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Renowned Pancreatologist Dr. Mel Wilcox to Lead New Pancreas Program

May 01, 2022

Internationally recognized clinical pancreatologist Dr. Charles "Mel" Wilcox, MD, recently joined Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute to establish and lead its new pancreas program. Dr. Wilcox leaves a three-decade tenure at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he has been an emeritus professor of medicine and director of their highly ranked gastroenterology and hepatology division.

Dr. C. Mel Wilcox
Dr. C. Mel Wilcox

In his new role based at Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center, the healthcare system’s flagship hospital, Dr. Wilcox will oversee referral-based clinical and advanced endoscopic care, clinical research and a pancreas fellowship.

“Dr. Wilcox is a clinical researcher and one of the world’s most recognized names in medical pancreatology, a rare subspecialty of GI,” says Dr. Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD, president of Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute. 

“Expertise in this discipline is sorely lacking, not just in Florida but in the southern United States,” says Dr. Varadarajulu. “With our increasing population and the growing incidence of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic cysts and pancreatitis, he'll be a welcome addition here.”

Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD
Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD
President of Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute

Widely published, Dr. Wilcox has authored more than 75 textbook chapters, 750 scientific abstracts and articles in 400 publications, including the New England Journal of Medicine. He was editor-in-chief of the American Gastroenterological Association journal, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and reviews for more than 100 peer-reviewed journals. As an active researcher, he also has received several National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases grants, and was principal investigator of clinical core for the NIH Pancreatic Cancer SPORE grant.

In addition to a clinical practice at Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute, Dr. Wilcox will chair the new United States Pancreas Study Group, which will resemble the Dutch Pancreatitis Study Group in the Netherlands. Under his leadership and direction, this clinical consortium of large, tertiary-level academic institutions in the U.S. will collaborate on high-quality research and create guidelines for managing patients with pancreatic diseases.

Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute is a highly specialized gastrointestinal diagnostic and treatment program designed to serve patients from across the southeastern United States. The institute integrates medicine, surgery, radiology and pathology to optimize care for patients with digestive and liver disorders ranging from the general to complex.

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