Ramasubbareddy Dhanireddy, MD (Medical Director)
Sheldon B. Korones Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology
Chief, Division of Neonatology
Medical Director, Newborn Center, Regional One Health

Dr. Dhanireddy is the Sheldon B. Korones Endowed Professor and Chief, Division of Neonatology, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Dhanireddy attended medical school in India and had his pediatric training at Louisiana State University (LSU) Medical Center in New Orleans and Lafayette, LA. He completed his neonatology fellowship at Georgetown University and medical staff fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. He has appeared on lists such as America’s Top Pediatricians and Best Doctors in America, among the many awards and honors he has received during his tenure. Dr. Dhanrieddy has published more than 50 research articles, several book chapters, served as principal and co-principal investigator in several research studies. In 2004, he retired after 21 years as a colonel from the United States Air Force Reserve; he was awarded the Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medicals while in the Air Forced Reserve.

Ajay J. Talati, MD
Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology
Program Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship
Medical Director, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital NICU

Dr. Talati completed his neonatal-perinatal fellowship at The Regional Medical Center at The University of Tennessee at Memphis and joined the faculty in 1999. He assumed directorship of the fellowship program in June 2007. He was originally certified in general pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics in 1995 and was board certified in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in 1999. Dr. Talati served as the President of Southern Society for Pediatric Research (2008-2009) and has been a recipient of several teaching awards by the housestaff, as well as receiving many research awards. He has published several peer reviewed articles and his research is focused on host-pathogen interactions and use of antibiotics. He is also very involved in QI projects and neonatal database management.

Mohamad Tammam El Abiad, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Associate Program Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship

Dr. Elabiad assumed the associate fellowship director position in 2012. He completed his medical school at Kursk State Medical University in Russia, Pediatric residency at University of Tennessee and Neonatal Perinatal Medicine fellowship at Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. He also completed a Masters in Epidemiology at University of Tennessee in June 2012. Dr. Elabiad is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in both General Pediatrics and Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine. Dr. Elabiad has an interest in teaching and research. His research interests include heavy metals in blood transfusions and reflux in premature infants. He serves on several committees including the Institutional Review Board at the University of Tennessee and the Tissue and Blood transfusion Committee at Regional One Health.

Massroor Pourcyrous, MD
Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Physiology

Dr. Pourcyrous has been at The UTHSC since 1988 serving as Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, OB/GYN and Physiology. She became Professor in 1999. Dr. Pourcyrous completed her Pediatrics Residency at LSU in New Orleans, LA and her NPM training at the UTHSC at Memphis, TN. In addition, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Neonatal Physiology at the UTHSC in Memphis. She was Board Certified in General Pediatrics by the ABP in 1986 and certified NPM in 1991 (recertification 2004). She is a member of multiple academic societies.

She has been studying hemodynamics of cerebral circulation in newborn pigs and in human neonates during physiologic and pathological conditions. Also, she investigated cerebrovascular manifestations of illicit drugs and licit drugs in neonates. Among her published translational work: 1) Role of prostanoids in asphyxia and reventilation; 2) Role of brain cAMP as a predictor of neurological outcome of asphyxia; 3)The effects of maternal cocaine abuse on neonatal cerebral circulation and 4)The effects of indomethacin on neonatal cerebral circulation.

Her clinical research interests include CRP in neonatal infection and other disorders and immunization of preterm infants.

Present research activities:

  • Site-PI for multicenter NICU project ”Gene targets for IVH”.
  • PI on “Detection of Brain–derived circulating endothelial cells (BCECs) in peripheral blood of infants as a biomarker of cerebrovascular injury”.
  • PI on “fecal short chain fatty acids as a biomarker of GI health in premature infants”.
  • Mentor and collaborator ” Head cooling as a protective modality for neonatal seizures in piglet model”.
  • Mentor and collaborator ” Permissive hypercapnia and the effects on cerebral hemodynamics in piglet model”.

Sandeep Chilakala, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Chilakala joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2013. He completed his medical school from Kurnool Medical College in India. After completing his Pediatric residency at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN, he joined the Neonatal-Perinatal medicine Fellowship at University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN. He is board certified on Pediatrics (2012) and Neonatal-Perinatal medicine (2014). He has a Master’s degree in Public Health and has a fascination towards translational research. His research interests include understanding the cerebral hemodynamics under various clinically relevant hypercapnic scenarios in a newborn piglet model.


