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Faculty members at UMHS share a love of teaching. Skilled and credentialed educators, with backgrounds in medical education, research, and administration, they truly believe that medical students deserve the best instructional methods, including technological tools, available today. 

Priding themselves on availability to UMHS students inside and outside of the classroom, our faculty creates a nurturing learning environment.  We are a small school catering to the individual needs of our students.  Unlike other caribbean medical schools we offer a personalized education and work closely with each student to ensure their success.  As a result, we are proud to announce that our current attrition rate is approximatley 4% in the basic science program.

Each faculty member was selected because of their unique set of academic medicine capabilities.  Team members range from educators who transitioned from private practice to academic medicine, to members who have spent their entire careers focused on providing the finest instruction to medical students. 

As UMHS grows, recruitment of credentialed and qualified faculty primarily from U.S. medicals schools is on going. This page will be periodically updated to include new faculty.




Dean of Basic Sciences

Diretor of Library Services
Professor of Library Research

Campus Registrar 

Campus Nurse

Dean of Student Affairs, Associate Dean
Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Housing Director

Director, Information Technology, St. Kitts

Vice President of Facilities

Zenado Camacho, Ph.D.
Dean Emeritus

UMHS-St. Kitts Faculty

Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics 

ABAYOMI AFOLABI, M.B.B.S. Assistant Professor of Gross Anatomy, Professor of Microbiology 

Professor of Neuroscience

Associate Professor of Microbiolgy

Professor of Genetics and Immunology

Professor of Pathology

Instructor of Microbiology

Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Course Director and Professor of Physical Diagnosis

Dean of Student Affairs
Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Professor of Anatomy and Physiology

Professor of Biochemistry, Course Director 

Professor of Pharmacology

LENA NILSSON, M.Sci., M.A., B.Sci.
Assistant Professor of Medical Education 

Dean of Basic Sciences
Chair and Professor of Anatomy and Professor of Histology

Professor of Pharmacology and Director of ARP

Professor of Pathology

BICHARA S. SAHELEY, B. Sc. (Hons), M.D..M.B.B.S., DM (UWI)
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine

Course Director and Professor of Pharmocology

FRANK WAGNER, Psy.D., M.A., B.A., B.B.S.
Professor of Behavioral Science

Clinical Professor of Surgery



WILLIAM THURMAN, M.D - Caribbean medical school

 Dr. Thurman brings a rich medical, academic, and administrative background to UMHS.   Educated at University of North Carolina (B.S.), Tulane University (M.P.H) and McGill University (M.D.C.M.), Dr. Thurman specialized in pediatric hematology/oncology as the chief resident at Tulane. During his career, Dr. Thurman also was chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and he held the position of president, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Inc.

Dr. Thurman entered academic medicine at Tulane University as an instructor.  Other faculty appointments included Emory University, Cornell University School of Medicine, Rockefeller Institute, and the University of Virginia, where he was chair of pediatrics.  Dr. Thurman was the dean of medicine at Tulane University, as well as the vice president for medical affairs and provost at the University of Oklahoma, where he was responsible for six health science schools, including the school of medicine.

After retiring from the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Thurman served as dean of two Caribbean medical schools.  He has the title of Dean Emeritus from American University of the Caribbean.  Dr. Thurman joined the University of Medicine and Health Sciences in 2007 as provost.



Dean of Basic Sciences
Chair and Professor of Gross Anatomy and Professor of Histology



Dr. Edwin S. Purcell earned a Ph.D. in Anatomy from the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS. He received his Master of Arts in Physiology and his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence Kansas.  Dr. Purcell also has an Associate and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Monmouth College, West Long Branch, New Jersey.


Dr. Purcell’s extensive medical education background has included his work an instructor of biological sciences at Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, New Mexico. He moved on to become a graduate teaching assistant, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas. He then became an instructor of biological sciences at Johnson County College, Overland Park, Kansas, followed by work as an Adjunct instructor and research assistant at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He served as Assistant then Associate Professor at Des Moines University then as Associate Professor and Director of Neuroanatomy at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. He then worked as Director of Medical Neuroscience and Associate Professor of basic medical science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City. Just prior to joining UMHS, Dr. Purcell was Interim Chair and Associate Professor of Anatomy at A.T. Still University, Kirksville, Missouri. He holds multiple teaching awards.


