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.
- Instructor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Chief Academic Fellow for Hematology/OncologySpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.D., Ph.D. - Vanderbilt University School of MedicineB.S. - Southwestern UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Midland, TX
As a physician-scientist, Dr. Beckerman’s clinical and research interest is in the growing field of immuno-oncology. At the bench, her focus is to identify how the tumor microenvironment alters T cell function important to the therapeutic efficacy of checkpoint inhibitor therapy. She plans to use these discoveries to target metabolic deficits and try to identify biologic correlates predictive of response to immunotherapy.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:University of LouisvillePrevious Role/Title:Cardiology FellowSpecialty:Cardiovascular DiseaseEducation/Training:M.D. - Virginia Commonwealth UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Dr. Bottinor earned her medical degree and completed her internal medicine residency at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. During her residency she developed an interest in clinical outcomes-based research and studied the relationship between contrast allergy and short- and long-term outcomes in patients undergoing angiography. She completed her general cardiology fellowship at University of Louisville. It was during her fellowship that she developed an interest in cardio-oncology and, under the mentorship of Dr. Carrie Lenneman, helped design a cardio-oncology curriculum. Dr. Bottinor continued her research endeavors and investigated the cardiovascular effects of combination human epidermal growth factor receptor antagonism with Pertuzumab and Transtuzumab in patients with breast cancer. She is board certified in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology and has published on the role of echocardiography and novel echocardiographic techniques in pre-clinical detection of cancer-related cardiotoxicity. In addition, she has contributed to sources for patient education, including the American College of Cardiology CardioSmart webpage. To date she has seven first-author publications. Most recently, she has been completing an advanced fellowship in cardio-oncology under the tutelage of Dr. Javid Moslehi. Her current research focuses on cardiovascular toxicities associated with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors. Her long-term career goal is to improve clinical care and outcomes for patients with cancer and cancer survivors by improving understanding of the cardiovascular toxicities of novel anti-cancer agents.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Clinical FellowSpecialty:GastroenterologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Vanderbilt University School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Yash Choksi is a Clinical Instructor in Internal Medicine/Gastroenterology. Born and raised in Middle Tennessee, he completed medical school, residency, and fellowship at Vanderbilt University. He is committed to a career in basic and translational research and, in particular, is interested in studying eosinophil biology in the context of eosinophilic esophagitis and esophageal cancers.
- 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:Aurora BayCare Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Medical OncologistSpecialty:GU OncologyEducation/Training:M.D. - The University of Texas Health Science CenterB.S. - Vanderbilt University, 1988Interests/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.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Mayo ClinicPrevious Role/Title:Instructor in Medicine; Cardiovascular Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:Cardiovascular DiseaseEducation/Training:D.N.P. - Duke UniversityM.S.N. - Duke UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Rochester, MN
Monika Duitch, DNP, AGNP-C, has a passion for patient care and program implementation. She has worked with the Division of Cardiovascular Disease and Heart Rhythm Center (HRC) for almost four years, innovating healthcare delivery and practice standards from the bedside. Dr. Duitch worked as part of an interdisciplinary team with the Center for Science in Healthcare Delivery (CSHCD), the Enterprise Medicare/Medicaid Strategist, Revenue Cycle Leadership, and Dr. Chris McLeod to develop enterprise-wide billing standards for pre-pulmonary vein isolation shared medical appointments (SMAs), which are poised to positively impact patient outcomes and revenue patterns for all cardiovascular outpatient clinics. Dr. Duitch has co-developed the HRC virtual triaging model, HRC calendaring, Watchman left atrial appendage clinical infrastructure, and dictation/note templates for EPIC as part of the Plummer Project. She also created the infrastructure for an atrial fibrillation lifestyle modification clinical pathway. Dr. Duitch has chaired the Heart Rhythm Core Team project outlining the vision and objectives for staff and was recently appointed NPPA Cardiovascular Research Lead, helping colleagues build an area of expertise, connect with a physician mentor, and connect with research funding. Dr. Duitch is involved with multiple grant/research studies in cardiovascular disease at Mayo Clinic. These include an R01 for a shared decision-making tool in atrial fibrillation anticoagulation management, serving as PI on a submitted R21 for use of a deep neural network algorithm for calculation of serum potassium in wearable ECG monitoring for heart failure patients, and participating in a fetal ECG monitoring innovation grant funded through Mayo Clinic.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Nephrology and HypertensionPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Doctoral Student and Lab ManagerSpecialty:Biochemistry, Evolution, Extracellular matrix, CollagenEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Tennessee State UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Ashland, KY
