Please get to know new faculty who have joined the Department of Medicine within the last six months.*
*Note that this directory is updated by the 10th of each month.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Indiana University HealthPrevious Role/Title:Cardiology HospitalistSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.B.A. - Indiana UniversityM.D. - University of the PhilippinesInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Manila, Philippines
Dr. Francis Balucan recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health with a focus on hospital medicine. He has a broader interest in patients who are readmitted frequently in the hospital, healthcare finance, and electronic medical records. After growing up in Manila, Philippines, he completed medical school at the University of the Philippines, Manila, residency at Mount Sinai School of Medicine at James J. Peters VA, and more recently received a Master in Business Administration at the Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis with a focus in healthcare. He worked as a cardiology hospitalist at Indiana University Health, where he honed his interest into a project dealing with frequent heart failure readmitters at their institution. He has collaborated with multiple medical specialties and hospital departments with this project. When away from work, he enjoys running, traveling, reading, watching anything on TV, and traveling with his extended family.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Indiana University School of MedicineB.S. - Pharmaceutical Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IndianaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Indianapolis, IN
Laura attended medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she served as a co-chair of the Residency Health & Wellness Committee. She is thrilled to stay on at Vanderbilt as a hospitalist.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Seattle Children's Hospital, University of WashingtonPrevious Role/Title:FellowSpecialty:Adolescent Medicine, Family MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of New MexicoM.P.H. - University of WashingtonInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Las Cruces, NM
Dr. Burkhart completed her fellowship in adolescent medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital, and thus a majority of her interests follow suit in the adolescent and young adult populations. Her research interests include access to care and health resources, with an emphasis on sexual health and sexual assault resources in underserved college students. She is also interested in the intersection and utilization of social media to disseminate health information, as well as its use as a tool to capture at-risk populations. Dr. Burkhart has a particular interest in technology-facilitated sexual violence and its impact on adolescents and young adults. Her general clinical interests are in taking care of college students and the diverse range of conditions that impact them. She has a particular interest in sexual trauma and has been able to take additional specialized training in the care of this population, including training in sexual assault forensic exams.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Infectious DiseasesPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral Research FellowSpecialty:Adaptive immune responses in pulmonary sarcoidosisEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Tennessee State UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Dr. Celeda is an immunologist with a great interest in the molecular mechanisms associated with innate and adaptive immunity. Her current research emphasis is on discovering the mechanisms by which the inhibitory receptor Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) interferes with normal T cell effector function in sarcoidosis.
- Research Associate Professor of MedicineDivision of:Nephrology and HypertensionPrevious Institution:Aegis Science CorporationPrevious Role/Title:Research ScientistSpecialty:Mass Spectrometry, Biochemistry, Molecular BiologyEducation/Training:Ph.D. - National Academy of Science of UkraineM.S., Organic Chemistry - Kiev State University, 1991Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Brentwood, TN
Dr. Chetyrkin’s research is focused on the collagen IV family of proteins that compose basement membranes, a specialized form of extracellular matrix. The matrix is essential for the development and maintenance of tissue architecture and function in all multi-cellular organisms from ctenophora to human. Structural alteration in the collagen IV family of proteins underlies the pathophysiology of four kidney diseases: Goodpasture’s syndrome, Alport syndrome, thin basement membrane nephropathy, and Alport post-transplant nephritis. Dr. Chetyrkin’s work has been published in 25 peer-reviewed articles.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Internal Medicine ResidentSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Tennessee Health Science CenterInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Athens, TN
Dr. Clark’s interest in malignant hematology began after his personal health experience. During undergraduate studies, he worked in a graft vs. host disease lab, as well as leading several bone marrow donor registry drives on campus. He was a member of AOA while in medical school and held a continued role in patient advocacy service entities. While in residency at VUMC, his publications have included reviews of the long-term post-allogeneic transplant care model as well as evolving novel agents for previously treated, relapsed multiple myeloma. Ongoing clinical research projects involve obstructive lung disease following stem cell transplantation, transmembrane growth factor receptor expression on clonal plasma cells in heavily treated multiple myeloma, and the association between minimal residual disease in multiple myeloma and progression-free survival in the context of autologous transplantation.
- Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery InstitutePrevious Role/Title:ProfessorSpecialty:Biochemistry of metabolic diseaseEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Boston, MA
Dr. Collins' laboratory is interested in the biochemical mechanisms that regulate body weight and insulin sensitivity. Activation of the adrenaline receptors, specifically the members of the beta-adrenergic receptor (beta-AR) family, provides the major stimulus for the hydrolysis and release of stored lipids. They are also key drivers of a process called "nonshivering thermogenesis" in brown fat. Brown fat cells are specialized cells rich in mitochondria and largely defined by their ability to express the mitochondrial uncoupling protein UCP1, which allows the dissipation of the proton gradient in the inner mitochondrial membrane to yield heat at the expense of ATP production. In addition to the beta-ARs, the cardiac natriuretic peptides also activate these same mechanisms through a parallel pathway in fat cells. By understanding their signal transduction properties and how they are regulated, Dr. Collins hopes to be able to find a way to increase energy expenditure in fat in the fight against obesity and the devastating diseases that accompany it, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. Dr. Collins has made seminal contributions in the field of obesity and diabetes at the molecular and physiological level. She also enjoys activities such as bird watching, tailoring, dance, and weight lifting.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Nephrology and HypertensionPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral Research FellowSpecialty:NephrologyEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Tennessee State UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:St. Louis, MO
Dr. Darris’ long-term career goal is to investigate the fundamental biology and pathology of kidney diseases and develop potential therapeutics as an independent investigator within a medical university setting. Currently, his work aims to better understand the mechanisms that underlie metabolic disorders. Specifically, he studies molecular events within the extra-cellular matrix (ECM) that contribute to changes in basement membrane biosynthesis and lead to renal fibrosis. His effort is aimed at characterizing the role of Goodpasture Antigen-binding Protein (GPBP) in renal dysfunction and ECM remodeling. Dr. Darris has mentored 10 graduate and undergraduate students in biochemical research. Many have advanced to medical and graduate school. In addition he has mentored five high school students as part of the Aspirnaut K-20 STEM Pipeline, a program designed to elevate math and science achievement and increase the diversity and number of students entering STEM careers. The program has received national recognition by the National Institutes of Health, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and NBC National News.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Infectious DiseasesPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Fellow, Division of Infectious DiseasesSpecialty:Infectious DiseasesEducation/Training:M.D. - Indiana University School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Churubusco, IN
