Core Faculty

All section faculty participate in clinical, research, and teaching efforts with fellows. Our core program faculty dedicate additional time and effort to help ensure ongoing program excellence. These faculty members work most closely with fellows, and serve as conference sponsors, clinical competency committee members, fellow advisors, clinic preceptors, and more. You may click any faculty member’s profile to learn more about their areas of focus. Below we’ve highlighted three faculty members’ activities and their involvement with our fellows.

Dr. Christina Bellinger

Dr. Bellinger joined our faculty in 2012 and is currently the director of clinical bronchoscopy services. A board-certified interventional pulmonologist, she maintains a busy clinical practice in routine, advanced diagnostic, and interventional pulmonology. Her clinical and research interests include evaluation of bronchoscopic techniques, molecular diagnosis of lung cancer, and healthcare disparities in lung cancer screening.

Dr. Victor Ortega

Victor E. Ortega, MD, PhD, ATSF joined our faculty in 2010 after completing his pulmonary/critical care fellowship training at Wake Forest (2006-2010). After fellowship, he was a recipient of two K awards which allowed him to complete his PhD training in 2016. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Center for Precision Medicine whose primary research interests are the effects of genetic ancestry and rare genetic variants on disease severity and drug response (pharmacogenetics) in asthma and COPD, including variants in genes known to cause alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency, cystic fibrosis, and primary ciliary dyskinesia. He leads genomic studies across several NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-sponsored (NHLBI) asthma and COPD research networks, is an invited reviewer on two NHLBI study sections (standing member on the Mentored Transition to Independence [MTI] study section), co-convenes the NHLBI TOPMed whole-genome sequencing asthma working group,  and is the current chair of the American Thoracic Society Section on Genetics and Genomics. His favorite advice to give to our fellows is that one does not necessarily need to be the smartest person in the room, but willing to work hard and persevere in order to achieve your personal, clinical, and academic research goals.

Dr. Clark Files

Dr. Files joined our faculty in 2011 and is currently the director of critical care research. He is the site principal investigator for the NIH-funded PETAL network in addition to other trials funded by both NIH and industry. His clinical and research interests include ARDS recovery, critical-illness related muscle dysfunction, and testing new therapeutic strategies for critically ill patients. As co-director of the Wake Forest Critical Illness, Injury, and Recovery Research Center he helps direct critical care research activities of the health system.

Section Chief

Stephen Peters, MD, PhDDr. Stephen Peters has been chief of the Section on Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Immunologic Disease since 2013. His current research interests include novel ways to define asthma and COPD phenotypes, clinical trials in asthma and COPD, including personalized approaches to asthma and COPD therapeutics.  He is a PI or coinvestigator in the NHLBI's Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP4), Asthma Clinical Trials Research Networks, the Precise Asthma Network, genetic studies of asthma, and multiple SPIROMICS COPD initiatives, all supported by the NHLBI. He has been a member of numerous NIH advisory boards and panels including the NIAID’s Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation Research Committee (AITC) Study Section.  Dr. Peters is a fellow of the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, the American Thoracic Society, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Chest Physicians, and The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Dr. Peters has co-authored more than 380 articles and reviews including more than 18 published in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and Lancet.  He is the first author of an article in Nature and 3 innovative clinical trials of asthma therapy published in The New England Journal of Medicine.  Dr. Peters received his PhD degree in biochemistry and his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine.  He served his internship and residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where he subsequently completed fellowships in respiratory medicine & critical care, and allergy & clinical immunology. Before coming to Wake Forest in 2003, he was on the faculty of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was Section Chief at Thomas Jefferson University. His favorite advice to give to our fellows is to enjoy the great variety and diversity of opportunities you will have while training at Wake Forest. Don’t be afraid to try new things and make the most of your interactions with the great faculty, fellows, and colleagues you will come across during your time with us.

a man in green scrubs intubates a patient

Core Faculty Profiles