Founding Faculty

Peter Bell

Peter A. Bell, DO, MBA, HPF, FACOEP-dist, FACEP

Vice Provost and Dean

D.O. University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

M.B.A. Ohio University College of Business

B.A. Hamilton College

 

Dr. Bell is a 1980 graduate of Hamilton College and obtained his medical degree from the University of New England in 1984. He completed residencies in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine and is board certified in both. His first job was as Medical Director of the Emergency Department at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He established the first emergency medicine residency at Doctors Hospital in 1991 and has been an attending faculty member at Doctors Hospital for the past 34 years.

Dr. Bell was appointed Assistant Dean for the Ohio University CORE system in 1995. He has since completed a two-year Fellowship in Academic Administration, a Health Policy Fellowship through the AOA, and in 2002 was promoted to Professor of Emergency Medicine. Actively engaged in clinical teaching, research, and education, Dr. Bell saw a need for advanced expertise in business management. In 2008, he graduated first in his class from the Ohio University MBA program.

Dr. Bell has also served in several leadership positions: President of the Ohio Osteopathic Association, President of Ohio Chapter American College of Emergency Physicians, national President of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians, and in 2015 was named Chair of the OUHCOM-CORE Board. He continues to serve on a variety of state and national bureaus and committees.

Dr. Bell has participated in Grants and Research involving more than $100M. He has published dozens of papers and editorials, lead the development and implementation of hundreds of scholarly projects, as well as, regularly presents at national and international forums.

For over 3 decades, Dr. Bell has been a guiding voice in both health policy and osteopathic education. He has a passion for osteopathic medicine, teaches osteopathic diagnosis and treatment, and is active in the formulation of health policy.

In 2017, Dr. Bell began a new chapter as he moved to Virginia to serve as the second Dean of Liberty University, College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Bell led the college to achieve accreditation and was instrumental in setting the college on the path to continuing success.

In September of 2021, the Ohio University Board of Trustees recognized Dr. Bell by awarding him Emeritus status. Dr. Bell completed his assignment at Liberty University in December of 2021.

After several months of consulting, Dr. Bell accepted a new assignment. In August of 2022, he became the Vice Provost at Baptist Health Science University with the goal of ‘expanding the pipeline’ for training health care providers in the classroom and clinical, and Dean of Medical Education. Dr. Bell’s charge as dean is to establish the Baptist University College of Osteopathic Medicine with an anticipated first class in August 2024.

Beth Choby

Beth Choby, MS MD FAAFP

Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Family Medicine

Fellowship in Obstetrics and Women's Health, UT St. Francis Family Medicine Residency

Family Medicine Residency, University of Tennessee Healthplex

M.D., West Virginia University School of Medicine

M.S. in Healthcare Simulation; University of Alabama-Birmingham

B.A. in Biology, West Virginia University

 

Dr. Beth Choby is a board-certified Family Physician. She has worked around the country in various Family Medicine residency programs where she practiced full-scope family medicine, procedures and maternity care. In 2012 she transitioned to the University of Tennessee College of Medicine where she was a founding member of the Medical Education Department. During this time, she led the Principles of Clinical Medicine Course and the college's standardized patient training program. She also completed a master's degree at UAB in healthcare simulation. At Baptist University College of Osteopathic Medicine, she serves as the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, helping to develop the first- and second-year academic curricula alongside a team of seasoned basic scientists and clinicians. Her research interests include simulation in medical education and procedural medicine. 

David Klink

David F. Klink, D.O. CAPT, MC, USN, (RET)

Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Professor of Ophthalmology

D.O., Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

B.S. in Biology, The Pennsylvania State University

 

Dr. Klink has 34+ years of experience in the practice of medicine, 14 years of experience in graduate medical education and 7+ years in academic administration. After completing an internship in Family Medicine at Naval Hospital, Charleston, S.C., he trained in Submarine and Hyperbaric Medicine at the Naval Undersea Medical Institute in Groton, Conn. He subsequently served as a Submarine and Diving Medical Officer at Naval Hospital, Groton, Conn., and with Submarine Squadron 10.  Following his Residency in Ophthalmology at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda, MD,  he completed two Fellowships at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: the first in Neuro-Ophthalmology and the second in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus. For over 17 years he provided services in Neuro-Ophthalmology, Pediatric Ophthalmology and adult Strabismus at NNMC and the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP). The medical staff of NMCP recognized him with the Master Clinician Award.  He held faculty positions as Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Eastern Virginia Medical School and as Clinical Instructor in Pediatric Ophthalmology for the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium Ophthalmology Residency Program. As the Department Head of Ophthalmology at NMCP, he led a group of 50 ophthalmologists, optometrists, technicians and staff in support of active duty military troops, their families, and military retirees. CAPT Klink retired from the United States Navy after 28 years of active service.

Dr. Klink entered full-time academics and academic administration as an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine serving in various leadership positions including:  Department Chair of Specialty Medicine, Medical Director of the Center for Standardized Patients and Simulation, Interim Dean, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Education, and Program Director for Global Medicine.  At Baptist University College of Osteopathic Medicine, he oversees the clinical education of our students during their third and fourth years of medical school and their transition to graduate medical education.  He has a passion for domestic and international medical outreach and exploring how early exposure to populations that are underrepresented in medicine early in their medical education affects student’s choice of medical specialty and practice location.

Cameron Conn

Cameron Conn, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean of Administration, Operations and Services

Ph.D. in Higher Education, Azusa Pacific University

M.S. in Higher Education, Florida State University

B.A. in Biblical Studies & TESL, Union University

 

Dr. Cameron Conn is a native of Dyersburg, TN and has 15+ years of experience working in higher education administration. She began her career in student affairs at Mississippi College and then transitioned to focus on healthcare education at Baylor University and now here at Baptist Health Sciences University. During her tenure at Baptist, Dr. Conn has served as the Director of Planning & Institutional Effectiveness, Interim Registrar, and Interim Dean of Allied Health, where she was instrumental in launching new programs in Neurodiagnostic Technology and Surgical Technology. As Assistant Dean of Administration, Operations and Services (AOS) for the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Conn leads a team of talented student affairs practitioners, enrollment professionals, and other key administrators whose top priority is providing support and services for BUCOM students.

Dr. Conn remains active as a quantitative researcher and peer reviewer in the field of higher education. She has several publications, regularly presents at national education conferences, and mentors doctoral students by serving on dissertation committees at Azusa Pacific University and Bethel University (Minnesota). Her research interests include student-faculty interaction, college student outcomes, and Christian higher education. Dr. Conn also earned a Doctoral Certificate in Strengths-Oriented Higher Education during her time at Azusa Pacific University and enjoys facilitating professional development workshops to build effective, diverse teams.

Melissa Surles

Melissa Surles

Administrative Director Office of the Dean

B.A. in Psychology, Christian Brothers University

M.S. in Leadership & Policy Studies concentration in Student Personnel, University of Memphis

 

Melissa Surles has worked in higher education for over 15 years. Employment with Baptist for 18+ years has afforded her opportunities to work in enrollment management, student leadership development, student learning resources and fundraising. With a passion for encouraging and serving others, Melissa is looking forward to working alongside the Dean to serve BUCOM, and all those whose paths we cross. in a variety of ways.

