Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant

Faculty and Staff


Photo of Kathy Ervie, MPAS, PA-C
Kathy Ervie, MPAS, PA-C
Program Director Assistant Teaching Professor Work Phone: (816) 235-1789
  • Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant: Butler University (1998)
  • Masters in Physician Assistant Studies: University of Nebraska Medical Center (2003)
  • Clinical Specialty: Orthopedic Surgery
  • Clinical Practice Site: Mark Bernhardt M.D., University Physician Associates/Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics
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Kathy joined the UMKC School of Medicine as the MMSPA Founding Program Director in 2012. She graduated from Butler University’s PA Program in 1998 and later received her Masters Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska. Before joining UMKC, Kathy practiced full-time in the area of orthopedic surgery, and continues her clinical work one day a week serving the Kansas City area. In addition to her program administrative and teaching duties, Kathy serves on the School of Medicine Diversity and Performance-Based Assessment committees as was selected as a University of Missouri System Leadership Development Program participant. Kathy is an active member of the AAPA and MAPA and served as a past president of the Missouri Academy of Physician Assistants.


Interim Medical Director

Bart Patenaude, M.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor Biomedical Sciences Work M3-415 Work Phone: (816) 235-1984


Program Staff

Photo of Laura Begley, M.A., M.B.A.
Laura Begley, M.A., M.B.A.
Allied Health Program Coordinator Work Phone: (816) 235-5412
  • Bachelor of Arts: Lindenwood University
  • Master of Arts: Lindenwood University
  • Master of Business Administration: Lindenwood University
  • Candidate, Doctor of Education: University of Missouri-Kansas City
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Laura joined the UMKC staff in 2009 as Program Assistant for the Master of Science in Anesthesia (MSA) program. Her current role as Allied Health Program Coordinator allows her to serve students in both the MSA and Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant programs. She serves as a Copyright Advocate for the School of Medicine and is also an evaluator for the RooWriter writing assessment program.

Laura has more than a decade of experience working in higher education and nonprofit organizations. Currently, Laura is a doctoral candidate pursuing an EdD with a focus in higher education administration in the UMKC School of Education.

Photo of Roslyn Powell
Roslyn Powell
Graduate Studies Program Assistant Work Phone: (816) 235-1863
  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts: UMKC (2013)

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Roz joined the UMKC staff in 1998 she’s worked with the School of Education Department and the Career Services Staff and in 2015 she joined the Allied Health Program.

Photo of Marge Weimer, MEd
Marge Weimer, MEd
Education Coordinator Work Phone: (816) 235-1963
  • BA – History   Geneva College
  • M.Ed.  University of Pittsburgh
Photo of Maria Young
Maria Young
Allied Health Program Assistant Work Phone: (816) 235-1982
  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts: UMKC (2014)
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Maria joined the UMKC staff in 2013 as the Allied Health Program Assistant. In addition to her role within the Office of Allied Health, Maria also serves on the University Staff Council. Maria is pursuing her Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Health Services Administration from the Bloch School of Management.


Program Faculty

Photo of Michelle  Eaton, PA-C
Michelle  Eaton, PA-C
Assistant Teaching Professor Work Phone: 816-235-1975
  • University of Kansas – B.A. Biology (1992)
  • Wichita State University – B.S. Physician Assistant Studies (1995)

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Michelle joined the University of Missouri -Kansas City, as Assistant Teaching Professor in the Masters of Medical Science Physician Assistant Program in late 2015. She spent the past 20 years practicing clinically as a Physician Assistant. Her practice areas included Rural Medicine, Family Practice, Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Gastroenterology, and Internal Medicine. She spent the last seven years practicing Internal Medicine with a physician group in Olathe, Kansas.

