Resident Research Spotlight for May 2022

"Kaitlyn Reasoner, MD"

Kaitlyn Reasoner, MD

Hometown: Falcon Heights, Minnesota

Residency year: PGY2

Career Plans: Infectious Diseases

Mentor:  Milner Staub, MD, MPH

Project Title: “Veterans’ Perceptions and Categorial Constructs Regarding Antibiotics for Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs)”*

     *We are submitting this research as an abstract to IDWeek with subsequent plans for manuscript submission.

"The residency research ​liaison program really makes it easy to learn more about the research opportunities in your field of interest and to then select one that will align with your personal and professional goals. My research experience has been a fantastic way to go out of my comfort zone and learn about methodology and statistical techniques to which I'd previously never been exposed. We all know that antibiotic overprescribing is a big problem, but I've been able to specifically learn about the many nuances that can impact our prescribing practices and our patients' expectations and satisfaction. My mentor Dr. Staub has been so helpful and supportive and has made it a wonderful learning experience!"

Resident Research Spotlight for April 2022

"Andrew M. Hughes, MD"

Andrew M. Hughes, MD

Hometown: Chaska, MN 

Residency year: PGY2

Career Plans: Cardiology

Mentor:  Javid Moslehi, MD

Project Title: Clinical Significance of Pericardial Effusion in Patients Hospitalized with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Associated Myocarditis.”*

    *Presented at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session (ACC.22) with full manuscript planned. 

"The process of starting research in residency was initially overwhelming as I had broad clinical interests in cardiology and was determined to find the “perfect” project.  I narrowed my research interests to immune checkpoint inhibitor associated myocarditis, which was a novel cardiovascular phenomenon with a paucity of existing literature. I was excited to contribute to some of the initial literature, and I thought it would be easy to identify a clinical question that addressed a gap in the existing literature. In retrospect, my project underwent countless revisions before it was presented at ACC.22, which highlights the importance of a research mentor to help you navigate these challenges. I was fortunate to have a fantastic research mentor who challenged me to refine my clinical question/study design while investing significant time and energy to help me grow and develop my research skills.. Throughout the process, Dr. Moslehi introduced me to several collaborators at various institutions who enriched this project, and it simultaneously created several new opportunities for ongoing collaboration. In brief, if you find a supportive research mentor and embrace the collaborative nature of clinical research, then the final result will be a “perfect” project as it will facilitate your growth throughout the process."

Resident Research Spotlights for March 2022

"Alyssa Leigh Davis, MD"
Alyssa Leigh Davis, MD
Hometown: Tupelo, MS/ Destin, FL
Residency year: PGY2
"Thomas G. Horton, MD"
Thomas G. Horton, MD
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Residency year: PGY2
"Samuel Lazaroff, MD"
Samuel Lazaroff, MD
Hometown: Columbus, OH
Residency year: PGY3

Mentor:  Dr. Beth Ann Yakes

QuizTime Module “When Clinicians Struggle: Finding Support at VUMC” 

Career Plans: Nephrology, Medical Education Career Plans: Hospital and Geriatric Medicine  Career Plans: Adult and Pediatric Rheumatology


"It has been a blast learning from Dr. Beth Ann Yakes and Dr. Bonnie Miller about strategies for question writing and also working with the outstanding mental health providers at VUMC’s Work/Life Connections to understand how they support and care for our unique physician population."

"While working on this project I was surprised to learn about the various resources available to physicians in need across the Vanderbilt Health System. Our goal was to disseminate this knowledge in a concise and easy to access format via daily multiple-choice questions. Formulating well-written questions can be difficult and this experience helped me improve my skills as a question writer and editor. My co-residents and I were fortunate to work with Dr. Yakes who provided continued support and invaluable leadership throughout the duration of this project."

"I really enjoyed working collaboratively with psychiatrists and counselors/social workers to write questions for QuizTime. Having people who approach problems from vastly different points of view made this a great learning experience for me, and I hope that people around VUMC benefit from our work!"

Resident Research Spotlight for February 2022

"Carlos Lynes, MD"

 Carlos W. Lynes, MD

Hometown: Nashville, TN

Residency year: PGY3

Career Plans: Cardiology

Mentor:  Dr. Andrew DeFilippis

Project Title: Serum Calcium is Positively Associated with Right Ventricular Function as Assessed by Hemodynamics and Echocardiography*

    *Abstract presented virtually at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021