Aaron is interested in the evolutionary origin and role of the cellular microenvironment in the transition from unicellular organisms to multicellular animals. A major component of the cellular microenvironment is collagen IV, which forms smart scaffolds that tether proteins, connect cells, strengthen tissues, and transmit information as a component of basement membranes (BM). The role of collagen IV, along with other BM components, likely played a role in enabling the transition from unicellular ancestors to multicellular animals. To study the role of collagen IV and BM during the transition, Aaron studies the earliest animals such as ctenophores, sponges, and cnidarians, as well as unicellular relatives, such as choanoflagellates and filastereans. By studying organisms that represent this transition, we can understand the role of the cellular microenvironment throughout evolution. Furthermore, understanding the core functions of collagen in early animals and unicellular relatives might shed light on conserved functions of collagens in human tissues and disease. Aaron has been involved with the nationally-recognized Aspirnaut Program at VUMC since 2009, mentoring and teaching nearly 200 students and teaching over 1,000 students through STEM-based, hands-on "beaming" videoconferencing sessions with rural schools in Tennessee, Arkansas, Maine, and Montana over the last eight years. As a part of Aspirnaut, Aaron has actively involved students in the discovery process, resulting in co-authorships with nearly 80 middle school, high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Aaron also enjoys hiking and camping, running, guitar, and gardening alongside his wife, Ashley, and their German Shepherd/Lab mix, Lillie, on a farm near the Natchez Trace.
- Instructor in Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Southern Hills Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Hospitalist/D.O.Specialty:Family MedicineEducation/Training:D.O. - West Virginia School of Osteopathic MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Mt. Juliet, TN
Dr. Haskins has a special interest in performing osteopathic manipulations within her practice. She has led many presentations, including Aging Actively, Becoming an Osteopathic Physician, Nutrition and Exercise, and Effects of Sugar on Oral Health and Weight Gain. In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball and going to festivals, concerts, and the theater.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registered Nurse-Endoscopy LabSpecialty:GastroenterologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Tennessee State UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Naples, FL
Sara, originally from Naples, Florida, received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Alabama and worked as a nurse for eight years before receiving her Master of Science in nursing from Tennessee State University in 2017. She was a registered nurse at Vanderbilt in the GI Endoscopy Lab for five years and decided she wanted to continue working in the gastroenterology specialty as a nurse practitioner. In her free time she enjoys running, traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with her husband, friends, and family.
- 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.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Rheumatology and ImmunologyPrevious Institution:McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science CenterPrevious Role/Title:Assistant ProfessorSpecialty:RheumatologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Texas Tech University Health Sciences CenterInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Lake Charles, LA
Dr. Sarah Homann is an Instructor in the Department of Medicine/Division of Rheumatology, as well as a Veterans Affairs Quality Scholar. She is originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana, but also claims Houston, Texas as home. Dr. Homann completed her undergraduate degree at Louisiana State University and medical degree at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She returned to Houston to complete both her internal medicine residency and rheumatology fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where she then remained as a faculty member for over two years. She is interested in quality improvement and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at Vanderbilt.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Northwestern UniversityPrevious Role/Title:Clinical Fellow-Hematology/OncologySpecialty:Medical OncologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of MichiganInterests/Achievements:Hometown:South Bend, IN
Dr. Iams’ primary research interest is identifying innovative applications of blood biomarker analysis in patients with lung cancer. He has helped develop infrastructure to perform key validation research on new technologies for blood biomarker analysis, both during his residency training at Vanderbilt University and his fellowship training at Northwestern University. Results from the early components of this work have been published (most recently in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, PMID 28951314) and presented at multiple national meetings. As a junior faculty member, he looks forward to continuing this work and keeping Vanderbilt at the leading edge of the field of blood biomarker development. He is also interested in medical education and has served as a Chief Resident during his internal medicine training at Vanderbilt and Chief Fellow during his fellowship training at Northwestern University. He plans to continue to engage in medical education activities and advance the medical education mission of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Nephrology and HypertensionPrevious Institution:Yale UniversityPrevious Role/Title:Research ScientistSpecialty:Molecular BiologistEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Institute of Cytology and GeneticdsInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Franklin, TN