The goal of Dr. Doster’s research is to understand mechanisms by which bacteria like GBS are able to establish vaginal colonization and then ascend to cause invasive disease during pregnancy (chorioamnionitis). Bacterial infections during pregnancy lead to adverse outcomes including stillbirth, preterm birth, neonatal sepsis, and meningitis. Streptococcus agalactiae, also known as Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a Gram-positive bacterium that colonizes up to 50% of pregnant women. Vaginal GBS carriage is a major risk factor for chorioamnionitis and neonatal sepsis. Dr. Doster is particularly interested in the role of bacterial biofilm to promote vaginal colonization, which may increase potential for bacterial invasion, as well as how GBS interacts with and alters host-immune responses. Host inflammatory responses to infection including release of cytokines and metalloproteinases that contribute to preterm birth pathogenesis. By understanding these pathways, Dr. Doster hopes to identify new, actionable targets to prevent adverse outcomes during pregnancy. He utilizes multiple methodologies to understand microbial-host interactions during pregnancy, including high-resolution microscopy techniques, animal models of pregnancy infection, and human tissue chorioamnionitis models.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:University of MichiganPrevious Role/Title:FellowSpecialty:Interstitial lung diseases and sleep medicineEducation/Training:M.D. - State University of New York (SUNY)Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Queens, NY
Dr. Rosemarie Dudenhofer received her baccalaureate degree (2004) in biology and biochemistry from Queens College (CUNY), New York, New York. She entered medical school at Downstate Medical Center (SUNY), Brooklyn, New York, and received her MD degree in 2008. Dr. Dudenhofer did her residency (2008-2011) at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and subsequently entered her fellowship training at the University of Michigan in 2012. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine (2011), Pulmonary Medicine (2014), and is board-eligible in Critical Care (anticipated, 11/17). Dr. Rosemarie Dudenhofer completed a fellowship in neurology and sleep medicine (2016-present) at the University of Michigan, following a two-year fellowship (2012-2014) in pulmonary medicine and critical care at that same institution. Dr. Dudenhofer’s research interests focus on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and sleep-disordered breathing. These interests led her to explore the relationship between the two; she subsequently studied hospitalized interstitial lung disease patients who also had a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. This project has fostered her continued interest in sleep medicine following her outpatient sleep medicine rotation while in fellowship. Dr. Dudenhofer is a member of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the Society of Critical Care Medicine, two of the most prestigious organizations in her field. She serves on a subcommittee regarding sleep and respiratory neurobiology web education for the ATS. She has consistently participated in teaching and mentoring throughout her academic career, has given talks and lectures throughout her fellowship, and has publications in well recognized journals in her field.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:NursingEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Brentwood, TN
Ms. Susan Vance Eastman, working with a multidisciplinary team, provides advance practice condition nurse practitioner support to the cystic fibrosis adult patients practice in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt. In this position she provides nursing care to CF patients, including patients who have undergone lung transplantation. Ms. Eastman received her baccalaureate degree in nursing in 2006 from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and her MSN degree in 2011 from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is certified as an advance practice nurse and is certified as a family nurse practitioner from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She is also certified in Basic Life Support. Ms. Eastman has provided nursing care for patients of all ages in her career and in post-surgical and acute care settings. She has provided nursing care at Vanderbilt for five years and at a family practice clinic in Florida, also serving as HIPPA officer and preceptor for a nurse practitioner there. Ms. Eastman is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Association. She is a member of Iota Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. While at Vanderbilt, she received a nomination for Nurse of the Year (2009). Further, she has shown steady experience as a preceptor for new nursing staff and nursing students.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Geriatric Medicine GroupPrevious Institution:Meharry Medical CollegePrevious Role/Title:Assistant Professor of SurgerySpecialty:Career sustainability of scholars in workforce developmentEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of South CarolinaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Dr. Fair's interests and achievements are illustrated through her productivity in peer-reviewed manuscripts and educational outreach. She has 28 peer-reviewed manuscripts (11 first-author) representing her research interest areas in stakeholder engagement in clinical research, mentoring, training and sustaining scholars in the clinical translational workforce. and the relationship of psychosocial and lifestyle factors on breast cancer risk in minority and medically underserved mammography patients. She is committed to career development and mentorship of scholars in public health and medicine. Through her tenure at the University of South Carolina and Meharry Medical College, she was course faculty for seven courses offered in public health degree programs. Since 2012, she has been the seminar leader for a quarterly Clinical Immersion Bootcamp Program through the School of Medicine in the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR). This educational session is tailored to Vanderbilt University Medical Center staff on the requirements and processes necessary for the ethical conduct of clinical research at the enterprise level. Dr. Fair’s interest in community-engaged research (CEnR) is a new development that has been honed in two capacities. Over the last three years, she has managed quantitative and qualitative patient-centered outcomes survey research projects on the barriers and incentives for consumer and provider stakeholders on participating in a clinical data research network (CDRN). Secondly, she was the program director for the 2016 Advancing the Science of CEnR conference, a forum to rapidly disseminate CEnR evidence, gain practical knowledge, and implement new and enhance existing community engagement programs.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Genetic MedicinePrevious Institution:University of ChicagoPrevious Role/Title:Senior Bioinformatics ScientistSpecialty:Functional Genomics & Statistical GeneticsEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of AmsterdamM.S., Mathematics - University of Chicago, 1991Interests/Achievements:Hometown:San Diego, CA
Dr. Gamazon's primary research interest is in developing and extending methods for elucidating the genetic architecture of complex disorders and pharmacologic phenotypes. Since 2010, he has published over 100 scientific publications in the areas of statistical genetics, functional genomics, and complex traits genetics. An ongoing project involves the genetics of gene expression and the use of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) to expand on genetic association studies. He also works on integrating large-scale DNA biobank data and electronic medical records to enhance research in (and the translational utility of) genetics and genomics. Dr. Gamazon is part of the GTEx Consortium and the T2D-GENES Consortium. He was also a member of the International Warfarin Pharmacogenetics Consortium GWAS team. Dr. Gamazon was trained in genomics and computational biology and has conducted research in human genetics in the Section of Genetic Medicine of the University of Chicago and the Faculty of Medicine (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Harvard Medical SchoolPrevious Role/Title:Assistant ProfessorSpecialty:Mucosal ImmunologyEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Vanderbilt UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:St. Louis, MO
