University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Faculty Mentors

A vibrant community of women in the Department of Medicine is changing the face of academic medicine. These physician-scholars and researchers are leading divisions and academic programs, directing internationally-recognized research teams, creating innovative clinical services, informing national healthcare policies, and presiding over learner-focused and competency-based medical education programs. Examples of our women faculty mentors out of 138 women faculty members are listed below.

  • Professor, Geriatrics and Gerontology, Department of Medicine
  • Adjunct Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Virginia Valian Professor
  • Director, Center for Women’s Health Research
  • Founder and Director, VA Women’s Health Program
  • Program Director, Advanced Fellowship in Women’s Health, Veterans Hospital
  • Co-Director, Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI)
  • Co-Founder and Co-Director, Wisconsin Alliance for Minority Participation
  • Director, Training and Education to Advance Minority Scholars in Science (TEAMScience) Program
  • Senior Advisor, National AFWH Coordinating Center, Department of Veterans Affairs

The overall goal of Dr. Carnes’ research program is to develop, implement, and study interventions that ensure the opportunity for participation and advancement of talented individuals from groups that have been underrepresented in academic science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) - particularly at the leadership levels. Using UW-Madison as a "living laboratory” for achieving STEMM workforce diversity, she employs both quantitative and qualitative methods with multi-level interventions at the individual and institutional level. Dr. Carnes earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan and MD at SUNY-Buffalo. She completed her Internal MedicineResidency, Geriatrics Fellowship and MS in Population Health at UW-Madison. Her work is supported by the NIH and NSF, and she has published over 135 scholarly articles and has received a number of awards including the AAMC Women in Medicine Leadership Development Award, the NIH Director’s PathfinderAward to Promote Scientific Workforce Diversity, the Department of Medicine Rankin Research Award, and the first annual Linda Joy Pollin Women’s Heart Health Leadership Award from the Cedars-Sinai Barbra Streisand Heart Institute.

  • Professor and Division Head, Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care
  • Associate Director of Faculty Development and Education, UW Carbone Cancer Center

Dr. O’Regan is an internationally recognized breast cancer physician and researcher. Dr. O’Regan was previously a professor of hematology and medical oncology at Emory University, where she held the Louisa and Rand Glenn Family Chair in Breast Cancer Research and was the medical director at Glenn Family Breast Center of Emory University, director of the Breast Cancer Translational Research Program at the Winship Cancer Institute and chief of hematology and medical oncology at the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Memorial Hospital. With a highly active research program focused on identifying mechanisms of resistance to breast-cancer therapies and development of new therapies, Dr. O’Regan has been principal investigator for numerous grants and clinical trials. Her current research is focused on the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat resistant breast cancers, including triple negative breast cancer. Dr. O’Regan has received multiple awards and is ranked by Newsweek/Castle Connolly Medical as one of the top oncologists in the nation.

  • Associate Professor, Infectious Disease
  • Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine
  • Associate Chief of Staff for Research, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
  • Head, Infection Control University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics

Dr. Safdar is a preeminent researcher and infectious disease specialist. Her work is breaking new ground on the management and prevention of healthcare-associated infections. Dr. Safdar received her MD (class valedictorian) at Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan. She completed her residency, fellowships (infections disease and women’s health), and PhD in Clinical Investigation at the University of Wisconsin. She is a well-funded independent investigator and has published extensively (over 146 articles) in high-impact journals. Dr. Safdar has distinguished herself as an outstanding mentor.

  • Professor, Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Executive Director, Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging
  • Community-Academic Partnerships Core Resource Director for Dissemination and Implementation Research, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
  • Director, Community-Academic Aging Research Network

Dr. Mahoney is a geriatrician who is nationally recognized for her pioneering research in falls and novel interventions to reduce the incidence of falls in community-dwelling elderly. Dr. Mahoney completed her BA at the University of Virginia, MD at University of California San Francisco, residency and fellowship (geriatric medicine) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her accomplishments include development of a clinically-based falls prevention tool called Sure Step that has been applied widely in the community setting by trained health professionals. She has also disseminated a smallgroup multifactorial intervention program (Stepping On) for falls prevention throughout the state of Wisconsin, and has developed a training program for Stepping On that is being used nationally.

  • Clinical Professor
  • Division Head, General Internal Medicine
  • Associate Vice Chair of Primary Care, Department of Medicine

Dr. Trowbridge is an internist and head of the division of General Internal Medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree, MD, residency in Internal Medicine, and Chief Resident training at UW-Madison. Dr. Trowbridge worked with colleagues throughout UW Health to redesign and restructure the primary care service model, culminating in emphasis on population health management and aligning physician compensation with the goal of value- based care for panels of medically homed patients. Dr. Trowbridge has received the UW Health Physician Leadership Awards, the Grossman Professionalism Award, and the Faculty Excellence in Leadership Award, among many others. She is also a permanent member of the Board of the Green Bay Packers.

