Please get to know new faculty who have joined the Department of Medicine within the last six months.*
*Note that this directory is updated by the 10th of each month.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Indiana University HealthPrevious Role/Title:Cardiology HospitalistSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.B.A. - Indiana UniversityM.D. - University of the PhilippinesInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Manila, Philippines
Dr. Francis Balucan recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health with a focus on hospital medicine. He has a broader interest in patients who are readmitted frequently in the hospital, healthcare finance, and electronic medical records. After growing up in Manila, Philippines, he completed medical school at the University of the Philippines, Manila, residency at Mount Sinai School of Medicine at James J. Peters VA, and more recently received a Master in Business Administration at the Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis with a focus in healthcare. He worked as a cardiology hospitalist at Indiana University Health, where he honed his interest into a project dealing with frequent heart failure readmitters at their institution. He has collaborated with multiple medical specialties and hospital departments with this project. When away from work, he enjoys running, traveling, reading, watching anything on TV, and traveling with his extended family.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Indiana University School of MedicineB.S. - Pharmaceutical Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IndianaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Indianapolis, IN
Laura attended medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she served as a co-chair of the Residency Health & Wellness Committee. She is thrilled to stay on at Vanderbilt as a hospitalist.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Seattle Children's Hospital, University of WashingtonPrevious Role/Title:FellowSpecialty:Adolescent Medicine, Family MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of New MexicoM.P.H. - University of WashingtonInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Las Cruces, NM
Dr. Burkhart completed her fellowship in adolescent medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital, and thus a majority of her interests follow suit in the adolescent and young adult populations. Her research interests include access to care and health resources, with an emphasis on sexual health and sexual assault resources in underserved college students. She is also interested in the intersection and utilization of social media to disseminate health information, as well as its use as a tool to capture at-risk populations. Dr. Burkhart has a particular interest in technology-facilitated sexual violence and its impact on adolescents and young adults. Her general clinical interests are in taking care of college students and the diverse range of conditions that impact them. She has a particular interest in sexual trauma and has been able to take additional specialized training in the care of this population, including training in sexual assault forensic exams.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Rheumatology and ImmunologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Clinical FellowSpecialty:Rheumatology and ImmunologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Alabama School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Birmingham, AL
Dr. Byram has clinical and research interests in the primary vasculitides. Through funding from the Vasculitis Foundation and Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium, he will complete an additional year of fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic under the mentorship of Dr. Carol Langford to further study these important diseases. Dr. Byram will also be working with Dr. Michelle Ormseth on a project exploring the microRNA expression profiles of patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis. Dr. Byram plans to organize a clinical care and research program for patients with vasculitis at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
- Research Associate Professor of MedicineDivision of:Nephrology and HypertensionPrevious Institution:Aegis Science CorporationPrevious Role/Title:Research ScientistSpecialty:Mass Spectrometry, Biochemistry, Molecular BiologyEducation/Training:Ph.D. - National Academy of Science of UkraineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Brentwood, TN
Dr. Chetyrkin’s research is focused on the collagen IV family of proteins that compose basement membranes, a specialized form of extracellular matrix. The matrix is essential for the development and maintenance of tissue architecture and function in all multi-cellular organisms from ctenophora to human. Structural alteration in the collagen IV family of proteins underlies the pathophysiology of four kidney diseases: Goodpasture’s syndrome, Alport syndrome, thin basement membrane nephropathy, and Alport post-transplant nephritis. Dr. Chetyrkin’s work has been published in 25 peer-reviewed articles.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Ohio State UniversityPrevious Role/Title:Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical OncologySpecialty:Gastrointestinal Medical OncologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of MiamiM.S.C.I. - Vanderbilt UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:New Port Richey, FL
Dr. Ciombor received her bachelor’s degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard University in 2001 and her medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in 2005. She went on to complete her internship, residency, and chief residency training in internal medicine at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital/Veterans Administration in Miami, Florida. Dr. Ciombor then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a hematology-oncology fellowship, GI oncology research fellowship and a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation at Vanderbilt. She joined the faculty at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, as an Assistant Professor of internal medicine in 2013. She returned to Vanderbilt as a faculty member in gastrointestinal medical oncology in 2017. Dr. Ciombor is interested in developing new therapeutics in GI malignancies through clinical trials, as well as translational research for the development of prognostic and predictive biomarkers and a better understanding of genomics in colorectal cancer.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Internal Medicine ResidentSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Tennessee Health Science CenterB.A. - Economics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Athens, TN
Dr. Clark’s interest in malignant hematology began after his personal health experience. During undergraduate studies, he worked in a graft vs. host disease lab, as well as leading several bone marrow donor registry drives on campus. He was a member of AOA while in medical school and held a continued role in patient advocacy service entities. While in residency at VUMC, his publications have included reviews of the long-term post-allogeneic transplant care model as well as evolving novel agents for previously treated, relapsed multiple myeloma. Ongoing clinical research projects involve obstructive lung disease following stem cell transplantation, transmembrane growth factor receptor expression on clonal plasma cells in heavily treated multiple myeloma, and the association between minimal residual disease in multiple myeloma and progression-free survival in the context of autologous transplantation.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Assistant Professor of MedicineSpecialty:General Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - The George Washington University School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Morrisville, PA
Dr. Cottrell joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the division of General Internal Medicine in the spring of 2017. Prior to this, he worked as a Clinician-Educator at Boston Medical Center, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. He has an interest in medical education as well as electronic medical records. He is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. He attended college at Boston University, medical school at George Washington University School of Medicine, and completed his residency training in Primary Care – Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia, PA. His wife is an anesthesiologist, and when not working, they enjoy hikes with their greyhound dogs, barbecues, movies and theater.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Clinical FellowSpecialty:Gastroenterology and HepatologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Medical College of GeorgiaM.S. - University of Georgia, Athens, GeorgiaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Marietta, GA
Dr. Dalal is a specialist in gastroenterology. Her research interests include outcomes and quality indicators in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the multidisciplinary care of the IBD patient. She attended college at the University of Georgia and medical school at the Medical College of Georgia. She completed her internship, internal medicine residency, Hugh Jackson Morgan chief residency, and clinical gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
- Research InstructorDivision of:Diabetes, Endocrinology, and MetabolismPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral FellowSpecialty:Molecular EndocrinologyEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Emory UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Murfreesboro, TN
Dr. Dean's longtime interests have been to understand how nutritional status and other environmental factors stimulate cell proliferation and affect the susceptibility of vulnerable cells to degeneration. Her current interests are the determinants of endocrine mass, specifically pancreatic islet alpha cell mass. While much effort has been focused on understanding beta cell biology because of insulin's well known role in diabetes, very little is known about signals regulating other islet cells. Alpha cells secrete glucagon in response to hypoglycemia, but persons with diabetes have hyperglucagonemia contributing to hyperglycemia. Struck by the impressive alpha cell hyperplasia and hyperglucagonemia in mice with interrupted glucagon signaling, Dr. Dean sought to identify the mechanism underlying this during her postdoctoral training. She identified that unknown circulating factors stimulate alpha cell hyperplasia in mice with interrupted glucagon signaling. She then collaborated with multiple investigators at Vanderbilt and other institutions to identify that these circulating factors are amino acids defining a novel hepatic-pancreatic islet alpha cell axis. She demonstrated that this effect is conserved in human alpha cells suggesting that this axis is relevant to human biology and disease. Her current interests are 1) to define the mechanism of how amino acids are sensed by alpha cells to stimulate proliferation and glucagon secretion and 2) to investigate the role of amino acids on alpha cell dysfunction in diabetes.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:DermatologyPrevious Institution:Brigham and Women's HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Complex Medical Dermatology FellowSpecialty:DermatologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Yale School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Chicago, IL
Anna K. Dewan, MD, MHS, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is board-certified in dermatology, and her specialties include inpatient dermatology, autoimmune blistering disorders of the skin, cutaneous toxicities from chemotherapy/immunotherapy, and non-melanoma skin cancer. She also has a passion for global health and increasing access to dermatology in resource-poor settings. After graduating from Northwestern University, she earned her medical degree and Master of Health Science at Yale University School of Medicine. She completed her intern year and residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center followed by a fellowship in complex medical dermatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the Medical Dermatology Society, and the Women's Dermatologic Society.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:University of MichiganPrevious Role/Title:FellowSpecialty:Interstitial lung diseases and sleep medicineEducation/Training:M.D. - State University of New York (SUNY)Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Queens, NY
