12 New Faculty Join 4 Medical School Departments

Published August 10, 2018

Twelve faculty members with varied research and clinical expertise — representing four medical school departments — have joined the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences over the past several months.

4 Different Departments Represented

Elsa Bou Ghanem

Elsa Bou Ghanem, PhD

Elsa Bou Ghanem, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, has focused research on age-associated changes in innate immune responses that render the elderly more susceptible to infections.

A major area of her work is on infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) that despite the availability of vaccines, remain the leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia in the elderly. 

She was previously a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the Tufts University School of Medicine. She earned her doctoral degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of Kentucky.

Brian M. Quigley

Brian M. Quigley, PhD

Brian M. Quigley, PhD, research assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and Division of Behavioral Medicine, received his doctoral degree in social-personality psychology from the University of Albany.

He was previously a senior research scientist at UB’s Research Institute on Addictions.

Nikhil Satchidanand

Nikhil Satchidanand, PhD

Nikhil Satchidanand, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, received his doctoral degree in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh.

He received a KL2 Mentored Career Development Award through UB’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

He was previously a research scientist and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Family Medicine. He completed a clinical research fellowship in health disparities at UB.

Spyridon Stavrou

Spyridon Stavrou, PhD

Spyridon Stavrou, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, has focused research on retroviruses, which comprise a large and diverse family of RNA viruses that can infect a variety of hosts and can lead to immune system dysfunction and cancer.

He is focused on studying the integration of in vivo and in vitro models to study the interaction of novel cellular host factors and retroviruses; and the development of in vivo models to examine the interplay between HIV accessory proteins and host cell intrinsic immunity.

He was previously a research assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He received his doctoral degree in microbiology from the University of Chicago.

Swapna Thota

Swapna Thota, MD

Swapna Thota, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and the Division of Hematology/Oncology, is an assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and board certified in internal medicine.

She completed fellowships in hematology and medical oncology and in the leukemia and myeloid disorders program at the Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Fairview Hospital in the Cleveland Clinic Health System. She earned her medical degree from Osmania Medical College in India.

Katherine Vergos

Katherine A. Vergos, MD

Katherine A. Vergos, MD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Division of General Pediatrics, earned her medical degree from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Tod Children’s Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio.

Jon Von Visger

Jon R. Von Visger, MD, PhD

Jon R. Von Visger, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Medicine and Division of Nephrology, specializes in internal medicine, nephrology and renal transplantation. He has focused research on antibody-mediated rejection, new immune suppression and recurrent diseases post kidney transplant, and prevention and management of acute kidney injury and delayed transplant renal function.

He is medical director of the Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care at the Erie County Medical Center. He was previously an assistant professor of internal medicine at Ohio State University.

He completed his fellowship in nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He earned both his medical degree and his doctoral degree from the University of Maryland.

Ahmad Zaaroura

Ahmad Zaaroura, MD

Ahmad Zaaroura, MD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, completed a fellowship in transplant surgery at Duke University Medical Center and was a clinical fellow in transplant surgery at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

He completed his residency at Makassed General Hospital at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. He earned his medical degree from Al-Baath University School of Medicine in Syria.

Franklin S. Cohen, MD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, comes to UB from Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City, where he was an attending physician of surgery.

He completed a general surgery residency at Montfiore Medical Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. He received his medical degree from the University of Florida.

Csaba Gajdos, MD, clinical associate professor in the Department of Surgery, has extensive experience in the surgical treatment of complex melanomas, gastrointestinal cancers, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, other sarcomas, peritoneal surface malignancies and chronic pancreatitis.

He comes to UB from Stamford Hospital and previously worked at the University of Colorado and Denver VA Medical Center.

He was a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University Medical School and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his residency in surgery at Geza Hetenyi County Hospital in Hungary. He earned his medical degree from the University of Szeged in Hungary.

Thomas J. Brewer, MD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Medicine.

Ashish Kataria, MD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and Division of Nephrology.