Learn About Our Speakers
Hanny Al-Samkari, MD
Associate Director, HHT Center of Excellence, Massachusetts General Hospital
Kat Benson, RDN, CSSD, LD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Kat Benson is a licensed and registered Dietitian Nutritionist who helps clients escape the roller coaster dieting cycle and improve their relationship with food without cluttering rules and restrictions. She is a board certified specialist in sports nutrition and specializes in working in PCOS and digestive health areas, and with those looking to deconstruct harmful dieting practices. Kat is passionate about promoting clarity on confusing nutrition information and bridging the gap of science and application for physical, mental, & social well-being. Kat spends time educating the public on the harms of dieting, diet products, and unethical nutrition-related companies and claims.
Murali Chakinala, MD
Co-Director, HHT Center of Excellence, Washington University
Dr. Chakinala is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center and Co-Director of the HHT Center at Washington University. He is chair of the Scientific Leadership Council of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, immediate-past chair of Pulmonary Hypertension Care Centers Oversight Committee, and member of Cure HHT’s Global Research Medical Advisory Board.
Dr. Chakinala received his undergraduate education at Duke University and then received his medical degree at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed an Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Texas – Southwestern, and also served as a Chief Resident. He finished his Pulmonary and Critical Care training at Washington University in 2002 and then joined the faculty. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, and Critical Care Medicine. His interests include clinical management and clinical research in the areas of pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary arterio-venous malformations, pulmonary thrombo-embolic diseases, and end-stage lung diseases.
Miles Conrad MD, MPH
Co-Director, University of California San Francisco HHT Center of Excellence
Dr. Conrad is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco. In 2001, Dr. Conrad received his MD from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire, and in 2002 he obtained his MPH in Quantitative Methods from Harvard School of Public Heath in Boston. He completed his residency in Diagnostic Radiology from the University of Arizona, Tucson, followed by a fellowship in Interventional Radiology from the University of Arizona in 2008.
Dr. Conrad is Co-Director of the UCSF Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia Center of Excellence. He specializes in the treatment of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations and revisions of those that have been previously treated and have recurred.
Marie E. Faughnan, MD, MSc
Director, HHT Center of Excellence, University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital
James R. Gossage, MD
Director, HHT Center of Excellence, Augusta University
Dr. Gossage is Director of the HHT Center of Excellence at Augusta University. He received his medical degree in 1984 and did a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt University from 1988-1991. He stayed on faculty at Vanderbilt for 3 years and then joined the faculty at the Medical College of Georgia (now known as Augusta University) in 1994.
Dr. Gossage has taken care of HHT patients since 1995 and opened up an HHT Center of Excellence in 2003. He served as the Medical Director for Cure HHT from 2008 - 2019. His research and clinical interests include hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, pulmonary hypertension, and right heart catheterization.
Adrienne Hammill, MD, Ph.D.
Director, HHT Center of Excellence, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Dr. Adrienne Hammill is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati. She is research director of the Hemangioma and Vascular Malformations Center and also participates in the Cerebrovascular Clinic. She obtained her schooling at the University of Texas Southwestern and completed her residency and fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Dr. Hammill leads the adult and pediatric teams at the HHT Center working in tandem to provide seamless care across the lifespan, with particular expertise in treating children with brain and lung AVMs.
Vivek N. Iyer, MD
Director, HHT Center of Excellence, Mayo Clinic
Dr. Vivek Iyer is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and a consultant in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Dr. Iyer earned his M.B.B.S and M.D. degree with a specialization in internal medicine at B. J. Medical College in Ahmedabad, India. He earned his M.P.H. degree at Columbia University and a residency in internal medicine at State University of New York at Buffalo, New York. He further completed a fellowship in critical care medicine and a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Iyer is certified in clinical research through Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education and is certified as a Mayo Clinic Quality Fellow: Silver Level through Mayo Clinic Quality Academy. Dr. Iyer’s clinical interests focus on pulmonary vascular diseases such HHT, HPS and POPH and upper airway disorders (chronic cough, asthma, vocal cord dysfunction). He also practices critical care medicine.
Raj S. Kasthuri, MD
Director, HHT Center of Excellence, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Kasthuri is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his fellowship in Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at the University of Minnesota in 2005. Dr. Kasthuri’s clinical and research interests are in disorders of Hemostasis and Thrombosis, and Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT). He is Director of the UNC HHT Center of Excellence, and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the UNC Blood Research Center.
Andrea Lausman, MD
Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, HHT Center of Excellence, University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital
Dr. Lausman is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and a maternal-fetal medicine specialist and head of Labor and Delivery at St. Michael’s Hospital. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario Medical School and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a two-year fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her research interests are varied, and include guideline development in intra-uterine growth restriction, stroke and HHT. She is currently working with the hematologists on several prospective studies on iron deficiency in pregnancy.
