New Faculty in the Department of Medicine

Please get to know new faculty who have joined the Department of Medicine within the last six months.* 

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*Note that this directory is updated by the 10th of each month.

Faculty

  • Jennifer Below, Ph.D.

    Jennifer Below, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Genetic Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    University of Texas, School of Biomedical Informatics, Center for Precision Health
    Previous Role/Title:
    Assistant Professor
    Specialty:
    Genetic Variant Assessment and Reporting
    Education/Training:
    Ph.D. - University of Chicago
    Hometown:
    Berkley, CA
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Below is interested in developing and applying computational methodologies to further our understanding of the genetic basis of human disease. Recently, her efforts have focused on three areas: She has solved the problem of maximal unrelated set identification in arbitrarily large genetic datasets using a novel application of graph theory, and she is currently tackling the reverse problem of reconstructing pedigrees from estimates of genomic sharing. She is expanding this work to genetically heterogeneous and admixed populations. She has also worked through the Center for Mendelian Genomics to develop and apply methods to identify the genetic cause of Mendelian diseases using high-density next generation sequence data. Using linkage analysis in complex pedigrees and whole genome sequence data, she recently uncovered the genetic cause of several Mendelian disorders including a cranio-facial abnormality and a skeletal dysplasia. Dr. Below studies the genetics of complex traits. She works with the T2D-GENES Consortium, and specifically with the Starr County Mexican American population, to uncover novel susceptibility factors for type 2 diabetes and related complications.

  • Laura E. Burkhart, M.D.

    Laura E. Burkhart, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Seattle Children's Hospital, University of Washington
    Previous Role/Title:
    Fellow
    Specialty:
    Adolescent Medicine, Family Medicine
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - University of New Mexico
    M.P.H. - University of Washington
    Hometown:
    Las Cruces, NM
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Kevin Byram, M.D.

    Kevin Byram, M.D.

    Instructor in Medicine
    Division of:
    Rheumatology & Immunology
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Clinical Fellow
    Specialty:
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - University of Alabama School of Medicine
    Hometown:
    Birmingham, AL
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Byram has clinical and research interests in the primary vasculitides. Through funding from the Vasculitis Foundation and Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium, he will complete an additional year of fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic under the mentorship of Dr. Carol Langford to further study these important diseases. Dr. Byram will also be working with Dr. Michelle Ormseth on a project exploring the microRNA expression profiles of patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis. Dr. Byram plans to organize a clinical care and research program for patients with vasculitis at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

  • Sergei Chetyrkin, Ph.D.

    Sergei Chetyrkin, Ph.D.

    Research Associate Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Nephrology and Hypertension
    Previous Institution:
    Aegis Science Corporation
    Previous Role/Title:
    Research Scientist
    Specialty:
    Mass Spectrometry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology
    Education/Training:
    Ph.D. - National Academy of Science of Ukraine
    Hometown:
    Brentwood, TN
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Kristen Ciombor, M.D.

    Kristen Ciombor, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Hematology/Oncology
    Previous Institution:
    Ohio State University
    Previous Role/Title:
    Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology
    Specialty:
    Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
    M.S.C.I. - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
    Hometown:
    New Port Richey, FL
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Ciombor received her bachelor’s degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard University in 2001 and her medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in 2005. She went on to complete her internship, residency, and chief residency training in internal medicine at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital/Veterans Administration in Miami, Florida. Dr. Ciombor then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a hematology-oncology fellowship, GI oncology research fellowship and a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation at Vanderbilt. She joined the faculty at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, as an Assistant Professor of internal medicine in 2013. She returned to Vanderbilt as a faculty member in gastrointestinal medical oncology in 2017. Dr. Ciombor is interested in developing new therapeutics in GI malignancies through clinical trials, as well as translational research for the development of prognostic and predictive biomarkers and a better understanding of genomics in colorectal cancer.

  • Amos (Charles) Clark, M.D.

    Amos (Charles) Clark, M.D.

    Division of:
    Hematology/Oncology
    Previous Institution:
    Previous Role/Title:
    Specialty:
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - University of Tennessee Center for Health Science, Memphis, Tennessee
    B.A. - Economics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
    Hometown:
    Athens, TN
    Interests/Achievements:

    Amos was born and raised in Athens, TN. Just like any good East Tennesseean, his first home was a log cabin, he "wrestled" a snake that fell into his crib at the age of only two, and he rooted for his beloved Volunteers. His life changed completely when he finally worked up the courage to ask the love of his life, best friend, and fellow resident Sarah Proffitt Clark to the junior high prom. Together Sarah and Amos attended Vanderbilt University for undergraduate studies where Amos majored in economics but became interested in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation while working in Dr. Madan Jagasia's GVHD lab and assisting with several bone marrow drives. After spending four years apart from his wife Sarah (married last year!) while attending medical school at the University of Tennessee in Memphis Amos is thrilled to return to Nashville. In his spare time he enjoys running, hiking, golfing, watching college football, and spoiling his new puppy "Bushrod". He cannot wait to meet his fellow interns and residents and begin a new and exciting chapter of his life! Member of AOA.

  • Daniel Cottrell, M.D.

    Daniel Cottrell, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Specialty:
    General Internal Medicine
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - The George Washington University School of Medicine
    Hometown:
    Morrisville, PA
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Cottrell joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the division of General Internal Medicine in the spring of 2017. Prior to this, he worked as a Clinician-Educator at Boston Medical Center, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. He has an interest in medical education as well as electronic medical records. He is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. He attended college at Boston University, medical school at George Washington University School of Medicine, and completed his residency training in Primary Care – Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia, PA. His wife is an anesthesiologist, and when not working, they enjoy hikes with their greyhound dogs, barbecues, movies and theater.

  • Robin Ligler Dalal, M.D.

    Robin Ligler Dalal, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Clinical Fellow
    Specialty:
    Gastroenterology and Hepatology
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia
    M.S. - University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
    Hometown:
    Marietta, GA
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Dalal is a specialist in gastroenterology. Her research interests include outcomes and quality indicators in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the multidisciplinary care of the IBD patient. She attended college at the University of Georgia and medical school at the Medical College of Georgia. She completed her internship, internal medicine residency, Hugh Jackson Morgan chief residency, and clinical gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

  • Anna K. Dewan, M.D.

    Anna K. Dewan, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Dermatology
    Previous Institution:
    Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Previous Role/Title:
    Complex Medical Dermatology Fellow
    Specialty:
    Dermatology
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Yale School of Medicine, 2012
    Hometown:
    Chicago, IL
    Interests/Achievements:

    Anna K. Dewan, MD, MHS, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is board-certified in dermatology, and her specialties include inpatient dermatology, autoimmune blistering disorders of the skin, cutaneous toxicities from chemotherapy/immunotherapy, and non-melanoma skin cancer. She also has a passion for global health and increasing access to dermatology in resource-poor settings. After graduating from Northwestern University, she earned her medical degree and Master of Health Science at Yale University School of Medicine. She completed her intern year and residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center followed by a fellowship in complex medical dermatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the Medical Dermatology Society, and the Women's Dermatologic Society.