Joseph Baker

Joseph D. Baker II, DO, FACOFP, CAQ-Geriatrics

Assistant Dean OMS 1 & 2, Associate Professor of Family Medicine & Geriatrics

D.O., Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

B.A. in Zoology, Miami University

 

Dr. Baker is a native Ohioan. He has lived in Wooster, Marion, Delaware, Dayton, Sandusky, and Avon Lake, OH. After graduation from Rutherford B. Hayes High School in Delaware, OH, he attended Miami University in Oxford, OH obtaining a BA degree. From here, he attended the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and earned the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree. He did a Traditional Internship and Family Medicine Residency at Firelands Medical Center in Sandusky, OH.

He took over the office of a retiring physician in Old Brooklyn, OH, a west-side borough of Cleveland, OH. Here he operated a Family Medicine office, admitted patients to two hospitals, and was the medical director for a nursing home. After 17 years, he shuddered this office to join the Department of Family Medicine and Geriatrics at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland., OH. At this large teaching hospital, he became the Director of Medical Education for Osteopathic Programs. He served as preceptor for many medical students in the geriatric outpatient clinic.

In 2015, he went to the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine as a member of the faculty.

He came to Memphis in 2022 as Assistant Dean for OMS 1 & 2. He enjoys curriculum and learning event development in the pre-clinical years and the impact that it can have on the early development of medical students.

It is important to get students on a good trajectory early in their career so that they can become the best that they can be. Modern medicine is rapidly changing and the need for competent, compassionate, humanistic, and empathetic osteopathic physicians is more important than ever in the face of the rapidly advancing technologies.

He lives in the Memphis area with his wife Karen who is a highly achieved nurse educator. He enjoys listening to and making music.

john biery

John C. Biery, Jr., DO, CAQSM, C-ONMM

Chair and Associate Professor, Osteopathic Principles and Practice; Program Director, Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine Residency

DO, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth

BS in Pharmacy, the University of Toledo

 

Dr. Biery hails from northwest Ohio, growing up in an Osteopathic family.  Upon completion of his education, he served twenty years in the US Navy as a Family and Sports Medicine physician in academic, administrative and clinical settings.  After retiring from Naval service he joined the faculty at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine where he taught Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, Family Medicine and Sports Medicine in both a didactic and clinical environments. Realizing he needed a deeper knowledge of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine to improve his teaching ability, he completed a residency in Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (ONMM) and is now board certified in ONMM.  His research interests include; heat injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, and anything to do with Osteopathic Medicine and teaching Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.  He is married to his high-school sweetheart, Shari and has two young adult children.

Alisa Dyson

Alisa S. Dyson, Ed.D.

Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs; Associate Professor of Medical Education

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, Liberty University

M.E.Admin in Educational Administration, Liberty University

M.Ed. in Education, Liberty University

B.S. in Marketing Research, Virginia Commonwealth University

 

Alisa Dyson possesses 30 years of combined experience in classroom pedagogy, andragogy, and educational administration. She is respected for her integrity, principled leadership, and passion for education.

Alisa has extensive experience in all aspects of training and development. She has provided creative solutions to training and developmental needs on a wide variety of topics, including basic managerial skills, communications, interpersonal relationships, customer/guest relations and team building. She has developed and implemented numerous corporate-wide programs including performance appraisals, employee involvement strategies, and management development systems. Her consultation to managers has provided new approaches to many different issues resulting in increased individual and organizational effectiveness. She was responsible in all facets of Instructional Systems Design (ISD), development, and delivery for employees, patients, and healthcare professionals. She and the members of her team were responsible for developing creative training solutions to support the exponential growth that Health Diagnostic Laboratory (HDL) Inc. experienced in its four years of existence. She designed and developed web-based training courses to assist physicians in their understanding of advanced biomarker testing for cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. She has also been vital in developing online education for employees across the United States.

Alisa was also responsible for the development and implementation of the Transitional Work Program for special needs students, ages 17 – 22. She has served with the State Agency cabinet secretaries and agency department heads to change the way we think about work placement opportunities for individuals with disabilities. HDL’s program received awards and recognition as a workplace model according to Governor McDonnell’s Executive Order 55.

Prior to her work with HDL Inc., Alisa served in educational administration as principal in K5 – 12th grades and as an inclusion teacher for grades 9 – 12 for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. Much of her case load was dedicated to high school students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Alisa also provided staff and instructional faculty training and development programs. Alisa is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She received her Master’s in Education NK – 12th grades and her Masters in Educational Administration from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She completed her doctoral program in Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction at Liberty and has taught graduate courses as adjunct faculty at Regent University.

She continued her work in higher education at Liberty University as Associate Dean for Accreditation, Professional Development, CME, and External Affairs at LU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.    

As Associate Dean of Accreditation, Professional Development, CME, and External Affairs, she had responsibility for leading the college’s efforts in providing professional development for staff, faculty, department chairs and directors, in the provision of career development support to faculty throughout their careers.  In this role she designed, developed, and implemented programs around the concepts of skills development and mentorship including faculty development sessions with well-defined objectives, small group learning formats, and faculty performance of designated skills. Responsibilities included providing vision and oversight for all forms of faculty development and CME, including determining appropriate support, resources, programming, and training to facilitate faculty growth in all areas of their professional roles.  Lead accreditation and assessment efforts for the COCA.  Strategic planning and oversight of the COM’s accreditation activities, including advisory committees and events for stakeholder engagement in consultation with the leadership team.  She continues this work in Memphis, Tennessee where she currently serves in the role of Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the Baptist Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine (BUCOM). 

Lilian Nyindodo

Lilian Nyindodo, Ph.D., MPH

Chair and Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Ph.D. Molecular Biology, University of Memphis

M.P.H. in Epidemiology, University of Memphis

M.S. in Biology, University of Memphis

B.L.S. in Inter-disciplinary Studies, University of Memphis

B.S. in Industrial Microbiology (minors in Chemistry and Botany), Karnataka University, Dharwad

 

Dr. Nyindodo has over 17 years of experience in science, health, and healthcare. She currently serves as Chair and Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences for the Baptist University College of Osteopathic Medicine (BUCOM). Prior to joining BUCOM, she was the Program Chair of the undergraduate Biomedical Sciences program at BHSU. She is passionate about teaching and research and is looking forward to training future doctors by integrating principles from the basic sciences with applications in the clinical sciences.

Dr. Nyindodo has an extensive multidisciplinary background in Epidemiology and Biological Sciences. As an epidemiologist, Dr. Nyindodo was an integral part of the Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation (BMHCC) COVID-19 response team and served as System Epidemiologist. She supported investigations and developed employee and patient 

contact tracing systems. Dr. Nyindodo previously served as a Chronic Disease Epidemiologist for the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) where she studied patterns of chronic conditions, leading causes of death, life expectancy, social determinants of health, and economic hardship in Shelby County. In Biological Sciences, Dr. Nyindodo has worked on several funded projects that investigated pathogens, including Plasmodium falciparum and Giardia lamblia. Her work focused on the pathogenesis and identifying potential drug targets and community impact. She has also conducted and supported research related to cell culture, cloning, cell fractionation, organelle isolation, protein characterization, gene expression, and confocal microscopy. Previous projects were funded by the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Dr. Nyindodo is passionate about the community. She currently serves as the leader for the BHSU HealthCORE. This community outreach program aims to alleviate the healthcare workforce shortage by inspiring students to pursue career options available in medicine, STEM, Public Health, and other health professions. Under BHSU HealthCORE, she brings together multidisciplinary stakeholders and volunteers to develop and deliver opportunities such as Black Men in White Coats, STEM Summer Camps, SHE leads the way, Mentoring, and hands-on labs.