Dr. Ivanova's area of expertise is studying pathophysiological and molecular mechanisms of disease development and progression using in vitro and in vivo approaches. Over the last several years, her research has been focused primarily on systemic diseases and pathologies linked to mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress-induced damage. Using Fus1 KO mouse as a model of mitochondrial dysfunction that she created, Dr. Ivanova investigated mitochondria-mediated molecular mechanisms of spontaneous and asbestos-induced cancers, acute and chronic inflammation, autoimmunity, infection, radiosensitivity, aging, and neurodegeneration. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop pharmacological and genetic approaches to reverse and treat pathological processes that underlie development of diseases mediated via mitochondrial dysfunction.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Mayo ClinicPrevious Role/Title:FellowSpecialty:Transplant HepatologyEducation/Training:M.B.,Ch.B. - University of BaghdadInterests/Achievements:Hometown:New York, NY
Dr. Izzy studies the impact of cirrhosis on cardiovascular outcomes with a special focus on cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. His research aims to improve the diagnostic criteria for cirrhotic cardiomyopathy in view of the recent developments in echocardiography techniques that can improve understanding of this issue in terms of diagnosis, assessment of risk factors, and assessment of cirrhotic cardiomyopathy impact on outcomes pre- and post-liver transplant. Dr. Izzy is also interested in studying cardiovascular, renal, and malignancy-related outcomes in patients with recurrent or de novo steatosis post-transplant. The goal of his outcome-based research is to identify reversible or modifiable risk factors that can improve the long-term survival in these patients. Dr. Izzy is interested in clinical education of medical students, residents, and fellows with emphasis on improving the research curriculum for gastroenterology fellows across the nation. He has authored multiple articles and two book chapters and has presented numerous abstracts in national meetings. He is an invited reviewer for multiple journals in gastroenterology and hepatology, and his research has repeatedly been awarded several national and local awards.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Cedars Sinai Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Clinical FellowSpecialty:GastroenterologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Tehran University of Medical SciencesM.P.H. - Loma Linda UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Kashani’s research interest is in the recurrence of Crohn’s disease. Currently he is looking at genetics, demographics, and clinical characteristics of the patients with ileocolonic Crohn’s disease who have undergone surgical resection. The aim is to identify the predictors of the disease recurrence post-operatively. Also, he has conducted several systematic reviews and meta analyses in fecal microbiome transplantation for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and treatment of Clostridium difficile infection in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. He has conducted systematic review and meta analysis on efficacy of biosimilar drugs in inflammatory bowel disease. The results of these projects were presented at ACG and DDW meetings.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Pediatric Neuromuscular ClinicPrevious Role/Title:Pediatric Neurology NPSpecialty:PediatricsEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Belmont UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Ms. Kight is a nurse practitioner with a subspecialty in pediatrics. Prior to joining the Department of Medicine, she was a nurse practitioner in the Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinic at the Monroe Carell, Jr., Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Johns Hopkins HospitalPrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Medical College of GeorgiaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Atlanta, GA
Dr. Ledford recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine with a focus on hospital medicine and a broader interest in health economics and bedside procedures. After growing up in Georgia, he completed medical school at the Medical College of Georgia and residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is married to Amie, an accomplished photographer, and he has three children, ages <1, 3, and 6. When away from work, he enjoys spending time with family and music.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Louisiana State University Health Sciences CenterPrevious Role/Title:Resident PhysicianSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Louisiana State University Health Sciences CenterInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Alexandria, LA
Kevin grew up in Beijing, China, before emigrating to the United States at the age of five and settling down in Alexandria, Louisiana. He attended college at Emory University before moving closer to home for medical school at LSU Health New Orleans and completing residency at LSU Health Baton Rouge. He is passionate about improving clinical education, studying physiology in extreme conditions, and providing care to the homeless. In his free time, Kevin is an avid rock climber and backpacker, recently completing the Cordillera Blanca in Peru. He is excited to move to Nashville and explore the Smokies with his five-pound Pomeranian, Pop.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registered Nurse 3Specialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - University of AlabamaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Chattanooga, TN