  • Rosemarie Beckford Dudenhofer, M.D.

    Rosemarie Beckford Dudenhofer, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    University of Michigan
    Previous Role/Title:
    Fellow
    Specialty:
    Interstitial lung diseases and sleep medicine
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - State University of New York (SUNY)
    Hometown:
    Queens, NY
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Alecia Fair, Ph.D.

    Alecia Fair, Ph.D.

    Research Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Geriatric Medicine Group
    Previous Institution:
    Meharry Medical College
    Previous Role/Title:
    Assistant Professor of Surgery
    Specialty:
    Career sustainability of scholars in workforce development
    Education/Training:
    Ph.D. - University of South Carolina
    Hometown:
    Nashville, TN
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Aleksandra P. Frye, M.D.

    Aleksandra P. Frye, M.D.

    Instructor in Clinical Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Workwell Medical Group
    Previous Role/Title:
    Staff Physician
    Specialty:
    Family Medicine
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - University of Alabama
    Hometown:
    Uzice, Yugoslavia
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Aleksandra Frye is a board-certified family physician with 14 years of experience in primary care, emergency medicine, and urgent care. She arrived in Shelbyville, Tennessee, in 1991 as an exchange student from former Yugoslavia. She was fortunate to receive a Presidential Scholarship and complete her undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry at Judson College in Marion, Alabama. In 1999, she earned her medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. She was awarded the Family Medicine Award and the Obstetrics and Gynecology Award for the Tuscaloosa campus. After completing her family medicine residency in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and being a part of a military family, she started on a cross-country adventure which led her to work in emergency rooms, urgent care, and occupational medicine clinics, as well as primary care clinics, in four different states (Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, and California). She is very happy to be back in the South and to settle in the hospitable Nashville area.

  • Michelle L. Griffith, M.D.

    Michelle L. Griffith, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Diabetes, Endocrinology, & Metabolism
    Previous Institution:
    University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Assistant Clinical Professor/ Clinical Lead, Endocrine Telehealth Unit
    Specialty:
    Endocrinology
    Hometown:
    Indiana, PA
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Griffith’s clinical interests include care of patients with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and thyroid disease. She is also interested in models of care delivery for diabetes patients and delivering care via telemedicine. Dr. Griffith received her medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and completed her residency and fellowship training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Before joining the faculty of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, she spent several years on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Her recent research has focused on engaging diabetes patients in their health care via telemedicine.

  • Kevin Hageman, M.D.

    Kevin Hageman, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Georgetown University Hospital
    Previous Role/Title:
    Resident
    Specialty:
    Hospital Medicine
    Education/Training:
    D.O. - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Hometown:
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Alice E. Hoyt, M.D.

    Alice E. Hoyt, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    University of Virginia
    Previous Role/Title:
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Specialty:
    Allergy, asthma and immunology
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana
    B.S., Nutritional Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Hometown:
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Alice Hoyt has solid, comprehensive training in the major aspects of asthma and allergic diseases. Her initial research involved a proof-of-concept study to investigate the role of alum adjuvants in promoting Th2 immune deviation and, as such, possibly predisposing recipients to allergic sensitization. Her work also involved evaluating the tendency of alum to influence expression of allergen-specific fox3 positive T effector cells. However, in her final year of fellowship at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Dr. Hoyt has focused on food allergy in children. She has been lauded for being the founding director of “Code Ana” (anaphylaxis), a program that works with local schools to develop individualized food allergy plans for each school to address situations when anaphylaxis occurs. She is also known for founding “Wahoo Cool,” a local school program that aims to provide allergy care and action plans for children in the community who have not had previous access to heath care. Her enthusiastic energy for and involvement in these and other outreach programs in the community has been very effective. Dr. Hoyt has received awards in almost every year of her higher academic career, nine of them since 2014. She is a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (the most prestigious organization in her field), the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Anna Hux

    Anna Hux

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    Hematology/Oncology
    Previous Institution:
    Wake Forest School of Medicine
    Previous Role/Title:
    Student
    Specialty:
    Hematology/Oncology
    Education/Training:
    M.S. - Wake Forest School of Medicine
    Hometown:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Roy M. John, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

    Roy M. John, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Cardiovascular Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Previous Role/Title:
    Associate Director EP Laboratory, Director Arrhythmia Research
    Specialty:
    Cardiology and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
    Education/Training:
    M.B.B.S.
    Ph.D., University of London, London, United Kingdom
    Hometown:
    Concord, MA
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. John's special interests include management of complex arrhythmias including atrial and ventricular arrhythmias and arrhythmias in adult congenital heart disease. In addition, he has a large volume of experience with cardiac arrhythmia management devices with special focus on cardiac synchronization therapy for heart failure and His bundle pacing. Research interests include development of novel ablation techniques for arrhythmias, voltage-based ablations for atrial arrhythmias, and targeted biopsy of ventricular myocardium based on imaging. Dr. John established clinical EP services at the West Roxbury VA Medical Center, Boston and Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts. At the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, he expanded the complex ablation procedures for atrial and ventricular arrhythmias including provision of arrhythmia management for adults with congenital heart disease. Dr. John was the point electrophysiologist for the Cardiac Amyloidosis Program and has gained substantial experience with management of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias and device management of patients with cardiac amyloidosis.

  • Johnna K. Kern, D.O.

    Johnna K. Kern, D.O.

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Previous Role/Title:
    Specialty:
    Education/Training:
    D.O. - Lincoln Memorial University
    Hometown:
    Interests/Achievements:

    Johnna grew up near Haubstadt, Indiana. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern Indiana. She then completed her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. Johnna is finishing her internal medicine residency at Grandview Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio. Her clinical interests include general inpatient medicine, rapid response care, inpatient procedures, and hospice/end-of-life care. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, crafting, sewing, and traveling. She also plays multiple musical instruments (including the bassoon). She was honored with the Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health (TOUCH) award during medical school for her volunteer work with Ronald McDonald House charities. She was also chosen for a position with the Hospital Medical Education program in the state of Indiana during medical school.

  • Derek S. Kruse, M.D.

    Derek S. Kruse, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    University of Virginia
    Previous Role/Title:
    Resident
    Specialty:
    Internal Medicine
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio
    B.S. - Microbiology, Grove City College , Grove City, Pennsylvania
    Hometown:
    Middlefield, OH
    Interests/Achievements:

    Derek grew up in Northeast Ohio and attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania where he ran competitively and met his wife, Lauren. After completing medical school at Northeast Ohio Medical University, he moved to Charlottesville to complete internal medicine residency at the University of Virginia. Derek joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2017, and his interests include clinical education and the identification of decompensating patients. He enjoys spending time with his wife and young son and continues to run.

  • Robert James Lentz, M.D.

    Robert James Lentz, M.D.