Dr. Nyindodo was born and raised in Kenya, went to College in India, and has been part of the Memphis community for 18 years. She has established herself in Memphis as an expert in epidemiology, an influencer of prudent health policy, an advocate for the underrepresented, and an academic leader. She was awarded the 2022 Rose Temple Distinguished Faculty Award and serves as the 2023-2024 Faculty Senate President. Dr. Nyindodo is a proud mother to her 10-year-old son Malachi. She is multilingual, and loves traveling, and spicy food.

Christina Fredrick

Christina Fredrick

Standardized Patient and Simulation Technician

B.A in East Asian Studies, University of Montana

 

Born and raised in Missoula, Montana Christian Fredrick received my BA at the University of Montana with a major in East Asian Studies and minor in Linguistics. Christina recently moved to Memphis from Missoula where she was working as a Hospitalist and Critical Care Coordinator at Community Medical Center, and before that she worked as a Critical Research Coordinator on the same campus. Previous to her roles related to the medical field, Christina was a supervisor in various other positions specifically aimed toward training where she developed training curriculum and onboarding processes for incoming employees. She looks forward to using these skills to support the Senior Associate Deans and the many new faculty members who will be joining BUCOM.

Quincy Titus

Quincy Titus

Admissions Data Specialist

B.S. in Integrative Studies Society Services

 

Quincy Titus is a native of Memphis, TN and has experience working in higher education, K-12 education, and healthcare. After serving as a Resident Assistant while enrolled at the University of Memphis, he accepted a full-time role there in Residence Life upon graduation. During his tenure in student affairs, Quincy supervised and managed the on-campus apartments and townhouses. In 2016, he became an educator for Shelby County Schools, teaching Science and Social Studies to 4th graders. After five years of teaching, Quincy transitioned into healthcare by serving as a coordinator for the Baptist Medical Group before combining both interests of education and healthcare and joining Baptist Health Sciences University. Quincy is currently serving as the Admissions Data Specialist for the College of Medicine and will support prospective BUCOM students as they work through the application process.

Meghan Woodham

Meghan Woodham, EdD

Director of Admissions & Student Affairs

Ed.D. in Leadership and Practice, Trevecca Nazarene University

M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management, Troy University

B.A. in Public Relations, University of Alabama

 

Dr. Woodham is originally from Dothan, AL and has more than 15 years in the healthcare and medical education sectors. She began her career in healthcare fundraising where she held a number of roles including special events, annual and corporate giving, and capital campaigns. After working on the fundraising campaign and development office for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) in Dothan, she joined the ACOM team as the Assistant Director of Admissions/Recruiter.

Her research interests include non-cognitive assessments in undergraduate medical school admissions and correlative outcomes in medical student performance in the clinical experience and student climate surveys. In her role at BUCOM, Dr. Woodham will oversee all aspects of medical student recruitment, matriculation, and student life programming and support services outside of the classroom.

 

Kent Lee

Kent Alan Lee, MA., M.D., FAAFP

Assistant Dean of Graduate Medical Education

M.D., University of Tennessee Health Science Center

M.A. in Medical Anthropology, University of Memphis

B.S. in Forensic Anthropology and Chemistry, University of Memphis

Military Service: US Navy Reserve, 1993 – 2005; Active Deployment, 1996-1999 Staff Physician, Family Medicine Directorate, US Naval Hospital, Okinawa, Japan. Honorable discharge, LCDR MC USNR; 2005

 

Dr. Lee grew up in Memphis and did both undergraduate and graduate training at the University of Memphis, with a BS in Forensic Anthropology and Chemistry in 1986, and an MA in Medical Anthropology in 1989. He then entered medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and graduated in 1993. He completed his residency training at the UTHSC / Baptist HealthPlex Family Medicine program in 1996. After graduation and passing his board exams, he had the opportunity to go to the Far East with the U.S. Navy in Okinawa, Japan, staffing the U.S. Naval Hospital there, a position which he enjoyed immensely. Upon leaving active duty in 1999, he took a position as faculty with the University of Arkansas AHEC in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He has also held faculty appointments from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in both Chattanooga and Memphis, before coming to Baptist in 2015. He currently has clinical duties as a Hospitalist with Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis, where he leads the inpatient instruction for the Family Medicine residency. He obtained the degree of Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2005 and is active in the AAFP, TNAFP, TMA, AMA, and SHM. When not in clinic or the hospital, Dr. Lee enjoys guitar, fixing and riding motorcycles, and canoeing in local waterways. He is married to Beth Choby, MD, and they have four children together.

Professional Memberships

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians
  • Society of Hospital Medicine
  • American Medical Association
  • Tennessee Medical Association
  • Memphis Medical Society
Elly Riley

Elly Riley, DO

Chair of Clinical Sciences

D.O., Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

Residency at Doctor’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

B.S., University of Tennessee at Martin

 

Dr. Elly Riley, DO, grew up in Northeast Ohio before moving to middle Tennessee before her senior year of high school. She attended the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM), graduating Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Biology. She then worked for two years as a lab instructor, teaching biology labs and anatomy and physiology labs at UTM. Dr. Riley attended Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, graduating in 2009.

She completed her osteopathic family medicine residency at Doctor’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Following residency, she was hired as an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine with the University of Tennessee Family Medicine residency program in Jackson, Tennessee. During her more than ten years at UTFM, she provided patient care in the outpatient clinic, educated osteopathic and allopathic medical students and residents, and was involved in multiple community service entities.

She along with dozens of her family medicine residents instructed hundreds of West Tennessee fourth and fifth graders about the benefits of living tobacco-free lives. In 2014, she began overseeing the summer internship program for pre-medicine students at West Tennessee Healthcare, introducing over a hundred college students to osteopathic medicine, as well as exposing them to various aspects of the healthcare delivery system and numerous medical specialties.

Dr. Riley has been an active member of the ACOFP since medical school, serving as President of the ACOFP Student Association at KCUMB as a second year osteopathic medical student. She attended the ACOFP Future Leaders Conference in 2015. She currently serves as a board member and regional VP of the Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association. Additionally, she is active in the Tennessee Medical Association, including the Consolidated Medical Assembly of West Tennessee, where she serves as an officer.

She is the proud mother of three children, and wife to Dewain, who works in agricultural sales. She enjoys hiking, yoga, attempts at gardening, and embarrassing her children.

Troy Camarata

Troy Camarata, PhD

Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and Genetics, Northwestern University

M.S. in Biology, University of Central Florida

B.S. in Biology, University of Central Florida

 

Dr. Camarata is joining his second Osteopathic medical school founding faculty with BUCOM, having previously been part of the inaugural faculty at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in Jonesboro, AR. Before joining BUCOM, Dr. Camarata received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Central Florida before attending Northwestern University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and Genetics. After receiving his doctorate, he pursued post-doctoral training in the Nephrology Division at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Dr. Camarata brings to BUCOM a passion and track-record for evidence-based medical education development with publications in the Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development as well as presentations at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine annual meeting. He has received recognition for his efforts in medical education with a Standard of Excellence Award in 2019, Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching Basic Sciences in 2022, and selection to serve a term on the Educational Affairs Committee for the American Association for Anatomy.

In addition to his interests in higher education, Dr. Camarata maintains a biomedical research program. Ongoing projects are focused on the study of adult kidney progenitors cells that are found in most species of reptile yet are absent from all mammals. The goal of the research is to understand the regulatory mechanisms involved in the maintenance of kidney progenitor cells and how these mechanisms may be applied to mammalian cells for future therapies. The Camarata lab combines molecular and cell biology techniques with next generation sequencing and bioinformatics to accomplish the research goals. Undergraduate and medical student researchers are recruited to push projects forward and be active in presenting new research findings.