"Before residency, my research was centered around resuscitation and bringing awareness of its importance to the community. Clinical research was uncharted territory for me. The Vanderbilt culture motivated me to find a mentor and critically think about clinical problems in the midst of rigorous training. Despite the pandemic, I was able to find someone that could show me how to look at problems from a different perspective. My mentor challenged me to develop a clinical question and refine it into a project. Working with a fantastic fellow, we discussed interesting topics until we found one that we could immerse ourselves in. Compiling and analyzing the data at first seemed endless, but as the pieces started coming together, it was rewarding to see an association materialize from the data. The most valuable part of my experience was being challenged in a new way. I had the opportunity to work through the trial-and-error process that is inherent in research. I am thankful that this project allowed me to work closely with an exceptional fellow who coached me through the development and interact with wonderful mentors who continued to question and challenge us with each review of the project. My advice for anyone looking to do research is to not limit yourself early in training. Step out of your comfort zone and find a mentor that will invest in your abilities to develop, initiate, and complete a project. I am appreciative of all that Vanderbilt has done to help me to grow and am excited for the next chapter in my career."

Resident Research Spotlight for January 2022

"Tanya Marvi, MD"

 Tanya K. Marvi, MD

Hometown: Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Residency year: PGY4

Career Plans: Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Mentor:  Todd Rice, MD, MSCI

Project Title: Thromboelastography Parameters and Platelet Count on Admission to the ICU and the Development of Venous Thromboembolism in Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019*

    * Manuscript published in Critical Care Explorations

"There is nothing quite like the feeling of developing a question while caring for patients, designing a clinical study to address that question, and analyzing the results to find answers (and often more questions along the way). The key to enjoying research is finding a mentor who will encourage you to develop your own hypotheses. I was fortunate to have a very experienced and supportive mentor who helped me design a project in my field of interest and provided me with a balance of autonomy and structured guidance. Feeling a sense of ownership over the project made the work that much more rewarding. I am extremely grateful to my mentor, our multidisciplinary research team, and the R38 StARR program. I knew I loved research, but the year of protected time confirmed that I want research to be an integral part of my career moving forward. I highly recommend that anyone interested in research consider applying to the StARR program."

Resident Research Spotlight for November 2021

"Rachel Pellegrino, MD"

Rachel Pellegrino, MD

Hometown: Hot Springs, Arkansas

Residency year: PGY3

Career Plans: Infectious Diseases

Mentor:  Jessie Castilho, MD, MPH

Project Title: : Sex and race disparities in premature mortality among people with HIV: A 21-year observational cohort study*

    * Oral abstract selected for Committee Choice Award at IDWeek 2021, manuscript in preparation

"During intern year, I knew I was interested in infectious diseases, but I was hesitant to reach out to potential mentors as I was unsure what topics I wanted to focus on. After meeting with a few faculty members my second year, I was excited to join a project focused on disparities in HIV care and outcomes. Through this process, I discovered the advantages of working with a research team, which allowed continued feedback, conversations about findings, and assistance with getting past roadblocks when needed. For me, research in residency was a great way to meet fantastic mentors and gain exposure to research careers. I would encourage others not to hesitate to reach out to potential mentors, even if your interests are still broad."

Resident Research Spotlight for October 2021

"Kayly Miranda, MD"

Kayla Miranda, MD

Hometown: New York City and Denton, TX

Residency year: PGY3

Career Plans: Hematology/Oncology

Mentor:  Brian Rini (PI)/Matt Tucker (Fellow)

Project Title: Concurrent immunotherapy and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibition among patients with solid tumors*

    *Abstract accepted to SITC Nov 2021. Paper is planned.

"Engaging in research as a resident has not been easy. Finding a mentor was overwhelming, especially as many projects were placed on hold during COVID. In addition, I struggled to have a good sense for what kinds of projects would be appropriate for a busy resident. Going through this process, I have realized is that it’s okay to have more than one mentor, not only to have access to multiple projects, but also to get feedback on whether a project is achievable. My only other advice is to use your fellows! I was lucky to connect with one of the heme/onc fellows during a consult rotation; he overheard my desperation and offered to let me take on this project. Fellows are an excellent resource because they were just recently in our shoes, and they have a sense of the research landscape in their department."

Resident Research Spotlight for September 2021

"Brian Lindman, MD, MSCI"

Elliot J. Stein, MD

Hometown: Clearwater, Florida

Residency year: PGY3

Career Plans: Structural cardiology / translational research

Mentor:  Brian Lindman MD, MSCI

Project Title: Left Ventricular Hypertrophy and Biomarkers of Cardiac Damage and Stress in Aortic Stenosis*

    *Manuscript has been submitted for publication.

"I learned that “negative findings” are actually sometimes the most useful and important. For example, in our study, we failed to recapitulate that left ventricular hypertrophy is associated with mortality after TAVR despite previous larger studies that had done so. Initially, I was dismayed that we didn’t have similar conclusions to prior work, but this turned out to be important for our conclusion: Despite not finding a relationship between LVH and mortality after TAVR, we found a very strong relationship between plasma biomarkers troponin and NTproBNP and mortality (even in our smaller dataset). Together, these findings indicate that plasma biomarkers may be better than echo (the status quo) at predicting TAVR risk, which we believe is an important conclusion!"