Dr. Rosemarie Dudenhofer received her baccalaureate degree (2004) in biology and biochemistry from Queens College (CUNY), New York, New York. She entered medical school at Downstate Medical Center (SUNY), Brooklyn, New York, and received her MD degree in 2008. Dr. Dudenhofer did her residency (2008-2011) at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and subsequently entered her fellowship training at the University of Michigan in 2012. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine (2011), Pulmonary Medicine (2014), and is board-eligible in Critical Care (anticipated, 11/17). Dr. Rosemarie Dudenhofer completed a fellowship in neurology and sleep medicine (2016-present) at the University of Michigan, following a two-year fellowship (2012-2014) in pulmonary medicine and critical care at that same institution. Dr. Dudenhofer’s research interests focus on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and sleep-disordered breathing. These interests led her to explore the relationship between the two; she subsequently studied hospitalized interstitial lung disease patients who also had a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. This project has fostered her continued interest in sleep medicine following her outpatient sleep medicine rotation while in fellowship. Dr. Dudenhofer is a member of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the Society of Critical Care Medicine, two of the most prestigious organizations in her field. She serves on a subcommittee regarding sleep and respiratory neurobiology web education for the ATS. She has consistently participated in teaching and mentoring throughout her academic career, has given talks and lectures throughout her fellowship, and has publications in well recognized journals in her field.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Geriatric Medicine GroupPrevious Institution:Meharry Medical CollegePrevious Role/Title:Assistant Professor of SurgerySpecialty:Career sustainability of scholars in workforce developmentEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of South CarolinaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Dr. Fair's interests and achievements are illustrated through her productivity in peer-reviewed manuscripts and educational outreach. She has 28 peer-reviewed manuscripts (11 first-author) representing her research interest areas in stakeholder engagement in clinical research, mentoring, training and sustaining scholars in the clinical translational workforce. and the relationship of psychosocial and lifestyle factors on breast cancer risk in minority and medically underserved mammography patients. She is committed to career development and mentorship of scholars in public health and medicine. Through her tenure at the University of South Carolina and Meharry Medical College, she was course faculty for seven courses offered in public health degree programs. Since 2012, she has been the seminar leader for a quarterly Clinical Immersion Bootcamp Program through the School of Medicine in the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR). This educational session is tailored to Vanderbilt University Medical Center staff on the requirements and processes necessary for the ethical conduct of clinical research at the enterprise level. Dr. Fair’s interest in community-engaged research (CEnR) is a new development that has been honed in two capacities. Over the last three years, she has managed quantitative and qualitative patient-centered outcomes survey research projects on the barriers and incentives for consumer and provider stakeholders on participating in a clinical data research network (CDRN). Secondly, she was the program director for the 2016 Advancing the Science of CEnR conference, a forum to rapidly disseminate CEnR evidence, gain practical knowledge, and implement new and enhance existing community engagement programs.
- Instructor in Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Workwell Medical GroupPrevious Role/Title:Staff PhysicianSpecialty:Family MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of AlabamaB.S., Biology and Chemistry - Judson College, 1994Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Uzice, Yugoslavia
Dr. Aleksandra Frye is a board-certified family physician with 14 years of experience in primary care, emergency medicine, and urgent care. She arrived in Shelbyville, Tennessee, in 1991 as an exchange student from former Yugoslavia. She was fortunate to receive a Presidential Scholarship and complete her undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry at Judson College in Marion, Alabama. In 1999, she earned her medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. She was awarded the Family Medicine Award and the Obstetrics and Gynecology Award for the Tuscaloosa campus. After completing her family medicine residency in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and being a part of a military family, she started on a cross-country adventure which led her to work in emergency rooms, urgent care, and occupational medicine clinics, as well as primary care clinics, in four different states (Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, and California). She is very happy to be back in the South and to settle in the hospitable Nashville area.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Genetic MedicinePrevious Institution:University of ChicagoPrevious Role/Title:Senior Bioinformatics ScientistSpecialty:Functional Genomics & Statistical GeneticsEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of AmsterdamInterests/Achievements:Hometown:San Diego, CA
Dr. Gamazon's primary research interest is in developing and extending methods for elucidating the genetic architecture of complex disorders and pharmacologic phenotypes. Since 2010, he has published over 100 scientific publications in the areas of statistical genetics, functional genomics, and complex traits genetics. An ongoing project involves the genetics of gene expression and the use of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) to expand on genetic association studies. He also works on integrating large-scale DNA biobank data and electronic medical records to enhance research in (and the translational utility of) genetics and genomics. Dr. Gamazon is part of the GTEx Consortium and the T2D-GENES Consortium. He was also a member of the International Warfarin Pharmacogenetics Consortium GWAS team. Dr. Gamazon was trained in genomics and computational biology and has conducted research in human genetics in the Section of Genetic Medicine of the University of Chicago and the Faculty of Medicine (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Harvard Medical SchoolPrevious Role/Title:Assistant ProfessorSpecialty:Mucosal ImmunologyEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Vanderbilt UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:St. Louis, MO
Dr. Jeremy Goettel recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroneterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. He received his PhD in cell and developmental biology from Vanderbilt University in 2010 where he studied cytokine signaling in intestinal epithelial cells in the lab of Dr. Brent Polk. He performed his postdoctoral training with Dr. Scott Snapper at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital where he investigated mechanisms of mucosal immune regulation with a particular focus on monogenic disorders driving inflammatory bowel diseases. During this time, Dr. Goettel developed and utilized humanized murine systems as translational research tools that enabled studies related to human immune-mediated diseases, human immunobiology, and assessing human therapeutics. His contributions to the field of humanized mice, mucosal immunology, and inflammatory bowel disease earned him a Young Investigator Award from the International Workshop on Humanized Mice and, more recently, the prestigious CCFA Shanti Sitaraman Young IBD Investigator Award. Dr. Goettel’s research at Vanderbilt will focus on defining the roles specific regulatory T cells and innate lymphoid cells play in mucosal immune homeostasis and inflammation-associated carcinogenesis using both genetic and humanized murine systems.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Diabetes, Endocrinology, and MetabolismPrevious Institution:University of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Assistant Clinical Professor/ Clinical Lead, Endocrine Telehealth UnitSpecialty:EndocrinologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Vanderbilt University School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Indiana, PA
Dr. Michelle Griffith joins Vanderbilt from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), where she served as Medical Director of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology before transitioning to the role of Clinical Lead of the Endocrine Telehealth Unit. At UPMC, she helped to develop a successful telemedicine service focused on glycemic management for rural patients. After less than five years of practice in Pittsburgh, she was nominated by peers as one of Pittsburgh’s best doctors (Pittsburgh Magazine, 2016). She is interested in promoting telemedicine as a tool to deliver specialty care, as well as other models of care delivery. She is also interested in the coordination of care across networks and promoting efficient care practices with a primary focus on diabetes. Clinically, Dr. Griffith particularly enjoys taking care of patients with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and thyroid disease, and she is looking forward to building a clinical practice at Vanderbilt. Outside of work, her interests include running and spending time outside.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Georgetown University HospitalPrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Hospital MedicineEducation/Training:D.O. - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Daytona Beach, FL
Dr. Kevin Hageman recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health and is now a full-time hospitalist within the clinical practice track. After growing up in Daytona Beach, Florida, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He went on to earn his medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and then completed his internal medicine residency at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. Dr. Hageman has experience in both basic science (vascular endothelial nitric oxide production) and translational research (risk factors for acute kidney injury after cardiac surgery). He has broad clinical interests in hematology, acute nephrology, palliative medicine, and medical education. He is married to his wife, Courtney Hageman, who works in real estate investing. Together, they have a beautiful and energetic two-year-old daughter, Rylee. While away from the hospital, he enjoys time with his family, live music, and the outdoors.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:University of VirginiaPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral FellowSpecialty:Allergy, asthma and immunologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Louisiana State UniversityB.S., Nutritional Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LouisianaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Slidell, Louisiana