Dr. Purcell’s research has focused on interactions between the nervous and immune system.  First, helping to establish the link between stress and immune suppression and later demonstrating the ability increased vagal activity to decrease the production of hyperinflammatory cytokines.  He was a founding  member of the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society.  He was a member of the State Anatomical Board of the State of Missouri and is a member of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists.



Associate Dean

Dean of Student Affairs

Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology 


medical_school_opening_ceremonies_800_edited-1.jpgDr. Thomas J. Last received his Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.  His B.S. in biology was received from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Dr. Last was a research scientist at Matek Corporation in Massachusetts before becoming an assistant processor of cell biology and genetics at the Medical University of the Americas (MUA), Nevis.  He was promoted to associate professor and then assistant dean of the basic science program at MUA.  Dr. Last joined UMHS in 2009 as an associate professor of biochemistry and cell biology.







Director of Library Services and Professor of Library Research

NORMA ANN CELESTINE - UMHS Caribbean medical schoolProfessor Celestine received her M.L.S. and her B.A., with a major in Spanish, from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

In addition to her work with the University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Professor Celestine heads the library program for the International University of  Nursing, which shares the campus with the University of Medicine and Health Sciences.  Professor Celestine directs all library operations, and keeps the library abreast of advances in technology, including incorporating Web 2.0, electronic resources, multimedia, digital repository functionality and course management systems into the library services.

Prior to joining UMHS and IUON, Ms. Celestine directed operations for HealthLink Services-Research Services Department, Kitchener Public Library, Kitchener, ON, and has been the assistant director of Library Services at St. Georges University, School of Medicine, Grenade, West Indies. She also has been the director of library services at Arusha International Development Resource Centre in Calgary.





James Gordon Avery, M.D., MB,ChB. FFPH. DTM&H
Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Dr. James G. Avery earned his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B., Ch.B) and his Doctor of Medicine with Distinction (M.D.) from the University of Sheffield Medical School, Sheffield, United Kingdom.  He earned his Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (D.T.M.&H.) from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.  Dr. Avery was a Member (M.F.P.H.), then Fellow (F.F.P.H.), Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom.

With an extensive medical career, Dr. Avery’s began as a junior house officer at the Sheffield Royal Infirmary and Children’s Hospital.  He then became a senior house officer, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cuckfold Hospital, Sussex, UK. Dr. Avery was the district medical officer, then government malariologist, then chief medical officer community health in the Solomon Islands.  Dr. Avery moved on to become the district medical officer, then director of public health, South Warwickshire, UK.  He then became chief of preventative medicine, King Faisal Military Hospital, Khamis Mushayt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Dr. Avery was a senior medical officer, Welsh Office, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, UK.  He was the chief medical officer, Montserrat West Indies, then a locum consultant in public health with Iechydd Morgannwg Health, Swansea Wales. Dr. Avery’s most recent position was as director/associate professor of epidemiology and public health at the Medical University of the Americas in Nevis, West Indies. 

Dr. Avery has been an honorary senior lecturer and/or tutor on epidemiology, public health, travel medicine, and injury prevention at Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, Coventry, Glasgow, Warwick and Wales at Swansea.  He was a visiting professor St Georges University, Grenada and University of the United Arab Emirates, Al Ain, UAE.  He also has been an associate professor of epidemiology and public health, Medical University of the Americas.

Dr. Avery is a member of the British Medical Association, founder and member of the Child Accident Prevention Trust, and a member of the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety.  He is a Fellow, Royal Geographical Society, London and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine, London.  In addition, Dr. Avery is a member, International Panel of Judges on Annual Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award, World Committee on Disability, Washington, DC.