Dr. Jeremy Goettel recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroneterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. He received his PhD in cell and developmental biology from Vanderbilt University in 2010 where he studied cytokine signaling in intestinal epithelial cells in the lab of Dr. Brent Polk. He performed his postdoctoral training with Dr. Scott Snapper at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital where he investigated mechanisms of mucosal immune regulation with a particular focus on monogenic disorders driving inflammatory bowel diseases. During this time, Dr. Goettel developed and utilized humanized murine systems as translational research tools that enabled studies related to human immune-mediated diseases, human immunobiology, and assessing human therapeutics. His contributions to the field of humanized mice, mucosal immunology, and inflammatory bowel disease earned him a Young Investigator Award from the International Workshop on Humanized Mice and, more recently, the prestigious CCFA Shanti Sitaraman Young IBD Investigator Award. Dr. Goettel’s research at Vanderbilt will focus on defining the roles specific regulatory T cells and innate lymphoid cells play in mucosal immune homeostasis and inflammation-associated carcinogenesis using both genetic and humanized murine systems.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Georgetown University HospitalPrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Hospital MedicineEducation/Training:D.O. - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Daytona Beach, FL
Dr. Kevin Hageman recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health and is now a full-time hospitalist within the clinical practice track. After growing up in Daytona Beach, Florida, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He went on to earn his medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and then completed his internal medicine residency at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. Dr. Hageman has experience in both basic science (vascular endothelial nitric oxide production) and translational research (risk factors for acute kidney injury after cardiac surgery). He has broad clinical interests in hematology, acute nephrology, palliative medicine, and medical education. He is married to his wife, Courtney Hageman, who works in real estate investing. Together, they have a beautiful and energetic two-year-old daughter, Rylee. While away from the hospital, he enjoys time with his family, live music, and the outdoors.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Infectious DiseasesPrevious Institution:Tennessee Department of HealthPrevious Role/Title:Program Director in HIV PreventionSpecialty:Adult Primary Care and HIVEducation/Training:M.P.H. - University of MichiganM.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Henderson, NC
Dana spent the first decade of her career working in public health before returning to school to become a nurse practitioner. As a public health professional she worked in HIV prevention and is excited for this phase of her career in HIV prevention and care in the medical setting. She has a passion for social justice and working with underserved populations. In her free time, she enjoys running, travel, and spending time with her kids and dogs.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Wake Forest School of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S. - Wake Forest School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Winston-Salem, NC
Anna graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BS in psychology and minor in Hispanic studies. After graduation, she worked as a nursing assistant and a medical scribe to gain patient care experience in preparation for physician assistant (PA) school. During her time as a Wake Forest PA student, she gained valuable clinical exposure to hematology/oncology, which led her to pursue a career in this area. Anna devoted her master’s research to the field of oncology, with a particular focus on the utility of next generation sequencing, and her manuscript was submitted for publication. At Wake Forest, she volunteered at the Community Care Center and served on the executive board for the student-run free clinic, known as DEAC (Delivering Equal Access to Care). In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, being outdoors, and spending time with friends.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:EpidemiologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral Research FellowSpecialty:Cancer EpidemiologyEducation/Training:M.P.H. - Wayne State UniversityPh.D. - University of North CarolinaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Ann Arbor, MI
Dr. Khankari's research interests are in examining the role of nutrition, genetics, and the interaction between these two exposures as it relates to cancer incidence and survival. For his dissertation work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Khankari focused on examining the relationship among dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids, genetic susceptibility, and breast cancer incidence and survival. As a K99 awardee at Vanderbilt, Dr. Khankari will examine the role of polyunsaturated fatty acids on colorectal tumor risk using the Mendelian randomization approach.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:University of Arizona College of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:Chief Resident in Quality & Patient SafetySpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Florida International UniversityB.S., Kinesiology - University of Southern Califormia, 2008Interests/Achievements:Hometown:New York, NY
Dr. Edward R. Maharam is excited to bring his interest in innovation, quality improvement, and education to Vanderbilt’s new Extensivist Program. He looks forward to hitting the ground running and providing excellent medical care to his patients in Nashville. After growing up in New York City, he received his BS in kinesiology from the University of Southern California. He then did a year of basic science research utilizing mesenchymal stem cells at Mount Sinai School of Medicine prior to joining the founding class of the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in 2013. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Arizona-Phoenix Internal Medicine Program in 2016. He was then retained as Clinical Assistant Professor in the role of Chief Resident in Quality & Patient Safety where he both led and mentored numerous quality improvement initiatives and taught a quality improvement curriculum to the residency program. When away from work, Dr. Maharam enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports, golf, country music, and theater.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:university of Rochester School of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:Cardiovascular Medicine FellowSpecialty:CardiologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Rochester School of MedicinePh.D. - University of Rochester School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Guilford, CT
Dr. Meoli's clinical and research interests center on heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and pulmonary hypertension as a complication of left heart disease. Specifically, his research focuses on elucidating molecular and genetic mechanisms of the pulmonary vasculopathy that develops in a subset of patients with left heart disease. He has presented his work at multiple international conferences, receiving a travel award for the meeting of the American Thoracic Society in 2017. In addition, Dr. Meoli has strong interests in the imaging of structural heart disease as well as in medical education.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Geriatric Medicine GroupPrevious Institution:St. Thomas WestPrevious Role/Title:Cardiology Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:Critical Care NursingEducation/Training:M.S.N. - University of FloridaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Franklin, TN
Kathy Mitchell has been an RN for 35 years and a Nurse Practitioner for 22 years. She worked as a staff nurse in CCU. Her master’s degree is in critical care nursing. She was a Certified Critical Care Nurse for 14 years. She worked in Critical Care Staff Development for 10 years. She went on a mission trip to Jamaica and found it a blessing to be allowed to help people with their medical issues. She decided to return to school to become certified as a Nurse Practitioner and worked for Anesthesia, Cardiology, and Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt for 12 years. She then became an entrepreneur by forming her own healthcare company and provided medical care for the fragile elderly for 10 years. She is joining the Division of Geriatric Medicine to, once again, serve the fragile elderly.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Centennial Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registered NurseSpecialty:CCUEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Charlotte, NC
While working as a nurse in the coronary care unit and studying acute care in NP school, Ms. Moran has had a research interest in cardiology. She was thrilled to take this current position in vascular medicine. She is currently working as a fitness instructor at Shed Fitness and really enjoys it! Alexandra also enjoys running marathons, not necessarily training for them. She qualified and ran the Boston marathon the past two years. Her other hobbies include spending time with family and friends and traveling the world!