Photo of Heather E. Yates, M.H.S., PA-C
Heather E. Yates, M.H.S., PA-C
Assistant Teaching Professor Work Phone: (816) 235-1924
  • Bachelor of Arts. Human Biology: University of Kansas (1992)
  • Master of Health Sciences: Duke University School of Medicine (1995)

Heather joined the UMKC School of Medicine MMSPA program in 2016. She spent the last twenty years practicing clinically in Family Medicine in Lawrence, Kansas. Her practice interests include women’s health, psychiatry and patient advocacy.


Instructional Faculty

Photo of Julie Banderas, Pharm.D.
Julie Banderas, Pharm.D.
Professor & Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies & Allied Health UMKC School of Medicine Work Phone: (816) 235-5249
  • Specialty: Clinical Pharmacology
  • Doctorate of Pharmacy: University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Clinical Pharmacy Residency: Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Pharmacotherapy Fellowship: University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Research interests: HIV prevention, adherence to medications, engagement in care, health literacy.

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Julie earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1990. She completed a clinical pharmacy residency and pharmacotherapy fellowship before she began teaching basic and clinical pharmacology at UMKC School of Medicine in 1994. Happily, she has been able to experience a variety of rewarding opportunities at UMKC. In addition to teaching, she has engaged in clinical research in the areas of adherence, HIV treatment and prevention. She has served on the UMKC Adult Health Sciences IRB and teaches the Responsible Conduct of Research course for UMKC graduate programs. At the School of Medicine, she is the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and is a member of the Department of Medicine and the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics. She enjoys the inter-professional aspects of her work.

Photo of Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., M.B.A.
Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., M.B.A.
Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor Internal Medicine Work Phone: (816) 235-1809
  • Specialty: Clinical Pharmacology
  • Bachelor of Science: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy
  • Masters of Business Administration: University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Doctorate of Pharmacy: University of Missouri-Kansas City
Photo of John Foxworth, Pharm.D.
John Foxworth, Pharm.D.
Work Phone: (816) 235-1925

Associate Program Director
Director of Research
Professor of Medicine
Assistant Dean for Faculty Development
Chair, Continuing Medical Education, Truman Medical Center and UMKC School of Medicine
Faculty Officer, AOA Chapter, UMKC Medical School

Joined UMKC Faculty since 1975

  • University: UMKC for BS Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Residency: Kansas City General Hospital
  • Medical Interests: teaching research methodology, biostatistics & evidence-based medicine to others

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Photo of Mingui Fu, Ph.D.
Mingui Fu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Immunology, Shock/Trauma Research CenterBiomedical Sciences Work MG-101A Work Phone: (816) 235-2193
  • M.S.:   Xian Medical University, China, 1994
  • Ph.D.:   Peking University Health Science Center, China, 2000
  • Postdoctoral Fellow: Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, 2003 and UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, 2006
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Research Interests:

Study the post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms of inflammation and their contribution to human inflammatory diseases such as sepsis and vascular inflammatory diseases. Currently we are focus on a CCCH-zinc finger protein family including MCPIP1;

Post-translational regulation of vascular inflammation. Currently, we are focus on a newly identified E3 ligase. The techniques include: genetic animal studies, histology, immune staining, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and human primary cells or sample analysis

