Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
M.D. - UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Med Sch

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Lansdale, PA
Medical School
M.D. - Johns Hopkins University
Brief Bio

Dr. Aimalohi Ahonkhai completed her undergraduate training in biological anthropology at Harvard College and obtained her MD from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her residency in internal medicine and MPH at Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Public Health. Committed to optimizing clinical outcomes for marginalized HIV patients, Dr. Ahonkhai received training in clinical infectious disease at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals. She has focused her research efforts on implementation research in Sub-Saharan Africa. With collaborators in Nigeria, she established the Care4Life Program, a multidisciplinary initiative to study and improve retention in HIV care. This program has highlighted high rates of unplanned care interruption in this setting and its association with poor CD4 response and virologic outcomes, in addition to disparate clinical outcomes among HIV-infected youth. Dr. Ahonkhai’s goal is to design novel care delivery interventions to improve the quality of HIV care.

Instructor in Medicine

Hometown
Aurora, MO
Medical School
MD - Vanderbilt
Brief Bio

Dr. Justin Bachmann is a cardiologist, Instructor in Medicine, and physician-scientist in the Vanderbilt Center for Translational and Clinical Cardiovascular Research (VTRACC). His research focuses on the use of cardiac rehabilitation to improve cardiovascular outcomes with a particular interest in expanding access to cardiac rehabilitation in underserved populations. Additionally, Dr. Bachmann has interests in operationalizing patient-reported outcome measurement into routine clinical practice. Clinically, he attends on the Harrison inpatient cardiology service at Vanderbilt University Hospital. Dr. Bachmann is a graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and was trained in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and cardiovascular disease at the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center. Prior to returning to Vanderbilt, he was a Research Associate for Professor Michael Porter at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School and completed his MPH at the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Brief Bio

Dr. Bachmann received an AB in Economics from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2005 and her MD from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio, Texas, in 2009. Her postgraduate medical training included residency in internal medicine from 2009-2012 at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and fellowship in endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Massachusetts, from 2012 to June of 2015. Dr. Bachmann has clinical expertise in osteoporosis, diabetes, and pituitary disorders and hopes to pursue a career in clinical investigation. Her clinical research interests include bone disease/fracture risk, obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolism. During residency, she studied predictors of fracture risk in men with prostate cancer on androgen deprivation therapy. During her endocrinology fellowship at MGH, Dr. Bachmann has conducted clinical research on bone density, strength, and fracture risk across the BMI spectrum (in anorexia nervosa, lean, and obese populations) under the mentorship of Dr. Karen K. Miller and Dr. Anne Klibanski. In addition, Dr. Bachmann has held a leadership role in an ongoing clinical trial at the MGH Neuroendocrine Unit investigating potential therapies for impaired bone density and strength in anorexia nervosa.

Assistant Professor, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology

Brief Bio

Dr. April Barnado's clinical research interest involves quality of life and pregnancy outcomes in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. She is currently investigating how access to care impacts quality of care and outcomes in lupus patients. Other clinical interests include systemic sclerosis and pregnancy in autoimmune diseases. As a medical resident at Duke University, Dr. Barnado was recognized for her research by the American College of Rheumatology and received the Abbott Medical Resident Research Award. 

During her rheumatology fellowship at MUSC, she was selected to represent the American College of Rheumatology at the European Workshop for Rheumatology Research in Lisbon, Portugal.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
M.P.H. - Yale
Brief Bio

Dr. Beeghly-Fadiel's research interest is on the environmental, molecular, and genetic determinants of susceptibility and survivorship for women's cancers. This focus stems from an undergraduate education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in biology and graduate work at Yale University in cancer epidemiology. Dr. Beeghly-Fadiel came to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2006 for postdoctoral training, and joined the faculty in 2009 as a Research Instructor. With a research project to evaluate genetic variants related to breast cancer survival, Dr. Beeghly-Fadiel became a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Faculty Scholar in 2010, and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 2011. Dr. Beeghly-Fadiel is currently funded by a Department of Defense Pilot Award to evaluate associations between genetic variants relevant to chemotherapeutic response and ovarian cancer survival. This will also provide a resource for additional research, by building a cohort of ovarian cancer cases from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center with linked electronic medical records, tumor registry data, and genetic information available. Her passion to reduce the burden of ovarian cancer led Dr. Beeghly-Fadiel to co-found VOCAL, the Vanderbilt Ovarian Cancer Alliance. VOCAL's mission is to increase awareness and advance translational research for the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer. In addition to ovarian cancer, Dr. Beeghly-Fadiel also conducts research on the genetic and molecular epidemiology of breast and endometrial cancer, and is interested in harnessing electronic medical records (EMR) for research on cancer susceptibility and survival. In total, Dr. Beeghly-Fadiel has authored more than 50 papers, including 13 first author and 6 senior author publications. She has presented her research at numerous national meetings, and is actively committed to mentoring students and trainees in cancer epidemiology. In addition to her research, Dr. Beeghly-Fadiel teaches Introduction to Scientific Writing for the doctoral program in Epidemiology. She is also the proud mother of two amazing little girls.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
M.D. - Baylor University

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology

Medical School
PhD - Biomedical Sciences/Molecular Pharmacology, New York University, New York, New York
Brief Bio

Dr. Blind earned his PhD from the New York University School of Medicine and completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco, where he conducted research on lipid signaling in the cell nucleus. He begins his independent research program in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt where he and his group will expand on many of his discoveries in lipid structure and function.

Most lipids exist in cellular membrane systems, but lipids in the cell nucleus are found littered throughout the nucleoplasm, most likely complexed to proteins that regulate nuclear events such as transcription. Since the discovery of nuclear lipids several decades ago, there have been numerous questions involving their function, regulation, and ways in which dysregulation may contribute to various pathologies important in human health. 
Ray’s work uncovered the structure of nuclear protein/lipid complexes at atomic resolution and introduced an intriguing new mechanism used by lipid signaling enzymes to regulate transcription through the nuclear receptor superfamily of transcription factors. He has also contributed to ongoing efforts in academic and industrial settings to chemically regulate nuclear receptors using synthetic small molecules.

The Blind Group at Vanderbilt will continue these studies to determine the role of nuclear lipids in chromatin biology, to uncover new mechanisms of lipid-dependent transcriptional regulation, and to develop new therapeutic compounds that target the unique enzymology of nuclear lipid signaling enzymes. This work will yield important insights into how cells function and will have directly translatable utility in biomedical applications focused on diabetes and cancer.

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology

Brief Bio

Dr. Bonami has received a grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). This is a 3-year Strategic Research Agreement. Here is a summary of her research project: Abnormalities in the immune system are present long before Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed in the clinic, as indicated by the early presence of islet autoantibodies in the pre-symptomatic stages of the disease. We do not yet understand the immune system glitches that push B lymphocytes to inappropriately respond to islet autoantigens, engage autoreactive T cells, and morph into autoantibody-secreting cells. Our objectives are: 1) To immunologically define how B lymphocyte recognition of beta cells evolves during the early stages of disease, and 2) To discover which B lymphocyte subsets harbor insulin autoimmunity during the pre-symptomatic period. We expect this information about the early disease process to highlight novel characteristics of B lymphocytes to target for T1D prevention.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Franklin Springs, Georgia
Medical School
Ph.D. - Medical College of Georgia
Brief Bio

Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurs in ~13% of hospitalized patients and is associated with a fourfold increase in mortality. AKI also predisposes patients to chronic kidney disease, which is an independent risk factor for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Renal proximal tubule epithelial cells (PTCs) are vital to the function of the kidney and integral to the pathology of the injured kidney, because they are the most sensitive kidney cell type to ischemia and nephrotoxic insults. The overall goal of Dr. Brooks’ research is to delineate the molecular mechanisms of PTC cell injury/death, survival, and subsequent regeneration to identify therapeutic targets to treat AKI. To this end, he has uncovered a significant role of mitochondria in PTC cell death. He was the first to demonstrate pathological mitochondrial fragmentation in PTCs during kidney injury leading to cell death (Brooks et al. JCI 2009) and the therapeutic potential of inhibiting mitochondrial fragmentation using small molecule inhibitors. He also demonstrated a direct interaction between Bcl-2 family proteins and mitochondrial morphology proteins (Brooks et al. PNAS 2007). In addition, he has identified an important role of PTCs in regulating inflammatory processes during AKI. He found tubular cell phagocytosis suppressed inflammation (Yang, Brooks et al. J. Clinical Inv. 2015) as well as induced autophagy, which in turn inhibited proximal tubular cell activation of T cells through MHC presentation (Brooks et al. EMBO 2015). Current research interests include further delineating the mechanism and therapeutic potential of autophagic regulation of immune processes in AKI, determining if the activation of novel G2/M arrest regulators following AKI contributes to fibrosis, and investigating whether blocking formation of the TOR-autophagy spatial coupling compartment (associated with pro-secretory cells) contributes to fibrosis in injured kidneys.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Topsfield, MA
Medical School
MD - New York Medical College
Brief Bio

Dr. Jonathan Brown is a cardiologist and basic scientist studying transcriptional mechanisms relevant to the pathogenesis of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and atherosclerosis. A central premise of his research involves a deeper understanding of the gene regulatory networks controlling disease pathogenesis to identify novel therapeutic targets to treat these prevalent and often fatal conditions. More specifically, Dr. Brown aims to study how chromatin regulators—as determinants of enhancer function and transcription—are involved in driving pathologic gene expression programs that alter vascular cell and adipose tissue function and result in cardiovascular disease and metabolic dysfunction. Because of his interest in the interplay among inflammation, metabolic disease, and atherogenesis, he is pursuing overlapping areas of investigation examining (1) how proinflammatory activation of vascular endothelium and macrophages drives enhancer remodeling and gene activation through the bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) bromodomain proteins (BRD2, BRD3 and BRD4) and (2) how BET proteins control adipocyte plasticity and differentiation relevant for obesity and systemic metabolic diseases.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Temirtau, Kazakhstan
Medical School
Ph.D. - University of Basel, Switzerland
Brief Bio

Dr. Sergey Budko’s research interests involve the structural and functional organization of extracellular matrix (ECM), collagen models for normal and pathological processes, the biology and structure of rare collagen types, tissue/cell targeted therapy and diagnostics using collagen mimetics and combinatorial proteins, and ECM-based protein engineering of bioactive scaffolds. He is addressing fundamental questions in the mechanisms of collagen folding and has found structural evidence for the co-existence of two triple-helical geometries within the natural sequence of collagen. He is also working to develop unique tools to study structure, folding, and function of collagen. Dr. Budko is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology. Other interests include kids’ development, skiing, ice skating, gardening, and photography.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Ringoes, NJ
Medical School
M.D. - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Brief Bio

Dr. Katherine Cahill received her baccalaureate degree (2003) in biology from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. She entered medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and received her MD degree in 2007. Dr. Cahill completed her residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and subsequently completed her fellowship training at Harvard Medical School in 2013. She is board certified in Internal Medicine (2010) and Allergy and Immunology (2012). Dr. Cahill’s research interests focused on aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) and the treatment of severe asthma. She has published seminal work on the latter topic on the development of new therapies, including the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. As a clinical research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Cahill exhibited an exceptional bedside manner and astute concern for finding better treatment solutions for her allergy and asthma patients through translational research. Her diligent laboratory work has culminated in numerous conference presentations concerning successful experimental work studying the overproduction of the inflammatory prostaglandin and the relationship to the severity of disease manifestation in patients with AERD. Dr. Cahill is a member of several prestigious organizations, including American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and the American Thoracic Society. She has given lectures throughout her career, published her findings in several well-recognized journals in the allergy field, and has demonstrated engagement and diligent work during her research immersion.

Assistant Professor

Medical School
MD - University of Louisville School of Medicine, 2010
Brief Bio

Dr. Jonathan Dale Casey received his baccalaureate degree (2006) in chemistry from Vanderbilt University and his MD (2010) from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, where he was the top overall graduate. During his residency from 2010-2013 at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, he garnered awards for empathetic patient care and was also named Chief Resident in 2015. In 2019 Dr. Casey completed the fellowship program at Vanderbilt in pulmonary and critical care medicine. He is an excellent teacher and was presented the Roger Des Prez Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017. He further enhanced his knowledge of epidemiology, biostatistics, and clinical research during his fellowship by completing a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (May 2019). Jonathan Casey is driven toward long-term success as a researcher. Under the direction of his mentors, Matt Semler, Todd Rice, and Gordon Bernard, he has devised novel and efficient research methodologies to study fluid management, airway management, oxygen targets, and post-extubation respiratory support. He is adept at the design, conduct, and analysis of clinical trials and has served as principal investigator on several. Dr. Casey has helped to develop the Pragmatic Critical Care Research Group, a clinical trial network of clinical researchers in 20 intensive care units and emergency departments in the U.S. He serves a critical role within the network as head of the clinical coordinating center. In addition to providing experience in the administration of large, multicenter trials, this position provides opportunities to design and lead large multicenter clinical trials.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
MD - Johns Hopkins University

Research Instructor in Medicine

Hometown
Nashville, TN
Medical School
PhD, Immunology - Tennessee State University, 2013
Brief Bio

Dr. Celeda is an immunologist with a great interest in the molecular mechanisms associated with innate and adaptive immunity. Her current research emphasis is on discovering the mechanisms by which the inhibitory receptor Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) interferes with normal T cell effector function in sarcoidosis.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
MD - Harvard Medical School, 2004

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Tuscaloosa, AL
Brief Bio

Dr. Lea Davis's work explores the "genomic architecture" of complex traits, defined as the type, frequency, and function of DNA variants en masse that contribute to the genetic predisposition of a given trait. Until recently, the human genetics field has been highly focused on the identification of individual DNA variants associated with complex phenotypes. However, recent research from the Davis lab and others has demonstrated that many complex traits, including Tourette Syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, are highly polygenic with risk distributed across hundreds or thousands of polymorphisms. Through the application of quantitative genetic methods, the Davis lab seeks to answer questions that follow from this observation including (1) How does genomic architecture differ across complex human traits? (2) What kinds of selective pressures shape the polygenic landscape of different phenotypes? (3) How do functional elements (e.g., eQTLs, enhancers, methylation QTLs) influence or concentrate risk? (4) How does sexual dimorphism influence the expression of polygenic burden? The overarching goal of the Davis lab is to integrate functional knowledge of the genome into polygenic approaches to answer such questions. To do this, the Davis lab uses state-of-the-art computational and statistical methods to inform classical quantitative models (used for decades in animal and plant genetics) along with biologically relevant expression data, rare variant data (e.g., exome data, copy number variant data), and environmental data (e.g., prenatal infection or smoking history). Through these integrated approaches, Dr. Davis hopes to understand the biological basis and genetic architecture of common complex phenotypes.

Research Instructor in Medicine

Brief Bio

Dr. Dean's longtime interests have been to understand how nutritional status and other environmental factors stimulate cell proliferation and affect the susceptibility of vulnerable cells to degeneration. Her current interests are the determinants of endocrine mass, specifically pancreatic islet alpha cell mass. While much effort has been focused on understanding beta cell biology because of insulin's well known role in diabetes, very little is known about signals regulating other islet cells. Alpha cells secrete glucagon in response to hypoglycemia, but persons with diabetes have hyperglucagonemia contributing to hyperglycemia. Struck by the impressive alpha cell hyperplasia and hyperglucagonemia in mice with interrupted glucagon signaling, Dr. Dean sought to identify the mechanism underlying this during her postdoctoral training. She identified that unknown circulating factors stimulate alpha cell hyperplasia in mice with interrupted glucagon signaling. She then collaborated with multiple investigators at Vanderbilt and other institutions to identify that these circulating factors are amino acids defining a novel hepatic-pancreatic islet alpha cell axis. She demonstrated that this effect is conserved in human alpha cells suggesting that this axis is relevant to human biology and disease. Her current interests are 1) to define the mechanism of how amino acids are sensed by alpha cells to stimulate proliferation and glucagon secretion and 2) to investigate the role of amino acids on alpha cell dysfunction in diabetes.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Belleair Beach, FL
Medical School
MD - University of Virginia
Brief Bio

Dr. Doran’s research interest is in the cellular-molecular biology of cardiomatabolic disease. In particular, she is interested in mechanisms by which the immune system modulates the development of advanced atherosclerosis and promotes the resolution of inflammation. In addition, she has a clinical interest in preventive cardiology and lipidology.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
PhD, Molecular Biology - Peking Union Medical College, 2006

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Dublin, Ireland
Medical School
PhD - University College Dublin
Brief Bio

Dr. Jane Ferguson joined the Vanderbilt faculty in October 2014 as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Her research focuses on the genetics of cardiometabolic diseases with a particular focus on functional genomics and clinical translation. She is interested in the interactions between genetic and environmental factors in disease development and in the use of evoked phenotypes as a tool for genomic discovery, utilizing discovery platforms across the “omics” spectrum. Her current research projects include: 1) Understanding the genomic determinants of febrile illness; 2) The role of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in adipose inflammation; and 3) the interaction between diet and the microbiome in cardiometabolic risk. Originally from Ireland, she completed her undergraduate degree in Human Genetics at Trinity College Dublin and received her PhD in nutrigenomics from University College Dublin, where her thesis work focused on gene-nutrient interactions in the Metabolic Syndrome. Dr. Ferguson moved to the U.S. in 2009 for postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research focused on translational genomics of cardiovascular disease.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Shelby, NC
Medical School
M.D. - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Brief Bio

Dr. Brent Ferrell's research interests include the study of myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia using single cell biology. He is particularly interested in using primary patient samples to understand changes in cancer cells during and after therapy at the single cell level. Key areas that drive his work include (1) identifying signaling properties associated with therapy resistance and relapse in acute myeloid leukemia; (2) cellular subsets (both malignant and non-malignant) that influence therapeutic outcomes in these diseases; and (3) how these signaling properties can be used to guide treatment and clinical trial development. 

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
Ph.D. - Ohio State University

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
Ph.D. - Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
Brief Bio
Dr. Gaddy’s research interests are focused on determining how bacteria interact with host cells and evade the immune system. In particular, her work has focused on mechanisms of metal homeostasis that alter bacterial virulence and determining how prokaryotic pathogens circumnavigate nutritional immunity within the vertebrate host. Dr. Gaddy’s research has revealed that nutrient iron and zinc availability affects the production and secretion of toxins by the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. She employs numerous methods in her research including bacteriology, molecular biology, genetics, and biochemical, immunological, and high resolution imaging techniques. Dr. Gaddy was granted a Career Development Award (Level 2) from the Department of Veterans Affairs to pursue her research into the metal-dependent regulation of the Helicobacter pylori cag-Type IV secretion system that secretes the oncogenic cytotoxin, CagA.

Research Instructor in Medicine

Hometown
San Diego, CA
Medical School
Ph.D. - University of Amsterdam, 2016
Brief Bio

Dr. Gamazon's primary research interest is in developing and extending methods for elucidating the genetic architecture of complex disorders and pharmacologic phenotypes. Since 2010, he has published over 110 scientific publications in the areas of statistical genetics, functional genomics, and complex traits genetics. An ongoing project involves the genetics of gene expression and the use of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) to expand on genetic association studies. He also works on integrating large-scale DNA biobank data and electronic medical records to enhance research in (and the translational utility of) genetics and genomics. Dr. Gamazon is part of the GTEx Consortium and the T2D-GENES Consortium. He was also a member of the International Warfarin Pharmacogenetics Consortium GWAS team. Dr. Gamazon was trained in genomics and computational biology and has conducted research in human genetics in the Section of Genetic Medicine of the University of Chicago and the Faculty of Medicine (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
MD - Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama
Brief Bio

The Gewin laboratory is interested in the pathophysiology of renal injury and tubulointerstitial fibrosis with a specific interest in tubule epithelial injury. Renal tubule epithelial cells, particularly proximal tubules, are both vulnerable to kidney injury but also play an important role in the progression of chronic kidney disease. Our group is focused on understanding how growth factors, particularly the TGF-beta and Wnt/beta-catenin pathways, modulate the epithelial response to injury. We use mouse models with renal tubule-specific alterations in these growth factor pathways and study how those altered pathways affect the response to injury. The Gewin laboratory is also interested in alterations in metabolism, cell cycle, and mitochondrial function in the injured proximal tubule and how TGF-beta and Wnt/beta-catenin affect these responses to stress. In addition to in vivo models, we use cell culture and molecular biology techniques to better define mechanisms of injury. By improving our understanding of epithelial repair mechanisms, we hope to identify better targets for the treatment of chronic kidney disease.

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Hometown
St. Louis, MO
Medical School
PhD - Vanderbilt University
Brief Bio

Dr. Jeremy Goettel recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroneterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. He received his PhD in cell and developmental biology from Vanderbilt University in 2010 where he studied cytokine signaling in intestinal epithelial cells in the lab of Dr. Brent Polk. He performed his postdoctoral training with Dr. Scott Snapper at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital where he investigated mechanisms of mucosal immune regulation with a particular focus on monogenic disorders driving inflammatory bowel diseases. During this time, Dr. Goettel developed and utilized humanized murine systems as translational research tools that enabled studies related to human immune-mediated diseases, human immunobiology, and assessing human therapeutics. His contributions to the field of humanized mice, mucosal immunology, and inflammatory bowel disease earned him a Young Investigator Award from the International Workshop on Humanized Mice and, more recently, the prestigious CCFA Shanti Sitaraman Young IBD Investigator Award. Dr. Goettel’s research at Vanderbilt will focus on defining the roles specific regulatory T cells and innate lymphoid cells play in mucosal immune homeostasis and inflammation-associated carcinogenesis using both genetic and humanized murine systems.

Assistant Profesor of Medicine

Hometown
Medellin, Antioquio, Columbia
Medical School
Ph.D., Pharmacology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
Brief Bio

Dr. Jose Gomez received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Colombia, in 1995. He earned his master’s degree in chemistry in the laboratory of Dr. David Petering at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2003. Here, he employed various biochemical techniques to elucidate the process of activation of bleomycin. He earned his PhD in pharmacology with Dr. Shigemi Matsuyama at Case Western Reserve University in 2009. Dr. Gomez’s project focused on the mechanism of apoptosis in mammalian cells, specifically to develop cell permeable Bax-inhibiting peptides (BIP). He received a predoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association to examine the apoptotic pathways that could be activated after myocardial infarction. In 2009, he joined Dr. Victor Dzau’s laboratory at Duke University as a postdoctoral fellow. In the Dzau laboratory, he was initially involved in a project elucidating the role of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) in the response of the kidney to changes in blood pressure. He found that a subset of renal MSCs became renin-expressing cells in vivo. He used microarray technology and compared the differential expression of genes in juxtaglomerular cells versus kidney MSCs. At Vanderbilt his studies will focus on elucidating the protein network required for the conversion of renal MSCs to renin-expressing cells, which may play a role in renin regulation and blood pressure homeostasis.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
Ph.D. - College of Life Sciences

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
MD - Ohio State University

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
PhD, Medicine/Cancer Biology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 2017

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology

Hometown
Savannah, GA
Medical School
Ph.D. - Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Brief Bio

Dr. Johnson’s research interest is in breast cancer cell dormancy in bone and the process by which quiescent tumor cells transition to proliferative, aggressive cells capable of inducing osteolytic bone destruction. She is also interested in the molecular mechanisms that promote tumor cell metastasis and dissemination to the bone marrow, particularly the role of the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) signaling pathways in this process. Her current efforts are focused on establishing the mechanism by which extreme hypoxia induces tumor colonization of the bone marrow and identifying a dormancy signature for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer cells as they exit dormancy and colonize the bone, with the ultimate goal of identifying potential therapeutic targets for the prevention of tumor recurrence in the bone marrow. To achieve these aims Dr. Johnson utilizes in vitro techniques encompassing molecular and cell biology, RNA sequencing, and datamining of publicly available cancer patient databases (e.g. TCGA, ENCODE), as well as xenograft and transgenic mouse models. Dr. Johnson has received numerous Young Investigator awards and fellowships from the leading national and international organizations in cancer and bone, including the John Haddad Award and Kaye Ibbertson Award and an NIH Pathway to Independence Award from the National Cancer Institute. She was previously elected to the International Bone and Mineral Society (IBMS) Young Investigator Committee and currently serves on the Board for the Cancer and Bone Society (CABS).

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Seoul, South Korea
Medical School
PhD, Immunology/Biomedical Sciences - University of Texas, 2010
Brief Bio

Dr. Tae Kon Kim is interested in dissecting mechanisms of immune evasion and developing new therapeutic modalities for the treatment of leukemia. He has received research training under the mentorship of Dr. Lieping Chen, a pioneer in the field of immuno-oncology responsible for key discoveries involving PD-L1 and its interaction with PD-1 in cancer patients. Dr. Kim's translational investigations have focused on the role of novel co-inhibitory molecules during immune evasion in leukemia. He is also interested in selectively inhibiting graft-versus-host disease with sparing graft-versus-leukemia by manipulating co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory molecules. When he's not exploring new ways to treat cancer, Dr. Kim enjoys playing golf, tennis, and skiing. His achievements include receiving the American Society of Hematology Scholar Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology Career Development Award, the EvansMDS Young Investigator Award, and the American Cancer Society Clinician Scientist Development Grant.

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology

Medical School
Ph.D. - University of Florida

Assistant Professor

Hometown
Madison, WI
Medical School
Ph.D. - University of Virginia
Brief Bio

Dr. Kroncke is a promising young scientist whose research focus has been to explain the interplay between membrane protein flexibility and structure that leads to robust function and dysfunction involved in human disease, with a special emphasis on ion channels involved in the heart contraction cycle. The increasing use of next generation sequencing in the clinical arena is uncovering a large number of variants across all genes, but methods to predict their pathogenicity are not well established. This results in an increasing number of “variants of uncertain significance” (VUSs), a major emerging problem in genomic medicine. Rare variants (mutations) in the cardiac ion channels are implicated in diverse heart diseases, including long QT syndrome (LQTS), short QT syndrome (SQTS), and Brugada syndrome (BrS), but are also common in healthy populations. While multiple algorithms predict whether ion channel variants are deleterious (SIFT, PolyPhen-2, PredSNP, CADD, etc.), too many neutral variants are classified as disease-causing. The long-term research interest of Dr. Kroncke is to improve our understanding of the clinical burden of ion channel non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) on carriers. He believes predicting protein-specific functional phenotypes accurately of nsSNPs within these genes is the best path to reaching this goal, initially focused on ion channels associated with Long QT Syndrome.

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

Hometown
Buffalo, NY
Medical School
M.D. - Vanderbilt University
Brief Bio

Dr. Jonathan Kropski is a physician-scientist with strong interest in interstitial lung diseases. After completing his baccalaureate degree (cum laude) at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, Dr. Kropski entered medical school at Vanderbilt and received his MD in 2008. After graduation he continued at Vanderbilt as intern and resident in internal medicine (2008-2010), following which he completed a three-year fellowship training program at Vanderbilt in pulmonary and critical care medicine in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine. His combined residency and fellowship training through the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Research Pathway was specifically designed to foster the career development of young physician-scientists. Dr. Kropski completed his clinical training in pulmonary and critical care medicine in July 2013 and has worked as a research fellow since then. Currently, he has a part-time faculty appointment at the Nashville Veterans Administration Medical Center. Dr. Kropski is developing a promising career in biomedical research, focused on interstitial lung diseases. He has worked and published with Drs. Timothy Blackwell, James Loyd, John Phillips, and several other scientists at Vanderbilt who have published widely on interstitial lung disease. Dr. Kropski has received numerous awards for his academic achievements. In 2014, he was awarded the American Thoracic Society Foundation/Boehringer Ingelheim Career Development Award in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. He is a member of the top societies in his field and speaks at national and international meetings. Dr. Kropski is well published in the prominent peer-reviewed journals of his field.

Medical Director, Structural Heart and Valve Center

Hometown
Pompano Beach, FL
Medical School
MD - Vanderbilt School of Medicine
Brief Bio

Dr. Lindman spends most of his time on numerous clinical and translational research projects on calcific aortic stenosis. His group uses sophisticated imaging techniques and a biobank of specimens to elucidate the pathobiology of aortic stenosis and the effects of pressure overload on the left ventricle and pulmonary vasculature. He has a particular interest in how diabetes affects these processes and aims to identify novel targets for adjunctive medical therapy to improve clinical outcomes in patients with aortic stenosis. He is an integral member of his institution’s heart valve team, evaluating patients clinically and performing the transesophageal echocardiograms for transcatheter valve procedures. Dr. Lindman is a member of several writing groups for the American College of Cardiology (ACC), including the Appropriate Use Criteria for Aortic Stenosis and a clinical policy document on advanced valve centers. By participating in these national efforts, he seeks to play a role in shaping new systems of care for patients with valve disease that improve patient-centered outcomes. Dr. Lindman is on the editorial boards for leading cardiovascular journals, including JACC and Circulation, and actively publishes original research manuscripts in these and other journals. He has been the recipient of numerous government, foundation, and industry grants, including an NIH K23 Career Development Award and a Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 daughters.

Associate Professor of Medicine

Medical School
M.D. - University of Virginia
Brief Bio

Hypertension is a leading cause of worldwide morbidity and mortality, leading to stroke, myocardial infarction, vascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. Emerging evidence from our laboratory and others indicates that hypertension is an inflammatory process in which T cells and T cell-derived cytokines play a central role. Despite this evidence, there are currently no treatments for hypertension that target the immune system. We were the first to demonstrate a critical role for the pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin 17A (IL17A), in angiotensin II induced hypertension and vascular dysfunction. When given angiotensin II, mice lacking IL17A have reduced blood pressure and preserved vascular function compared to normal mice. Recent data demonstrates that salt can directly influence naive T cells to differentiate into IL17 producing cells. How T cells can sense and respond to salt is unknown. My current research focus is how T cells and T cell-derived cytokines promote hypertension and renal/vascular dysfunction. Some current projects in my laboratory include: Role of IL17 isoforms in hypertension and renal dysfunction: There are two closely related isoforms of IL17 designated IL17A and IL17F. We have evidence that these isoforms have differential effects on hypertension and renal function. One focus of my lab is to characterize the role of IL17F in hypertension and the mechanism by which IL17 isoforms, A and F, may differentially regulate blood pressure through effects on renal and vascular function. To accomplish this, we use a combination of genetic knockout mice and neutralizing antibodies to IL17 and related proteins. Effect of salt on T cell function in hypertension: We and others have shown that salt can directly influence T cell differentiation into IL17 producing cells through upregulation of the salt sensing kinase, SGK1. We have created mice with deletion of SGK1 specifically in T lymphocytes to determine the effect on blood pressure and renal/vascular inflammation. Also, we have studies ongoing to determine how T cells sense and respond to salt. Interestingly, a small subset of T lymphocytes contain voltage-gated sodium channels. We collaborate with Dr. Kathy Murray's lab to perform whole cell patch clamping of T lymphocytes to investigate changes in sodium current between hypertensive and normotensive mouse and human T cells. Immune mechanisms of aortic dissection: Through a collaboration with Dr. Daniel Levy (Framingham Heart Institute), we have been studying the role of LNK/SH2B3 in hypertension and renal/vascular dysfunction. LNK was identified through a complex systems biology approach to be a key driver gene for hypertension. We have found that mice deficient in LNK have profound hypertension and renal/vascular inflammation. These mice are also predisposed to aortic dissection when given a saline load followed by angiotensin II. We are interested in how, and in which cell types, loss of LNK contributes to hypertension and this profound vascular dysfunction. Effect of Abatacept on resistant hypertension in humans: In conjunction with Drs. David Harrison and Cheryl Laffer, and through a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb, we are performing a small pilot study in humans to determine the effect of Abatacept (which blocks T cell co-stimulation) on resistant hypertension and inflammatory parameters in humans.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
MD - University of California - San Francisco

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
Ph.D. - Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
Medical School
M.D. - Texas Tech University

Assistant Professor of Medicine , Department of Medicine

Hometown
Baltimore, MD
Medical School
MD - Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
Brief Bio

Dr. Jonathan Mosley is a clinically trained scientist with a professional background in mathematics, information systems development, and epidemiology, with doctoral training in molecular and mouse models of mammary gland tumorigenesis. His research focus is on developing approaches to utilize Vanderbilt’s integrated electronic medical record and DNA biobank to delineate risk factors that predispose an individual to disease susceptibility. In this context, he has worked on pharmacogenomics projects looking at adverse drug reactions and association studies linking genetic variation to human morbidity. His particular interest is related to re-organizing clinical disease taxonomies to better reflect the underlying molecular and genetic risk factors driving the pathological processes.These mechanism-oriented taxonomies would increase diagnostic specificity, guide the development and use of targeted therapies, and enhance targeted healthcare delivery strategies. Dr. Mosley's current research efforts involve the application of generalized linear mixed models approaches to delineate the etiological relationships among clinical phenotypes.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
MD - Seoul National Univ

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
Ph.D. Molecular & Integrative Physiology - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Assistant Professor

Hometown
Nashville, TN
Medical School
MD - Virginia Commonwealth University, 2008
Brief Bio

Dr. Michael Noto is a physician-scientist in the Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology. He works as an independent investigator to further develop basic and translational research in the molecular pathogenesis of microbial diseases of the lung. Specifically, Dr. Noto focuses on the host-pathogen interactions of cystic fibrosis and has received a Physician-Scientist Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to study host immune response to Gram-negative pneumonia. Dr. Noto obtained his baccalaureate degree in 2000, cum laude, from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. In 2008 he completed his MD degree, together with a PhD in microbiology, from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. He subsequently entered his internship and residency at Vanderbilt, and upon completion in 2010, entered a postdoctoral fellowship program at Vanderbilt in infectious diseases (2010-2013). In July of 2011 he completed a second postdoctoral fellowship program at Vanderbilt in pulmonary and critical care medicine in June of 2016.

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology

Brief Bio

My research interest is in cardiovascular disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. My ongoing research interests including the effect of inflammation on the heart; the effect of inflammation, specific immunomodulatory drugs, and autoantibodies on HDL function; and the HDL as an epigenetic regulator of vascular cells in rheumatoid arthritis.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Chicago, IL
Medical School
M.D. - University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Brief Bio

Dr. Philip received her BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University and her MD and PhD in cancer biology from the University of Chicago. Her thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Hans Schreiber uncovered new mechanisms of tumor-specific antigen generation and presentation to T cells. She completed Internal Medicine Residency training at the University of Chicago before going to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington in Seattle for Hematology/Oncology fellowship training. There she received a NCI K08 career development award and an American Society of Hematology Scholar Award for her research in Dr. Janis Abkowitz’s lab on metabolic regulation of T cell development. Dr. Philip built on her knowledge of T cell differentiation to decipher mechanisms of T cell dysfunction in solid tumors after joining Dr. Andrea Schietinger’s group at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her studies on how epigenetic programs define T cell dysfunction and therapeutic reprogramming in solid tumors were recently published in Nature (2017). Her clinical training and work has shaped and informed her laboratory research, and she would like to build on her strengths in cancer immunology and hematologic malignancies to care for patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant and/or immunotherapy. As a laboratory-based investigator and physician-scientist, Dr. Philip’s goal is to use clinically-relevant, cutting-edge mouse models of cancer to tackle important cancer immunology questions and to design more potent and safer immunotherapy strategies for cancer patients.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Nashville, TN
Medical School
Ph.D. - Johns Hopkins
Brief Bio

Dr. Peter Rebeiro recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases with a focus on HIV epidemiology. After growing up in Nashville, TN, Peter received his BA in biology from Yale University in December 2005, and worked as a Research Assistant and Coordinator in the Epidemiology/Outcomes unit of the Center for AIDS Research at Vanderbilt from 2006 through 2010. He received an ScM in epidemiology (infectious diseases) in May 2012, an MHS in biostatistics, and a PhD in epidemiology (general epidemiology and methods) in August 2014 from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research focuses on quantifying measurement error, assessing quality of care, and analyzing spatial and contextual factors related to the HIV Continuum of Care in North, Central, and South America. Peter is continuing his collaboration with the Epidemiology/Outcomes group here, and he now works with the Caribbean Central and South American Network for HIV Epidemiology (CCASAnet), as well as with the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design (NA-ACCORD).

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Lawton, OK
Medical School
PhD - Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Brief Bio

A three-time Oklahoma State University (OSU) alumna, she earned both a nutritional sciences master’s (2009) and PhD from the College of Human Sciences (2014) and also holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry (2007). In addition, Dr. Rendina-Ruedy did her postdoctoral training both at the Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Maine Medical Center Research Institute. Dr. Rendina-Ruedy’s research training has been deeply rooted in bone biology with an emphasis in nutritional biochemistry. 

As an OSU graduate student, Dr. Rendina-Ruedy’s research focused on how bioactive components in food alter bone metabolism in the context of several model systems, including ovarian hormone deficiency, chronic inflammation, and diet-induced obesity. She also received a predoctoral grant to conduct research on the role of autophagy in bone metabolism through a study that looked at the links between childhood obesity and early bone health. Dr. Rendina-Ruedy was named Human Sciences Outstanding PhD Student in 2013 and was recently named as one of ten international recipients of the 2019 John Haddad Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. The current focus of the Rendina-Ruedy lab is to develop a comprehensive understanding of how metabolic pathways impact bone health, with the vision to translate these data to new treatments that can improve the quality of life for patients with compromised bone health.

Assistant Professor in Medicine

Hometown
Clarksville, TN
Medical School
M.D. - University of Louisville School of Medicine
Brief Bio

Dr. Richmond received his undergraduate degree from the University of Evansville in 2003 and his M.D. from the University of Louisville in 2007. He then completed a residency in internal medicine, a clinical fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine, and a Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology at Vanderbilt. Dr. Richmond’s research focuses on how chronic inflammation alters epithelial differentiation in the airways and the consequences of altered epithelial differentiation on host defense and microbial community structure.  He has a part-time faculty appointment at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Nashville. He is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, and critical care medicine.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Medical School
Ph.D. - University of Washington

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Hicksville, NY
Medical School
Ph.D., Genetics - Cardiff University, 2013
Brief Bio

Formally trained in computational biology and genetics, Dr. Ruderfer received his BS in computer engineering and MS in computer science from Johns Hopkins University and his PhD in genetics from Cardiff University. Dr. Ruderfer has spent the last ten years applying computational approaches to answering fundamental questions in genetics. He initially worked with Dr. Leonid Kruglyak at Princeton University developing methods and analyzing the genetics of gene expression, proteomics, drug response, populations, and evolution. Since then, he has worked closely with Drs. Shaun Purcell and Pamela Sklar at the Broad Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai on elucidating the genetic causes of psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. His work has contributed substantially to what is currently known about the genetic architecture of these diseases including seminal publications on the polygenic nature of these disorders. In particular, his work has provided integral contributions to the ability to analyze and assess the role of copy number variation to disease risk. He developed some of the earliest methods to analyze these data and demonstrated extensive contribution of this class of variation to schizophrenia risk. More recently, he has sought to integrate the genomic work with more expansive clinical data to identify opportunities for improved treatment utilizing genomic information. For example, his work recently identified a contribution of rare variation to antipsychotic response raising the promise that having genomic information could alter and improve treatment in a subset of patients with schizophrenia.

Assistant Professor

Hometown
Forissant, Missouri
Medical School
MD - University of Missouri-Columbia, 2010
Brief Bio

Dr. Margaret Salisbury is an Assistant Professor of Medicine on the tenure track. Her primary research interests are 1) clinical and biologic phenotyping in hypersensitivity pneumonitis, 2) interaction of the lung microbiome with the host in hypersensitivity pneumonitis and pulmonary fibrosis, and 3) the role of chest imaging in diagnosis and phenotyping of interstitial lung diseases. A fundamental goal of Dr. Salisbury’s work has been to understand variables associated with subsequent risk of disease progression in patients with fibrosing interstitial lung disease. The research in which Dr. Salisbury has participated has pushed the boundaries of what was previously understood about pulmonary fibrosis in two key areas: identifying predictors of disease progression and refining the approach to diagnostic testing in patients with fibrosing interstitial lung diseases. The overarching goal of her current proposed project is to understand the relationship between the host immune response, the lung microbiome, lung fibrosis, and disease trajectory in patients with HP, as a key step toward improving our ability to provide effective, personalized treatment to patients with this heterogeneous, life-threatening disease. Dr. Salisbury serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several high-impact journals in her field and serves on the editorial board of the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society. In addition to her awards for academic excellence throughout her education and training, Dr. Salisbury is becoming known as a determined scholar engaged in cutting-edge research through her published work, including several opinion pieces and her regular talks and presentations at national and international conferences.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
London, KY
Medical School
M.D. - Mayo Medical School, 2011
Brief Bio

Dr. Elizabeth Scoville received her medical degree from Mayo Medical School and completed residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital before coming to Vanderbilt in 2014 for a gastroenterology fellowship. During her fellowship she completed the Master of Science and Clinical Investigation (MSCI) program at Vanderbilt. Her clinical and research interests are focused on the inflammatory bowel diseases. Her research focuses on how variations in genetics and the inflammatory response may alter outcomes and response to therapy in inflammatory bowel disease.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Annandale, VA
Medical School
M.D. - University of Virginia School of Medicine
Brief Bio

Dr. Matt Semler is a pulmonologist who is strongly involved in clinical research for the care and assessment of critical care patients, especially those with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and sepsis. Within this area he is particularly interested in fluid management and in assessment of management tools, didactics, and teaching. Dr. Semler has worked closely with Drs. Gordon R. Bernard, Arthur P. Wheeler, and Todd W. Rice who are well recognized in the field of critical care. Recently, Dr. Semler has published manuscripts in the areas of fluid resuscitation in patients with ARDS, biomarkers of fluid status in ARDS, and airway management of critically ill patients. Dr. Semler collaborates with members of the PETAL Network, a NIH/NHLBI-sponsored network of physicians and scientists investigating novel therapies in the early prevention and treatment of patients with acute lung injury.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Assis, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Medical School
Ph.D. - University of Sao Paulo
Brief Bio

Dr. Serezani completed his PhD at the University of Sao Paulo and the University of Michigan. He also completed his postdoctoral studies at University of Michigan. He was an Assistant Professor at Indiana University School of Medicine and has published more than 50 papers in reputed journals. The NIH and other foundations have funded his laboratory for almost 10 years. The Serezani laboratory aims to develop therapeutic strategies to control systemic (sepsis) and localized infections (skin and lung) in healthy individuals, individuals with immune deficiencies, and those suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes. They have concentrated much of their efforts on understanding the role of the lipid mediators leukotriene B4 and prostaglandin E2 and their actions on microRNAs and phosphatases to modulate immune cells involved in the control of microbial infection in these different contexts.

Instructor in Medicine

Hometown
Mountain Top, PA
Medical School
M.D. - Drexel University College of Medicine, 2007
Brief Bio

Dr. Shailja Shah graduated summa cum laude and with AOA distinction from the seven-year Bachelor of Science/Doctorate of Medicine program at Drexel University/MCP Hahnemann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) in 2011, during which time she also did lab-based work as a “Students Tackling Advanced Research (STAR)” scholar. She then went on to complete her internal medicine residency at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she was also enrolled in the PRIME clinical research track. Given her interest in global health, she also worked at Mulago Hospital/Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, during her residency. After completing her residency, Dr. Shah decided to pursue her fellowship in gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital to foster an increasing interest in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As a fellow, her clinical and research interests expanded to include inflammation-associated carcinogenesis, specifically colonic dysplasia and neoplasia in the setting of longstanding IBD colitis, as well as gastric preneoplasia and neoplasia. Under the primary mentorship of Dr. Steven Itzkowitz, Dr. Shah decided to focus her research on understanding the reasons for the racial/ethnic disparity with respect to gastric preneoplasia and neoplasia, specifically within the United States. She is also interested in novel non-invasive biomarkers for gastric preneoplasia and early neoplasia, which she is hopeful will one day inform an algorithm for targeted gastric cancer screening for high-risk groups in the US. Given Vanderbilt's reputation as a national and international authority in gastric preneoplasia, neoplasia, and Helicobacter pylori, Dr. Shah is excited to continue the next part of her career as junior faculty in the Vanderbilt Digestive Diseases Research Center.

Instructor in Medicine

Hometown
St. Louis, MO
Medical School
MD - Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 2007
Brief Bio

Dr. Ciara Shaver's primary clinical interest is in lung transplantation with a particular focus on the early postoperative events that predict long-term outcomes. Her research interests include mechanisms of acute lung injury and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Her scientific approach combines data from multiple animal models of acute lung injury with data from patients with ARDS. Currently, Dr. Shaver's primary focus is to understand the inflammatory consequences of extracellular hemoglobin in the airspace. Dr. Shaver received the Elliot V. Newman Prize for the best oral presentation in 2014 and the award for best basic science poster at the Vanderbilt Research Forum in 2015. She also received two subsequent scholarships to attend the American Thoracic Society International Conference for her superior abstracts. In 2015, Dr. Shaver was awarded a Vanderbilt Faculty Research Scholars Award to support continuing development toward independence as a physician-scientist. She is excited to continue pursuing both basic science and translational studies with clear clinical applications. Her husband, Aaron, is a hematopathologist at Vanderbilt.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
M.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

Medical School
M.D. - University of Louisville

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Owatonna, MN
Medical School
M.P.H. - University of Alabama
Brief Bio

Dr. Staci Sudenga received her PhD in epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and pursued training at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL as a postdoctoral fellow under the R25T Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer training award. Her research program focuses on infections and cancer, the natural history of infections, and the synergy between infections. The goal is to identify modifiable factors associated with acquisition of infections and to identify biologically meaningful associations between the host and pathogen that can be translated into primary prevention efforts, early diagnosis, or treatment. Dr. Sudenga is the principal investigator on a contract through the Merck Investigator Studies Program investigating “The role of genital warts in HIV acquisition among men participating in a longitudinal study from the United States, Brazil, and Mexico.” She is enthusiastic about the potential research collaborations and opportunities at Vanderbilt.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Franklin, TN
Medical School
MD - University of Nigeria College of Medicine, Nsukka, Nigeria
Brief Bio

Dr. Ebele Umeukeje is currently enrolled in the Vanderbilt MPH class of 2015. She started her fellowship in nephrology at Vanderbilt in 2011, and upon completion of her clinical year as a nephrology fellow, she opted for a postdoctoral research fellowship position in nephrology. Her work so far has focused on evaluating the impact of key psychosocial factors on medication adherence in dialysis patients. She has specifically investigated the role of patient attitudes and perception of provider autonomy support on phosphate binder adherence. Her pilot work has culminated in an ongoing randomized clinical trial funded by the NIH to investigate the potential role of motivational interviewing in improving adherence to phosphate binder therapy. Her goal is to broaden her current research interests to include outcomes in renal transplant patients as well as other patients with chronic kidney failure who are not currently receiving renal replacement therapy.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
MD - Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2005

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Medical School
MD - University. Of Alabama - Birmingham

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Medical School
Ph.D. - Stanford University

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Hometown
Fujian, China
Medical School
Ph.D. - Institute for Nutritional Sciences
Brief Bio

Dr. Danxia Yu’s major research interests include (1) epidemiology and prevention of chronic disease through a healthy diet and lifestyle; (2) biomarkers and metabolomics in type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease; and (3) diet-gut microbiota interactions and host cardiometabolic health. Dr. Yu has identified several dietary factors and novel biomarkers in relation to the risk and mortality of major chronic diseases by using resources from multiple population-based, prospective cohort studies conducted in China and in the US, including the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, the Shanghai Men’s Health Study, and the Southern Community Cohort Study. She has also played an important role in an international lung cancer cohort consortium involving nearly two million study participants from the US, Europe, and Asia. Dr. Yu’s future research will focus on diet, gut microbial metabolism, and human cardiometabolic health by integrating advanced metabolomics technology into epidemiological studies. Danxia’s general interests remain in nutrition (food actually), including cooking, trying new foods/restaurants, traveling, and watching movies/shows/documentaries about food and culture.