Dr. Avery’s publications include various papers and letters on injury prevention and public health issues from 1968 to present in BMJ, Lancet, Practitioner, Injury Prevention, Risk Analysis, Journal of Occupational Health, Papua New Guinea Medical Journal, and West Indian Medical Journal.  He has been a presenter of papers and/or posters at conferences, and senior co-author of Children and their Accidents, 1993 and a Contributor of chapter on ‘Accidents and injuries experienced by travellers’ in Lockie C et al (editors) Travel Medicine and Migrant Health, Edinburgh.Churchill Livingstone 2000.  He also was the author of the walking guide ‘Gower Coastal Walks’. DW Jones. Port Talbot.Wales, UK  2001.


MICHAEL D. DOHERTY, Ph.D., M.Sc. (Professor of Neuroscience)

MICHAEL D. DOHERTY-medical school St. KittsDr. Michael Doherty received his Ph.D. from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  His M.Sc. is also from McGill University, and his B.A. is from Concordia University in Montreal.

Prior to joining UMHS, Dr. Doherty was chair of the Neuroscience Department at the Medical University of the Americas, Nevis, West Indies. Dr. Doherty also has taught at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, and he was an instructor in the Science Outreach Program in New York City, a program for elementary, middle school and high school students.

Dr. Doherty was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Neurobiology/Neuroscience at Weill Medical College. He did postdoctoral research at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and he was a postgraduate research assistant, Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at McGill University.




Professor of Genetics and Immunology

david-herrick.jpgWith more than 30 research publications to his name, Dr. Herrick brings his research and medical education skills to UMHS.  Dr. Herrick was an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  He then became a research assistant professor, Department of Anatomy, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.  Most recently, Dr. Herrick was a research associate professor, Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA.

Dr. Herrick received his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and his B.S. in biology from Windham College in Vermont.  He was a post-doctoral research fellow and then a research associate at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin.




ANOOP KUMAR JALAN, M.D., M.B.B.S. (Professor of Pathology)

dsc_0227_100x150.jpgDr. Anoop Kumar Jalan earned his Doctor of Medicine degree in Pathology from the Kasturba Medical College, Deemed University in India.  The topic of his medical degree thesis was “Cytodiagnosis of Salivary Gland Tumors:  Correlation with Histologic Diagnosis”.  He received his M.B.B.S. degree from J.J.M. Medical College, Davangere, Kuvempu University, Karnataka. India.

Immediately prior to joining UMHS, Dr. Jalan was Chair, Department of Pathology and Microbiology, St. Eustatius School of Medicine, St Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles.  He began his teaching at St. Eustatius School of Medicine as a professor of pathology. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Dr. Jalan was the course director for Pathology I and II, head of the Student Grievance Committee, head of the Curriculum Committee, and faculty advisor for the American Medical Student Association (AMSA).

Dr. Jalan also has worked at SABA University School of Medicine, Saba Dutch Caribbean, as an associate professor of pathology where he taught Pathology I and Pathology II to medical students.  At SABA, Dr. Jalan also was a course director for Pathology I and II, as well as the division head, pathophysiology.

While in Nepal , Dr. Jalan was actively involved in independent reporting of histopathology cytology and haematology specimens at Manipal Teaching Hospital, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Nepal. He participated in the training of pathology postgraduate students (particularly in the practical aspects of Cytology, Haematology and Histopathology reporting), and he taught General and Systemic Pathology to medical undergraduates and Medical laboratory technologists.

At the beginning of his medical education career, Dr. Jalen was a tutor in pathology and a tutor in microbiology at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India.  He taught pathology to medical and dental undergraduates, nursing, medical laboratory technologists and physiotherapy students.  He also conducted basic laboratory sessions in medical microbiology for medical and dental undergraduates as well as reporting histopathology, cytology and haematology specimens under supervision.

Dr. Jalen presented “Turcot Syndrome: Report of an Additional Case” at the Golden Jubilee National Conference of IAPM National Conference, Lucknow, India in November 1999.

His research interests include “Role of FNAC in diagnosis of Thyroid lesions” and “Role of image-guided FNAC in diagnosing lesions of lungs”.


THOMAS McCRACKEN, Ph.D. (H.C.), M.S., M.S., B.E.
Professor of Anatomy and Physiology

  medical_school_opening_ceremonies_770_edited-1.jpgAn internationally known medical illustrator, Professor McCracken brings his unique and exciting expertise in 3D computer imaging to the UMHS anatomy and physiology classes.  The use of computer imaging greatly enhances the teaching component of the University’s anatomy and physiology classes.

