Physicians

 

Evan S. Dellon, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
Director of the Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing

Dr. Dellon received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He completed internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. After residency, he remained at Massachusetts General for two years working as a Hospitalist and Assistant in Medicine as well as an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He subsequently moved to Chapel Hill and completed both a clinical and a research fellowship in Gastroenterology at UNC, during which he received a master’s degree in Epidemiology from the UNC School of Public Health. His clinical training has also included experience with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and endoscopic ultrasound.Dr. Dellon has been at the Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing since 2008. Dr. Dellon’s main research interest is in the epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). He also has research interests in advanced endoscopic techniques. He is a member of several professional societies, including the American Gastroenterological Association, the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and the North Carolina Society of Gastroenterology. Dr. Dellon receives research funding from an American College of Gastroenterology Junior Faculty Development Award as well as an intramural NIH KL2 Career Development Award.

Dr. Dellon Publications 

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Nicholas J. Shaheen, MD, MPH

Chief, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology

Dr. Shaheen attended college at Harvard University, and earned his medical degree at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, where he fulfilled his internship and residency requirements. He completed his clinical fellowship training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earned his masters degree at the UNC School of Public Health, and completed a National Institutes of Health fellowship in Epidemiology. For the last 12 years, he has been a faculty member at UNC.

Dr. Shaheen’s research interest is in the epidemiology and management of esophageal diseases. He is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters related to reflux disease, motility disorders, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal cancer. He is currently on the editorial board of Gastroenterology and Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology, and is a reviewer for numerous journals including Gut, Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, American Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Shaheen receives research funding from the National Institutes of Health, multiple private foundations, and corporations to pursue clinical and translational research in esophageal diseases. Dr. Shaheen is a member of several professional societies, including the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American Medical Society, and the North Carolina Medical Society. He is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association, and the American College of Physicians. He is the President of the North Carolina Society of Gastroenterology, and the Vice-Chair of the Clinical Practice section of the AGA.

Dr. Shaheen Publications

Shifali Arora, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Clinical Focus: General Gastroenterology and Endoscopy.

Academic Interests: My research interest is focused on quality improvement as well as the study and use of novel health technologies to better evaluate and treat gastrointestinal diseases. Specifically looking at ways in which sensors and apps can be incorporated into clinical care.

Shifali Arora

Swathi Eluri, MD, MSCR

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Clinical Focus: General Gastroenterology and Endoscopy.

Dr. Swathi Eluri MD, MSCR grew up in Chapel Hill and received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her doctor of medicine and completed residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She then completed her gastroenterology fellowship at the University of North Carolina Hospital and masters in clinical research at the Gillings Global School of Public Health. She also completed an advanced fellowship specializing in esophageal diseases at the University of North Carolina Hospital, where she is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Clinical Focus:  Dr. Eluri specializes in taking care of patients with Esophageal Diseases, particularly Barrett’s esophagus. She is trained in the endoscopic treatment of Barrett’s esophagus and early stage esophageal cancer. She is also experienced in the medical and endoscopic management of various other esophageal diseases including eosinophilic esophagitis, esophageal dysmotility, swallowing disorders, and gastroesophageal reflux.

Academic Interests: Dr. Eluri’s research interests include improving screening and surveillance practices in Barrett’s esophagus, use of non-endoscopic screening modalities, treatment outcomes in eosinophilic esophagitis and swallowing disorders. Dr. Eluri has contributed to multiple articles and reviews to medical journals in the area of esophageal diseases.

Clinicians


Melissa Spacek, NP, BSN, CGRN

Adult Nurse Practitioner

Melissa Spacek, NP, BSN, CGRNAdult Nurse PractitionerMelissa Spacek received her BSN at Gannon University in Erie, PA. Prior to coming to Chapel Hill, she worked in Neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She joined the UNC team in March of 1996. Melissa initially worked as a staff nurse in general medicine when coming to UNC. She proceeded to specializing in Gastroenterology and Hepatology in 1997, where she joined the endoscopy staff, initially as a procedural nurse and then moving to management of UNC’s Endoscopy department. She received her certification in Gastroenterology in 2001. Melissa joined UNC’s Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing in April of 2004. She is involved in both research and clinical, specializing in esophageal disorders. She is presently enrolled in UNC’s Adult Nurse Practitioner Program. Melissa Spacek Publications

Kathleen Ferrell, PA-C, MPAS

Physician Assistant

Kathleen A. Ferrell is a certified Physician Assistant for the CEDAS group at UNC. Kathleen graduated from the Physician Assistant program at Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, Virginia in 2007. She then completed her Masters of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree from the University of Nebraska. Kathleen worked for a private practice gastroenterology group in Christiansburg, VA for several years, before relocating to Chapel Hill, NC to work with the Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing in June, 2010. She works directly with Drs. Shaheen and Dellon to diagnose and treat patients with a multitude of esophageal diseases including Barrett’s esophagus, eosinophilic esophagitis, functional esophageal disorders and gastroesophageal reflux.

