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Published in Alumni Publications on January 15, 2014

New Faculty

Medical center welcomes New faculty

Dr. Stephen E. Helms


Dr. Stephen E. Helms, associate professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine, Rootstown, and assistant clinical professor in the Department of Dermatology at the Case Western Reserve College of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, has joined the Medical Center faculty as a professor in the Department of Dermatology.

After receiving the A.B. from Youngstown State University, Ohio, in 1970, Helms earned his M.D. in 1973 at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus.

He did an internship from 1973-74 at the St. Elizabeth Hospital Medical Center, Youngstown, Ohio, then entered an anesthesia residency program at the Cleveland Clinic from 1974-75 before completing his residency training in dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh, Pa., from 1975-78.

Board-certified in dermatology in 1978, Helms was in private practice in Warren, Ohio, for more than 30 years in addition to serving part-time at NEOMED and the Case Western Reserve University College of Medicine.

A fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Helms is an active member of several professional organizations and has given more than 150 invited lectures at professional meetings nationwide.

He has authored or coauthored more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional publications and four chapters in medical textbooks. He serves as a journal reviewer for Practical Dermatology, American Family Practice and Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology.

His special interest is in contact dermatitis and he has participated in clinical research studies involving long-term safety of low-dose Doxycycline (Oracea) and Etanercept (Enbrel).

Dr. Ali Dodge-Khatami


Dr. Ali Dodge-Khatami, a specialist in cardiovascular surgery from Switzerland, has joined the Medical Center faculty as a professor of surgery.

After having premedical studies at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, from 1985-86, Dodge-Khatami earned the Swiss Federal Diploma of Medicine at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, in 1991.

He had residency training in thoracic surgery, neurosurgery, emergency medicine and general surgery from 1991-93 at the Hopitaux Universitaires de Geneve, Switzerland, and in general surgery and cardiovascular-thoracic surgery from 1993-96 at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.

He then had fellowship training in cardiovascular-thoracic surgery at RUSH-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, from 1996-98 and congenital cardiac surgery at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, from 1998-99.

Dodge-Khatami served as senior registrar at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London, England, from 1999-2000, before joining the faculty of the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam as a cardiothoracic surgeon.

In 2003, he received the Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, based on clinical and animal laboratory research on tracheal reconstruction and healing.

In 2003, he joined the University Children’s Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland, as a staff cardiovascular surgeon committed to congenital heart disease, and in 2008, he became professor of cardiovascular surgery, chief of pediatric cardiac surgery and head of the Program for Congenital Heart Disease, University Heart Center, at the University of Hamburg-Eppendorf School of Medicine, Germany.

An active member of several professional organizations, including the Swiss Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, the European Association of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Dodge-Khatami has authored or coauthored more than 90 articles in peer-reviewed professional publications and six book chapters.

A reviewer for several professional publications, he has presented at professional meetings across Europe and the United States.

Dodge-Khatami has gone on humanitarian missions for the development of pediatric and congenital heart surgery in Georgia, Macedonia, the Russian Federation, Honduras, Vietnam, the Ukraine and Libya.

Dr. Charles Snow O’Mara


Dr. Charles Snow O’Mara, clinical professor of surgery at UMMC, has been named professor of surgery at the Medical Center.

O’Mara received his B.S. degree from the University of Mississippi and his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. Two years ago, he earned his M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Dallas.

During his post-graduate medical training, he was chief resident in the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., and was a registrar in thoracic surgery at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, England.  At Northwestern University in Chicago, he was a fellow in vascular surgery.

O’Mara has held various faculty positions at Johns Hopkins, Northwestern University and UMMC. He has staff appointments at three Jackson hospitals: Mississippi Baptist Medical Center, St. Dominic Hospital and UMMC, where he also has served on the advisory board of the MIND Center since 2011.

His many honors include Young Surgeon of the Year for the Mississippi Chapter of the American College of Surgeons in 1988 and Critical Care Physician of the Year at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center.

O’Mara is principal investigator for two clinical trials involving carotid stenting, including one funded by the National Institutes of Health. He is author or co-author of two dozen published articles, three dozen textbook chapters and 18 abstracts for the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

O’Mara has made nearly 50 presentations to the likes of the Bristol (England) Surgical Congress, the International Symposium on Wound Healing in Paris, the American College of Surgeons and the Association for Academic Surgeons.

Dr. Josephine Wyatt-Ashmead


Dr. Josephine Wyatt-Ashmead, a pediatrician and neuropathologist, has joined the Medical Center faculty as a professor of pathology.