Kelsey Martin is excited to join the Browning team. She has a heart for service and can’t wait to learn and work with patients. She first found her love of nursing from her grandmother who was a scrub tech at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Kelsey received her BSN at Lincoln Memorial University in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her nursing career started in oncology at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. She started her time at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on 11 North Hematology and Oncology. During her time at 11 North, she served as a Clinical Staff Leader. She then moved to the Neurology/Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Kelsey earned her MSN from the University of Alabama, Huntsville. After working and completing her clinical rotations for her MSN at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, she knew that was where she wanted to work. Kelsey values the culture of openness at Vanderbilt and the practice of putting patients first, and she is thrilled to start her career as a nurse practitioner. She has research interests in all types of cancer, particularly hematology. Within hematology, Kelsey is particularly interested in researching long-term patient outcomes. After a patient has finished initial cancer treatments, she hopes to devise the best plan of care for each case. Kelsey grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as an avid Tennessee Volunteers fan; she loves watching football and basketball games with her family.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Nephrology and HypertensionPrevious Institution:Previous Role/Title:Specialty:NephrologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Vanderbilt School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:
During Dr. McCall’s pre-clinical and clinical training, she has been involved in a variety of research projects, spanning basic science research in cellular biology to humanities-based research using alternative approaches. More recently, her research interests have been clinically based and have been directed towards the geriatric population. Her wide variety of experiences provides a broad foundation and will aid in developing a career as a clinician educator at an academic medical center.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Interventional Cardiology FellowSpecialty:Interventional CardiologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Vanderbilt School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Galion, OH
After completing an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. O’Leary matriculated to Vanderbilt Medical School. He completed a residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, where he studied adult congenital heart disease. Dr. O’Leary then returned to Vanderbilt for adult general cardiology fellowship and served as chief cardiovascular fellow. He then completed interventional cardiology fellowship, also at Vanderbilt, as the chief interventional fellow. Dr. O’Leary was awarded the Cardiovascular Medicine Rhodes Scholarship Award for his research efforts while in fellowship. He has presented his work at numerous national meetings. Dr. O’Leary’s clinical interests include acute coronary syndromes, cardiogenic shock, adult congenital heart disease, and structural heart disease. Dr. O’Leary is married to his wife Chelsea and enjoys reading, running, and outdoor activities with his dog, Jones.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:University of South FloridaPrevious Role/Title:Clinical FellowSpecialty:GastroenterologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Alabama School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Boaz, AL
Dr. Brijesh Patel grew up in a small town in North Alabama and went to the University of Alabama School of Medicine for medical school. He completed his residency and fellowship in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the University of South Florida. During his fellowship, Dr. Patel served as a chief fellow in the Department of Digestive Diseases at the University of South Florida. He is interested in biliary and pancreas diseases with special interest in enteral luminal stents involving malignant and benign diseases. He has been involved with a multi-center trial in large polyp endoscopic mucosal resection and other research projects involving ERCP and enteroscopy. Dr. Patel has done international medical mission work in Panama and India through sponsored grants during his residency. He is an avid runner and enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, and enjoys racquetball sports. He is a big fan of Alabama football. He is married, and he and his wife love to travel in their time off.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Medical University of South CarolinaPrevious Role/Title:Medical StudentSpecialty:GastroenterologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Medical University of South CarolinaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Hermitage, TN
Dan is currently a 3rd-year gastroenterology fellow with clinical and research interests aimed at improving the current understanding of physiology, biology, and treatment of various esophageal disorders. His academic training and research experience have provided him with an excellent background to achieve those aims. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry with minors in neurosciences and medical humanities from the University of South Carolina Honors College and completed his medical school education at the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed his internal medicine residency at Vanderbilt University in 2015 and started working with Dr. Michael Vaezi in 2012, who currently serves as his research mentor. During his residency, he started to further expand his knowledge of various esophageal disorders (achalasia, GERD, and atypical GERD with focus on extra-esophageal manifestations, including laryngopharyngeal reflux) with the help of his mentor and has published multiple reviews in various journals. He has also collaborated with ENT specialists and the Department of Outcomes Research to develop the first systematic review assessing development and validation of patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures in dysphagia and laryngopharyngeal reflux with a first-authored manuscript and a second-authored manuscript published in Diseases of the Esophagus (2017) and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (2016), respectively. Furthermore, he has also learned how to perform a large-scale cross sectional study evaluating economic and survival burden of dysphagia among inpatients in the United States, which has been accepted for publication as a first-authored manuscript in Diseases of the Esophagus (2017).
