Physician Assistant Faculty
The faculty at Misericordia University are veterans in their field. As a physician assistant student, you will come to know the faculty personally and they you. Our faculty will not know you as a number like they do in larger schools, but since you will interact with each other on a daily basis, they will not only know your name, but they will know you as a person.
Principle Faculty, Medical Director, and Program Director
- Stanley J. Dudrick, MD, FACS
- Gerard Maritato, MD
- Erin Burns Kilduff, MSPAS, PA-C
- Amy Wierbowski, MFA, MSPAS, PA-C
- Lindsey Vigilante, MSPAS, PA-C
- Dana Simon, MSPAS, PA-C
- Christopher J. DeFrancesco, Pharm. D.
- Angela Asirvatham, B.V.Sc. Ph.D.
- Anthony Serino, Ph.D.
- Kathryn Michael, B.B.A.
- Marissa Linder, B.B.S.
Stanley J. Dudrick, MD, FACS
Medical Director & Professor
Dr. Dudrick is responsible for ensuring that classroom instruction and clinical experiences provide an appropriate level of instruction for students in the MSPAS program.
Dr. Dudrick, who holds the Robert S. Anderson, MD, Endowed Chair at Misericordia, is recognized throughout the world for his pioneering research in basic investigative development and subsequent successful clinical application of total parenteral nutrition (TPN), a central venous feeding technique that has been acknowledged as one of the four most significant accomplishments in the history of modern surgery, together with the discovery and development of asepsis and antisepsis, antibiotic therapy, and anesthesia. Dr. Dudrick brings to the proposed program a 50-year history in medical education and research, including leading appointments in the Yale School of Medicine, the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, and the Pennsylvania Hospital. He retains an appointment as Professor of Surgery in the Yale University School of Medicine, and he is Director Emeritus of the Program in Surgery and Graduate Medical Education, and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Surgery, at Saint Mary's Hospital, in Waterbury, CT. He has been teaching and training Physician Assistant students continually for the past 45 years. Dr. Dudrick's list of published works numbers over 800, and his record of including students in research and publication is well-known.
Dr. Dudrick completed his medical training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; his internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; his residencies at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Certified by the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Dudrick served this distinguished organization continuously for 26 years as an Examiner, Director of the Board, and a Senior Board Member. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and serves as a member of their 21st Century Board. He has served on 15 editorial boards, including the Annals of Surgery. He is a member of more than 100 academic, honorary, professional, and scientific societies, and he has been awarded more than 125 other honors, including the American College of Surgeons Jacobson Innovation Award; and the American Surgical Association Medallion for Scientific Achievement for Distinguished Service to Surgery. He received the Distinguished Lifetime Service Award of the Society of Surgical Oncology in 2014 and he was awarded the first-ever American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) Lifetime Achievement Award during Clinical Nutrition Week at the ASPEN annual congress in February 2017.
Gerard Maritato, MD
Dr. Maritato completed medical school at Emory University and his residency at University of Texas Southwestern, John Peter Smith Hospital. He has worked in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine in various venues, including the US Army, US Air Force with First Nation natives in Northern Ontario, and in remote, rural areas. He has been teaching and mentoring students for over 20 years in Clinics and Emergency Departments. Watching students learn to think like medical practitioners gives him tremendous professional satisfaction.
When he has spare time he enjoys hiking, the Arts, church, and studying languages. His greatest joy is when he spends time with his five grown children and four grandchildren.
Erin Burns Kilduff, MSPAS, PA-C
Chair, Department of Physician Assistant Studies
Physician Assistant Program Director & Assistant Professor
Erin received her Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from King’s College in 2003. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Marywood University. Following the completion of her PA training, she completed a general surgery residency at Duke University Medical Center. In 2015 she graduated from the University of Arizona’s Fellowship in Integrative Medicine. Her work history includes specialties such as Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Bariatric Surgery, and most recently Wellness and Integrative Medicine.
