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Faculty Affairs ~ GWIMS Mentoring & Steering Committee


Steering Committee & Faculty Mentors

The GWIMS Steering Committee and pool of faculty mentors at Tulane includes:

Mary K. Mulcahey, MD
Tulane GWIMS Steering Committee Chair & Mentor

Associate Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery
Director, Women's Sports Medicine Program

Dr. Mary Mulcahey is a New Hampshire native, who received her Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Dartmouth College in 2000, and her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2006.  She completed her orthopaedic surgery residency in 2011 at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital.  She then completed a fellowship in orthopaedic trauma at the same institution followed by a sports medicine fellowship at San Diego Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine. Dr. Mulcahey was one of only four orthopaedic surgeons to be selected for the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) Advanced Arthroscopy Traveling Fellowship in 2016.

Gabriella Pridjian, MD, MBAGabriella Pridjian, MD
Tulane GWIMS Steering Committee Co-Chair & Mentor
Associate Dean, Surgical Services
Professor and Chairman of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Dr. Gabriella Pridjian was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in July of 2004. Additionally, she is a clinical geneticist in the Human Genetics Program at Tulane. Dr. Pridjian received her MD degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, completed her residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology as well as her Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellowship at the University of Chicago, Chicago Lying-In Hospital. After spending several years at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, she moved to New Orleans and completed a fellowship in Human Genetics at Tulane University School of Medicine. She subsequently became Chief of Maternal- Fetal Medicine and then Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Pridjian has authored numerous publications and has lectured nationally and internationally. Dr. Pridjian's areas of research are in preeclampsia, prenatal diagnosis, pregnancy loss, and metabolic disorders in pregnancy.

Diane A. Blake, PhD
Tulane GWIMS Steering Committee & Mentor 
Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Tulane Cancer Center Contributing Member

Dr. Blake received her B.S. in Biochemistry in 1972 from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study proteoglycan biosynthesis/structure with H. Edward Conrad and received her PhD in Biochemistry in 1977. After a 4-year postdoctoral fellowship studying lectin biochemistry and glycoprotein synthesis with Irwin J. Goldstein at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, she joined Miles Laboratories as a Research Scientist in 1981. In 1983 she took a faculty position at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN, where she remained for 9 years. She came to Tulane in 1993 and is now Professor of Biochemistry. Dr. Blake has published over 50 papers in the areas of glycoprotein/proteoglycan biochemistry and protein-ligand interactions. She served for 5 years as a Member of the Advisory Panel for Cell Biology for the National Science Foundation and recently was a Panel Member for their Biocomplexity initiative. She has also served on Review Panels of the Environmental Protection Agency and performed ad hoc reviews for the National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust (UK), and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. She reviews regularly for Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Analytica Chemistry. One area of Dr. Blake's research is focused upon a study of extracellular matrix and cell-matrix interactions. Her most recent projects have included signal transduction via extracellular matrix receptors, and research on the effects of extracellular molecules on cell migration and proliferation. She has concentrated upon those extracellular matrix molecules that influence the behavior of vascular endothelial cells. A practical outcome of her experiments has been the development of new drugs (based on extracellular matrix molecules) that inhibit the process of angiogenesis. Such angiogenesis inhibitors have applications in the control of both cancer and ocular disease. A second area of active research in Blake's laboratory is the development of antibody reagents that can be used to assess human exposure to heavy metals. Some of the antibodies she has developed for this project also have applications in cancer prognosis and therapy.

Elizabeth Crabtree, MD
Tulane GWIMS Steering Committee & Mentor
Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology

Dr. Crabtree serves as the Medical Director at the Tulane Center for Comprehensive MS Care, and is passionate about creating meaningful care models for patients living with multiple sclerosis (MS). She did her undergraduate studies in Neuroscience and Spanish at Reed College, and her training in Immunology at the University of Tokyo, Japan. After medical school at Tulane School of Medicine, she completed her residency at University of California, Los Angeles. Her first fellowship focused on Neurobehavior at Tulane, and she was on the faculty until Hurricane Katrina prompted relocation. She spent the subsequent 12 years focusing on MS clinical care and patient education at the University of California, San Francisco and now has returned to Tulane to build a comprehensive care clinic for patients with MS. Her interests include patient education and support, maximizing the role of nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction for her patients, the management of MS during pregnancy, and meaningful symptom management in MS.


