Dr. Blank

Stephen Blank, MD Principal Investigator

“My caring and compassion for people shows through my ability to be fully present and listen to my patients. As my communication style is direct and clear, I connect easily with my patients. My patients know that they are heard and understood, and that their concerns are being addressed.”

Dr. Stephen Blank received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and earned his medical degree from the College of Medicine of New Jersey. He moved to Atlanta in 1977 to begin his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Emory University, and has called Atlanta home ever since. He’s been in private practice since 1981 and founded Mt Vernon OB/GYN Associates in 1986.

A Board Certified OB/GYN, Dr. Blank specializes in Obstetrics, Gynecology, High-Risk Obstetrics, Infertility, Laparoscopic GYN Surgery, PMS, Perimenopausal, and Menopausal Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is an active member of the Georgia Ob-Gyn Society, The Medical Association of Georgia, and The North American Menopause Society.

Dr. Blank is a past Chairman of the Department of OB/GYN at Northside Hospital. As an early proponent and advocate for the establishment of specialized Women’s Health-Care Centers, he was instrumental in the development, design, and construction of Northside Hospital’s Women’s Center, acting as Lead Physician Liaison. The Women’s Center was constructed during his watch as Chairman of the OB/GYN Department.

Dr. Blank believes that research is a vital part of healthcare. He has been a Lead Medical Investigator for Clinical Research Trials in Gynecology and Obstetrics for the past eight years.

Dr. Blank and his wife reside in Northwest Atlanta. They are blessed with three sons, two daughters-in-law, and two grandsons. For relaxation and fun, he enjoys golfing, skiing, reading and spending time with his family.


Dr. Jennifer A. Curtis

Jennifer A. Curtis, MD Principal Investigator

Dr. Jennifer A. Curtis received her M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia in 1999. She completed her residency in internal medicine in 2002 at the Medical College of Virginia, and her gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh in 2005. She moved to Atlanta in 2010 to be closer to her family, and joined the staff at St. Joseph’s in October 2013.

Her interests include inflammatory bowel diseases and celiac sprue, as well as liver disease and general gastrointestinal disorders. She sees patients 16 years of age and older.


Susmitha Puppala, MD image

Susmitha Puppala, MD Principal Investigator

Dr. Susmitha Puppala is a board certified member of the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is a licensed physician in Illinois, Alabama and Georgia, and completed her residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois in internal medicine.


Max A. Shapiro, MD image

Max A. Shapiro, MD Principal Investigator

Dr. Max A. Shapiro received a B.S. degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and a M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. His internship and residency were completed at Emory University, and his fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Dr. Shapiro has specific interests in colon cancer screening and treating patients with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and Barrett’s esophagus. In addition to colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy, he performs Barrett’s esophagus ablation (RFA) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS).

As Director of Adult GI at the SEED Center, Dr. Shapiro participates in multidisciplinary treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis and celiac disease.

Dr. Shapiro is board certified in both internal medicine and gastroenterology and is on staff at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital. He moved back to Atlanta with his wife in 2008 and currently lives in the Dunwoody area with his young family.


Laura Tsakiris, MD image

Laura Tsakiris, MD Principal Investigator

Dr. Laura Tsakiris was born and raised in the northeast. She attended Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA and graduated magna cum laude in biology. She spent another 8 years in Pittsburgh, PA, where she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in 1984 and completed her residency at Magee-Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh—part of the University of Pittsburgh health system.

Dr. Tsakiris has been in the Atlanta area since 1988. She started Chattahoochee Gynecology in 1989 and spent the first 16 years delivering babies at Northside Hospital. She went to a gynecology-only practice in 2005. She now works daily at her office in Johns Creek and has operating privileges at Northside Hospital (Sandy Springs and Forsyth) and at Emory Johns Creek Hospital.

Dr. Tsakiris is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She is also a member of Atlanta Women’s Medical Society and Johns Creek Medical Association. In her free time, she is an avid tennis player who participates in ALTA and USTA. She also enjoys skiing and reading.


Fiona O’Reilly Zwald, MD Principal Investigator

Dr. Fiona Zwald received her medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland in 1990. She is the proud mother of two girls, Tara and Sara, and, together with her husband, Jim, enjoys an active family life, running, swimming, and supporting her children’s athletic endeavors. She and her family travel back home to Ireland frequently to visit family.

Dr. Zwald completed her residency in dermatology at the Emory University School of Medicine.

  • Certified by the American Board of Dermatology
  • Completed a fellowship training program in Mohs micrographic surgery and advanced reconstructive surgery at Vanderbilt University
  • Established a multidisciplinary dermatology clinic at the Emory Hospital Transplant Clinic and subsequently at the Piedmont Transplant Institute
  • Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS)
  • Currently serves on the Scientific Committee for the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS)


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