Dr. Alice Hoyt has solid, comprehensive training in the major aspects of asthma and allergic diseases. Her initial research involved a proof-of-concept study to investigate the role of alum adjuvants in promoting Th2 immune deviation and, as such, possibly predisposing recipients to allergic sensitization. Her work also involved evaluating the tendency of alum to influence expression of allergen-specific fox3 positive T effector cells. However, in her final year of fellowship at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Dr. Hoyt has focused on food allergy in children. She has been lauded for being the founding director of “Code Ana” (anaphylaxis), a program that works with local schools to develop individualized food allergy plans for each school to address situations when anaphylaxis occurs. She is also known for founding “Wahoo Cool,” a local school program that aims to provide allergy care and action plans for children in the community who have not had previous access to heath care. Her enthusiastic energy for and involvement in these and other outreach programs in the community has been very effective. Dr. Hoyt has received awards in almost every year of her higher academic career, nine of them since 2014. She is a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (the most prestigious organization in her field), the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Associate Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Brigham and Women's HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Associate Director EP Laboratory, Director Arrhythmia ResearchSpecialty:Cardiology and Clinical Cardiac ElectrophysiologyEducation/Training:M.B.B.S.Ph.D., University of London, London, United KingdomInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Concord, MA
Dr. John's special interests include management of complex arrhythmias including atrial and ventricular arrhythmias and arrhythmias in adult congenital heart disease. In addition, he has a large volume of experience with cardiac arrhythmia management devices with special focus on cardiac synchronization therapy for heart failure and His bundle pacing. Research interests include development of novel ablation techniques for arrhythmias, voltage-based ablations for atrial arrhythmias, and targeted biopsy of ventricular myocardium based on imaging. Dr. John established clinical EP services at the West Roxbury VA Medical Center, Boston and Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts. At the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, he expanded the complex ablation procedures for atrial and ventricular arrhythmias including provision of arrhythmia management for adults with congenital heart disease. Dr. John was the point electrophysiologist for the Cardiac Amyloidosis Program and has gained substantial experience with management of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias and device management of patients with cardiac amyloidosis.
- Division of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Grandview Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Internal Medicine ResidentSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:D.O. - Lincoln Memorial University, 2014B.A. - University of Southern Indiana, 2010Hometown:
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:University of VirginiaPrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Northeast Ohio Medical SchoolB.S. - Microbiology, Grove City College , Grove City, PennsylvaniaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Middlefield, OH
Derek grew up in Northeast Ohio and attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania where he ran competitively and met his wife, Lauren. After completing medical school at Northeast Ohio Medical University, he moved to Charlottesville to complete internal medicine residency at the University of Virginia. Derek joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2017, and his interests include clinical education and the identification of decompensating patients. He enjoys spending time with his wife and young son and continues to run.
- Assistant ProfessorDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral Fellow, Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineSpecialty:Developing and evaluating interventional programsEducation/Training:M.D. - University of TexasB.A., Rice University, Houston, TexasInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Laguna Hills, CA
Dr. Robert J. Lentz is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine. He obtained his baccalaureate degree from Rice University in biology and psychology in 2005. He then enrolled in the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas at Houston, completing his degree in 2009. Dr. Lentz came to Vanderbilt in July of 2007 as an intern and resident, and from July of 2012 to June of 2013, he served as Hugh Jackson Morgan Chief Medical Resident. In July of 2013 he entered the three-year postdoctoral training program in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and upon completion entered the one-year fellowship training program in Interventional Pulmonology. Dr. Lentz is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, and critical care medicine. He is a member of the American Thoracic Society, the American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology, and the American College of Chest Physicians. Dr. Lentz's research focuses on advanced minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for advanced parenchymal lung diseases. His primary interest is the novel but promising procedure of bronchoscopic transbronchial cryobiopsy for the diagnosis of diffuse parenchymal/interstitial lung disease, a group of inflammatory/fibrotic lung diseases for which establishing a specific diagnosis remains challenging and current surgical biopsy technique carries significant risk. Dr. Lentz plays an active role in the Interventional Pulmonology Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Further, Dr. Lentz will play a major role in developing an interventional pulmonary service at the Tennessee Valley Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Wake ForestPrevious Role/Title:Intern, Resident, Chief ResidentSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - The George Washington UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Science from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Sciences in 2004. She worked at the National Cancer Institute for two years in a core laboratory focused on antibody/protein purification and cancer assay development as part of the NIH Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award program. She earned a Master in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University in 2007 and worked at the Cancer Project (a nonprofit focused on nutrition for cancer patients) as her master’s practicum. She graduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine in the research track in 2011 and completed her internal medicine internship and residency at Wake Forest University in 2014. During residency, she was a Tinsley R. Harrison Research Scholar, and her research in lung cancer screening implementation earned national recognition. Following residency, she served as one of the internal medicine chief residents. She completed her fellowship in medical oncology at Vanderbilt in 2017. Following fellowship, Jennifer will matriculate into Vanderbilt's Master of Public Health (MPH) program and will be a VA Quality Scholar Fellow. She plans to pursue a research career as a physician-scientist in health services and outcomes research in the areas of cancer survivorship, tobacco cessation, and lung cancer early detection. Other interests include the treatment of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, including targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and novel therapies as part of clinical trials aimed to improve patient survival and quality of life.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Gastroenterology Clinical FellowSpecialty:GastroenterologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of South AlabamaB.S. - Zoology, Auburn University, Auburn, AlabamaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Eufaula, AL
Dr. Lockwood completed his gastroenterology fellowship at Vanderbilt University in 2017. He will continue his training in gastroenterology at Vanderbilt by serving as the Advanced Endoscopy Fellow for the 2017-2018 academic year. Dr. Lockwood completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia in 2014. He graduated from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in 2011 and was elected as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. His research interests include patient decision making in Barrett's esophagus and pancreaticobiliary disease, as well as clinical outcomes following endoscopy. When he is not working, he loves spending time with his wife, attending concerts, and dining at new restaurants in Nashville. He is an avid fly-fisher and also enjoys exploring the rivers and lakes of Tennessee.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Infectious DiseasesPrevious Institution:VUMC, Division of Vascular SurgeryPrevious Role/Title:Research InstructorSpecialty:Cell Biology, Molecular BiologyEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Institute of VirologyInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Shangshui, Henan, China
Dr. Luo’s research interest is to investigate the immune mechanisms associated with the progression of pulmonary fibrosis, and to seek immunotherapeutic method to block the development pulmonary fibrosis. Previous works in Dr. Drake lab demonstrate PD-1+ CD4+ T cells with reduced proliferative capacity and increased TGF-ß/Il-17A expression play a critical role in the development of human pulmonary fibrosis. Dr. Luo’s current research is to use mouse as a model to investigate the immunopathological mechanisms underlying the development of sarcoidosis, and to see if blockade of PD-1 signaling pathway could prevent the development of sarcoidosis.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:University of Arizona College of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:Chief Resident in Quality & Patient SafetySpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Florida International University, 2013B.S., Kinesiology - University of Southern Califormia, 2008Interests/Achievements:Hometown:New York, NY
Dr. Edward R. Maharam is excited to bring his interest in innovation, quality improvement, and education to Vanderbilt’s new Extensivist Program. He looks forward to hitting the ground running and providing excellent medical care to his patients in Nashville. After growing up in New York City, he received his BS in kinesiology from the University of Southern California. He then did a year of basic science research utilizing mesenchymal stem cells at Mount Sinai School of Medicine prior to joining the founding class of the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in 2013. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Arizona-Phoenix Internal Medicine Program in 2016. He was then retained as Clinical Assistant Professor in the role of Chief Resident in Quality & Patient Safety where he both led and mentored numerous quality improvement initiatives and taught a quality improvement curriculum to the residency program. When away from work, Dr. Maharam enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports, golf, country music, and theater.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Duke UniversityPrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Cardiology-Advanced Heart Failure and TransplantationEducation/Training:M.D. - Tulane University School of MedicineB.S., Economics, Duke University, Durham, North CarolinaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:New York, NY
Dr. Menachem is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology. He is focused on transplant cardiology and advanced therapies for adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD). His research has focused on mechanical support in patients with transposition of the great vessels, as well as transplantation in patients with complex congenital heart disease. He recently presented at an ISHLT symposium he developed entitled, "The Tsunami of ACHD Patients Who Need Advanced Therapies: Are We Prepared?" He received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Duke University and his doctorate of medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed internal medicine residency at Duke University. He completed his general cardiology training with a dedicated ACHD year, as well as an advanced fellowship in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation at the University of Pennsylvania. Before his medical training, Dr. Menachem worked in leveraged finance at J.P. Morgan and mergers and acquisitions at Townsend Frew. He also worked in the Corporate Development and Investor Relations Department at FoxHollow Technologies in Redwood City, California.
- InstructorDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Clinical FellowSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of North CarolinaPh.D. - University of North CarolinaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Derby, KS
Dr. Tamara Moyo graduated from Kansas State University with a double major in biology and modern language. She finished her undergraduate studies at Ludwig Maximilians University in Germany and then worked in the Laboratory of Viral Diseases at the National Institutes of Health before going to medical school. Tamara completed her medical and doctoral degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed an internal medicine residency and fellowship in hematology and oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Tamara’s clinical interest is malignant hematology, and she is currently involved in several clinical studies investigating novel therapeutic agents in myelofibrosis, myelodysplastic syndromes, and acute leukemia. Her research follows the “bench to bedside and back again” maxim, as she is applying her extensive background in scientific bench research to thoughtfully develop cutting-edge correlative studies that will shed light on factors that mitigate response or resistance to therapeutic strategies. She is an active member of the Tinsley Randolph Harrison Society and the Hematology Early Therapeutics Working Group at Vanderbilt.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Previous Role/Title:Specialty:Education/Training:Ph.D., Experimental Psychology - East Tennessee State University, 2014M.A., Experimental Psychology - Applachian State University, 2011Hometown:
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Nephrology and HypertensionPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt UniversityPrevious Role/Title:Research Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and BiophysicsSpecialty:Genetic and pharmacological modeling of human diseaseEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Peterborough Ontario
Dr. Page-McCaw received my training in molecular biology and biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology working for Phillip Sharp. Previously, he worked as an RA in David Baltimore’s lab where he discovered the bHLH domain. As a postdoc, he developed a machine vision-based assay to measure the startle response in zebrafish. Startle response habituation is a simple non-associative learning paradigm; defects in habituation are associated with schizophrenia. Dr. Page-McCaw performed a large-scale forward genetic screen for mutations that affect startle habituation. The screen identified many mutations falling into several classes that affected the startle response, its habituation, and dishabituation. He and his lab also studied the unexpected role of tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in pigment formation, in mediating retinal light adaptation. They demonstrated that tyrosinase-synthesized l-DOPA is converted to dopamine, a known light adapting neurotransmitter. In the absence of tyrosinase, l-DOPA is not synthesized, and the animal cannot light adapt. This analysis may explain some of the photophobia experienced by oculocutaneous albinism patients. At Rensselaer, where the new building housing his laboratory was delayed and a functional fish room was much delayed, Dr. Page-McCaw and his group were able to study the autonomic response to startle by measuring heart rate in the larval zebrafish. In collaboration with Russ Ferland, they studied the function of Ahi1 in primary ciliogenesis and its role in formation of the outer segments of the photoreceptor. At Vanderbilt, he has been working with Roger Cone and Wenbiao Chen developing methods to study metabolism and ß cell regulation of metabolism. Dr. Page-McCaw has made mutations in zebrafish using CRISPR and has collaborated with Hassane Mchaourab on the role of sHSPs in cataract and cardiac and renal function.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterPrevious Role/Title:Senior Research Scientist, Immunology ProgramSpecialty:Hematology/ImmunologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Chicago Pritzker School of MedicinePh.D. - University of ChicagoInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Chicago, IL
During Dr. Philip’s PhD training and later as a medical student and resident in Dr. Hans Schreiber’s laboratory at the University of Chicago, she studied how tumor-specific antigens are generated in cancer cells (Science 2006) and presented to the immune system (Immunology 2010). As a hematology/oncology fellow at the University of Washington, she discovered that heme metabolism regulates thymic T cell development (Journal of Immunology 2015). This work was supported by an American Society of Hematology Scholar Award and a NIH/NCI K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (received 2011). In 2015, with the support of Dr. Abkowitz and the NCI, Dr. Philip transferred her K08 to MSKCC to join Dr. Schietinger’s lab to continue her research. Their work on the surprisingly early development of CD8 T cell dysfunction in pre-malignant lesions was recently published in Immunity (2016). Since then, she has focused on investigating the epigenetic programs defining T cell dysfunction and therapeutic reprogrammability in solid tumors, and a manuscript on her work is currently in press at Nature (2016). Her clinical training and work has shaped and informed her laboratory research, and she would like to build on her strengths in cancer immunology and hematologic malignancies to care for patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant and/or immunotherapy. As a laboratory-based investigator and physician-scientist, Dr. Philip’s goal is to use clinically-relevant mouse cancer models to tackle important cancer immunology questions, to improve immunotherapy for cancer patients, and to identify critical clinical problems and questions that she can investigate in the laboratory.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Infectious DiseasesPrevious Institution:J. Craig Venter InstitutePrevious Role/Title:Research Assistant ProfessorSpecialty:Systems Biology, MetagenomicsEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of HeidelbergM.Sc., Biology, Bangalore University, Bangalore, IndiaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Clarksburg, MD
Dr. Rajagopala's research interest lies at the interface between infectious diseases and systems biology. His current research is focused on metagenomics and transcriptome studies, which utilize innovative deep sequencing methods to understand the complex relations between host-microbial interactions in various disease conditions. Dr. Rajagopala's research priorities include three studies. (1) Gut microbiome in childhood leukemia: The resident microbiome has a profound effect on human metabolism and can play a significant role in activating, training, and modulating the host immune response. Towards this, he profiled the gut microbiota composition in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This study provides significant information on gut microbiota populations in immunocompromised children and opens up the potential for developing novel diagnostics based on stool tests and therapies to improve the dysbiotic condition of the microbiota at the time of diagnosis and in the earliest stages of chemotherapy. (2) Host response to viral infections: Dr. Rajagopala implemented innovative deep sequencing methods (RNA-Seq) to understand the immune response to viral infections (RSV and Zika virus). (3) Systems biology of host-pathogen interactions: Dr. Rajagopala developed and used high-throughput protein interaction screening to map the pathogen-host interactions of bacterial “effector” proteins produced by the pathogens Burkholderia mallei, Coxiella burnetii, and Francisella tularensis. For the first time, he described “the binary protein-protein interaction landscape of Escherichia coli.” This is a pioneering project that serves as a draft reference for the basic physical wiring network of E. coli and other evolutionarily important model microbes. He also characterized the interactome networks of Syphilis spirochete, Treponema pallidum, and the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:University of Alabama at BirminghamPrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Internal Medicine and PediatricsEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Kentucky College of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Lexington, KY
Dr. Schaefer joins the Vanderbilt community after completing her residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she participated in the health disparities track. She maintains a strong interest in serving vulnerable populations and looks forward to doing so within an academic center with close ties to medical education. This represents a return to Nashville for Dr. Schaefer; she completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt with a BA in psychology, then returned to her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, to attend medical school at the University of Kentucky. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, spending any amount of time with family and friends, and cheering on her beloved UK Wildcats.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Clinical FellowSpecialty:GastroenterologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Mayo Medical SchoolM.S.C.I. - Vanderbilt UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:London, KY