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:A.T. Still UniversityPrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.P.A.S. - A.T. Still University School of Health SciencesInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Eagle, WI
Sarah received a genetics, cell biology, and development degree from the University of Minnesota in 2011 and a graduate certificate in integrative therapies and healing practices from the University of Minnesota in 2014. She has recently graduated from A.T. Still University’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program in August 2017. Throughout her graduate education, she has been deeply involved with the AAPA serving on volunteer committees about oral health, mental health, and member engagement. She was also selected as a PAEA student advocacy fellow from 2016-2017, during which she advocated for PA policy on Capital Hill and presented at the Arizona State PA Association regarding the importance of young career PA involvement. From 2016-2017 Sarah served as a delegate in the AAPA House of Delegates representing PA students. Her future career interests include hematology/oncology, integrative medicine, medical ethics, and continued PA advocacy and leadership.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Senior Research SpecialistSpecialty:General Internal Medicine & Public HealthEducation/Training:Ph.D. - East Tennessee State UniversityM.A., Experimental Psychology - Applachian State University, 2011Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Ashland, WI
Dr. Lyndsay Nelson is a social/health psychologist with expertise in experimental and translational health psychology. Dr. Nelson received her M.A. in experimental psychology from Appalachian State University and her Ph.D. in social/experimental psychology from East Tennessee State University. After completing her doctoral program, she applied to a postdoctoral position in applied health research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her training at VUMC has been grounded in self-care promotion for type 2 diabetes and technology- and community-based health interventions for underserved populations. She has examined user engagement, usability, and effectiveness of several technology-delivered health interventions for diabetes, including both mobile- and web-based. Dr. Nelson's career goals include examining more critically how users engage with technology-delivered interventions in order to design interventions that optimize engagement, and in turn, outcomes among disadvantaged adults. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, playing tennis, and attending concerts around Nashville.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Nolensville Family MedicinePrevious Role/Title:PA-C, RNSpecialty:Family MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Amanda Phelps graduated from Belmont University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has previously worked at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Adult Emergency Department and the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, as well as East Tennessee Children's Hospital on the general medical and hematology/oncology unit. Amanda originally joined Nolensville Family Medicine in 2005 as a Registered Nurse, where she performed as a Nurse Supervisor and led Mock Codes for the staff. Upon graduating from South College with her Master of Health Science in physician assistant studies in 2010, she returned to Nolensville Family Medicine as a certified Physician Assistant, where she has worked for the past seven years. She is excited to rejoin Vanderbilt Medical Center as a Physician Assistant and be able to continue providing care to those in her community.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterPrevious Role/Title:Senior Research Scientist, Immunology ProgramSpecialty:Hematology/ImmunologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Chicago Pritzker School of MedicinePh.D. - University of ChicagoInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Chicago, IL
Dr. Philip received her BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University and her MD and PhD in cancer biology from the University of Chicago. Her thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Hans Schreiber uncovered new mechanisms of tumor-specific antigen generation and presentation to T cells. She completed Internal Medicine Residency training at the University of Chicago before going to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington in Seattle for Hematology/Oncology fellowship training. There she received a NCI K08 career development award and an American Society of Hematology Scholar Award for her research in Dr. Janis Abkowitz’s lab on metabolic regulation of T cell development. Dr. Philip built on her knowledge of T cell differentiation to decipher mechanisms of T cell dysfunction in solid tumors after joining Dr. Andrea Schietinger’s group at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her studies on how epigenetic programs define T cell dysfunction and therapeutic reprogramming in solid tumors were recently published in Nature (2017). Her clinical training and work has shaped and informed her laboratory research, and she would like to build on her strengths in cancer immunology and hematologic malignancies to care for patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant and/or immunotherapy. As a laboratory-based investigator and physician-scientist, Dr. Philip’s goal is to use clinically-relevant, cutting-edge mouse models of cancer to tackle important cancer immunology questions and to design more potent and safer immunotherapy strategies for cancer patients.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of NursingPrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:Adult Gerontology-ACNPEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Little Rock, AR
Ms. Quinn is an Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner who graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in 2017. Originally from Little Rock, AR, she moved to Nashville in 2011 to attend Vanderbilt University. She completed her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt with a double major in computer science and medicine, health, and society. She then entered directly into Vanderbilt University School of Nursing following graduation, where she obtained her RN license and Master of Science in Nursing degree. As an Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, she pursued the intensivist subspecialty, focusing on critical care and rotating through several different ICU settings during her clinical rotations. During her time as a student at Vanderbilt, she was involved in various organizations, her favorite of which included Best Buddies and Tour Guides. She has remained involved with Best Buddies and is currently a proud citizens member of the Nashville branch. During her free time, she enjoys exploring all that the growing Nashville scene has to offer, including many trails and lakes of Tennessee. As a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, she is eager to begin her professional career at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Infectious DiseasesPrevious Institution:J. Craig Venter InstitutePrevious Role/Title:Research Assistant ProfessorSpecialty:Systems Biology, MetagenomicsEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of HeidelbergM.Sc., Biology, Bangalore University, Bangalore, IndiaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Clarksburg, MD
Dr. Rajagopala's research interest lies at the interface between infectious diseases and systems biology. His current research is focused on metagenomics and transcriptome studies, which utilize innovative deep sequencing methods to understand the complex relations between host-microbial interactions in various disease conditions. Dr. Rajagopala's research priorities include three studies. (1) Gut microbiome in childhood leukemia: The resident microbiome has a profound effect on human metabolism and can play a significant role in activating, training, and modulating the host immune response. Towards this, he profiled the gut microbiota composition in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This study provides significant information on gut microbiota populations in immunocompromised children and opens up the potential for developing novel diagnostics based on stool tests and therapies to improve the dysbiotic condition of the microbiota at the time of diagnosis and in the earliest stages of chemotherapy. (2) Host response to viral infections: Dr. Rajagopala implemented innovative deep sequencing methods (RNA-Seq) to understand the immune response to viral infections (RSV and Zika virus). (3) Systems biology of host-pathogen interactions: Dr. Rajagopala developed and used high-throughput protein interaction screening to map the pathogen-host interactions of bacterial “effector” proteins produced by the pathogens Burkholderia mallei, Coxiella burnetii, and Francisella tularensis. For the first time, he described “the binary protein-protein interaction landscape of Escherichia coli.” This is a pioneering project that serves as a draft reference for the basic physical wiring network of E. coli and other evolutionarily important model microbes. He also characterized the interactome networks of Syphilis spirochete, Treponema pallidum, and the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori.
