Please get to know new faculty who have joined the Department of Medicine within the last six months.*
*Please note that this directory is updated by the 10th of each month.
- Research Associate ProfessorDivision of:Clinical PharmacologyPrevious Institution:VUMC Dept. of Pathology, Microbiology and ImmunologyPrevious Role/Title:Research Associate ProfessorSpecialty:Education/Training:Ph.D. - Carnegie-Mellon UniversityM.S., Chemistry - Indian Institute of TechnologyHometown:
- 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 TechnologyB.S., Zoology - University of MassachusettsInterests/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.
- Instructor in Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:HSHS Medical Group, Family PracticePrevious Role/Title:Ambulatory Family Medicine Practitioner/MDSpecialty:Family MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Southern Illinois UniversityHometown:Auburn, NY
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:Assistant ProfessorSpecialty:Basic science research and undergraduate medical educationEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Vanderbilt UniversityB.S., Biology - Lafayette College, Easton, PA (1999)Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Natick, MA
Dr. Dahlman's research interest is in understanding tumor response and resistance to targeted therapies and immunotherapy. She directs a core laboratory (Innovative Translational Research Shared Resource) that partners with oncologists to guide, manage, and facilitate pre-clinical and clinical trial laboratory discoveries. This collaborative work has uncovered novel tumor driver mutations and mechanisms of acquired resistance to targeted therapies leading to changes in clinical tumor genotyping assays at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, pre-clinical studies of novel cancer treatments, high-impact peer-reviewed publications, and multiple grants awarded to Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators. In addition to her cancer research pursuits, she has a strong interest in education for biomedical science PhD trainees, medical students, and faculty. She co-leads the Integrated Science Courses (ISCs) at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) and co-directs the “Precision Cancer Medicine” ISC. She also serves as a Small Group Facilitator for 1st-year medical students, a facilitator of Educator Development Core workshops, and a mentor for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the “Business for Scientists Module” supported by the VUSM Biomedical Research, Education, and Training office. Dr. Dahlman is also involved in leadership and educational activities for the Southeastern Association of Shared Resources and the Association of Biomolecular Research Facilities, organizations that provide a forum for core directors, managers, and scientists to meet, discuss, and collaborate on administrative and scientific topics.
- 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.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Aurora BayCare Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Medical OncologistSpecialty:GU OncologyEducation/Training:M.D. - The University of Texas Health Science CenterInterests/Achievements:Hometown:
Dr. Davis’ research interests are in genitourinary oncology. She believes in a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care and balancing clinical benefit with quality of life. She has interest in the clinical application of new therapies to improve outcomes and in survivorship issues unique to this population. Career achievements include growing a successful genitourinary clinic; being the institutional PI for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) while at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW); contributing to multidisciplinary cancer clinics and conferences; representing medical subspecialists in hospital management committee decisions; involvement on chemotherapy governance, IRB, intern and fellow selection, medical oncology executive, Vince Lombardi Cancer Center (VLCC) quality committees, and genitourinary and gynecological oncology quality subcommittees. I assisted in educating students, residents, and fellows (both in- and outpatient settings); precepting the oncology fellows’ clinic while at MCW; serving as a Clinical Associate Professor for Marquette University, assisting in the clinical rotations of PA students; and serving as Clinical Instructor for the University of Wisconsin Madison Wisconsin Area Rural Medicine (WARM) medical students during their clinical rotations. Other scholarly activities involve serving as Scientific Reviewer for the Department of Defense (DOD) Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) Review Panel on the Immunologic Sciences and the Clinical Protocols panels (2004-2008). She was also a member of a Data Safety and Monitoring Committee and a participant in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Program Guideline Implementation Network (PGIN), contributing in the review and adoption by ASCO of the American Cancer Society Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Guidelines in 2017. Personal interests include cooking, travel, reading, and theater. In relocating to Tennessee, she anticipates milder winters and longer summers.
- 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.
- Associate Professor of MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:University Hospitals Cleveland Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Medical Director, Head and Neck Program; Associate Professor of MedicineSpecialty:Medical OncologyEducation/Training:M.D. - The Johns Hopkins School of MedicinePh.D. - The Johns Hopkins School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Dayton, OH
Dr. Gibson is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. He is Medical Director of the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Malignancies Program. Following six years as Co-Director of Esophageal Cancer Research with Dr. James Luketich and Leader of the Esophago-Gastric Clinical Research Program at the Hillman Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh, he was recruited by Dr. Neal Meropol to join the Seidman Cancer Center (SCC) as a translational investigator in aero-digestive malignancies. He leads local and national therapeutic trials for aero-digestive cancers, all with translational laboratory components. His national presence in the field of aero-digestive cancers includes leadership of the Upper GI Working Group of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (through which he was the PI on E2205), membership on the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Esophago-Gastric Task Force, membership on the Head and Neck Committee of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, service on the NCI Central IRB, and membership on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Esophago-Gastric Committee. Given his didactic training and practical experience in clinical investigation and his proven leadership and communication skills, he was appointed as the Medical Director of the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Clinical Trials Unit (CTU). The overall goals of his research efforts are to bring novel therapeutics to the treatment of aero-digestive cancers based on rational pre-clinical investigation and with a focus on patient safety and outcomes by guiding investigatory initiated translational and cooperative group trials.
- Research InstructorDivision of:Genetic MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Research FellowSpecialty:Human GeneticsEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of MarylandInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Clarksville
Dr. Hirbo's research interest is in understanding genetics that underlie health disparities. He has an overarching hypothesis developed from his research in population genetics and in the genetics of common diseases with complex inheritance: that the genetic adaptation to high pathogen environments is a major contributing factor to the genetic component of health disparities between those of recent European and recent African ancestry. He studies genetics of ocular diseases to test this hypothesis.
- 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.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:City of HopePrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral FellowSpecialty:Molecular Dynamics SimulationEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of CincinnatiB.S., Physics - Konkuk UniversityInterests/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.
- 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.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Rheumatology and ImmunologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Research FellowSpecialty:Cancer BiologyEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of TorontoInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Guizhou China
Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) are a key component of the tumor microenvironment. They form blood vessels (angiogenesis) that promote tumor growth, metastasis, and contribute to therapeutic resistance. Controlling tumor-associated angiogenesis has become a promising strategy in preventing cancer progression. Angiogenesis is a multi-step process that is regulated by a complex interplay between proangiogenic and antiangiogenic factors. PI3K/PDK-AKT-mTOR activation is one of the major proangiogenic signaling pathways that regulates the development and maturation of blood vessels. mTOR is a serine/threonine kinase that functions in two distinct complexes: mTORC1 and mTORC2, which regulate a diverse array of cellular processes in different cell types. Dr. Wang’s research interest is in understanding the molecular mechanisms of how the mTOR signaling pathway controls tumor angiogenesis and how the mTOR-mediated angiogenesis cross-talks with the tumor microenvironment to promote tumor progression. Particularly, she is focusing on 1) the relative contribution of endothelial mTORC1 and mTORC2 to tumor progression and metastasis and 2) the effect of the endothelial mTOR signaling on tumor immunity and metabolism. The ultimate goal of this project is to identify new therapeutic targets to block tumor angiogenesis.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/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 NursingInterests/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: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: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.
- 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: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.
- 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 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.