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Lewis Katz School of Medicine Temple UniversityPrevious Role/Title:Assistant Professor of MedicineSpecialty:Advanced Heart Failure and TransplantEducation/Training:M.D. - Harvard Medical SchoolInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Bellerose, NY
Lynn Punnoose's research interests include outcomes of dual organ transplantation, assessment of cardiac risk factors in kidney transplantation, and management of cardiogenic shock. In addition, she is developing her skills in medical education through (1) improving systems-based practices at the trainee and faculty level and (2) working with the Education Workforce of the Heart Failure/Transplant Council at the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation to develop symposia and educational sessions for faculty. She hopes to develop efforts in community education and awareness of heart failure, as well. Clinical interests include advanced heart failure, heart transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support. When not at work, she sings second soprano in a community choir and tries out Blue Apron recipes on family and friends.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Nephrology and HypertensionPrevious Institution:Nephrology Associates of MobilePrevious Role/Title:NephrologistSpecialty:NephrologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Texas A&M Health Science CenterInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Houston, TX
Dr. Megha Salani is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a member of the Division of Nephrology. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin and received her medical degree at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Scott & White Memorial Hospital and fellowship in nephrology at Vanderbilt. Dr. Salani is board certified in internal medicine and nephrology. She joined Vanderbilt as faculty in 2018 with a focus in the Home Dialysis Program, working as a clinician educator. Other areas of interest include chronic kidney disease, stone disease, and electrolyte and acid/base disorders.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:University of Alabama BirminghamPrevious Role/Title:MDSpecialty:Gastroenterology, Hepatology, NutritionEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Mississippi School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Oxford, MS
Dr. Sarker has a passion for global gastrointestinal motility with special interest in working with bariatric patients. She is studying how affecting the motility in these patients can, in turn, help with weight loss and improvement in their comorbid conditions. She is interested in creating a multidisciplinary approach for patients with motility disorders and obesity. She is very excited to continue her work at Vanderbilt and serve the community.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:New York Presbyterian Weill-cornellPrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.S. - Hofstra UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Long Island, NY
John Schuerlein is a physician assistant with a strong interest in providing inpatient hospital care. He began his career at New York Presbyterian Hospital where he established himself by practicing general hospitalist medicine. In his spare time, John enjoys spending time with his family and traveling.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Clinical FellowSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.B.B.S. - Maulana Azad Medical CollegeM.D. - Maulana Azad Medical CollegeInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Delhi, India
Dr. Sethi ‘s research interests center on lymphoid malignancies with a focus on tumor immunology and on clinical trials testing novel immunotherapeutic strategies in lymphoma. She completed medical school, internal medicine residency, and chief residency at Maulana Azad Medical College in Delhi, India, before moving to the United States. She pursued her second internal medicine residency at the University of Louisville, during which time she studied the immunomodulatory effects of Beta-glucans on murine macrophages and dendritic cells in the laboratory of Dr. Jun Yan. She followed her interest in tumor immunology as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, studying a novel method for imaging tumor-associated macrophages in sarcomas and lymphomas under the mentorship of Dr. Heike Daldrup-Link. This work was supported by PhRMA Foundation’s Translational Medicine and Therapeutics’ postdoctoral fellowship award. After joining Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a clinical fellow in hematology/oncology, Dr. Sethi developed a clinical interest in lymphomas with a continued research focus on immunology. Under the mentorship of Dr. Nishitha Reddy, Dr. Sethi has published several manuscripts and abstracts, has presented at national meetings, and has participated in competitive clinical trial workshops. In addition, she is completing a Masters of Clinical Investigation (MSCI) degree from Vanderbilt University and expects to graduate in May 2018. With Dr. Reddy, she has also written an application and successfully obtained funding for investigator-initiated trials using novel strategies for checkpoint inhibitors in non-Hodgkin lymphomas. In her free time, she likes spending time outdoors with her husband, Sandeep, and dog, Milo.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:University of MichiganPrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of LouisvilleInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Alexandria, KY