- Eskind Adult Diabetes Clinic Medical DirectorDivision of:Diabetes, Endocrinology, and MetabolismPrevious Institution:University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Associate Professor/Medical Director for Diabetes Management ProgramSpecialty:Endocrinology and MetabolismEducation/Training:M.B.A. - The University of TexasM.D. - Kyungpook National UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Seoul Republic of Korea
Dr. Rhee is a clinical researcher and board-certified clinical endocrinologist. He has served as the Medical Director of the Diabetes Management Program at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center since 2009 and was appointed as a Quality Officer at UTSW Medical Center in 2010. His research interests are population management of patients with diabetes and chronic care disease management of the diabetes population through the chronic care model. His career focus to date has involved getting the proper care to the correct patient in a standardized and reliable manner without disrupting the workflow of the provider, making errors less likely. His desire is to empower patients and their families to become better self-care managers, for decision-making to be evidence-based, and to customize care according to the needs, values, and readiness of the patients. He is also interested in patient safety and quality improvement and has used systems engineering principles and tools to improve patient safety and quality of care. He has successfully reduced catheter-associated urinary tract infection rates by more than 80% at UTSW University Hospitals in Dallas, Texas.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:University of Alabama at BirminghamPrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Internal Medicine and PediatricsEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Kentucky College of MedicineB.A., Psychology - Vanderbilt University, 2009Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Lexington, KY
Dr. Schaefer joins the Vanderbilt community after completing her residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she participated in the health disparities track. She maintains a strong interest in serving vulnerable populations and looks forward to doing so within an academic center with close ties to medical education. This represents a return to Nashville for Dr. Schaefer; she completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt with a BA in psychology, then returned to her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, to attend medical school at the University of Kentucky. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, spending any amount of time with family and friends, and cheering on her beloved UK Wildcats.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Tennova Harton HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Nurse Practitioner-Inpatient/Outpatient CardiologySpecialty:Acute CareEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Hendersonville, TN
Barbara C. Simpson is an ANCC board-certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and a graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She was born and raised in Hendersonville, Tennessee, but currently resides in LaVergne with her husband and two dogs. Barbara has been practicing medicine since 2011. She previously trained in Murfreesboro and Tullahoma, Tennessee. She has specialized in inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular medicine, as well as internal medicine. Barbara’s passion for cardiovascular medicine began as an academic student and has continued throughout her career. She has a strong commitment to prevention and control of this devastating illness, which continues to be the leading cause of death globally. While she remains interested in all areas of cardiovascular medicine and surgery, Barbara's specific research interests include acute coronary syndrome and interventional cardiology. Her practice has an emphasis on technological advances, and the identification and education of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors for disease prevention. She is also interested in familial and genetics research into cardiovascular disease processes (such as cardiomyopathy, homozygous hyperlipidemia, etc.), risk vs. benefit guidelines for initiation of dual antiplatelet therapy in PCI patients with additional indication for full dose anticoagulation, and the treatment and long-term management of patients with recurrent atrial fibrillation and an absolute contraindication to anticoagulation. She is also a fervent advocate for organ donation and transplant research. Barbara is a member of both the Phi Eta Sigma and Sigma Theta Tau national honor societies. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:City of HopePrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral FellowSpecialty:Molecular Dynamics SimulationEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of CincinnatiInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Chungju, South Korea
Dr. Song’s research interest focuses on simulation studies of biomolecules, the calculation of the free energy of biomolecules, graph theory, protein-ligand interactions, coarse-grained simulations, homology modeling and docking, and protein folding. General interests include listening to music and playing the keyboard, travel, and volunteer work. He currently has five years of postdoctoral experience.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of NursingPrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:Adult Gerontology-ACNPEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Eugene, OR
Adam is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. While in school, he was a member of the Vanderbilt Program in Interprofessional Learning (VPIL) and participated in the Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Learning Collaborative in association with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. His interests include running, gardening, and biking.
- Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolPrevious Role/Title:Director, Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure ProgramSpecialty:Cardiology, Heart FailureEducation/Training:M.D. - Stanford University School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Joplin, MO
Lynne Warner Stevenson graduated from Princeton University and Stanford Medical School, and completed medicine and cardiology training at UCLA. On the UCLA faculty, she helped to start the cardiac transplant program in 1984 and formed the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center, one of the first heart failure management programs. In 1993 she moved to become Director of Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she expanded referrals for transplantation and alternative strategies for advanced heart disease. Her physiologic research began with the clinical assessment and hemodynamic profiles for tailored therapy to take the congestion out of heart failure, currently developing protocols for ambulatory hemodynamic monitoring to decrease heart failure disease progression. She has played leadership roles in NIH trials of heart failure strategies and is one of the founders of the Intermacs Registry for Mechanical Circulatory Support, including over 22,000 patients. Dr. Stevenson has been an author on over 250 original publications and 30 national guideline documents and has served as Senior Associate Editor for the launch of Circulation Heart Failure. Her mentoring record includes more than 40 fellows who are current faculty in heart failure programs and two national consortia of junior investigators. As Director of Cardiomyopathy and the Advanced Heart Disease training program, Dr. Stevenson describes her vision as personalization of care for cardiomyopathy through integration of molecular and clinical profiling, attention to patient-reported outcomes, and triage and incorporation of patient goals into shared decision-making for advanced therapies, including palliative care. Recreational interests include photography, gardening, and choral singing.
- Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolPrevious Role/Title:Director, Cardiac Arrhythmia Program/Professor of MedicineSpecialty:Cardiac ElectrophysiologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Tulane Medical SchoolInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Tampa, FL
Dr. Stevenson specializes in the diagnosis and management of cardiac arrhythmias and prevention of sudden death. His clinical practice focuses on the treatment of complex heart rhythm disorders with catheter ablation. His methods of cardiac mapping to guide catheter ablation are widely used. He has published over 300 articles and chapters. He has provided post-doctoral training to over 50 fellows in cardiac electrophysiology. He is a recipient of the 2012 Michel Mirowski Award for Excellence in Clinical Cardiology and Electrophysiology. He is past president of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society and the founding editor of Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology of the American Heart Association.
- Instructor in Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbitl University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Resident PhysicianSpecialty:Internal Medicine & PediatricsEducation/Training:M.D. - Vanderbilt University School of MedicineM.Ed., George Peabody College, Nashville, Tennessee, 2013Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Massapequa, NY
Dr. Sullivan grew up on Long Island in New York and attended college at the University of Notre Dame. Heading south to Vanderbilt for medical school, he has remained a member of the Vanderbilt family ever since. While in medical school at Vanderbilt, he also completed his master’s degree in education and is passionate about medical education, in particular the development of clinical reasoning and physician wellness. Upon graduating from medical school, his classmates voted him as the peer they would most want to be their personal physician. In addition, he was awarded the Vanderbilt Founder’s Medal for first honors. He completed residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in internal medicine and pediatrics. During that time, he was chosen for multiple teaching awards, including the most outstanding teacher of medical students three years in a row and most outstanding pediatric resident teacher. Dr. Sullivan’s clinical interest is in primary care internal medicine and pediatrics. In this context he is interested in mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders, as well as the care of LGBTQ patients. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys spending time with his family, practicing yoga and meditation, and reading a good book.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Columbia UniversityB.A. - Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 2007Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Medfield, MA
Dr. Krista Suojanen grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and received her BA in economics from Williams College in 2007. She completed her pre-medical studies at Tufts University in 2009 while working in clinical research at Massachusetts General Hospital. She attended Columbia University for medical school from 2010 to 2014. At Columbia, she was a student in the Columbia-Bassett track and a member of its first graduating class. The program collaborated with faculty from the School of Public Health and Business School to expose its students to some of the larger issues underlying the US health care system and the way it works. It was this experience that sparked an interest in quality and process improvement—an interest that continues to this day. After medical school, Krista decided to escape the winters of the Northeast and ventured south for residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She has been impressed by Vanderbilt and her colleagues since day one and is looking forward to staying on to become a member of the faculty.
- Instructor in Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Nolensville Family MedicinePrevious Role/Title:Medical DirectorSpecialty:Family MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of AlabamaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nolensville, TN
Dr. Thompson is an alumnus of the University of the South, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry in 1984. After matriculating in the College of Medicine at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) in 1984, Dr. Thompson accepted a HPSP scholarship from the U.S. Army. Upon graduation from medical school in 1988, he went to Fort Bliss, Texas, for his internship in internal medicine. Upon completion of his internship, Dr. Thompson then matriculated at the U.S. Army Flight Surgeon School at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and then proceeded to his first field position as Flight Surgeon with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Dr. Thompson served with distinction during the Gulf War (Operation Desert Shield/Storm, 1990-1991), earning a Bronze Star for his actions during this conflict. In 1992 he accepted a position as Chief of Primary Care at Noble Army and Community Hospital at Fort McClellan, Alabama. During his tenure there, he received an Army Commendation Medal (ArCom), mainly because his diligence ensured successful certification with JCAHO and successful completion of the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program at Anniston Army Depot. Upon leaving active military service in 1994, Dr. Thompson completed his residency in family medicine at UAB at the Medical Center East campus in 1996 and was honored to serve as Chief Resident for one year. Since completion of his residency in 1996, Dr. Thompson has served as a primary care physician in Nolensville, Tennessee.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:St. Thomas West HospitalPrevious Role/Title:HospitalistSpecialty:Palliative CareEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Mississippi Medical SchoolB.S., Biology - Millsaps College, 2006Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Meridian, MS
Stacey is interested in health equity and ensuring palliative care can be accessed by a broader population. When away from work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, usually exploring Nashville's parks and restaurants. She also enjoys traveling, hiking, and photography.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registered Nurse IISpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Clarksville, TN
Sherlyn is interested in the hematology/oncology specialty at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. The majority of her healthcare career has been on the Neuro ICU here at Vanderbilt. Her favorite patients were often those who had brain or spinal cancer. She decided to subspecialize in hematology/oncology during her ACNP program at Vanderbilt University, and she fell more in love with the specialty during her clinical rotations. As Sherlyn becomes more established in her new role as an APRN, she plans to engage in research on the side. She took a temporary position as a research assistant during the last few months of graduate school; the research study population focus was on patients with head and neck cancers. She has not decided what her future research interests will be, but she believes that her specialized interests will develop over time as she grows in practice. She acknowledges that it will take a considerable amount of time to transition from being a novice to an expert, but when she reaches that level in the future, Sherlyn looks forward to precepting new APRNs/Pas and would like to do lectures on topics related to her specialty.