Yesica S. Lijdens, MD
Otorrinolangóloga de la unidad HHT del Hospital Italiano, Argentina
La Dra. Lijdens es Otorrinolangóloga de la unidad HHT del Hospital Italiano desde sus inicios en el 2010.
Graduada como médica de la Universidad de Buenos Aires con diploma de honor, realizó su residencia médica en Otorrinolaringología en el Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires (donde fue Jefa de Residentes) obteniendo el título de especialista en Otorrinolaringología. Posteriormente realizó el fellowship en Rinosinusologia en el Hospital Italiano.
Actualmente se desempeña como médica del Sector Rinologia del Servicio de otorrinolaringología del HIBA y Médica de planta del Hospital Naval Pedro Mallo - Servicio de Otorrinolaringología.
Es miembro de la Sociedad Argentina de Rinología y Cirugía Facial.
Dr. Lijdens has been an Otolaryngologist in the HHT unit of the Italian Hospital since its inception in 2010. She graduated as a doctor from the University of Buenos Aires with an honor diploma. She completed her medical residency in Otolaryngology at the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires (where she was Chief of Residents) obtaining the title of specialist in Otolaryngology. Later she did her fellowship in Rhinology at the Italian Hospital. She currently works as a doctor in the Rhinology Sector of the HIBA Otolaryngology Service and a staff doctor of the Pedro Mallo Naval Hospital – Otolaryngology Service. She is a member of the Argentine Society of Rhinology and Facial Surgery.
Keith McCrae, MD
PI for PATH-HHT Study - Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Keith McCrae received his MD degree from Duke University and subsequently trained in Hematology-Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of the faculty at U. Penn, Temple University and Case Western Reserve University, and is currently at the Cleveland Clinic where he is a Professor and Director of Benign Hematology. His interest are in bleeding, thrombotic and immune hematologic and vascular disorders. In addition to his clinical practice and clinical trials, he oversees a basic research laboratory where he studies blood and blood vessel function.
Justin McWilliams, MD
Co-Director, University of California Los Angeles HHT Center of Excellence
Dr. McWilliams is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Interventional Radiology at University of California, Los Angeles. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biology at Truman State University in Missouri, where he graduated valedictorian and Summa Cum Laude. He then attended the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he received multiple letters of distinction and was selected for the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society. After completing a transitional internship at St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City, Dr. McWilliams returned to UCLA for radiology residency. There he served as Chief Resident, and also received awards for Outstanding Radiology Resident and Outstanding Graduating Senior Resident. He then remained at UCLA for interventional radiology fellowship, at which time he also served as Chief Fellow. Upon completion of his fellowship, Dr. McWilliams accepted a faculty position in the interventional radiology department at UCLA. There he splits his time between angio/interventional procedures and cross-sectional interventional procedures, with a focus on HHT, interventional oncology, prostate embolization, vascular disease, dialysis work, and liver interventions.
Mollie Meek, MD
Director, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences HHT Center of Excellence
Dr. Mollie Meek is a Professor in the Departments of Radiology and Medical Humanities at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). She completed her medical degree and General Surgery internship at UAMS in addition to a Diagnostic Radiology residency and a fellowship in Vascular and Interventional Radiology. She is currently the Division Director for Interventional Radiology and the Medical Director for Interventional Services. Dr. Meek is focused on caring for patients with vascular malformations and has had been leading the HHT team of specialists since 2012.
Filomena Meffe, MD, FRCSC, MSc
Chief, Obstetrics and Gynecology, HHT Center of Excellence, University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital
Dr. Meffe is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology from University of Toronto and was Director of Undergraduate Medical Education, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toronto, from 2001 to 2013. Her clinical practice is focused of obstetrical care, gynecologic surgery and the care of women with heavy menstrual bleeding in the context of hematologic bleeding disorders (Multidisciplinary Clinic for Women with Bleeding Disorders, St. Michael’s Hospital).
Michael Ohliger, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging
Dr. Michael Ohliger is an Associate Professor in Residence in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ohliger obtained his PhD in Medical Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in 2005, and he received his MD in Medicine from Harvard Medical School in 2007. He completed his residency in Diagnostic Radiology and fellowship training in Abdominal Imaging both at UCSF. He joined the UCSF faculty in 2013. Dr. Ohliger’s main research involves the development and clinical translation of new MRI techniques for the abdomen and pelvis, with a focus on molecular imaging of liver tumors, liver metabolism and liver injury.
Jay Piccirillo, MD
Otolaryngologist, HHT Center of Excellence, Washington University School of Medicine
Dr. Piccirillo is a Professor of Otolaryngology at the Washington University School of Medicine, where he also serves as the vice chair for research and director of the Clinical Outcomes Research Office for the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. He received his medical degree from The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at The University of Vermont and has been in practice for more than 30 years. He completed his residency at Albany Medical Center in 1990 and his fellowship at Yale University in 1992.