Jimmy Uebel was born in Alexandria, Kentucky, where he grew up. He then attended the University of Kentucky for undergraduate studies and medical school. He left Kentucky and headed to the University of Michigan to train in internal medicine. While there, he had research projects studying the therapeutic differences and outcomes in sub-groups of acute myelogenous leukemia and resident competency with regard to health policy and the ACA. He was awarded a teaching award, voted on by medical students, at the University of Michigan and the Bruce Jones Housestaff Spirit Award, voted on by his co-residents. He is interested in medical/resident education and public policy. Outside of the hospital, he is an avid fan of the University of Kentucky basketball team and Cincinnati professional sports. He enjoys spending time with friends and family, mostly his three nieces and nephew. He enjoys traveling and hiking when afforded the opportunity.
- 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.
- Instructor of MedicineDivision of:Infectious DiseasesPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Clinical FellowSpecialty:Infectious DiseasesEducation/Training:M.D. - Jefferson Medical CollegePh.D. - Jefferson College of Graduate StudiesInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nairobi, Kenya
Dr. Wanjalla’s long-term goal is to be a tenured physician-scientist conducting global research in academic medicine with a focus on reducing the burden of metabolic disease due to chronic viral infections, including HIV and herpes viruses. She holds a PhD in immunology and microbial pathogenesis with training in the basic principles of T cell and B cell immunology. As a graduate student, she established a mouse model to study a dendritic cell-based vaccine against HIV-1 using rabies virus as a vector. She demonstrated that rabies virus dendritic cell vaccines were equally immunogenic compared to the viral vector. However, co-expression of granulocyte macrophage-stimulating factor reduced the antigen-specific CD8 T cell responses in the model, independent of viral replication. Dr. Wanjalla’s research career has resulted in 15 publications and one research grant. Her training and research have increased her interest in the role of T cells in the pathogenesis of metabolic disease in individuals with chronic viral infections.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:EpidemiologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral FellowSpecialty:Genetic and Cancer EpidemiologyEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Mayo Clinic College of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Hefei, China
Dr. Wu’s research interests are investigating genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors in cancer etiology and prognosis with the goal of translating the gained knowledge into risk assessment, early detection, prevention, and prognosis prediction of human malignancies. He received a BS in biological sciences from Wuhan University and a PhD in clinical and translational science from Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. In 2015, he joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a postdoctoral research fellow in the R25 Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer (MAGEC) training program. Currently, Dr. Wu is supported by a K99 Pathway to Independence Award to study roles of polyunsaturated fatty acids in pancreatic cancer etiology using multidisciplinary study designs in multi-ethnic populations. Dr. Wu is also conducting research integrating multi-omics (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, methylome, proteomics, and metabolomics) data to identify susceptibility genes and biomarkers for cancer risk.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Diabetes, Endocrinology, and MetabolismPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Clinical FellowSpecialty:Adult EndocrinologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of CaliforniaB.S. - Stanford UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:San Leandro, CA
Dr. Sophia Yu is a native of California. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in biological sciences at Stanford University and her Doctorate of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She completed her internal medicine residency at Vanderbilt and continued as an adult endocrinology fellow. Prior to Vanderbilt, Dr. Yu was a clinical research fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she sought to understand the triglyceride paradox in African Americans. She continues her research in risk factors for cardiometabolic disease at Vanderbilt and is a member of the physician-scientist organization, Tinsley Randolph Harrison Society. She has served as Chief Endocrinology Fellow during her training and is delighted to stay at Vanderbilt as Instructor of Medicine. Her clinical and research interests include diabetes, sex and ethnic differences in cardiovascular disease, and lipid disorders.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Genetic MedicinePrevious Institution:Colorado Genetics LaboratoryPrevious Role/Title:Certified Senior Cytogenetic TechnologistSpecialty:Inherited Cancer PredispositionEducation/Training:M.S. - Ohio State UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Firestone, CO
Brenda Zuniga is a Genetic Counselor who provides strong clinical genetics support for physicians, nurses, and other allied health partners across multiple specialities (medical oncology, gynecologic oncology, genetics, breast surgery, radiology, gynecology, and gastroenterology).