- Assistant ProfessorDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral FellowSpecialty:Pulmonary and critical care medicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Texas Medical School at HoustonB.S. - Biology and Chemistry, Angelo State University , San Angelo, TexasInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Dawn, TX
Dr. Melissa A. Warren completed her baccalaureate degree at Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas, in biology and chemistry in 2007. She went on to receive her MD degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 2011. Dr. Warren did her internship and residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center upon receiving her MD degree and subsequently entered the postdoctoral training program in pulmonary and critical care medicine in 2014. Throughout her fellowship career, Dr. Warren showed ongoing enthusiasm for teaching, as demonstrated by her frequent lectures to medical residents and nurse practitioners, as well as her hands-on training of students within the simulation center – endeavors she continues to expand upon as a member of the faculty. During her fellowship, Dr. Warren also focused on clinical research with a specific interest in the utility of chest radiography as a prognostic tool for assessing the extent of pulmonary edema in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Dr. Warren has a specific interest in developing a clinical niche within neuromuscular disease and in the lung nodule clinic. As a Clinician Educator, Dr. Warren participates in education and teaching, as well as in clinical research. The focus of these activities may include acute lung injury, lung nodules/lung cancer, and pleural disease. She is a recipient of the Roger DePrez Award for Excellence in Teaching, and she has received numerous awards for her academic excellence. She is board-certified and is a member of the American Thoracic Society.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Maury Regional Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:CardiologyEducation/Training:M.S. - Trevecca Nazarene UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Jamestown, TN
Alexandria received a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Lipscomb University and a Master of Science in medicine from Trevecca Nazarene University. She is certified by the National Commission of Certification of Physician Assistants. In her personal time, she enjoys traveling, concerts, and being outdoors.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Tennessee State UniversityPrevious Role/Title:Registered NurseSpecialty:Family HealthEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Tennessee State UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Savannah, TN
Kim was raised in Savannah, Tennessee, one of five children, in a single parent home. She remained focused on her studies and making her parents proud. She would be the first in the family to attend and graduate from college. In 2000 she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Tennessee State University and began growing her profession. In May 2017 Kim earned her Master of Science in Nursing from Tennessee State University, and in August 2017 she received her certification as a family nurse practitioner from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Throughout her career, Kim has cared for patients with complex diagnoses including dementia, cancer, and most recently, hepatitis and liver dysfunction. She is married and has two children. Together, they enjoy movie nights, trying new recipes, and traveling.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology and OncologyPrevious Institution:Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Salisbury, NCPrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S. - Physician Assistant Program, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PAInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Warren, OH
Rachel Albani is currently involved in several clinical trials as part of her current role at the VA as a sub-PI; however, her passion is to get involved in research looking at the relationship between diet and cancer. When she is not working, she is very active. She plays several sports including soccer, softball, and volleyball. She likes to garden and paint. Rachel is active in her church and is involved in several outreach programs in her community. She had the privilege of going on two medical missions – one in the Dominican Republic and one in Guatemala. She is interested in continuing to travel to other countries providing medical care and teaching the communities steps they can take to lead healthier lives.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt Pediatric Emergency MedicinePrevious Role/Title:DNPSpecialty:Family Nurse PractitionerEducation/Training:D.N.P. - Frontier Nursing UniversityM.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Long Island, NY
Dr. Anderson, DNP, earned his initial nursing degree in 1988. He has worked as a nurse in ICUs, emergency departments, and the pre-hospital transport setting. He came to Vanderbilt in 1997, where he worked for LifeFlight for 12 years and completed over 2,400 patient flights. He earned his BSN from Middle Tennessee State University in 2006, his MSN from Vanderbilt in 2008, and his doctorate from Frontier in 2012. He is certified as a family nurse practitioner and an emergency nurse practitioner. He has worked as a nurse practitioner at the Vanderbilt Walk-In Clinic, Vanderbilt Bone and Joint, and most recently in the Vanderbilt Children's Emergency Department. Bob has been married for over 32 years and has two adult children. His interests include probiotics, health and wellness, and functional fitness. He enjoys reading and outdoor activities, such as hiking, kayaking, and nature photography. He is very excited about this opportunity and looks forward once again to being a part of the Vanderbilt Walk-In Clinic team.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology and OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registerd NurseSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TNInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Atlanta, GA
During Ms. Austin’s undergraduate education, she served as a research assistant on Dr. Kathy Bowles’ study, “Impact of Discharge Planning Decision Support on Time to Readmission Among Older Adult Medical Patients.” The study aimed to bring standardization to discharge planning and reform how discharge planning assessment priorities and referral decision-making are conducted. Following undergraduate education, she accepted a job as a staff nurse at Vanderbilt Medical Center on the adult hematology/oncology unit, where she remained for the past 4 years. There, her passion for hematology/oncology solidified as she realized the many rewards that hem/onc has to offer. Her role as staff nurse evolved as she went on to accept roles as a preceptor for new nurses, a charge nurse, and Nursing Staff Council representative. Outside of nursing, her interests include hiking, reading, and playing with her Labrador retriever, Crosby.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Inova Fairfax HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Acute Care Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:Critical Care MedicineEducation/Training:M.S.N. - University of South AlabamaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Humboldt, TN
Ms. Kimberly Barker is a nurse practitioner on the part-time faculty who works in Vanderbilt’s Medical Intensive Care Unit in collaboration with a multidisciplinary healthcare team. Ms. Barker obtained her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Union University, Jackson, Tennessee, in 1996. She obtained her master’s degree in nursing from the University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, in 2011. A Registered Nurse (1996) with Basic Life Support certification (1996), a Licensed Nurse Practitioner (2012), and an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (2012 and 2017), Ms. Barker went on to train to become a Provider in the Fundamentals of Critical Care Support (2016) and to earn certification as an Advance Practice Registered Nurse from the Tennessee Board of Nursing in 2017. Ms. Barker is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She has worked for several years as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and has over 20 years of nursing experience.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology and OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Assistant in Surgery, Dept. of Urologic SurgerySpecialty:Family Nurse PractitionerEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TNInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Madison, TN