    Division of:
    Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
    Specialty:
    Developing and evaluating interventional programs
    Education/Training:
    M.D., University of Texas Medical School, Houston, Texas
    B.A., Rice University, Houston, Texas
    Hometown:
    Laguna Hills, CA
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Robert J. Lentz is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine. He obtained his baccalaureate degree from Rice University in biology and psychology in 2005. He then enrolled in the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas at Houston, completing his degree in 2009. Dr. Lentz came to Vanderbilt in July of 2007 as an intern and resident, and from July of 2012 to June of 2013, he served as Hugh Jackson Morgan Chief Medical Resident. In July of 2013 he entered the three-year postdoctoral training program in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and upon completion entered the one-year fellowship training program in Interventional Pulmonology. Dr. Lentz is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, and critical care medicine. He is a member of the American Thoracic Society, the American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology, and the American College of Chest Physicians. Dr. Lentz's research focuses on advanced minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for advanced parenchymal lung diseases. His primary interest is the novel but promising procedure of bronchoscopic transbronchial cryobiopsy for the diagnosis of diffuse parenchymal/interstitial lung disease, a group of inflammatory/fibrotic lung diseases for which establishing a specific diagnosis remains challenging and current surgical biopsy technique carries significant risk. Dr. Lentz plays an active role in the Interventional Pulmonology Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Further, Dr. Lentz

  • Jennifer A. Lewis, M.D.

    Jennifer A. Lewis, M.D.

    Instructor in Medicine
    Division of:
    Hematology/Oncology
    Previous Institution:
    Wake Forest
    Previous Role/Title:
    Intern, Resident, Chief Resident
    Specialty:
    Internal Medicine
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - The George Washington University
    Hometown:
    Nashville, TN
    Interests/Achievements:

    Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Science from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Sciences in 2004. She worked at the National Cancer Institute for two years in a core laboratory focused on antibody/protein purification and cancer assay development as part of the NIH Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award program. She earned a Master in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University in 2007 and worked at the Cancer Project (a nonprofit focused on nutrition for cancer patients) as her master’s practicum. She graduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine in the research track in 2011 and completed her internal medicine internship and residency at Wake Forest University in 2014. During residency, she was a Tinsley R. Harrison Research Scholar, and her research in lung cancer screening implementation earned national recognition. Following residency, she served as one of the internal medicine chief residents. She completed her fellowship in medical oncology at Vanderbilt in 2017. Following fellowship, Jennifer will matriculate into Vanderbilt's Master of Public Health (MPH) program and will be a VA Quality Scholar Fellow. She plans to pursue a research career as a physician-scientist in health services and outcomes research in the areas of cancer survivorship, tobacco cessation, and lung cancer early detection. Other interests include the treatment of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, including targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and novel therapies as part of clinical trials aimed to improve patient survival and quality of life.

  • Brian R. Lindman, M.D.

    Brian R. Lindman, M.D.

    Medical Director
    Division of:
    Cardiovascular Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    Washington University School of Medicine
    Previous Role/Title:
    Associate Professor of Medicine Co-Director, Center for Valvular Heart Disease
    Specialty:
    Cardiology, Valve Disease
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Vanderbilt School of Medicine
    M.S.C.I. - Washington University School of Medicine
    Hometown:
    Pompano Beach, FL
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Lindman spends most of his time on numerous clinical and translational research projects on calcific aortic stenosis. His group uses sophisticated imaging techniques and a biobank of specimens to elucidate the pathobiology of aortic stenosis and the effects of pressure overload on the left ventricle and pulmonary vasculature. He has a particular interest in how diabetes affects these processes and aims to identify novel targets for adjunctive medical therapy to improve clinical outcomes in patients with aortic stenosis. He is an integral member of his institution’s heart valve team, evaluating patients clinically and performing the transesophageal echocardiograms for transcatheter valve procedures. Dr. Lindman is a member of several writing groups for the American College of Cardiology (ACC), including the Appropriate Use Criteria for Aortic Stenosis and a clinical policy document on advanced valve centers. By participating in these national efforts, he seeks to play a role in shaping new systems of care for patients with valve disease that improve patient-centered outcomes. Dr. Lindman is on the editorial boards for leading cardiovascular journals, including JACC and Circulation, and actively publishes original research manuscripts in these and other journals. He has been the recipient of numerous government, foundation, and industry grants, including an NIH K23 Career Development Award and a Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 daughters.

  • Robert A. Lockwood, M.D.

    Robert A. Lockwood, M.D.

    Instructor in Medicine
    Division of:
    Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Gastroenterology Clinical Fellow
    Specialty:
    Gastroenterology
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama
    B.S. - Zoology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
    Hometown:
    Eufaula, AL
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Lockwood completed his gastroenterology fellowship at Vanderbilt University in 2017. He will continue his training in gastroenterology at Vanderbilt by serving as the Advanced Endoscopy Fellow for the 2017-2018 academic year. Dr. Lockwood completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia in 2014. He graduated from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in 2011 and was elected as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. His research interests include patient decision making in Barrett's esophagus and pancreaticobiliary disease, as well as clinical outcomes following endoscopy. When he is not working, he loves spending time with his wife, attending concerts, and dining at new restaurants in Nashville. He is an avid fly-fisher and also enjoys exploring the rivers and lakes of Tennessee.

  • Weifeng Luo, Ph.D.

    Weifeng Luo, Ph.D.

    Research Instructor in Medicine
    Division of:
    Infectious Diseases
    Previous Institution:
    VUMC, Division of Vascular Surgery
    Previous Role/Title:
    Research Instructor
    Specialty:
    Cell Biology, Molecular Biology
    Education/Training:
    Ph.D. - Institute of Virology
    Hometown:
    Shangshui, Henan, China
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Luo’s research interest is to investigate the immune mechanisms associated with the progression of pulmonary fibrosis, and to seek immunotherapeutic method to block the development pulmonary fibrosis. Previous works in Dr. Drake lab demonstrate PD-1+ CD4+ T cells with reduced proliferative capacity and increased TGF-ß/Il-17A expression play a critical role in the development of human pulmonary fibrosis. Dr. Luo’s current research is to use mouse as a model to investigate the immunopathological mechanisms underlying the development of sarcoidosis, and to see if blockade of PD-1 signaling pathway could prevent the development of sarcoidosis.

  • Edward Maharam, M.D.

    Edward Maharam, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    University of Arizona College of Medicine
    Previous Role/Title:
    Chief Resident in Quality & Patient Safety
    Specialty:
    Internal Medicine
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Florida International University
    Hometown:
    New York, NY
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Jonathan N. Menachem, M.D.

