February 6, 2023

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New faculty join UMMC academic ranks

Published on Monday, February 6, 2023

Medical Center leadership is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff.

Rebecca K. Butz

Portrait of Rebecca K. Butz

Rebecca K. Butz, a registered dietitian at UMMC, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an instructor in the John D. Bower School of Population Health.

She earned her Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems with an emphasis on dietetics in 2014 at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Her prior service as a dietitian includes roles at UMMC Outpatient Dialysis in Jackson; Signature Healthcare in Huntsville, Alabama; and Healthcare Services Group Inc. in Oxford/Starkville/Winona.

A registered dietician, she has been honored for excellence in her career and has served in various leadership roles.

Her professional affiliations include those with the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as the Mississippi Kidney Foundation.

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Dr. Kathryn “Katie” Cassady

Portrait od Dr. Katie Cassady

Dr. Kathryn “Katie” Cassady, an occupational therapist in the Mississippi State Department of Health First Steps Early Intervention Program, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of occupational therapy in the School of Health Related Professions.

A licensed occupational therapist, Cassady provides OT services for children, ages birth to 3 years, enrolled in the MSDH early intervention program.

She completed her Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree at UMMC in 2021. She also earned a Juris Doctor from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in Alabama in 2007 and holds a degree in finance from Louisiana State University.

Her professional experience includes work as the assistant court administrator for the Mississippi Court of Appeals in Jackson, where she also served as a law clerk.

Cassady’s professional interests include providing OT services to underserved and marginalized groups.

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Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio

Portrait of Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio

Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio, recently a professor in the Department of BioMolecular Sciences, National Center for Natural Products Research, at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy in Oxford, has joined the Medical Center faculty as a professor of pharmacology/toxicology in the School of Medicine.

He was a member of the Ole Miss faculty from 2015 to 2023, with a joint appointment with the Medical Center in the Department of Radiation Oncology starting in 2015 and in the Department of Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery and Pathology starting in 2017.

Claudio, who is certified by the E.U. Medical Board in maxillofacial surgery, also serves as adjunct professor in advanced biomedical sciences and in pathology for the University of Naples Federico II School of Medicine in Italy.

He earned his medical degree in 1989 at the University of Naples, where he also completed a residency/doctorate in maxillofacial sciences. His post-graduate education and training include research fellowships at Sloan Kettering Cancer, Head and Neck Department, in New York, and Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as a post-doctoral fellowship at the Thomas Jefferson University Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology in Philadelphia.

Claudio also served on the faculty of Thomas Jefferson University, the University of Naples Federico II, and Temple University, where he was the director of molecular therapeutics in the Center for Biotechnology. He also served on the faculty of Marshall University, where he was the director of the Translational Laboratories in the Translational Research Genomic Institute.

In 2015 he joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi as a professor to direct translational cancer research.

His research activity is extensive and includes investigations involving immunotherapy, chemotherapy, cancer stem cells, gene therapy as a treatment for prostate cancer, and much more. A grant reviewer and editorial reviewer for numerous scientific journals, Claudio is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Translational Medicine. He has 185 peer-reviewed scientific papers to his credit, as well as 16 book chapters, four books, and scores of invited poster or oral presentations at national and international meetings.

Claudio has been awarded seven patents or trademarks and has been issued five licensed patents and trademarks for commercialization. His awards and recognition extol his efforts in such areas as cancer research, gene therapy, biomedical sciences, stem cell research and more.

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Dr. Tim Dasinger

Portrait of Dr, Tim Dasinger

Dr. Tim Dasinger, recently an associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Tennessee at Martin, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of advanced biomedical education in the School of Medicine.

At Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Dasinger earned a Master of Science degree and, in 2018, a PhD, both in kinesiology with a concentration in pedagogy and psychological sciences.

At LSU, he also worked as an instructor in kinesiology before joining UT Martin in 2018.

Dasinger is the co-author of several peer-reviewed journal articles and published abstracts and has made numerous peer-reviewed conference presentations. He has earned awards and recognition at UT Martin and from the American Kinesiology Association.

He is a member of the American Psychological Association, Society of Health and Physical Educators, and Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.