Dr. Elizabeth Scoville received her medical degree from Mayo Medical School and completed residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital before coming to Vanderbilt in 2014 for a gastroenterology fellowship. During her fellowship she completed the Master of Science and Clinical Investigation (MSCI) program at Vanderbilt. Her clinical and research interests are focused on the inflammatory bowel diseases. Her research focuses on how variations in genetics and the inflammatory response may alter outcomes and response to therapy in inflammatory bowel disease.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Icahan School of Medicine at Mount SinaiPrevious Role/Title:Fellow/Chief-GastroenterologySpecialty:GastroenterologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Drexel University College of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Mountain Top, PA
Dr. Shailja Shah graduated summa cum laude and with AOA distinction from the seven-year Bachelor of Science/Doctorate of Medicine program at Drexel University/MCP Hahnemann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) in 2011, during which time she also did lab-based work as a “Students Tackling Advanced Research (STAR)” scholar. She then went on to complete her internal medicine residency at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she was also enrolled in the PRIME clinical research track. Given her interest in global health, she also worked at Mulago Hospital/Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, during her residency. After completing her residency, Dr. Shah decided to pursue her fellowship in gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital to foster an increasing interest in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As a fellow, her clinical and research interests expanded to include inflammation-associated carcinogenesis, specifically colonic dysplasia and neoplasia in the setting of longstanding IBD colitis, as well as gastric preneoplasia and neoplasia. Under the primary mentorship of Dr. Steven Itzkowitz, Dr. Shah decided to focus her research on understanding the reasons for the racial/ethnic disparity with respect to gastric preneoplasia and neoplasia, specifically within the United States. She is also interested in novel non-invasive biomarkers for gastric preneoplasia and early neoplasia, which she is hopeful will one day inform an algorithm for targeted gastric cancer screening for high-risk groups in the US. Given Vanderbilt's reputation as a national and international authority in gastric preneoplasia, neoplasia, and Helicobacter pylori, Dr. Shah is excited to continue the next part of her career as junior faculty in the Vanderbilt Digestive Diseases Research Center.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral FellowSpecialty:Microbial PathogenesisEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of Texas Medical BranchInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Bogota, Colombia
Dr. Sierra earned her PhD degree in microbiology and Iimmunology from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She has been interested in host-pathogen interactions throughout her career. She started to study the role of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in the pathogenesis associated with Helicobacter pylori infection as a postdoctoral fellow here at Vanderbilt in Dr. Keith T. Wilson's laboratory. From these studies, she showed that EGFR activation plays an important role in gastric carcinogenesis and that receptor inhibition may be a useful chemopreventive strategy. She is also interested in the effects of polyamine depletion during H. pylori infection. Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) is a specific inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase, which is the rate-limiting enzyme during polyamine biosynthesis. Her work has shown that DFMO treatment in animal models reduces gastric cancer incidence by beneficial effects on the host cells and by reducing H. pylori virulence. DFMO is currently being used in a clinical trial for the targeted chemoprevention of gastric carcinogenesis in high-risk populations in South and Central America. Dr. Sierra will be analyzing samples from this clinical trial to assess the affect of DFMO in host carcinogenic responses and H. pylori virulence, and it is hoped that this will lead to important new insights into gastric cancer chemoprevention.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Tennova Harton HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Nurse Practitioner-Inpatient/Outpatient CardiologySpecialty:Acute CareEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Hendersonville, TN
Barbara C. Simpson is an ANCC board-certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and a graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She was born and raised in Hendersonville, Tennessee, but currently resides in LaVergne with her husband and two dogs. Barbara has been practicing medicine since 2011. She previously trained in Murfreesboro and Tullahoma, Tennessee. She has specialized in inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular medicine, as well as internal medicine. Barbara’s passion for cardiovascular medicine began as an academic student and has continued throughout her career. She has a strong commitment to prevention and control of this devastating illness, which continues to be the leading cause of death globally. While she remains interested in all areas of cardiovascular medicine and surgery, Barbara's specific research interests include acute coronary syndrome and interventional cardiology. Her practice has an emphasis on technological advances, and the identification and education of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors for disease prevention. She is also interested in familial and genetics research into cardiovascular disease processes (such as cardiomyopathy, homozygous hyperlipidemia, etc.), risk vs. benefit guidelines for initiation of dual antiplatelet therapy in PCI patients with additional indication for full dose anticoagulation, and the treatment and long-term management of patients with recurrent atrial fibrillation and an absolute contraindication to anticoagulation. She is also a fervent advocate for organ donation and transplant research. Barbara is a member of both the Phi Eta Sigma and Sigma Theta Tau national honor societies. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
- Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolPrevious Role/Title:Director, Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure ProgramSpecialty:Cardiology, Heart FailureEducation/Training:M.D. - Stanford University School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Joplin, MO
Lynne Warner Stevenson graduated from Princeton University and Stanford Medical School, and completed medicine and cardiology training at UCLA. On the UCLA faculty, she helped to start the cardiac transplant program in 1984 and formed the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center, one of the first heart failure management programs. In 1993 she moved to become Director of Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she expanded referrals for transplantation and alternative strategies for advanced heart disease. Her physiologic research began with the clinical assessment and hemodynamic profiles for tailored therapy to take the congestion out of heart failure, currently developing protocols for ambulatory hemodynamic monitoring to decrease heart failure disease progression. She has played leadership roles in NIH trials of heart failure strategies and is one of the founders of the Intermacs Registry for Mechanical Circulatory Support, including over 22,000 patients. Dr. Stevenson has been an author on over 250 original publications and 30 national guideline documents and has served as Senior Associate Editor for the launch of Circulation Heart Failure. Her mentoring record includes more than 40 fellows who are current faculty in heart failure programs and two national consortia of junior investigators. As Director of Cardiomyopathy and the Advanced Heart Disease training program, Dr. Stevenson describes her vision as personalization of care for cardiomyopathy through integration of molecular and clinical profiling, attention to patient-reported outcomes, and triage and incorporation of patient goals into shared decision-making for advanced therapies, including palliative care. Recreational interests include photography, gardening, and choral singing.
- Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolPrevious Role/Title:Director, Cardiac Arrhythmia Program/Professor of MedicineSpecialty:Cardiac ElectrophysiologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Tulane Medical SchoolInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Tampa, FL
Dr. Stevenson specializes in the diagnosis and management of cardiac arrhythmias and prevention of sudden death. His clinical practice focuses on the treatment of complex heart rhythm disorders with catheter ablation. His methods of cardiac mapping to guide catheter ablation are widely used. He has published over 300 articles and chapters. He has provided post-doctoral training to over 50 fellows in cardiac electrophysiology. He is a recipient of the 2012 Michel Mirowski Award for Excellence in Clinical Cardiology and Electrophysiology. He is past president of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society and the founding editor of Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology of the American Heart Association.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:University of Texas Medical BranchPrevious Role/Title:Graduate StudentSpecialty:Microbiology and ImmunologyEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of Texas Medical BranchInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Anolaima, Colombia
Dr. Suarez's project is focused on how changes in gastric microenvironment affect Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) virulence. The goal of his project is to study the relationship between progression of gastric injury and changes in genes essential for the assembly and functionality of the H. pylori major virulence factor, cagT4SS. For this purpose, H. pylori isolates have been tested for genetic changes in the cag pathogenicity island and correlated with histopathological and immunological information from the host. Dr. Suarez has found a direct relationship between rearrangements in cagY, cagPAI function, and gastric disease severity. In parallel, he has been working to define the role of H. pylori peptidoglycan in gastric epithelial cell signaling. So far, using H. pylori mutant strains with modifications on peptidoglycan, as wells as in vitro systems to measure activation of specific signaling pathways on gastric epithelial cells such as NF-kB and AP-1 (important for the development of cancer), he has contributed to demonstrating the role that peptidoglycan plays in innate immunity against H. pylori. In addition, a mouse strain that overexpresses human gastrin in combination with deletion of both alleles of Nod1 has been generated. This mouse strain is being infected with H. pylori strains carrying mutations in genes important for peptidoglycan dynamics and will provide a better understanding of Nod1 and peptidoglycan interaction in relation to H. pylori pathogenesis.
- Division of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Previous Role/Title:Specialty:Education/Training:M.D., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, 2013M.Ed., George Peabody College, Nashville, Tennessee, 2013Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Massapequa, NY
Billy was born and raised on Long Island in Massapequa, NY. While still a proud New Yorker at heart, Billy lost most of his accent and inability to make eye contact with strangers when he left Long Island to attend the University of Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, Billy majored in psychology and learned the art of always believing that Notre Dame will win a national championship, regardless of how good they actually are. More importantly, at Notre Dame he met his wonderful wife, Elisabeth.Billy chose to attend Vanderbilt for medical school because of the supportive community he found here, and he and Elisabeth were married after his third year. Billy pursued a master of education (M.Ed.) at the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt during medical school, and he is a huge nerd when it comes to all things medical education.Elisabeth and Billy recently welcomed their first daughter, Mary Claire, into their lives in December 2012, and she is already being brainwashed to attend Notre Dame. Elisabeth has since been promoted from social studies teacher to stay-at-home mom, where she tries to keep up with Mary Claire. Billy and Elisabeth enjoy being immersed in a great television show, exercising together, listening to Wait, Wait... Don’t Tell Me! on NPR and watching their daughter grow and develop so quickly. Member of AOA.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:ResidentSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - Columbia UniversityB.A. - Williams College, Williamstown, MassachusettsInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Medfield, MA
Dr. Krista Suojanen grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and received her BA in economics from Williams College in 2007. She completed her pre-medical studies at Tufts University in 2009 while working in clinical research at Massachusetts General Hospital. She attended Columbia University for medical school from 2010 to 2014. At Columbia, she was a student in the Columbia-Bassett track and a member of its first graduating class. The program collaborated with faculty from the School of Public Health and Business School to expose its students to some of the larger issues underlying the US health care system and the way it works. It was this experience that sparked an interest in quality and process improvement—an interest that continues to this day. After medical school, Krista decided to escape the winters of the Northeast and ventured south for residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She has been impressed by Vanderbilt and her colleagues since day one and is looking forward to staying on to become a member of the faculty.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:St. Thomas West HospitalPrevious Role/Title:HospitalistSpecialty:Palliative CareEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Mississippi Medical School, 2011B.S., Biology - Millsaps College, 2006Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Meridian, MS
Stacey is interested in health equity and ensuring palliative care can be accessed by a broader population. When away from work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, usually exploring Nashville's parks and restaurants. She also enjoys traveling, hiking, and photography.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Previous Institution:Previous Role/Title:Specialty:Education/Training:M.D. - Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2014B.S. Interdisciplinary Engineering - Purdue University, 2010Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Norcross, GA
Carmen grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta and followed the family tradition of attending Purdue University. Carmen majored in interdisciplinary engineering, but decided to go to medical school halfway through college after she determined that she liked interacting with people first and foremost. Carmen was called back to the South for medical school, and Nashville has truly become home. In her free time, Carmen enjoys exploring the Nashville food scene as well as cooking (recently homemade bread and homemade cheese!). She has an obsession with coffee and coffee shops, and makes espresso every morning. Carmen tends to go to Radnor Lake to hike on days off, in addition to longer adventures including camping in the Smokies (and recently the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu). Carmen also likes running, swimming, Zumba, climbing, and volunteering at her church. She is interested in Latin culture, including international health both abroad and in Nashville. Carmen is so excited and thankful to be staying in Nashville for residency!
- Assistant ProfessorDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral FellowSpecialty:Pulmonary and critical care medicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Texas Medical School at HoustonB.S. - Biology and Chemistry, Angelo State University , San Angelo, TexasInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Dawn, TX
Dr. Melissa A. Warren completed her baccalaureate degree at Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas, in biology and chemistry in 2007. She went on to receive her MD degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 2011. Dr. Warren did her internship and residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center upon receiving her MD degree and subsequently entered the postdoctoral training program in pulmonary and critical care medicine in 2014. Throughout her fellowship career, Dr. Warren showed ongoing enthusiasm for teaching, as demonstrated by her frequent lectures to medical residents and nurse practitioners, as well as her hands-on training of students within the simulation center – endeavors she continues to expand upon as a member of the faculty. During her fellowship, Dr. Warren also focused on clinical research with a specific interest in the utility of chest radiography as a prognostic tool for assessing the extent of pulmonary edema in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Dr. Warren has a specific interest in developing a clinical niche within neuromuscular disease and in the lung nodule clinic. As a Clinician Educator, Dr. Warren participates in education and teaching, as well as in clinical research. The focus of these activities may include acute lung injury, lung nodules/lung cancer, and pleural disease. She is a recipient of the Roger DePrez Award for Excellence in Teaching, and she has received numerous awards for her academic excellence. She is board-certified and is a member of the American Thoracic Society.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Clincial Fellow-cardiovascular MedicineSpecialty:CardiologyEducation/Training:M.D. - Vanderbilt University School of MedicineM.S.C.I. - Vanderbilt University School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Queensbury, NY
Dr. Wasserman has been at Vanderbilt since starting medical school in 2009. He completed his internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at VUMC, as well as serving as a Research Instructor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and completing a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI). He is interested in the use of imaging determinants alongside clinical factors in predicting disease progression and response to interventions for cardiovascular disease. Disease areas of specific interest are in durability of response, post-atrial fibrillation ablation, and response to pharmacologic therapy for heart failure. Dr. Wasserman is trained in general cardiology and cardiovascular imaging with plans to complete advanced training in echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging during his first year on the faculty. He has been active in quality improvement (QI) serving as the fellow co-chair of the Morbidity and Mortality Committee. His QI interests include comparison of imaging modalities for different disease states with respect to diagnostic accuracy and resource utilization. He met his wife, Allison Wasserman, in medical school at Vanderbilt. She is currently a Clinical Instructor in Pathology at VUMC. They have one daughter, Annabelle, and a second child due in June 2017.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Salisbury, NCPrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S. - University of PittsburghInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Warren, OH
