Biographies

Cardiac Surgeons

Dr Murtaza Yousuf Dawood's photo

Murtaza Yousuf Dawood, MD
Clinical Instructor of Surgery

Dr. Dawood is Clinical Instructor of Surgery, and also serves as a cardiac surgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center and University of Maryland St. Joseph's Medical Center

He received his medical degree from Saba University School of Medicine in the Dutch Antilles. He completed his general surgery residency at Western Reserve Care System in Youngstown, Ohio, and a cardiothoracic surgery residency at The Ohio State University Medical Center.

Dr. Dawood came to the University of Maryland Heart Center in 2010 where he completed a valve disease fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. James Gammie. Dr, Dawood joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine faculty in 2012.

Dr. Dawood's interests include mitral and tricuspid valve repair, endocarditis, pulmonary embolectomy, atrial fibrillation, and minimally-invasive cardiac surgery.


Dr Finney profile photo

Stewart Finney, MD, FACS

Chief, Cardiac Surgery at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Dr. Stewart Finney is the chief of cardiac surgery at University of Maryland Saint Joseph Medical Center.

He is a cardiac surgeon in the Division of Cardiac Surgery and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He has practiced at St. Joseph Medical Center for 19 years.  His specialty is adult cardiac surgery, primarily coronary artery bypass surgery and valve repair and replacement, with special interests in aortic valve and aortic aneurysm surgery.

Dr. Finney is recognized as a highly skilled cardiothoracic surgeon who has been named a Top Doc by Baltimore magazine numerous times.  He believes in a system of compassionate care that ensures that cardiac patients receive high quality surgical treatment. 

He received his medical degree and completed residency training in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery at Johns Hopkins and did a fellowship in cardiac surgery at Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane, Australia. He is a member of the American Board of Surgery, the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, the American College of Surgeons and the American Medical Association.


James Gammie, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief, Division of Cardiac Surgery

Dr. Gammie joined the University of Maryland Heart Center from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, where he was an assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery and surgical director of cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support.

He received his medical degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He completed his general surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he also completed a research fellowship in the Divisions of cellular therapeutics and cardiothoracic surgery.

His clinical and research interests include minimally invasive and video-assisted mitral valve repair, off-pump bypass or "beating heart" surgery, and the treatment of atrial fibrillation using a modified MAZE-type procedure, cryoprobes, and microwave technology. He also contributes to the growing heart and lung transplant program and the mechanical circulatory support program at the University of Maryland Medical Center.


Dr Bartley Griffith

Bartley Griffith, MD
Professor of Surgery
Thomas E. and Alice Marie Hales Distinguished Professor

Dr. Griffith is a professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Prior to his arrival at the University of Maryland, Dr. Griffith served as vice chair in the department of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he was also chief of cardiothoracic surgery and the Henry T. Bahnson Professor of Surgery. He also served as the founding director for the internationally recognized McGowan Center for Artificial Organ Development.

Dr. Griffith's clinical work focuses on coronary artery surgery, mitral and aortic valve replacement and aneurysmal disease of the thoracic aorta. His research interests are concentrated on heart and lung transplantation, cell transplantation and advancing the use of artificial organs. He has directed more than 1,200 heart transplants and 600 lung transplants and is an innovator in the use of immunosuppression after transplant and mechanical blood pumps prior to transplant.

In August of 2003 he reconstructed the top two chambers of a woman's heart with animal and human donor tissue. This first-of-its-kind surgery was performed to remove a potentially deadly and recurring tumor called a myxoma.

In September of 2002, he led a team of Heart Center cardiac surgeons to implant a revolutionary new rotary heart pump called the Jarvik 2000 to save the life of a man with heart failure.

Dr. Griffith received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and completed a surgery internship and general and cardiothoracic surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Health Center Hospitals. He is an NHLBI investigator and is currently developing an artificial lung. He has published over 500 articles and book chapters, lectured at professional meetings nationally and internationally, and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including induction into the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, Scotland.


Si Pham

Si Pham, MD
Professor of Surgery
Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation

Dr. Pham received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where he also completed general surgery residency, cardiothoracic surgery residency and surgical research fellowship. Following his training, Dr. Pham joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and became the Director of Adult Heart Transplant Service at the Presbyterian University Hospital under the UPMC Health System. Subsequently, he was recruited to the University of Miami to head the section of Thoracic Organ Transplant.

Dr. Pham has extensive experience in the field of cardiothoracic surgery and transplantation and most recently served as Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami School of Medicine, as well as Chief of the Division of Heart/Lung Transplant and Artificial Heart at the Miami Transplant Institute. Under his leadership, the Heart and Lung Transplant programs had excellent outcomes and received several national awards.

Dr. Pham is certified by the American Board of Surgery, the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery with additional qualifications in surgical critical care.

Dr. Pham has made several significant contributions to the field of heart/lung transplantation. His team was the first to use tacrolimus (Prograf) to prevent rejection in heart/lung transplant recipients. He was a pioneer in the use of donor bone marrow to prevent rejection in heart and lung recipients. Dr. Pham has published more than 130 scientific papers in leading medical journals, and has received research grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, and the Transplant Foundation of Florida. His research interests are in the areas of stem cells and organ regeneration, transplant tolerance, and transplant vasculopathy.

At the University of Maryland, Dr. Pham will focus his clinical work on cardiac surgery, heart and lung transplantation, circulatory assist devices and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).  


Richard N. Pierson III, MD
Professor of Surgery
Director, Surgical Care Service, Veterans Administration Maryland Health Care System
Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs
Interim Director, Research Affairs

Dr. Pierson received his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. His postgraduate clinical training included general surgery at the University of Michigan, cardiac and thoracic surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a clinical and research fellowship in cardiothoracic transplantation at Papworth Hospital at Cambridge University. After eight years at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, he joined the University of Maryland Heart Center in 2002.

His clinical interests include heart and lung transplantation and heart assist device therapy. He is an established investigator in the area of immunobiology of transplantation, and has special experience in xenotransplantation. His laboratory is funded by the NIH and Veterans Affairs Research Program, and he has had numerous grants and awards from other funding agencies, including ALA, AHA, ASTS and DOD ONR.

Dr. Pierson is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Association of VA Surgeons. He has been selected annually as one of the Best Doctors in America since 2001 and by America's Top Doctors since 2002. He is a member of the American Association of Thoracic Surgeons, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Society of University Surgeons, UNOS Policy Oversight Committee, VA National Transplant and Thoracic Transplant Boards, and President-Elect of the Xenotransplantation Association, a section of the Transplantation Society.


Dr. Rawn Salenger

Rawn Salenger, MD

Dr. Salenger is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and cardiac surgeon in the Division of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center and the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center. Dr. Salenger performs the full array of adult cardiac surgical services with a special interest in complex valve surgery and coronary bypass surgery.

Previously, Dr. Salenger served as the Director of Valve Surgery at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Suffern, New York where he established a multi-disciplinary Heart Valve Team.

Dr. Salenger graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Union College/Albany Medical College Seven Year Medical Program in 1995.  He completed his cardiothoracic surgery residency at the University of Massachusetts, and subsequently, a fellowship at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. 

He has published medical literature on minimizing stroke risk during bypass surgery as well as a book chapter on patient care after heart surgery.


Brad S. Taylor, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Surgery
Director, Coronary Revascularization
Co-Director, Center for Aortic Disease

Dr. Taylor serves as the Director of Coronary Revascularization at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Here, he performs robotic assisted coronary artery bypass grafting and hybrid revascularization of multi-vessel coronary artery disease. He received his medical degree and a degree in Health Administration from the Emory University School of Medicine. After completing his general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery residency, he stayed on as an assistant professor of cardiac surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In addition, he completed a minimally invasive cardiac surgery Fellowship at the OLVZ in Aalst, Belgium in 2006.

He joins the faculty after leaving a busy private practice in York, PA.  There he performed the full array of cardiac surgery and was instrumental in developing and implementing an advanced endovascular aortic repair program. His clinical and research interests include robotic cardiac surgery, hybrid revascularization of coronary arteries, endovascular and open repair of aortic pathology including aneurysms and dissections. He is also involved in the transcatheter aortic valve repair program.


Cardiologists

R. Michael Benitez, MD
Professor of Medicine

Dr. Benitez is the director of the Fellowship training program for Cardiovascular Disease, and is the director of Inpatient Clinical Cardiology. After receiving his MD from the University of Maryland he completed internship and residency at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He was chief medical resident at the University of Maryland, and completed training in cardiology there as well. Dr. Benitez has previously been the director of the ECG and Stress-testing lab, and the CCU at the Baltimore VAMC. He attends on clinical services within the Echocardiography Laboratory, and in the outpatient clinical practice.


