Physician Assistant Faculty


  • Darci Brown, MSPAS, PA-C
  • Stanley J. Dudrick, MD, FACS
  • Jennifer Arnold, MHS, PA-C
  • Lindsey Vigilante, MPAS, PA-C
  • Diane McAvoy, MS, PA-C

Adjunct Faculty

  • Christopher J. DeFrancesco, Pharm. D.
  • Angela Asirvatham, B.V.Sc. Ph.D.
  • Anthony Serino, Ph.D.


      • Kathryn Michael, B.B.A
      • Amy Denisco

      Stanley J. Dudrick, MD, FACS

      Stanley J. Dudrick, MD, FACS,  Medical Director

      Stanley J. Dudrick, MD, FACS
      Medical Director

      The Medical Director, Stanley J. Dudrick, MD, FACS, 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 40-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. Dr. Dudrick's list of published works numbers over 700, and his record of including students in research and publication is well-known.

      Click here to read more about how The American College of Surgeons recently honored Dr. Dudrick by including him in a series of biographical videos entitled, "Heroes in Surgery: Our Legacy.''

      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 100 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. Yale University has invested him with the Honorary Degree of Master of Arts, and Misericordia University has invested him with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for his extraordinary contributions to surgery and nutrition.

      Lindsey Vigilante, MPAS, PA-C

      Lindsey Vigilante, MPAS, PA-CLindsey Vigilante

      Clinical Coordinator

      Lindsey Vigilante MPAS, PA-C is a board certified Physician Assistant with over 5 years of clinical experience. Professor Vigilante serves as Clinical Coordinator. Graduating in 2009 from Marywood University she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Services and a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant studies. Since graduation her focus has been in Emergency Medicine. Her clinical experience consists of working in a level 2 trauma center, as well as pediatric and OBGYN emergencies. Since graduating she has served as a preceptor in the emergency department for many local PA programs. She has also taught clinical skills. Professor Vigilante became an adjunct faculty member for Misericordia University PA program in 2012. Professor Vigilante continues to work clinically in the Emergency Room.

      Christopher J. DeFrancesco, Pharm. D.

      Christopher J. DeFrancesco, Professor of PharmacologyChristopher J. DeFrancesco
      Professor of Pharmacology

      Dr. Christopher J. DeFrancesco, Pharm. D., received his bachelors 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.

      Angela Asirvatham, B.V.Sc. Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology Angela Asirvatham, B.V.Sc. Ph.D.
      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. Asirvathams 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. I am 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. I have 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.

      Anthony Serino, Ph.D., Chairperson of Biology and Associate Professor of Biology

      Anthony Serino, Ph.D.

      Chairperson of Biology

      Associate Professor of Biology

      Phone: 570-674-6259

      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.

      Kathryn Michael, B.B.A

      Kathryn Michael, Department Administrative AssistantKathryn Michael
      Department Administrative Assistant
      Phone: (570) 674-6716

      Kathryn Michael received her B.A. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources from Susquehanna University. She worked 4 years as an office manager for Rave Landscaping, Inc.; 2 years as an office manager for Country Market Nursery; 2 years as an assistant office manager of McNaughton Company and 2 years as a registrar of IES, a non-profit teacher placement organization. Kathryn reports to the Chair of the PA Studies Department and provides support to the PA Studies medical director, students, faculty, and adjuncts as the Department Administrative Assistant.

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