Sarah Biggs

Sarah Biggs, MS

Associate Director of Student Affairs

M.S. in Student Affairs Administration, Arkansas Tech University

B.A. in Communication, University of Arkansas

Bachelor of Social Work, University of Arkansas

 

Sarah Biggs, a Memphis native, joined Baptist University in 2018. Her previous roles include Student Activities Officer and Student Transition Coordinator. With a passion for advising students, she has served as the Student Government Association advisor. She initiated a clinical readiness program for transitioning students, displaying her commitment to student professional development. Currently, as the Associate Director of Student Affairs for the COM, Sarah coordinates New Student Orientation, White Coat Ceremony, and Commencement, and supports BUCOM student organizations and overall campus life enrichment.

Regina Fleming

Regina K. Fleming, DO

Assistant Dean of OPP/OMM, Associate Professor of Osteopathic Principles and Practice

D.O., A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine

B.A. in biology, Kansas State University

 

Dr. Fleming graduated in 2011 from the founding school of osteopathic medicine - A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO. She completed her residency in Kirksville in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine & Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine in 2014.  She then joined the OMM faculty at PCOM-GA as an Assistant professor.  In 2018 she joined NYITCOM-JB as the Chair of OMM.  In 2023, Dr. Fleming joined BUCOM in Memphis, TN. 

Dr. Fleming enjoys teaching, participating in osteopathic related research, and helping her patients.  She is currently working with Jennifer Xie, PhD on assessing the effects of OMT in relieving migraine headaches in a translational rodent model where she gets to do OMM on rats.  Together, they received an NIH R15 grant for their project. She has been a member of DO-Touch.NET since 2015 and has served as a member of their Executive Committee since 2019. In 2022, Dr. Fleming was named “Osteopathic Physician of the Year” in Arkansas Money and Politics and she has won multiple faculty awards throughout her career in recognition of her excellence in teaching.  Under Dr. Fleming’s guidance, several of her students over the years have placed in various national competitions.

Dr. Fleming also enjoys giving back to the profession.  She is currently an AOBNMM board member where she chairs the Longitudinal Assessment Committee. She has been part of the NBOME national faculty since 2017 and regularly participates in varying NBOME initiatives. She is currently the Chair of the Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles (ECOP) of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.

Amanda Robinson

Amanda L. Robinson, D.O., M.S.A.Ed.

Director of Osteopathic Neuro Musculoskeletal Medicine Clinic, Assistant Professor of Osteopathic Neuro Musculoskeletal Medicine

D.O., Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

ONMM certification: Michigan State University ONMM Residency

Post-Bacc Pre-Med: Washington University

B.A. in Graphic Design, Carthage College

 

Dr. Amanda Robinson is an Osteopathic Physician that specializes in Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (ONMM). She received her Doctorate in Osteopathy from the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2020 where she was granted the Anatomy/OMM Fellowship position that included earning a Master’s in Adult Science Education from Troy University within the same time frame. While at ACOM, she was awarded ‘Best in OMM’ and the Dean’s Award. After ACOM, she went on to the Michigan State University ONMM 3-year residency. She served as Chief resident and graduated from that program in June of 2023. She has participated in Student OMM Clinic, Student Sports Medicine Clinic, and Spartan Street Medicine.

Dr. Robinson has lived in many different states: Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Alabama, Michigan and now Tennessee. She enjoys time with her 2 huskies, a maine coon cat, and 3 rescue kitties as well as hiking, creating art/DIY projects and enjoying tasty meals. Dr. Robinson has completed one 50K trail run race, 15 marathons and 3 ironman races and plans to do more. Her favorite book is the Road Less Traveled by Dr. M. Scott Peck, and she strives to give back to those around her taking into consideration all the elements that may surround each individual.

Christina Davis

Christina Davis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology

Ph.D. in Pharmacology, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center

B.S. in Biology, Centre College

 

Following graduate school, Dr. Davis worked for 11 years for a pharmaceutical company in the drug discovery and drug development department focused on androgen and estrogen receptor modulators, anti-tubulin inhibitors, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors to be used for cancer treatment. She has participated in writing publications, investigational new drug applications (INDs), new drug applications (NDAs), patents, and grants. Dr. Davis served on the safety committee and was the radiation safety supervisor overseeing all radioactive research, managed the chemical/drug inventory, managed the stockroom, and ordered all general lab supplies. She has authored and presented multiple poster presentations at national meetings for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), as well as several peer reviewed journal publications.

Dr. Davis joined Baptist Health Sciences University as adjunct faculty in 2014 with the General Education and Health Studies division and became the science lab supervisor in 2016. This role included teaching science labs and lecture courses, managing all science labs (set-up, ordering, safety instruction for instructors), managing the SDS database for the University, and serving on Safety Committee and Business Council. She also serves on the BHSU HealthCORE committee and BUCOM curriculum committee. In 2023, Dr. Davis transitioned to BUCOM fulltime as an assistant professor of pharmacology.  

Abbes Belkhiri

Abbes Belkhiri, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Ph.D. in microbiology, University of Manitoba

M.Phil. in mycology, University of Reading (UK)

B.S. in biology University of Constantine (Algeria)

 

Dr. Belkhiri obtained a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Manitoba (Canada). His graduate research involved molecular phylogenetic studies on ribosomal RNA genes in microorganisms. While at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) as an Assistant Professor of Surgical Oncology, Dr. Belkhiri developed an independent research program, funded by NCI/NIH (RO1) from 2016 – 2023. The overarching goal of his research program is to understand molecular mechanisms that drive tumorigenesis and resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs in human upper gastrointestinal cancers, with the ultimate objective of identifying novel molecular targets to prevent or inhibit these cancer-promoting processes. Dr. Belkhiri has been actively collaborating with members of the GI cancer group at VUMC and the University of Miami and served as a co-investigator in several NIH-funded projects. He has published several research articles in high impact peer reviewed journals in the field of cancer research. Specifically, his ongoing research focuses the role of AXL receptor tyrosine kinase in Barrett’s carcinogenesis. This research attempts to gain insight into how AXL through regulation of c-ABL promotes cancer cell survival and invasion, hallmarks of tumorigenesis.

Dr. Belkhiri has been an editorial board member for several scientific journals and a regular reviewer for VA ONC-B study section, American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), and an ad-hoc reviewer for Clinical Integrative and Molecular Gastroenterology (CIMG) study section (NIH) and R13 special emphasis panel review (NCI). Additionally, Dr. Belkhiri has mentored and trained several postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty members, research assistants, and students in the field of cancer research in the past many years.

Anand Kulkarni

Anand Kulkarni, M.D.

Professor of Anatomy

Post-doctoral Fellowship in Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Residency: Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Master’s in Surgery (major in Human Anatomy), Indira Gandhi Medical College (Nagpur, India)

M.B.B.S. in medicine, Government Medical College (Nagpur, India)

 

Dr. Anand Kulkarni has taught Histology and Gross Anatomy to the medical students in the USA, Caribbean, and India for more than 30 years. After completing his medical education, he joined as faculty in India teaching Anatomy, Histology, Embryology and Neuroanatomy. He later pursued his post-doctoral fellowship in Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis, TN, working on the Retinogeniculate system. Dr. Kulkarni later joined UTHSC as the Director of Tissue Services Core (TSC) and a faculty member in Anatomy, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He taught Histology and Gross Anatomy to dental students at UTHSC and was awarded with the “Outstanding Dedication and Service Award”.

