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Junior Faculty Development Program honors 28 at graduation ceremony

Rising faculty at UMass Chan Medical School complete intensive professional development experience

By Sandra Gray

UMass Chan Medical School Communications

May 20, 2022
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Members of the UMass Chan Junior Faculty Development Program Class of 2022 celebrated their achievements at a graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 19.

Twenty-eight rising junior faculty members celebrated completion of the 2021-’22 Junior Faculty Development Program at UMass Chan Medical School. They and their senior faculty mentors were joined by family and friends at a graduation ceremony that took place Thursday, May 19, in the Albert Sherman Center.

The intensive professional development experience is designed to accelerate participants’ academic and professional development, comprising a nine-month curriculum with individual projects conducted under the guidance of senior faculty mentors. Project topics represent mission areas of education, research and service, ranging from clinical trials to outcomes-based research to educational initiatives and planning for new clinical services.

“Junior faculty are an essential resource for an academic institution. If the institution is to grow and flourish, these individuals must be nurtured, mentored and retained,” said Susanne Muehlschlegel, MD, MPH, professor of neurology and co-director of the program along with Pranoti Mandrekar, PhD, professor of medicine. “The Junior Faculty Development Program is designed to help them further develop the skills beyond clinical and laboratory excellence to provide a foundation for their success in academic medicine.”

Representing almost every academic department, 306 junior faculty members have participated since the program was established at UMass Chan in 2010. Faculty graduates are retained at UMass Chan and achieve academic advancement at 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.

“The program has great value for basic scientists as well as clinicians,” said Dr. Mandrekar. “They benefit not only from insights into the expectations of scholarship in promotions and tenure but also learn much from their clinician–scientist colleagues.”

Application for membership in the Junior Faculty Development Program is open until June 8 for the Class of 2023, which will run from Sept. 8, 2022 through May 18, 2023.

2022 Junior Faculty Development Program graduates

Danielle Birmingham, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology & perioperative medicine
(mentor: Carolynn M. DeBenedectis, MD, associate professor of radiology)

Maureen Canellas, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine
(mentor: Andrew S. Karson, MD, chief medical officer and senior vice president, UMass Memorial Medical Center)

Mustafa S. Caylan, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, UMass Chan – Baystate
(mentor: Jennifer A. Reidy, MD, associate professor of family medicine & community health)

Andrés Colubri, MFA, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology & physiological systems
(mentor: Jeremy A. Luban, MD, the David J. Freelander Professor in AIDS Research and professor of molecular medicine)

Kate H. Dinh, MD, assistant professor of surgery
(mentor: Arlene S. Ash, PhD, professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Meaghan C. Doherty, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics
(mentor, Alexander A. Bankier, MD, PhD, professor of radiology)

Jennifer E. Fantasia, MD, assistant professor of urology
(mentor: Susan B. Gagliardi, PhD, professor of neurology)

Tianxiao Huan, PhD, assistant professor of ophthalmology & visual sciences
(mentor: Merav Socolovsky, MD, PhD, professor of molecular, cell & cancer biology)

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

Karen Jeng-Miller, MD, MPH, assistant professor of ophthalmology & visual sciences
(mentor: Lawrence M. Rhein, MD, MPH, the Stoddard Chair of Pediatrics and chair and associate professor of pediatrics)

Amanda C. Johnson, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics
(mentor: Matthew J. Alcusky, PhD, PharmD, assistant professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Katherine M. Johnson, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology
(mentor: Melissa A. Fischer, MD, MEd, professor of medicine)

Dejah R. Judelson, MD, assistant professor of surgery
(mentor: Mitchell H. Sokoloff, MD, chair and professor of urology)

Srividhya Lakshmanan, MD, assistant professor of medicine
(mentor: Francesco A. Aiello, MD, professor of surgery)

Kristin M. Laraja, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics  
(mentor: Tiffany Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd, chair and professor of obstetrics & gynecology)

Feiran Lou, MD, assistant professor of surgery  
(mentor: Austin F. Lee, PhD, professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Alexander J. Menard, DNP, assistant professor of nursing  
(mentor: Mary Hawthorne, MD, associate professor of medicine)

Ari Nalbandian, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine  
(mentor: Craig M. Lilly, MD, professor of medicine)

Grant Pierre, MD, assistant professor of family medicine & community health  
(mentor, Ricardo Poza, MEd, instructor in nursing)

Liam Porter, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine  
(mentor: Maria Barile, MD, assistant professor of radiology)

Kyle C. Rossi, MD, assistant professor of neurology  
(mentor: Adrian H. Zai, MD, PhD, MPH, associate professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Amina Saghir, MD, assistant professor of radiology  
(mentor: Kevin Kotkowski, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine)

Gabriela A. Santos-Nunez, MD, assistant professor of radiology  
(mentor: Milagros Rosal, PhD, the Imoigele P. Aisiku, MD’97 Chair in Health Equity and Diversity and professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Garima Sarda, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pediatrics  
(mentor: Maksim Zayaruzny, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology & perioperative medicine)

William J. Selove, MD, assistant professor of pathology  
(mentor: Anthony P. Nunes, PhD, assistant professor of population & quantitative health sciences)

Bo Tian, MD, PhD, assistant professor of ophthalmology & visual sciences  
(mentors: Lawrence Hayward, MD, PhD, professor of neurology; and Haijang Lin, MD, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology & visual sciences)

Anastassiia Vertii, PhD, assistant professor of molecular, cell & cancer biology  
(mentor: Stuart M. Levitz, MD, professor of medicine)

George Watts, MD, assistant professor of radiology  
(mentor: J. Aaron Scott, DO, assistant professor of anesthesiology & perioperative medicine)