She attended UMMC from 1972-76, then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, where she received her M.D. in 1977.

Following a residency in anatomic pathology at the University of Pittsburgh Health Center in 1978, she completed simultaneous fellowships in neuropathology, perinatal pathology and gynecologic pathology, also in Pittsburgh.

She is board-certified in anatomic pathology, neuropathology and pediatric pathology. Wyatt-Ashmead has served as a perinatal pathologist at hospitals in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Colorado, Mississippi and England.

She has had numerous academic appointments and was on faculty as an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University, the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, UMMC, Hammersmith Hospital and St. Thomas’ Hospital in London.

Wyatt-Ashmead has participated in research on pathology and other topics. In addition, she has contributed to and is currently working on contributions to several textbooks, including Lethal Skeletal Dysplasias and Pediatric and Perinatal Autopsy Manual.

Wyatt-Ashmead has coauthored or authored more than 60 papers. Most recently, she has presented research on lung hypoplasia and skeletal muscle disorders in Germany. She continues to serve on several committees, including the Perinatal Pathology London Network and as pathologist on the Skeletal Dysplasia Group.

Dr. James K Rowlett


Dr. James K. Rowlett, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has joined the Medical Center faculty as a professor of psychiatry.

Rowlett received his B.A. from Morehead State University in Kentucky, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

He did his postdoctoral training at UMMC before joining the faculty of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He also was adjunct faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Rowlett’s memberships and committee service have included the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the American Psychological Association, the National Research Council, the National Institutes of Health and various other national and regional organizations.

The list of his editorial activities is extensive; the publications he has worked with include Biological Psychiatry, Psychopharmacology and the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

Among his honors are the Director’s Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, election as a fellow in the American Psychological Association and the Joseph Cochin Young Investigator Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence.

Rowlett is involved in several research projects touching on a variety of issues, including drug abuse, age-associated cognitive decline, type 2 diabetes and anxiety disorders.

He has made presentations to such organizations and institutions as the Universidad Central del Caribe, Bayamon, Puerto Rico; Emory University; the National Institute on Drug Abuse; and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Rowlett is the principal author or coauthor of more than 100 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and other peer-reviewed publications. His abstracts, posters and exhibits presented at professional meetings number nearly 20 within the last three years alone.

Dr. Gregory Timberlake


Dr. Gregory Timberlake, director of trauma services and medical director of surgical intensive care at UMMC from 2001-11, has rejoined the Medical Center faculty as a professor of surgery.

A native of Washington, D.C., Timberlake earned his M.D. at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, in 1977.

He completed an internship at University of Virginia Hospitals and residency training in general surgery in 1983 at the Naval Regional Medical Center, San Diego, Calif. He later completed a fellowship in trauma/critical care at the Tulane University Medical Center and Charity Hospital of New Orleans in 1986.

Before he first joined the Medical Center, Timberlake had appointments at a wide range of institutions, including Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, F. Edward Herbert School of Medicine, in Bethesda, Md., and West Virginia University Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va.

He joined the U.S. Navy in 1973 and retired as Rear Admiral (Upper Half) in 2010.

A member of dozens of professional organizations, including the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma and the American College of Surgeons, Timberlake has authored and coauthored dozens of research articles for peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Neelesh A. Tipnis


Dr. Neelesh A. Tipnis, a pediatric gastroenterologist, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an associate professor of pediatrics. He will serve as the Paul H. Parker Professor and Chair of Pediatric Gastroenterology.

A native of Rockford, Ill., Tipnis received the B.S. in natural sciences (bacteriology) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993 and earned the M.D. at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, in 1997.

He had a general surgery internship at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School from 1997-98, pediatric internship and residency training from 1998-2001 and a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition from 2001-04 at the University of California-San Diego Medical Center.

He is board-certified in general pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology.

Tipnis served as an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, from 2004-11 and as an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of California-San Diego from 2012-13.

A three-time selection on the Best Doctors in America list, Tipnis is an active member of the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society, the American Gastroenterology Association and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, among others.

An internationally invited speaker, Tipnis has authored or coauthored more than a dozen articles in peer-reviewed professional publications, nine book chapters and more than 30 abstracts. He has reviewed articles for several journals, including the Journal of Pediatrics, Pediatrics, the American Journal of Gastroenterology and the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Tipnis will develop the region’s only center for pediatric gastrointestinal motility and functional bowel disorders to study severe forms of pediatric reflux, abdominal pain, feeding difficulties and constipation.