Topics of Interest:
  • Regulatory mechanisms of septic shock
  • Signal transduction in macrophage activation
  • RNA metabolism in immune regulation
  • Negative regulation of Toll-like receptor signaling
  • Molecular signaling of vascular endothelial inflammation, injury and repair
  • Novel therapeutic targets for human inflammatory diseases including atherosclerosis, sepsis and viral infection
Recent Projects:
  1. The Roles of CCCH-Zinc Finger Proteins in the Regulation of Inflammation.
         Nearly 60 CCCH-zinc finger proteins have been identified in humans and mice. These proteins are involved in the regulation of multiple steps of RNA metabolism, including mRNA splicing, polyadenylation, transportation, translation, and decay. Several CCCH-zinc finger proteins, such as tristetraprolin, Roquin and MCPIP1, are crucial for many aspects of immune responses via targeting mRNA degradation and other mechanisms. Others are involved in the regulation of cell differentiation and cancer cell growth. In the past ten years, we have been working on a novel CCCH-zinc finger containing protein, MCPIP1, in the regulation of both innate and adaptive immunity. Using transgenic and knockout mouse models, we are studying the physiological role and mechanisms of MCPIP1 in inflammatory response and immunity and the involvement of MCPIP1 in septic shock, atherosclerosis and autoimmune diseases.
  2. Novel Molecular Regulators in Vascular Endothelial Inflammation, Injury and Repair.
         Vascular endothelium is a multifunctional and critical interface between blood stream and vascular wall. Meanwhile, vascular endothelium is also the largest endocrine, paracrine and metabolic organ. Recent studies suggest that there is endothelial dysfunction at the early stage of cardiovascular diseases and stroke caused by atherosclerosis, hypertension and diabetes. In addition, the initial event in bacterial and viral infection-caused multi-organ injury is vascular endothelial damage and dysfunction. So that vascular endothelial inflammation and dysfunction is a common pathological step and basis for cardiovascular diseases and stroke and acute organ injury. Improving the function of vascular endothelium and repairing the damaged vascular endothelium would be a critical step for treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke and acute organ injury. Using expression profiling and bioinformatics, we recently identified an adipocyte-enriched protein, adiporedoxin, as a negative regulator of endothelial activation (Sci Rep, 2016). In addition, we have identified a TRIM protein as a novel determinant of vascular endothelial inflammation via targeting VCAM-1 degradation. Currently, we are studying the roles and mechanisms of these proteins in vascular inflammation, atherosclerosis, sepsis and cerebral small vascular disease.
Selected Publications:
  1. Liang J, Wang J, Azfer A, Song W, Tromp G, Kolattukudy PE, Fu M#. A novel CCCH-Zinc finger protein family regulates proinflammatory activation of macrophages. J Biol Chem. 2008, 283:6337-6346.
  2. Liang J, Lei T, Song Y, Yanes N and Fu M#. RNA-destabilizing factor Tristetraprolin negatively regulates NF-κB signaling. J Biol Chem. 2009, 284: 29383-29390.
  3. Liang J, Saad Y, Lei T, Wang J, Qi D, Yang Q, Kolattukudy PE and Fu M#. MCP-induced protein 1 deubiquitinating TRAFs and negatively regulate JNK and NF-κB signaling. J Exp Med, 2010, 207:2959-73.
  4. Qi D, Huang S, Miao R, She ZG, Quinn T, Chang Y, Liu J, Fan D, Chen YE, Fu M#. Monocyte chemotactic protein-induced protein 1 (MCPIP1) suppresses stress granule formation and determines apoptosis under stress. J Biol Chem. 2011, 286(48):41692-700.
  5. Zhang Y, Breevoort SR, Angdisen J, Fu M, Schmidt DR, Holmstrom AR, Kliewer SA, Mangelsdorf DJ, Schulman IG. Liver LXRα expression is crucial for whole body cholesterol homeostasis and reverse cholesterol transport in mice. J Clin Invest, 2012, 122(5):1688-99.
  6. Zhang J, Zhang Y, Sun T, Chandalia M, Abate N, Fan D, Xin HB, Chen YE# and Fu M#. Dietary obesity induced Egr-1 in adipocytes facilitates energy storage via suppression of FOXC2. Sci Rep. 2013, 3:1476.
  7. Niu J, Shi Y, Xue J, Xu M, Miao R, Huang S, Chen ZJ, Fu M, Wu Z-H. DNA damage-induced MCPIP1 negatively regulates NF-κB activation by facilitating USP10-dependent disassembly of linear polyubiquitin chain. EMBO J, 2013, 32:3206-3219.
  8. Liu S, Qiu C, Miao R, Zhou J, Fu W, Zhu L, Zhang L, Xu J, Fan D, Li K, Fu M#, Wang T#. MCPIP1 restricts HIV infection and is rapidly degraded in activated CD4+ T cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 2013, 110(47):19083-8.
  9. Yao H, Ma R, Yang L, Hu G, Chen X, Duan M, Kook Y, Niu F, Liao K, Fu M, Hu G, Kolattukudy P, Buch S. MiR-9 promotes microglial activation by targeting MCPIP1. Nat Commun. 2014. 5:4386.
  10. Jeltsch KM, Hu D, Brenner S, Zöller J, Heinz GA, Nagel D, Vogel KU, Rehage N, Warth SC, Edelmann SL, Gloury R, Martin N, Lohs C, Lech M, Stehklein JE, Geerlof A, Kremmer E, Weber A, Anders HJ, Schmitz I, Schmidt-Supprian M, Fu M, Holtmann H, Krappmann D, Ruland J, Kallies A, Heikenwalder M & Heissmeyer V. Cleavage of roquin and regnase-1 by the paracaspase MALT1 releases their cooperatively repressed targets to promote TH17 differentiation. Nat Immunol. 2014, 15(11):1079-1089.
  11. Huang S, Liu S, Fu JJ, Tony Wang T, Yao X, Kumar A, Liu G, Fu M#. Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-induced Protein 1 and 4 Form a Complex but Act Independently in Regulation of Interleukin-6 mRNA Degradation. J Biol Chem. 2015 Aug 21;290(34):20782-92.
  12. He H, Guo F, Li Y, Saaoud F, Kimmis BD, Sandhu J, Fan M, Maulik D, Lessner S, Fan D, Jiang ZS#, and Fu M#. Adiporedoxin suppresses endothelial activation via inhibiting MAPK and NF-κB signaling. Sci Rep. 2016 (in press).
  13. Jiang MX, Hong X, Liao BB, Shi SZ, Lai XF, Zheng HY, Xie L, Wang Y, Wang XL, Xin HB, Fu M#, and Deng KY#. Expression profiling identifies a novel group of TRIM proteins involving in the proinflammatory activation of macrophages. Sci Rep. 2016 (in press).