    Jonathan N. Menachem, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Cardiovascular Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    Duke University
    Previous Role/Title:
    Resident
    Specialty:
    Cardiology-Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana
    B.S., Economics, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
    Hometown:
    New York, NY
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Menachem is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology. He is focused on transplant cardiology and advanced therapies for adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD). His research has focused on mechanical support in patients with transposition of the great vessels, as well as transplantation in patients with complex congenital heart disease. He recently presented at an ISHLT symposium he developed entitled, "The Tsunami of ACHD Patients Who Need Advanced Therapies: Are We Prepared?" He received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Duke University and his doctorate of medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed internal medicine residency at Duke University. He completed his general cardiology training with a dedicated ACHD year, as well as an advanced fellowship in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation at the University of Pennsylvania. Before his medical training, Dr. Menachem worked in leveraged finance at J.P. Morgan and mergers and acquisitions at Townsend Frew. He also worked in the Corporate Development and Investor Relations Department at FoxHollow Technologies in Redwood City, California.

  • Gregory Michaud, M.D.

    Gregory Michaud, M.D.

    Director, Arrhythmia / Electrophysiology
    Division of:
    Cardiovascular Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Previous Role/Title:
    Director, Center for the Advanced Management of Atrial Fibrillation
    Specialty:
    Cardiac Electrophysiology
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - University of Maryland
    Hometown:
    Baltimore, MD
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Michaud began his academic career at the University of Michigan by investigating pacing maneuvers that allow easy diagnosis of arrhythmias in the setting of catheter ablation for supraventricular tachycardia. He has since broadened this approach to assist ablation operators in more complex arrhythmia cases and is credited with at least four separate pacing maneuvers that are now part of core testing during specialty board examinations for cardiac electrophysiology. As Director of the Center for the Advanced Management of Atrial Fibrillation at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dr. Michaud played a pivotal role in developing better ablation strategies for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, which is the most common arrhythmia requiring hospitalization. These methods involve assessing and improving the quality of radiofrequency ablation lesions, the result of which improves procedure success by making pulmonary vein isolation more durable. He is currently working on strategies to optimize lesion delivery by varying the amount of coolant delivered through the tip of the ablation catheter. Dr. Michaud has spoken at national and international academic conferences on his work in arrhythmia diagnosis and treatment and has authored or co-authored numerous manuscripts. He is currently Co-Director of the Heart Rhythm Society board review course for cardiac electrophysiology. As Chief of the Section of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Dr. Michaud hopes to create a clinical and research center focused on a comprehensive approach to understanding and managing complex arrhythmias.

  • Tamara K. Moyo, Ph.D., M.D.

    Tamara K. Moyo, Ph.D., M.D.

    Division of:
    Hematology/Oncology
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Clinical Fellow
    Specialty:
    Hematology/Oncology
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - University of North Carolina
    Ph.D. - University of North Carolina
    Hometown:
    Derby, KS
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Tamara Moyo graduated from Kansas State University with a double major in biology and modern language. She finished her undergraduate studies at Ludwig Maximilians University in Germany and then worked in the Laboratory of Viral Diseases at the National Institutes of Health before going to medical school. Tamara completed her medical and doctoral degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed an internal medicine residency and fellowship in hematology and oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Tamara’s clinical interest is malignant hematology, and she is currently involved in several clinical studies investigating novel therapeutic agents in myelofibrosis, myelodysplastic syndromes, and acute leukemia. Her research follows the “bench to bedside and back again” maxim, as she is applying her extensive background in scientific bench research to thoughtfully develop cutting-edge correlative studies that will shed light on factors that mitigate response or resistance to therapeutic strategies. She is an active member of the Tinsley Randolph Harrison Society and the Hematology Early Therapeutics Working Group at Vanderbilt.

  • Patrick Page-McCaw, Ph.D.

    Patrick Page-McCaw, Ph.D.

    Research Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Nephrology and Hypertension
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University
    Previous Role/Title:
    Research Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
    Specialty:
    Genetic and pharmacological modeling of human disease
    Education/Training:
    Ph.D. - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Hometown:
    Peterborough Ontario
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Page-McCaw received my training in molecular biology and biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology working for Phillip Sharp. Previously, he worked as an RA in David Baltimore’s lab where he discovered the bHLH domain. As a postdoc, he developed a machine vision-based assay to measure the startle response in zebrafish. Startle response habituation is a simple non-associative learning paradigm; defects in habituation are associated with schizophrenia. Dr. Page-McCaw performed a large-scale forward genetic screen for mutations that affect startle habituation. The screen identified many mutations falling into several classes that affected the startle response, its habituation, and dishabituation. He and his lab also studied the unexpected role of tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in pigment formation, in mediating retinal light adaptation. They demonstrated that tyrosinase-synthesized l-DOPA is converted to dopamine, a known light adapting neurotransmitter. In the absence of tyrosinase, l-DOPA is not synthesized, and the animal cannot light adapt. This analysis may explain some of the photophobia experienced by oculocutaneous albinism patients. At Rensselaer, where the new building housing his laboratory was delayed and a functional fish room was much delayed, Dr. Page-McCaw and his group were able to study the autonomic response to startle by measuring heart rate in the larval zebrafish. In collaboration with Russ Ferland, they studied the function of Ahi1 in primary ciliogenesis and its role in formation of the outer segments of the photoreceptor. At Vanderbilt, he has been working with Roger Cone and Wenbiao Chen developing methods to study metabolism and ß cell regulation of metabolism. Dr. Page-McCaw has made mutations in zebrafish using CRISPR and has collaborated with Hassane Mchaourab on the role of sHSPs in cataract and cardiac and renal function.

  • Tuya Pal, M.D.

    Tuya Pal, M.D.

    Associate Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Genetic Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
    Previous Role/Title:
    Associate Member with Tenure
    Specialty:
    Inherited Cancer Predisposition
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - McGill University, Montreal, Canada
    Hometown:
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Pal’s research interests have consistently focused on epidemiological studies of inherited cancer predisposition. Her research has spanned the continuum of cancer prevention and control, with evaluations of genetic etiology, cancer risks, and outcomes, including efforts among underserved populations. She has also evaluated the care delivery of genetic services, including identification, access, utilization, quality of care, and follow-up care. Her efforts among underserved ethnically and racially diverse populations of young women with breast cancer have focused on both the prevention and control of cancer, as well as care delivery, including development of educational and outreach efforts to enhance awareness about inherited breast cancer. Dr. Pal created the Inherited Cancer Registry (ICARE) initiative. This is an academic-community partnership providing outreach and education at both the patient and provider level. This effort has resulted in tremendous growth of the research registry, with recruitment of over 2,000 high-risk participants including more than 1,000 BRCA carriers.

  • Dungeng Peng, Ph.D.

    Dungeng Peng, Ph.D.

