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.
- Associate ProfessorDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Houston Methodist HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Interventional CardiologistSpecialty:Interventional CardiologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Boston University School of MedicineM.A., Marine Science - Boston UniversityHometown:Chevy Chase, MD
- Instructor in Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Cigna Medical GroupPrevious Role/Title:Urgent Care PhysicianSpecialty:Family MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Spartan Health Sciences UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Waverly, OH
Dr. Barker is interested in developing a more effective battlefield tourniquet. As an Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve in conjunction with several other officers, he is assisting in developing a battlefield/traumatic amputation program for simulated training. He enjoys all aspects of acute care medicine and family medicine and continually strives to become a better, more well-rounded physician through active learning. When given the chance, he enjoys working with and training NP/PA/medical students and residents.
- Instructor in Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Previous Role/Title:Specialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Meharry Medical CollegeInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Atlanta, GA
Dr. Nitara Carswell is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. While at Spelman, she was the recipient of many scholarships and awards. She completed medical school and internal medicine residency at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. During her residency, she was voted Resident of the Year twice and inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Carswell is board-certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine. She was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians in addition to being named a Young Achiever. Dr. Carswell also received a Community Faculty Award from the Vanderbilt University Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She is married to Dr. Jeffery Clemmons, an anesthesiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. When she is not working, she enjoys reading, traveling, working in her church, and spending time with her family.
- Division of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Chief FellowSpecialty:Medical OncologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Emory UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Santa Barbara, CA
Dr. Das’ research interests lie in the gastrointestinal (GI) cancer and phase I space. They revolve around designing early phase studies taking advantage of salvage DNA repair pathway dependence in biomarker selected GI tumors and overcoming the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment in refractory tumors through mechanism-based immunotherapy combinations. Clinically, he takes care of patients with advanced GI malignancies with a specific interest in those with neuroendocrine tumors and colorectal, pancreatic, and gastric adenocarcinoma. Dr. Das is currently pursuing a Master in Science and Clinical Investigation (MSCI) through Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the K12 VCORCDP grant. He completed an early phase externship at CTEP (investigational drugs branch) and participated in the FDA ASCO Fellow’s Day program. He has been fortunate to present at several national meetings including ASCO, GI ASCO, and ECOG. Outside of work he enjoys curling up with an interesting read, watching a crime or mob-oriented movie, sampling new restaurants, and playing with his toy poodle, Lucy.
- Division of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:University of Alabama in BirminghamPrevious Role/Title:Professor of MedicineSpecialty:Interstitial Lung DiseaseEducation/Training:M.D. - Federal University of Rio GrandeInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Birmingham, AL
Dr. de Andrade is Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt. He serves as Chief Medical Officer of the Vanderbilt Respiratory Institute. Dr. de Andrade was born and educated in Brazil. He earned his medical degree (1990) at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Porto Alegre. He went on to complete a residency in internal medicine at Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre (UFRGS), where he also served as chief medical resident. Dr. de Andrade came to the United States in 1994 and completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. There he became interested in critical care research and entered a fellowship program at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB). He joined the UAB faculty in 2000, advancing to the rank of Professor of Medicine (2016) with tenure. In 2013 he was appointed Director of the Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program. During his tenure at UAB, Dr. de Andrade became involved in IPF clinical research shortly after the first guidelines for the diagnosis and management of IPF were published. He established the Interstitial Lung Disease Program at UAB (2003). Further, he served as a site PI for the IPFnet. His academic career has focused on creating an infrastructure to support clinical and translational research in interstitial lung disease and on developing strategies for managing this patient population.
- ProfessorDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterPrevious Role/Title:Professor, Sophie Caroline Steves Distinguished Professorship in Cancer ResearchSpecialty:Clinical Research in Colorectal CancerEducation/Training:M.D. - Hahnemann University School of MedicineHometown:Phoenix, AZ
- Research InstructorDivision of:Genetic MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Staff ScientistSpecialty:Genomics and Population GeneticsEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of ChicagoInterests/Achievements:Hometown:St. John, IN
Dr. Evans’ projects focus on genetics of complex and Mendelian diseases. His previous work was focused on evolutionary and population genetics. Additional methods he has employed include GWAS and linkage analysis. He is particularly interested in genetic research of evolution and genetic architecture of complex disease. Dr. Evans did his undergraduate work at Indiana University and his doctoral training at the University of Chicago.