 As the Director of TSC at UTHSC, Dr. Kulkarni worked on multiple research projects and was part of many grants. His primary area of research interest is carcinoma of uncertain origin. He has multiple publications in prestigious journals such as Clinical Cancer Research, the American Journal of Surgical Pathology, Diagnostic Pathology, Anticancer Research, Oncology Letters, and the Journal of Neuroscience. Currently, he is working on the morphological parameter of clinical importance. During his time in Memphis, his outreach activities in greater Memphis area included organizing Nanotechnology Education: “NanoDays,” which is a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering. Dr. Kulkarni created and introduced theBrain Exhibit” to 5-12 graders and science teachers, aiming to increase general awareness about the harmful effects of drugs on brain. He joined BUCOM in July 2023. He will be teaching Anatomy, Histology, Pathology, and Neuroscience.

Audrey Vasauskas

Audrey A. Vasauskas, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research, Associate Professor of Physiology

PhD in biomedical sciences, University of South Alabama College of Medicine

BS in Biology from Mount Saint Mary’s University (MD) Top of Form

 

Dr. Vasauskas received her BS in Biology from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Maryland and her PhD from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine (departments of Pharmacology and Comparative Medicine). Her PhD dissertation research focused on reproductive endocrinology: specifically the genetic regulation of luteinizing hormone and chorionic gonadotropin. She completed a four-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Lung Biology at the University of South Alabama, and during this time received an F32 Ruth \][]\Kirschstein National Research Service Award by the National Institutes of Health to fund her work in pulmonary endothelial physiology. As a post-doc, Dr. Vasauskas also served as a science policy and research advocate to the United States Congress for the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Vasauskas has been the recipient of several extramural research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. These grants supported her work in endothelial cell biology and allowed her to mentor a number of medical students within those projects.

Dr. Vasauskas has been conducting research and teaching physiology, biology, and medical science-related courses for over 15 years and has mentored a number of undergraduate, graduate, and medical students in both industry and academia. Prior to her career in academia, she spent several years in the biotechnology industry, where she served as project leader for oncology diagnostic development. Dr. Vasauskas has experience in developing institutional research programs, overseeing multiple research projects, ensuring research compliance, directing student and faculty research, and managing community outreach. She is very excited to share this experience working with BUCOM students and faculty!

Callie Everett

Callie Everett, MA

Academic Operations Coordinator

M.A. in Higher Education, University of Mississippi

B.A. Recreation Administration, University of South Alabama

 

Callie Everett grew up in West Alabama, where she homeschooled until 11th grade and continued to a small private school her senior year. She finished her undergraduate education in Recreation Administration at the University of South Alabama. She worked at The University of Mississippi in outreach and adult education for six years, where she earned her Master's degree in Higher Education. Callie joined Baptist in July 2023. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, gardening, SEC Football, traveling, and trying the variety of eateries in Memphis. 

Larissa Collier, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Anatomy

PhD in anthropology; Indiana University, Bloomington

MSc in European archaeology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

MA in anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington.

MS in medical sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington.

BA in anthropology, Texas A&M University

 

Dr. Collier is from San Antonio, TX and received her PhD in anthropology with a specialization in biological anthropology in 2013 from Indiana University, Bloomington. She earned an MSc in European archaeology from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland as well as an MA in anthropology and MS in medical sciences from Indiana University, Bloomington. She received her BA in anthropology in 2003 from Texas A&M University. She was a Fulbright Scholar to Denmark and a Costin Scholar. Dr. Collier has been teaching in graduate clinical education for over 10 years in gross anatomy, embryology, neuroscience, and histology. Her research interests in social science include patterns of community violence and the impact on community health as well as patterns of violence and trauma in human skeletal remains from archaeologic samples. In medical education, she has ongoing projects on curriculum development and design, student perceptions of body donation, anatomical variations, and development of student success programs. She loves to travel and has had the opportunity to live in a variety of places including Scotland and Denmark.

Angela Brown

Angela Brown, BS

Accounts Receivable Analyst

B. S. in Accounting, Strayer University

 

Angela Brown is a native of Bartlett, TN and has 13+ years of healthcare experience. She joined Baptist Hospital Memphis in 2010 as a Cardiac Technician, then transitioned to BMG as a Registration Coordinator in 2015. Angela transitioned to Baptist Health Science University in 2023. She is currently serving as the Accounts Receivable Analyst for BUCOM. In her role, she will support student account services and facilitate the daily operations with the University Business and Financial Services Office.

Theresy Yosef

Associate Director of Financial Aid

B.S. in Psychology, Crichton College/Victory University

 

Theresy Yosef has been a financial aid administrator for over 14 years, with the last six years being at Baptist Health Sciences University. She enjoys helping students (and parents) navigate through the financial aid process. She loves getting to know students and supporting them as they accomplish their academic goals. Her favorite things to enjoy in Memphis are museums and a good comedy show.

Jason Salmon, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences

Pediatric Residency Children’s Hospital of Alabama
M.D., University of Alabama School of Medicine
B.S. in Biology and History, Birmingham-Southern College

 

Dr. Jason Salmon, MD, grew up in Birmingham, AL where attended Birmingham-Southern College, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a double major in Biology and History. Dr. Salmon then attended University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham, AL, graduating in 2005. He completed his Pediatric Medicine residency at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham, AL. Following residency, Dr. Salmon was hired as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with the University of Alabama Pediatric residency program. During 2 years at Children’s of Alabama, he worked as a pediatric hospitalist, educating allopathic medical students as well as pediatric and family medicine residents. It was during his time attending at Children’s of Alabama that he met his wife, Amanda, and they decided to follow her dream of traveling the country for a period of time before “settling down.” With Amanda as a travel nurse at his side, Dr. Salmon acted as a locum tenens Pediatrician in states ranging from Oregon to South Dakota to New Mexico for the next 2 years.  Then it was time to plant roots so he and Amanda settled in Memphis, TN and he helped create the Pediatric Hospitalist Program at the new Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital. 

During his time at Baptist Children’s, Dr. Salmon taught family medicine residents as well as osteopathic medical students. He was also the physician lead of the hospital committee for the care of infants with intrauterine drug exposure as well as integral to the development of a myriad of clinical pathways and policies. Dr. Salmon was then presented with another unique challenge, starting another pediatric hospitalist program at Baptist Memorial Hospital North Mississippi in Oxford, MS, which he did for nearly 2 years before handing off to local physicians. That allowed him to broaden his exposure to hospital administrative function and clinical pathway development. After 12 years of service at Baptist Children’s Hospital and his concurrent time at Baptist North Mississippi, Dr. Salmon and his wife felt the call to seek other opportunities. It was at that time that he was approached by the newly formed Baptist University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Given his experience with teaching and his love for seeing learners develop this was an unexpected but welcome opportunity. Dr. Salmon joined the COM October 2023. He is also part of a pediatric outpatient clinic in Memphis. Dr. Salmon is the proud father of his two sons, Jackson and Oliver.  He is active in his church and enjoys carpentry, home improvement projects, sports and mispronouncing words to drive Jackson crazy.

Nicolet Nolan

Nicolet Nolan

Academic Operations Coordinator

B.P.S. in Child Development and Family Studies, University of Memphis.

 

Nicolet Nolan is a Memphis native but has lived in both Houston and Dallas, Texas. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies with a minor in Healthcare and Society from the University of Memphis. Nicolet’s professional experience includes several roles in the healthcare industry. Before joining BUCOM, she worked for Le Bonheur’s Ophthalmology Department as a Medical Office Assistant and Scheduler.