    Research Instructor in Medicine
    Division of:
    Clinical Pharmacology
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Research Fellow
    Specialty:
    Proteomic Analysis, NMR, EPR, Mass Spectrometry
    Education/Training:
    Ph.D. - University of Sciences and Technology
    Hometown:
    Xuancheng, Anhui, China
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Peng's research interests include using modern biochemical and biophysical methods to understand the conformational dynamics and function of membrane proteins, especially under disease conditions. His research results have created a better understanding of the structure and dynamics of voltage sensor domain of KCNQ1 and have defined the role of a non-inherited mutation in the dopamine transporter that leads to autism, using homologous protein, LeuT. Dr. Peng's achievements and contribution to the field were recognized by the Biophysical Society in "biophysicist in profile" in the Biophysical Society Newsletter in April, 2015. After joining the Division of Hypertension, Dr. Peng's undertook studies in translational research related to hypertension and heart failure. He's using modern biochemistry and biophysical approaches, including but not limited to mass spectrometry, NMR, EPR and proteomic analysis, to assess sodium channel, sodium chloride co-transporter's structure and function. His study is targeted to novel biomarkers and to gain insight for the therapeutic methods to treat hypertension.

  • Seesandra V. Rajagopala, Ph.D.

    Seesandra V. Rajagopala, Ph.D.

    Research Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    Infectious Diseases
    Previous Institution:
    Previous Role/Title:
    Specialty:
    Education/Training:
    Ph.D. - University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
    M.Sc., Biology, Bangalore University, Bangalore, India
    Hometown:
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Sarah Schaefer, M.D.

    Sarah Schaefer, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Previous Role/Title:
    Resident
    Specialty:
    Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - University of Kentucky College of Medicine
    Hometown:
    Lexington, KY
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Elizabeth Scoville, M.D.

    Elizabeth Scoville, M.D.

    Division of:
    Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Clinical Fellow
    Specialty:
    Gastroenterology
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Mayo Medical School
    Hometown:
    London, KY
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Elizabeth Scoville received her medical degree from Mayo Medical School and completed residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital before coming to Vanderbilt in 2014 for a gastroenterology fellowship. During her fellowship she completed the Master of Science and Clinical Investigation (MSCI) program at Vanderbilt. Her clinical and research interests are focused on the inflammatory bowel diseases. Her research focuses on how variations in genetics and the inflammatory response may alter outcomes and response to therapy in inflammatory bowel disease.

  • Shailja Shah, M.D.

    Shailja Shah, M.D.

    Instructor in Medicine
    Division of:
    Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
    Previous Institution:
    Icahan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    Previous Role/Title:
    Fellow/Chief-Gastroenterology
    Specialty:
    Gastroenterology
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Drexel University College of Medicine
    Hometown:
    Mountain Top, PA
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Shailja Shah graduated summa cum laude and with AOA distinction from the seven-year Bachelor of Science/Doctorate of Medicine program at Drexel University/MCP Hahnemann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) in 2011, during which time she also did lab-based work as a “Students Tackling Advanced Research (STAR)” scholar. She then went on to complete her internal medicine residency at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she was also enrolled in the PRIME clinical research track. Given her interest in global health, she also worked at Mulago Hospital/Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, during her residency. After completing her residency, Dr. Shah decided to pursue her fellowship in gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital to foster an increasing interest in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As a fellow, her clinical and research interests expanded to include inflammation-associated carcinogenesis, specifically colonic dysplasia and neoplasia in the setting of longstanding IBD colitis, as well as gastric preneoplasia and neoplasia. Under the primary mentorship of Dr. Steven Itzkowitz, Dr. Shah decided to focus her research on understanding the reasons for the racial/ethnic disparity with respect to gastric preneoplasia and neoplasia, specifically within the United States. She is also interested in novel non-invasive biomarkers for gastric preneoplasia and early neoplasia, which she is hopeful will one day inform an algorithm for targeted gastric cancer screening for high-risk groups in the US. Given Vanderbilt's reputation as a national and international authority in gastric preneoplasia, neoplasia, and Helicobacter pylori, Dr. Shah is excited to continue the next part of her career as junior faculty in the Vanderbilt Digestive Diseases Research Center.

  • Valerie Shields

    Valerie Shields

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
    Previous Institution:
    Tufts University School of Medicine
    Previous Role/Title:
    Student
    Specialty:
    Gastroenterology
    Education/Training:
    M.S. - Tufts University School of Medicine
    Hometown:
    Queens, NY
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Carolina Sierra, Ph.D.

    Carolina Sierra, Ph.D.

    Research Instructor in Medicine
    Division of:
    Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Specialty:
    Microbial Pathogenesis
    Education/Training:
    Ph.D. - University of Texas Medical Branch
    Hometown:
    Bogota, Colombia
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Sierra earned her PhD degree in microbiology and Iimmunology from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She has been interested in host-pathogen interactions throughout her career. She started to study the role of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in the pathogenesis associated with Helicobacter pylori infection as a postdoctoral fellow here at Vanderbilt in Dr. Keith T. Wilson's laboratory. From these studies, she showed that EGFR activation plays an important role in gastric carcinogenesis and that receptor inhibition may be a useful chemopreventive strategy. She is also interested in the effects of polyamine depletion during H. pylori infection. Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) is a specific inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase, which is the rate-limiting enzyme during polyamine biosynthesis. Her work has shown that DFMO treatment in animal models reduces gastric cancer incidence by beneficial effects on the host cells and by reducing H. pylori virulence. DFMO is currently being used in a clinical trial for the targeted chemoprevention of gastric carcinogenesis in high-risk populations in South and Central America. Dr. Sierra will be analyzing samples from this clinical trial to assess the affect of DFMO in host carcinogenic responses and H. pylori virulence, and it is hoped that this will lead to important new insights into gastric cancer chemoprevention.

  • Giovanni Suarez, D.M.Sc., Ph.D.

    Giovanni Suarez, D.M.Sc., Ph.D.

    Research Instructor in Medicine
    Division of:
    Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
    Previous Institution:
    University of Texas Medical Branch
    Previous Role/Title:
    Graduate Student
    Specialty:
    Microbiology and Immunology
    Education/Training:
    Ph.D. - University of Texas Medical Branch
    Hometown:
    Anolaima, Colombia
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Suarez's project is focused on how changes in gastric microenvironment affect Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) virulence. The goal of his project is to study the relationship between progression of gastric injury and changes in genes essential for the assembly and functionality of the H. pylori major virulence factor, cagT4SS. For this purpose, H. pylori isolates have been tested for genetic changes in the cag pathogenicity island and correlated with histopathological and immunological information from the host. Dr. Suarez has found a direct relationship between rearrangements in cagY, cagPAI function, and gastric disease severity. In parallel, he has been working to define the role of H. pylori peptidoglycan in gastric epithelial cell signaling. So far, using H. pylori mutant strains with modifications on peptidoglycan, as wells as in vitro systems to measure activation of specific signaling pathways on gastric epithelial cells such as NF-kB and AP-1 (important for the development of cancer), he has contributed to demonstrating the role that peptidoglycan plays in innate immunity against H. pylori. In addition, a mouse strain that overexpresses human gastrin in combination with deletion of both alleles of Nod1 has been generated. This mouse strain is being infected with H. pylori strains carrying mutations in genes important for peptidoglycan dynamics and will provide a better understanding of Nod1 and peptidoglycan interaction in relation to H. pylori pathogenesis.

