Program Faculty

Core Faculty

Samantha J. Pulliam, MD is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Division Director for Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. She is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. She received a B.S. in Biology at Duke University, and attended medical school at Wake Forest University. She completed her residency in OB/GYN at Brigham and Women's Hospital & Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. She completed her FPMRS fellowship at Mount Auburn Hospital in 2006. She served on the faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2006 until 2015, where she was Associate Division Director (2006-2015) and Fellowship Director for FPMRS (2011-2015). She joined the faculty at UNC in 2016. Her areas of clinical expertise include laparoscopic urogynecologic procedures and other approaches to minimally invasive urogynecology. She is currently the Chair of the AUGS Quality Council, and a member of the AUGS Quality Improvement Outcomes Research Network. She has been an active part in the development of the AQUIRE registry, sponsored by the American Urogynecologic Society, for the purpose of developing and reporting quality measures applicable to urogynecology. Her research interests include local and national quality improvement and the development of standardized outcomes measures for FPMRS procedures and diagnoses. She is involved in the development of "standard sets" of outcomes with the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM).

Elizabeth Geller, MD is an Associate Professor in the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and also serves as the Fellowship Program Director for FPMRS. She is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Duke University, then completed medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and residency in Ob/Gyn at the University of California at Irvine. She completed her Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008. She has established an expertise in robotic and minimally invasive surgery and is a member of UNC's Computer and Robotic Enhanced Surgery (CARES) Center, where she chairs the Education Committee. She is Ob/Gyn Clerkship Director for the Physician Assistants Training Program, and Course Director for two medical school electives. She also directs the Interstim Neuromodulation Program and serves on the UNC Data Safety Monitoring Board. Her national leadership roles include the position of Vice Chair of the Program Directors Committee, membership on the AUGS Program Committee, and Programming Chair for the AUGS Fellows Day held during the AUGS annual scientific meeting. During residency at the University of California at Irvine she also served as Chief Administrative Resident, ACOG Section Chair, and Lead Fellow for the AUGS Fellows Task Force. Her teaching excellence is demonstrated by receiving the Berlex Best Teaching Resident Award at UC-Irvine, the Fellows Teaching Award at UNC and the annual Golden Tar Heel Teaching Award as faculty at UNC. Her research interests include clinical outcomes with robotic pelvic reconstructive surgery, minimally invasive surgery for incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction, neuromodulation, cognitive function with the use of anticholinergics, and predictors of chronic pain after mesh implant.

AnnaMarie Connolly, MD is a Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and also serves as the Vice Chair for Education, the Residency Program Director, and the Education Division Director. She is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and FPMRS and completed her fellowship in Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery at the University of North Carolina. Her areas of research include nationally recognized work in medical education as well as work on the effects of pregnancy and childbirth on the pelvic floor, particularly on voiding function and anal sphincter integrity after delivery. Dr. Connolly's commitment to education has also been recognized by both the School of Medicine and the University with multiple awards and leadership roles. For the past 13 years, she has served as the Director of the UNC-CH Teaching Scholars Program, a monthly educational faculty development seminar series for 12-15 participating faculty members from the School of Medicine. On the national level, she serves as the Vice Chair for the OBGYN and FPMRS Review Committee (RRC) and as a Board Examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is the immediate past Council Chair of the AUGS Education Council and serves as the co-director of both the ACOG Robert C. Cefalo Leadership Institute as well as the CREOG Residents As Teachers and Leaders Program. With support of the Foundation for Exxcellence in Women's Health Research, Dr. Connolly is responsible for the development of the myTIPreport program, a web-based program for "real-time" work-place feedback on milestones and surgical skills currently in use nationally in over 150 residency and fellowship programs across OBGYN, FPMRS, other OBGYN subspecialties, as well as other specialties such as Urology, Plastic Surgery, General Surgery, Anesthesia, and Diagnostic Radiology as well as other specialties.

Alexis Dieter, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery who joined the Division in September 2015. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Dr. Dieter completed her undergraduate studies at MIT with a major in Brain and Cognitive Science and obtained her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed her internship in OB/GYN at NYU and in 2009 she moved to North Carolina where she completed her OB/GYN residency and then her FPMRS fellowship at Duke University. Her research experience has encompassed clinical and basic science studies with her current research focusing on optimizing perioperative outcomes, overactive bladder pathophysiology and treatment, stress urinary incontinence therapy and exploring the role of the urinary microbiome in lower urinary tract disorders. Most recently she was selected to join the AUGS Junior Faculty Research Network and was awarded a UNC 2017 IBM Faculty Development Award. Her areas of surgical expertise include robotic-assisted and vaginal reconstructive surgery both with and without mesh augmentation, as well as neuromodulation procedures including sacral neuromodulation. She is a member of the AUGS Scientific Committee and the SGS Systematic Review Group and acts as the Director of the FPMRS clinical clerkship for medical students