- Instructor in Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Philadelphia College of Osteopathic MedicinePrevious Role/Title:Assistant Clinical Professor of MedicineSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Medical College of GeorgiaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Atlanta, GA
Dr. Fine's interests include adult medicine and geriatrics. Dr. Fine was the Director of the Internal Medicine Externship Program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine from 2013-2016.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Genetic MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral FellowSpecialty:Molecular Genetics and GenomicsEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Wake Forest universityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Hickory, NC
Dr. Hellwege’s projects focus on genetic association analyses of exome- and genome-wide array data, as well as large-scale sequencing data, for a wide variety of phenotypes, particularly those derived from electronic health records. Phenotypes of particular interest include uterine fibroids, keloid scars, and other fibroproliferative traits, in addition to several collaborative association studies encompassing the broad spectrum of cardiometabolic phenotypes. Her previous work was focused on the integration of two-point linkage analysis with contemporary large-scale genotype information and association analysis to identify high-impact functional variants. Additional methods she has employed include gene-based association for low-frequency variants, meta-analysis, interaction analysis (epistasis), and construction of polygenic genetic risk scores. She is particularly interested in genetic research of diseases that disproportionally impact minority health. Dr. Hellwege did her undergraduate work at Appalachian State University (BS, 2009) and her doctoral training at Wake Forest University (PhD, 2014).
- Assistant ProfessorDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:The Permanente Medical GroupPrevious Role/Title:Cardiologist/PhysicianSpecialty:CardiologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Tennessee Health Science CenterM.P.H. - Vanderbilt University School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Eiman Jahangir, MD, is a cardiologist with extensive training and experience in research investigation and clinical patient care. He has a special interest in hypertension and cardiac oncology. Dr. Jahangir was inducted into the Imhotep Society at the University of Tennessee for excellence in leadership and contribution to the University. He won research fellowships including an NIH summer research fellowship while at the University of Tennessee, a Clinical Research Training Resident Scholar (CREST) award while at Boston University, and the Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellow (FICR-F) award while at Vanderbilt University. He also received the Rhodes Award for Scholarly Activity in Cardiovascular Medicine in 2012 at Vanderbilt. Dr. Jahangir has published numerous original scientific articles in peer-reviewed, medical and scientific journals. He also has published reviews and editorials. These publications relate to his research in cardiology and epidemiology with a focus on hypertension and cardio-oncology. He is on the program planning committee for the American Heart Association’s national council for Epidemiology and Prevention/ Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism (EPI/NPAM).
- Assistant ProfessorDivision of:Clinical PharmacologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Research FellowSpecialty:Cardiac Ion ChannelsEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of VirginiaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Madison, WI
Dr. Kroncke is a promising young scientist whose research focus has been to explain the interplay between membrane protein flexibility and structure that leads to robust function and dysfunction involved in human disease, with a special emphasis on ion channels involved in the heart contraction cycle. The increasing use of next generation sequencing in the clinical arena is uncovering a large number of variants across all genes, but methods to predict their pathogenicity are not well established. This results in an increasing number of “variants of uncertain significance” (VUSs), a major emerging problem in genomic medicine. Rare variants (mutations) in the cardiac ion channels are implicated in diverse heart diseases, including long QT syndrome (LQTS), short QT syndrome (SQTS), and Brugada syndrome (BrS), but are also common in healthy populations. While multiple algorithms predict whether ion channel variants are deleterious (SIFT, PolyPhen-2, PredSNP, CADD, etc.), too many neutral variants are classified as disease-causing. The long-term research interest of Dr. Kroncke is to improve our understanding of the clinical burden of ion channel non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) on carriers. He believes predicting protein-specific functional phenotypes accurately of nsSNPs within these genes is the best path to reaching this goal, initially focused on ion channels associated with Long QT Syndrome.
- Instructor in Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:EvicorePrevious Role/Title:Associate Medical DirectorSpecialty:Family MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of California, IrvineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Coto De Caza, CA
Dr. Rafatjoo's interests include mind-body medicine, treatment of mood disorders, languages and cultures as related to healthcare, orthopedics and sports medicine, in-office procedures, and surgical laceration repairs. Dr. Rafatjoo is fluent is French, Spanish, and Farsi.
