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
View Bio
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.
Photo of Beverly Graves, M.D.
Beverly Graves, M.D.
Medical Director Adjunct Assistant Professor Work Phone: (816) 235-6784


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
View Bio
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)

View Bio

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)
View Bio
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)

View Bio

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 Cody Sasek, M.P.A.S., P.A.-C, A.T.C.
Cody Sasek, M.P.A.S., P.A.-C, A.T.C.
Assistant Teaching Professor Home Phone: (816) 235-1628
  •  Bachelor of Science. Exercise Science/Athletic Training: University of Nebraska at Kearney 2006)
  •  Master of Physician Assistant Studies: University of Nebraska Medical Center (2009)
View Bio

Cody is an assistant teaching professor in the University of Missouri-Kansas City PA Program. Cody received a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2009. Following graduation, he accepted a position with the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic of Kansas City. While there, he worked with the head team physician for the Kansas City Chiefs, providing orthopedic care to both the competitive athlete as well as weekend warriors. He remains on the medical staff of the Creighton University Medical Center Emergency Department.

Prior to PA school, he graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree and certification as an athletic trainer. He is an active member of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) as well as a peer reviewer for the Journal of the American Academy of PAs. His leadership positions include serving as graduate advisor to the Student Academy of AAPA, as a member of the PAEA Student Advisory Task Force, and previously on the Board of Directors for the Nebraska Coalition for Patient Safety. Cody’s professional interests include student leadership development, studying student perspectives of PA education careers, and teaching in various courses in the UMKC PA program. Cody is currently a doctoral student pursuing a PhD in educational administration.

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.
Interim Chair, Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics Professor & Associate Dean for Graduate StudiesUMKC 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.

View Bio

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

View CV

Photo of Mingui Fu, Ph.D.
Mingui Fu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Immunology, Shock/Trauma Research CenterBasic Medical Science 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
More info
Research Area:

Molecular Insights in Inflammation and Inflammatory Diseases

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.
More info

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 Basic Medical Science 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)
More info


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 Christopher Papasian, Ph.D. (ABMM)
Christopher Papasian, Ph.D. (ABMM)
Work M3-CO3 Work Phone: (816) 235-5172

Professor & Chairman, Basic Medical Science, UMKC School of Medicine
Microbiology Consultant, Truman Medical Center

  • Microbiology; SUNY Buffalo – Ph.D. (1982)
  • Veterinary Science; University of Idaho – M.S. (1978)
  • Forest Zoology; SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry – B.S. (Magna cum laude: 1976)
  • Zoology; Syracuse University – B.S. (Magna cum laude: 1976)
More info

Chris Papasian is Board Certified in Medical and Public Health Microbiology. He was trained as a classical immunology researcher in both cellular and humoral immunity, then opted to pursue postdoctoral training in Medical and Public Health Microbiology. He served as Director of Diagnostic Microbiology and Immunology Laboratories at major teaching hospitals from 1984-1998. He currently serves as a Microbiology Consultant for Truman Medical Center, a primary teaching hospital for the UMKC School of Medicine.

Dr. Papasian is course director for the Medical Microbiology Course offered to medical students at UMKC.

Research Interest

Dr. Papasian does not currently maintain his own active research laboratory but contributes to the research of several faculty within the department. His primary personal research interest lies in the area of the host response to serious infections.


Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, 7/2012-Present

Editorial Boards

Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 1/1996 – 12/2004; 1/2006 – Present

Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, 1/2005 – 7/2012


Recent Publications

Qureshi, AA, Guan, XQ, Reis, JC, Papasian, CJ, Jabre, S, Morrison, DC, Qureshi, N. 2012. Inhibition of nitric oxide and inflammatory cytokines in LPS-stimulated murine macrophages by resveratrol, a potent proteasome inhibitor. Lipids in Health and Disease. 11:76

Fu, M., Miao, R., Huang, S., Zhou, Z., Quinn, T., Van Treek, B., Nayyar, T., Dim, D., Jiang, Z., Papasian, C., Y Chen, Y., and Liu, G. 2013. Targeted Disruption of MCPIP1/Zc3h12a Results in Fatal Inflammatory Disease. Immunol. Cell Biol. doi:10.1038/icb.2013.11

Qureshi, A.A., Khan, D.A., Mahjabeen, W., Papasian, C.J. and Qureshi, N. 2013. Nutritional Supplement-5 with a Combination of Proteasome Inhibitors (Resveratrol, Quercetin, δ-Tocotrienol) Modulate Age-Associated Biomarkers and Cardiovascular Lipid Parameters in Human Subjects. J. Clin. Experimental Cardiology. 4:238.

