Sept. 5, 2023

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New faculty join UMMC academic ranks

Published on Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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


Dr. Wesley A. Dillard

Wesley Dillard

Dr. Wesley A. Dillard, recently an anesthesiology chief resident at UMMC, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of anesthesiology in the School of Medicine. 

A 2019 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, he took on several leadership roles in medical school. He has work experience as a medical scribe at Greenville Memorial Hospital, Greenville, South Carolina, and as a web developer in information management, having earned an undergraduate degree in computer science. 

Dillard has participated in research projects as a co-investigator and a presenter. He is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and is certified in basic anesthesia, pediatric advanced life support and advanced cardiovascular life support.  

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Dr. Breanna Belle Lao

Breanna Belle Lao

Dr. Breanna Belle Lao, recently a pediatrics resident at UMMC, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine. 

Lao earned her medical degree at the University of Queensland School of Medicine-Ochsner Medical Program, Brisbane Queensland, Australia, and New Orleans, Louisiana.  

She has filled a number of leadership positions as a preceptor, problem solving group leader, fundraiser for breast cancer research and as an organizer and coordinator of initiatives that included a homeless outreach ministry. She has wide-ranging experience as a volunteer in activities involving medical education, health care for the underserved, and community events benefiting public health and well-being. 

Lao, who has participated in research projects, is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is certified by the American Heart Association in pediatric advanced life support, basic life support for health care providers, and the AHA’s Neonatal Resuscitation Program. 

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Dr. Brigitte E. Martin

Brigitte Martin

Dr. Brigitte E. Martin, recently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at UMMC, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of cell and molecular biology in the School of Medicine.  

She earned a PhD in Veterinary Medical Science at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017 before completing work as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  

Martin, who has earned several awards for academics and research, is the co-author of a variety of professional publications and has participated in a number of research presentations at state, regional, national and international meetings and conferences. 

An experienced lecturer and mentor, she is certified or has special training in Teaching in Higher Education, professional skills, and research ethics.  

Martin is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the American Society for Virology, the American Heart Association, the American Physiological Society, Phi Kappa Phi and the Golden Key International Honor Society.