The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine was founded to address the shortage of physicians and lack of access to healthcare in East Texas, with the singular goal of improving the quality of life and health in our region.


The School of Medicine's mission is fourfold:

Community Engagement: Embed the School of Medicine within East Texas, focusing on communication, responsiveness, inclusion and community. The School of Medicine is East Texas, and everything we do will be in partnership with our communities.

Education: Recruit, support and develop a diverse and representative healthcare and research workforce from East Texas, focused on reducing health disparities in East Texas.

Research: Develop an array of biomedical, clinical, translational and population-based research programs focused on understanding
and eliminating health disparities in East Texas.

Clinical: Expand access to top-quality healthcare in the local communities of East Texas by developing and implementing innovative healthcare systems and leveraging existing infrastructure and programs.

UT Tyler SOM About

The School of Medicine's mission will be accomplished by:

  • Creating an exceptional interprofessional learning experience that produces a diverse, broadly trained and committed clinical workforce.
  • Educating culturally competent physician leaders who focus on individual wellness, population health, emotional and mental health, as well as physical disease.
  • Training future physicians to embrace responsibility for the unique needs of rural and hard-to-reach communities and populations, particularly in East Texas.
  • Maintaining a skilled faculty of educators and mentors who create a culture of innovation, scholarly achievement, entrepreneurship, trust and excellence that fosters humanistic patient-centered care.
  • Engaging East Texas regional communities in identifying local qualified candidates and cultivating community-engaged physicians dedicated to improving public health outcomes.
  • Promoting and protecting the health of people and the community of East Texas where they live, learn, work
    and play.
  • Supporting a diverse and inclusive learning community that seeks to advance a passion for science and health equity.


The School of Medicine's vision is to improve the quality of life and reduce health disparities in our rural region by training diverse, committed and culturally competent physician leaders who work cooperatively with interprofessional teams to develop innovative, value-based healthcare systems; provide the highest quality care; discover novel treatments and improve processes; and partner with the community to address social determinants of health.




Persisting in pursuit of success, despite any obstacles



Refusing to accept anything but the best in all we do



Remembering due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights and traditions of all



Promoting a feeling of fellowship with others by focusing on our common attitudes, interests and goals



Using our imagination to generate novel ideas to solve the problems of East Texas



Transformational, service-focused leadership in achieving daring goals

Meet Our Dean


Brigham C. Willis, MD, MEd, FAAP

Founding Dean

School of Medicine
The University of Texas at Tyler

Welcome to the UT Tyler School of Medicine! I am honored to have recently joined this incredible team, and so very excited about the future. We are here for a mission: to embed the medical school within the community of East Texas, recruit students from the community to serve the community, develop research endeavors that address the specific health issues of our East Texas family and expand access to the highest level of healthcare available. We are here for a vision: to build a medical school that will reduce the health disparities in our region and improve the quality of life for everyone. We are here for East Texas.

The UT Tyler School of Medicine will be guided every day by our values: community, perseverance, respect, excellence, service and creativity. We are creating a family. Students, faculty and staff who resonate with these values and want to be a part of creating and growing something unique and purpose driven will love it here.

Whether you are excited faculty wanting to join the teaching effort, an interested researcher wanting to innovate for East Texas, a staff member eager to help the people of our region or a prospective student invigorated by the thought of a truly innovative curriculum that will make you the best mission-driven physician you can be, we would love to chat with you!




In February of 2020, the UT System announced we would launch the first medical school in East Texas, followed by a monumental announcement that the East Texas Medical Center Foundation committed $80 million toward the medical school — making it the largest single donation to establish a medical school in the history of Texas. Our new medical school focuses on meeting the health challenges of our region and recruiting students who come from and want to remain in East Texas. Not long after, the R.W. Fair Foundation pledged $4 million to cover the full tuition cost for the first cohort of medical school students, so these future medical students know East Texas supports them 100%.

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine is where your future in medicine can begin. You will learn skills in patient care and community health with this comprehensive education. We have much work to do. Join us, and be part of the future of healthcare here in East Texas.

Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP


The University of Texas at Tyler

Chairman of the Board
UT Health East Texas


The new School of Medicine at The University of Texas at Tyler is the seventh medical school in the UT System and the first in Northeast Texas, offering aspiring doctors a chance to train and practice in an area where health disparities are some of the highest in the United States. In order to elevate the health status of East Texas, we must address the physician shortage in our region, as well as improve access to quality primary and specialty care. The UT Tyler School of Medicine is being built specifically to help the growing healthcare needs of East Texans.