  • Professor, General Internal Medicine
  • Associate Dean for Medical Student Education and Services

Dr. Seibert is an internist and medical education leader. In the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, she holds administrative leadership responsibilities in admissions, medical education, multicultural affairs, and student services. Dr. Seibert earned her BA at Drake University, MD with highest honors (valedictorian) at Northwestern University Medical School, and completed her residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She has also completed the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Medical Educators and the prestigious Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program at the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine. Elected as fellow of the American College of Physicians in 2007, Dr. Seibert’s honors include the Dean’s Teaching Award, Graham- Meyer Teaching Award, Schilling-Harkness Teaching Award, UW Health Patient Experience Physician Champion Award, and UW Madison Chancellor’s Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Seibert has been principal investigator on several large educational awards. Her current $2.4 million 3-year grant focuses on creating and enhancing curricular opportunities in community engagement, advocacy and health systems improvement for medical students. She maintains an active primary care practice at the UW Health East Clinic.

  • Professor, General Internal Medicine
  • Director of Research and Evaluation, Center for Women’s Health Research

Dr. Byars-Winston is a vocational psychologist and nationally-recognized expert on cultural influences on academic and career development, especially for racial and ethnic minorities and women in the sciences, engineering, and medicine. Her work has focused on testing the validity of theoretical models to explain and predict academic and career outcomes using social cognitive theoretical approaches. Dr. Byars-Winston completed her BA (Psychology and Spanish) and MA (Counselor Education) at San Diego State University and PhD in Counseling Psychology at Arizona State University. Dr. Byars-Winston is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, received the Outstanding Woman of Color Award from UW-Madison, was designated as a Centennial Scholar by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and received a Champion of Change Award from the White House in 2012. Her well-supported research program has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She is currently co-leading a fouryear, $1.4 million NIH grant to assess how mentors and mentees define diversity awareness and how important this awareness is to the mentoring relationship. She is also part of a national team that has been awarded a five-year, $19 million grant from NIH to set up a national research mentoring network (NRMN). Additionally, Dr. Byars-Winston serves on a federal panel, the Board of Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) of the National Academy of Sciences, that advises federal lawmakers and policy-makers, academic leaders, and industry leaders about recommendations designed to inform action and set strong public policy on issues in higher education and the workforce.

  • Associate Professor and Director of Research, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Medicine
  • Section Chief, Endocrinology – William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital

Dr. Dawn Belt Davis leads a federally-funded research laboratory that focuses on pancreatic beta cell biology. Her research program is aimed at elucidating the mechanisms underlying the growth response in the beta cell, which is a key process in obesity, prediabetes, increased demand for insulin during pregnancy, type 2 diabetes, and type 1 diabetes. An additional area of interest is beta cell death (apoptosis) which plays a fundamental role in early type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Through her work, Dr. Davis is dedicated to identifying new therapeutic targets to aid beta cell proliferation and survival. Her clinical research has included multidisciplinary, collaborative investigations into the mechanisms of hypoglycemia in patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery. This has led to recognition that beta cell function is not inherently altered in gastric bypass-related hypoglycemia and has led to a novel treatment for the disorder. Additional clinical studies led by Dr. Davis have included identification of diabetes biomarkers, dietary interventions for weight loss and diabetes prevention, and inpatient management of diabetes. Dr. Davis earned her bachelor’s degree with honors at UW-Madison, and her MD and PhD at the University of Chicago. She took her residency at the University of Washington and fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at UW-Madison. Honors and awards bestowed upon Dr. Davis include the American Federation for Medical Research Junior Physician Investigator Award, the UW Health Patient Experience Physician Champion Award (for UW Health physicians with the top 5 percent patient satisfaction rankings), the Puestow Research Award from the Department of Medicine , and the Excellence in Endocrine Teaching Award. She is a member of the UW Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute, UW Institute on Aging, American Physiological Society, Endocrine Society, Central Society for Clinical Research, and American Diabetes Association. She is the Chair of the Midwest Section for the American Federation for Medical Research and a member of the National Council. She serves on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Investigative Medicine and the American Journal of Physiology:Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology. Dr. Davis has mentored over 40 research trainees including undergraduates, medical students, residents, fellows, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. She also teaches in medical school, graduate school, physician assistant program, and CME programs.

