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Office of Diversity and Community Outreach

Houston, Texas

The Office of Diversity and Community Outreach provides programs and activites aimed at increasing the enrollment and graduation of students underepresented in medicine.
The Office of Diversity and Community Outreach
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Meet the SMS Faculty and Coordinators


Dr. Wah Chiu received his Ph.D. from the University of California in Berkeley, CA, and did his postdoctoral work at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in Berkeley, CA. Dr. Chiu is a Guggenheim fellow and an Alexander von Humboldt fellow. He is the director of the National Center for Macromolecular Imaging, the Director of the Protein Folding Center, and the co-director for the W.M. Keck Center for Computational Biology. His research includes electron cryomicroscopy of biological nanomachines.

Dr. James L. Phillips is originally from Sharon, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor's degree from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, where he attended on a full academic and athletic scholarship. Dr. Phillips received his M.D. from Case Western Reserve Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio and finished his residency in pediatrics at the Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Ohio. He then served for two years in the U.S. Navy after being drafted through the Berry Plan. Dr. Phillips' research interests include health care disparities, cultural diversity and sensitivity in medicine, and the health care delivery system. He has a passion to decrease the disparity that exists in the physician workforce, and started the Saturday Morning Science program as a means to work towards this goal. Dr. Phillips is a die hard football fan, and played all four years of his undergraduate career. One of his favorite hobbies is playing golf. An interesting fact about Dr. Phillips is that he and his wife own a candy store in Willoughby, Ohio. The name of the store is Brandt's Candies, Inc. and they are known for their delicious home-made, hand-dipped chocolates!

Dr. Wayne Franklin is originally from Orinda, CA (near Oakland, CA). He received a BA degree from Williams College in Williamstown, MA, and his M.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He completed his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Duke University in Durham, NC, and completed a combined fellowship in adult cardiology and pediatric cardiology here at BCM. He joined the BCM faculty in both the departments of medicine and pediatrics in 2006 and has served as director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program since that time. Dr. Franklin's clinical interests include adult congenital heart disease and heart failure, as well as echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, and cardiac catheterization. His favorite hobby was golf; but since the birth of his son, his new favorite hobby is photography of his son.

Dr. Frank Kretzer is originally from Los Angeles, California. He received a BA in Biology, a MA in Biology, and a Ph.D. in molecular biology all from the University of California, Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Kretzer did his post-doctoral work at the University of California, Los Angeles in parasitology, and at the University of Jerusalem at Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel in mitochondrial membrane structure. He specializes in the development and vascularization of the human retina. Dr. Kretzer loves teaching medical students gross anatomy, histology, neurology, and surgical ophthalmology. His wife has been a teacher in HISD for 34 years! An interesting fact about Dr. Kretzer is that he was raised in Hollywood around the movie stars because both of his parents were attorneys for the motion picture industry! His favorite hobby is collecting art.

Dr. Scott Basinger received a BA degree, as well as his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. Dr. Basinger did his post-doctoral work at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has been at BCM since 1973. His laboratory conducted NIH funded research on the cell biology of the retina for over 20 years. As a dean in the graduate school, his duties include development, student counseling, and educational outreach. He directs the Career Center for the Graduate School. He was chosen as a mentor in an addiction education faculty development program in 2000, and now directs the Addiction Scholars Program at BCM.

Dr. Gerardo Cabrera-Meza received his M.D. from San Carlos University School of Medicine in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Dr. Cabrera-Meza did his residency at Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and was a neonatal-perinatal medicine fellow at Baylor college of Medicine in Houston, TX. He initiated a neonatal nutrition outreach program, and he often travels with a team to Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru to learn about local nutrition issues for newborns, and also to provide possible solutions and training to medical and nursing staff in the areas where travels.

Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye is originally from Nigeria. He received his medical degree from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. He completed his internship at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC, and his residency in general surgery at the Medical College of Virginia Hospital, in Richmond, VA. Dr. Olutoye also completed a fellowship in fetal surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA. He is currently the co-director of the Texas Children's Fetal Center and his clinical interests include fetal, neonatal, and pediatric surgery.

Dr. Melvyn Harrington is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. After completing his undergraduate degree at The Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Harrington earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. He completed his internship and his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. He also completed a fellowship in adult reconstructive orthopedic surgery at Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston. He specializes in arthritis and joint reconstruction, total and minimally invasive knee and hip replacements, mobile-bearing knee replacements, and treatment of avascular necrosis of the femoral head. Dr. Harrington spends most of his time away from work going to his two sons' sporting events!

Dr. Chester Brown is originally from Indiana. He received a BS degree from Howard University in Washington, DC. He completed his M.D. and Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio. Dr. Brown also supervises the Houston Premedical Academy Research Symposium each year, and mentors the students in the correct methods in presenting a research poster. His research interests include birth defects, endocrinopathies and disorders of growth. One of Dr. Brown's hobbies is going to his daughters' violin recitals.

Dr. Judith Campbell received her M.D from Baylor College of Medicine. She also completed a pediatric residency, a chief residency, and a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at BCM. Dr. Campbell's research interests include the prevention of nosocomial infections in extremely low-birth weight neonates, Nosocomial outbreaks in NICUs, and the epidemiology of group B streptococcal disease.


Kara Green Ihedigbo, M.P.H.
Senior Project Coordinator
Office of Diversity & Community Outreach

Toi Blakley Harris, M.D.
Assistant Dean of Diversity and Student Affairs Associate Professor in Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Special thanks to our graduate and medical student volunteers!

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