With a strong focus on family practice, rural family medicine and population health, medical students at the UT Tyler School of Medicine will have the opportunity to engage with the community in population and preventive health, working with the most vulnerable communities to improve health goals. 

Our goal is to attract high-caliber students and residents to East Texas across multiple specialties and provide them with career opportunities to remain a part of the East Texas community. Having a residency program at the site of a medical school provides an option for some residents to stay in East Texas, continue their established physician-patient relationships and build rapport in the community. Your education and your career can start here at The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine.

Julie V. Philley, MD

Executive Vice President

Health Affairs

Vice Provost
The University of Texas at Tyler

Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

Executive Leadership


Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP


The University of Texas at Tyler

Chairman of the Board
UT Health East Texas


Julie V. Philley, MD

Executive Vice President

Health Affairs

Vice Provost
The University of Texas at Tyler


Brigham C. Willis, MD, MEd, FAAP

Founding Dean

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Longtime educator, scholar, and leader in academic medicine, “Brig” earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and then completed his residency at Children’s Hospital and Research Center, Oakland. Dr. Willis finished his training in a fellowship in pediatric critical care medicine fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, later serving as the Associate Fellowship Director for Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern. Prior to his recent move to Tyler, Dr. Willis served as a professor of pediatrics and the senior associate dean of medical education at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine.



Torry Tucker, PhD

Associate Dean Research

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine


Dr. Tucker is an Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology. He also serves as the Associate Dean for Faculty and Education Initiatives. Dr. Tucker was trained as a cell biologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a focus on diseases of the lung, specifically cystic fibrosis. He came to the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler as a postdoctoral fellow in 2007 and joined the faculty in 2009. His current research investigates the causes of pleural scarring and subsequent fibrosis. He also studies pathways involved in the development and progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.


Emmanuel Elueze, MD, PhD, MPA(HCA), FACP

Associate Dean GME & DIO

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Dr. Emmanuel Elueze obtained his MD degree from University of Ibadan Medical School, Nigeria and PhD in Pharmacology from University of London, United Kingdom. Completed residency in Internal Medicine, from St. Luke’s Medical Center (Case Western Reserve University), Cleveland Ohio. He is a Primary Care Internal Medicine doctor with Board certification in Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine. He also has a certification in Pain Management.


Dr. Elueze joined The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler in 2011, as the founding program director of the Internal Medicine residency program at Longview and also served as Chair of the Department of Medicine from 2014 to 2018. He was appointed Professor of Medicine in 2014. He received the UT Regents Outstanding teaching Award in 2014 and is a member of the UT Kenneth Shine Academic of Healthcare Educators. He is currently the Designated Institutional officer and Vice President for Medical Education and Professional Development, with oversight over Graduate Medical Education, Undergraduate Medical Education and Continuing Medical Education.


Steven Cox, MD

Associate Dean Clinical Affairs

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Dr. Cox is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and has been treating patients at UT Health North Campus Tyler for more than 15 years. He specializes in a wide range of laparoscopic surgeries, including breast cancer surgery and malignancies of the gastrointestinal tract. Most importantly, he is committed to providing state-of-the-art surgical care.



Sue Cox, MD

Associate Dean Accreditation, Strategy and Quality Improvement

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

A nationally recognized leader in medical education, Sue previously served as planning dean and now is the associate dean for accreditation, strategy and quality improvement. An obstetrician-gynecologist by training, Cox has shaped medical education for 30 years and currently serves as executive vice dean of academics and chair of the Department of Medical Education at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. The lead designer of curriculum for Dell Med, Cox co-chaired the accreditation steering committee.

Last year, she received the 2019 Association of American Medical Colleges Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award, recognizing faculty for distinguished contributions to medical education nationwide. Cox has received many awards for leadership, distinguished teaching and clinical work, including being listed among the Best Doctors in America.

Cox is known for emphasizing leadership skills, collaboration, innovation, problem-solving and cross-disciplinary teamwork with a focus on value-based healthcare.



Gisele Armond Abron, PhD

Associate Dean of Admissions

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Gisele Armond Abron has been appointed associate dean of admissions and assistant professor for the School of Medicine at the University of Texas at Tyler Health Science Center, effective May 23.  She joined the university in 2020 as university registrar in the enrollment management division.