Professor McCracken received an M.S. in anatomy and physiology from the University of Michigan, and he received another M.S. from the same institution in biomedical illustration.  His B.E. is also from the University of Michigan in biology and education.

Professor McCracken has illustrated over 200 journal articles and textbooks during his career.  He was also involved in a National Institute of Health project to construct three dimensional interactive computer models which are used by most medical schools in the United States.

Prior to joining UMHS and its sister nursing school, IUON, Professor McCracken taught at Colorado State University and the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Saudi Arabia.

Professor McCracken is a member of the American Association of Anatomists, the American Association of Clinical Anatomists, the Association of Medical Illustrators, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology and the Health Science Communication Association.


PRAKASH MUNGLI, M.D., M.B.B.S. (Professor of Biochemistry, Course Director)


Dr Prakash Mungli is a passionate teacher of biochemistry. He has received his MD in biochemistry from Manipal University, India and his basic medical sciences degree MBBS from Gulbarga University, India. Dr Mungli is teaching medical biochemistry since 2002. He has more than 10 years of passion driven experience in intensive education in Medical Biochemistry according to USMLE curriculum and other curriculums across the world. Prior to joining UMHS Dr Mungli was teaching biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics in St Matthews University, school of medicine at Cayman Islands.  His knowledge, skills, values, experience and attitude so acquired has spanned undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate education, teaching basic and advanced concepts in Medical Biochemistry, through classical pedagogy, problem based learning (PBL), team base learning (TBL), small group learning, case presentation, and small group presentation. 

Dr Mungli brings in his vast experience to his classroom while teaching using various modes of teaching to make even difficult concepts easily understandable. Dr Mungli has his own YouTube channel where he posts short reviews of his lecture which students can access from anywhere. He also keeps students engaged with biochemistry even out of the classroom via his Facebook group Biochemistry Made Easy, and though his blog which has the same name. Dr Mungli is currently faculty advisor for American Medical Students Association (AMSA) and is actively involved in all its activities.

Apart from being a passionate teacher Dr Mungli is also involved himself actively in research. So far he has published 65 research papers in national and international indexed journals. His work has been cited in more than 50 indexed journals. He has guided more than 25 master degree students and co-guided 5 PhD students and his work has been presented both as a poster and oral in more than 20 national and international conferences. Dr Mungli has served as editorial board member and reviewer for 6 indexed journals. His current research interest is in medical education. Before joining Manipal University, Dr Mungli was practicing as a family physician and he has given his valuable service to community in his native place in India for 2 years. This way Dr Mungli brings in his clinical experience along with his research and teaching experience for the students of UMHS.



Professor of Pathology


Dr. Roy completed basic medicine and residency in Pathology from KMC Manipal in 1993.

He then joined the University of West Indies twinning program at Manipal. The UWI program is PBL based curriculum for basic sciences. In January 2000, he was selected as external examiner for UWI campus (St. Augustine) in Trinidad. In November 2000, Dr. Roy was earned a two year sabbatical posting as Junior Registrar at Princess Margaret Hospital, Nassau, The Bahamas. He was assisted the department of Pathology with surgical pathology, cytopathology and autopsies. Dr. Roy while in Bahamas completed his training with ‘The college of American Pathologists’ for gynecologic and non-gynecologic cytopathology. He was also involved with the clinical program of UWI in Princess Margaret Hospital, Nassau.

Dr. Roy in 1997 was also attached to another twinning program with Malaysia (Melaka University). He continued to be a faculty to Melaka twinning program after completing his two year posting at Nassau. This program too was a PBL based curriculum. 

Dr. Roy also was appointed to the Medical Education Department in 1997, where he was involved in designing PBL curriculum in Pathology. He had conducted conferences and seminars in higher education for medical, dental, nursing, pharmacology, and engineering colleges in India.

Dr. Roy was attached to the KMC hospital as a surgical pathologist and cytopathologist. He was appointed Unit Chief for surgical Pathology in year 2005. Dr. Roy underwent training in Dermatopathology and helped in histopathological and immunofluoresence reporting of skin biopsies.
During his tenure in Manipal Dr. Roy was taught Pathology for Medical, Dental, and Nursing students.