Photo of Timothy P. Hickman, M.D., M.P.H., M.Ed., FAAP
Timothy P. Hickman, M.D., M.P.H., M.Ed., FAAP
Associate Teaching Professor Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics Work Phone: (816) 235-1861
  • Medical Degree: University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1980
  • Research interests: Clinical decision support including evidence-based guidelines and order sets; information retrieval, social determinants of health, and evaluation of teaching and learning.
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Areas of expertise:

  • Culturally Appropriate Care and Health Disparities
  • Curriculum Development
  • Active Learning, Small Group Facilitation and Case-Based Learning
  • Information Retrieval
  • Evidence-Based Medicine/Clinical Decision Support
Photo of Darla McCarthy, Ph.D.
Darla McCarthy, Ph.D.
Associate Teaching Professor of Biochemistry Biomedical Sciences Work M3-419 Work Phone: (816) 235-1736
  • Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO – Ph.D. (1998)
  • Chemistry, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI – B.S. (1991)
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Darla McCarthy, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at the UMKC School of Medicine. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Colorado in 1998, where her dissertation research focused on the catalytic mechanism employed by a bacterial enzyme involved in the metabolism of pentachlorophenol, a toxic soil pollutant. Additional post-doctoral research at the University of California-Berkeley focused on elucidating catalytic features of a vitamin B6-dependent enzyme. Subsequent to her post-doctoral studies, Dr. McCarthy spent several years teaching chemistry and biochemistry at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Dr. McCarthy teaches biochemistry at the UMKC School of Medicine. Her primary teaching responsibility is the Human Biochemistry course. She also lectures in the Human Structure Function series and in the Physician Assistant program.