Rachel Albani is currently involved in several clinical trials as part of her current role at the VA as a sub-PI; however, her passion is to get involved in research looking at the relationship between diet and cancer. When she is not working, she is very active. She plays several sports including soccer, softball, and volleyball. She likes to garden and paint. Rachel is active in her church and is involved in several outreach programs in her community. She had the privilege of going on two medical missions – one in the Dominican Republic and one in Guatemala. She is interested in continuing to travel to other countries providing medical care and teaching the communities steps they can take to lead healthier lives.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt Pediatric Emergency MedicinePrevious Role/Title:DNPSpecialty:Family Nurse PractitionerEducation/Training:D.N.P. - Frontier Nursing UniversityM.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Long Island, NY
Dr. Anderson, DNP, earned his initial nursing degree in 1988. He has worked as a nurse in ICUs, emergency departments, and the pre-hospital transport setting. He came to Vanderbilt in 1997, where he worked for LifeFlight for 12 years and completed over 2,400 patient flights. He earned his BSN from Middle Tennessee State University in 2006, his MSN from Vanderbilt in 2008, and his doctorate from Frontier in 2012. He is certified as a family nurse practitioner and an emergency nurse practitioner. He has worked as a nurse practitioner at the Vanderbilt Walk-In Clinic, Vanderbilt Bone and Joint, and most recently in the Vanderbilt Children's Emergency Department. Bob has been married for over 32 years and has two adult children. His interests include probiotics, health and wellness, and functional fitness. He enjoys reading and outdoor activities, such as hiking, kayaking, and nature photography. He is very excited about this opportunity and looks forward once again to being a part of the Vanderbilt Walk-In Clinic team.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:St. Thomas West HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Acute Care Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:Advanced Heart FailureEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Montgomery, AL
Whitney is interested in research involving advanced heart failure therapies and new treatment options including mechanical, surgical, and pharmacological. She would like to take an active part in any research trials or studies regarding this specific patient population. She is interested in working with lower income and underprivileged populations and would like to be involved in any medical mission trips or events that serve those without access to good medical care. She initially went into the medical field to join an overseas organization working with refugees; however, since working as an NP, she has realized that her passion is working with the CHF patient population and has committed her professional life to this cause. She graduated the NP bridge program at Vanderbilt University and has over two years of experience working with the advanced heart failure patients at St. Thomas West Hospital. She plans to take an active role in the LVAD/Heart Transplant Program at Vanderbilt and help grow the program and provide the best possible care to this special patient population.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registerd NurseSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Atlanta, GA
During Ms. Austin’s undergraduate education, she served as a research assistant on Dr. Kathy Bowles’ study, “Impact of Discharge Planning Decision Support on Time to Readmission Among Older Adult Medical Patients.” The study aimed to bring standardization to discharge planning and reform how discharge planning assessment priorities and referral decision-making are conducted. Following undergraduate education, she accepted a job as a staff nurse at Vanderbilt Medical Center on the adult hematology/oncology unit, where she remained for the past 4 years. There, her passion for hematology/oncology solidified as she realized the many rewards that hem/onc has to offer. Her role as staff nurse evolved as she went on to accept roles as a preceptor for new nurses, a charge nurse, and Nursing Staff Council representative. Outside of nursing, her interests include hiking, reading, and playing with her Labrador retriever, Crosby.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registered NurseSpecialty:Adult Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Richmod, VA
Ms. Chase is passionate about taking care of patients with cancer and looks forward to doing so in a new role as an advanced practice provider. She is particularly interested in symptom management as patients navigate diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship related to their malignancy. Outside of work, her dog, Walter, commands most of her attention. His insatiable zest for life is contagious and keeps her moving. It has been such an adventure taking advantage of all that Nashville has to offer with the wonderful friends she has made here.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Lenox Hill HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:Hospital MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Essex Junction, VT
Ms. Drury received her B.Sc. in social sciences from the University of Vermont and her M.Sc. in physician assistant studies from Drexel University. She has worked for the past seven years at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. While there, she was the clinical coordinator at the AVM Center of New York, working closely with leaders in the field. During this time she also was able to co-author research articles and textbook chapters pertaining to the fields of vascular malformations and endovascular surgery. This past winter she relocated to Nashville to be closer to family and began working at Vanderbilt as an Extensivist in July 2017. She is looking forward to this opportunity and becoming a part of Vanderbilt.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Geriatric Medicine GroupPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University & Gentiva Palliative and Hospice CarePrevious Role/Title:Registered Nurse, Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:GeriatricsEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Apex, NC
Mattie Godfrey recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Division of Geriatric Medicine. Her passion has always been to serve, especially those in the geriatric population. After participating in several medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic, which included working in several skilled nursing facilities, she decided to go to school to obtain her BSN. After completing her degree at Appalachian State University, Mattie moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to complete the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nurse Residency Program. Following the completion of her residency, she began her career on the Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE) Unit. Over time, while working on the ACE unit, Mattie decided to pursue a master’s degree through the Vanderbilt University Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program. She is very excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Vanderbilt team, focusing on the specialized needs of the geriatric population. When away from work, she enjoys traveling, playing intramural kickball, exercising her skills as a novice foodie, and spending time with friends and family.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:CareNow Urgent CarePrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:General MedicineEducation/Training:M.S., Physician Assistant Studies - Harding University, 2010B.S., Biology - University of Central Arkansas, 2007Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Fort Smith, AR
Merritt Hambrick, an Arkansas native, relocated to Nashville in 2013 with her husband, Adam, who had a burgeoning career as songwriter. Nashville, a hub for music and medicine, has been a natural fit for the Hambricks who are enthusiastic about life in the city and serving the greater Nashville community. Merritt attained her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Central Arkansas and was also a graduate of the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College. With a love for medicine, Merritt went on to pursue becoming a physician assistant and graduated from Harding University in 2010 with a Master of Science in physician assistant studies. Merritt has practiced in the area of urgent care medicine for 6 years and is a board-certified practitioner. Merritt is honored to be joining the esteemed medical community at Vanderbilt and believes this new opportunity is well aligned with her passion for the practice of evidence-based and innovative medicine, patient education, and longitudinal patient care.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:APRN-Department of AnesthesiaSpecialty:Family Nurse PractitionerEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Belmont University, 2011B.S.N. - Middle Tennessee State University, 2006Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Ashley B. Hoadley obtained her BSN from Middle Tennessee State University and began her nursing career in the Pediatric Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. After nine years, she obtained her MSN degree in 2011. As a family nurse practitioner, she has worked three years in public heath at the Metro Health Department in Nashville, Tennessee. Upon returning to Vanderbilt in 2015, Mrs. Hoadley spent two years in the Interventional Pain Clinic at One Hundred Oaks. She is very excited to continue her career path with Vanderbilt Medical Group Brentwood Shoppes. Ashley has also been involved with international medical missions work in Haiti and Ethiopia. She enjoys outdoor activities, spending time with friends and family, and vacationing near water, especially the beach! Ashley and her husband, Brent, welcomed their first-born son, Harrison Edwin, in January of 2017.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:The Mayo ClinicPrevious Role/Title:Inpatient Psychiatry Physician AssistantSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.S., Physician Assistant Studies - East Carolina University, 2015B.A., Psychology, Bioplogy - University of Tennessee, 2012Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Caroline Howell attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville where she studied psychology and attended a semester of school in Spain. It was during college that she developed a love for travel and a heart for helping those who could not afford medical care. She obtained her nurse aid’s license and used this, as well as her skills in Spanish, to work at the local hospital and free clinic. From Knoxville she traveled to Greenville, NC, where she attended graduate school at East Carolina University. While in school she visited multiple migrant worker camps providing health screenings, and also spent one month in Belize providing medical care in isolated villages. Upon completion of her program, she moved to Rochester, MN, where she worked as a Physician Assistant in Psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic. After experiencing two Midwest winters, she desired to return to her hometown to be near her family, especially her seven nieces and nephews. When she isn’t working you can find her planning her next adventure in traveling
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Wake Forest School of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S. - Wake Forest School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Winston-Salem, NC
Anna graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BS in psychology and minor in Hispanic studies. After graduation, she worked as a nursing assistant and a medical scribe to gain patient care experience in preparation for physician assistant (PA) school. During her time as a Wake Forest PA student, she gained valuable clinical exposure to hematology/oncology, which led her to pursue a career in this area. Anna devoted her master’s research to the field of oncology, with a particular focus on the utility of next generation sequencing, and her manuscript was submitted for publication. At Wake Forest, she volunteered at the Community Care Center and served on the executive board for the student-run free clinic, known as DEAC (Delivering Equal Access to Care). In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, being outdoors, and spending time with friends.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Lexington Cardiology at Central BaptistPrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:CardiologyEducation/Training:M.S. - University of KentuckyInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Greenup, KY
