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Faculty

We are currently a proud group of 32 full-time faculty dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in pulmonary & critical care medicine, with a focus on clinical, bench, and translational research, medical education, systems and quality-based improvement, and leadership in hospital administration.

Just as the field of Pulmonary and Critical Care is broad in scope, so are our faculty diverse in interests. From full-time intensivists to interventional pulmonologists to NIH-funded researchers (and many of us still trying to do and have it all!), fellows can find a willing guide in virtually any aspect of our field.

Program Director

Mary Anne Morgan, MD

Mary Anne Morgan, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Program Director, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Fellowship
Clinician Educator

I enjoy the spectrum of pulmonary and critical care and am active seeing patients in the role of attending intensivist at Strong Memorial and Highland Hospitals, as pulmonary consultant at Strong Memorial, and in the outpatient setting as general pulmonologist and Director of the University of Rochester’s Lymphangioleiomyomatosis Clinic. I feel honored to be involved in the lives of my patients and the trainees at URMC.

Education is my primary non-clinical passion. My favorite hours of the week are spent debating cases, identifying pitfalls in reasoning, and learning from my colleagues and trainees in Internal Medicine resident morning report and in our many PCCM conferences. I am grateful to be an eternal student. I was thrilled to be able to expound on the art and pitfalls of our clinical reasoning during last summer’s Internal Medicine Grand Rounds as a faculty expert in evidence-based medicine.  

In my free time, I am a voracious reader, an avid outdoors-person (ask me about the time I hiked and canoed across the Arctic Circle!), a jam-maker, and a yoga enthusiast. I am also the proud mother of two rambunctious boys and one rambunctious dog.

Associate Program Director

Carrie Quill, MD

Caroline Quill, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Fellowship
Associate MICU Director
Clinician Educator

My general approach as I embark on "mid-career faculty life" is to be the associate to as many fabulous people as possible. In addition to being the Associate Program Director of the Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, I am also the Associate Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit. A small nugget of career advice: hitch your wagon to people who shine incredible light all around them (see Drs Mary Anne Morgan and Anthony Pietropaoli for perfect illustrations of this) and you cannot help but succeed.

Career advice aside, I want to thank you for taking the time to look at our fellowship program and to share with you a few of the reasons I choose to call Rochester home. My husband (Tim O’Connor, Emergency Medicine) and I accepted faculty positions at the University of Rochester in 2013 after a long haul of training in Philadelphia. There are many viable paths for career advancement at the University of Rochester. Many institutions talk about valuing teaching, but here you can actually get promoted primarily as a teacher/scholar, not exclusively as an NIH-funded researcher. But if NIH-funding is what you are looking for, look no further! Our division supports physician scientists (with resources and time) as they transition from fellowship to faculty and prepare to secure their own external funding.

When I am not associate directing something, I am usually pontificating on rounds in the MICU. If I am not there, you will find me doing or teaching yoga. I can typically be found within a 15 foot radius of Dr. Morgan, especially during COVID times. I also enjoy taking orders from my two children, taking admissions from my husband, jumping in cold lakes, mountain biking, and distance running when my foot does not hurt. I look forward to speaking with you.

Core Fellowship Program Faculty

Steve Georas, MD

Steve Georas, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, Pulmonary Function Laboratory
Co-Director, T32 Research training Grant
Physician Scientist

We recognize that most of our fellows don’t have extensive research experience when they come to our program. So it is important for them to have enough protected time and take ownership of a project that is both feasible and tailored to their interests. In my experience, pulmonary fellows have the most success at research when they take a “deep dive” into a given research project, and persevere despite the ups and downs that are inherent in any scientific endeavor.

I moved to Rochester in 2006 because of the great opportunities available at the URMC for a physician-scientist like me. I was really impressed with the quality of house staff and our fellows, who are some of the brightest young minds in academic medicine that I’ve had the pleasure of working with in my career. I was equally impressed by the camaraderie in the faculty in our division. I’ve stayed in Rochester because it is an enjoyable place to go to work everyday.

I have a long-standing research interest in understanding mechanisms of allergic airway inflammation in asthma.  Our recent focus has been on airway epithelial cells, which are early responders to inhaled allergens, viruses and particles.  We are currently investigating new molecular pathways by which respiratory viruses cause dysfunction of tight junction proteins in airway epithelial cells which makes them “leaky”.  We think this is an understudied aspect of asthma pathophysiology, which has potential to explain different types of asthma and hopefully lead to new therapies.

Surprise fact: Speaks fluent Greek.

Sandya Khurana, MD

Sandy Khurana, MD
Professor of Medicine
Medical Director of the Mary Parkes Asthma Center

I moved to Rochester in 2008 because I felt that URMC could provide me the opportunities to grow as a clinician, educator and scholar. I was particularly drawn by the collegial and collaborative environment in the Pulmonary & Critical Care division. Over the years I have grown to love Rochester as home. It is the perfect-sized city with a great community, excellent restaurants, outdoor spaces and art. 

My clinical practice is primarily focused on management of severe and difficult asthma. I am the medical director of the Mary Parkes Center, one of the main outpatient sites for URMC pulmonary practice, which houses our excellent asthma biologic program. My clinical research focuses on application of new and advanced therapies in asthma. I am the past chair of ACCP’s Airways Disorders Network, faculty at CHEST meetings and courses, and a CHEST Board of Regents member. When I am not immersed in the wonderful world of asthma, you will find me seeking good food, great company and places to travel.

