October 3, 2022

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New faculty join UMMC academic ranks

Published on Monday, October 3, 2022

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

Dr. Wade O’Connell Christopher

Wade Christopher

Dr. Wade O’Connell Christopher, recently a fellow in complex surgical oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of surgery within the Division of Surgical Oncology in the School of Medicine.

Christopher graduated from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in 2015 before he did his residency training in general surgery at UMMC. At UMMC, he won numerous honors, including AOA Resident of the Year, the Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award presented by the Arnold Gold Foundation, and the Carl Evers M.D. Society Resident Teaching Excellence Award. As a resident, he also served on several research and quality improvement committees.

A member of the American College of Surgeons and the Society of Surgical Oncology, he has participated in a number of professional research presentations across the country and is the lead author on a variety of peer-reviewed publications.

He is certified in the fundamentals of endoscopic surgery, fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery, Da Vinci robotic surgery, advanced trauma life support, advanced cardiac life support, and more.

As an undergraduate, he played four years of football at Auburn University where he made the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll and was a member of the 2010 BCS National Championship-winning team.

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Dr. Melissa A. Scholes

Melissa Scholes

Dr. Melissa A. Scholes, recently an associate professor of otolaryngology at the University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery in the School of Medicine.

Scholes received her medical degree in 2003 from the School of Medicine at UMMC. At the University of Colorado Health Science Center in Denver, she completed a general surgery internship and her residency in otolaryngology. At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio State University in Columbus, she completed a fellowship in otolaryngology.

She served for the past 10 years on the faculty of Children’s Hospital Colorado, where she held a number of leadership roles and committee memberships, and for three years at Bassett Medical Center, Columbia University, Cooperstown, New York.

Scholes, who is board-certified in otolaryngology and in complex pediatric otolaryngology, is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, American Cleft Palate Association, Society for Ear Nose and Throat Advancement in Children, and the American Medical Association.

She has delivered numerous invited national and international lectures and is the co-author of at least 15 peer-reviewed journal publications. She is the co-author of the textbook, ENT Secrets, and a variety of book chapters.

Scholes serves as a reviewer for The Laryngoscope, International Journal of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, and Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology.

Over the years, she has participated in a dozen medical missions, including those to Peru, Guatemala, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

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Dr. Dipen Vyas

Dipen Vyas

Dr. Dipen Vyas, recently a neonatal-perinatal fellow at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children/Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of pediatrics-neonatology in the School of Medicine.

Vyas earned his medical degree (MBBS) in 2014 at the B.J. Medical College in Ahmedabad, India. He completed his residency in pediatrics at the Harlem Hospital Center/Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. He served for more than a year as a clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Drexel University College of Medicine.

Vyas was also a rotating fellow-point of care ultrasound in the Department of Neonatology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and a rotating fellow in neonatal hemodynamics at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City.

Board-certified in pediatrics and in neonatal perinatal medicine, Vyas is also certified in pediatric advanced life support, neonatal resuscitation and more. Among his many honors and awards is the 2015-2016 American Board of Pediatrics Certificate of Achievement.

Vyas, who has extensive teaching experience, received the Angelo M. Digeorge Teaching Award for outstanding fellowship teacher at St. Christopher’s. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, among other professional organizations, and has served on a variety of professional committees or in administrative services.

He has been the investigator or co-investigator for several research projects and has made a number of research project presentations. He has also served as ad hoc reviewer for several professional publications or manuscripts. Vyas has been published in the Pediatric Quality & Safety journal and in the Antibiotic Stewardship & Healthcare Epidemiology journal.

His current research interest and focus is in “Development of neonatal point of care ultrasound program and educational curriculum for trainees.”