- Assistant ProfessorDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:University of MichiganPrevious Role/Title:Assistant ProfessorSpecialty:Pulmondary and Critical Care MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Missouri-ColumbiaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Forissant, Missouri
Dr. Margaret Salisbury is an Assistant Professor of Medicine on the tenure track. Her primary research interests are 1) clinical and biologic phenotyping in hypersensitivity pneumonitis, 2) interaction of the lung microbiome with the host in hypersensitivity pneumonitis and pulmonary fibrosis, and 3) the role of chest imaging in diagnosis and phenotyping of interstitial lung diseases. A fundamental goal of Dr. Salisbury’s work has been to understand variables associated with subsequent risk of disease progression in patients with fibrosing interstitial lung disease. The research in which Dr. Salisbury has participated has pushed the boundaries of what was previously understood about pulmonary fibrosis in two key areas: identifying predictors of disease progression and refining the approach to diagnostic testing in patients with fibrosing interstitial lung diseases. The overarching goal of her current proposed project is to understand the relationship between the host immune response, the lung microbiome, lung fibrosis, and disease trajectory in patients with HP, as a key step toward improving our ability to provide effective, personalized treatment to patients with this heterogeneous, life-threatening disease. Dr. Salisbury serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several high-impact journals in her field and serves on the editorial board of the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society. In addition to her awards for academic excellence throughout her education and training, Dr. Salisbury is becoming known as a determined scholar engaged in cutting-edge research through her published work, including several opinion pieces and her regular talks and presentations at national and international conferences.
- Research InstructorDivision of:EpidemiologyPrevious Institution:MD Anderson Cancer CenterPrevious Role/Title:Graduate Research AssistantSpecialty:Molecular and genetic biomarkers for cancer riskEducation/Training:Ph.D. - The University of TexasInterests/Achievements:Hometown:China
As a cancer epidemiologist, Dr. Shu's research interests focus on the urgent need to develop novel and reliable biomarkers for cancer risk and prognosis. Dr. Shu has been actively conducting research in identifying novel biomarkers for a variety of cancers using genomics, transcriptomics, methylomics, proteomics, and metaboldata. For the first time, his research provided strong evidence for a potential causal relationship between fasting insulin and breast cancer risk using the Mendelian randomization approach. Dr. Shu received the AACR Scholar-in-Training Award for his work in 2017. The study has recently been published in The International Journal of Epidemiology and has received many accolades. Dr. Shu later conducted two prospective metabolomics studies of colorectal and pancreatic cancers, which were the first studies conducted in Asian populations using pre-diagnostic samples. Both works have recently been published in The International Journal of Cancer. Dr. Shu further developed a promising K99/R00 application based on his expertise in cancer etiology, causal inference, and omics studies. In his application, he proposed to integrate genomic and metabolomic data to identify novel biomarkers for colorectal cancer risk. The application has been tentatively selected for funding (impact score of 20 with just-in-time information requested). Dr. Shu is also leading or has participated in many other innovative projects including a cross-ancestry genome-wide association study of breast cancer, metabolomics of gastric/ovary/gallbladder/kidney cancer in East Asians, and integrative analysis of omics data to uncover new biomarkers for breast, ovary, and prostate cancers to better understand the etiology and biology.
- Instructor, Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Health Care Partners Medical GroupPrevious Role/Title:Primary Care PhysicianSpecialty:Family MedicineEducation/Training:M.B.A. - University of La VerneM.D. - Loma Linda UniverstiyInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Tatosyan-Jones is interested in research opportunities and teaching. She is looking forward to growing professionally and taking advantage of the opportunities that VUMC offers.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Greenville Health System/University of South CarolinaPrevious Role/Title:Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:D.O. - Lincoln Memorial UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Johnson City, TN
Dr. Zakaria recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Section of Hospital Medicine. After growing up in East Tennessee, she completed medical school at LMU-DCOM, went on to complete residency at Greenville Health System/University of South Carolina. Dr. Zakaria then joined the faculty at the University of South Carolina-Greenville School of Medicine as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine while also serving as a chief resident. When away from work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching and playing sports, and traveling internationally. She is very excited and honored to join the Vanderbilt hospitalist group.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthPrevious Role/Title:Intramural Research Training Award FellowSpecialty:Genetics; Heart and VascularInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Naperville, IL
Katherine received her Master of Science in genetic counseling from the Johns Hopkins/National Human Genome Research Institute genetic counseling training program. She has a keen interest in policy and ethics, which was reflected in her thesis work on the subject of growth attenuation therapy. Her other research interests include genotype-phenotype correlations in cardiac genetics, clinical communication with patients, and maximizing the utility of EMR systems. Katherine is a nature enthusiast, amateur painter, and unrefined foodie.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:Critical Care MedicineEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Lebanon, TN