  • Associate Professor, Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Director, VA Coordinated Transitional Care (C-TraC) Demonstration Program
  • Co-Director, Memory Assessment Clinic of the Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center at the William S Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital

Dr. Kind is a geriatrician who directs a nationally-recognized research program in health services. Her research focuses on assessing, understanding and improving care system fragmentation, particularly for highly vulnerable and disadvantaged older adult populations. Dr. Kind completed her BS, MD, fellowships (geriatric and older women’s health), and PhD in Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and residency at Massachusetts General. Her Medicare-claims research has focused on issues of re-hospitalization in high-risk populations. Dr. Kind’s evidence-based models of care are being widely implemented locally and nationally. She was invited to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to discuss her research findings on the role of socioeconomic disadvantage in 30-day re-hospitalization rates for older adults.

  • Associate Professor, General Internal Medicine
  • Associate Vice Chair for Undergraduate Medical Education
  • Clerkship Director, Internal Medicine Clerkship
  • Chair, Education Committee, Department of Medicine

Dr. Zakowski is a general internist and medical educator focused on undergraduate medical education. She completed her BS at UW-Green Bay, MD at UW-Madison, residency and chief residency at Oregon Health Sciences University, and fellowship (general internal medicine) at UW-Madison. As Associate Vice Chair for Undergraduate Medical Education, Dr. Zakowski provides leadership in educational innovations for medical student instruction. Recently, she has been involved in a large-scale effort to update and transform the medical school curriculum. She also serves on the Leadership Council of the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine, and has completed the AAIM Executive Leadership Program. Dr. Zakowski has received the Dean’s Teaching Award from UW School of Medicine and Public Health, American College of Physicians- American Society of Internal Medicine Wisconsin Chapter Young Internist of the Year award, the Graham-Meyer Teaching Award from the Department of Medicine, and has been listed among Best Doctors in America. She received the Award for Outstanding Clinical Teaching by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health Class of 2014 and was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society following nomination by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health Class of 2016.

  • Associate Professor, General Internal Medicine
  • Associate Dean for Medical Education
  • Director of General Internal Medicine Clinician Teacher Program
  • Co-Director UWSMPH Curriculum Transformation

Dr. Chheda is an internist specializing in women’s health and a medical educator serving as Associate Dean for Medical Education in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Chheda completed her BS at Cornell University, MD at the SUNY at Buffalo, MPH at St. Louis University, residency in combined internal medicine and pediatrics, and a chief residency in pediatrics at North Shore University Hospital-Cornell University Medical College. In 2009, Dr. Chheda developed and piloted the General Internal Medicine Clinician-Teacher Program to provide a framework of support and protected time for faculty members who teach third- and fourth- year medical students. She has directed the UWSMPH Clinical Years Public Health Transformation and is currently Co-Director of the UW SMPH Curriculum Transformation to the new ForWard curriculum. She is Co-Principal Investigator on a 2.5 million dollar grant for Transforming Medical Education 3.0: Moving Medical Education ForWard, from the Wisconsin Partnership Program. She has received multiple teaching and education awards, including the Schilling-Harkness Teaching Award from the Department of Medicine, Clinician Educator of the Year Award from the Midwest Society of General Internal Medicine, and the Dean’s Teaching Award from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Chheda holds national leadership positions in education through the Society of General Internal Medicine (including being a founding faculty of the SGIM TEACH program) and the Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine/ Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM). She is the 2018 president for CDIM.

  • Associate Professor
  • Division Head, Hospital Medicine
  • Vice President of the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Medical Board
  • Chair, Credentials Committee, University of WisconsinHospital and Clinics

Dr. Sheehy is a one of our finest teaching hospitalists and a health services researcher. Her research focuses on health care policy and the impact of policies on hospitalized patients and health disparities. Dr. Sheehy pursued her bachelor’s degree at Stanford and earned her MD and MS in Clinical Research at the Mayo Clinic. She completed her internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins. As an advocate for reform of Medicare observationstatus policy and the Recovery Audit Contractor program, Dr. Sheehy has testified before Congress about policy impacts on patients and health care systems. Dr. Sheehy is a two-time recipient of the Evans-Glassroth Department of Medicine Inpatient Teacher of the Year Award, has been awarded the University of Wisconsin Internal Medicine Residency Professionalism Award, and has received an Outstanding Service in Hospital Medicine award from the Society for Hospital Medicine.