  • Stacey Tillman, M.D.

    Stacey Tillman, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Previous Role/Title:
    Specialty:
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - University of Mississippi Medical School
    Hometown:
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Christopher Turner, M.D.

    Christopher Turner, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Maury Regional Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Hospitalist
    Specialty:
    Hospital Medicine
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - University of Missouri
    Hometown:
    Sikeston, MO
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Chris Turner recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Division of Hospital Medicine. His focus is on clinical medicine with a broader interest in process improvement, population health, and utilization management. After growing up in Sikeston, Missouri, he completed medical school and residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His wife, Jennifer, stays home with their two-year-old twin boys, Connor and Chase. When away from work, he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, watching sports, running, and considers himself a “foodie.”

  • Brian Wasserman, M.D.

    Brian Wasserman, M.D.

    Instructor in Medicine
    Division of:
    Cardiovascular Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Clincial Fellow-cardiovascular Medicine
    Specialty:
    Cardiology
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
    M.S.C.I. - Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
    Hometown:
    Queensbury, NY
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Wasserman has been at Vanderbilt since starting medical school in 2009. He completed his internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at VUMC, as well as serving as a Research Instructor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and completing a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI). He is interested in the use of imaging determinants alongside clinical factors in predicting disease progression and response to interventions for cardiovascular disease. Disease areas of specific interest are in durability of response, post-atrial fibrillation ablation, and response to pharmacologic therapy for heart failure. Dr. Wasserman is trained in general cardiology and cardiovascular imaging with plans to complete advanced training in echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging during his first year on the faculty. He has been active in quality improvement (QI) serving as the fellow co-chair of the Morbidity and Mortality Committee. His QI interests include comparison of imaging modalities for different disease states with respect to diagnostic accuracy and resource utilization. He met his wife, Allison Wasserman, in medical school at Vanderbilt. She is currently a Clinical Instructor in Pathology at VUMC. They have one daughter, Annabelle, and a second child due in June 2017.

  • Chase J. Webber, D.O.

    Chase J. Webber, D.O.

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    University of Massachusetts Medical School
    Previous Role/Title:
    Resident Physician
    Specialty:
    Internal Medicine
    Education/Training:
    D.O. - D.O., Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville, Missouri
    B.A. - English and German Literature, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts
    Hometown:
    Nashville, TN
    Interests/Achievements:

    A native of Middle Tennessee, Dr. Webber graduated from Tufts University in 2009 with a BA in English and German literature. He attended medical school at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, and then in 2014 returned to New England for his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Massachusetts. He joined the Vanderbilt faculty as Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine in 2017. His interests include medical humanities, quality improvement, and resident education.

  • Zhenjiang Yang, Ph.D., M.D.

    Zhenjiang Yang, Ph.D., M.D.

    Research Assistant Professor
    Division of:
    Clinical Pharmacology
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Research Scientist
    Specialty:
    Ion Channel Biology
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Xinjiang Medical University
    Ph.D. - Shanghai Institute of Neuroscience
    Hometown:
    Aksu, Xinjian, China
    Interests/Achievements:

    Dr. Yang received an MD degree from Xinjiang Medical University in 1983 and his PhD from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1998. He was a faculty member in Neurobiology at Xinjiang Medical University before coming to Vanderbilt as a Fellow in Clinical Pharmacology from 2000-2003. He was subsequently appointed as a Research Instructor, based on his extraordinary talents. His current research focuses on investigating the effects of wild-type and mutant atrial natriuretic peptide oligomers on mitochondrial function, electrophysiologic properties, and intracellular calcium homeostasis of atrial cardiomyocytes. To examine mitochondrial function, his work will involve bioenergetic profiling of atrial cells performed using extracellular flux analysis (Seahorse). He will also examine the effects of oligomers on atrial action potentials and ionic currents in native cardiomyocytes, as well as currents derived from heterologous expression of human ion channel isoforms.

  • Rodney S. Adams, M.S.N.

    Rodney S. Adams, M.S.N.

    Associate in Medicine
    Division of:
    Infectious Diseases
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt Dept of Phychiatry
    Previous Role/Title:
    APRN, BC, PMHNP (Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    Specialty:
    Psychiatry
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
    B.S.N., Nursing, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee
    Hometown:
    Dyersburg, TN
    Interests/Achievements:

    Mr. Adams has practiced as a psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner at the Comprehensive Care Clinic since January of 2002. His area of interest is in psychosomatic medicine with a focus on the treatment of co-morbid psychiatric illness among individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Mr. Adams' academic appointments have included Instructor in Clinical Nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (January 2002 to September 2010) and Associate in Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (September 2010 to present). He has served as a participator in the Antiretroviral Therapy Case Conference of the Comprehensive Care Clinic (since January 2002) to address psychiatric/mental health issues as they relate to the clinical cases presented. Mr. Adams has served as a guest lecturer for the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and the Southeast AIDS Education and Training Center (SEAETC) at Vanderbilt, regarding "Adherence and Mental Health Issues in the Treatment of HIV/AIDS.” He has also served as a clinical preceptor for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner students at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (October 2011 to August 2015).

  • Whitney M. Anderson, M.S.N.

    Whitney M. Anderson, M.S.N.

    Division of:
    Cardiovascular Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    St. Thomas West Hospital
    Previous Role/Title:
    Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    Specialty:
    Advanced Heart Failure
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
    Hometown:
    Montgomery, AL
    Interests/Achievements:

    Whitney is interested in research involving advanced heart failure therapies and new treatment options including mechanical, surgical, and pharmacological. She would like to take an active part in any research trials or studies regarding this specific patient population. She is interested in working with lower income and underprivileged populations and would like to be involved in any medical mission trips or events that serve those without access to good medical care. She initially went into the medical field to join an overseas organization working with refugees; however, since working as an NP, she has realized that her passion is working with the CHF patient population and has committed her professional life to this cause. She graduated the NP bridge program at Vanderbilt University and has over two years of experience working with the advanced heart failure patients at St. Thomas West Hospital. She plans to take an active role in the LVAD/Heart Transplant Program at Vanderbilt and help grow the program and provide the best possible care to this special patient population.

  • Alyssa Bartok, M.S.N.

    Alyssa Bartok, M.S.N.

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    Cardiovascular Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    Ascension Columbia St. Mary's
    Previous Role/Title:
    Nurse Practitioner
    Specialty:
    Cardiac Electrophysiololgy
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - Marquette University
    Hometown:
    Camarillo, CA
    Interests/Achievements:

    Following completion of her BSN from Marquette University, Alyssa Bartok gained experience caring for cardiac electrophysiology patients on a medical telemetry unit at Aurora St. Luke’s in Milwaukee, WI. While completing her MSN at Marquette University, she expanded her knowledge of cardiology by working in the Coronary Intensive Care Unit. Following completion of her MSN, she followed her passion for caring for patients with various arrhythmias by accepting a position as a nurse practitioner in electrophysiology at Columbia St. Mary’s in Milwaukee. She has always taken pride and pleasure in educating patients and empowering them to be an active participant in their own care. Away from work, she enjoys traveling and horseback riding.