- Clinical FellowDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral Fellow-Allergy and ImmunologySpecialty:Allergy and ImmunologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Tennessee Health Science CenterInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Dr. Sarah Adams received her baccalaureate degree (2008) in biology from Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. She entered medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine and received her MD degree in 2012. Dr. Adams completed her residency (2012-2016) at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and subsequently entered her fellowship training at Vanderbilt in 2016. She is board certified in Internal Medicine (2016) and Pediatrics (2016). Dr. Adams’ research interests focus on the coordination of asthma care. As a resident at the Medical University of South Carolina, she assisted in numerous quality improvement projects, including her work in encouraging the prescription of inhaled corticosteroids in the emergency department. Dr. Adams is a member of many prestigious organizations, including the Alpha Omega Honors Society, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), and the Southeastern Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Society (SEAAI). She has demonstrated consistent academic success over the course of her career. She has given talks and lectures throughout her fellowship and has published in well-recognized journals in the allergy field. Dr. Adams recently presented her work at the AAAAI meeting in Orlando, Florida, and has demonstrated engagement and diligent work during her research immersion.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Diabetes, Endocrinology, and MetabolismPrevious Institution:Hayes Endocrine & DiabetesPrevious Role/Title:Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:EndocrinologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Belmont UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Blytheville, AR
Brannan U. Cole joins the Vanderbilt faculty after two years of working as a nurse practitioner specializing in diabetes and other endocrine-related health issues. He is fascinated with the relationship between diabetes and depression. Do individuals with type II diabetes make poor food choices because of an underlying brain chemistry imbalance, or does depression contribute to making poor food choices? And what is a healthcare provider’s best entry point for diagnosing and treating these conditions? Brannan wants to explore and understand the interdependence of these two issues to see how interventions to address one variable could affect or alleviate the impact of the other condition. He sees examining a patient’s relationship with food as a central component of long-term behavior change needed to address diabetes. He also works to improve and better understand counseling and patient retention of information post-appointment. Brannan's greatest joy is spending time with friends and family. He feels lucky to call his family his best friends. He loves to travel, watch sports (especially SEC football), finance reading, spending time at the lake, and working out. He is thrilled to join the Vanderbilt team and to contribute to positive patient outcomes.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Geriatric MedicinePrevious Institution:Previous Role/Title:Specialty:Education/Training:M.S.N., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeB.S.N., Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, GeorgiaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:
After working as a registered nurse in critical care for almost five years, Beth received her Master of Science in Nursing as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with a specialty in geriatrics at Vanderbilt University in 2017. During her years as a nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, she participated as a fellow in the Evidence-Based Nursing Research Fellowship and the Cal Turner Jr. Moral Leadership Fellowship at Vanderbilt. She has been involved in the Ethics Committee at Vanderbilt University Medical Center since 2015. Through her bioethics work and training in research, her professional interests are further aligned with caring for chronic conditions in older adults and providing education regarding end of life care. She has collaborated with the Tennessee State Health Insurance Programs to assist in educating older adults about choosing Medicare plans.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:TriStar Medical GroupPrevious Role/Title:Family Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:Family PracticeEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Ms. Nardone is a family nurse practitioner. Prior to joining the Department of Medicine, she was a nurse practitioner with the TriStar Medical Group (Family Practice Associates of Lenox Village) in Nashville.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:FellowSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of MississippiInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Natchez, MS
Dr. Tillman’s clinical and research interests fall within the field of general hematology. He has a specific focus in the area of classical hematology, and his research has centered on contact activation and the role of factor XI under the broad category of immunothrombosis. His clinical interests also focus on rare bleeding disorders and acquired abnormalities of the coagulation system. When he is not at the hospital, he spends his time with his family.