  • Associate Professor, Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care
  • Member, UW Carbone Cancer Center (UW CCC)
  • Leader, Outreach, Cancer Control and Population Sciences division, UW CCC
  • Co-leader, Gastrointestinal Oncology Disease Oriented Working Group, UW CCC
  • Chair, Data and Safety Monitoring Committee, UW CCC

Dr. LoConte is an oncologist with additional fellowship training in geriatrics, and is one of few physicians practicing in the Midwest who has completed such dual training. She specializes in gastrointestinal cancers, as well as cancer of any type in the older adult. Dr. LoConte earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and MD at University of Illinois-Chicago, followed by an internship at UW-Madison, residency at Oregon Health Sciences University, a fellowship in Medical Oncology and a fellowship in Geriatrics, both at UW. She has been a principal investigator on many clinical trials of new chemotherapies for gastrointestinal cancers, from Phase I through Phase III studies, has conducted National Cancer Institutesupported efforts to increase HPV vaccination rates, and recently was awarded funding by the Centers for Disease Control to expand collaborations between Milwaukee area community health centers to increase colorectal cancer screening rates.

  • Associate Professor, Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care
  • Member, UW Carbone Cancer Center (UW CCC)
  • Director, Medical Oncology Inpatient Service

Dr. Wisinski is a medical oncologist and member of the UW Health Breast Center. She earned her bachelor’s degree and MD from Washington University in St. Louis, followed by an internship and residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Northwestern. She is currently serving as co-director of the Wisconsin Oncology Network, which is a regional network that allows community health centers to enroll patients in select cancer clinical trials that are open at the UW Carbone Cancer Center. Recently, Dr. Wisinski was named by the National Cancer Institute to lead one arm of the National Cancer Institute Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (NCI-MATCH) trial, a unique national effort to match cancers to drugs based on genetic mutations in tumors rather than where in the body the cancers begin.

Heather Johnson, MD, MS

  • Associate Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Researcher, UW Health Innovation Program

Dr. Johnson is a cardiologist and health services researcher. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, Nuclear Cardiology, and Echocardiography, and is certified by the American Society of Hypertension as a Specialist in Clinical Hypertension. Dr. Johnson completed her BS, MD, residency, fellowship, post-doctoral research in women’s health and aging, MS in Population Health and capstones in Clinical Investigation and Type 2 Translational Research at UW-Madison. She has twice received the Dickie Research Award for Significant Research Contribution from the UW Department of Medicine. Her research utilizes health outcomes data and qualitative methodology to improve the management of hypertension and the delivery of cardiovascular preventive services to young adults. Dr. Johnson’s research is supported by the NIH, and she was designated as a Centennial Research Scholar in the School of Medicine and Public Health. In 2015, she received the Outstanding Woman of Color Award from the UW System.

  • Assistant Professor, Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • Director, UW Health Gastrointestinal Disorders in Pregnancy Clinic
  • Lead Physician, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic
  • Member, Digestive Health Center Executive Team
  • Director, Sub-Fellowship in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dr. Saha is a gastroenterologist specializing in inflammatory bowel disease and GI disorders in pregnancy. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Brown University and MD in the Brown- Dartmouth Medical Program and completed her residency in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center while serving as a clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School. During her fellowship training at Rhode Island Hospital, she became the first physician in the country to complete a clinical fellowship in gastroenterology with a special concentration on women’s gastrointestinal functions and disorders. Dr. Saha also earned her MS in Population Health at UW-Madison. Her research on inflammatory bowel disease in women has been funded by the NIH, and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America has supported her clinical studies on ulcerative colitis.

  • Assistant Professor, Rheumatology
  • Attending Physician and Consultant, UW Hospital and Clinics and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital

Dr. Shelef is an immunologist and a rheumatologist with a research program aimed to better understand the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis to inform the development of novel biomarkers and treatments. Dr Shelef completed her BA at University of Pennsylvania, earned her MD/ PhD degree at Columbia and was a member of our IMPACT Research Pathway residency in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology at UW-Madison. Dr. Shelef’s research has been funded by the NIH, the Wisconsin Partnership Program, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She is currently directing a large clinical study to evaluate how genetic variations affect an individual’s immune cell function and risk for developing inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Assistant Professor, Infectious Disease

Dr. Nett is an infectious disease researcher focused on finding novel approaches to understanding, detecting, and treating deviceassociated infections caused by microbial biofilms. She completed her BS, MD, residency, PhD (cellular and molecular biology) fellowships (women’s health, infectious disease), and Women Veterans Mini-Residency Training at UW-Madison. She has also completed additional postgraduate training at Marine Biological Laboratory – Woods Hole. Dr. Nett’s laboratory studies Candida, the most common nosocomial fungal pathogen, and how the transition to the biofilm lifestyle protects Candida from immune clearance. She has published over 33 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Her research is has been supported by NIH and the prestigious Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Dr. Nett has received numerous awards including the American Medical Women’s Association Janet M. Glasgrow Memorial Achievement Citation Award, the Laura Maki Scholarship, and the Department of Medicine Dickie Research Award.