Recent Leadership Appointments
Jill Fussell, M.D., a Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Director of the James L. Dennis Developmental Center, has been appointed Chief of the Section of Developmental-Behavioral and Rehabilitative Pediatrics.
Dr. Fussell, a faculty member since 2002, began serving as Interim Chief following the unexpected death of Eldon Schulz, M.D., in early June. “I know her longtime career mentor and colleague Dr. Eldon Schulz would be proud to have her in his footsteps,” Pediatrics Chair Frederick “Rick” Barr, M.D., said in his announcement of Dr. Fussell’s appointment.
Dr. Fussell graduated from the College of Medicine in 1997. She completed her pediatrics residency and fellowship training at the Medical University of South Carolina. She has served in a variety of leadership roles in graduate medical education including Director of the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship.
National leadership roles include her election to the Council of Pediatric Subspecialties (CoPS) Executive Committee in 2016 and her election this year as the committee’s Vice-Chair. Dr. Fussell has served as an investigator and co-investigator on multiple grants focused on neurodevelopmental disabilities and has published extensively.
Jake Stover, M.H.S.A., who served in financial leadership roles at UAMS from 2006 to 2017, has returned to UAMS as Associate Dean for Finance and Chief Financial Officer in the College of Medicine.
Mr. Stover was the Executive Vice President and CFO of CARTI Cancer Center from 2017 until starting his new role in the COM Aug. 7.
“Mr. Stover’s extensive background in financial leadership, coupled with his institutional knowledge of UAMS and the good working relationships he has developed with many of you, will serve our college well,” Interim Dean Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., FACS, said in a July 27 announcement.
He first joined UAMS in 2006 as a project manager and cost accountant. He served as Director of Treasury from 2009 to 2012. From 2012 to 2017 he served initially as an Assistant Vice Chancellor and then as Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Treasurer. Among many responsibilities in this role, he chaired the administrative council of 40-plus business administrators, the UAMS bond oversight committee, and institutional revenue forecasting. His role included oversight of six financial departments including the UAMS Budget Office, Contracts Administration, and Treasury.
Mr. Stover received his undergraduate certificate in accounting and his Bachelor of Health Sciences at UA Little Rock, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He earned his Master of Health Services Administration at UAMS.
Sami Uwaydat, M.D., has been named Interim Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, where he has served in several leadership positions since joining the faculty in 2008. Dr. Uwaydat was appointed by and will serve in the post held by Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., FACS, who became Interim Dean in February.
Dr. Uwaydat, an Associate Professor, completed residency training at the University of Beirut in Lebanon in 1995-1998 and a second residency at UAMS in 2005-2008. He completed a fellowship in medical retina at New York University and a fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and UT Health Sciences Center in Houston.
At UAMS Dr. Uwaydat has served as Director of the Vitreoretinal Service, Medical Director of the Leland and Betty Tollett Retinal and Ocular Genetics Clinic, and Medical Practice Director for the Ophthalmology Service. His clinical and research interests include pharmacogenomic treatments for genetic eye disorders, treatment of complex ocular injuries, management of diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. He has received numerous teaching awards. Dr. Uwaydat also holds the Martha Wood Bentley Chair in Ophthalmology.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Isabelle Racine Miousse, Ph.D., has joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Miousse received her doctorate from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer epigenetics in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at UAMS. Dr. Miousse’s research focuses on methyl donors during cancer progression and treatment.
Jason Arthur, M.D., M.P.H., has joined the Department of Emergency Medicine as an Assistant Professor and Ultrasound Fellow. Dr. Arthur received his medical degree and Master of Public Health at UAMS in 2015. He completed his emergency medicine residency at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Jacksonville.
Heather McLemore, M.D., has joined the Department of Emergency Medicine as an Assistant Professor. Dr. McLemore graduated from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson in 2015. She completed her emergency medicine residency/global health track at UAMS in June.
Meenakshisundaram Balasubramaniam, Ph.D., has joined the Department of Geriatrics as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Balasubramaniam received his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry in 2008 at the University of Madras in Chennai, India, where he went on to earn a Master of Science in bioinformatics in 2010. He completed his graduate training at UAMS and the Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System and his postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Geriatrics.
Angela Norman, Ph.D., has joined the Department of Geriatrics as an Assistant Professor and Director of the UAMS Centers on Aging at the Reynolds Institute on Aging. Dr. Norman received her Masters of Nursing Science from UAMS in 2000 and her Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2011. Dr. Norman is certified as a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and as an Adult/Acute Nurse Practitioner. She has previously served as an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing, Associate Director of the Centers on Aging and Director of the UAMS South Arkansas Center on Aging in El Dorado.
Veronica Pinto Miranda, M.D., has joined the Department of Geriatrics as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Pinto Miranda received her medical degree in 2008 from the Universidad Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru. She served her internal medicine residency at the University of Miami Jackson Health System in Florida. Dr. Pinto Miranda completed an integrated geriatrics and palliative medicine fellowship and a faculty development course in clinical training at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City in 2017. Dr. Pinto Miranda will practice in the Thomas & Lyon Longevity Clinic.
