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."

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