Resident Research Spotlight for August 2021

"Jennifer Marvin-Peek, MD"

Jennifer Marvin-Peek, MD

Hometown: Farmington, CT

Residency year: PGY2

Career Plans: Hematology/Oncology

Mentor:  Evan Brittain, MD, MSc

Project Title: Daily Step Counts are Associated with Hospitalization Risk in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension*

    *Accepted for publication in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"Prior to starting residency I had conducted a lot of basic science research but hadn’t worked on any clinical research projects. Getting involved with clinical research initially seemed intimidating, but the faculty at Vanderbilt were responsive and eager to discuss their research and potential projects when I reached out without having made an initial in-person connection beforehand. I feel so fortunate to have found mentors that have not only helped me conduct clinical research, but also who are also able to provide mentorship on topics outside of the scope of a given project and were understanding of our residency schedule. My advice to anyone looking to find a research project is to not feel afraid to email potential mentors if you are interested in their research or have a related project idea!"

Resident Research Spotlight for July 2021

"Kelly Pugh MD"

Kelly Pugh, MD

Hometown: Purcellville, Virginia

Residency year: PGY3

Career Plans: Hematology/Oncology

Mentor:  Michael Savona, MD

Project Title: A Comparison Between Candidate Germline Controls and Cultured Skin Fibroblasts via Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) 

"It was very straightforward to find a research mentor during residency. I emailed a few physicians who were working on topics of interest, and everyone was open to meeting with me to discuss if there was a project that was a strong fit. My advice for residents is to meet with your mentor often, and to have this timeframe for regular meetings established early. This can provide additional idea generation to move a project along, and also allows for a more impactful mentoring experience in terms of your overall career. Through my involvement with this project, I have developed a strong insight into how academic institutions provide for incredible collaborations for research endeavors."

Resident Research Spotlight for June 2021

"Hannah Lomzenski, MD"

Hannah Lomzenski, MD

Hometown: Bogalusa, LA

Residency year: PGY2

Career Plans: General Medicine

Mentor:  Michelle Ormseth, MD, MSCI

Project Title: Serum anti-malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde IgA antibody concentration improves prediction of coronary atherosclerosis beyond traditional risk factors in patients with rheumatoid arthritis 

Presentation details: American College of Rheumatology Convergence, Virtual Meeting, November 2020

"As someone without much research experience during medical school, I was intimidated to delve into research during residency, especially given the time constraints we face as residents. Early my intern year, I attended the noon conference where research leaders in each of the departments provide their contact info. I reached out to the contact from the Dept. of Rheumatology after this meeting and was very quickly set up with my mentor, Dr. Ormseth! My advice to incoming residents would be to not be intimidated to reach out. Vanderbilt does a great job of pairing you with phenomenal mentors who can help you tailor projects to meet your personal research goals at your level of experience, teaching you so much along the way. "


Resident Research Spotlight for May 2021

"Eric M. Lander, MD

Eric Michael Lander, MD

Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Residency year: PGY3

Career Plans: Hematology/Oncology

Mentor:  Vandana Abramson, MD

Project Title: The HER2 FISH ratio is a predictor of pathologic complete response among patients with HER2+ breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant anti-HER2 doublet therapy without chemotherapy

Presentation details: Presented virtually at the 2020 National Comprehensive Cancer Network Annual Conference; Received honorable mention at the 38th Annual VUMC Research Forum

"I have learned that some of the best research begins by finding an important question that really needs answering. A good question to research is clinically impactful, and it advances its respective field of research. Once the question is found, I have learned (unfortunately the hard way) that it is best to then develop strong methodology to investigate the question. Before any methods are conducted, it is important to find the best possible methodology to answer the question, as well as get feedback from mentors for the sake of honing the methodology. In my experience, after you have a compelling question and strong methodology to answer the question, collecting data and telling the story of the project comes naturally because it was rooted with good intentions and a strong foundation."


William Osler summed up my thoughts best when he said, "The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today's work superbly well."


Resident Research Spotlight for April 2021

"Amanda Morrison)200x300"

Amanda Morrison, MD

Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI

Residency year: PGY2

Career Plans: Cardiology

Mentor:  Evan Brittain, MD, MSc

Project Title: Association of Right Ventricular Compensation with Metabolic Health in Echocardiographic Pulmonary Hypertension

Presentation details: American Thoracic Society International Conference 2021

"My favorite aspect of research is the moment your clinical question turns from raw data into interpretable results. I love taking that first look at whether your hypotheses turned out to be correct and combing through the surprising findings in your results. With a good mentor, this helps raise additional actionable questions and leads to more pathways of inquiry. My best advice to upcoming residents searching for projects is always to choose an area or clinical question that you would independently read about in your spare time. Doing this will keep you motivated to see your project through from start to finish."


