University of South Florida

Strategic Hires

The following were 2019-20 strategic hires for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine (MCOM):

Hiram Bezerra, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, MCOM
Director of Interventional Cardiology, USF Health and Tampa General Hospital
Before USF: University Hospitals of Cleveland
Expertise:  Minimally invasive transcatheter procedures in the heart and structural heart disease. TAVR, mitral therapies, LAAO, advanced coronary intervention, CTO, protected PCI, complex coronary, cardiogenic shock and mechanical support — all supported by advanced imaging and physiology; cardiac CTA, cardiac MRI, intravascular imaging, OCT, IVUS, and coronary physiology assessment.


Rafael Carrion, MD
New MCOM Position: Chair, Department of Urology; Director, Urology Research
Expertise:  Sexual medicine; management of Peyronie’s disease, erectile dysfunction, male factor infertility, genital pain syndromes, hypogonadism, and female sexual dysfunction.


Douglas Haladay, DPT, PhD, PT, MHS, OCS, CSCS
New MCOM Positions:
Associate Professor and Director, MCOM School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences;
Associate Dean, USF Health MCOM
Expertise:  Examination and management of low back pain; patient preferences, values, and goal setting; outcomes measurement in low back pain; measurement of abdominal muscle performance


Ganesh Halade, PhD
Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences, USF Health Heart Institute
Before USF: University of Alabama at Birmingham
Expertise:  Inflammation and resolution in cardiac repair after heart attack; cardiometabolic defects; unresolved inflammation in ischemic and non-ischemic heart failure


James Grichnik, MD
Professor and Chair, Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery
Before USF:  Cleveland Clinic, University of Miami, Duke
Expertise: Melanoma, cutaneous oncology, imaging, early tumor detection, genetics, tumor stem cell biology and innovation


Bradlee L. Heckmann, PhD
Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine, USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Center
Before USF: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
Expertise:  Novel use of autophagy proteins in regulating brain immune function; microglia modulation and LC3-associated endocytosis; targeting neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease


Loree Heller, PhD
Associate Professor of Medical Engineering
Before USF: Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
Expertise:  Nonviral gene therapy development for cancers and infectious disease vaccines; activation of nucleic acid-specific pattern recognition receptors by gene therapies; in vivo electroporation


Richard Heller, PhD
Professor of Medical Engineering (MCOM liaison to Dept. of Medical Engineering)
Before USF:
Old Dominion University Center for Bioelectrics, Norfolk, VA
Drug and gene Delivery; immunotherapy for cancer; DNA vaccines; protein replacement therapy; cardiovascular applications


Ji Li, PhD
Professor of Surgery, USF Health Heart Institute
Before USF:  University of Mississippi Medical Center
Expertise:  Aging; ischemic heart disease; hypertension-related heart failure; glucose transport in diabetes; signal transduction; redox biology; cardiac inflammation; energy metabolism; cardiovascular pharmacology


David Lominadze, PhD, FAHA, FAPS
Professor of Surgery, and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology
Before USF: University of Louisville School of Medicine
Expertise:  Integrative physiology, microcirculation, biorheology, cellular biology, cerebral blood flow, neuroinflammation, vascular cognitive impairment, traumatic brain injury


Lucian Lonzonschi, MD
Professor of Surgery and Chief, MCOM Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Tampa General Hospital Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Research
Associate Director, USF Health & TGH Heart & Vascular Institute
Associate Director, Transplant Institute
Before USF: Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Expertise:  Robotic and minimally invasive cardiac surgery, transcatheter valve therapies, heart transplantation, and mechanical assist devices


Judette Louis, MD, MPH
New MCOM Position:
Chair and the James M. Ingram Endowed Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
(Dr. Louis is President of the Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine)
Expertise: High-risk pregnancy, sleep disorders, sleep apnea, maternal mortality, and pregnancy as a window to future health

Gaetane Celine Michaud, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, MCOM Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Before USF: New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center
Expertise: Interventional pulmonology; diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer (non-small cell lung and neuroendocrine tumors), pleural effusion, mesothelioma, tracheal stenosis, mediastinal disease and tumors, and various pulmonary infections



Guilherme Oliveira, MD, MBA
Professor of Medicine and Chief, MCOM Division of Cardiovascular Sciences
Executive Director, USF Health and TGH Heart & Vascular Institute
Before USF:  University Hospitals Health System and Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Expertise: Heart failure, heart transplant, cardiac amyloidosis, and the cardiovascular effects of cancer and cancer therapies


Tapan Padhya, MD
New MCOM Position:
Professor and Chair, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Director, Division of Head and Neck Oncology
Co-director and Founder, USF Health ENT Sleep and Snoring Center
Expertise:  Advanced surgical head and neck/skull-base oncology, thyroid and parathyroid surgery, advanced sleep apnea surgery, and clinical outcomes research


Angele Parent, PhD
Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine, USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Center
Before USF: University of Chicago
Expertise: Cellular and molecular events associated with brain plasticity, synapse formation, and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease


Tara Randis, MD
The Pamela and Leslie Muma Endowed Chair and Associate Professor and Director, MCOM Division of Neonatology, Departments of Pediatrics and Molecular Medicine
Vice Chair of Pediatric Research, USF Health
Before USF:  New York University School of Medicine
Expertise: Attending neonatologist at Tampa General Hospital NICU whose research is driven by patient care experience; mechanisms by which maternal infections contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes, neonatal morbidity and mortality; designs novel animal models of microbial colonization and infection during pregnancy to examine specific pathogenic factors and host immune response to intra-amniotic infection (chorioamnionitis), preterm delivery and neonatal sepsis.


Saulius Sumanas, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology, USF Health Heart Institute
Before USF: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH
Vascular developmental biology; using zebrafish to model human vascular disorders


Gopal Thinakaran, PhD
Professor of Molecular Medicine, USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Center
Bagnor Endowed Chair in Alzheimer’s Research
Associate Director of Research, Neuroscience Institute
Associate Dean for Neuroscience Research
Before USF:  University of Chicago
Expertise: Alzheimer’s disease — cellular and molecular biology of the disease; molecular pathology; advanced microscopy; translating discoveries to promote therapeutic strategies


Brendan Walker, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, and Molecular Medicine
Before USF:  Washington State University
Expertise: Neurobiology of addictive and psychiatric disorders; genetic and pharmacological therapeutics; precision medicine






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