  • Erin J. Campbell, M.S.N.

    Erin J. Campbell, M.S.N.

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    RN
    Specialty:
    Hospital Medicine
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
    Hometown:
    Birmingham, AL
    Interests/Achievements:

    Erin Campbell pursued nursing as a second career after teaching dance for over ten years. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Belmont University in Nashville through the accelerated program of study in 2010. Upon graduation, she was accepted into Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Nurse Residency Program in the Medicine track. After working as a Registered Nurse with the Internal Medicine team, specializing in Geriatrics for two years, she was accepted into Vanderbilt University School of Nursing to pursue a Master’s Degree in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialty, graduating in 2016. Away from work she enjoys spending time with her husband and children. She is excited to join the Department of Medicine as a Nurse Practitioner with the Scoville service and in the observation unit.

  • Jennifer E. Drury, M.S.H.S.

    Jennifer E. Drury, M.S.H.S.

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Lenox Hill Hospital
    Previous Role/Title:
    Physician Assistant
    Specialty:
    Hospital Medicine
    Hometown:
    Essex Junction, VT
    Interests/Achievements:

    Ms. Drury received her B.Sc. in social sciences from the University of Vermont and her M.Sc. in physician assistant studies from Drexel University. She has worked for the past seven years at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. While there, she was the clinical coordinator at the AVM Center of New York, working closely with leaders in the field. During this time she also was able to co-author research articles and textbook chapters pertaining to the fields of vascular malformations and endovascular surgery. This past winter she relocated to Nashville to be closer to family and began working at Vanderbilt as an Extensivist in July 2017. She is looking forward to this opportunity and becoming a part of Vanderbilt.

  • Mattie Godfrey, M.S.N.

    Mattie Godfrey, M.S.N.

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    Geriatric Medicine Group
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University & Gentiva Palliative and Hospice Care
    Previous Role/Title:
    Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner
    Specialty:
    Geriatrics
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
    Hometown:
    Apex, NC
    Interests/Achievements:

    Mattie Godfrey recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Division of Geriatric Medicine. Her passion has always been to serve, especially those in the geriatric population. After participating in several medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic, which included working in several skilled nursing facilities, she decided to go to school to obtain her BSN. After completing her degree at Appalachian State University, Mattie moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to complete the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nurse Residency Program. Following the completion of her residency, she began her career on the Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE) Unit. Over time, while working on the ACE unit, Mattie decided to pursue a master’s degree through the Vanderbilt University Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program. She is very excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Vanderbilt team, focusing on the specialized needs of the geriatric population. When away from work, she enjoys traveling, playing intramural kickball, exercising her skills as a novice foodie, and spending time with friends and family.

  • Ashley B. Hoadley, M.S.N.

    Ashley B. Hoadley, M.S.N.

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    APRN-Department of Anesthesia
    Specialty:
    Family Nurse Practitioner
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - Belmont University
    Hometown:
    Nashville, TN
    Interests/Achievements:

    Ashley B. Hoadley obtained her BSN from Middle Tennessee State University and began her nursing career in the Pediatric Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. After nine years, she obtained her MSN degree in 2011. As a family nurse practitioner, she has worked three years in public heath at the Metro Health Department in Nashville, Tennessee. Upon returning to Vanderbilt in 2015, Mrs. Hoadley spent two years in the Interventional Pain Clinic at One Hundred Oaks. She is very excited to continue her career path with Vanderbilt Medical Group Brentwood Shoppes. Ashley has also been involved with international medical missions work in Haiti and Ethiopia. She enjoys outdoor activities, spending time with friends and family, and vacationing near water, especially the beach! Ashley and her husband, Brent, welcomed their first-born son, Harrison Edwin, in January of 2017.

  • Amy Howard, M.S.N.

    Amy Howard, M.S.N.

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    Cardiovascular Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    VA Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Advanced Heart Failure Nurse Practitioner
    Specialty:
    Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
    Hometown:
    Manchester, KY
    Interests/Achievements:

    Amy is a member of American Association of Hearth Failure Nurses and became a Certified Heart Failure Nurse in 2014. She has been working as an Advanced Heart Failure Nurse Practitioner for the past 6 years and has a special interest in improving quality of life and overall outcomes for heart failure patients. Her research interests include biomarkers and other diagnostic testing, as well as new devices and therapies for management of heart failure.

  • Candace Humes, M.S.

    Candace Humes, M.S.

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Premise Health
    Previous Role/Title:
    Occupational Health Nurse/ER Nurse Practitioner
    Specialty:
    Occupational Health/ER
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
    Hometown:
    Hendersonville, TN
    Interests/Achievements:

    Candace Humes worked as critical care nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the late 90s, where she received her ACNP. She then wanted to travel the US as a traveling nurse and went to Boston, San Diego, San Francisco, Hawaii, and Vail, Colorado. In late 2004, she settled in Boca Raton, Florida. She worked in an emergency room as an RN then transitioned to an NP role in the ER after gaining experience as an NP working for an internal medicine practice in geriatrics. After proving herself with per diem shifts in the ER, she was granted full-time status as an NP at West Boca Medical Center. There she gained valuable knowledge of diagnosis, treatment, and procedures involving a variety of medical conditions. After marrying and having twins, the decision was made to move home to Tennessee to be close to family in late 2013. After accepting a position at Nissan Smyrna with Premise Health, she learned the occupational health field but also kept assessing and treating acute illnesses (sometimes life threatening) as needed in the plant. She missed the hospital setting and always knew she wanted to advance her career by rejoining Vanderbilt. She is very excited to accept a position with the Department of Medicine and is looking forward to her future career with Vanderbilt.

  • Timothy McCullough, M.S.

    Timothy McCullough, M.S.

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    Cardiovascular Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    Lexington Cardiology at Central Baptist
    Previous Role/Title:
    Physician Assistant
    Specialty:
    Cardiology
    Education/Training:
    M.S. - University of Kentucky
    Hometown:
    Greenup, KY
    Interests/Achievements:

    Timothy has interests in research and new technology revolving around cardiac care and treatment. He enjoys working in a team-based, patient-centered care environment. His general interests include time spent with family and friends, traveling, and nearly any outdoor activities - specifically hiking, biking, and jogging. He also loves to discover new dining opportunities with his wife. His achievements include multiple semesters during undergraduate and graduate studies on dean's and scholar's lists, president of the Joseph Hamburg Student Society for the UKPA Class of 2015, and recently receiving an excellence award for 100% compliance in billing and coding within the first year of employment for Baptist Health Lexington.

  • Hallie McNew, M.S.N.

    Hallie McNew, M.S.N.