Resident Research Spotlight for March 2021

"Gabren Montgomery, MD"

Garren  Scott Montgomery, MD

Hometown: Newport News, VA

Residency year: PGY3

Career Plans: Hospital Medicine, Gastroenterology/Hepatology

Mentor: Dr. Manhal Izzy

Project Title: Autoimmune Liver Disease is a Risk Factor for T Cell-Mediated Rejection: A Retrospective Analysis Accounting for Tacrolimus Exposure

Presentation details: Virtually presented at the AASLD Liver Meeting November 13th - 16th

"One of the things I've learned is how important a collaborative effort is to ensuring a productive and rewarding research experience. Just like medicine, research would be a tough job to do alone. I am very fortunate to have an excellent mentor who tailors to my interests and goals, colleagues who have helped tremendously with data collection and preparation, and a great group of statisticians who have been able to turn redcap files full of data into the tables and figures I envisioned. Residency can be demanding at times, and having a great group who is understanding of that has made all the difference."

"I will echo what others have said about taking some time early in intern year to think about your research goals and interests. However, don't feel the need to rush into it before getting used to the wards and responsibilities of intern year. If you're not sure where to start (like I was), Vanderbilt has a great group of liaisons for each department that can help set you up with a mentor who shares your interests and can start you on the rewarding path of completing an original research project."



Resident Research Spotlight for February 2021

"Gabriel Sandoval, MD"

Gabriel Sandoval, MD

Hometown: Garland, TX

Residency year: PGY3

Career Plans: Gastroenterology

Mentor: Dr. Keith Obstein

Project Title: Disparities in Health: Low colorectal cancer screening rates in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) patients

Presentation details: Virtually presented at Digestive Disease Week May 2nd - 5th, 2020

"I had never really done a substantial research project before. In med school I was more focused on community outreach and service. So I was very nervous about how I would get a research project done during residency. Thankfully, Vandy makes research incredibly easy to do and the research liaisons are so open and down to earth. I connected with my research mentor during my intern year and had a very nebulous idea to examine disparities in healthcare in some way. He told me to stick with my interests, but to try and narrow my focus significantly. He could have given me an existing project to jump in on, but instead he encouraged me to first try and think of a new project that was tailored to my interests. Initially it was very daunting to try and think of my own project, but it made me really focus on something I was interested and invested in."

"My advice to anyone starting their research journey is to think of some possible research questions or ideas that you are interested in exploring before you go to meet with possible mentors. Then they can have an better understanding of what interests you and can connect you with the right people or projects - or even help you start your own!"

⇒ Recent Presentation


Resident Research Spotlight for January 2021

"Kelly Costopoulos"

Kelly Costopoulos, MD

Hometown: Boca Raton, FL

Residency year: PGY3

Plans: Cardiology fellowship at VUMC

Mentors: Vineet Agrawal, Evan Brittain, Anna Hemnes

Project Title: Fluid challenge during right heart catheterization for the evaluation of pulmonary hypertension identifies patients with decreased right ventricular function

Presentation: American Heart Association virtual conference 11/13/20-11/17/20

"Finding time to do research during training is difficult. It can be an experience that checks the box or one that allows you to grow as a physician and as an investigator. I have had the great fortune of working with mentors who I respect greatly and with whom I share a similar vision."

"My advice to those early in their training is to take your time identifying a mentor. Don't feel the need to jump into a project right at the beginning of intern year. There's something to be said for learning to be an intern before taking on extra responsibilities. When the time is right and with a mentor who understands your goals, research during residency can be a truly formative experience."


Resident Research Spotlight for December 2020

Kevin G. Buell, MD


Hometown:Geneva, Switzerland

Residency year: PGY3

Career plans: Fellowship in Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine

Mentors: Dr. Matthew Semler, Dr. Jonathan Casey, Joanna Stollings PharmD, and Dr. Todd Rice as part of the Pragmatic Critical Care Research Group

Project Title: Time to First Culture Positivity for Gram-Negative Rods Resistant to Ceftriaxone in Critically Ill Adults

"A good research mentor is someone who takes the time to change the color of your manuscript from black to red using the track changes function in Word. Don't forget that it's red because they care! I've been very fortunate to work with an outstanding group of researchers and mentors at Vanderbilt and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My advice to new interns is to focus on identifying research mentors early during residency and to prioritize mentorship over the individual project at hand. The best research mentors can always create a project for you that aligns with your research interests and is appropriate for you to complete within the time restraints of residency. Good luck!"


"Every paper has a home, but you just knocked on the wrong door. Try again."

⇒ Recent publication: