Internal Medicine Housestaff 2019-2020
Vanderbilt University Ambulatory Chief Resident
Thomas was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. He is an avid sports fan who has been involved in organized sports since grade school playing soccer, baseball, basketball, track and football. He attended the University of Wisconsin for undergrad, where his role switched from player to helping the football team prepare for games as part of his job as a student manager for the Badgers. He earned his undergraduate degree in Neurobiology and for the following year worked as a research assistant, studying the epigenetic mechanisms involved in central nervous system regeneration. Thomas has always enjoyed traveling and during this time he travelled to Africa with other lab staff to tour hospitals and meet with African medical students. They also worked in some time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. He loved his first four years in Madison so much he decided to stick around for medical school there as well. During medical school, he became interested in genetics and had the opportunity to do a medical genetics rotation at the NIH and work with their Undiagnosed Diseases Program. He plans to pursue a fellowship in medical genetics with the ultimate goal of incorporating a program like that into his practice. In his free time, he still enjoys participating in anything sports related and watching Packer and Badger games with family and friends. Thomas is looking forward to joining the Vanderbilt medical team next year and calling Nashville home.
Veterans Administration Chief Resident
Peter grew up in Cooperstown, a small town in central New York with a baseball problem (unfortunately he discovered an ineptitude for t-ball at the age of 6). He has four siblings and likes to think he is a well-adjusted middle child. After running cross-country and track at Liberty University he went to medical school at SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, NY. He discovered a love for internal medicine and plans to follow his father's footsteps towards pulmonary and critical care. In his spare time he can be found in a nearby park training for a triathlon or reclining with coffee and book in hand. He is excited to explore all the food and music Nashville has to offer!
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Vanderbilt University Hospital Chief Resident
Brian was raised primarily in Louisville, Kentucky. He attended Centre College in Kentucky, where he majored in biochemistry & molecular biology and was lucky to meet his future wife Cassie. In 2007, he entered Vanderbilt’s Medical Scientist Training Program and later joined the lab of Christine Eischen, PhD. He studied the oncogenic transcription factor Myc and discovered the novel transcriptional cofactor Mtbp that enhances Myc oncogenic activity. This work inspired Brian to join the Harrison Society and seek further training in medical oncology. In June of 2014, Brian and Cassie had a daughter named Charlotte. In his free time, Brian enjoys taking Charlotte to the park and running with his dog Lousi. The whole family is excited about staying at Vanderbilt.
Veterans Administration Ambulatory Chief Resident (2019-2020)
Jamison grew up on Signal Mountain near Chattanooga, TN. She then attended Centre College, a small liberal arts school in Danville, KY, where she studied biochemistry and molecular biology. After doing research on insulin resistance and the renin-angiotensin system in Knoxville, she moved west to Memphis for medical school at the University of Tennessee. Outside of medicine, she enjoys running, yoga, hiking and baking. Jamison also enjoys traveling and hopes to work internationally in the future. She could not be more thrilled to be moving to Nashville and joining the Vanderbilt community.
Madeleine Alder grew up as an only child in Evanston, which is just outside of Chicago. For undergrad she went to Washington University in St Louis where she majored in American Culture Studies. She is very glad she found medicine, as it turns out that major is not very employable. She spent a year between undergrad and medical school working as a case manager for refugees. She then spent four amazing years in medical school at Northwestern University. She continues to have a passion for refugee healthcare and working with underserved populations. Outside of medicine, she enjoys yoga, running, reading, and traveling. She can’t wait to get to know Nashville and join the Vanderbilt community!
Allie was born and raised in Southeast Michigan with her two sisters, brother, and adorable dogs. She attended University of Michigan for her undergraduate education where she majored in neuroscience with a minor in medical anthropology. She decided it was time to venture out of Michigan for medical school and landed in the great city of Chicago at Rush Medical College. While in Chicago, Allie spent much of her time enjoying Second City shows and touring the Chicago coffee and food scene with friends. In her free time, she enjoys making people laugh, hiking, baking, crocheting/knitting, re-watching episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and spending time with friends and family. Allie is very excited to join the Vanderbilt family and explore the wonderful city of Nashville!
Sub-specialty Interest – Allergy/Immunology
Melissa grew up in St. Louis, MO and attended Notre Dame where she majored in biological sciences and minored in theology. She then joined Vanderbilt's MD/PhD program, where she studied the regulation of immune responses during airway inflammation in Stokes Peebles' lab. Melissa is excited to join Vanderbilt's Harrison Society with plans to complete a fellowship in allergy & immunology. Her scientific interests focus on modulating the immune response during allergic disease. Outside of the hospital and the lab, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband Nathan, who is also a member of the Harrison Society. Together, they do their best to keep up with their active and inquisitive 3-year-old daughter Penny and her 5 month old sister Josie.
Sub-specialty Interest – Pulmonary/Critical Care
Nathaniel grew up in Warner Robins, Georgia and attended Georgia Tech where he majored in biomedical engineering. He then joined Vanderbilt's MD/PhD program, where he studied molecular and cellular mediators regulating microvessel mechanics in healthy and diseased lung vasculature in David Merryman's lab. Nathaniel is excited to join Vanderbilt's Harrison Society with plans to complete a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine. His scientific interests focus on understanding how mechanical forces contribute to pulmonary illness. Outside of the hospital and the lab, Nathaniel enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa, who is also a member of the Harrison Society. Together, they do their best to keep up with their active and inquisitive 3-year-old daughter Penny and her 5 month old sister Josie.
Leah was born and raised in the heart of the Bulldawg Nation in Athens, Georgia. She stayed in her hometown for college and graduated from the University of Georgia with a major in Microbiology and a minor in Spanish. During her time there, Leah worked in an industrial microbiology research lab and served on several mission trips to Central America, through which she learned that her two passions—science and service could be well served in the field of medicine. She moved a couple hours east to Augusta, to attend medical school at the Medical College of Georgia, where she cemented her love for academic infectious diseases and has never looked back! Her love languages are quality time and sweet potato fries (usually together), and in her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, exploring local coffee shops, jam skating, and—her all-time favorite-- karaoke. She is convinced Nashville is her dream town and cannot wait to make it her new home as she joins the Vanderbilt family.
Babatunde was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Growing up, his hobbies included playing the bass guitar, cooking with his family, and probably playing too many video games. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University where he majored in biology before attending medical school at the University of Florida. Despite this apparent betrayal, he remains loyal to the Seminoles on the football field. Outside of medicine he enjoys trying new foods, attending concerts, and playing board games with friends. He has recently taken up a Latin dance class, though he will freely admit he is better at eating salsa than dancing it. He is very excited to be joining the Vanderbilt family!
Janice was born in Brooklyn, NY along with her twin sister Janette. She attended Georgia State University in Atlanta. While in college, she decided on a career in medicine. She took a gap year and worked as a scribe in 2 EDs in metro Atlanta. At Medical College of Georgia, she decided to pursue internal medicine because of her passion for helping adults achieve proper health along with the best possible quality of life. For leisure, she enjoys walking along nature trails, biking, hanging out with her family, watching travel vlogs and traveling whenever possible.
Andrea grew up in the small town of Longmeadow, MA where she played volleyball and ran track. She then majored in psychology with a concentration in public health policy at the College of the Holy Cross while also playing Division I volleyball. In her senior year, Andrea decided to pursue a career in medicine as opposed to one in law (despite having taken the LSAT!), and as such she matriculated into the Johns Hopkins post-bac pre-med program. She then attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and continued her studies in health policy and community health as well as developed an interest in caring for patients with cancer. She could not be more excited to begin this next phase of her career at Vanderbilt and looks forward to checking out the Nashville restaurant scene, breweries, running paths, and parks!
Jesse was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Growing up he caught the sports bug early, and this has remained his passion to this day. He attended the University of Alabama where he studied chemistry and biology. Afterwards he returned to Birmingham for four years to study medicine at UAB. Jesse's favorite thing in the world is to play basketball. He also enjoys tennis, and unfortunately for him he has picked up golf during his fourth year of med school. Finally he loves the Alabama Crimson Tide very much, and he hopes this won't be too big of an issue in Commodore country. Jesse can't wait to start training in the great city of Nashville!
Robert is the oldest of five children and was raised in Livingston, NJ. He attended Yeshiva University for college, where he studied biology and business. After graduating college, he worked to promote inclusion at the National Jewish Council for Disabilities. During medical school, Robert spent his free time training for triathlons, eventually completing Ironman Cozumel, a challenging but inspiring experience. Robert also enjoys spending time with friends and family, hiking, attending Philadelphia sports games, playing guitar, and learning how to craft the perfect latte. Robert and his wife Hanna are looking forward to exploring everything Nashville has to offer and are honored to be joining the Vanderbilt family. Member of AOA.
Kyle was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and spent the first half of his life in New Jersey before his family moved south to Atlanta, Georgia. He grew up with four younger sisters and loves being a part of a big family. Kyle pursued his undergraduate education at the University of Georgia where he majored in genetics and minored in becoming a die-hard Dawgs fan. After graduating from UGA, he spent a year working as a phlebotomist at a cancer center, which sparked his interest in pursuing a career in hematology/oncology. He then stayed in Georgia to get his medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia and was incredibly lucky to marry his beautiful wife Ashley during that time. He loves to spend his free time with family and friends and stays active through running and Spartan Races. He’s also a huge sports fan, especially when it comes to college football (Go Dawgs), hockey, and golf. He and his wife are excited to move to Nashville and continue their journey with the Vanderbilt family!
Michael grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia with his parents and two older sisters. He traveled down the road to the University of Virginia for college where he majored in chemistry. He has played the drums since he was five years old and in college was a member of the Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and University of Virginia Drumline, where he was Quad Section Leader. With the UVA Drumline, he had the opportunity to record a song for the Dave Matthews Band in their studio. Before Michael graduated from college, his parents moved to Morehead, Kentucky, where they currently reside. He attended the University of Kentucky College of Medicine where he realized a lifelong dream of working with and being taught by his father, a Pulmonary/Critical Care physician. While in medical school, Michael started a program in Morehead to decrease stigma towards individuals with substance use disorders by having medical students give monthly lectures to men at a local addiction treatment center about various health topics. He also spearheaded the building of a Blessing Box, a freestanding structure where people from the community are free to donate, as well as take, food, water, and other items as needed. Other interests include playing tennis, golf, traveling, and following UVA basketball. Go Hoos! Michael cannot wait to be a part of the Vanderbilt community and is looking forward to exploring Nashville! Member of AOA.
The youngest of four children, John was born and raised in the small town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He moved to Virginia to attend UVA where he majored in chemistry, minored in latin, and developed his love for Tony Bennett (not the singer) and UVA basketball. He continued his education at VCU for medical school, where he fostered his passion for medicine and morning report. Outside of medicine, John loves playing soccer, skiing, hiking, and playing foosball and board games. John and his dog Monty are excited to be joining his girlfriend Emily, a PGY-1 in pediatrics, at Vanderbilt! Member of AOA.
Ginawas born and raised in Glen Ellyn, IL, a western suburb of Chicago. Growing up, she enjoyed competitive swimming and vacationing with her family in Mexico. She attended Loyola University Chicago where she graduated with her degree in nursing. Gina studied abroad in both Rome and London (yep, it took her 5 years to graduate). After working as a nurse for several years, she attended Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. Gina was kept sane throughout her many years of education by an amazing family, her fiancée Lance, and her beloved medical school running club. Some of her favorite things include: live music, triathlons, and gelato. Gina is really excited for warmer weather and to start cheering for the Preds! Member of AOA.
Hannah was born and raised in the very small, rural town of Bogalusa, Louisiana alongside her younger brother, John-Michael, and several pet cats (collectively referred to as KiKi). For college, Hannah ventured just a few hours from home to attend LSU in Baton Rouge (Geaux Tigers!), where she received degrees in biology and psychology. Following graduation, Hannah spent one year working as a medical scribe before beginning medical school at LSU in New Orleans. During medical school, Hannah developed a great love for Saints football (Who Dat!) and met her better half, Camille, who will be joining her in Nashville as an OB-GYN resident. Hannah, Camille, and their pet cat (Maté KiKi) are excited to become Nashville’s newest residents! Member of AOA.
Carlos was born in Natchez, MS and moved around before living in Nashville and attending the University School of Nashville, right across the street from Vandy! He attended college at Butler University, medical school at the University of Louisville, and is thrilled to be back in Nashville studying Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University. Carlos held several jobs, including selling cars, before recognizing that there was nothing he would rather do than to take care of patients. In medical school, Carlos participated in the Distinction in Business and Leadership Track. His passion for people lead him to several leadership opportunities including being a camp counsellor for the “Summer Health Professionals Education Program” where he mentored and tutored undergraduate students underrepresented in the healthcare professions, and class executive leadership, learning first-hand what is required of an academic physician. Carlos spends his free time playing pick-up basketball and rooting on the Titans! He is also looking forward to rediscovering Nashville's music scene. Carlos is thankful for God, his family, and his beautiful fiancé for the support they have given him and he is so excited for this next phase of life!
Michael was born and raised in the (very dry) heat of Las Vegas, where he also attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and earned his degree in biological sciences with a minor in chemistry. He then switched coasts to attend NYU School of Medicine in the heart of Manhattan, where he developed a love for internal medicine while working with the underserved population of Bellevue Hospital. While New York City was exciting, Michael is eager to explore the vibrant city of Nashville and is absolutely thrilled to be joining the Vanderbilt community! Outside of the hospital, he enjoys reading, hiking, biking, listening to what seems like a never-ending list of podcasts, finding amazing coffee, and brushing up on his guitar skills.
Pennsylvania State University
Sub-specialty Interest – Hematology/Oncology
Saumya Maru was born in Mumbai, India and emigrated to the United States at the age of six, settling in Norristown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. She attended the University of Pennsylvania where she studied Biology, Psychology, and South Asian Studies. After completing her undergraduate education, she took a gap year and participated in the CBYX program which gave her the opportunity to live and work in Köln, Germany for one year. Following that formative experience, she joined the MD/PhD program at Penn State University. Saumya earned her PhD with training as an immunologist and her research interests range from T cell biology to the tumor microenvironment; she hopes to go into Hematology/Oncology and spend her professional career as a physician scientist. Saumya is an avid tennis player and loves the NBA, especially her hometown Philadelphia 76ers. She loves to travel, not only to visit her family in India but also to explore new countries, cultures, and most importantly food. Her other interests include performing music and attending theatrical productions. Although she has no connections to the South, she is excited to move to Nashville and start this new chapter of her life!
Graham was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, spending his childhood exploring the natural world and competing with his twin sister. He attended Kenyon College, completing a degree in Ancient Greek and Latin and studying the liberal arts. After graduation, he took additional science coursework and did research at the University of Cincinnati, then attended medical school at the University of Toledo. He enjoys reading authors ancient and modern, exploring the outdoors, culinary experimentation, and going to the gym. Graham is looking forward to the adventure (and weather) Nashville has to offer!
Andy was born and raised in in Owensboro, Kentucky where he had a hectic, fun childhood growing up as the oldest of 5 children. He completed his undergraduate studies at University of Kentucky, where he was first exposed to the joy and meaning a career in medicine can provide. At UK, he traveled to Ecuador on a medical mission trip, showing him first-hand the opportunity for impact of the healthcare community on underserved populations both international and local. He also played club baseball, which allowed for his proudest moment in his sports career, stealing home plate. He does lament, however, that in all his years playing, he never hit a home-run. For medical school Andy traded Kentucky blue for Louisville red. There he gained experience in basic science research on kidney cell transport, was involved in executive class leadership, and made some lifelong friends. He is indebted to many for their support on his journey to MD, but one person holds a special place in his heart- his grandmother Gilda. In his free time Andy enjoys road cycling, running, reading fiction, snow skiing, and cooking. He is thrilled to be joining the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities!
Trevor was born in Denver, Colorado (Go Denver Broncos!), and he moved to Spanish Fort, Alabama when he was three, trading in his winter coat for shorts and t-shirts. Trevor grew up playing all sports, but fell in love with cross country, track and field, and basketball (Alabama has basketball? Who knew!). In college, he studied biomedical sciences and Spanish at the University of South Alabama and completed a study abroad in Cuenca, Spain. He also participated in research involving the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Exoenzyme Y, and he became passionate about reading a variety of books. His favorites include When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, and The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis. He stayed at the University of South Alabama for medical school where he continued his research and worked with the Medical Spanish Interest Group and Hispanic immigrants in Mobile, Alabama. Trevor is looking forward to working with the Vanderbilt community, getting to know Nashville, and running the trails at Percy Warner park! Member of AOA.
Sub-specialty Interest – Pulmonary/Critical Care
Matt was born in Columbia, Maryland and, after moving at a young age, spent most of his childhood in Springboro, Ohio. He attended the University of Michigan, where he received a B.S. in Microbiology. He subsequently matriculated into the MSTP at Vanderbilt University. He completed his doctoral studies with Dr. Stokes Peebles, focusing on innate lymphoid cell contributions to reactive airway disease. Through both his research and medical school training, he developed a passion for the breadth and depth of internal medicine with a specific interest in critical care medicine and pulmonology. He is continuing his training at Vanderbilt in Internal Medicine as part of the Physician-Scientist Training Program with the goal of pursuing a career as an investigator and clinician in academia. Outside of his professional interests, Matt enjoys spending time with his significant other Rachel and their many pets, intensely playing board games, binging Law & Order, and partaking in any and all activities involving lakes, creeks, or oceans.
Toaa was born in New York, but mostly grew up in Tampa, Florida, where her parents moved to escape the cold. She stayed in Tampa for both undergrad and medical school where she developed a passion for healthcare disparities, global health, and both internal medicine and pediatrics! In her free time she enjoys traveling around the world and trying new foods, hiking, yoga, and photography. She is looking forward to moving to Nashville and joining the Vanderbilt community!
Ned grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. He realized his future would entail significant schooling when he was encouraged to enroll in kindergarten…for a second time. After mastering his developmental milestones, he went on to receive a B.A. in Spanish with a minor in Chemistry from UNC Chapel Hill. He returned to UNC for medical school and to see the Tar Heels march to a sixth national championship. While in medical school, he put his Spanish major to use and traveled twice to Honduras with UNC’s Honduran Health Alliance where he developed an affinity for both international medicine and gastrointestinal pathogens. In his free time, Ned enjoys running, skiing, attempting to cook, and flying his new drone. He is extremely grateful and excited to join the Vanderbilt community, as well as to explore Music City and meet Taylor Swift. In true Med-Peds fashion, Ned is still undecided on the specifics of his future career. He is interested in transitional care for children and families affected by chronic illness, international medicine, and medical education.
Sam is a native of Columbus, Ohio. He completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry and history at Vanderbilt. He then returned home to THE Ohio State University for medical school, where he was voted by his peers as the “Biggest Buckeye Fan” in his graduating class. At OSU he also discovered his love of outpatient Med-Peds and preventative care. In his free time, Sam enjoys sports, traveling, playing chess, cooking, and running. He is thrilled to be back at Vandy!
Joseph grew up in Charlotte, NC, but spent much of his life in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area for high school, college, and medical school. During his undergraduate years at NC State University, he majored in chemical engineering, and worked in pharmaceutical and industrial manufacturing plants where his fear of heights was really tested when he looked down at 40 foot reactors through metal grating. He also volunteered as an after-school mentor for middle and high school students. While in medical school at UNC, Joseph managed to maintain his original ACC basketball loyalty to NC State, while applying some of his engineering background to quality improvement projects. As part of the medical school’s Charlotte campus, he also volunteered with a pipeline program which introduced high school students in Charlotte to health professions careers. He enjoys traveling, eating his way around places he visits, running, and learning guitar, and is excited to explore all that Nashville and Middle Tennessee have to offer!
Having moved all over the southeast, Laura spent most of her childhood in small town South Carolina where she enjoyed summers swimming at the lake or hiking in the mountains with her parents and sister. With a love of the outdoors, she went off to Arkansas for college where she was a member of the women’s swim team and studied Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Religion. During college, she also spent two summers doing Alzheimer’s research at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, where she realized her love for medicine and decided to stay in the Sunshine State for medical school at the University of Florida. She became involved with sustainability and health equity studies, global health in the Dominican Republic, and also fell in love with SEC sports. Outside the hospital, you can find her at the nearest farmer’s market, tending to her many house plants, listening to podcasts, reading, or heading out for a run. Laura can’t wait to join the Vanderbilt family and start a new adventure in Tennessee! Member of AOA
Nicole was born in San Jose, California and moved with her family to sunny San Diego during elementary school. Although she never learned to surf and preferred to stay beachside, she spent a lot of time outdoors horseback riding and hiking with her dogs. She left the perfect year-round weather of San Diego for the snow, rain, and humidity of the mid-Atlantic to attend the Johns Hopkins University where she studied behavioral biology. It was during her time at undergrad where she found her passion for neurology. Before heading to medical school, Nicole worked as a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center where she coordinated a clinical study looking at early biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease. Nicole stayed in Baltimore, Maryland, not only for the crab cakes but also to attend the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys running outdoors, photography, trying new restaurants, cooking, and hanging out with her cat. Nicole is looking forward to moving to Nashville and beginning her residency at Vanderbilt.
Jacob was born and raised in Bridge Creek, Oklahoma and he completed his undergraduate studies at Oklahoma State Univeristy. Jacob earned an Honors degree in biochemistry and molecular biology with a minor in microbiology. Jacob conducted reverse trascriptase-PCR research on reference genes in rats, for which he earned the V.G. Heller Award for Excellence in Biochemistry. Medical studies were completed at The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine where he earned his M.D. Prior to graduation he also studied at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine where he earned a master’s degree in Neuroimaging and Informatics. Professional interests include translational neuroimaging, neuroimmunology, and behavior neurology. Hobbies include the outdoors, gaming, fitness, aviation, and working with animals.
Carynn was born and raised in Southern Indiana, the eldest of three siblings. Growing up she loved basketball (again, Indiana), volleyball and musical theater. After retiring from her athletic career, she studied biology and history at the University of Southern Indiana - where she met some of the most impactful friends and mentors of her life. Ultimately, she found her niche in neurology at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and is very excited to continue her training at Vanderbilt! On a day off, Carynn loves to wake up early and drink coffee on the porch! In her free time she can be found running, hiking, fishing, reading, playing the piano or watching the St. Louis Cardinals. She is very excited to join the amazing people of Vanderbilt University and get to know the community of Nashville!
MerryJean was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she perfected the art of being from both the North and the South. She attended Tulane University where she majored in neuroscience and made an enjoyable pit stop in the Midwest to attend medical school at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. From a young age, she has had a strong passion for championing research and innovative programs to improve access to health care for vulnerable people including homeless, minority, veteran, and even global populations. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring Nashville, travelling, volunteering, mentoring, baking, and staying active.
Graham was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, spending his childhood exploring the natural world and competing with his twin sister. He attended Kenyon College, completing a degree in Ancient Greek and Latin and studying the liberal arts. After graduation, he took additional science coursework and did research at the University of Cincinnati, then attended medical school at the University of Toledo. He enjoys reading authors ancient and modern, exploring the outdoors, culinary experimentation, and going to the gym. Graham is looking forward to the adventure (and weather) Nashville has to offer!
Dakota Schumacher was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He was not hypnotized into being a UT Longhorn (Sic’em Bears) and studied Biology at the preeminent academic and athletic institution in the state of Texas, Baylor University (again Sic ‘em Bears). During this time he also met his beautiful, amazing and effervescent wife Kathryn (who wrote that part but Dakota agrees) while volunteering for Camp Quality Texas, a camp for children with cancer. Following undergraduate Dakota moved to Galveston Island, known for having the most beautiful muddy ocean water this side of the Mississippi, where he attended the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine. He and his wife enjoy meeting new people, cooking (well Kathryn cooks, Dakota samples and cleans), podcasts, sports (Sic’em Bears one last time) Jigsaw puzzles, and they are thrilled to be moving to Nashville!
Laura was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and is the youngest of three daughters. As her father is from Mexico and her mother from Canada, she is a self-proclaimed, “NAFTA-baby.” After graduating early with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, Laura went on to work in the field of social work, specifically providing mental health and intellectual disability services. She circled back to her hometown to receive her medical training at UT Health at San Antonio, where she completed an MD/MPH dual degree. During her time in medical school, she discovered her passion for culinary nutrition and health literacy, which led to the creation of two medical student-run cooking courses for both fourth-grade students and elementary school teachers. Laura loves exploring new foods and breweries, practicing yoga and meditation, re-watching episodes of The Office with her loving cat, Theo, and feels just as comfortable at the symphony as she does at a packed show. She is thrilled to be a part of the Vanderbilt family, and excited to call Nashville her new home!
James grew up in Salt Lake City, UT and attended college at Utah State University where he studied exercise physiology. During college he worked as a nursing assistant in a skilled nursing facility and in the local hospital as a cardiac rehab tech. He was lucky to stumble upon PM&R during his undergraduate research while working in a lab investigating motor learning and rehabilitation in older adults with stroke. He attended medical school at the University of Utah where he was involved in a variety of projects, including expanding lifestyle interventions to clinics for underinsured patients, growing the medical school lifestyle medicine curriculum, teaching culinary medicine to medical students, helping run adaptive sports programs, and several research projects studying pediatric concussion. In his spare time, James enjoys running, biking, weightlifting, volleyball, gardening, skiing, cooking, and wake-boarding/surfing.
Samir (pronounced Sam-er) was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He grew up playing soccer in high school and spent the first two years of college playing club soccer at James Madison University instead of studying. He then moved back home to finish his undergraduate education at The University of Texas at Dallas, majoring in neuroscience. While in medical school, he did an elective rotation in PM&R at Vanderbilt and fell in love with the program and city. In his free time, Samir enjoys watching European soccer, rooting for the Dallas Cowboys (aka America’s Team) and spending time with his wife and their cat.
Christian was born and raised in Michigan. He studied finance at Michigan State University and was a four-year member of the university’s varsity tennis team. He went on to complete medical school at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, during which period, he also pursued research in assistive technology at the University of Pittsburgh. His interests include pain, musculoskeletal, and regenerative medicine. He is very happy to be a part of the Vanderbilt family.
Thea was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Denver, Colorado. She attended Stanford University where she majored in engineering: product design. Initially, Thea wanted to design healthcare products, and after college, she first worked at a design consultancy firm and then for a technology startup. After some experiences with the healthcare system, Thea decided she wanted to become a physician and moved home to attend medical school at the University of Colorado. She enjoys traveling, yoga, pilates, running, playing tennis, amateur photography and writing. She is the daughter of an accountant and a dentist, and her younger brother is also pursuing a career in medicine. Two days before starting residency, she will marry her Stanford sweetheart, who is a Nashville native.
Masha was born in Ashgabad, Turkmenistan - an only child in a family of only children. She and her mom moved to California when Masha was about 8 years old, and they’ve been traveling around ever since. College brought her to New York City, where she studied political science and learned what urban living was all about. After spending a few months working in a hospital in Nepal after college, she decided that medicine was her calling. She liked med school at Vanderbilt so much that she’s staying in Nashville for a preliminary year, after which she’s headed to Boston for anesthesia residency. During her couple months off after match day, she got a puppy – an adorable terrier-chihuahua mix named Nala. Masha and Nala do lots of things together, like hiking, going to breweries, and yoga. Masha also dabbles in woodworking, though Nala is not a big fan of the circular saw.
Tracey was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, but spent many of her childhood summers visiting family in China. She moved to Nashville for college, where she majored in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University and developed an interest in the intersection between medicine and technology. While staying at Vandy for medical school as a Double ‘Dore, she fell in love with the field of anesthesiology, and the myriad of opportunities in perioperative medicine and operating room management that the specialty offered. Between her third and fourth years of med school, Tracey pursued a Masters in Management Science and Engineering, with a concentration in Health Systems Modeling, at Stanford University to gain a more quantitative understanding of how to address problems in healthcare operations and systems design. Her research included patient volume forecasting for major hospital expansion and computational optimization of surgeon scheduling. In her free time, Tracey enjoys baking, rock climbing, staying up to date on all the new flavors at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and playing with puppies at the Nashville Humane Society. She is extremely excited to be joining the Vanderbilt Internal Medicine family as a Triple ‘Dore for her prelim year, before heading back out west to Stanford for her anesthesia training
Karla was born and raised in Colombia as the second of three lively sisters. She grew up singing in the shower and was the front woman of a band that dutifully gigged at high school morning assemblies. She attended the University of Los Andes for medical school in Bogotá, Colombia and completed an away rotation at Vanderbilt Medical School. It was at Vanderbilt Medical School that Karla discovered the wonder of Jenni’s ice cream and fell in love with her now fiancé. Karla’s interests include patient advocacy, understanding health disparities and working toward eliminating them. She looks forward to being part of the Vanderbilt family before heading off to UCLA for neurology training!
Teminioluwa (Temini) Ajayi spent most of his formative years in Nigeria. He transferred to the US for college where he completed an undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cell Biology and a Master’s in Public Health. During his undergraduate years he volunteered as a student leader in various capacities. He also worked as a program manager for the NIEHS Translational Institute at Texas A&M before matriculating to medical school at Duke. His interests include molecular genetics and the intersection of global health, education, and technology. He is an avid Netflixer and loves to play soccer (even though he is, admittedly, quite terrible at it). Excited to be joining the Vanderbilt IM family!
Aseel was born and raised in Amman, Jordan with her younger brother, sister and parents. She received her medical education at the University of Jordan Faculty of Medicine, during which she visited Vanderbilt for the first time for an away rotation. She fell in love with the beautiful city of Nashville and came back right after graduating from Jordan to join the lab of Dr. Alp Ikizler. She spent the last two years working on research projects focused on tissue sodium, insulin resistance and prevention of hypertension. In her spare time, she enjoys driving around and discovering new hiking spots in Tennessee. She also likes playing basketball and swimming. Aseel is excited to be staying in Vanderbilt’s community!
Cory was born on an Air Force base on the island of Terceira in the Azores archipelago, a Portuguese territory, and shortly after moved to Ames, Iowa. He attended St. Olaf College where he studied biology with concentrations in neuroscience and biochemistry. While in college, he worked as an EMT and a medical scribe, cementing his interest in medicine. After college, he attended the University of Iowa for medical school where he spent a great deal of time organizing fundraisers. At Iowa, he developed a passion for teaching and the study of healthcare delivery. His interests include hospital medicine, rheumatology, pulmonology, and critical care. Cory spends his spare time playing frisbee with his dog, swimming, golfing, watching football, and being outside. He looks forward to becoming part of the Vanderbilt team and exploring all that Nashville has to offer. Member of AOA.
Ian is the oldest of four children and was born in Port Huron, Michigan. He moved to Cincinnati when he was nine and has lived there ever since. He did his undergrad at Xavier University, where he studied biology, chemistry and theology and discovered his deep love of basketball. Then to the chagrin of all his friends, he moved across town to Xavier’s biggest rival for medical school. At the University of Cincinnati, he met his better half, Erin Bouquet, and they are both excited to be co-residents in Vanderbilt’s IM program for the next three years! They are eager to move to Nashville and Ian is really looking forward to exploring a whole city’s worth of new breweries and restaurants. He is also looking forward to the mild winters and relative lack of snowfall! Ian loves to play basketball, cook elaborate dinners, play video games, mountain bike and sit poolside.
Erin was born in Youngstown, Ohio and lived there with her parents and younger brother until college. She attended the University of Notre Dame where she majored in biology, minored in liturgical music ministry, and learned the value of blind optimism during football season - Go Irish! While there, Erin sang in the Notre Dame Folk Choir, whose yearly tours took her to LA, NYC, Ireland, and Scotland. After college, Erin spent a year in Philadelphia working with hospice patients. She returned to Ohio for medical school at the University of Cincinnati where she met her boyfriend, Ian. They are both thrilled to be joining the Vanderbilt family together as co-residents! Erin loves trying new restaurants, hiking, spinning, road trips, daydreaming about her future dog, and any food that involves potatoes. She and Ian are excited to be moving south and especially look forward to checking out the great food and live music that Nashville has to offer. Member of AOA
Henry grew up in Kensington, MD, right outside of Washington, DC. After high school, he was the fourth of all five kids in his family to head out to Notre Dame where he studied physics, and he remains a die-hard Fighting Irish fan to this day. He went back to the east coast for medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. While there, he additionally obtained a Masters of Bioethics and did research in health policy ethics. Ultimately, much to the chagrin of his father and brother -- both urologists -- he saw the light and decided on internal medicine. Outside of medicine, Henry loves playing soccer, watching hockey, brewing his own beer, and spending time outdoors with his fiance and their two dogs. He couldn't be more excited to join the Vanderbilt family and start exploring all that Nashville has to offer
Kevin was raised in Geneva (Switzerland) and grew up speaking English with his American father and French with his Mauritian mother. He completed a bilingual high school education in Geneva before moving to London. He attended the Imperial College London School of Medicine for his undergraduate science degree and postgraduate medical training. After completing his visiting student elective at the Mayo Clinic and his mandatory internship year in London, he decided to “jump across the pond” and applied for residency in the U.S. He is thrilled to have matched to Vanderbilt and looks forward to moving to Nashville, where he used to visit his extended family as a child. His clinical interests are infectious diseases and pulmonary/critical care. Outside medicine, he enjoys being outdoors, soccer, tennis and cooking.
Patricia has lived in Southeast Michigan all her life, but calls Poland her second home. She was raised immersed in Polish culture, from making pierogi and paczki with her family to participating in Polish folk dances as a child. She knew she wanted to pursue medicine in high school after working with a local rheumatologist at her medical office. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in neuroscience and then moved back closer to home for medical school at Oakland University William Beaumont, where she fell in love with the field of internal medicine. Patricia is interested in pulmonary/ critical care medicine, gastroenterology, and academic medicine. She enjoys spending summers on the lake with her family and winters out West snowboarding. She also likes running, hiking, and kickboxing in her free time. She is an avid Detroit and Michigan sports fan (Go Blue!), but is willing to cheer for the Predators and Titans as long as they’re not playing her Detroit teams.
Sam was born and raised in Connecticut, where she spent much of her childhood playing the violin and participating in tae kwon do tournaments. Her parents are internists so she spent time around the clinic and hospital as a child, but never considered being a doctor until she was about halfway through her time at Middlebury College in Vermont. As a Spanish major she spent a lot of time volunteering with the local Mexican migrant workers, teaching them English and interpreting for them during doctor’s appointments at a local free clinic. Inspired by her first glimpse of healthcare for the underserved, she returned home to start medical school at the University of Connecticut. During her time at UConn she enjoyed all of her clinical rotations and decided to pursue a residency in family medicine to increase her breadth of clinical training. Over the past three years at the Ventura County Medical Center in southern California, she has been fortunate to work with an incredible patient population while developing her skills within inpatient medicine, critical care, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, emergency medicine, and primary care. However, as a family medicine resident she ultimately discovered that her true passion lies in hospital medicine and critical care. She therefore decided to transition to an internal medicine residency program upon graduation from her family medicine residency with the hope of pursuing a pulmonary/critical care fellowship afterwards. Though she will miss sunny California, Sam is thrilled to be moving to Nashville. Outside of medicine, her favorite things include running, hiking, biking, chocolate, river otters, wine tours, cooking, and playing the violin and guitar. She is excited to join the Vanderbilt community!
University of Iowa
Interests/Achievements: Dan was born and grew up in Belton, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City. He attended the University of Missouri where he majored in chemistry and biological sciences. During college, he worked in a lab studying adult muscle stem cell biology. While at Mizzou, he was named a Barry Goldwater Scholar for his work on transcriptional regulation of plasticity in adult muscle stem cells. His passion for medicine and research led him to Iowa City to begin MD/PhD training. At Iowa, Dan gained a passion for lung biology while completing his dissertation on the airway hyper-responsiveness seen in cystic fibrosis disease. While at Iowa, Dan met and married his wife, Brooke, a graduate of Iowa’s MBA program. When not working, Dan enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, cooking, and visiting local theatre shows. Dan and his wife are looking forward to moving to Nashville and joining the Vanderbilt community. Professional Information: My long-term goal is to translate basic scientific research into meaningful clinical outcomes as a physician scientist. I hope to utilize my knowledge of disease mechanisms and clinical experiences to generate therapies and cures for human disease
Kelly was born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida. She attended Emory University where she majored in biology. While at Emory, she played varsity soccer (with fellow intern Kaele Leonard!) and was named captain her junior and senior seasons. Kelly went to medical school at the University of Florida, where she fell in love with SEC football and the Gator Nation. While in medical school, she traded her soccer cleats for running shoes and raced her way to the Boston Marathon, a most humbling and inspiring experience. Besides playing soccer and running, Kelly enjoys attending sporting events of all kinds, hiking, camping, cycling, and spending time with her fiancé, Ryan. They look forward to Nashville’s live music and food scenes and they are excited to explore the outdoors of Tennessee. Kelly is honored to join the Vanderbilt family!
Greta was born in the great state of Iowa, where pigs outnumber people 7:1. She was raised in Des Moines and spent her time swimming, learning how to bake from her grandmother, and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes. She is a blue ribbon winner for her baked goods at the Iowa State Fair. She moved to Missouri for undergrad at Washington University in St. Louis. At WashU, she was the manager of the women’s basketball team for 4 years and she cultivated a love for science and medicine. She also studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, which sparked her love for international travel. Her favorite destinations to date have been Machu Picchu in Peru and Banff National Park in Canada. She graduated with degrees in biology and Spanish. After undergrad, she returned to Iowa for medical school. Outside of the hospital, she enjoys cooking, music, and being active. She is looking forward to the next phase of her training at Vanderbilt and to diving into the rich culture that Nashville has to offer! Member of AOA
Xuan was born in Wuhan, China and grew up in Houston, TX before attending Duke University for college. At Duke, he discovered a passion for Duke basketball and ultrasound imaging. After earning a degree biomedical engineering with minors in chemistry and biology, he enrolled in the MSTP program at the University of Pittsburgh. His PhD research was focused on developing new ultrasound imaging technologies to identify vulnerable carotid plaques. Once upon a time, Xuan enjoyed playing basketball, but these days, it would be more accurately described as limping across the courts. He is also perfecting his recipe for crispy roasted potatoes and working his way back into pre-MS3 shape (admittedly clashing pursuits). He can’t wait to return to the South and join the Vanderbilt family!
Robert Dunn was born in Atlanta, GA but quickly moved to Chattanooga where his love for the outdoors was born. Staying in Chattanooga for his undergraduate education, he earned a degree in chemistry and met his wife, Meagan. Staying in the great state of Tennessee, he attended medical school at the University of Tennessee where he developed his interest in academic medicine and enjoyed the best BBQ in the USA. Outside the hospital, he enjoys, hiking, camping, running, gardening, cheering for the Nashville Predators, smoking meats, and trying as many hot wings as he can get his hands on. He is stoked to live in his wife's hometown, Nashville, and join the Vanderbilt family!"
Tyler grew up in Nashville, Tennessee attending St. Henry’s School and Father Ryan High School before studying nursing at Saint Louis University. He returned to Nashville after college and worked as a critical care nurse at St. Thomas Midtown Hospital for five years. During medical school, he Anchored Down and married his beautiful wife, who is a Vanderbilt alumna. He is also a new father as of November 2017 to a charming son, Jeremy Tyler. Tyler enjoys lifting heavy weights, playing golf, and teaching his son to be the next Tiger Woods. He is excited to return home to Music City! Member of AOA.
University of Maryland
Jeff grew up in metro Atlanta before going off to UVA (Wahoowa!) for undergrad. After college, he moved back to Atlanta for a few years to work in a microbiology lab before starting medical school. He joined the MD/PhD program at the University of Maryland, where he studied antibiotic tolerance in bacterial infections. Jeff is excited to join Vanderbilt as part of the Harrison Society, and he plans on pursuing a fellowship in infectious diseases. In his free time he enjoys running, hiking, camping, and basically anything else that gets him outdoors. He is an avid Atlanta Falcons fan and is still holding out hope for that Super Bowl win. Jeff can't wait to be part of the Vanderbilt community, and he is looking forward to exploring Nashville with his wife, daughter, and two dachshunds. Member of AOA.
Eric grew up in Ocala, FL, and learned to love yearlong summers. He attended college at Stetson University in Florida, where he majored in physics and minored in French. He then moved northward to attend Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and was involved with Careers in Medicine and the ultrasound interest group as a medical student. He also spent a year doing basic science research on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy while in medical school. Outside of medicine, he enjoys playing pick-up basketball, cheering on the Chicago Cubs, reading, and spending time with friends and family. He is very excited to be continuing on at Vanderbilt.
Nowrin grew up in St. Louis, MO and attended Washington University in St. Louis where she earned a B.A. in biochemistry and economics. Despite her best efforts to leave her hometown, she fell in love with the Washington University School of Medicine and decided another four years in the same city couldn't be so bad, to the relief of her parents. There she developed a passion for the heart and was involved in cardiovascular research focused on the treatment of atrial fibrillation. In addition, she was the head of the American Medical Women's Association and helped organize the Red Dress Affair, raising over $13,000 for the American Heart Association. In her spare time, Nowrin loves to travel, read, find new restaurants and sites with her friends, and binge-watch Netflix shows from her couch. She is looking forward to the warmer weather and change of scenery in Nashville and is excited to explore a new city with her new friends.
Alexandra (Lexi) Haugh grew up in Montville, New Jersey. She grew up speaking both Croatian and English and spent several childhood summers with her grandparents and cousins in Croatia. The first time she crossed the Mason-Dixon line was to attend Vanderbilt as an undergraduate, where she double majored in chemistry and English literature. After graduating from college, she deferred enrolling in medical school to spend a year working at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh. She then moved to a different but equally as humid and vibrant locale to attend medical school at Tulane University, where she earned both an MD and an MPH in epidemiology. While in medical school, she discovered a passion for oncology and biomedical research. She therefore decided to move to Chicago between third and fourth year to conduct a research fellowship at Northwestern focused on melanoma. Although her grandparents were convinced that multiple deferments of her medical degree meant she would never graduate to become the first doctor in the family, her research year further solidified her passion for oncology and gave her a newfound love for genetics and bioinformatics. She therefore couldn’t be more excited about all of the amazing genetics-related research being done at Vanderbilt and can’t wait to return to a city and institution that she loves for residency training! Outside of medicine, she loves traveling (she is currently writing this bio from Varanasi, India), reading, running, yoga and spending time outside.
Ruey is a Canadian from Toronto. He received an A.B. in molecular biology and computer science at Princeton University, an M.P.H. in epidemiology and biostatistics at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and an M.D. at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Ruey enjoys taekwondo, composing music, and data visualization. A metabolomics enthusiast, he won the National Kidney Foundation's national fellows' research competition in 2017. Being passionate about Asian-American issues, Ruey is currently completing his second elected term as the national president of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA). He is a member of the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society and has been recognized with Vanderbilt's Levi Watkins Jr. M.D. Medical Student Leadership Award.
Vik grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and is excited to return to the South for residency. He is a former high school track and cross-country runner but had to bundle up indoors when he attended college at Harvard University. There he majored in human evolutionary biology with a minor in Eeconomics. In college he was involved in the South Asian community and helped plan Model Congress for high school students. After college, he went to the University of Pennsylvania for medical school. While in Philadelphia he discovered new interests in cooking, medical education, and sketch comedy. He has written for and acted in the school’s annual comedy show, Spoof. He is not yet sure where his career in Internal Medicine will take him, but he hopes to work in medical education. He is excited to move to Nashville and join the Vanderbilt internal medicine team!
Cory was born in Upstate New York in a small town called Scotia. He is the middle child of five siblings; his oldest brother is a scuba diving instructor in Key West and his youngest brother just started elementary school. He developed an interest in medicine in high school and pursued a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry at SUNY Fredonia. Here, he completed an internship in pharmacy and developed his original interest in anesthesiology. He then completed his medical degree at the University of Florida, matching into an anesthesia residency position at Yale. Cory discovered his passion for medicine during his intern year and plans to apply for a cardiology fellowship after training in internal medicine. In 2016, he married his high school sweetheart, Grace. His other interests include playing guitar, going to the movies, and caring for his cats. He is excited for the opportunity to continue his training at Vanderbilt!
Greg was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City. Living close to the mountains, much of his time was spent hiking, camping, boating, and snow skiing. He had dreams of becoming a professional guitarist, taught lessons during high school and college, and even tried his hand at song composition. When Nashville never came calling, he attended BYU where he studied biology, taught chemistry, and spent two years living abroad in Spain where he became fluent in Spanish- and fluent in all things tapas. He and his wife, Becca, moved to North Carolina for medical school where they quickly fell in love with the southern culture and climate. They spend as much time as possible outdoors and enjoy running, hiking, and playing tennis in addition to trying to keep their new baby (Owen) alive. Greg is thrilled to live in Nashville and become part of the Vanderbilt community. Member of AOA
Eric hails from Tulsa, Oklahoma where he was born and raised. As he grew up, he enjoyed hanging out with his brothers and friends, eating spicy BBQ, camping, competing at tennis, and playing tons of music. As such, it was already written in the stars that he would someday land in Nashville. He ventured to St. Olaf College, a Christian liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota. Drawn to its culture of kind, curious people, he became consumed in music, science, and Malt-O-Meal cereal. While he taught CPR classes and worked as an EMT in college, he also studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina for five months. There, he polished his Spanish, worked in a public hospital, and taught sex education to impoverished youth. To escape the cold, he attended to the University of Arizona for medical school in Tucson. He conducted cancer research and created a service program that trains health professions students to enroll individuals in health plans. Most importantly, he met his incredibly supportive and loving fiancé, Kelly. Together, they raise their perpetually 7-pound son, Dezmond. Being a Yorkie-Cairn Terrier village dog, he is sure to charm. Eric is so excited to live in Music City with his two best friends and work alongside the most amazing group of residents and faculty that ever lived! Member of AOA.
Luke was born and raised in Columbus, OH and grew up with the dreams of becoming a physician and playing football for THE Ohio State University. Although he has only achieved one of those goals so far, he would like the Vanderbilt athletic department to know he has four years of eligibility remaining. Luke studied biochemistry at THE Ohio State University during undergrad where he met his lovely wife, Jenn, who will be a resident across the street in the pediatrics hospital. Luke attended medical school at Northwestern University, and after experiencing four winters “north of the wall,” he is excited to move to Nashville for the warmer weather. His interests outside of medicine include playing sports, the outdoors, and brewing and drinking craft beer. Luke is excited to join the Vanderbilt family and is currently strategizing ways to eat as much Hot Chicken as possible without gaining too much weight.
Kaele was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, spending most of her free time playing sports. After high school, she moved to Atlanta to attend Emory University, majoring in neuroscience and behavioral biology with a minor in global health. She studied abroad in Madagascar on a Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems program, where she found a passion for global health. She continued her love of sports as a goalkeeper on the Emory soccer team (with co-resident Kelly Costopoulos!) and a sprinter on the Emory track and field team. She returned back to the sunny and warm Chicago to attend Rush Medical College, where she spent time volunteering in Chicago's underserved communities and participated on a global health trip to the Dominican Republic. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, triathlons, camping, hiking, live music, and spending time with friends and family. Kaele and her partner Dwayne, a Vanderbilt Emergency Medicine resident, are excited to explore all the food, music, and outdoors that Nashville has to offer! Member of AOA
David grew up in Dublin, Ohio, where he spent his childhood reading and building a lifelong group of friends. He attended college at Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in neuroscience and molecular and cellular biology with minors in classics and mathematics. While in Baltimore, David spent his free-time Lion Dancing and urban exploring. He moved down south to Nashville for medical school at Vanderbilt, where the loops of Henle wound their way into David's heart, and he fell in love with Nephrology. In his free time, David enjoys hiking with his partner Bryce, reading Brandon Sanderson novels, exploring the fantastic food scene, and playing board games with his friends.
Christine was born and raised in Frederick, Maryland. She left the mountain views for the coast of North Carolina to attend college at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. After four years of studying, volunteering at the local free health clinic, dancing on her college dance team, and lounging on Wrightsville Beach, she graduated with a B.S. in biology and minors in chemistry and psychology. She then attended medical school at the University of North Carolina where she discovered her two passions: internal medicine and Tar Heel basketball. Her interests include running, reading, playing with dogs, sushi, and working on her Spanish. She is thrilled to be a part of the Vanderbilt community! Member of AOA.
Steven is from a small suburb of Chicago, Illinois where he worked in local theater and was a member of his high school drumline. He went to the University of Illinois for undergrad where he majored in molecular and cellular biology and minored in English. After that, he took a year off and worked at Abbvie in North Chicago. Deciding he was done with the cold for a while, he moved to Miami, where he attended the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, studying medicine, medical genomics, and how best to avoid getting sunburned. While there, he enjoyed trips to the beach, Florida Keys, days and nights out with friends, and exploring the south Florida culture. After finishing up school, he decided to head back to the cold (sort of) and moved to Nashville for residency at Vanderbilt. In his free time, he enjoys running, reading, heading to the beach to relax or kayak, cooking/baking, and listening to music. Member of AOA.
Tom was born and raised in Ridgefield, Ct. In high school he was captain of the track team and an All State athlete in the pole vault. His other hobbies included snowboarding and working at a local photo shop. In 2003 he spent one semester as a business major at Penn State before deciding to take the spring semester off. He spent the next 6 months living on his grandparents farm in the Lot-et-Garonne region of southern France working as a farm hand and helping with their vineyard. When he returned to the US, he enrolled at UConn and eventually double majored in chemistry and molecular biology. In 2008 he moved to Washington DC to work at NIH as a protein engineer under the direction of Dr. Stephen Leppla in NIAID. In 2010 he moved to Dallas Tx and was a member of the MSTP program at UT Southwestern. His graduate work focused on the role of adipose tissue dysfunction in type 2 diabetes. He is super into bouldering and home brewing (especially sour beer).
Preetam was raised in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Chicago as an undergraduate, where he majored in biology and minored in philosophy. After graduating, he spent one year working with NGOs in Pune, India to develop and lead a malnutrition project in the city’s slum communities. He attended the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he discovered a love for the care of adults and children. He has a passion for medical ethics, global health, international development, and the intersection between medicine, research, and public policy. His other interests include the arts, philosophy and comparative religion.
Ben Frush was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from Duke University where he studied psychology before matriculating to the University of North Carolina for medical school, where he remained an unapologetic Duke basketball fan. In between his third and fourth years of medical school, Ben spent a year at Duke Divinity School where he was a fellow in the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Fellowship there. He is interested in bioethics, specifically how both theology and moral philosophy can inform current conversations involving disability, moral formation in medicine, and end-of-life care. In his free time, Ben enjoys pickup basketball, Pittsburgh Steelers football, re-watching episodes of The Office ad nauseam, and figuring out how to spend time with other people’s dogs until he breaks down and gets his own
Rachel was born and raised in Tampa, FL, where she spent much of her free time playing volleyball, scuba diving or on the beach. She attended the University of Florida for undergrad where she majored in biochemistry and nutrition, developing her passion for medicine in between tailgating Gator football games. Rachel went to Yale for medical school, where she decided to pursue Med-Peds after becoming interested in caring for patients of all ages with congenital heart disease. Rachel spends her free time experimenting with new recipes, finding any excuse to be outdoors, explaining college football to her northern friends and convincing people that Tampa actually has a great hockey team. After her short stint in the northeast, Rachel is thrilled to be moving back south to warmer weather, country music and SEC football. She is looking forward to exploring Nashville and joining the Vanderbilt community!
Jon was born in Virginia Beach, VA. His family has always had an international flair, including his Dutch father and Kenyan stepmother. Jon spent his childhood planning to become president of the United States but decided that politics was not for him after working as an aide in the state capitol during early high school. Thankfully, he switched to medicine and has never looked back. Before pursuing an undergraduate degree, he volunteered for a non-profit organization doing community development in Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Later, he earned his Bachelors of Science in chemistry at Wheaton College, where he also met his wife, Olivia. Following his undergraduate education, he worked for one year in the chemical industry (where he literally had to watch paint dry as part of his job description). He then attended medical school at University of Illinois and discovered Med-Peds! Jon and Olivia are both passionate about global health and correcting health disparities in developing countries. Specifically, Jon would like to start residency programs in developing countries in order to contribute to a self-sustaining physician workforce within those countries. When Jon is not learning medicine you might find him running a 5k, reading a book on space exploration, cooking ethnic Lebanese food with his wife, or enjoying a glass of Californian cabernet sauvignon or Italian barbera. Jon and Olivia are excited to make Nashville their home and to join the Vanderbilt family!
University of Florida, Sub-specialty Interest – Hematology. Oncology
Shannon was born and raised in Orlando, FL, where she enjoyed playing basketball and going outside as much as possible. During high school, she developed an interest in oncology after ending her mediocre basketball career in favor of working on a head and neck cancer research project. After attending the University of Florida for college and medical school as part of the combined BS/MD medical honors program, she is excited to venture out from the Sunshine State and experience actual seasons in Tennessee. She continues to have an interest in oncology, most recently researching the genetics of myelodysplastic syndromes. She also has a newfound interest in quality improvement work. Outside of medicine, Shannon enjoys cooking for friends, lifting weights, collecting wine, watching basketball, writing, and playing with her new pet bunny, Muffin. She plans to get ready for intern year by competing in a powerlifting meet and exploring Iceland. She looks forward to meeting her co-residents and joining the Vanderbilt family!
Sophia is from Ghana where she enjoyed living until college. She then came to the United States and attended Smith College in Massachusetts where she made invaluable friendships and was involved in various campus and community events. She graduated with a major in biochemistry and a minor in economics. After Smith she worked as a research assistant at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and then matriculated at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Sophia is interested in global health and has volunteered in Ghana on several occasions: in rural health clinics, and helping to run health drives. Sophia is looking forward to the warm weather and discovering more about Nashville and the South!
Caroline was raised in Mooresville, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte. She spent her childhood years playing soccer and basketball, devoting far too many hours to club and school teams prior to her early peak in high school, and also enjoyed boating on her hometown lake, Lake Norman. She attended the University of North Carolina for undergrad, where she majored in nutrition at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and met her husband, Hunter. She spent a gap year away from Chapel Hill, working as a clinical research coordinator in orthopaedic trauma at Carolinas Medical Center, before returning to UNC for medical school and falling in love with internal medicine. In her spare time, Caroline still plays soccer and basketball and also enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, trying out new restaurants, attempting to brew beer with her husband, and cheering on the Tar Heels. Since the UNC men’s basketball team has now bookended her years in Chapel Hill with national championships, she has decided it is finally time to leave Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina. She is beyond excited to move to Nashville and join the intern class at Vanderbilt! Member of AOA
William Bassett comes from the Bay Area, California, where he lived for the first 23 years of his life. In high school, he was a proud Menlo-Atherton Bear, where he played basketball, football, and baritone sax. After a handful of ACL tears, he decided to switch to a lighter saxophone and focus his athletic energy on fandom of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. He attended college at Stanford University, where he majored in biology with a minor in ethics. During college, he played in the university marching band and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, where he mastered the fine art of siesta, or napping at 3pm. After college he moved from California to sunny Philadelphia, PA for medical school. In Philadelphia, he fell in love with pick-up basketball, making interesting desserts and ICU medicine. Though he is sad to leave the network of National League cities, he is excited to move south to continue his great American adventure and make a new home in the natural beauty and cultural verve of Nashville!.
Ben grew up in the horse country of Kentucky, playing soccer with his three siblings from an early age. He graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky with a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. At Centre he met his now wife, Trinity, who works as a pediatric nurse practitioner. He then moved to Atlanta, Georgia to attend medical school at Emory. There, he and his wife co-directed Local Outreach at their church – focusing primarily on serving refugees in their resettlement to the U.S. and supporting families and children in the foster care system. He enjoys cooking with his wife, having friends (new and old!) over for dinner, running, and spending time with anyone over a good cup of coffee. In fact, he enjoys the unique tastes and the community afforded by coffee so much that he has been home roasting for a few years now. He bears a striking resemblance to his older brother and rising PGY-3 Vanderbilt internal medicine resident, J.B. Boone. He is really looking forward to being confused for a senior resident as a brand-new intern. Most of all, he is thrilled to get to know his co-residents and have them over for a meal or a cup of joe. Member of AOA
Griffin was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended the University of Utah where he studied chemistry broken up by a two-year hiatus spent serving an LDS Church mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He speaks fluent Spanish, albeit with a noticeable Argentine accent. Following his undergraduate studies he briefly pursued physical chemistry research before settling on medicine as a career path. He spent one year working for Intermountain Healthcare where helped develop software tools for analyzing outcomes and cost-effectiveness of surgical procedures. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and found he had an interest in internal medicine and particularly cardiology. He enjoys basketball, running, soccer, and reading in his free time.
Chris was born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, about one hour outside of Philadelphia. He spent his childhood and high school years constantly playing sports, including getting his black belt in the martial art Tang Soo Do. He then attended the University of Maryland (Fear the Turtle!), where he received a degree in physiology and neurobiology. Chris then spent one year as an emergency room scribe before attending Temple University School of Medicine. While there, Chris split his clinical time at Temple’s main campus and a clinical campus in Bethlehem, where he was thrilled to be able to give back to the community that helped raise him. Chris developed a large interest in critical care medicine along with humanism within the medical field. Outside of the hospital, Chris enjoys training for endurance athletic events, joining any intramural team that is willing to have him, doing “the worm” on the dance floor, following Philadelphia sports, and not quite hitting all the notes during karaoke. Chris and his significant other/fellow intern, Angelina, are so excited to join the Vanderbilt family and to call Nashville home. Member of AOA.
Jerald grew up in Yonkers, NY, a suburb of NYC. For college he made his way down to Brooklyn for a combined BA/MD program. While at Brooklyn College, Jerald earned a BA in economics and continued his high school hobby of speech and debate. After undergrad he moved just a few miles away to SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. Jerald's interests include traveling, basketball, cars and baking. After spending his whole life in New York, he is excited to move down to a place with warmer weather and better drivers. Member of AOA
Rebecca grew up in Paducah, KY, Nashville’s (much smaller) neighbor to the northwest, perhaps best known as Quilt City, USA. Due to her lack of talents in the textile arts, she was banished to the frigid wilds of New York to attend college at Columbia University, where she majored in East Asian studies and spent some time in Beijing learning Mandarin (and hasn’t had many opportunities to use it since, so don’t expect too much). Between college and medical school she worked at a foster care advocacy organization in St. Louis through AmeriCorps, learning about the challenges of healthcare delivery in the foster care system. In medical school she quickly fell in love with internal medicine, and in particular with ID and nephrology due to their interesting and complex pathophysiology and good blend of inpatient and outpatient medicine. In her free time she enjoys traveling, board games, and vegan cooking. She is looking forward to returning to Nashville and branching out from her favorite childhood destinations (the Zoo, the Frist, and most of all, Laser Quest).
Christopher was born and raised in the Washington, DC area and went to Middlebury College in Vermont for undergrad. He learned Spanish at a young age at home, and studied Arabic later on in college. He enjoys traveling when he can, and spent an exciting summer in Yemen a few years ago. Before medical school, he spent time as a college counselor at a boarding school outside of Amman, Jordan. Christopher went to medical school at Boston University, where he worked with and learned from a diverse and underserved patient population. He and his partner, Laura, were both thrilled to match at Vanderbilt for internal medicine (and OB/GYN for Laura). Before moving to Nashville they travelled together to Japan, Cambodia and Malaysia. They are both excited to get to know Nashville and the Vanderbilt community! Member of AOA
Taylor grew up in the Atlanta suburb of Kennesaw, Georgia with his identical twin, two younger brothers, and his little sister adopted from China. He received both his biomedical engineering and medical degrees at Vanderbilt University, which is how he has now attained the high honor of Triple Dore. He is desperately holding out for a football national championship but the tennis and baseball wins are great too. He is an avid table tennis player (currently accepting challenges), guitar player, and is involved in Medical Christian Fellowship. Taylor has always enjoyed spending time with his family and looks forward to visits home filled with spikeball, jamming together with various instruments, and his dad cooking on the hibachi grill. During medical school Taylor developed a deep passion for medicine and is thrilled for the next three years of training.
Erica grew up in the foothills of the Sierras in Northern California with her parents and younger brother and sister. Her most treasured childhood memories include sailing on the lake of her family lakehouse, milking goats at her parents’ ranch, helping out in her mother’s Montessori school, and riding horses with her sister. She attended college at the University of San Diego earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in theology and religious studies. With a passion for travel and exploration, she spent a few months after college doing mission work in Ecuador where she furthered her interest in medical missions. She attended medical school in St. Maarten and received a breadth of experiences rotating in multiple training hospitals from the outskirts of London, England to icy Wisconsin. She spent her internship year training in internal medicine at UT Houston prior to transferring to Vanderbilt. Her favorite part of medicine is teaching her patients about their health and she looks forward to implementing education and mentoring into her practice. In her spare time she likes to West Coast swing dance, cook, spend quality time with friends, and work on her ping pong game.
Cassie was born in Boston, MA but has lived in several places across the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She attended the University of Rhode Island where she studied biological sciences and psychology in addition to developing an interest in cardiology. She returned to Massachusetts for her medical education at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In her free time, she enjoys photography, live music, good food, and travel. In addition, she also likes to spend time with her ten siblings who are already planning a road trip to visit (Nashville- look out!). Though in her heart, she will always know Tom Brady is the GOAT and there's nothing quite like hearing "Dirty Water" in Fenway Park after a Red Sox victory, she is excited to venture out of New England and start her next journey at Vanderbilt.
Maryam grew up in northern California until she was 8 years old when she moved to Birmingham, Alabama where the trees outnumbered people. She quickly fell in love with the Southern charm and beautiful landscape, so much so that she went to undergrad at UAB and decided to stay for medical school after volunteering in the pediatric NICU where everyone and their mom, literally, is compelled to save lives. This year she and her husband welcomed a baby boy who they enjoy spending time playing with and discovering optimal burping positions. In her free time she enjoys reading, gardening and discovering recipes she'll most likely never make unless there's an inordinate amount of sugar and/or chocolate.
The oldest of three children, Blake was born and raised in small-town Iowa. And by small-town, she means 800 total residents! Though small, Hopkinton does boast three swimming pools, one of which was the site of Blake's favorite summer job-lifegarding. After high school, Blake attended college in Decorah, a northern Iowa town known for its bluffs and beautiful scenery. Here she cultivated her love of travel, craft beer, mountain biking and trail running, as well as graduating with a biology degree. After college, Blake attended the University of Iowa for medicial school and developed a deep love for internal medicine and global health. As part of the gobal health distinction track, she spent 9 weeks in Peru after her first year and wrote this bio while at the airport, awaiting a flight to India for 5 more weeks of global health work. She is looking forward to residing in a different state and city, especially one with such wonderful music, food and outdoor activities. She will continue to cheer on the Iowa Hawkeyes from afar.
Peter was born in Cairo, Egypt as one of a pair of twins and his family immigrated to NYC when he was one year old. From there he lived in New York, South Brunswick in New Jersey, and in Pennsylvania until the beginning of high school when he came down to Land O Lakes, Florida (30 minutes north of Tampa). From there Peter completed International Baccalaureate (IB) in high school, two degrees (biomedical sciences and economics) in the University of South Florida, and medical school at USF as well. Peter's interests include reading (fiction and history), clay shooting, going to the beach, and a good movie. He also loves traveling and has been to Europe twice, New York City a handful of times, a few cruises and back home to Egypt twice as well. Peter is excited to come to Nashville and explore all that Tennessee has to offer as well! Member of AOA
Judd was born in Montgomery, Alabama (let’s go ahead and get this straight – WAR EAGLE!) but moved to the Tar Heel State in sixth grade, where he rather quickly found a new love for college basketball. He was proud to attend UNC-Chapel Hill for undergrad and double majored in biology and Hispanic linguistics. While at Chapel Hill, he enjoyed volunteering with the UNC Center for Latino Health, working as a tutor with UNC Disability Services, storming Franklin Street after every victory over Duke and national championship, and painting himself Carolina blue for just about every televised UNC football game. At UNC he also met his now-wife, who as it turns out grew up in a neighborhood just a few miles away from his parent’s home in Charlotte. In between undergrad and medical school, he worked for the UNC Hospitals Patient Relations Department. This experience provided many answers to the medical school interview prompt “Tell me about an awkward or difficult conversation you had with another person and what you learned to do better.” He was blessed with the opportunity to attend UNC for medical school, during which he enjoyed representing his classmates in student government, serving the local Latino community through an Albert Schweitzer fellowship, and of course celebrating another men’s basketball national championship. He completed two of his four years at UNC’s partner campus in Charlotte with Carolinas HealthCare System, where he appreciated having a longitudinal curriculum and early exposure to critical care medicine. While Judd and his wife have cherished their memories in North Carolina, nothing compared to the joy they experienced on Match Day when they discovered Judd matched at Vanderbilt for residency. Judd greatly looks forward to exploring the endless opportunities as a Commodore, working with the incredible faculty and residents at Vanderbilt and the VA, finding some new boots for the honky-tonks, and bringing on the hot chicken challenge! He also cannot wait to find some new running trails with his wife and rescue pup Lasso. So then how do you find Judd on the wards, you ask? Simple: look for the Carolina bow tie. Member of AOA.
Medical College of Georgia
Brett was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended college at the University of Georgia where he majored in Biology. While there, he discovered his passion for research after studying bacterial respiration in the sea ice of Antarctica, leading him to apply for the MD/PhD program at the Medical College of Georgia. As a PhD student, Brett studied the development of a novel therapeutic approach to sickle cell nephropathy, a severe complication of sickle cell disease. His work in sickle cell encouraged him to pursue a yearlong posdoc as a Fulbright-Fogarty Global Health Fellow in Lilongwe, Malawi where he helped establish the laboratory and clinical infrastructure for the accurate diagnosis and correct treatment of the disease. Brett is thrilled to become part of Vanderbilt via The Harrison Society and plans to complete a Nephrology fellowship. In his spare time, Brett enjoys traveling with his wife Courtney, woodworking, mountain biking, and visiting the park with his dog Filson.
Michelle was born in Los Angeles, California, but she grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where her family moved when she was three. She attended Emory University for her undergraduate studies where she received a double major in biology and chemistry. She went on to study medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where she developed a passion for gastroenterology and mental health advocacy. In addition to medicine, she is deeply devoted to creative writing and wrote her first novel when she was eleven. She has published four novels and has been working on her fifth novel since her first year of medical school. She won first place in the 2016 Gold-Hope Tang Humanism in Medicine essay contest, and her medical creative writing is forthcoming in Annals of Internal Medicine and has been published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Academic Medicine, and Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Jason is a native of central Arkansas and attended Arkansas Tech University where he received his Bachelor of Science in biology. During his time in college he was actively involved in the music department and played saxophone in both the marching and concert bands. After college, he went on to attend medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. In his free time he enjoys spending time outdoors, playing/watching sports with his friends, and spending time with his wonderful wife Megan, a personal trainer from the Central Arkansas area. Member of AOA
Stephanie was born and raised in Western North Carolina before moving across the state to the triangle region where she’s been for the last 11 years. She became a triple Tarheel this year after completing her undergraduate degree in biology, MPH and medical degrees at UNC-Chapel Hill. During medical school she became interested in underserved medicine and medical education and hopes to incorporate those into her training while at Vanderbilt. When she’s not watching UNC basketball (and always believing they are national championship bound) you can find her hiking, listening to live music (she’s been to CMA fest 4 times),checking out the local food scene, taking dance classes, or traveling (she just returned from 3 weeks in Southeast Asia!) After making many trips to Nashville with her family growing up she is excited to make Nashville her home for the next 4 years! Member of AOA
Andrew was born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where he grew up in the woods as an avid outdoorsman while enjoying ice hockey, golf, and snowmobiling. In his early years, he worked as an excavating laborer and heavy equipment operator while developing his medical interests by shadowing at a nearby hospital. Andrew studied kinesiology disciplines at Michigan Tech before attending medical school at Michigan State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During medical school he was involved with cardiovascular research that focused on analyzing coronary artery plaques with NIRS-IVUS imaging, and radiation exposure and robotics in the cath lab. He enjoys working with his hands, personal fitness, volunteering, and spending time with his friends, family, and dogs. Andrew is excited to join the Vanderbilt family and move to Nashville, as he enjoys country music, good food, and a climate that supports golf greater than 5 months out of the year. Member of AOA.
Willibroad hails from a country in Central Africa called Cameroon, where he was born and raised. His interest in medicine saw first light at the age of 8 when he lost a loved one to a heart attack. In light of the poor healthcare infrastructure in his hometown and convinced there were better opportunities overseas, he decided to pursue higher education in the US. He attended college in Milledgeville GA, where earned his BS in chemistry. He took a gap year to work in education, serving high school dropouts, and non-traditional students within underserved communities wherein his passion for teaching was confirmed. He went on to get a medical degree at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In his spare time, Willibroad enjoys playing soccer, volleyball, dancing, hiking and more importantly, he looks forward to enjoying the great food, nice weather and scenic views in the “Music City USA”, not to mention the company of his future colleagues at Vanderbilt.
Alex was born and grew up near Baltimore, Maryland. His interests include writing and performing music, sports, learning about space, and running/hiking. He attended the University of Maryland at College Park for undergrad, where he studied neuroscience. There he started an indie rock band that performed frequently on and off campus. He returned to Baltimore for medical school where he attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine. It was here that he began performing stand-up comedy for his peers at class events. On the wards he developed a strong interest in cardiovascular pathophysiology. He looks forward to continuing writing and performing music and comedy in Nashville, as well as exploring the many outdoor activities, food scene, and other amazing aspects of the city’s vibrant culture. Member of AOA.
Rob was born and raised in the city of Olathe, a suburb of Kansas City, before attending The University of Kansas in Lawrence. While an undergraduate, he earned degrees in neurobiology and philosophy despite an unhealthy obsession with Jayhawk basketball. Rob graduated with Highest Distinction from the University of Kansas, and was awarded the Warner Morse prize in metaphysics and epistemology. After graduation, Rob married his high school sweetheart, Rebecca, before starting medical school. They now share the responsibility of raising two obnoxious cats, and lament their not-so-gradual transformation into crazy cat people. Rob also enjoys reading modern and contemporary fiction, listening to music, and running. While in medical school, Rob spent time promoting the health of Kansas City refugees and working at a local student-run clinic. Rob is looking forward to the opportunity to explore Nashville and all that it has to offer, and he is very excited to be joining the team at Vanderbilt in the summer. Member of AOA
Mike Neuss was born in Durham, NC and raised in Cincinnati, OH. He studied history at Pomona College, and then completed his PhD in the history of science and medicine at Columbia University. Prior to medical school, Mike coached youth swimming and worked in IT. In 2013 Mike returned to Durham to attend Duke University School of Medicine. He hopes his two children, Elsie (4) and Matthew (2) will (like their dad) take an interest in the guitar and/or swimming while in Music City. Mike’s wife, Alex Borst, took a faculty position in pediatric hematology/oncology at Vanderbilt, starting this summer.
Caleb was born and raised in Rochester, MI (suburb of Detroit). Soccer was a major part of his life growing up, and he played on multiple travel teams. Although he is an avid fan of Michigan sports (particularly the Detroit Lions, but it’s a sensitive topic), he decided to attend college at Loyola University Chicago located on the north side of the Windy City in order to play soccer for the varsity team. He studied biology in college, and decided after volunteering at a local community health center that he wanted to become a physician. He was fortunate enough to play in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament during his junior season in 2011, which unfortunately culminated in a lopsided defeat against the Bradley Braves in the first round (but he got some pretty cool gear out of it at least). He decided to stay at Loyola for medical school. He did some research utilizing fluorescence microscopy to study adenovirus host cell entry during his first two years of medical school. He loved his rotations in internal medicine, and decided that this was the best career path for him. In particular, he has an interest in entering the field of cardiology. In his free time, he likes spending time with friends and family, running, lifting weights, playing soccer (less intense than in college, but still tries way too hard most of the time), and brewing beer. He couples-matched with fellow IM intern Gabriel Schroeder, and they are both very excited to be living in Nashville and training at Vanderbilt! Member of AOA
Osarhiemen was born in Brenham, Texas, but raised in Fresno, California. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006, where she earned a degree in Integrative Biology, and was a Division 1 Track and Field Scholar Athlete competing in the hurdles and relays. After college, she worked as an academic counselor to support career paths of undergraduate students where her passion for mentoring future leaders in healthcare flourished. Her hobbies include team sports, African cultural dance and salsa, farmers markets, hiking, and exploring a variety of cultural foods. She is thrilled to start residency at Vanderbilt University and to meet her co-residents and faculty, while enjoying life in Nashville and all it has to offer!
Anjali was born in Flushing, NY and grew up in Fort Mill, SC. She fell in love with biology and the mechanics of the human body during high school and decided to pursue a career in the medical field. After attending UGA for her undergraduate degree she was accepted to the Medical College of Georgia. Anjali enjoys traveling, cooking, soccer, and the occasional Netflix binge. She is looking forward to moving to Nashville and is excited to become part of the Vanderbilt internal medicine team! Member of AOA
Jay is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a proud Vanderbilt alumnus. He returns to the south after completing his MD/MBA at Yale University. Spanning medicine and management, Jay has headed clinical redesign projects to reduce patient length of stay, analyzed operative data to pinpoint surgical errors, and authored publications on repurposing medications for new indications. He welcomes collaboration opportunities across all specialties to optimize clinical workflows, improve patient care, and ensure patient safety. Outside of work, you may catch Jay bicycling up 21st Avenue, stretching out in Pilates, or working in his garden. Jay looks forward to being a part of Nashville’s transformation and rejoining the Vandy family.
Vivek was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. He attended college at Duke where he studied biomedical engineering and the art of the Cameron crazies. After he graduated, he worked as a biomedical engineer developing cardiac ultrasound devices. He moved closer to home for medical school at Vanderbilt and has loved every minute of living in Nashville. In his free time, he enjoys running with his dog Lola, cheering for the Titans, and playing guitar. He is excited to stay in the Vanderbilt community!
Rachael was born and raised in Winchester, Tennessee-- a small town located in the triangle made by Lynchburg (Jack Daniel's), Manchester (Bonnaroo), and Sewanee, TN. She grew up on Tim's Ford Lake and has been water skiing and hiking for as long as she can remember. Rachael graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia in 2013. There, she studied biology and poverty & human capability studies. During her undergraduate career, Rachael studied abroad at the University of St Andrews in sunny Scotland and was granted an internship through the Shepherd Consortium to live and study healthcare and poverty in Thailand. In Thailand, Rachael developed a passion for Thai food and became a named member of the Hash House Harriers-- an international running club. Rachael returned to Tennessee to attend medical school at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. She found a passion in working with the elderly during her time at the VAMC in Memphis, and this solidified her decision to pursue a career in internal medicine. She enjoys running, yoga, cooking (eating), watching Netflix, and she is an avid Memphis Grizzlies fan. Rachael is extremely excited to be coming home to middle Tennessee for residency. Member of AOA
Dami was born to Nigerian parents in England (sorry, no British accent) but grew up in the state of Maryland where he and his family enjoyed the large Nigerian population and culture of the Washington D.C. area. He attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh where he earned a B.S. in chemistry while developing a love of biomedical research. After two years of postgraduate research at the NIH, Dami attended the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Dami loves soulful music, movies, sports, science fiction, and most importantly, FOOD. Having migrated to colder and colder climates all his life, he is excited that Nashville will offer warm Southern temperatures at high, non-Southern (expensive) rental prices.
Buddy was born in Silver Spring, MD. He attended Clemson University, where he was a member of the varsity swim team. After Clemson, Buddy worked in corporate sales for AT&T in Los Angeles, CA. He later returned to academia to do a post-bac at American University, followed by three years of research in psychiatry before attending medical school at GW. Outside of medicine Buddy enjoys dancing, working out at the gym, cooking, live music, watching college sports, and learning new languages.
Brian was born and raised in Wheaton, IL, a suburb of Chicago. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago where he majored in biology and Spanish literature. He competed in varsity cross country and track and also worked in a sleep research lab. Following graduation from the University of Chicago, he accepted a position with Epic Systems in Madison, WI, where he worked on updating healthcare system reports and providing customer support to client hospitals. He then returned to the University of Chicago to attend medical school where he studied the effects of fatty acids on colonic tumorigenesis. Combined with his previous athletic experience, this sparked his interest in nutrition/gastroenterology and subsequently oncology. In his free time he enjoys working out, following Chicago sports, spending time with friends, eating BBQ, and going to concerts. Given these last two interests, he is excited about moving to Nashville!
Gabriel was born in Chicago but grew up in Lakeville, Minnesota. Like every stereotypical Minnesotan, she lived in a house on a lake with her big family (7 younger siblings!). In order to escape the horrors of winter in Minnesota, she traveled south to Atlanta to attend Emory University for undergrad. While at Emory, she majored in neuroscience and behavioral biology and participated in memory and cognition research at Yerkes Primate Research Center. She also enjoyed spending time volunteering at the Children’s Hospital and discovering all the wonderful comfort foods the South had to offer, especially chicken and waffles. She then ventured back to the good old Midwest to attend Loyola University Chicago for medical school. She decided to pursue a career in internal medicine with an interest in pulmonary and critical care medicine. Outside of medicine, she likes spending time cooking, baking desserts, playing basketball, exercising, scrapbooking, water skiing, and hanging out with family and friends. Despite her love for deep-dish pizza, Gabriel is excited to move to Nashville and begin her training at Vanderbilt! Member of AOA
Travis was born in snowy upstate New York during a tornado warning, which he’s taking as a good omen. He moved to Louisville at age four and grew up there with his younger brother, Troy, and a fantastic group of friends who still put up with him to this day. He headed east to the University of Kentucky for college, where he majored in biology, psychology, and, as all UK students do, a general obsession with Kentucky basketball. He returned home to Louisville for medical school, where he was involved in class executive leadership, curricular development, and the distinction in business and leadership track. Travis enjoys watching (the always intellectually-stimulating) NASCAR races, spending time with family and friends, long walks with his high school sweetheart and now wife, Erin, and volunteering with the youth choir at their church. Travis and Erin are ecstatic to pack up the U-Haul and mosey on down I-65 to begin this new adventure together in Nashville. Member of AOA.
Mengyao was born and raised in Taizhou, a seaside city 4 hours south of Shanghai, China. At the age of 17, she moved to Hangzhou, a city known as “paradise in China” for its natural beauty and traditional pagodas perched along the scenic bay. There she attended a combined bachelor and medical school program at Zhejiang University. Her inspiring clinical experience as a visiting medical student at UCLA made her decide to pursue medical training in the United States. Later, her interest in biostatistics and epidemiology took her to the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health where she pursed an MPH degree with a concentration in quantitative methods. Using her newly acquired statistical skills, she also did clinical research with Dr. Ravi Thadhani in nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital. In her free time, she enjoys trying different cuisines, taking mouth-watering photographs of new dishes that she encounters (which she shares with her friends), and watching TV series. After spending almost one year in cold Boston, Mengyao cannot wait to move south to Nashville and join the Vanderbilt community.
Peter grew up in a small town in central Wisconsin and went to college in Minnesota where he majored in microbiology. He spent the last four years in Milwaukee at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Peter enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, running, and biking. He also loves playing and watching hockey (Minnesota Wild!) in his free time. Peter is still undecided about his future career plans but is considering cardiology or pulmonary/critical care. Peter is excited to move to Nashville and start residency at Vanderbilt. Member of AOA
Alexandra was born and raised in Rockville, MD, a suburb of Washington, D.C. After high school, she studied biology of global health at Georgetown University. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, where she worked extensively with HIV-positive children and their families. This experience piqued her interest in medicine and global health. Following college, Alexandra worked as a clinical research coordinator at Whitman-Walker Health, a community health center in Washington, D.C. that serves the LGBT population. Alexandra finally left the D.C. area to attend Rush Medical College in Chicago, where she worked extensively with the surrounding community, further developing her interests in public and urban health. During this time, she also developed a deep love of bright green relish and hatred for ketchup on hot dogs. In her spare time, Alex enjoys cooking, hiking, watching professional basketball, listening to 90s rap, cuddling her dog, and spending time with her husband and friends. She is very excited to move to Nashville and is looking forward to getting to know the Vanderbilt community and her fellow interns! Member of AOA
Mike was born and raised in Waterville, Maine with his two younger siblings. He decided to go into medicine during high school after shadowing a pediatric surgeon at Vanderbilt. He went to Washington University in St. Louis where he studied economics. He returned to New England for medical school at Tufts as part of the Maine Track, spending the last two years in Maine. While in medical school Mike helped teach a physical diagnosis course to undergraduate pre-medical students. Mike enjoys board games, hiking, skiing, running, climbing, tennis and other outdoor activities in his free time. Despite his love of winter, he is extremely excited to be moving to Nashville to start residency at Vanderbilt!
Pierce grew up in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, a tourist town known for its shark attacks and beautiful scenery. He attended Davidson College, where he majored in English and screamed from the student section as Stephen Curry and Co. made the Elite Eight in 2008. From 2008-2013, Pierce worked for the Pan American Health Organization, the regional office of the WHO, in immunization. He then attended Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he was involved with Choosing Wisely and Shade Tree Clinic. Outside of medicine, Pierce's interests include coffee shops, gin and tonics, pick-up basketball, and spending time with his girlfriend, friends, and family. He looks forward to having a real job again and to meeting his fellow interns. Member of AOA.
Brian was born in Cleveland, OH and grew up in the heart of Northeastern Ohio’s snow belt in the suburb of Concord Township, OH. Despite his preference for warmer climates, he remained in Ohio for college and medical school. He attended college in Athens, OH at Ohio University before venturing back up State Route 33 to Columbus, OH to earn his medical degree at Ohio State University. While at Ohio State University, Brian was involved in various extracurricular activities from ultrasound training to quality improvement projects and a research project in trauma outcomes. In his free time, Brian enjoys spending time at the gym, watching Cleveland sports teams (even the Browns), going on outdoor adventures (he hopes to visit all the US national parks), and exploring the local restaurant/brewery scene with family and friends. He is thrilled about Nashville’s milder winters and vibrant musical and cultural scene! Member of AOA.
Arissa was born in New York City and moved to the suburbs (Old Tappan, New Jersey) when she was in second grade. Nevertheless, she always remained a “city girl” at heart, often taking the bus to the Port Authority for adventures in the big city. In college, Arissa indulged her love for the Spanish language and culture by spending a semester abroad in Barcelona. At Tufts, she also met her future husband, Alex, who is starting his ophthalmology residency at Vanderbilt. Arissa enjoys horseback riding, traveling, cooking, hiking, spinning, and almost anything that takes her outdoors. She is looking forward to exploring the Smoky Mountains and meeting other residents who will go there with her! Member of AOA
Stacy Blank was born in Dover, Delaware but quickly moved back to her parents’ hometown of Hebron, IN (in The Region) by the age of 1 to ensure Chicago sports fandom. She played a large variety of sports in high school, but was a science nerd at heart; so she packed her running shoes and softball cleats away when she headed for Indiana University where she studied chemistry and Spanish. Continuing as a Hoosier, Stacy attended IU medical school in Indianapolis where she developed her interest in academic medicine and a future career in Med-Peds. Outside of medicine Stacy enjoys reading, running, hiking, watching IU basketball, and trying new restaurants. She is very excited to explore Nashville and join the Vanderbilt community! Member of AOA.
Emily was born in Chattanooga, TN and moved to Louisville, KY when she was 10 years old. She moved north to New York University for college, where she studied French and sociology and spent a year studying and eating croissants in Paris. During her time at NYU, she developed interests in community health and social determinants of health. After graduation, she went west to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she worked as a case manager at an HIV clinic and found her love for both medicine and hatch green chili. She moved back to Louisville, where she attended medical school and became passionate about primary care and healthcare for the underserved. In her free time, Emily loves to run, bike, and spend time with her rescue mutt and husband. She is thrilled to begin her Med-Peds training at Vanderbilt and can’t wait to get back to her Tennessee roots. Member of AOA.
Michael was born in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and grew up watching space shuttle launches and oddly avoiding the beach. For college, he attended the University of Central Florida, majoring in molecular and microbiology with a minor in piano. Throughout his time there he developed a passion for teaching while instructing undergraduate labs in immunology, microbiology, and anatomy…and temporarily lost his passion for music while playing piano for weddings. He remained at UCF for medical school, where he enjoyed tutoring, leading UCF’s own a cappella group “Residual Volume,” and volunteering to bring healthcare to underserved areas. He enjoys hiking, craft beer, strong coffee, and cooking various permutations of food served on tortillas. Member of AOA.
JJ grew up in a town north of Chicago, where you’d be hard pressed to find him inside; you’d have better luck if you checked the neighborhood field, court, park or ravine. He played football and basketball in high school and then headed to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to attend Bucknell University. While at Bucknell JJ’s biggest accomplishment was winning over his amazing wife, Morgan. JJ took a gap year in Managua, Nicaragua, where he learned how to sweat and speak Spanish. During his year in Central America “Hota Hota” affirmed a strong passion for global health and during medical school he continued to work in Nicaragua, conducting a study on barriers to contraceptive use among adolescents. Recently, JJ and Morgan expanded their family by adding Champ, a lovable golden retriever. Speaking of champs, now that the Cubs have won a World Series, Morgan and JJ are ready to leave Chicago and couldn’t be more excited to move to Nashville. They look forward to live music, friendly people, Southern cooking and exploring the outdoors of Tennessee. Member of AOA.
Alicia grew up in River Forest, IL, a western suburb of Chicago. She is the youngest child of three and the only girl, and has thoroughly enjoyed this distinction. For her undergraduate studies, Alicia attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she majored in women and gender studies and minored in French. Prior to medical school, Alicia worked as the electronic medical records transition manager for her father’s primary care practice in Chicago, and served as the health education and screening coordinator for a small public health organization in the area part time. Interested in a career of public health research and policy, Alicia attended the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine for medical school, during which she was awarded the American Society of Hematology Physician Scientist Career Development Award to support her thesis research on health services administration in the pediatric sickle cell population. Alicia is passionate about healthcare outcomes and cost-effectiveness research, intra-professional collaboration, and breaking the cycle of disease and poverty through high quality patient care.
Ndang was born in Arlington, Virginia, but was raised in Westminster, Maryland, just 1.5 hours north of Washington, D.C. He attended the University of Maryland at College Park, where he was involved in various campus communities, ranging from Honors Humanities to the Maryland Men’s Chorus. While at Maryland, Ndang also studied abroad in Cameroon where he had the opportunity to volunteer with a local NGO that served young adults living with HIV/AIDS. The experience piqued his interest in public health and made a future career in medicine tangible. After graduating with degrees in biochemistry and nutritional science, he made the transition from the Old Line State to the Land of Lincoln for medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. While at Pritzker he cultivated his interests in community health and primary care, which also included a brief detour through Chapel Hill, NC for an MPH degree at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Outside of medicine Ndang enjoys reading, staying active, and singing baritone. Ndang plans for a career in Med-Peds primary care, where he hopes to capitalize on his training in public health and clinical medicine. He looks forward to spending the next chapter of his life in Nashville!
Sarah originally hails from Toronto, Canada. When she was 12 years old, her family relocated to New York City, but she maintained a strict use of Celsius and a deep loyalty to the Blue Jays baseball team. During high school, she played volleyball & softball and studied bat echolocation. She attended Harvard University, where she completed her premedical requirements while majoring in Government, with a focus on Latin America. She enjoyed working at the intersection of policy and medicine at the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, an organization dedicated to using our knowledge of child development to influence public policies relating to children. Sarah spent a gap year working in early childhood education and mentoring high school students before returning to New York for medical school. A new school with an innovative curriculum, Hofstra fostered Sarah’s interests in medical education, medical ethics, and care for the underserved. She has relished the opportunity to explore other parts of the world through global health rotations and health policy courses in China, Chile, and Uganda. She loves to learn languages and may try to speak with you in Spanish, Hebrew, or French. Sarah looks forward to living in one of the friendliest cities in America and to introducing her family and friends from home to the South!
Patricia is a proud Midwesterner who was born in Iowa and grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland. Looking to explore a bigger city, she headed to the University of Chicago for college. While in Chicago, she discovered a love for working with middle and high school students from the surrounding South Side neighborhoods, and particularly enjoyed mentoring teens with sickle cell disease. These experiences got her interested in adolescents and young adults with chronic childhood illness, their transition into adult healthcare, and ultimately led her to the field of med-peds. Next, she made her first move to the south by moving to North Carolina to attend medical school at Duke. She became a Blue Devils fan and enjoyed rooting for a team that actually won a national championship (remember she's from Cleveland!). During med school, she also completed a Masters in Clinical Research and did outcomes research focused on infants with congenital heart disease. She is excited to start residency at Vanderbilt and figuring out how to combine her many interests. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking for friends, yoga, listening to NPR, nerding out at museums and is looking forward to exploring the different neighborhoods in Nashville.
Sophia was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and at the age of 5 moved to the United States where she lived in Missouri, Indiana, Louisiana, and Massachusetts. Through her exposure to diverse cultures and lifestyles while growing up, she discovered a passion for both medicine and global health. This drove her to work with Partners In Health during her undergraduate and graduate years, including most recently a year working in Haiti in quality improvement and operational research. Having conveniently missed two Boston winters while in Haiti, she was eager to find a warm locale for residency. Given her imminent marriage to a Commodore Alumnus, Vanderbilt turned out to be the perfect fit! Sophia loves to travel, meet and build communities, potluck with friends, dance, and enjoy the great outdoors. Member of AOA
Matt grew up in Chapel Hill, NC and is one of four siblings who all attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is second oldest of the four, so he technically went to UNC before it was cool. As an undergraduate, he majored in biology and minored in screenwriting. He went on to pursue medical school at UNC where he relied mostly on his biology background but employed his screenwriting skills for his medical school’s annual skit nights by making short films. His favorite film was a black and white, French-themed, silent comedy called, “La Chirurgie” (Surgery) about the third year medical student surgical clerkship experience. His main hobbies include writing, filmmaking, playing soccer, hiking, and following Tar Heel sports. He is excited to move to Nashville and wants everyone to know this isn’t his first time traveling outside of Chapel Hill. It’s his second. Actually, traveling is one of his hobbies too and some of his favorite places are New York City, Berlin and Galway. For his career plans, he is interested in academic Med-Peds and medical education. Member of AOA.
Originally from Nicholasville, KY, Lee had spent his entire life within the Bluegrass state until live music and the Vandy Med-Peds program convinced him to migrate south to Nash-Vegas. While in Kentucky, Lee grew up loving ultimate Frisbee, Space Jam, and mix-tape CDs. For college, Lee attended the mighty Transylvania University (1,100 students!) in Lexington, KY, where he majored in Spanish and Biochemistry. While there, he traveled to Mexico, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, which helped foster his interest in global health. Next, he ventured an hour westward and spent 4 years studying the art of both medicine and road navigation via bicycle. While in Louisville, he met his favorite dance partner-in-crime who also decided to mosey on down to the Music City for her residency training (McKenzie Vater – Peds). Together, they love cheering on the UK Wildcats, attempting to camp, and running 26.2 more miles than they ever thought they would. Lee is so excited to begin his Med-Peds training at Vanderbilt! Although not 100% sure what he hopes to do long term (#medpeds), he has interests in global health, academic medicine, and hospital medicine.
Elizabeth grew up in Topsfield, Massachusetts just north of Boston. She attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH where she completed a B.S. in Biology. Elizabeth then returned to Massachusetts to attended University of Massachusetts Medical School where she completed an MD/PhD. Her PhD research focused on human immune responses to dengue virus. Elizabeth hopes to pursue a fellowship in infectious disease with a focus on tropical infections. In her free time Elizabeth enjoys ballroom dancing, baking, international travel, and trying to learn new languages. Elizabeth has enjoyed being close to her family over the last 8 years but is excited to move to Nashville and join the Vanderbilt family.
Originally hailing from Lebanon, Ahmad grew up in Greenville, South Carolina surrounded by the Appalachian mountains. He went to Furman University for his undergraduate degree getting a B.S. in Chemistry and Philosophy (he loves getting into philosophical debates, like does free will even exist?). Taking some time off from school, Ahmad went back home to Lebanon where he worked at the Cerebral Palsy Center before moving back to the States where he became an ABA certified therapist for children with Autism and an EMT. His experiences as an EMT, therapist, and aid at the cerebral palsy center led to his love for medicine. Ahmad’s main interests are in global medicine, particularly disaster response and refugee medicine. Outside of healthcare Ahmad enjoys most outdoor sports (particularly hiking and mountain biking), playing drums, traveling, eating shawarma, and bothering his sister and brother. He’s excited to begin his residency at Vanderbilt and discover Nashville!
Catherine was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky and stayed close to home for college, attending Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. While at Centre she majored in biochemistry & molecular biology. Catherine returned to Lexington to attend medical school at the University of Kentucky. While at UK she developed an interest in medical education and is passionate about wellness for physicians and physicians-in-training. Outside of medicine, Catherine enjoys hiking (and most other outdoor activities), spending time with friends and family, and hanging out with her pup, Cooper. She is looking forward to exploring both the Tennessee parks and all that Nashville has to offer. Member of AOA.
Ashley was born a southerner in College Station, Texas, transitioned to toddlerhood as a Californian in the Bay Area, and eventually converted to an East Coaster for the remainder of her childhood in the suburbia of New Jersey. In college, she fell in love with the City of Brotherly Love. Outside of the lab, she spent as much time as possible walking around Rittenhouse and eating her way through the city. But after blowing through two pairs of snow boots during the polar vortex of 2014, she decided to head back down south for medical school at Vanderbilt. Bachelorette parties aside, she is proud to be a Nashvillian. She is excited to be joined by her fiance Seth in Nashville as she embarks on a new journey as a Double Dore!