Nicolet serves as the Academic Operations Coordinator. She is responsible for providing administrative coordination and support to the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the faculty in that division. Nicolet has a heart to serve others and is looking forward in helping propel the mission of BUCOM. In her free time, Nicolet enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and event planning.

Pandurangan Ramaraj

Pandurangan Ramaraj, Ph.D.

Professor of Biochemistry

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
M.Sc. in Medical Biochemistry, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and 
Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry, India
B.Sc. in Chemistry, Tagore Arts College, Pondicherry, India

 

Dr. Ramaraj is a Professor of Biochemistry in the Biomedical Sciences department. He joined BUCOM in the September of 2023. Before joining BUCOM, Dr. Ramaraj was working for 14 years as Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM). During his stay at KCOM. Dr. Ramaraj has published several book chapters and research papers in international journals and has presented his research work at various national and international scientific meetings. He has also trained masters’ and medical students in research work. He is working on melanoma (skin cancer) and has developed two cocktails that killed human melanoma cells in-vitro. Currently, he is checking the cocktails efficacy on other cancer cell lines. Students are most welcome to discuss scientific projects in his lab and be a part of the research work against cancer.

Zaneta Ivy-Bailey

Zaneta Ivy-Bailey, Ed.D

Associate Registrar

Ed.D. in Global Sport Science, East Tennessee State University
M.Ed. in Sport Management, University of Arkansas
B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science, University of Memphis

 

Dr. Ivy-Bailey has 20 years of experience coordinating the Student Academic Support Offices, Compliance Departments, managing full-time academic coordinators, interns, and graduate assistants. Dr. Ivy-Bailey has a strong background in compliance, student-athlete welfare, and support services, including Title IX matters. She has coordinated NCAA compliance monitoring, served on compliance committees with multiple constituents and served as the University of Memphis Staff Senate President.

Dr. Ivy-Bailey comes to Baptist Health Sciences University from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Office (MEAC) where she was the Associate Athletic Commissioner for Administration and Compliance overseeing the conference office administration staff and compliance needs of eight Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Before her time at the MEAC, Dr. Ivy- Bailey spent over seven years at the University of Memphis where she was the Director of Compliance. She also spent years at Howard University, Florida International University, the University of Utah, and the University of Arkansas.

 

Dr. Zaneta Ivy-Bailey was a track athlete at the University of Memphis, graduating with a degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Dr. Ivy-Bailey received her master's degree in Education with a concentration in Sports Management from the University of Arkansas and received her Doctor of Education in Global Sport Leadership from East Tennessee State University.

Dr. Zaneta Ivy-Bailey is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. residing in Memphis, TN with her husband, Andrew Bailey, a program management manager for Google Operations Center (GOC) and adjunct professor at the University of Memphis.

Shekher Mohan

Shekher Mohan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Pharmacology

Ph.D. in Pharmacology, Oklahoma State University, Health Sciences Center, College of Osteopathic Medicine
B.Sc. (Hons) in Pharmacology, University of Hertfordshire, England, UK

 

Dr. Shekher Mohan, Ph.D. is a native of England, UK and joined the Baptist Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine in November 2023. Dr. Mohan received his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Oklahoma State University, where he studied the role of the neuroimmune system on the function of opioid receptors. Dr. Mohan started his career in academia as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Iowa, College of Medicine, in the Department of Anesthesia (2009 - 2010). Dr. Mohan also completed a second fellowship at University of Florida, College of Medicine, in the Department of Anesthesiology as a NIH F32-NRSA Fellow (2010 -2014). During his time at University of Florida, his research focused on inflammation and neuroprotection pertaining to hemorrhagic stroke using novel preclinical rodent model.

 

After completing his fellowships, Dr. Mohan served as faculty since 2014; earlier as tenure-track assistant professor at Marshall University, College of Pharmacy (2014 - 17), Manchester University, School of Pharmacy (2017 - 20) before serving as an associate professor at Liberty University, College of Osteopathic Medicine. During his tenure as a professor, Dr. Mohan has taught pharmacology, mentored graduate and undergraduate students and directed a research program investigating the short- and long-term effects of in utero opioid exposure in a novel rodent preclinical model of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS). Dr. Mohan has several publications in peer-reviewed journals, mentored graduate students of various backgrounds, peer-reviewed for several journals i.e., Frontiers in Pharmacology, Neuropharmacology, Psychiatry etc.], grants and served as an Associate Editor for a Cell-Press journal Heliyon® and Frontiers for Young Minds, section Neuroscience and Psychology. Dr. Mohan has served as both the lead and co-investigator of server intramural and extramural research grants. Dr. Mohan has also presented at local, regional and national research meeting and conferences for over 15 years. Additionally, Dr. Mohan earned a certification in Leadership from University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management, and completed the John Maxwell Leadership Certification Program. Dr. Mohan continues to develop his interest in institutional and situational leadership to guide the development of future physician servant leaders. Most recently, Dr. Mohan served as a Scientific Review Officer (SRO) at the Office of Scientific Review at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the NIH.

 

Dr. Mohan enjoys engaging students both inside and outside the classroom through student organizations, mentoring students in areas of service, leadership and research, following various sports (basketball, soccer, cricket, tennis), exercise (hiking, walking, running, etc.), sci-fi movies and shows, comedy shows, animals and anything related to food and drink from different cultures and countries.

Christine M. Hartford

Christine M. Hartford, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatric Medicine

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Pediatrics Residency, Brown University, Hasbro Children’s Hospital

MD – University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine

BA – Biological Sciences, University of Chicago

 

Dr. Christine Hartford is a native of Chicago, Illinois where she attended both college and medical school. She then spent three years on the east coast for her residency in Pediatrics at Brown University before moving to Memphis for her fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology where she then settled with her husband and two sons. Dr. Hartford practiced Hematology-Oncology early in her career before transitioning to General Pediatrics and undergraduate medical education.

Dr. Hartford joined New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State in 2019. As a member of the faculty in Arkansas, she spent much of her time working with first- and second- year medical students, teaching classes in doctor-patient relationship and case-based learning, lecturing on a variety of topics related to Pediatrics, and serving as the Course Director for the Population Health Certificate Course. Dr. Hartford was also a member of the Delta Population Health Institute and served as the Medical Lead for the Delta Care-A-Van. She proudly assisted the team in administering thousands of COVID-19 vaccinations to residents living in underserved communities in the Delta during the pandemic.

Dr. Hartford’s research interests include identifying barriers to infant health in underserved areas and identifying barriers to HPV vaccination. She has also focused her community outreach efforts on both of these areas and hopes to continue this work as a faculty member at BUCOM. She also has an interest in health policy and completed the Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship in 2022.

Amy Oyler

Amy Oyler, MD

Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics

Internal Medicine - Pediatrics Residency, University of Maryland Medical Center

M.D., University of Virginia School of Medicine

B.S., Biology, Messiah University

 

Dr. Amy Oyler grew up in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Messiah University in Grantham, Pennsylvania. She then attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Virginia and was selected to the Generalist Scholars Program. She also received the Dean’s/Ellison’s Center for Global Health Scholar Award allowing her to spend two months rotating at the Macha Mission Hospital in Macha, Zambia. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Maryland Medical Center in 2010. Dr. Oyler spent her early career working at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, MD. Each month she would work two weeks as a pediatric hospitalist in a co-localized pediatric emergency department and inpatient floor, followed by two weeks as an internal medicine hospitalist. When her clinical duties allowed, she would return to Macha Mission Hospital where she provided care for pediatric patients, worked to revise and implement protocols for the care of preterm and low birth infants, and taught medical and nursing students, primarily from Zambia. While working in Maryland, Dr. Oyler met and married her husband, and they relocated back to his home in northern Mississippi.

From 2017-2023, Dr. Oyler worked as a pediatric hospitalist at Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women and the Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. In 2019, she became the lead preceptor for the medical student pediatric rotations at this site and Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor to the New York Institute of Technology College of Medicine at Arkansas State University. In this role, she was awarded Preceptor of the Year for the West Tennessee Region in 2020 and Preceptor of the Year for Excellence in Teaching Award in 2023. Also in 2019, she started working as Core Faculty, Director of Didactics Curriculum, and Director of Pediatrics Curriculum for the Baptist Family Medicine Memphis residency program. She was promoted to Associate Professor for this program in 2022. During this same time period, she also served as the pediatric representative for the Perinatal Quality Committee, working to align hospital policies regarding the care of newborns with current practice guidelines. In 2022, Dr. Oyler obtained board certification in Pediatric Hospital Medicine through the practice pathway.

2023 brought many changes for Dr. Oyler. In June, her beautiful baby girl was born. Dr. Oyler joined the inaugural faculty at Baptist University College of Osteopathic Medicine in September and is course director for Physician Core Competencies. She will continue to work with Baptist Memphis Family Medicine residents as Director of Didactics and Pediatrics Curriculum. She also serves as an advisor for the Medical Education Track, a curricular pathway for residents hoping to enter academic medicine, and is also working to develop a curricular pathway in Global Health.

Mohammad Al Madadha M.D., M.Sc. Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Immunology

M.D., University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
M.Sc. in Infection and Immunity, University of Leeds, Leeds, U.K.
Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, University of Leicester, Leicester, U.K.

 

Dr. Mohammad Al Madadha is an accomplished medical professional with a diverse background spanning lab diagnostics, clinical medicine, research, and education. He has acquired medical licenses in the U.S., U.K., and Jordan, reflecting his global perspective and expertise. With a penchant for building strong relationships, Dr. Madadha excels in fostering trust among clients, students, patients, and fellow medical specialists.

His journey began with a solid foundation in medicine, earning his M.D. from the University of Jordan. He then pursued further studies, obtaining an M.Sc. in Infection and Immunity from Leeds University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunity from the University of Leicester.

Dr. Al Madadha's experience in lab diagnostics is extensive, having served as Lab Manager and Supervisor in Private Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories, and as Molecular Diagnostics Faculty at Jordan University Hospital. His expertise encompasses a range of techniques, from routine diagnostic procedures to developing and testing new methodologies.

In the realm of education, Dr. Al Madadha has held various teaching positions, including Assistant Professor roles at Baptist Health Sciences University, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the University of Jordan. He has played integral roles in curriculum development, research, and mentoring students in microbiology, immunology, and molecular biology.

His physician experience includes roles as a General Physician at a Tele-Health clinic in Amman, Jordan, and as a Post Graduate Physician at Jordan University Hospital, where he contributed to important research projects in molecular diagnostics and microbiology.

Elizabeth Browning, DO

Assistant Professor of Family Medicine

D.O., Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
B.A. in Anthropology, The Ohio State University

 

Dr. Elizabeth Browning (Lily) was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She completed her undergraduate degree in anthropology at The Ohio State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude.  During her time at The Ohio State University, she was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarship to study the skeletal remains of byzantine monks at Notre Dame University. She was also awarded the Fulbright-Hayes Group Projects Abroad grant to teach English to school children, while also studying West African ecology and endangered primates on the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea. It was during her time in West Africa that she decided to pursue a career in medicine. In 2013, she completed her medical degree at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Browning subsequently completed her residency at TriHealth’s Bethesda Family Practice Residency in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she served as chief resident and received the resident teacher and researcher award. After residency, she completed a fellowship in Quality Improvement and Safety, also with TriHealth in Cincinnati. She is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and is certified in Advances Wilderness Life Support (AWLS).

Dr. Browning spent most of her career after her residency and fellowship dedicated to international and underserved communities from rural New Zealand, to Guam, Memphis, and Arizona and Northern California, where she cared for local Native American populations. Most recently was employed at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in San Diego, California, where she spent a short time helping to implement an outreach program to deliver basic medical services to local unhoused individuals. Dr. Browning has an interest in preventative medicine, health and wellness, and is also a registered yoga instructor. Her hobbies include travel, hiking, cooking, scuba-diving, painting and singing. She lives with her husband and daughter in Collierville, TN. 

Ryan A. Costello, DO, MBA, FACP, FACOI

Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine Residency, St. Bernards Medical Center

D.O., Lincoln Memorial University- DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

M.B.A., Lincoln Memorial University- School of Business

B.S. in Biology, Rhodes College

 

Dr. Costello is a native of Millington, TN and attended college in Memphis, TN at Rhodes College, where he graduated cum laude. He then moved to Harrogate, TN where he obtained a doctorate of osteopathic medicine as well as a master of business administration from Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine and Lincoln Memorial University-School of Business, respectively. After medical school, he relocated to Jonesboro, AR and completed his internal medicine residency at St. Bernards Medical Center.

Dr. Costello served as a hospitalist at St. Bernards Medical Center immediately after graduation and later transitioned into an academic faculty role with the internal medicine residency program there in both the outpatient and inpatient clinical settings. He served as chair of the Clinical Competency Committee for the residency and was awarded Faculty of the Year from this program in 2021. Dr. Costello has earned and maintains board certification in internal medicine through both the American Board of Internal Medicine as well as the American Osteopathic Association. In 2023, he was elected fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American College of Osteopathic Internists. He is also published in the topics of disseminated intravascular coagulation, sulfonylureas, and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists. Dr. Costello has a special clinical interest in rheumatology, diabetes management, and toxicology.

Sarah Stevens, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Anatomy  

Medical Human Anatomy Certificate, University of Florida

Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, Marshall University College of Medicine

B.S. in Biology, Cedarville University

 

Dr. Stevens earned her doctoral degree in Biomedical Sciences, with a concentration in Neuroscience and Developmental Biology, from Marshall University College of Medicine. She has also earned a Bachelor of Science from Cedarville University and a certificate in Medical Human Anatomy from the University of Florida. Dr. Stevens has a deep love for human anatomy and is passionate about helping students understand the beauty and complexity of the human structure. She has had the privilege of guiding students in their learning of human anatomy since 2017, through her previous teaching appoints at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Liberty University College of Health Sciences, Central Virginia Community College, and Ivy Tech Community College, prior to joining the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Baptist University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2024. Dr. Stevens has a special interest in virtual anatomy technology and understanding best practices to facilitate student learning through integration of cadaveric dissections and virtual resources.

In addition to her teaching, Dr. Stevens conducts research aimed at understanding the short and long-term consequences of prenatal opioid exposure on neurodevelopment and behavior using a novel rodent model. She has had the opportunity to publish her findings, as well as present her work at local, regional, and national meetings. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), American Association for Anatomy (AAA), and American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA). Outside of the classroom, Dr. Stevens enjoys mentoring students through student organizations, service activities, as well as research projects in the research and anatomy labs. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor adventures, cooking, movies, and being involved in her church.

Tomeka Nailer, Ph.D.