Rashmi Verma, M.D., has joined the Department of Internal Medicine as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology. Dr. Verma is a graduate of the University College of Medical Sciences and Associated Hospitals in New Delhi, India. She served her residency in internal medicine at the University of South Dakota and Sioux Falls VA Health Care System and at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Camden. Dr. Verma completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She specializes in cancers of the reproductive organs, urinary system and gastrointestinal system.
Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences
Angela Odle, Ph.D., has joined the Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences as an Instructor. Dr. Odle received her doctorate in the neuroscience track of the UAMS Graduate School in 2014. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the UAMS Center for Translational Neurosciences (CTN) and with the Neuroendocrinology Research Group.
Dr. Odle’s research has been recognized by the Endocrine Society in its Presidential Poster Competition. She recently won the Endocrine Society “Knockout Rounds,” voted first place by both the audience and judges for her presentation. Dr. Odle is currently supported as a recruit to the CTN’s P20 COBRE award, led by Neurobiology Professor Edgar Garcia-Rill, Ph.D., and as a co-investigator on an R01 grant directed by Neurobiology Professor and Chair Gwen Childs, Ph.D., and Angus MacNicol, Ph.D., a Professor in the department.
W. Morris III, M.D., has joined the Department of Neurosurgery as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Morris received his medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He recently completed his neurosurgery residency at UAMS, where he received the Resident Award for Excellence in Research in 2016. Dr. Morris’ primary clinical interests are skull base, tumor and vascular surgery.
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Melissa Helmich, M.D., has joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Helmich received her medical degree from UAMS in 2014. She continued her training at UAMS, completing her OB/GYN residency in 2018. She served as Chief Administrative Resident in 2017-2018.Dr. Helmich’s clinical interests include contraception, vulvovaginal health and complete women’s health.
Sam Overley, M.D., has joined the departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Overley received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine in 2017 and continued his training with a spine surgery fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, where he served as Chief Fellow, this past year.
Recent honors include being elected an American Orthopaedic Association Emerging Leader in 2017 and receiving a Best Paper Award from the Global Spine Journal for his 2017 manuscript “Return to Play in Contact Athletes Following Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion: a Meta-Analysis.”
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Graham M. Strub, M.D., Ph.D., has joined the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Strub received his medical degree, a master’s in human genetics, and doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed his otolaryngology residency at the University of Washington, followed by a pediatric otolaryngology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Strub will divide his time between his clinical practice at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and research at the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute. His clinical practice will focus on pediatric head and neck masses, cochlear implantation, vascular anomalies and general pediatric otolaryngology. His research will focus on the molecular biology of vascular anomalies and the development of the Vascular Biology Program at ACRI.
Sumera Ali, M.D., has joined the Department of Radiology as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Radiology. She received her medical degree from the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2009. Dr. Ali completed her residency in diagnostic radiology at UAMS in 2017, serving as Chief Resident in 2016-2017. She continued her training with a fellowship in pediatric radiology at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Don Benson, M.D., has joined the Department of Radiology as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Body Imaging. Dr. Benson received his medical degree from UAMS, where he also completed his residency in diagnostic radiology, serving as chief resident in 2015-2016. He continued his training, completing a fellowship in clinical MRI in 2017 followed by a fellowship in cardiothoracic imaging in 2018, both at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Mudassar Kamran, M.D., M.Sc., D.Phil. (Oxon.), has joined the Department of Radiology as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Interventional Neuroradiology. He received his medical degree from King Edward Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan. He subsequently studied at the University of Oxford, U.K., as a Rhodes scholar and completed a master’s degree in neuroscience and a doctorate in surgery.
Dr. Kamran completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University in St. Louis in 2016. He continued his training at Mallinckrodt with a fellowship in diagnostic neuroradiology in 2017 and a fellowship in Interventional Neuroradiology in 2018.
Emmanouil Giorgakis, M.D., M.Sc., has joined the Department of Surgery as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Transplant Surgery. He received his medical degree from Athens Medical School in Greece and served as a Medical Corps officer in the Greek Army before beginning his surgical residency in Greece.
Dr. Giorgakis continued his surgical training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and then in London. He holds a master’s degree in surgical science from the University College of London. He completed a liver transplant fellowship at King’s College followed by a multi-organ abdominal transplant surgery fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Dr. Giorgakis is a Fellow of the European Board of Surgeons (Transplantation), a member of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, an Associate Fellow of the American Board of Surgeons and a Diplomat of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
Lawrence E. Greiten, M.D., M.Sc., has joined the Department of Surgery as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Greiten received his medical degree in 2008 from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson. He completed his general surgery, cardiovascular surgery and general thoracic surgery residencies at the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, where he also received a master’s degree in biomedical and clinical science.
Dr. Greiten continued his training with a congenital cardiac surgery fellowship at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, graduating in July 2018. Dr. Greiten is board certified by the American Board of Surgery.