Mrs. Kilduff has over 10 years of experience in Physician Assistant Education. She loves the energy of teaching PA students and their enthusiasm to learn. Courses she has instructed include General Surgery, Research Methods, and Medical Anatomy. Other teaching responsibilities have included assisting in physical diagnosis lab and OSCEs. Erin has participated as a facilitator in the North Eastern Central Pennsylvania Extraprofessional Education Coalition Summit.
Erin resides in Dallas with her husband, Patrick and their 3 children, Rory, Brayden, and Andrew. In her free time she enjoys traveling with her family and practicing yoga.
Amy Wierbowski, MFA, MSPAS, PA-C
Director of Didactic Education & Assistant Professor
Amy is a graduate of Marywood University (Scranton, PA), having completed both a Master of Fine Art and a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. She has been inducted into the National Honors Society for Physician Assistants, Pi Alpha. Amy’s clinical background is in physical medicine & rehabilitation/ pain medicine and has worked in both inpatient and outpatient services for the past two years. She has focused her clinical experiences on the delivery of outpatient healthcare, interventional pain procedures, and interdisciplinary approaches to pain management. She has participated in the delivery of inpatient medical care in the areas of post-acute care for joint replacement, stroke, spinal cord injury, and general rehabilitation. Amy has a personal interest in endocrinology.
Outside the office, Amy can be found spending time with her husband, Joe. They enjoy working together on home improvement projects. She also loves spending time with a “darling Pomeranian named Rosie and a sweet cat named Truffles.”
Lindsey Vigilante, MSPAS, PA-C
Director of Clinical Education & Assistant Professor
Phone: (570) 674-6733
Lindsey attended Marywood University where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Human Services and a Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies. Her experience as a Physician Assistant includes 8 years in Emergency Medicine and 3 years in Physician Assistant Education. Lindsey was drawn to PA education with a desire to collaborate with peers and professionals to foster student development, create quality clinical curriculum, and develop supervised clinical practice experiences.
Lindsey resides in Shavertown with her husband Tony and their two dogs, Brutus and Duke.
Dana Simon, MSPAS, PA-C
Phone: 570-674- 6722
Dana is a NCCPA-Board Certified Physician Assistant, having earned her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Marywood University in 2014. Prior to pursuing physician assistant studies, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Biology from Keystone College graduating magna cum laude.
Preceding attainment of her MSPAS, she completed a specialty tract in orthopedics. Her clinical background is focused in emergency medicine, with over 4 years of experience. She prides herself on her procedural skills, and has a strong personal interest in hematology and oncology. Throughout her clinical experience, she has aided in the education of hundreds of advanced clinical practitioners, medical students, and residents. While she continues to practice emergency medicine, she transitioned to the classroom with admiration and respect of the profession. She desires to instill these same principles while preparing future PAs to be competent, compassionate, and knowledgeable. She is an active member of the local medical community, and chose Misericordia University for its shared value and enthusiasm toward medical education.When she is not teaching or practicing emergency medicine, she enjoys baking, traveling, and spending time with her dog, Rebel.
Christopher J. DeFrancesco
Professor of Pharmacology
Dr. Christopher J. DeFrancesco, Pharm. D., received his bachelor's degree in pharmacy in 1994 from The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and doctorate in 2011 from Shenandoah University. He maintains a practice site at Rite Aid Pharmacy in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania with a focus on wellness, including adult immunizations. Dr. De Francesco also serves as adjunct faculty at Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy and Nursing. He will be teaching Pharmacology for the PA program. In his free time he likes spending time outdoors and in the company of family and friends.
Angela Asirvatham, B.V.Sc. Ph.D.
Chairperson of Biology
Associate Professor of Biology
Phone: (570) 674-8002
Dr. Angela Asirvatham Ph.D. is an Associate Professor for the Biology Department at Misericordia University. Her education includes a B.V.Sc., (Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences, Tamilnadu Veterinary & Animal Sciences University) from Chennai, India and a M.S. in Reproductive Biology from the University of Wyoming as well as a Ph.D. in Physiology from Kent State University. Her postdoctoral work includes Pulmonary Physiology at University of California and signal transduction in T-lymphocytes at Oregon Health Sciences University.