Director of Research Laboratory

Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Jackson State University

M.S. in Biology, Jackson State University

B.S. in Biology, Jackson State University

 

Dr. Tomeka Nailer is a native of Shaw, MS and has 18+ years of experience in laboratory quality, safety, research, regulatory compliance, public services and academia. Dr. Nailer’s academic skills became evident during her undergraduate and graduate years at Jackson State University, where she majored in Biology. As a graduate student, Dr. Nailer began teaching and training future scientists in the laboratory. Upon graduating, Dr. Nailer worked for the Mississippi Department of Health, Public Health Laboratory. Her responsibilities encompassed a wide range of diagnostic tests, from analyzing blood samples to conducting molecular assays, playing an essential role in identifying and understanding various medical conditions. 

Driven by her passion for research, she pursued a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science, where her dissertation on The Role of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase AXL earned recognition in the Fifteenth International Symposium on Recent Advance in Environmental Health Research in 2019. Dr. Nailer’s curiosity and commitment to precision has been the foundation for a successful career in laboratory technology, research compliance and academia.

Outside the laboratory, she enjoys teaching. Dr. Nailer joined Baptist Health Sciences University as an adjunct faculty in 2020 with the General Education and Health Studies division. She has always enjoyed mentoring students, providing hands-on education to her students in the classroom, as well as engaging with her students through her online courses. Dr. Nailer’s ambition to continue training future scientists led her to the role of Director of Research Laboratory where she will provide senior-level guidance, research compliance and training and assist students and faculty to achieve their goals at BUCOM.

Nikki Hardman

Finance Manager

B.B.A. in Accounting, Valdosta State University
B.B.A. in Finance, Valdosta State University

 

Nikki is native of South Georgia, and recently moved from Jacksonville, FL to Memphis. Ms. Hardman graduated from magna cum laude from Valdosta State University with degrees in both accounting and finance. She has over 10 years’ experience in healthcare accounting and a passion for financial statement interpretation and analysis. Nikki joined Baptist in October 2023. In her free time, Nikki enjoys hiking, the outdoors, and “adventuring” with her daughter.

Tia Kofahl, MS, ACC, BCC

Academic Enrichment Specialist

M.S. in Higher Education, Northwestern University

B.A. in International Studies, George Mason University

Tia Kofahl is a Texas native but has called Midtown Memphis home for the last 13 years. She has 24 years of higher education experience in the areas of coaching, student success, program management, and wellness. Tia joins BUCOM after 10 years at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where she most recently oversaw academic coaching, tutoring, and retention programs for students in all six colleges at UTHSC, including the College of Medicine. 

Tia is passionate about supporting students and assisting them in adjusting to the demands of medical school. As a certified coach, she partners with students to assist them in evaluating their learning approaches and mindset in order to develop new strategies to be more efficient in their learning. In her role as an Academic Enrichment Specialist at BUCOM, Tia provides coaching, academic support, workshops, and programming to assist students in thriving (and not just surviving!) in medical school. In her free time, Tia enjoys camping, hiking, canoeing, and exploring national parks with her husband, Drew, and teenage son, Charlie. 

Piyush Kumar, MA

Associate Director of Admission

M.A. in Biomedical Sciences, Bluefield University

B.S. in Biology, Rhodes College

 

Piyush is originally from South Carolina and chose to pursue a degree in Biology at Rhodes College, which brought him to Memphis, TN. Being on the pre-med track throughout his time in college, Piyush took a gap year after graduation and worked at a local pediatric clinic in Memphis gaining hands-on experience. In 2018, Piyush received his Master of Arts in Biomedical Science from Bluefield University, in partnership with The Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). Before committing to his career in medicine, Piyush received an offer from his alma mater, Rhodes College, for an opportunity to work with the Admission team. With his personal experience of going through the medical admission process, Piyush shifted his focus onto his true passion of working with students in reaching their academic goals. Piyush gathered 5 years of admission experience during his time at Rhodes, and has worked with prospective students from all over the U.S. He also planned DEI initiatives and programming, managed over 100 student tour guides, and worked specifically with the Health Professions Advising team to counsel pre-med students. With these experiences, Piyush is excited to manage medical student recruitment, applications, and matriculation for BUCOM. In his free time, Piyush loves talking about sports and keeping up with new movies and television shows.

Heidi Leamons

IT Academic Systems Manager

B.A. Psychology, Vanguard University of Southern California

Heidi Leamons is a Southern California native and earned a B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Organizational Psychology and a minor in Human Development from Vanguard University (VU). Heidi also worked at VU and helped launch the University’s School of Nursing. She later went to work for Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Clinical Education where she supported the clinical education needs of the organization’s two hospitals as well as onboarded and coordinated student clinical experiences before moving into Human Resources to oversee licensure and certification compliance, including overseeing the coordination in gaining the necessary licensure and accreditation to open their new patient care tower. Relocating to Northern California, Heidi joined Sutter Health where she was responsible for the education and training requirements of several of the system’s hospitals and care centers and implemented system-wide education initiatives. Her most recent role was with HealthStream where she worked in Success Management with healthcare organizations across the U.S. to implement, optimize and re-structure the utilization of the HealthStream Learning Center and associated products

Webb Nelson

IT Media Support Administrator

B.M. in Recording Technology, University of Memphis

 

Webb Nelson is a Memphis native, graduating from White Station High School and received his Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Recording Technology from the University of Memphis. In college, Webb interned at Ardent Studios and Royal Studios and worked as a recording engineer at the School of Music. After receiving his degree, Webb worked as an Audio Visual Technician and later Audio Visual Supervisor at Southland Casino. He joined the Baptist team as an IT Media Support Administrator and will support the technology needs of BUCOM.

Clinton Roberts, CTS

Audio Visual Systems Manager

B.G.S. in Criminology, Sociology, and Business, Arkansas State University                                   

 

Clinton Roberts holds a Bachelor of General Studies with concentrations in Criminology, Sociology, and Business, and is a Certified Technology Specialist (CTS). Originally from Jonesboro, Arkansas, Clinton’s career was shaped by his seven years of service in the Army National Guard, where he served as a radio technician. This role not only fueled his passion for technology but also provided him with robust technical skills. Following his service in the Guard, he transitioned to the academic sector and joined the IT department at Arkansas State University. There, he specialized in audiovisual systems, overseeing complex technological integrations. As he embarks on his new role at Baptist Health Sciences University, he is eager to apply his expertise in technology and project management to drive success and innovation.

Kathy L. Lovett, M.Ed., M.S., NCC, BCC

Director, Faculty, Staff, and Student Development

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Memphis

M.S. in Counseling and Personnel Services, University of Memphis

B. S. in Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Montevallo

 

Kathy has worked with graduate and professional health science students for over 31 years. In her roles, she has developed, coordinated, and evaluated campus programs and services directed at expanding academic and mental hygiene support for a diverse student body. Most recently, Kathy managed and led an integrative office of student support and services including academic coaching, counseling, case management, tutoring, and disability services. In her career, Kathy has also developed and administered retention services through two Minority Centers of Excellence grants and was involved in a federal grant awarded to Christian Brothers University which targeted the retention of at-risk students.

Leanne Gonzales

Academic Operations Coordinator Dean’s Office

A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education, Shelby State Community College

 

Leanne has been immersed in the healthcare and educational fields for over 30 years. She is a native Memphian and graduated from Shelby State Community College with her A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education. Leanne worked for Baptist Memorial Hospital from 1987 through 1996. She then transitioned to K-12 education and worked for Shelby County Schools and Arlington Community Schools for over 18 years. Leanne returned to the medical field in 2015, working in Physical Therapy and Physicians’ offices before joining BUCOM’s Dean’s Office in 2024. She enjoys being with family, church activities, sports, and serving her community.

God's Blessings

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31