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Meet Our Chairs Drexel University College of Medicine

Jane Clifford, MD

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Jane Azizkhan-Clifford, PhD, is a professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. She is also director of the MD/PhD program and associate dean for medical student education. Dr. Clifford earned her PhD from the University of Maryland and performed her dissertation research at the National Cancer Institute. She completed two postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University and the University of Virginia. She has been engaged in basic cancer research throughout her academic career at Johns Hopkins University, University of North Carolina, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and at Drexel.

Richard Hamilton, MD

Emergency Medicine

Richard Hamilton, MD, is a professor and academic chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. He started his medical career as a U.S. Naval flight surgeon and received his Wings of Gold in 1989. From there he went on to be the chief of medical operations at the Naval Air Development Center. He is interested in acceleration physiology as well as centrifuge training of commercial space flight participants. He is the chief medical officer for the NASTAR Center (www.nastarcenter.com) and spearheaded the training of a number of astronauts.

Susanna Evans, MD

Family Medicine

Susanna Evans, MD, is an associate professor and Hamot Endowed Chair of the Department of Family, Community & Preventive Medicine. Prior to joining Drexel, Dr. Evans served as medical director for Montgomery Family Ob/Gyn Center and Montgomery Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Center in Norristown. Susanna Evans, MD, FAAFP, is a board-certified family medicine physician practicing in Philadelphia. Dr. Evans has a clinical interest in women's health, preventive medicine, physician wellness, and medically underserved populations.

Cecilia M. Smith, DO

Medicine

Cecilia M. Smith, DO, is professor and interim academic chair of the Department of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. Trained in pulmonary and critical care medicine, Dr. Smith is the chair of the Department of Medicine at Reading Hospital, Tower Health. A graduate of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, she completed her residency in internal medicine at Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital. She completed her pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Upon completion, she joined the faculty of the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine where she advanced to professor of medicine. Her primary area of specialty was interstitial lung diseases and lung transplantation, including serving in the role of the medical director of the Lung Transplant program. Dr. Smith became the medical director of UCSD Medical Center, and associate dean for medical center affairs (graduate medical education), supporting medical education programs including approximately 600 trainees in all specialties of graduate medical education.

Brian Wigdahl, PhD

Microbiology & Immunology

Brian Wigdahl, PhD, is a professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease, and director of the institute’s Center for Molecular Virology and Translational Neuroscience. The research efforts of the department and institute center on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious, oncogenic and inflammatory disease. An internationally recognized molecular virologist, Dr. Wigdahl focuses his research on the molecular mechanisms, treatment and prevention of immunologic abnormalities, cancer and progressive neurologic disorders caused by members of the retrovirus family.

Itzhak Fischer, PhD

Neurobiology & Anatomy

Itzhak Fischer, PhD, is a professor and chair of the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy. His NIH-supported research focuses on the development of cellular and molecular strategies to promote the regeneration and recovery of function in the injured spinal cord. He has been with Drexel and its predecessor institutions since 1991. Prior to that, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.

G. Peter Gliebus, MD

Neurology

G. Peter Gliebus, MD, is an associate professor and academic chair of neurology. He is also the director of the Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry Fellowship program. Dr. Gliebus earned his medical degree from Vilnius University in Lithuania, where he was born. He is the principal investigator for a number of clinical trials related to memory disorders and dementia, and has more than 60 publications and presentations to his credit. Additionally, he is a member of the Medical and Scientific Committee for the Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley chapter and serves on more than a dozen local, regional and national committees.

Erol Veznedaroglu, MD

Neurosurgery

Erol Veznedaroglu, MD, or Dr. Vez, is one of the nation's most innovative and experienced vascular, dual-trained neurosurgeons. He holds the Robert A. Groff Chair in Neurosurgery. Dr. Vez is also chair of Global Neurosciences Institute, LLC (GNI), leading a team of some of the nation’s most experienced neurosurgeons specializing in comprehensive care including vascular, tumor, spine and functional neurosurgery, as well as a consortium of neuroscience physicians providing subspecialty neurology and comprehensive pain management clinical services. He previously served as director of the Division of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery at Thomas Jefferson Hospital.

Mark Woodland, MD, MS

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Mark B. Woodland, MS, MD, is professor and interim academic chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Drexel University College of Medicine. He has been a member of the College of Medicine faculty for over 20 years. He served as the OB/GYN residency program director and vice dean for graduate medical education at the College of Medicine until joining Reading Hospital as chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2015. He is one of six physicians on the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine and is chair of the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology for the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Woodland received his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and served his internship at George Washington University Medical Center. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Robert Sataloff, MD

Otolaryngology

Robert Thayer Sataloff, MD, DMA, is a professor and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and senior associate dean for clinical academic specialties. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University, adjunct clinical professor at Temple University and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and is on the faculty of the Academy of Vocal Arts. He has served as conductor of the Thomas Jefferson University Choir for nearly four decades. Dr. Sataloff is also a professional singer and singing teacher.

Cheryl Hanau, MD

Pathology

Cheryl Hanau, MD, is a professor and Richard Shuman, MD, Chair of the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. Before her appointment as chair, Dr. Hanau served the College of Medicine in a number of other key positions, most recently as associate dean for admissions.

Renee Turchi, MD, MPH

Pediatrics

Renee Turchi, MD, MPH, FAAP, is professor and academic chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine, and professor in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health. She is the medical director of the Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, where she oversees a primary care practice dedicated to children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), including a fetal alcohol spectrum disorders program/NICU primary care follow-up program and grants. Her research and clinical work around care coordination, maternal/child health, and children and youth with special health care needs have been presented and published in multiple national forums.

Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD

Pharmacology & Physiology

As a tenured professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD, actively contributes to the educational and research missions of the College's graduate and medical schools. She also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Dr. Meucci is one of the co-directors of the Temple/Drexel/UPenn training grant “Interdisciplinary and Translational Research Training in NeuroAIDS” (NIH-MH079785), and is director of the Center of Neuroimmunology and CNS Therapeutics, which is part of the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Wei Du

Psychiatry

Wei Du, MD, is a professor and academic chair of the Department of Psychiatry. He holds a secondary appointment as professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology. Dr. Du provides lectures on the psychopharmacology of depression and anxiety, and serves on the graduate student thesis committee. He is also involved in medical student education, providing lectures on schizophrenia and the neurobiology of depression and anxiety. In 2018, he began a two-year term as the secretary of the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society. He has previously served as medical director of the clinical research program and lead psychiatrist for the Center of Excellence in Addiction Treatment at The Horsham Clinic in Ambler, Pennsylvania.

David Tichansky, MD, MBA

Surgery

David Tichansky, MD, MBA, FACS, is a professor and interim academic chair of the Department of Surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine. He is also the chair of the Department of Surgery at the flagship hospital of Tower Health, Reading Hospital. Dr. Tichansky comes to Drexel and Tower Health from Thomas Jefferson University, where he held the positions of professor; division director of minimally invasive, metabolic and bariatric surgery; medical director of the Jefferson Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery program, and program director of the Jefferson Bariatric Surgery Fellowship.