I think that the URMC PCCM fellowship provides a nice balance of clinical and research training. Many unique and interesting research opportunities are available to our fellows, ranging from basic science to clinical and outcomes research, in almost all aspects of pulmonary and critical care medicine. With protected research time and strong mentorship, our fellows have done well in whatever field they have chosen. My advice is to start thinking about research early in your fellowship, consider what interests you and don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone.

Surprise Fact: Never one to shy from a challenge, her very first experience hiking was completing the arduous Inca Trail.

Michael Nead, MD, PhD

Michael Nead, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Clinical Director, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
Medical Director, Interventional Pulmonology

Broadly speaking, my interests involve all things bronchoscopy, with some pleural disease work as well. Much of my work involves advanced diagnostic procedures, whether endobronchial ultrasound guided biopsies or navigational bronchoscopic techniques. On the therapeutic side, I enjoy solving complex airway issues to improve a patient's quality and quantity of life.

 A unique level of satisfaction comes when working with a motivated adult learner who asks probing questions while actively striving to improve their skill at something. I think a fellow's opportunities at URMC are limited only by their imagination and motivation.

Surprise fact: Expert telemark skier.

 

Anthony Pietropaoli, MD

Anthony Pietropaoli, MD
Vice Chief, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
Medical Director, Medical Intensive Care Service, Strong Memorial Hospital
Associate Director, Adult Critical Care, Strong Memorial Hospital
Medical Director, Department of Respiratory Care, Strong Memorial Hospital
Medical Director, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, University of Rochester Medical Center

The University of Rochester Medical Center combines a very broad array of renowned experts, laboratories, and research programs with an approachability, collaborative spirit, and friendliness that is hard to find in other major university medical centers. This easily permits our fellows to link up with research programs that align with their goals and interests.

Our fellowship provides a unique opportunity for fellows to immerse themselves in a scholarly project. The value of this dedicated time for research cannot be under-estimated. My hope and expectation is that our fellows seize this opportunity and use it to its maximal potential to gain unique experiences, insights, and productivity offered by this feature of our program.

I am interested in team-based translational research, especially mechanisms of microvascular dysfunction in sepsis syndrome / ARDS / critical illness. In particular, a dysregulated host response leading to:

  • Endothelial dysfunction relating to a deficiency of bioavailable nitric oxide
  • Maladaptive neutrophils that accumulate in the lungs and other vital organs, promoting ARDS, systemic vascular leak, and shock.
  • Dysfunctional erythrocytes that fail to transduce hypoxic systemic vasodilation, are less deformable so occlude microcirculatory vessels, and are more fragile so release cell-free heme into the circulation causing vasoconstriction, oxidative stress, and further immune dysregulation.
  • The role of microvascular dysfunction in degrading the blood-brain barrier, thereby producing sepsis-associated encephalopathy and prolonged cognitive dysfunction.

I'm also interested in epidemiological research examining novel risk factors for poor outcomes or disparate management of critically ill patients, including demographics, comorbidities, and other baseline characteristics.

Surprise fact: I was going to be a general internist—never intended to do a pulmonary/ ccm fellowship.   Toward the end of my chief residency I developed Pneumococcal pneumonia, septic shock, ARDS.  I was intubated, PEEP was ramped up to 20, pressors, paralysis, pneumothorax, AKI, coagulopathy, delirium, 11 days on mechanical ventilation, post-intensive care syndrome…the whole thing. I changed my mind about my career after that.

“Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”—John Lennon, and others

 

David Trawick, MD, PhD

David Trawick, MD, PhD
Medical Director, Consult and Transfer Center
Medical Director, Progressive Care Unit

Rochester was ahead of the curve in providing a rigorous but humane clinical education at the residency level. Our GME was one of the first to receive an “A+” rating for our clinical training programs. However, what truly stands out to me is the degree of collegiality among the faculty within and between divisions and departments.

Our fellowship enables any fellow to pursue a pulmonary/critical care tailored to their interest and skill sets. We truly set our trainees up for success. So, whether they want to undertake a NIH funded laboratory career, pursue interventional pulmonary, teach, gain additional training in translational or clinical research, or obtain a MPH or even an MBA in health systems management, we are able to tailor the second and third year of the fellowship to achieve those goals. Furthermore, we ascertain that fellows to maintain and further their clinical skills throughout the fellowship through additional training in EBUS, PleurX and pigtail catheter placement, and advanced airway management workshops.

I think it is important that our fellows learn to effectively teach at the bedside and gain proficiency at presenting at conferences at the levels of the Medical Center, regionally, and nationally. All of our fellows are expected to participate in and present at the American Thoracic Society. Our dedication to this component of graduate medical education is underscored by the numerous “Fellow of the Year” awards presented to our trainees by the internal medicine residency program for their outstanding contributions to teaching.

In additional to my general pulmonary clinic, I follow patients with noninfectious complications of bone marrow transplantation, pulmonary vascular disease, and complications of neuromuscular disease. I also lecture on community-acquired pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and respiratory failure to our medical students, pulmonary/critical care fellows, residents and to students in the Rochester Institute of Technology Physician’s Assistant Program.

Surprise fact: Called “Papa Trawick” or “Uncle Dave” for his knack for making all fellows feel like part of his family.

Dom Roto, DO
PGY-5

Dom Roto, DO

Medical School / U. New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency / University of Rochester 
Hometown / Eastford, CT

The institution as a whole is an incredible community where there is a tremendous amount of both collegiality and collaboration from all departments. You really couldn't ask for a better learning environment.

The faculty are supportive and involved, and really encourage you to follow your interests. Whether they be in bench or clinical research, QI projects, or just becoming a better clinician, you can always easily find someone to help guide you.”