Timothy has interests in research and new technology revolving around cardiac care and treatment. He enjoys working in a team-based, patient-centered care environment. His general interests include time spent with family and friends, traveling, and nearly any outdoor activities - specifically hiking, biking, and jogging. He also loves to discover new dining opportunities with his wife. His achievements include multiple semesters during undergraduate and graduate studies on dean's and scholar's lists, president of the Joseph Hamburg Student Society for the UKPA Class of 2015, and recently receiving an excellence award for 100% compliance in billing and coding within the first year of employment for Baptist Health Lexington.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Mission HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:CardioThoracic SurgeryEducation/Training:M.S.N. - East Tennessee State UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Murfreesboro, TN
Hallie (Kennedy) McNew has a diverse athletic and educational background. Her first bachelor’s degree was obtained in marketing from Tennessee Technological University. Additionally, she represented the university as member of the division I collegiate soccer team. In 2002 her father had a major cardiovascular event that led her to a career change towards medicine. She acquired her RN degree from Aquinas University and further developed her skills in the intensive care environment. She is most proud of her achievement in coordinating and implementing the Awake Breath Coordinate Delirium Early Mobility protocol in all three ICU specialty units at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville. Shortly thereafter, she was awarded the regional nurse excellence award. In 2014 she graduated from East Tennessee University where she obtained her Master of Science as a family nurse practitioner. Her first job was with Asheville Heart located in Asheville, North Carolina. She worked as an acute care nurse practitioner for the CardioThoracic Surgery team. Her professional interests include advanced heart failure medicine, but she likes to exercise and enjoy time with her husband and daughter.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Community Quick CarePrevious Role/Title:Primary Care Clinician/FNPSpecialty:Primary CareEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Belmont University, 2012B.S.N. - Trevecca University, 2009Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil Taina came to the United States on a volleyball scholarship. After living in South Dakota for 2 years, she moved to Tennessee to purse a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Trevecca Nazarene University. Taina started working as a RN in a hospital in Gallatin, TN. Due to her interest in caring for patients with chronic illnesses, she went on to receive her Master of Science in Nursing (Family Nurse Practitoner) degree from Belmont University. Before joining the Vanderbilt team, Taina worked as a Nurse Practitioner in a Primary Care/ Walk-in clinic. She is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish, and currently lives in Nashville with her Argentinian husband Alex and their dog Luna. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, playing volleyball, and cooking. Taina is very excited about her position and looks forward to being part of the Vanderbilt team.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of NursingPrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:Adult Gerontology-ACNPEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Little Rock, AR
Ms. Quinn is an Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner who graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in 2017. Originally from Little Rock, AR, she moved to Nashville in 2011 to attend Vanderbilt University. She completed her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt with a double major in computer science and medicine, health, and society. She then entered directly into Vanderbilt University School of Nursing following graduation, where she obtained her RN license and Master of Science in Nursing degree. As an Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, she pursued the intensivist subspecialty, focusing on critical care and rotating through several different ICU settings during her clinical rotations. During her time as a student at Vanderbilt, she was involved in various organizations, her favorite of which included Best Buddies and Tour Guides. She has remained involved with Best Buddies and is currently a proud citizens member of the Nashville branch. During her free time, she enjoys exploring all that the growing Nashville scene has to offer, including many trails and lakes of Tennessee. As a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, she is eager to begin her professional career at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:MICU Staff RNSpecialty:GastroenterologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Columbia, TN
Maria obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology from Pace University in New York, followed by an associate degree in nursing. After 13 years of being a staff RN (three of those as a charge nurse in a transitional care unit and the remainder as an acute care nurse), she decided to return to school to complete her master’s degree as a nurse practitioner at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She faced this endeavor head-on and completed her degree as a single parent of two teenagers while working full time in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt. She has been very fortunate to take part in numerous published research projects as an RN in the MICU, most of them related to pulmonary medicine and medication protocols. She hopes to continue to be an active part of the research community at Vanderbilt. She has been a resource nurse, as well as a preceptor to new nurses and nursing students rotating through the MICU. She is an avid salsa dancer, practices yoga and spin, and enjoys traveling all over the world.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Hermitage Family PracticePrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:Family PracticeEducation/Training:M.S. Medicine - Trevecca Nazarene University, 2008B.S., Biology - Trevecca Nazarene University, 2006Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Spring Hill, TN
Rone’ P. Russell, PA-C, attended Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she graduated with a degree in biology in 2006 and had a successful career playing softball for the Lady Trojans. She went on to complete her graduate studies from Trevecca and graduated in 2008 with a Master of Science in Medicine, physician assistant studies. Rone’ has been providing compassionate care in family practice for the last nine years in middle Tennessee. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Rone’ currently lives in Spring Hill with her husband, Roger. She has three step-children and a 9-month-old daughter. Rone’ loves playing and watching sports and spending time with her family.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Tufts University School of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:GastroenterologyEducation/Training:M.S. - Tufts University School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Queens, NY
Valerie Shields is a physician assistant in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she majored in health science and served as Co-President of the Bouve College of Health Sciences Honor Society. While living in Boston, she worked at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and also enjoyed volunteering with a variety of service organizations, including the Boston Athletic Association at the annual Boston Marathon. She then completed her graduate training at the Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, earning a master’s of medical science in 2017. Some of her academic and research interests include gastroenterology (including esophageal, stomach, and pancreatic health), otolaryngology, urology, pain management, infectious disease, health disparities, and medical education. She also enjoys traveling, hiking, and warm weather.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of NursingPrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:Adult Gerontology-ACNPEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Eugene, OR
Adam is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. While in school, he was a member of the Vanderbilt Program in Interprofessional Learning (VPIL) and participated in the Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Learning Collaborative in association with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. His interests include running, gardening, and biking.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registered Nurse IISpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Clarksville, TN
Sherlyn is interested in the hematology/oncology specialty at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. The majority of her healthcare career has been on the Neuro ICU here at Vanderbilt. Her favorite patients were often those who had brain or spinal cancer. She decided to subspecialize in hematology/oncology during her ACNP program at Vanderbilt University, and she fell more in love with the specialty during her clinical rotations. As Sherlyn becomes more established in her new role as an APRN, she plans to engage in research on the side. She took a temporary position as a research assistant during the last few months of graduate school; the research study population focus was on patients with head and neck cancers. She has not decided what her future research interests will be, but she believes that her specialized interests will develop over time as she grows in practice. She acknowledges that it will take a considerable amount of time to transition from being a novice to an expert, but when she reaches that level in the future, Sherlyn looks forward to precepting new APRNs/Pas and would like to do lectures on topics related to her specialty.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:South Georgia Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Intensive Care Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:CardioThoracic SurgeryEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Walden UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Valdosta, GA
Alexandria "Missy" Wilson has a substantial clinical and educational background. Her bachelor’s degree was obtained in nursing from Valdosta State University in 2005. From 2005 to 2010, she worked as a registered nurse in medical/surgical intensive care. Needing a change, she transitioned to hospice/palliative care in late 2010. After deciding to pursue her master’s degree in 2012, she entered back into the critical care arena as a cardiovascular intensive care nurse. In 2015, she graduate with her nurse practitioner degree in adult-gerontology. Her first job was at South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta, Georgia, working as a cardiovascular intensive care nurse practitioner for the CardioThoracic Surgery Team. As a nurse, she is most proud of her appointment as a quality assurance and performance improvement representative during her time at hospice. She was able to design, implement, coordinate, and streamline many clinical pathways to ensure exceptional end-of-life care was provided. Her professional interests include advancements in cardiothoracic surgery and pet therapy in dementia patients. Her personal interests include baking, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying time with her husband and dog.