Surgical Collaborators


Marco Patti, MD, FACS

Professor of Surgery
Surgical Co-Director, Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing

Timothy M Farrell, MD, FACS

Professor of Surgery

Research Associates


Xiaoxin (Luke) Chen, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology at the Cancer Research Program, Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute, North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

Dr. Chen is a member of the Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing (CEDAS) at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Chen earned his medical degree at the Peking University Health Science Center (formerly Beijing Medical University), where he fulfilled his internship and continued as a resident (Orthopedic Surgery) for three years. He then went to Rutgers University, where he earned his PhD degree (Biochemistry) at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. Next, he became a faculty member of the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory of Medicine, Department of Chemical Biology, Rutgers University. In 2005, he became a faculty member at NCCU, and joined CEDAS.

His research interest is molecular mechanism and prevention of Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. His lab also works on how inflammation may contribute to oral cancer and prostate cancer. He has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters related to oral and esophageal diseases. He is currently a reviewer for numerous journals. Dr. Chen receives research funding from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, private foundations and corporations to pursue basic and translational research in Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Dr. Chen is a member of several professional societies, including the American Association for Cancer Research.

 

 

Research Staff


Susan E. Moist, MPH, CCRP

Director of Clinical Trial Operations

Susie Moist is Director of Clinical Trial Operations for CEDAS. She received a BS in Psychology and minor in Business from the Pennsylvania State University and an MPH in Health Policy and Management from UNC Chapel Hill. Susie’s research career began in Florida focusing on substance abuse and mental health and continued on to pediatric epidemiology and type 1 diabetes. In 2010 Susie relocated to North Carolina and joined CEDAS where she currently directs all research project operations.

Holly Cirri, CCRC

Project Manager

Holly Cirri is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator. She received her degree in Biology from Ithaca College. Holly has held positions in records management and database administration, lab and field research, and public health in various locations throughout the county. In 2012 she relocated to North Carolina and joined UNC’s Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease as a Study Coordinator.

Jacquelyn Q. Covington, CCRP

Project Manager

Jacquelyn Covington is a project manager for CEDAS. She graduated from NC State University in 2011 with a BS in Biological Sciences. She has a research background at Duke University recruiting research participants and working as a lab technician in the various genetic studies associated with the Center for Human Genome Variation at Duke University. Jacquelyn manages multiple research projects related to esophageal and swallowing disorders.

Sarah McGee, CCRC

Study Monitor

Sarah McGee joined CEDAS in 2014 as a Clinical Research Coordinator and Research Specialist. She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Public Policy in 2001 and in 2008 began working in research in the UNC Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care, specializing in Pulmonary Hypertension clinical trials. She currently monitors investigator-initiated trials related to Barrett’s Esophagus, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, and other esophageal diseases.

Ashley Arrington

Clinical Research Coordinator

Ashley Arrington is a Clinical Research Coordinator for the CEDAS group. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013 with a dual degree in Spanish and Medical Anthropology. Ashley has a research background in pulmonary diseases and holistic health approaches. She recently joined the CEDAS group in February 2016 and currently manages multiple research projects related to esophageal disorders.

Ariel E. Watts

Clinical Research Coordinator

Ariel E. Watts graduated from University of South Florida with a degree in Biomedical Sciences. Her research career began during undergrad, where she worked as an undergraduate research assistant in a natural product chemistry laboratory for three years. After graduation she relocated to UNC-Chapel Hill to work in Hepatology translational research. Ariel is mainly interested in multidisciplinary research on the gastrointestinal system and public health mechanisms to increase early disease detection and patient outcomes.

Alexandra Tylicki

Clinical Research Coordinator

Alexandra Tylicki joined the CEDAS team in February 2018 as a Clinical Research Coordinator. She graduated from Ohio University in 2017 with a degree in Psychology and Criminology. Alex has a research background in Industrial Organizational Psychology, focusing on gender stereotypes in the workforce. She currently manages multiple research projects related to Eosinophilic Esophagitis and other esophageal diseases.

Yaa Ofori-Marfoh

Clinical Research Coordinator

Yaa Ofori-Marfoh recently joined the CEDAS group as a Clinical Research Coordinator. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychology. Beginning in undergrad, Yaa has a broad research background ranging from bench work in cell biology to assisting in clinical research relating to reproductive health and women’s mood disorders. She currently manages many research projects related to esophageal diseases.

Kaylynn McAllister

Clinical Research Coordinator

Kaylynn joined the CEDAS team in May 2018. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. Her background in research started while working in a microbiology laboratory that performs efficacy testing and clinical research on antimicrobial products and pre-operative skin disinfectants. Kaylynn currently helps coordinate multiple clinical trials relating to the esophagus and colon.

 

Administration


Sheila Meadows

Administrative Support Specialist

Amanda Horton

Administrative Support Specialist