Representative Publications

McCarthy, D. and Folkema, A. “Reading and Writing in Chemistry: Summarizing the Past to Shape the Future.” In: E Vander Lei and D Ward, eds. Real Texts: Reading and Writing Across the Disciplines, Longman Publishers, New York, NY, 2008. (2nd Ed., 2011)

Capitani, G., McCarthy, D.L., Gut, H., Gruetter, M.G., and Kirsch, J.F. “Apple ACC Synthase in Complex with the Inhibitor L-Aminoethoxyvinylglycine: Evidence for a Ketimine Intermediate.” J. Biol. Chem. 2002 51, 49735-49742.

Kiefer, P.M., McCarthy, D.L., and Copley, S.D. “The Reaction Catalyzed by Tetrachlorohydroquinone Dehalogenase Does Not Involve Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution.” Biochemistry 2002 41, 1308-1314.

McCarthy, D.L., Capitani, G., Feng, L., Gruetter, M.G., and Kirsch, J.F. “Glutamate 47 in 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate Synthase is a Major Specificity Determinant.” Biochemistry 2001 40, 12276-12284.

McCarthy, D.L., Louie, D.F., and Copley, S.D. “Identification of a Covalent Intermediate Between Glutathione and Cysteine 13 Formed During Catalysis by Tetrachlorohydroquinone Dehalogenase.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1997 119, 11337-11338.

McCarthy, D.L., Claude, A.A., and Copley, S.D. “In vivo Levels of Chlorinated Hydroquinones in a Pentachlorophenol-Degrading Bacterium.” Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 1997 63, 1883-1888.

McCarthy, D.L., Navarrete, S., Willett, W.S., Babbitt, P.C., and Copley, S.D. “Exploration of the Relationship Between Tetrachlorohydroquinone Dehalogenase and the Glutathione S-Transferase Superfamily.” Biochemistry 1996 35, 14634-14642.

Gray, T.M., Arnoys, E.J., Blankespoor, S., Born, T., Jager, R., Everman, R., Plowman, D.**, Stair, A., and Zhang, D. “Destabilizing Effect of Proline Substitutions in Two Helical Regions of T4 Lysozyme: Leucine 66 to Proline and Leucine 92 to Proline.” Protein Sci. 1996 5, 742-751. **Former name.

Photo of Michael Wacker, Ph.D.
Michael Wacker, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Medical Student Research Associate Teaching Professor, Vice-chair Biomedical SciencePhysiology, Biomedical Sciences Work Phone: (816) 235-6069
  • University of Kansas – Ph.D. (2003)
  • Texas Christian University – B.S. (1997)
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Dr. Wacker joined the Department of Basic Medical Science in the School of Medicine in 2007. He currently teaches physiology in the Human Structure Function series taught to the medical school students, as well as physiology courses in the Anesthesiologist Assistant program and the Physician Assistant program. Dr. Wacker is a member of the Muscle Biology Group at UMKC with expertise in cardiac muscle physiology. The interests in his laboratory focus on agents that alter cardiac muscle function and calcium homeostasis in cardiac myocytes. Acutely, changes in calcium homeostasis can lead to arrhythmias and alteration of cardiac muscle contractility. More chronic alterations in calcium, however, can lead to remodeling of the heart as observed in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Specifically, Dr. Wacker is interested in endocrine/paracrine agents which may directly alter calcium changes in cardiac myocytes via signaling mediated by membrane receptors. Recently, Dr. Wacker and the Muscle Biology Group have worked in collaboration with the UMKC Bone Biology Group on a NIH-funded project exploring mechanisms of bone-muscle crosstalk. Dr. Wacker’s laboratory has concentrated on a hormone, FGF23, released by bone cells that may play a role in directly altering cardiac function during chronic kidney disease. Additional interests in the laboratory focus on how thromboxane A2, intracellular phosphoinositide signaling, and fibrate drugs may directly alter cardiac muscle function.

