Vanderbilt Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residents
Marina was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but grew up in Richmond, Virginia with her parents and younger brother, Paul. She has had nontraditional mascots at every level of her training--first a Cavalier, then a Demon Deacon, and finally, a Commodore! She attended the University of Virginia where she majored in Biomedical Engineering before moving down to Wake Forest for medical school. During medical school, she decided to pursue Internal Medicine-Pediatrics as a path to caring for adolescent and young adult cancer patients and survivors. Her other academic interests include medical education and social determinants of health. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with baking, eating her way through new cities, day hiking, and spending time with her family, friends, and church community. She also loves rooting for her Pittsburgh Steelers and UVA basketball (WAHOOWA!). She is incredibly excited to join the Vanderbilt family and become a part of the Nashville community!
Trent grew up in Versailles, KY, just 4184 miles from the Palace of Versailles. He attended Tulane University where he consumed excessive amounts of crawfish and occasionally studied neuroscience, Spanish, and film studies. After college, Trent joined Teach for America Appalachia, moved to the mountains of Kentucky, and succeeded in setting off the fire alarm three times while teaching chemistry and physics. Trent then returned to New Orleans, studied pharmacology at Tulane and taught environmental science at an accelerated high school. Many crawfish later, Trent migrated to his home state to attend medical school. At the University of Kentucky, Trent recognized his desire to care for all ages and populations and quickly discovered the Med-Peds community. He also became interested in medical education and best practices for cultivating community and fostering wellness during medical school. In his spare time, Trent enjoys playing soccer, traveling, and watching too many movies. Member of AOA.
Nina grew up in northeastern Ohio on her family farm, where she discovered her love for food and the outdoors. She attended Carnegie Mellon University for her undergraduate education, majoring in biology and psychology - all the while running up and down the Pittsburgh hills as a member of the women’s cross country & track teams. She then returned to the Buckeye State to attend The Ohio State University College of Medicine. As a medical student, she loved both pediatric and adult medicine, and working with underserved populations. In her free time, Nina enjoys running, hiking, crafting, and cooking and is so thrilled to explore all that Nashville has to offer! Member of AOA.
Justin grew up not far from Nashville in his hometown of Clarksville, TN. He decided to travel down the road to attend college here in Nashville at Belmont University where he majored in Biology. During his time at Belmont, Justin spent a semester abroad at the University of St. Andrews and performed research involving Acinetobacter baumannii in the lab of Dr. Eric Skaar here at Vanderbilt. After graduating from Belmont, he spent a year working as an anesthesia technician before beginning medical school at UTHSC in Memphis, TN. Outside of medicine Justin enjoys reading, brewing beer, baking bread, and spending time with his wonderful wife Sydney and their dogs Chewie and Luna. He is ecstatic to be returning to Nashville and joining Vanderbilt! Member of AOA.
Tom was born in Durham, NC, but was raised in southern Indiana where he became an avid Hoosiers fan. Despite what he felt was a promising career in basketball, he was abruptly cut from his elementary school ball club and decided to pursue a medical degree instead. He spent his four years of undergraduate education in Bloomington, Indiana where he majored in Biology and minored in Psychiatry. Tom spent the first half of medical school in Evansville, Indiana where he met his anatomy lab partner and future wife Maria. They later moved to Indianapolis to finish their education. Tom and Maria (Pediatrics) endured the couples match and were humbled to learn that they would both continue their training at Vanderbilt! They are excited to get to work with their new colleagues while hopefully saving some time to explore the parks, breweries, restaurants, and all the other perks of living in the Music City. Member of AOA.
Zack was born and raised with his two younger brothers in the suburbs of Jackson, MS, and dreamed of becoming a doctor ever since he was in junior high. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Mississippi State University. While at Mississippi State, Zack and a team of fellow classmates researched and built a successful prototype for an automated blood typing device and later formed an LLC to explore further uses for the technology they developed. Also while in college, Zack was very involved with the MSU Roadrunners student recruiting organization and spent a summer abroad in France, which further fueled his love of world travel. He returned to Jackson for medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he learned he had a love for all patients young and old, ultimately leading him to pursue a career in Med-Peds. While at UMMC, Zack served on the Associated Student Body and developed an interest in medical education through tutoring other students. In addition to his passion for medicine, Zack also has a great love for the performing arts, having worked as a choreographer for numerous show choirs and theater productions. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, going to shows and concerts, grabbing dinner and drinks at new restaurants, exercising and doing yoga, and spending time with friends, family, and his dog, Sadie. Zack could not be more thrilled to begin his training at Vanderbilt and looks forward to a new adventure in Nashville! Member of AOA.
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!
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!
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 (now 2 year old) drone. He has really enjoyed exploring Nashville thus far, especially the Warner Parks, various breweries, and strong WiFi areas amenable to Zoom meetings. 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, global health, 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 discovered his love of outpatient Med-Peds and preventative care. In his free time, Sam enjoys sports, traveling, playing chess, cooking, and running. Since returning to Nashville, he has enjoyed connecting with new and old friends. He has also frequented Radnor Lake and many of the other amazing parks in Middle Tennessee.
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!
Laura spent most of her childhood in South Carolina where she enjoyed summers swimming at the lake or hiking in the NC mountains with her family. 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 interest in medicine and decided to stay in the Sunshine State for medical school at the University of Florida. She focused on sustainability, health equity, global health, and also fell in love with SEC sports. Outside the hospital, you can find her buying more plants, heading out for a run, biking or paddling with her awesome fiancé Dillon, or hanging out with her Vandy Family. Nashville feels like home now and she can't wait to keep checking off all of the awesome waterfall hikes on her Tennessee bucket list. Member of AOA.
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 both adults and kids with congenital heart disease. After her short stint in the northeast, Rachel was excited to move back to warmer weather for residency. Outside of the hospital, Rachel spends her time hiking near Chattanooga, sailing on Percy Priest, listening to live music and exploring new restaurants around Nashville.
Jon was born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA, as the son of an immigrant from the Netherlands. His family has always had an international flair, with his Dutch father, Kenyan stepmother, and Lebanese wife. 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 South East Asia. Later, he earned his Bachelors of Science in chemistry at Wheaton College, where he also met his wife, Olivia. Following his undergraduate education, he 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 build residency programs in developing countries. When Jon is not learning medicine you might find him reading the Economist or a book on space exploration, cooking ethnic Lebanese food with his wife, or enjoying a glass of Californian cabernet sauvignon or Italian barbera. Since arriving in Nashville, Jon and Olivia have added Lola (a 4 year old Great Pyrenees) and Cosette (their newborn daughter) to the family.
Though technically a southerner by birth, Ashley is an East Coaster at heart. In college, she fell in love with the City of Brotherly Love, but after blowing through two pairs of snow boots during the polar vortex of 2014, she decided life is too short for cold weather. She headed back down south for medical school at Vanderbilt. Bachelorette parties aside, she is proud to be a Nashvillian. In her spare time, she and her fiancé Seth love hanging out with their kitty cat, cooking, gardening (ask her about the 10 varieties of heirloom tomatoes she planted this year!), going on hikes, road tripping to Asheville, and eating as much hot chicken as possible.
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.
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.
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. During third year of residency, JJ and Morgan had a son named Jack. He is a ball of joy and has been life’s best experience. JJ feels very fortunate and supported as he builds his young family in Nashville. 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.