Jennifer M. Wu, MD, MPH is an Associate Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Director of Research in the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. She earned her B.A. in Biology from Harvard University and her M.D. from the University of California at San Francisco. She trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brigham and Women's Hospital & Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA and then completed a fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Concurrently, she completed the NIH T32 Triangle Clinical Research Fellowship in Reproductive Health and received her Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. After graduating from fellowship in 2007, she served on the faculty at Duke University until 2013, when she decided to rejoin the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Wu is a former Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) K12 scholar and was then funded by a NICHD K23 career development award to evaluate the genetic epidemiology of pelvic floor disorders. She is actively involved with NIH-funded studies, industry-sponsored trials and investigator initiated studies. She is involved nationally as a Board Member for the American Urogynecologic Society, a NIH study section, and the editorial board of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery journal. She has a substantial amount of time protected for research which affords her the necessary time to dedicate to mentoring fellows. She is heavily invested in training fellows in all aspects of research and in providing career development advice. Her long-term career goal is to train future leaders in FPMRS and to substantially improve women's health in the field of urogynecology through translating research findings into improved clinical practice.

Ellen C. Wells, MD is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Immediate Past President for the N.C. Obstetrical and Gynecological Society and previous Division Director and Fellowship Program Director of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. She joined the faculty at UNC in 1993 and lead the development of the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery which has seen dramatic and consistent growth in research, clinical, diagnostic and surgical care volume during her tenure. Under her leadership the Division became the sixth fellowship in Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery recognized by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1997. The fellowship has subsequently been jointly accredited by the American Board of Urology under the new title: Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Wells has extensive clinical knowledge and research experience in female pelvic floor disorders including urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and lower GI dysfunction. She has specific expertise in surgical techniques, performing vaginal and abdominal reconstructive surgeries, fistula repairs, and reconstructive surgeries for congenital genitourinary anomalies. Her research has been supported by external funding from a number of sources including NIH and the pharmaceutical industry. She was a co-investigator and principal gynecologist for the UNC site of the NIH sponsored Women's Health Initiative for 10 years and a co-investigator at the UNC site of the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network for 5 years. Other previous research areas include trials in medical management of incontinence, efficacy of biofeedback therapy, hormonal influences in post-menopausal women, and effects of childbirth and parturition on the pelvic floor. Current interest includes outcome measures for efficacy of prolapse surgeries, physical activities in women undergoing and after prolapse surgery, and alternative treatments for overactive bladder.

Maggie Wilkins, NP is a Clinical Nurse Practitioner in Women's Health in the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. She received her undergraduate Nursing degree from Clemson University and received her graduate Nurse Practitioner degree from Emory University. She previously worked at Duke University as the Urogynecology Lead Nurse for 3 years and worked in the Duke OB/GYN Department assisting with gynecology consultations. Ms. Wilkins is excited to return to this specialty - in large part due to the patient population and focus on improving quality of life. As a nurse practitioner, she hopes to build on this knowledge, play an active role in research, and explore her clinical interests in sexual dysfunction.

Kristy Borawski, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Department of Urology. She completed her Fellowship and Residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham in June 2010. Dr. Borawski received her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine in a combined BS-MD program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Albany Medical College in 2003. She completed her Urology residency in 2009 at Duke University Medical Center and then stayed for a fellowship in Urodynamics, Reconstructive Urology and Incontinence. She joined UNC Urology as an Assistant Professor in 2010 and has served as the Director of Urodynamics since August 1, 2010. She has expertise in Female Urology, Reconstructive Urology and Neurourology, with a special interest in the urologic management of spinal cord injured patients

Off-Service Faculty

Erin Carey, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Division Director of the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Division. Dr. Carey received her Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Doctor of Medicine in a combined BA-MD program at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, in 2006. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in 2010 and a fellowship in advanced laparoscopy and pelvic pain at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012. Dr. Carey also received a master of science in clinical research at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Public Health in 2012 and completed a fellowship in pain anesthesia at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013. She worked at the University of Kansas Medical Center as an Assistant Professor at the Center for Pelvic Pain and Sexual Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology before returning to UNC in 2016.

William Whitehead, Ph.D. is a Research Professor of Medicine and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Whitehead is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in Gastrointestinal Medicine specializing the fields of constipation and fecal incontinence. Dr. Whitehead has served as a site Co-Principle Investigator to the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. He is coordinator of the rotation in the GI Procedures laboratory and serves as an active research mentor to the Fellowship. He has a primary interest in defecatory dysfunction and fecal incontinence, and behavioral and biofeedback therapy for functional gastrointestinal disorders. His expertise includes anal manometry and anorectal biofeedback therapy. Dr Whitehead actively participates in the monthly Pelvic Floor Disorders Conferences.

Paola Gehrig, MD (Professor, Division Director), Linda Van Le, MD (Professor) and John Soper, M.D (Professor) of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. Drs. Gehrig, Van Le, and Soper have extensive experience in complex pelvic surgery as well as expertise in complex pelvic reconstruction, gastrointestinal, and genital-urinary procedures. Areas of expertise include large and small bowel procedures, ureteral anastomosis and reimplantation, and urinary diversion procedures. Drs. Gehrig, Van Le, and Soper are also nationally recognized researchers, educators, and mentors in the subspecialty of Gynecologic Oncology and have served as exceptionally strong supporters of the Female Pelvic Medicine/Reconstructive Surgery fellowship program both at the local and national levels.

Raj S. Pruthi, MD is an Associate Professor of Surgery/Urology and Director of Urologic Oncology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also serves as disease group leader for the Genitourinary Oncology Program at the NIH-sponsored Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC. His clinical and research interests are in urologic oncology including bladder, kidney, and prostate cancer. He has contributed over 100 peer review publications in these areas. Additional interests include minimally-invasive treatments for urologic malignancies, such as laparoscopic and robotic approaches, and evaluation of their role in urologic oncology. Basic science research interests include the study of inflammatory pathways in the development and treatment of urologic cancers. Dr. Pruthi is currently a member of the American Urologic Association's Committee for Guidelines on the Management of Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer, the American College of Surgeons Advisory Panel for Urology, and the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Section of the American Urological Association.

Timothy Sadiq, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery and is a certified Colorectal Surgeon having completed his Fellowship at The Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts. He joined the UNC-CH GI Surgical Division on August 1, 2007. He completed his Surgical Residency at UNC-CH and served in the capacity of Administrative Chief Resident. His interests include complex anorectal disorders, transplantation and stem cell research. He has received several Chief Resident Awards and has served on Medical Student Education and Organ Donation Initiative Committees.

Wendy R. Brewster, MD, PhD is the Director of the Center for Women's Health Research. The mission of the CWHR is to improve the health of women through multidisciplinary research, education and advocacy through the development of researchers and community partnership. Dr. Brewster is also an Associate Professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health. Dr. Brewster is a population scientist with a research interest in early detection and prevention of gynecologic malignancies. Dr. Brewster's academic interests are also in the areas of gynecologic oncology and cancer epidemiology. Dr. Brewster is a clinically active member of the Gynecologic Oncology Division in the Department of Obstetrics. Dr. Brewster received her medical degree from the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and completed residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She then completed her GYN Oncology Fellowship and PhD with an emphasis in cancer epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine.

John Thorp, MD is a Professor in a subspecialty certified discipline in Maternal Fetal Medicine and is the Director of the Division of General Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has particular expertise and interest in the relationship amongst pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum time period. These research interests focus on both immediate as well as long-term outcomes related to urinary, fecal, and pelvic floor dysfunction. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his excellence in clinical research and has many active research roles serving as, among many other research leadership roles, as the UNC site Principle Investigator to the Maternal Fetal Medicine Network. Dr. Thorp is also an educational leader within the department and has received the Resident Teaching Award three times. He is the Deputy Director of the Center for Women's Health Research.

Other University of North Carolina faculty who are directly involved in fellowship training are:

James F. Howard, Jr. M.D. Professor, Neurology, and Medicine
Certified in electromyography and electrodiagnosis.
Special interests: Clinical neurophysiology, neuromuscular physiology.

John Kaspar, M.D. Certified Female Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery and Urology.
Associated Urologists of North Carolina
Special interests: Incontinence in male and female, implant surgery.

Mark Koruda, M.D. Associate Professor, Gastrointestinal Surgery.
Special interests: GI surgery, critical care, and nutrition and metabolism.

Yolanda Scarlett, M.D. Associate Professor, GI Medicine
Director, GI Procedures Laboratory.
Special interests: Motility disorders, fecal incontinence and constipation.

Jan Busby-Whitehead, M.D. Professor, Medicine,
Program on Aging.
Special interests: Geriatrics, Incontinence in the elderly.