Timm-Michael Dickfeld, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine

Dr. Dickfeld joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the department of medicine, division of cardiology.

After receiving both his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Goethe Medical School in Germany, Dr. Dickfeld completed a residency in cardiovascular diseases at the Technical University of Munich, German Heart Institute. Following this, he came to Duke University Hospital, where he was an intern and resident in medicine. Most recently, Dr. Dickfeld completed both a fellowship in cardiovascular diseases and electrophysiology at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Dickfeld?s clinical and research is in electrophysiology.


Erika D. Feller, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, Heart Transplant Program

Dr. Feller joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the department of medicine, division of cardiology. She is a member of the heart failure and transplant program team.

Prior to coming to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2004, Dr. Feller had spent five years at Temple University Hospital, where she was a medical intern, medical resident, cardiology fellow and chief cardiology fellow. Her areas of special interest include heart failure, heart transplant immunology and left ventricular assist device physiology. She is board certified in internal medicine.


University of Maryland's Stacy FisherStacy D. Fisher, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Stacy Fisher, M.D. as assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her clinical specialties include echocardiography, adult congenital heart disease, heart disease during pregnancy, and pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Fisher has been practicing in the Baltimore community for almost 10 years, and was ranked as a Baltimore Magazine Top Doctor in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Fisher was a general cardiologist and adult congenital heart disease specialist at MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates. Concurrently, she served as the director of cardiovascular education and medical director of Women's Cardiovascular Health Program at Sinai Hospital. Dr. Fisher is an alumni of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She completed her residency training at Duke University Medical Center and her cardiology fellowship at University of Rochester Medical Center.


Stephen S. Gottlieb, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, Cardiomyopathy and Pulmonary Hypertension
Director, Cardiology Clinical Research Program

Dr. Gottlieb is a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he directs the Clinical Research Program in Cardiology, as well as the Cardiomyopathy and Pulmonary Hypertension Program. He has published extensively regarding congestive heart failure, beta blockade, clinical outcomes and cardio-renal syndrome. He reviews for numerous journals, presides as Chairman of the Education Committee of the Heart Failure Society of America, has served on the editorial boards of numerous cardiology journals and has written over 100 manuscripts on studies in the field of heart failure. Dr. Gottlieb was the United States coordinator for MERIT-HF, the largest mortality study of beta-blockers in heart failure. He published an analysis of the mortality effects of beta blockade in various groups of patients in the New England Journal of Medicine, and more recently, his studies have focused on the importance of the interaction between the heart and kidneys and the influence of psychological factors in the progression of heart failure.

Dr. Gottlieb's investigations center on treatment of congestive heart failure. He is investigating new treatments for heart failure, including (among others) medications that improve the pumping of the heart, medications which help the kidney in heart failure patients, and devices that aid the heart in pumping blood. He has also investigated the effects of home telemonitoring in heart failure patients. Dr. Gottlieb is actively involved with treating and evaluating patients with heart failure at the University of Maryland Medical Center.


Anuj Gupta, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director, Peripheral Vascular Interventions

Dr. Gupta is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he is the director of peripheral vascular interventions. He received his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and completed his residency at Montefiore Medical Center. He also completed three fellowships: in cardiovascular research at Weill Medical College of Cornell University; in cardiology at Temple University and in interventional cardiology at Columbia University.

Dr. Gupta's special interests include peripheral vascular disease, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, renal denervation, coronary artery disease, coronary revascularization and radial artery access interventions. He is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology.


Susie N. Hong-Zohlman, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Hong-Zohlman is an assistant prhttp://findadoctor.umm.edu/Details/24187ofessor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Pennsylvania and her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College before completing a medicine residency at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. She was a fellow in cardiovascular disease at New York University Medical Center and completed an Advanced Cardiac Imaging Fellowship focused on cardiac MR at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She is also obtaining a Master of Science in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Hong-Zohlman is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, echocardiography, and nuclear cardiology.

Dr. Hong-Zohlman's most recent research interests focus on the application of cardiac MR in characterizing phenotypic sex differences in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Her other research interests include the role of cardiac MR in acute pericarditis and pre- and post-invasive cardiac procedures.

