the role of adipose tissue-brain crosstalk in the pathogenesis and treatment of depression and PTSD.
Brian J. Miller, MD, PhD, MPH
Associate professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior
Office: EG-3014 Phone: 706-721-4445 Email: email@example.com
Dr. Brian Miller earned his BS in mathematics from Vanderbilt University, a combined MD/MPH degree from The Ohio State University, and a PhD in psychiatric epidemiology from the University of Oulu, Finland. He completed his general psychiatry residency and fellowship in psychotic disorders at Medical College of Georgia, where he served as chief resident. He joined the faculty in 2010. Dr. Miller's laboratory, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Stanley Medical Research Institute, and National Association for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), has a focus on inflammation/cytokines as a potential biomarker and therapeutic target in schizophrenia. He has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Outstanding Young Clinical Science Faculty Award from Medical College of Georgia, the American Psychiatric Association Kempf Fund Award for Research Development in Psychobiological Psychiatry, and an Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In addition to his research, Dr. Miller leads the general psychiatry journal club and clinical case conference, and serves as a PGY-4 outpatient clinical supervisor.
Mumtaz V. Rojiani, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Oncology) & Pathology
Office: CN-3112 Phone: 706-721-0295 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Rojiani received her PhD from the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at UMDNJ (now Rutgers University), Newark NJ. She completed postdoctoral fellowships at the British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver BC and University of Florida in multiple areas of cancer biology. During her tenure at USF and at MCG-AU Dr. Rojiani has focused her research on the tumor microenvironment and matrix biology. More specifically, she is investigating the MMP-independent functions TIMP-1 in lung adenocarcinoma. Dr. Rojiani is also a coinvestigator on a grant investigating Hypoxia and Src Signaling in prostate cancer metastasis. She has mentored undergraduate, graduate and medical students as well as postdoctoral fellows. She has served on MCG’s medical student admissions Task Force and is presently coordinating the Georgia Cancer Center’s introductory program ‘Introduction to Oncologic Pathology’.
Brian Stansfield, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Office: CB-3212A Phone: 706-721-5059 Email: email@example.com
Dr. Brian Stansfield graduated from the Medical College of Georgia in 2004 and completed his residency in general pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Georgia. He went on to Indiana University to complete a fellowship in neonatal/perinatal medicine and a post-doctoral research fellowship through the NIH-sponsored Pediatric Scientist Development Program. He joined the section of neonatology at the Children's Hospital of Georgia in 2013 with a joint appointment in the Vascular Biology Center. Dr. Stansfield's laboratory, funded by the Department of Defense and American Heart Association, focuses on cardiovascular manifestations and aberrant angiogenesis related to inherited mutations in the p21 Raspathway. Dr. Stansfield is also interested in the effect of early life growth trajectories on future cardiovascular risk and has several ongoing collaborations with scientists in the Georgia Prevention Institute to study the relationship between fetal growth restriction and visceral adiposity in later life. He is also actively involved in the training of clinician-scientists through the neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship at Augusta University - Medical College of Georgia and serves as a thesis mentor for graduate PhD, MD, and undergraduate students.
Jennifer C. Sullivan, PhD
Associate Professor of Physiology
Office: CB-2204 Phone: 706-721-9796 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jennifer Sullivan received her Ph.D. in cardiovascular pharmacology from Albany Medical College in 1999 before coming to the Medical College of Georgia for her post-doctoral training in the Vascular Biology Center. She joined the Medical College of Georgia faculty in the Department of Pharmacology in 2004 and the Department of Physiology in 2014. Dr. Sullivan’s laboratory, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Heart Association, seeks to address gaps in our knowledge regarding the mechanisms controlling blood pressure in males vs. females. Hypertension affects ~33% of adults in the U.S. and uncontrolled hypertension increases the risk of kidney disease, stroke, heart disease, aneurysm and peripheral artery disease. Recent studies in her laboratory are directed toward determining sex differences in blood pressure control with respect to three major pathways known to regulate cardiovascular health: the nitric oxide pathway and oxidative stress, the renin-angiotensin system, and inflammation. Notably, Dr. Sullivan is committed to service to the scientific community and currently serves multiple leadership roles for American Heart Association and the American Physiological Society. She is also actively involved in graduate and medical education and serves as thesis mentor for Ph.D. students and Medical Scholars.