Zhou Z, Miao R, Huang S, Elder B, Quinn T, Papasian CJ, Zhang J, Fan D, Chen YE, Fu M. 2013. MCPIP1 Deficiency in Mice Results in Severe Anemia Related to Autoimmune Mechanisms. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 6;8(12):e82542. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082542

Pei YF, Zhang L, Liu Y, Li J, Shen H, Liu YZ, Tian Q, He H, Wu S, Ran S, Han Y, Hai R, Lin Y, Zhu J, Zhu XZ, Papasian CJ, Deng HW. 2014. Meta-analysis of genome-wide association data identifies novel susceptibility loci for obesity. Hum Mol Genet. 23(3):820-30. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddt464

Huang HL, Lv C, Zhao YC, Li W, He XM, Li P, Sha, AG, Xiao Tian X, Papasian CJ, Deng HW, Lu GX, Xiao HM. 2014. Mutant ZP1 in Familial Infertility. NEJM In Press

Photo of Marilyn Pesto, J.D., R.N.
Marilyn Pesto, J.D., R.N.
Clinical Assistant Professor Medical Humanities & Social Sciences Work Phone: (816) 235-1932

Marilyn Pesto, J.D., M.S.N., R.N., director of the Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics, brings a rich background of experience in the humanities, jurisprudence, health care law, health care policy and bioethics to the Office.

More info

Pesto has served as a clinical assistant professor of medical humanities at the School of Medicine since 1995 and has taught Medicine and Law; Medicine, Law and Literature; and participated in Medicine and Body Image, Medical Bioethics, and Conflict Resolution and Health Care.

She has been a practicing nurse since 1975 and a trial lawyer since 1981. The focus of her current legal work is health care law and health care provider representation. She is a mediator in the state of Missouri, specializing in health care disputes and litigation. The former executive director of the Hospital Hill Health Services Corporation, now University Physician Associates, Pesto also served as defense counsel for the Truman Medical Center/Hospital Hill Health Services Corporation.

She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama, and a law degree and master’s of science degree in psychiatric and mental health nursing from the University of Missouri – Columbia. In addition to the School of Medicine, she has held faculty positions at the University of San Diego, Webster University and Baker University. During her time at Baker, Pesto helped develop a master’s curriculum in Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution, and taught its first class.

Pesto is a member of and serves on many committees of the following organizations:

American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
Missouri Bar Association
American Nurse Association
Academy for Professionalism in Healthcare
Kansas City Friends of Jung
Kansas City Bar Association

No results.

Joey Vacca, M.S.
Instructor Basic Medical Science Work M3-427 Work Phone: (816) 235-6619
  • Emporia State University, “Ovarian Steroid Secretion and Effects of Testosterone in female Rana pipiens” – M.S. (1988)
  • Southwestern College – B.A. Biology (1985)
  • Southwestern College – B.S. Chemistry (1985)
  • Medical School, University of Kansas, 1987-1990
More info


Joseph L. Vacca is an instructor of anatomy for the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at the School of Medicine since December of 2006. He teaches anatomy to students of the Anesthesia Assistants MSA program and instructs in the laboratory components of the Human Structure Function course series and Neuroscience course for medical students. He also instructs in the laboratory component of Human Gross Anatomy I & II for UMKC dental students. Mr. Vacca performs cadaver dissections for presentation to UMKC students in courses requiring cadaver study and assists in the Regional Anatomy of the Thorax & Abdomen dissection elective for medical students. He is also the scheduling contact for use of the anatomy models lab at the dental school. Prior to becoming a UMKC employee and presently, Mr. Vacca has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Johnson County Community College teaching evening anatomy & physiology or anatomy courses. He taught evening courses in the same subjects for the Metropolitan Community College system for 10 years; mainly at Penn Valley Community College. Mr. Vacca has extensive laboratory research experience involving mass spectrometry, gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography acquired through 10 years at Midwest Research Institute as an Associate Chemist in Trace Analysis as well as 3 years at Aptuit, Inc. as an Associate Research Specialist.

Photo of Michael Wacker, Ph.D.
Michael Wacker, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Medical Student Research Associate Teaching ProfessorPhysiology, Basic Medical Science Work Phone: (816) 235-6069
  • University of Kansas – Ph.D. (2003)
  • Texas Christian University – B.S. (1997)
More info


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.


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
View Bio
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.