In addition to bringing her expertise in echocardiography to our non-invasive lab, Dr. Hong-Zohlman will be working in collaboration with Dr. White, Dr. Jeudy and Dr. Kligerman in Thoracic Radiology in Cardiac MR and CT.


Robert E. Hood, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Hood is an assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Prior to coming to the University of Maryland, he served as chief of cardiology at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

He received his medical degree from Georgetown University, completed an internship in flexible medicine at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland, California and an internal medicine residency at the U.S. Naval Hopsital in Portsmouth, Virginia. He went on to become a fellow in cardiovascular diseases at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. He also completed a cardiac electrophysiology fellowship at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Hood's clinical interests include arrhythmia and electrophysiologic disorders, and he's board certified in internal medicine, cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology.


Scott D. Jerome, DO, FACC, FASNC, FSCCT
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director, Ambulatory Outreach Cardiology

Dr. Jerome is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residencies at Grandview Hospital in Ohio, and Sinai Hospital in Maryland. He also completed a cardiology fellowship at Wayne State University. Dr. Jerome's special interests include preventive cardiology, as well as nuclear and C-T cardiac images. He is board certified in Cardiovascular Diseases, Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac Computer Tomography. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (F.A.C.C.), a Fellow of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (F.A.S.N.C.) and a Fellow of the Society of Cardiovascular Computered Tomography (F.S.C.C.T.). Dr. Jerome is a board member of the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Laboratories. He serves on multiple committees of the ACC, ASNC and SCCT.


Wallace R. Johnson, Jr., MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Johnson is a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he also received his medical degree. He went on to serve a residency at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore.

Dr. Johnson's clinical and research interest is in hypertension. He is also board certified in internal medicine.



Michael Miller, MD, FACC, FAHA
Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Public Health
Director, Center for Preventive Cardiology

Dr. Miller serves as professor of medicine and epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In addition, he is director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and staff physician at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Baltimore.

His major research interests are disorders of lipid and lipoprotein metabolism, molecular studies of low HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and the postprandial response to dietary fat, and clinical trials of atherosclerosis prevention and regression.

He is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine, with a subspecialty certification in cardiovascular disease. Dr. Miller is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association Council on Arteriosclerosis. He is also an active member of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology and the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology.

Dr. Miller has published more than 250 articles, book chapters and abstracts. His research has appeared in prestigious scientific and clinical journals such as Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Journal of the American Medical Association and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. He is the co-author of The Practice of Coronary Disease Prevention, published by Williams and Wilkins in 1996 (292 pages) and is a contributor to the Adult Clinical Cardiology Self-Assessment Program (ACCSAP 2000). In addition, Dr. Miller is the senior author of a new book, AMA Guide to Preventing Heart Disease, and, in 2009, was listed by USA Today as one of the most influential physicians in the United States for the diagnosis and treatment of cholesterol disorders.

Dr. Miller received his B.A. degree from Rutgers College and his M.D. from The Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. Following a medical residency at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, he completed two fellowships at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, one in lipoprotein metabolism and the second in cardiovascular disease. 


Photo of Doctor Mark Vesely, M.D.Mark Vesely, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Vesely received his medical degree from George Washington University. He then completed an Internal Medicine residency and fellowships in Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center.  He is board certified in Internal Medicine, General Cardiology, Nuclear Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology.  

Dr. Vesely is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  He serves as the Program Director of the Interventional Cardiology Fellowship training program and the Director of the Baltimore VA Medical Center Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.

Dr. Vesely's clinical interests include structural and coronary heart disease, with particular focus on mitral valve disease. He is a member of the Multi-Disciplinary Mitral Valve Disease program and performs both percutaneous mitral valve repair and balloon mitral valvuloplasty procedures.  His interests in coronary heart disease involve radial artery access techniques and hybrid revascularization, accomplished by coupling coronary stenting with minimally invasive bypass surgery.

Dr. Vesely’s research interests are focused on the development and utilization of percutaneous mitral valve techniques. He is additionally involved in regenerative cardiology, studying adult stem cell therapies for heart failure prevention and treatment.

Dr. Vesely sees cardiology patients both at the University of Maryland Cardiology Practice in Westminster, MD and with the Multi-Disciplinary Mitral Valve Disease program in Baltimore, MD.

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