John Ferguson, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Ferguson joined the faculty in 2004. Dr. Ferguson earned his B.S. degree at University of Tennessee, Knoxville and his M.D. at University of Tennessee in Memphis. In addition, he completed both his Pediatric Residency and his Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship at University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He was certified in general pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics in1980 and was certified in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in 1981 with recertification in 2010. He serves on the Infection Prevention Committee, the Pharmacy & Therapeutic Committee and the Morbidity and Mortality Committee at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. His primary interests are necrotizing enterocolitis prevention and intestinal rehabilitation.

Mimi Harsono, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Harsono joined our faculty member in July 2013 immediately upon completing her Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellowship training with University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. She completed her medical school from Universitas Methodist Indonesia in Indonesia. She received her MSc’s degree in health care management from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (University of London) in the United Kingdom. She subsequently completed her Pediatrics residency training from Flushing Hospital Medical Center in New York. Dr. Harsono is board certified by American Board of Pediatrics in both General Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. She received SSPR Young Investigator Award in Basic Science (2013) and SSPR Young Faculty Award (2014). She has active interest in teaching and research. Her research interests include investigating cerebral vascular hemodynamic function after seizures or brain insults and neuroprotection benefit or mechanism of therapeutic hypothermia using animal model of newborn piglet. She serves as an instructor of Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP).

Ramesh Krishnan, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Krishnan joined our faculty as Assistant Professor in Oct 2009. He completed his Medical School at Stanley Medical College in Madras, India. He did his postgraduate pediatric training in the United Kingdom and is a Member of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, London. He subsequently completed both his Pediatric Residency and his Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Training at University of Minnesota. He is board certified in both General Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. His research interests include the role of growth factors in lung development and prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in the preterm babies. Dr. Krishnan is a founding member of the Memphis Preterm Pig Research Consortium, an association established with basic scientists and clinicians to study the premature newborn infant under typical and various adverse conditions using the preterm pig model.

John Purvis, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Purvis joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2014 and is an attending pediatrician in the Well Baby Nursery.  He graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1999. He completed his Pediatric Residency at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Pensacola, Florida in 2002.  He is certified in General Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics.  After 9 years of private practice in East Tennessee and 3 years in Eastern Arkansas, he is excited to return to UTHSC to help train the next generation of pediatricians.  

Divya Rana, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Rana joined our faculty in 2010. She completed her medical school at People’s Friendship University in Moscow, Russia. Her Pediatric Residency and Fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine were completed at the Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth Center/Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Rana is board certified in Pediatrics in 2007 and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in 2010 by the American Board of Pediatrics. She serves on the Le Bonheur children’s Hospital Harvey Team Committee, TPN Errors Committee, the Blood Utilization Review Committee, BUR Sub-committee and the Schwartz Center Planning Committee. Her research interests are Anti-Thrombotic Therapy (A-TT) in Neonates at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital and in the Regional Medical Newborn Center Level III NICU-Current Clinical Practices.

Dumitru Sabin Turcanu, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Kirti Upadhyay, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Upadhyay joined the faculty in 2013 as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. He completed his medical school from B J Medical College and post graduate training in Pediatrics from V S Hospital, Ahmedabad, India. He subsequently completed Pediatric residency from Flushing Hospital, NY and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellowship training from University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN. Dr. Upadhyay was board certified in Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics in 2011 and in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in 2014. He has an active interest in teaching and research. Dr. Upadhyay successfully developed a mouse model of sepsis here at UTHSC and his research is focused on Group B Streptococci pathogenesis and host pathogen interactions. He has several peer- reviewed publications/ presentations in regional/ national and international conferences. In addition, he is also an instructor of the Neonatal Resuscitation Program and is involved in a TIPQC Collaborative Inter-institutional Quality Improvement Golden Hour Project.

Mark Weems, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Weems joined our faculty in 2013. A native of Memphis, he attended medical school at the University of Tennessee. He completed his Pediatric residency at the University of California Irvine and his Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellowship at Keck School of Medicine of USC before returning to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Division of Neonatology. Dr. Weems is board certified in General Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. His interests include urinary tract infections of the neonate, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and educational technology in medical education.

Parul Zaveri, MBSS
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Contact Information

Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine

Program Director
Ajay Talati, MD

Program Coordinator
April Smith
853 Jefferson Ave #201
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 287-5265