His clinical interests include management of HHT-associated epistaxis, sinusitis, sleep apnea, and tinnitus. He is a prolific research scientist and has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles. In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities, Dr. Piccirillo sees patients at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals.
Josanna Rodriguez-Lopez, MD
Director, HHT Center of Excellence, Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Rodriguez-Lopez completed her fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care at Columbia University Medical Center. She is now a pulmonary and critical care attending physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor of medicine at Harvard. She is the director of the Pulmonary Hypertension and CTEPH Program and the HHT Center of Excellence at MGH. She coordinates care for patients with both pulmonary hypertension and HHT and is involved in multiple research studies in those fields.
Marcelo Serra, MD
Director de la Unidad HHT, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires
Dr. Marcelo Serra, Director de la Unidad HHT, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires. El Dr. Serra es Especialista en Medicina Interna, medico staff del Servicio de Clínica Médica del Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, director y fundador de la Unidad HHT del Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, y del Grupo A.R.G (Argentine Rendu Study Group), Miembro del Cure HHT GRMAB, co-director de la Unidad de von Hippel Lindau, Director del Programa de Enfermedades Raras del Hosp Italiano, Docente de la Universidad de Buenos Aires y Profesor Adjunto del Instituto Universitario del Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires.
Mark Sugi, MD
Associate Director, UCSF Abdominal Imaging and Ultrasound Fellowship Program
Dr. Mark Sugi is a radiologist specializing in abdominal imaging. He has clinical interests in liver MRI, gynecologic imaging, as well as ultrasound-guided procedures. Dr. Sugi is actively involved with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in the HHT Center of Excellence, which specializes in the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of a genetic disorder that affects the blood vessels. He earned his medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, completed residency in diagnostic radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, and fellowship in abdominal imaging and ultrasound at UCSF.
Federico Urquiola, MD
Coordinador Otorrinolaringólogo de la Unidad de HHT del Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Argentina/ Otolaryngologist, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires HHT Center
El Dr. Urquiola es Coordinador Otorrinolaringólogo de la Unidad de HHT del Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Graduado como médico de la Universidad de Buenos Aires, realizó su residencia médica en Otorrinolaringología en el Hospital Italiano graduándose como especialista en Otorrinolaringología. Realizó el Diplomado en Rinología en la Universidad de México.
Actualmente se desempeña como Médico de planta del Sector de Rinología y Estética Facial del Servicio de Otorrinolaringología del mismo Hospital. Es profesor del Instituto Universitario del Hospital Italiano y Miembro de la Sociedad Argentina de Rinología y Cirugía Facial.
Dr. Urquiola is the Otolaryngologist Coordinator of the HHT Unit of the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated as a doctor from the University of Buenos Aires and completed his medical residency in Otolaryngology at the Hospital Italiano. He completed the Diploma in Rhinology at the University of Mexico. He currently works as a staff physician in the Rhinology and Facial Aesthetics Sector of the Otolaryngology Service of the same hospital. He is a professor at the University Institute of the Italian Hospital and a member of the Argentine Society of Rhinology and Facial Surgery.
Andrew J. White, MD
Co-Director, HHT Center of Excellence, Washington University School of Medicine
Dr. Andrew J. White is currently Director of the Pediatric Residency Program and Director of the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. White obtained his M.D. in 1994 from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He was an intern and resident in Pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital from 1994-1997. After spending three years as a Pediatric Rheumatology/ Immunology fellow at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis from 1997-2000, he was recruited as faculty at Washington University.
Dr. White is board certified in Pediatrics and in Pediatric Rheumatology, and has held an appointment with St. Louis Children’s Hospital since 2000.
Kevin J. Whitehead, MD
Co-Director HHT Center of Excellence, University of Utah
Dr. Whitehead is an Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Utah and Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatric Cardiology at Primary Children’s Medical Center. He also is an Attending Physician at the George E. Wahlen Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He is Co-Director of the Utah Adult Congenital Heart Disease center and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Adult Congenital Heart Disease.
As an outgrowth of his interests in congenital and genetic cardiovascular diseases, Dr. Whitehead is also the Co-Director of the Utah HHT Center, and in this role provides overall medical management and coordination of care to HHT patients seen at the University.
Katie Wusik, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor III Division of Human Genetics Cincinnati Children’s HHT Center of Excellence
Katie Wusik is a genetic counselor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She received her Master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati. Katie’s clinical interests are focused on the genetic causes of vascular malformations and their related syndromes, including HHT, CM-AVM, and Familial Cerebral Cavernous Malformations. Katie works with both adults and children with vascular malformations or a family history of vascular malformations to help them determine how and when to pursue genetic testing.