November 22, 2021

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New faculty join UMMC academic ranks

Published on Monday, November 22, 2021

Medical Center leadership is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff.

Dr. Eldrin Bhanat

Eldrin Bhanat

Dr. Eldrin Bhanat, recently a manager of clinical research in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at UMMC, has joined the Medical Center faculty in the School of Medicine as an instructor in the department.

Bhanat earned his medical degree from the School of Medicine-Angeles University Foundation in the Pampanga province of the Philippines in 2009. At the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, he earned a Master of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics in 2016.

In March 2021, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, the highest membership grade for the United Kingdom-based independent campaigning and educational charity. 

Before becoming manager of clinical research in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at UMMC, Bhanat worked as a medical officer a variety of institutions in India, caring for obstetrics-gynecology patients, as well as patients being treated for cancer.

For about 15 months, he was a clinical research coordinator at UMMC, until January 2020, after working for more than two years as a cancer researcher at the Medical Center.

Bhanat is the co-author of more than two dozen published manuscripts and around 30 research reports and abstracts. He is the chair of the UMMC Clinical Research Professional Group Committee and serves as a statistician for the Mississippi – National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable.

Amy Walker Dixon


Amy Walker Dixon, recently a speech-language pathologist at Laskin Therapy Group in Ridgeland, has joined the Medical Center faculty in the School of Medicine as an instructor in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery.

Dixon earned a Master of Science in Communications Sciences and Disorders, general, in 2020 at the University of Mississippi before completing a fellowship in speech language pathology in the Mississippi Thrive! Child Health and Development Project, an initiative of Children’s of Mississippi and Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center.

Her research experience includes participation in a project that advocated for the importance of screening for feeding, language and speech milestones during well child visits; the project was developed for family medicine residents and pediatric nurse practitioner students in Mississippi.

Her work experience includes providing outpatient and comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services for children (birth to 16 years old) with an array of developmental and/or genetic diagnoses as well as pediatric feeding disorders. 

Dixon is a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and the Mississippi Speech and Hearing Association Committee of Honors.

Dr. Sukriye Damla Kara

Sukriye Damla Kara

Dr. Sukriye Damla Kara, recently a neurology resident at the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of neurology.

Kara earned her medical degree in 2017 in the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program in Newcastle, United Kingdom. It is part of the St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies.

Epilepsy is the area of her most recent research. She also has research experience in such areas as the management of neuropathic pain and the etiology of malignant bone tumors. Her various presentations and abstracts have covered such topics as thrombolysis in patients with Down syndrome and ischemic stroke, trends in the incidence of migraine in patients hospitalized for acute ischemic stroke in the United States, and outcomes of acute ischemic stroke in patients with alcohol abuse.

Kara is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Academy of Neurology, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, and American College of Physicians.

Dr. Edward “Kelly” Mrachek

Edward Mrachek

Dr. Edward “Kelly” Mrachek has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of pathology in the School of Medicine.

Mrachek, a dual-boarded neuropathologist and pediatric pathologist, earned his medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, in 2012 before completing his residency training in pathology at the Penrose-St. Francis Pathology Residency Program in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

He completed a neuropathology fellowship at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, Virginia, then went on to further subspecialize with a pediatric pathology fellowship at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colorado.

Mrachek has participated in an array of research projects and has served as lead author or co-author of numerous abstracts, as well as articles published in professional journals. He enjoys teaching the next generation of health care providers, and has teaching experience with residents and/or medical students at the University of Colorado, the University of Virginia and the Penrose-St. Francis Pathology Residency program.

He is a member of such professional organizations as the American Association of Neuropathologists, the College of American Pathologists, as well as the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and has been granted committee appointments in the AANP.