Research Interests

My laboratory is interested in agents that alter cardiac muscle function and calcium homeostasis in cardiac myocytes. I am specifically interested in endocrine/paracrine agents which may directly alter cardiac function. One main area of focus currently in the lab is on hormones/toxins (e.g. FGF23) that are elevated during chronic kidney disease that may cause heart disease. Typical experiments in the lab center around measuring cardiac contractility/ function, Langendorf perfusion of isolated hearts, calcium imaging of cardiac myocytes, cardiac gene/protein changes, exploring cardiac myocyte signal transduction mechanisms like IP3 signaling, and blood vessel function.


Recent Publications

Gallagher PM, Touchberry CD, Teson K, McCabe E, Tehel M, Wacker MJ. Effects of an acute bout of resistance exercise on fiber-type specific GLUT4 and IGF-1R expression. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 38 (5): 581-586, 2013. PMID: 23668768

Touchberry CD, Green TM, Tchikrizov V, Mannix JE, Mao TF, Carney BW, Girgis M, Vincent RJ, Wetmore LA, Dawn B, Bonewald L, Stubbs JR, Wacker MJ. FGF23 is a novel regulator of intracellular calcium and cardiac contractility in addition to cardiac hypertrophy. American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism. 304 (8): E863-873. 2013. PMID: 23443925

Bonewald LF, Wacker MJ. FGF23 Production by Osteocytes. Pediatric Nephrology. 28 (4): 563-568. 2013. PMID: 22983423

Silswal N, Parelkar NK, Wacker MJ, Badr M, Andresen J.   PPARa-Independent Arterial Smooth Muscle Relaxant Effects of PPARa Agonists. PPAR Research. 302495. 2012. PMID: 23008696

Wacker MJ, Tevis O, Hanke J, Howard T, Gilbert W, Orr JA. Characterization of thromboxane A2 receptor and TRPV1 mRNA in cultured sensory neurons. Neuroscience Letters. 515(1):12-7. 2012. PMID: 22425716

Silswal N, Parelkar N, Wacker MJ, Brotto M, Andresen J. Phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate increases intracellular free calcium in arterial smooth muscle cells and elicits vasocontraction. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 300 (6): H2016-26. 2011. PMID: 21421826

Touchberry CD, Elmore CJ, Nguyen TM, Andresen JJ, Zhao X, Orange M, Weisleder N, Brotto M, Claycomb WC, Wacker MJ. Store-Operated Calcium Entry is Present in HL-1 Cardiomyocytes and Contributes to Resting Calcium. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 416 (1-2): 45-50. 2011. PMID: 22079292

Touchberry CD, Bales IK, Stone JK, Rohrberg TJ, Parelkar NK, Nguyen T, Fuentes O, Liu X, Qu CK, Andresen JJ, Valdivia HH, Brotto M, Wacker MJ. Phosphatidylinositol 3,5-Bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P2) Potentiates Cardiac Contractility Via Activation of the Ryanodine Receptor. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 285 (51): 40312-21. 2010. PMID: 20947503

Photo of James Wooten, Pharm.D.
James Wooten, Pharm.D.
Basic Medical Science Work Phone: (816) 235-2197
  • Specialty: Clinical Pharmacology
  • Doctorate of Pharmacy: Creighton University
  • Clinical Pharmacy Residency: University of California, San Diego
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Dr. Wooten is an Associate Professor of Medicine, in the section of clinical pharmacology for the UMKC School of Medicine. Dr. Wooten’s responsibilities include teaching pharmacology to medical students, as well as students in both the Anesthesia Assistant and Physician Assistant Programs. Dr. Wooten has been a faculty member with the UMKC School of Medicine since 1998. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Creighton University in 1985 and completed a one-year clinical pharmacy residency at the University of California—San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center in 1986. Before joining UMKC, he worked as a clinical pharmacy coordinator in several hospitals in the Kansas City area and was also a faculty member for a family practice residency program. Dr. Wooten’s professional interests include all aspects of internal medicine and medication use in the elderly.