Leslie B. Armistead is an experienced nurse practitioner at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is a registered nurse and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is a practice registered nurse in the state of Tennessee and certified in BLS and ACLS by the American Heart Association. Ms. Armistead currently provides critical care nursing in the MICU for the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. From February 2017 Ms. Armistead worked as a nurse practitioner with expertise in the area of caring for stem cell transplant patients for the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center. In this position Ms. Armistead coordinated care of pre- and post-allogeneic and autologous stem cell/bone marrow transplant patients and CAR-T cellular therapy patients and provided education to those patients. From June 2008 to January 2017, Ms. Armistead provided nursing care to critically ill patients in the MICU at Vanderbilt working under Julie Foss. These patients suffered from critical conditions such as liver failure, GI bleeds, sepsis, respiratory failure, and renal failure. Ms. Armistead did clinical rotation from January to July of 2016 at VUMC (internal medicine) and St. Thomas Medical Center (liver transplant NP team) where she gained experience with management of many acute and chronic problems for critically ill patients and preventive care. Ms. Armistead was inducted into the international honor society of nursing, Sigma Theta Tau, in 2016.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Piedmont Atlanta HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Advanced Practice Provider (Nurse Practitioner)Specialty:Pulomnary and Critical Care MedicineEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Ashland, OH
Michelle Irwin, MSN, is a board-certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine. She is an Assistant in Medicine on the Vanderbilt faculty. Ms. Irwin works in collaboration with a multidisciplinary healthcare team and reports to the Medical Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and attending physicians. She generally functions as an intensivist within a designated intensive care unit and manages the critical care aspects of the assigned patient’s ICU stay from admission to transfer. She evaluates and manages patients with a wide spectrum of pulmonary and critical care illnesses. She is a licensed registered nurse, certified in basic life support (BLS), advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), and fundamental critical care support (FCCS). Ms. Irwin earned her baccalaureate degree from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas in 2000. She went on to obtain a master's degree in psychology (with a strong focus on crisis and grief), summa cum laude, in 2009 from David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. She subsequently entered the Master of Science degree program in the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt, graduating in 2011. She is a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Massachusetts General HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Acute Care Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:Critical CareEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Ms. Wren Sherrill is a nurse practitioner in the MICU at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is an Associate in Medicine on the Vanderbilt faculty in the Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine. Ms. Sherrill earned her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Belmont University in 2011 (magna cum laude). She entered the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in 2013 and completed her master’s degree in nursing in 2016 (Sigma Theta Tau in 2015 for academic excellence). While seeking her degree at Vanderbilt she worked as a critical care registered nurse in Vanderbilt’s MICU for more than three years. Between 2012 and 2016 she became certified in acute cardiovascular life support (ACLS), fundamentals of critical care support (FCCS), basic life support (BLS), adult-gerontology acute care (AG-AGNP), and emergency neurologic life support (ENLS), in addition to becoming a critical care registered nurse (CCRN). In 2016 Ms. Sherrill worked as a critical care registered nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Harvard) in Boston. She also worked as a clinical preceptor and acute care nurse practitioner in the Trauma/Surgical/Medical ICU and as an acute care nurse practitioner for the Neurosciences ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard) in Boston. She worked to provide medical relief to Uganda in 2017. In November of 2018, she was recruited to join the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Ms. Sherrill is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACCN) and the Neurocritical Care Society (NCS) – Advanced Practice Provider Section.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Rush University College of NursingPrevious Role/Title:DNP Student in Adult Gerontological Acute CareSpecialty:Gerontological Acute Care and Emergency Clinical CareEducation/Training:D.N.P. - Rush UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Hendersonville, TN
Jonathan Shipley is an experienced critical care nurse practitioner who successfully completed his Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner training in 2018 at Rush University College of Nursing in Chicago, Illinois. Throughout his academic career, he has received awards for academic excellence. After completing an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree (2012) from Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee, Jonathan went on to earn a baccalaureate degree (2014) in nursing (summa cum laude) from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Today he is certified in critical care nursing, has critical care certification in cardiac surgery and cardiac medicine, and is certified in both basic and advanced life support. He is a licensed, registered nurse in the states of Illinois and Tennessee. Dr. Shipley has led clinical research projects that were presented at the International Society of Rapid Response Systems conference. His DNP project focused on the feasibility of a secure online emergency response debrief to track hospital-based resuscitation quality. He has excelled in critical care and emergency clinical care and exhibits a strong interest in clinical quality improvement.