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    Cardiovascular Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    Mission Hospital
    Previous Role/Title:
    Nurse Practitioner
    Specialty:
    CardioThoracic Surgery
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - East Tennessee State University
    Hometown:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Interests/Achievements:

    Hallie (Kennedy) McNew has a diverse athletic and educational background. Her first bachelor’s degree was obtained in marketing from Tennessee Technological University. Additionally, she represented the university as member of the division I collegiate soccer team. In 2002 her father had a major cardiovascular event that led her to a career change towards medicine. She acquired her RN degree from Aquinas University and further developed her skills in the intensive care environment. She is most proud of her achievement in coordinating and implementing the Awake Breath Coordinate Delirium Early Mobility protocol in all three ICU specialty units at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville. Shortly thereafter, she was awarded the regional nurse excellence award. In 2014 she graduated from East Tennessee University where she obtained her Master of Science as a family nurse practitioner. Her first job was with Asheville Heart located in Asheville, North Carolina. She worked as an acute care nurse practitioner for the CardioThoracic Surgery team. Her professional interests include advanced heart failure medicine, but she likes to exercise and enjoy time with her husband and daughter.

  • Samantha McReynolds, M.S.

    Samantha McReynolds, M.S.

    Division of:
    Hematology/Oncology
    Previous Institution:
    General Practice
    Previous Role/Title:
    Primary Care Physician Assistant
    Specialty:
    Tumor Angiogenesis
    Education/Training:
    M.S. - Christian Brothers University
    M.S. - Lipscomb University
    Hometown:
    White House, TN
    Interests/Achievements:

    Samantha is a Certified Physician Assistant who received her training from Christian Brothers University (CBU) in Memphis, Tennessee, with an interest in hemolytic malignancy. Prior to her PA education, she received her master’s in biomolecular science from Lipscomb University in Nashville. There she studied under a reputable principle investigator focusing on the maintenance of tumor progression by manipulating the extracellular environment. She published in the fall of 2011 and began to work with the Vanderbilt Department of Biochemistry to unveil the sequence of a small peptide responsible for promoting tumor angiogenesis. After graduating from CBU, she spent time as a primary care provider predominantly managing a geriatric patient population in Smyrna, Tennessee. Her time there also allowed her to continue her educational study into nutritional chemistry at a cellular level, as well as autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Samantha places the highest emphasis on patient education and framing patient expectations with a true understanding of the patient’s prognosis. She believes that open communication from a multi-disciplinary team approach is the key to treating pathology, and she strives to diligently implement evidence-based medicine into clinical practice.

  • Taina Ovchinnikov, M.S.N.

    Taina Ovchinnikov, M.S.N.

    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Community Quick Care
    Previous Role/Title:
    Primary Care Clinician/FNP
    Specialty:
    Primary Care
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - Belmont University
    Hometown:
    Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
    Interests/Achievements:

    Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil Taina came to the United States on a volleyball scholarship. After living in South Dakota for 2 years, she moved to Tennessee to purse a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Trevecca Nazarene University. Taina started working as a RN in a hospital in Gallatin, TN. Due to her interest in caring for patients with chronic illnesses, she went on to receive her Master of Science in Nursing (Family Nurse Practitoner) degree from Belmont University. Before joining the Vanderbilt team, Taina worked as a Nurse Practitioner in a Primary Care/ Walk-in clinic. She is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish, and currently lives in Nashville with her Argentinian husband Alex and their dog Luna. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, playing volleyball, and cooking. Taina is very excited about her position and looks forward to being part of the Vanderbilt team.

  • Maria E. Ramirez, M.S.N.

    Maria E. Ramirez, M.S.N.

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    MICU Staff RN
    Specialty:
    Gastroenterology
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
    Hometown:
    Columbia, TN
    Interests/Achievements:

    Maria obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology from Pace University in New York, followed by an associate degree in nursing. After 13 years of being a staff RN (three of those as a charge nurse in a transitional care unit and the remainder as an acute care nurse), she decided to return to school to complete her master’s degree as a nurse practitioner at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She faced this endeavor head-on and completed her degree as a single parent of two teenagers while working full time in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt. She has been very fortunate to take part in numerous published research projects as an RN in the MICU, most of them related to pulmonary medicine and medication protocols. She hopes to continue to be an active part of the research community at Vanderbilt. She has been a resource nurse, as well as a preceptor to new nurses and nursing students rotating through the MICU. She is an avid salsa dancer, practices yoga and spin, and enjoys traveling all over the world.

  • Krista Suojanen, M.D.

    Krista Suojanen, M.D.

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Division of:
    General Internal Medicine and Public Health
    Previous Institution:
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Resident
    Specialty:
    Internal Medicine
    Education/Training:
    M.D. - Columbia University
    Hometown:
    Medfield, MA
    Interests/Achievements:

    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.

  • Lisa Truett, M.S.N.

    Lisa Truett, M.S.N.

    Assistant in Medicine
    Division of:
    Hematology/Oncology
    Previous Institution:
    St. Thomas West
    Previous Role/Title:
    Nurse Practitioner
    Specialty:
    Surgery
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - University of Alabama
    B.S.N., University of Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama
    Hometown:
    Huntsville, AL
    Interests/Achievements:

    Ms. Truett has experience in general and vascular surgery, trauma, and critical care. In her current position she helped to facilitate the transition of the new residency program to the surgery service. She also enjoys medical mission trips to Guatemala to work in mobile clinics to see the local people in rural areas. When not working, Ms. Truett enjoys running and reading. She has completed several half marathons and is planning to train for a full marathon. She most recently raised money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital for their annual half marathon in Memphis, TN.

  • Alexandria Wilson, M.S.N.

    Alexandria Wilson, M.S.N.

    Division of:
    Cardiovascular Medicine
    Previous Institution:
    South Georgia Medical Center
    Previous Role/Title:
    Intensive Care Nurse Practitioner
    Specialty:
    CardioThoracic Surgery
    Education/Training:
    M.S.N. - Walden University
    Hometown:
    Valdosta, GA
    Interests/Achievements:

    Alexandria "Missy" Wilson has a substantial clinical and educational background. Her bachelor’s degree was obtained in nursing from Valdosta State University in 2005. From 2005 to 2010, she worked as a registered nurse in medical/surgical intensive care. Needing a change, she transitioned to hospice/palliative care in late 2010. After deciding to pursue her master’s degree in 2012, she entered back into the critical care arena as a cardiovascular intensive care nurse. In 2015, she graduate with her nurse practitioner degree in adult-gerontology. Her first job was at South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta, Georgia, working as a cardiovascular intensive care nurse practitioner for the CardioThoracic Surgery Team. As a nurse, she is most proud of her appointment as a quality assurance and performance improvement representative during her time at hospice. She was able to design, implement, coordinate, and streamline many clinical pathways to ensure exceptional end-of-life care was provided. Her professional interests include advancements in cardiothoracic surgery and pet therapy in dementia patients. Her personal interests include baking, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying time with her husband and dog.