Dr. Willingham specializes in the management of gastrointestinal malignancies such as esophageal, gastric, duodenal, and pancreatic tumors.
Titles and Roles
- Director of Endoscopy, Division of Digestive Disease
- Emory University School of Medicine
- Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
- Emory University School of Medicine
- Research Program
- Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics
Dr. Willingham is a member of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and serves as Director of Endoscopy in Emory University's Division of Digestive Disease. He began practicing with Emory Healthcare in 2009 and is board certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine. His practice often involves endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), radio frequency ablation (RFA), cryoablation, and minimally-invasive, hybrid endoscopic surgery. His group manages, diagnoses, stages and, in specialized cases, treats a wide variety of gastrointestinal malignancies.
Dr. Willingham is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Gastrointestinal Association, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. In 2016, he was named president of the Georgia Gastroenterology and Endoscopic Society.
Dr. Willingham received his Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. He attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and completed his residency and chief residency at the Baylor College of Medicine. He completed his fellowship in gastroenterology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed his fellowship in advanced therapeutic endoscopy at Harvard Medical School in the joint program of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Dr. Willingham focuses on clinical trial, epidemiologic, and translational research in interventional and therapeutic endoscopy, frequently studying conditions such as neoplasms of the foregut, cholagiocarcinoma, esophageal cancer, Barrett’s esophagus, pancreatic cancer, chronic pancreatitis, cystic disease of the pancreas, and autoimmune pancreatitis. He is currently enrolling patients in multiple ongoing clinical trials. His group has pioneered several major innovations including the first description of mycophenolate mofetil for autoimmune pancreatitis in an adult, hybrid management of foregut mass lesions, EUS-based modification of the transplant protocol for cholangiocarcinoma, and hybrid organ-sparing, minimally-invasive resection of gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Publications Publication Date
Dr. Willingham has received multiple awards for his contributions to academic institutions, medical societies, and medical literature and for his teaching ability. He is listed in Who's Who in Medicine Higher Education and is involved in an editorial capacity for seven major journals in medical literature. He received the Henry Zoller, Jr. Scholarship, the Fogarty International Research Training Award, and the Dean's Award for Excellence in Research from the University of Maryland, the John C. Hume award and membership in the Delta Omega National Honors Society from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the Caroline Law Award, the Dean of Education Teaching Excellence Award, and the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Baylor College of Medicine, and the Shanti V. Sitaraman Award from Emory University School of Medicine. For his research and teaching he has been recognized by Harvard Medical School, American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and New England Endoscopy Society. In 2018, he was listed as one of Atlanta Magazine's "Top Doctors."