Cecilia Gambala, MD
Tulane GWIMS Steering Committee & Mentor

Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Assistant Dean of Clinical Education

Medical Student Clerkship Director

Cecilia Gambala is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Cecilia Gambala received her Bachelor of Science In Cell and Molecular Biology and Art Studio from H. Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University. She has an extensive educational history at Tulane University earning both a Masters of Science in Public Health and a Medical Degree. She subsequently completed her Obstetrics & Gynecology Residency and Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship in Chicago at the University of Illinois.  In 2011, she returned to Tulane University Medical School to begin her academic career. She currently acts as Director of medical student education in Ob/Gyn and is the Assistant Dean of Clinical Education. Dr. Gambala's research interests outside of medical education include prenatal diagnosis, obesity, diabetes and hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. 


Mary T. Killackey, MD
Tulane GWIMS Steering Committee & Mentor

Associate Professor and Chair of Surgery

Mary Killackey, MD is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at Tulane University Medical Center. She moved to New Orleans in October 2006 after working as a liver transplant attending at Albert Einstein in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Killackey received her undergraduate(1994) and medical(1998) degrees from Columbia University. She completed her General Surgery residency at the University of Rochester, Strong Memorial. From there, she went on to complete the Abdominal Organ Transplant Fellowship at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. During her fellowship, she gained expertise in liver, pancreas, intestinal and kidney transplantation in both adult and pediatric patients. In addition to the transplant experience at Mount Sinai, she gained extensive training in hepatobiliary surgery including resection and radio frequency ablation. Dr. Killackey has actively participated in clinical research and has presented at national transplant meetings. She has focused her research to clinical issues related to ischemia reperfusion, and recurrent Hepatitis C after transplant. She is an active member of the transplant community and is a member of several societies on both the local to international level


Nakeisha L. Pierre, MD
Tulane GWIMS Steering Committee & Mentor 
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology 
Director of Preoperative Medicine


Dr. Pierre is an Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and has been a member of the Tulane Community as both Resident Physician and Faculty since 2002 with only a brief respite post-Katrina. She is an experienced physician specializing in Cardiovascular Anesthesiology and Preoperative Assessments. Her leadership roles as Clinical Director of Cardiovascular Anesthesiology and the Preoperative Medicine Clinic have fostered the development of institutional change through evidence based guidelines, policy and procedure reform. She is currently an active voting member with leadership roles on both Tulane Hospital and University administrative and academic committees. Dr. Pierre is recognized regionally as an expert preoperative consultant and her collaborations in both private and academic institutions have fostered measurable gains. Dr. Pierre is acknowledged as a devoted physician, wife, mother, and mentor to the community. She is an invited lecturer in the community to aspiring youth, regional clinicians and resident physicians on various medical and personal development topics. Her maxim “Only speak that which is uplifting to others!”


Laurianne G. Wild, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI
Tulane GWIMS Steering Committee & Mentor 
Professor of Medicine
Chief, Section of Clinical Immunology, Allergy & Rhuematology

Laurianne Wild, a New Orleans native, received her Bachelor of Science degree from Tulane University’s H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College. She earned her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine followed by completion of her internship, residency and chief residency at the University of Southern California Los Angeles County Medical Center. She was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society during her residency. At completion of her training in southern California, she returned to New Orleans to complete an Allergy and Clinical Immunology Fellowship at Tulane University School of Medicine and subsequently joined the faculty. She served as Fellowship training program director for nineteen years and now co-directs the training program. She holds the rank of Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Section of Clinical Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology.
Dr. Wild is certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology as well as a Fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Andrea Zsombok, PhD
Tulane GWIMS Steering Committee & Mentor
Associate Professor of Physiology
Dr. Zsombok’s laboratory focuses on the understanding of brain circuits involved in the regulation of visceral organ functions in health and metabolic disorders. The laboratory investigates hypothalamic and brainstem circuits that control metabolism (e.g., glucose metabolism) and examines synaptic organization and plasticity of neurons within a given circuit (e.g., brain-liver). Ongoing research focuses on transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) and its contribution to glucose metabolism. Her laboratory uses electrophysiological as well as anatomical, immunostaining, retrograde tracer approaches in combination with pharmacogenetic and optogenetic approaches. Dr. Zsombok is a member of the Tulane Brain Institute, Tulane Center for Aging and Tulane Hypertension and Renal Center of Excellence.