Research Faculty in Primary Care

BillLian Dr. William Lian is an Assistant Professor of Medicine. Dr. Lian received his medical degree from Jilin University in China, and PhD degree in Neurosciences from Loyola University Chicago. He completed his residency training and research fellowships at the teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School. Besides being an attending physician, providing patient care and teaching at the medical school, he is also an active investigator in medical research. Dr. Lian’s research interests focus on epigenetic regulation of gene expression by histone and DNA modification and its role in aging and related diseases. Using molecular biology techniques and transgenic animal models, his research shows that the newly discovered histone demethylase LSD1 plays an important role in energy metabolism, aging and the pathogenesis of aging related diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases.

“Epigenetics hold great promise for deciphering the aging process and offer novel strategies in treating aging related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancers.”

Shan Lu 2007Dr. Shan Lu is a Professor of Medicine. Besides being an active internist, providing primary care service at the University campus clinic, he is a well-known expert on novel human vaccine development against a wide range of major human pathogens. He has designed a novel candidate human HIV vaccine which showed promising immune responses in a recently completed phase I clinical trial study. His group is also developing a pre-pandemic flu vaccine in order to reduce the threat of a potential avian flu infection to humans. He has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health to find safer vaccines for protection against diseases such as smallpox, plague and anthrax. He also holds joint appointments at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and in the Immunology and Virology Program at UMMS. Dr. Lu is associate director of the Medicine Residency Program in charge of research training. He is a recipient of numerous awards including the Howard Hughes Research Award for Physician Scientists and the Worcester Foundation Research Award.

“Vaccines have played a very successful role in modern medicine to control large scale human infections and should continue to be an important part of healthcare service in the 21st century.”

MFisherDr. Melissa A. Fischer is an Associate Professor of Medicine and is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. She went to medical school at NYU, completed residency, chief residency and fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Stanford University where she also obtained a Master's Degree in Education. In her current capacity, Dr. Fischer is responsible for the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education (OUME) which involves dedicated oversight for the School of Medicine’s curriculum including comprehensive curriculum redesign, ongoing curriculum development and management, programmatic evaluation, student assessment and faculty development. Dr. Fischer has served as the Director of the 3rd year Internal Medicine clerkship and subinternship and has participated in and led multiple other curricular elements and curriculum committees. She is an active member of the Society of General Internal Medicine and the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Fischer’s research interests focus on using reflection and portfolios to promote and document learning and improvement, teaching and learning from medical errors, pharmaceutical industry influences on patient care and integrating medical education across the learning continuum from medical school to practice. Dr. Fischer has published her work in peer-reviewed journals including Academic Medicine, the Journal of General Internal Medicine and JAMA. She has received multiple commendations for her work including the SGIM regional educator of the year award, and a UMass STAR award, and she is the first recipient of the Sarah L. Stone, MD Endowed Fellowship in Medical Education.

“We must teach medical students skills and processes that will help them become life-long learners.”

dave hatemDr. David Hatem is an Associate Professor. His teaching at the Medical School has centered on an integrated approach to physician patient communication and clinical reasoning. He directs the Physician Patient and Society Course, a two year long course that integrates medical interviewing, clinical reasoning, medical ethics, and the personal and professional development of first and second year medical students. In August 2010, he will help launch the University of Massachusetts Medical School Learning Communities in his capacity as one of its founding Co-Directors. This initiative adds robust mentoring and student community functions to the clinical skills curriculum and will more directly enhance the professional development of students through close relationships with faculty and fellow students. He is also extensively involved in faculty development activities and is the Associate Director of the Clinical Faculty Development Center and the Center for Clinical Communication and Performance Outcomes. Faculty development activities involve teaching educational planning strategies to ambulatory preceptors. He is currently focused on teaching practicing physicians the strategies to enhance the patient experience of care as a measure of individual and organizational performance. His research interests include measuring clear outcomes of faculty development programs, and investigating the multiple influences on the personal and professional development of learners. These interests are served through projects designed to determine the influence of significant relationships, the learning environment, and reflection through writing, on the development of physicians.

“Humanistic physicians can only be developed by treating our learners in a humane way.”


Lazare Research Building

University campus at night