In the year 2006, Dr. Roy joined St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, Grand Cayman. He was appointed as Curriculum Committee chairman, and in charge of Excellence in Medical Education. He was in charge of conducting the monthly Clinico-Pathological (CPC) seminars

In the year 2011 Dr. Roy joined back Manipal University, as Professor of Pathology for the AUA, Antigua program. In May 2013, Dr. Roy joined UMHS.


JAGADEESH NAGAPPA, M.B.B.S., DFM (Associate Professor of Physiology)


dr-nagappa-150.jpg Jagadeesh Nagappa received his Diploma in Family medicine from Royal College of General Practioners, United Kingdom. He also earned a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) from  Bangalore University, Bangalore, India.

Dr. Nagappa practiced medicine in India, and in the Caribbean. For many years, Dr. Nagappa held positions in departments of physiology, biochemistry and Physical Diagnosis at medical schools in the Caribbean and in the United Kingdom.

In his most recent position prior to joining UMHS, Dr.Nagappa was an Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, Course director of preclinical sciences and Course director of fundamentals of clinical sciences, St. Matthews University,  school of Medicine, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.





Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
Course Director and Professor of Physical Diagnosis


Dr. Mohan Kumar earned his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) from JSS Medical College, Mysore University, Mysore, India. He was awarded with the Doctor of Medicine (M.D) in Forensic Medicine from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, India. After receiving his M.D., Dr. Kumar began his career as an assistant professor at Manipal University where he not only taught medical students, but also conducted forensic autopsies, examined skeletal remains, visited crime scenes and attended court to give his expert opinion. Dr. Kumar was also the Honorary Forensic Medicine Consultant for the government and assisted in crime investigations. Dr. Kumar has been actively involved in medical education since 1997 in various capacities. He enjoys passing on his skills and knowledge to his students while always catching up on the latest developments in the field of medicine. His passion for teaching was fueled when Dr. Kumar attended a workshop on teaching, learning and evaluation of medical students at Manipal University. Prior to Joining UMHS in 2011, Dr. Kumar served as an associate professor of Preclinical Sciences teaching Physical Diagnosis and Introduction to Clinical Medicine at St Mathew’s University (SMU), Cayman Islands. He also taught Anatomy as an associate professor at American University of Antigua (AUA). Dr. Kumar has 17 publications to his credit in various international journals and sites including PubMed. His case reports gave an insight on various interesting cases, which he encountered during his practice of medicine. Presently he is the Course Director of Physical Diagnosis (PD) and Associate Professor of Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) courses. Dr. Kumar has been actively involved in various committees including Admission, Disciplinary and Information Management Committee. He has also served various medical associations including the Surgical Society of SMU and was Faculty Advisor for the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) at UMHS.

Assistant Professor of Gross Anatomy


  Dr. Afolabi G. Abayomi is a Nigerian medical doctor who was born and raised in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He trained in one of the oldest and most respected medical school in West Africa, The University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria, West Africa.  After which he practiced medicine both in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom. He began teaching Anatomy and Embryology at the American University of Antigua where he taught for about 5 years before moving to the United States to teach at various level of the medical educational system in Connecticut. He is a member of the American Anatomical Association and a certified physician with a masters in Human Anatomy and Physiology from the New York Chiropractic College.






LENA NILSSON, M.Sci., M.A., B.Sci.
Instructor of Medical Education

  nilsson-lena.jpgMs. Lena Nilsson came to UMHS from Medical University of the Americas in Nevis, where she was an adjunct instructor in the microbiology laboratory.  She instructed third semester medical students in aseptic techniques and differential identification of bacteria.  For eight years, Ms. Nilsson was a pharmaceutical scientist as well as chemical hygiene officer at Cortex Pharmaceuticals, Irvine, CA.  Prior to joining Cortex, she spent 11 years at Wyatt Technology Corporation in Santa Barbara, CA, where she was the director of technical services and support for laser light-scattering instrumentation.

Ms. Nilsson received her M.Sci. in computational organic chemistry from Lund Technical Institute in Lund, Sweden.  Her M.A. is in biochemistry from UC Santa Barbara and her B.Sci. is in biotechnology/chemical engineering from Lund Institute of Technology. Ms. Nilsson has several publications in peer-reviewed journals.




GARY A. Rogers, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacology

gary_rogers.jpgDr. Gary A. Rogers received a B.S. in Organic Chemistry from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Bio-Organic Chemistry from the University of California Santa Barbara. Subsequently, he carried out post-doctoral research in protein biochemistry and bioenergetics at UCLA with Professor. Paul Boyer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1997.  Dr. Rogers held faculty positions at UCLA, The University of Texas, King Faisal Medical University in Saudi Arabia and at the University of California Santa Barbara.  He also lectured at Lunds University in Sweden.

In 1990, Dr. Rogers began a research collaboration with Professor Gary Lynch, University of California Irvine that led to the invention of molecules known as AMPAKINE drugs (see article in Wikipedia). Dr. Rogers served as senior vice president, pharmaceutical research at Cortex Pharmaceuticals in Irvine, Calif., a position to which he was promoted after joining Cortex in 1995. At Cortex, Dr. Rogers was the director of CNS research that included drug design, ligand binding assays, pharmacokinetics and metabolism, in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, and animal behavior. Dr. Rogers’ research has led to 14 issued U.S. patents, and 20 international patents that involve novel structures and/or methods of use of AMPAKINE drugs. These drugs are currently under investigation for their potential to treat schizophrenia, depression, mild cognitive impairment, ADHD, Rett Syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, sleep apnea and respiratory depression as a result of opiate overdose. In addition, Dr. Roger’s research activities led to authorship or co-authorship of more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Rogers retired from Cortex Pharmaceuticals in early 2007 and was appointed professor at the Medical University of the Americas, Nevis.  There, he lectured in courses in Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Pharmacology and Medical Psychology.  Moving to St. Kitts in 2009, Dr. Rogers was appointed professor of pharmacology at UMHS.

Dr. Rogers also has a strong interest in photography. He attended Brook’s Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA, and at one point, made his living as a photographer in the middle east.

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Bichara Sahely earned his Doctorate of Medicine degree from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica.  He completed an elective in rheumatology, nephrology and cardiology at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Dr. Sahely received his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. His Bachelors of Science and Honors Certificate in Biology was earned from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

After completing his internship at the University Hospital of the West Indies Kingston, Jamaica, Dr. Sahely became a medical officer of internal medicine and then a consultant specialist physician at Joseph N. France General Hospital, Basseterre, St. Kitts.  He also is in private practice in internal medicine in Basseterre.

Dr. Sahely has earned a variety of academic awards.  While at University of the West Indies, he earned the pre-clinical medal, the physiology medal, the Noel Haye Prize in Anatomy and the E.V. Ellington Pre-Clinical medal prize.  While at Dalhousie University, Dr. Sahely earned the Dalhousie Entrance Renewable Scholasrhip-the Avery Prize, the Stewart Smith Scholarship, and the Burgess McKittrick Prize in Physics.  He also earned the J.G. MacGregor Prize in Physics.

Professor of Pharmacology

Pinakini Shankar received her Doctor in Medicine (M.D) in Pharmacology from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, India. Her medical dissertation was titled:  Antidiabetic activity of Ginkgo Biloba in Streptozocin induced diabetes”.   She also earned a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) from JSS Medical College, Mysore University, Mysore, India.

At the beginning of her medical education career, Dr. Shankar was an assistant professor, then promoted to associate professor at the Department of Pharmacology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal India.  Dr. Shankar left Kasturba Medical College and joined as an associate professor, course director at Department of Pharmacology at the American University of Antigua School of Medicine, Antigua, West Indies. 

In her most recent position prior to joining UMHS, Dr. Shankar was an associate professor and course director, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Therapeutics, St. Matthews University College of Medicine, Grand Cayman Island, where she taught, evaluated and mentored students in preparation for the USMLE.