A native of North Carolina, Dr. Abron holds a bachelor’s degree in English from North Carolina State University, a master’s degree in technology education from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from Liberty University. She earned a Ph.D. in leadership studies from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in 2019.


Dr. Abron is responsible for overseeing the processes of communication, application, selection, financial aid, and matriculation of students into the M.D. and combined programs for the School of Medicine at the University of Texas at Tyler Health Science Center.



Crystal Bryce, PhD

Associate Dean of Student Affairs

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Dr. Bryce received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology, and PhD in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University. Prior to joining UT Tyler School of Medicine, she served as faculty member at Arizona State University, where she worked with undergraduate students within the classroom and as the Director of Undergraduate Student Affairs within her department.

She also has extensive experience conducting and publishing research that focuses on individual and contextual factors that influence well-being, hope, and academic outcomes, and advanced statistical approaches to examining salivary biomarkers.

Dr. Bryce is excited to work with and support medical students as they navigate medical school.


Daniel Deslatte, MPA, FACHE

Assistant Dean for Business for the School of Medicine

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

In addition to his role in the school of medicine, Daniel serves as senior vice president for business affairs and chief operating officer for health affairs at the UT Tyler Health Science Center. Deslatte has served HSC since 2011 in various roles, most recently as the senior vice president for business affairs and external relations, responsible for strategic planning, business functions and overseeing the university’s interest in the UT Health East Texas health system.

He was named among the Top 25 Emerging Leaders for 2019 by Modern Healthcare, the leader in healthcare business news, research and data. Prior to joining HSC, he spent nearly a decade in senior-level positions in the Texas Legislature, including chief of staff to a senior member of the Texas House of Representatives and as the director of a joint House-Senate committee overseeing Texas’ health and human services system.



Kathleen Jones, MD

Assistant Dean, Scientific Foundations

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Kathleen Jones, MD, is the assistant dean of scientific foundations at UT Tyler HSC School of Medicine. Kathleen is a longtime educator with significant experience in teaching medical students, residents, and other healthcare professionals and has a strong interest in curriculum development and implementation. She received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University (biochemistry) and earned her medical degree from Texas A&M College of Medicine. She completed her pathology residency training at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, where she practiced as a board-certified surgical pathologist for over 20 years. She has held many teaching and administrative roles throughout her career and is very excited to be here in Tyler. She is honored to help train the next generation of great physicians for East Texas!


Carolyn Morales, PhD

Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, Culture, Community and Equity

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Faculty and Staff

christina guthrie

Christiana Guthrie, MPA

Director of Accreditation and Curriculum Support

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Christiana Guthrie has been working at the Health Science Center for 14 years.  She is a dynamic leader in the workplace and uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. Christiana grew up in Carthage, Texas.

She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from UT Tyler and a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin. Christiana enjoys cheering on the Dallas Cowboys and reading a good book beachside when not in the office.


Amanda M. Lynn, MS

Director of Admissions

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Amanda Lynn, is the UT Tyler School of Medicine Director of Admissions.  A native to East Texas she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from UT Tyler.  Amanda has been a staff member at UT Tyler for more than 15 years within that time she’s worked in the Undergraduate Admissions Office, was an Undergraduate Academic Advisor for the College of Business and Technology, and a Student Affairs Coordinator for the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy.  She was the Staff Senate President in 2019-2020 and awarded the UT Tyler Star Award in August 2020.  She is extremely excited to see how the School of Medicine will effect UT Tyler and East Texas.  When not at work you’ll find Amanda with her husband either hanging out with family and friends or enjoying the outdoors (when it’s not too hot!).  


Andrea Cooley, MD

Medical Director Simulation

Director of Clerkships
Assistant Professor of Surgery
The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Andrea Cooley, DO, FACOS, is a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon, who believes in making patients and their families a part of the healthcare team. “Having surgery is a very big thing, so it’s important to have open communication with the patient and the family. Making sure everyone understands exactly what to expect can take some uncertainty off the plate.”

Dr. Cooley strives to educate her patients throughout the entire process. “I think one of my strongest traits is being able to communicate well with people regardless of their medical background, so they can really understand the plan and feel comfortable.”

Dr. Cooley earned her bachelor of arts in sports medicine from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and her doctor of osteopathic medicine from AT Still University of Health Sciences in Kirksville, Missouri.


Jeffrey L. Levin, MD, MSPH, DrPH, FACOEM, FACP

Director for Population Health and System Science

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Dr. Jeffrey Levin is Professor and past-Chair of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT).  He is board-certified in both internal medicine and occupational medicine. Dr. Levin is also founding and former Director of the Occupational Medicine Residency Program at Tyler, and former Medical Director of the Texas Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (TIOSH®).

He holds the Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professorship of Occupational Health Sciences and was Center Director for the NIOSH Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education from 2002-2019. Dr. Levin retired from his position as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, UTHSCT, in August of 2020. He is Provost Emeritus.  He is also Vice-Chair for Occupational and Environmental Medicine for the American Board of Preventive Medicine. 

His research background has focused on occupational respiratory diseases and occupational health in agriculture and commercial fishing, with particular attention to vulnerable populations. As a native Texan having spent many formative years along the U.S.-Mexico border and in Central Mexico, he is fluent in Spanish.


Pamela Lucchesi, PhD, FAHA

Director of Faculty Development

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine


Katie Stone, PhD

Director of Student Wellness and Professional Formation

Office of Student Affairs
The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Katie Stone is passionate about helping students thrive and flourish during their time in higher education. Dr. Stone holds a Master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. in Human Resources Development from UT Tyler. Student-centered and developmental, Katie strives to ensure wellness is incorporated into all aspects of a students’ time in medical school. Outside of work, Katie loves to bake, run, paint, and time herself on how quickly she can complete jigsaw puzzles.


Amanda Midgett

Director of Special Projects

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Passionate for systems, logistics, strategy, and operations, Amanda Midgett is right at home as the Director of Special Projects for the UT Tyler School of Medicine. Originally from Southwest Michigan, Amanda has worn numerous hats in the event management industry, beginning as a production assistant for touring country music artists. She spent many years traveling the country, executing events for corporations such as Hilton Worldwide, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Samsung.

She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University and will soon complete her master's degree in Industrial Management from The University of Texas at Tyler. Amanda is analytical, open-minded, and a dedicated supporter of the team. Her greatest strength is remaining calm under pressure and greatest weakness is chips and salsa.


Lauren Walling

Budget Analyst

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine


Michelle Salge

Executive Assistant 
Office of the Dean

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine


Sarah Buchanan

Manager, Marketing & Communications

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine


Tori Boles

Admissions Coordinator

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Undergraduate Medical Education 


Takova Wallace-Gay, PharmD, BCACP, TTS

Associate Professor and Director, Interprofessional Education

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Takova Wallace-Gay is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine for the Tyler School of Medicine (TSOM) and the Department of Clinical Sciences with the Fisch College of Pharmacy (FCOP) at The University of Texas at Tyler.  Dr. Wallace-Gay is also the Director of the Interprofessional Education Curriculum for the TSOM. She currently serves as core faculty for the SOM and coordinates pharmacology. She also coordinates the endocrine module and teaches various cardiology and health literacy topics for the FCOP.  Additionally, she maintains a practice site within the Family Medicine Clinic at UT Health North Campus in Tyler where she accepts fourth year pharmacy students and co-precepts Family Medicine residents.


She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Tuskegee University then a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Auburn University in 2014. After graduation from pharmacy school, she completed her 2-year residency training with the Central Alabama Veterans’ Affairs Healthcare System in Montgomery, AL and Columbus Regional Midtown Medical Center (now Piedmont Health) in Columbus, GA.  She is a Board-Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist and certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.


Her professional interests include primary care with a focus in diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and patient education.  Her current research interests include pharmacist involvement in cardiovascular risk reduction, health literacy, improving health outcomes in underserved populations and interprofessional education.


Dr. Wallace-Gay maintains professional memberships in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA) and serves as the local Student National Pharmaceutical Association Advisor.  She was the 2020 TPA Bowl of Hygeia Awardee and was awarded the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award from Auburn University College of Pharmacy in 2021.



Michelle Mwazae

Sr. Program Coordinator Phase 1

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine


Karen Lewis, PhD, MAEd, CHSE

Director of SP Program & Clinical Skills

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine


Megan Pazos

Clerkship Curriculum Sr. Coordinator

The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Bylaws of

The Faculty

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