Dr. Asirvatham's research interest is signal transduction in Schwann cells. Her research interests are primarily focused on A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) that play an important role in anchoring protein kinase A in various organelles of the cell. Protein kinase A is a broad spectrum kinase that binds cyclic AMP, the universal second messenger in the cell. She is currently interested in the role of A-kinase anchoring protein in Schwann cell proliferation. Schwann cells myelinate the peripheral neurons and myelin is important for rapid conduction of nerve impulses. Treatment of neonatal Schwann cells with heregulin (a growth factor secreted by neurons) and forskolin (a pharmacological agent that stimulates the cAMP pathways results in a synergistic proliferative response. She has found that AKAPs are involved in this synergistic response. Investigation of signaling pathways that stimulate Schwann cell proliferation has important applications for demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis and nerve injuries in the peripheral nervous system. Dr. Asirvatham teaches Immunology, General Physiology and Endocrinology and will be teaching Pathophysiology I and II in the PA program.
Anthony Serino, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Dr. Anthony A. Serino Ph.D. is the Chairperson of the Biology Department and is an Associate Professor at Misericordia. Dr. Serino received his BS in Biology and his MS in Biochemistry from the University of Scranton in 1984 and 1987, respectively. In 1991, he earned his Ph.D. in Physiology from The Pennsylvania State University.
During his graduate tenure, Dr. Serino was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Aging. His dissertation research focused on nucleoprotein metabolism of aging mice. The bulk of this research was published and entitled "Age, Strain and Semi chronic Hydergine Treatment Effects on Motor Activity and Neuronal Nucleic Acid-Protein Metabolism in Male Mice". (Life Sciences: 67(2000)) His research interests include physiological changes found in aging populations, pedagogy of both teaching and outreach techniques, muscle development of the hatching chick, fish adaptations to low pH environments, population changes in small mammals associated with gas drilling operations and correlation studies between the presence of pathology and normal aging biomarkers in human cadavers.
Dr. Serino's teaching responsibilities include anatomy and physiology, general physiology, comparative anatomy, histology, gross anatomy and general biology. In addition, he has been elected ten times to the Who's Who of American College Professors. And, he has received the Judge Max and Tillie Rosenn Endowed Excellence in Teaching Award at Misericordia University in 2005.
Dr. Serino is the Director of the Clinical Laboratory Science (Medical Technology) Program at MU, and maintains affiliation agreements with several Clinical Laboratory Science centers throughout Pennsylvania and serves as the Pre-medicine Director for the University. In addition, Dr. Serino received a Strategic Initiative Grant in 2002 to found and direct the Science Education Enhancement Program (SEEP).
This active outreach program provides elementary and secondary teachers with demonstrations and hands-on activities at their schools or as field trips to MU laboratories to encourage and promote active learning of basic science. The SEEP program interacts with more than 1000 young students a year at more than 10 school districts in NE Pennsylvania.
Dr. Serino maintains a residence in Shavertown, PA with his wife and four children.
Department Administrative Assistant
Phone: (570) 674-6716
Kathryn received her B.A. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources from Susquehanna University. She worked for four years as an office manager for Rave Landscaping, Inc., two years as an office manager for Country Market Nursery, two years as an assistant office manager of McNaughton Company and two years as a registrar of IES, a non-profit teacher placement organization. Kathryn has worked for Misericordia University since 2013. She is assigned to the PA Program where she provides support to faculty and students.
Kathy greatly enjoys boating and spends much of her non-work time attending sporting activities involving her three young-adult daughters.
Department Administrative Assistant
Phone: (570) 674-8192
Marissa earned her B.S in Marketing from Cabrini University. She worked for 15 years as a Technology Project Manager and Operations Manager for The Vanguard Group, and 4 years as the Office Manager for Trucksville Early Childhood Education Center. Marissa has worked for Misericordia University in the PA Program since October 2017.
Marissa resides in Dallas with her husband, two daughters and two dogs and enjoys walking, reading, cooking and family vacations.