Stuart A. Thompson, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease
Office: CB-2607 Phone: 706-721-7277 Email: email@example.com
Dr. Stuart A. Thompson received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1992, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University. He joined the faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University, subsequently moving to the Medical College of Georgia in 1999. Dr. Thompson currently funded through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases studies the gastrointestinal bacterial pathogens Campylobacter jejuni and Helicobacter pylori, specifically, gene regulation events that contribute to the pathogenesis of these organisms, including biofilm formation, motility, oxidative stress resistance, and interactions with host epithelial cells. He is actively involved in student training at the undergraduate, graduate Ph.D. and M.D., Ph.D. levels and has also served on multiple research review boards, including for the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Defense, US Department of Agriculture, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, UK Wellcome Trust, and British Medical Research Council.
Neal L. Weintraub, MD
Professor of Medicine, Section of Cardiology
GRA Kupperman Eminent Scholar in Cardiovascular Medicine
Interim Chief, Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology
Associate Director of the Vascular Biology Center
Office: CB-3330 Phone: 706-721-7808 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Neal L. Weintraub graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1984. He completed clinical training in Internal Medicine at Emory University and the University of Illinois and undertook a combined research/clinical Cardiovascular Fellowship at St. Louis University from 1991-1995. He joined the faculty at the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1995, rising to the rank of Professor of Medicine in 2005 and serving as Interim Division Director of Cardiovascular Diseases from 2003-2005. In 2006, he was recruited to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine as the Stonehill Professor of Medicine and Director, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases. In 2013, Dr. Weintraub was recruited to Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Weintraub’s laboratory, funded by NIH since 1997, is focused on vascular biology with emphasis on oxidative stress, inflammation, and obesity. In particular, his work has advanced the understanding of the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) disease and mechanisms of adipose tissue dysfunction in obesity. As a clinical cardiovascular physician, Dr. Weintraub treats patients with a variety of cardiovascular disorders and has been ranked among the Best Doctors in America for many years. He also conducts clinical research in stem cell therapy, heart failure, and remote cardioprotection. Dr. Weintraub is Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Cardioception, LLC., a biotech company established in 2010 that is utilizing the skin’s natural protective functions to develop innovative therapies for limiting heart damage in the setting of a heart attack.
Merry Ma, BS
Student member, MD/PhD Program, University System of Georgia
Merry is a 6th year MD/PhD student in the University System of Georgia's MD/PhD Program. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2012 where she studied biology, psychology, and statistics. She will earn her PhD in neuroscience in Spring 2018. Merry studies the role of NADPH oxidases on neuroinflammation following traumatic brain injury to identify potential novel therapeutic targets. Merry has presented seven first-author abstracts at local and national meetings and authored two peer-reviewed journal articles and co-authored another to date. In addition to serving as a member of the MD/PhD Admissions Committee, Merry also serves on the Graduate Student Council and has been actively involved through the Biomedical Students Association. In her spare time, Merry enjoys traveling, baking, and competing in regional ultimate frisbee tournaments.
Lauren Prusinski, BS
Student member, MD/PhD Program, University System of Georgia
Lauren is currently a fifth year MD/PhD student in the University System of Georgia’s MD/PhD Program, having graduated with her BS in biochemistry, Chinese & Japanese studies, and humanities from Valparaiso University in 2013. Lauren is completing her Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine; her research focuses on identification of changes in DNA repair regulation and function in the myometrial progenitor cell population of the uterus, which is believed to initiate uterine fibroid tumorigenesis. Lauren has received multiple awards for her various presentations at local and international meetings, including a Best New Investigator Poster Award at the 2017 Society for Reproductive Investigation Annual Meeting, as well as a prestigious NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD Fellowship (Parent F30) in support of her dual-degree integrated research and clinical training. Several first-author manuscripts are in preparation, in addition to her co-authored publications. Outside of her research and clinical duties, Lauren volunteers at the Medical College of Georgia student-run Women’s Clinic and at the Veggie Park Farmers Market in an effort to dedicate more of herself to the Augusta community, and she enjoys weightlifting, cooking, and walking with her husband and their three-legged dog at the Augusta Canal.
Patricia A. Frederickson, BA, MEd
Office: GB-3350H Phone: 706-721-7835 Email: email@example.com
Patricia Frederickson received both her BA in Rhetoric (2011) and MEd in Educational Technology (2012) from Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia. She has been working within the Augusta University community since early 2013, and the MD/PhD program since 2014. Patricia is a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honors society, and has also presented speeches and papers several times at annual Georgia Communication Association conferences. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Public Administration (expected 2019), and spends her spare time volunteering for both the Crisis Text Line and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, reading, and just generally enjoying cats.