Matthew’s clinical interests include management of head and neck cancers, supportive oncology, and long-term complications of cancer therapies. He enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, especially at the beach, working with the youth group at church, as well as other church activities, medical mission trips, and cooking.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology and OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registered NurseSpecialty:Adult Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TNInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Richmod, VA
Ms. Chase is passionate about taking care of patients with cancer and looks forward to doing so in a new role as an advanced practice provider. She is particularly interested in symptom management as patients navigate diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship related to their malignancy. Outside of work, her dog, Walter, commands most of her attention. His insatiable zest for life is contagious and keeps her moving. It has been such an adventure taking advantage of all that Nashville has to offer with the wonderful friends she has made here.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Social Worker ISpecialty:Social WorkEducation/Training:M.S. - University of TennesseeInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Lafayette, TN
Christy, originally from Lafayette, Tennessee, earned her BA in psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), graduating summa cum laude in 2002. After two years of direct care work in behavioral health, Christy returned to UTK, earning her MSSW in 2006. Following graduation, She accepted a position as a Clinical Therapist in a community mental health center utilizing an integrated care model and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2009. For the next eight years, Christy held various clinical and supervisory roles and behavioral health treatment centers in the East Tennessee area, developing an interest in the effects of trauma on life functioning and overall wellness. Because of this interest, she completed training in EMDR, an evidenced-based treatment of past trauma-related distress and present life conditions. In June 2017, without a new position, Christy took a leap of faith. Leaving her home and job in Big Orange Country, Christy, along with her chocolate Labrador Bella, returned to her Middle Tennessee roots to be closer to family. Two weeks after the move, Christy was offered the Social Worker 2 position in the new extensivist program known as Vanderbilt Familiar Faces. Christy is very excited to be a member of this new multi-disciplinary team in a program that’s part of a growing segment of the medicine field. Away from work, Christy enjoys reading, baking, watching UT Vols football, spending time with family and friends, and playing with her dog.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of NursingPrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:CardiologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Birmingham, AL
Madeline Crego graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) in 2017 and began her career with Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute. After previously working in pediatric and adult weight management centers and obtaining a degree in exercise science prior to nursing, Madeline is interested in obesity and the impacts of lifestyle changes on cardiovascular health. Madeline was a recipient of the VUSN Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship in 2015 and VUSN Zelle Scholarship in 2016. She is also a proud member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Theta Tau (Honor Society of Nursing).
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:CareNow Urgent CarePrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:General MedicineEducation/Training:M.S. - Harding UniversityB.S., Biology - University of Central Arkansas, 2007Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Fort Smith, AR
Merritt Hambrick, an Arkansas native, relocated to Nashville in 2013 with her husband, Adam, who had a burgeoning career as songwriter. Nashville, a hub for music and medicine, has been a natural fit for the Hambricks who are enthusiastic about life in the city and serving the greater Nashville community. Merritt attained her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Central Arkansas and was also a graduate of the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College. With a love for medicine, Merritt went on to pursue becoming a physician assistant and graduated from Harding University in 2010 with a Master of Science in physician assistant studies. Merritt has practiced in the area of urgent care medicine for 6 years and is a board-certified practitioner. Merritt is honored to be joining the esteemed medical community at Vanderbilt and believes this new opportunity is well aligned with her passion for the practice of evidence-based and innovative medicine, patient education, and longitudinal patient care.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:The Mayo ClinicPrevious Role/Title:Inpatient Psychiatry Physician AssistantSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.S. - East Carolina UniversityB.A., Psychology, Bioplogy - University of Tennessee, 2012Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Caroline Howell attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville where she studied psychology and attended a semester of school in Spain. It was during college that she developed a love for travel and a heart for helping those who could not afford medical care. She obtained her nurse aid’s license and used this, as well as her skills in Spanish, to work at the local hospital and free clinic. From Knoxville she traveled to Greenville, NC, where she attended graduate school at East Carolina University. While in school she visited multiple migrant worker camps providing health screenings, and also spent one month in Belize providing medical care in isolated villages. Upon completion of her program, she moved to Rochester, MN, where she worked as a Physician Assistant in Psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic. After experiencing two Midwest winters, she desired to return to her hometown to be near her family, especially her seven nieces and nephews. When she isn’t working you can find her planning her next adventure in traveling
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Hermitage Family PracticePrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:Family PracticeEducation/Training:M.S. - Trevecca Nazarene UniversityB.S., Biology - Trevecca Nazarene University, 2006Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Spring Hill, TN
Rone’ P. Russell, PA-C, attended Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she graduated with a degree in biology in 2006 and had a successful career playing softball for the Lady Trojans. She went on to complete her graduate studies from Trevecca and graduated in 2008 with a Master of Science in Medicine, physician assistant studies. Rone’ has been providing compassionate care in family practice for the last nine years in middle Tennessee. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Rone’ currently lives in Spring Hill with her husband, Roger. She has three step-children and a 9-month-old daughter. Rone’ loves playing and watching sports and spending time with her family.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Tufts University School of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:GastroenterologyEducation/Training:M.S. - Tufts University School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Queens, NY
Valerie Shields is a physician assistant in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she majored in health science and served as Co-President of the Bouve College of Health Sciences Honor Society. While living in Boston, she worked at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and also enjoyed volunteering with a variety of service organizations, including the Boston Athletic Association at the annual Boston Marathon. She then completed her graduate training at the Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, earning a master’s of medical science in 2017. Some of her academic and research interests include gastroenterology (including esophageal, stomach, and pancreatic health), otolaryngology, urology, pain management, infectious disease, health disparities, and medical education. She also enjoys traveling, hiking, and warm weather.