Dr. Shankar has been instrumental in initiating and serving as the principal investigator for phase III clinical trials. She also has research publications in reputed indexed medical journals such as Physicians Digest and the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Journal of Clinical Lipidology and is an author for cochrane reviews.  Dr. Shankar has been a guest lecturer and presented at a variety of conferences and symposia.

As a medical educator, Dr. Shankar sees herself as a facilitator to simplify the basic concepts of pharmacology and to explain the importance of pharmacology in medicine.  She is skilled at designing the frame work of learning and then furnishing students with indispensable knowledge that invigorates interest and stimulates growth of student minds.

FRANK WAGNER, Psy.D., M.A., B.A., B.B.S.
Chair and Professor of Behavioral Science

frank_wagner2.jpgDr. Frank Wagner is an experienced medical educator and administrator.  For 23 years, Dr. Wagner served as a senior administrator in mental health and substance agencies that provided clinical education to social work, psychology and graduate-level students.

Dr. Wagner came to the International University of Nursing (IUON) after holding the position of associate dean of student affairs at an international medical school.  At IUON, Dr. Wagner was dean of student services, where he focused on serving student, community, and government constituencies.  He was instrumental in developing student leadership, implementing judicial affairs and developing programs that brought cohesiveness to the student body.

In 2008, Dr. Wagner became the assistant provost at UMHS.  He played a key role in the introduction and expansion of the UMHS medical education program.  He recently accepted the position as vice president of special projects in addition to his teaching responsibilities as a professor of behavioral science.

Dr. Wagner earned his Psy.D. from the International University for Graduate Studies.  He has an M.A. in clinical psychology from Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont, and a B.S. in psychology from Loras College, Dubuque Iowa.  He also received a B.B.A. in management from Northwood Institute in Midland, Michigan.

UMHS Faculty - Portland, Maine Campus

Dean of Clinical Sciences


He completed his residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine/Detroit Medical Center Affiliated Hospital Program.  He received the Outstanding Senior Resident award at graduation.

During his residency training he became involved in clinical research and has continued that over his career in academic medicine.  He has several publications and has lectured extensively on a local and national level.  His primary area of research has been endometriosis but he also developed programs in minimally invasive surgery for St John Health and the Detroit Medical Center.  His career as an educator started during his residency training and has continued to date.  He holds the academic rank of Associate Professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine, Michigan State COM and the University of Medicine and Health Sciences-St Kitts.  He has also had academic appointments with other medical schools affiliated with Ascension Health.

He brings the experience of being the Director of Resident Education for St John Health Detroit Riverview Hospital, Chief of OB/Gyn for several major hospitals in the Detroit Metropolitan Area, Specialist in Chief for the entire Detroit Medical Center, Chief Medical Officer at major hospitals in Michigan, Indiana and Detroit Community Health Connection, Inc.  He has also served as Chief Quality Officer for the entire Detroit Medical Center. 

He has received numerous civic service awards and academic awards for scholarly achievement and teaching.  He has served on state and local boards, hospital boards and committees.   He has also been very active in the state and county medical societies in Michigan.       


Assistant Dean of Clincal Science, Professor of Clinical Medicine 


Dr. Donna Thompson is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine.  She graduated from Colby College, Waterville, Maine, Phi Beta Kappa.  Dr. Thompson then received her M.D.C.M. from McGill University College of Medicine, Montreal Canada.  Her internal medicine residency was completed both in Canada and at the Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine.  That was followed by a clinical fellowship in oncology and then a research fellowship in oncology at the Maine Medical Center.

Dr. Thompson's extensive medical background includes positions as the director, Division of Oncology and chief, Department of Medicine at Central Maine Medical Center.  She also was director, Cancer Research Program at the Foundation for Blood Research, Lewiston, Maine.

Dr. Thompson's medical education background is just as extensive.  She was an assistant in medicine at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, an instructor, Biology of Cancer at the University of Southern Maine, and a clinical preceptor and associate professor, Department of Pharmacology at St. Matthews University School of Medicine in Grand Cayman, West Indies.  She has been an associate professor, Preclinical Medicine and director, Introduction to Clinical Medicine, as well as the chief of clinical medicine, Preclinical Sciences at St. Matthews.






























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