Clinical & Translational Career Development


June 8, 2020

Robert Freundlich demonstrates that patient satisfaction survey scores are not an appropriate metric to differentiate performance among anesthesiologists.

Lea Davis finds alcohol use disorder and problematic drinking are genetically correlated with substance use, certain psychiatric illnesses and other neuropsychiatric traits.

Ryan Darby wins the 2020 Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology.

Jonathan Kropski, Jennifer Sucre, Erin Plosa, and John Benjamin discover that children have lower levels of an enzyme SARS-CoV-2 needs to invade airway epithelial cells in the lung. Their preliminary findings suggest that blocking this enzyme potentially could prevent COVID-19 infection in older people.

Ashley Leech finds newborn opioid withdrawal rates show evidence of stabilizing.

Kate Clouse tests an app to keep pregnant women with HIV in care in South Africa.

Cosby Stone develops new rule for when to challenge a penicillin allergy.

Dupree Hatch studies unplanned extubations in preterm infants.

Shailja Shah examines the role of diet in esophageal cancer.

Marcus Lopez finds that oxidative stress during cardiac surgery is associated with neuronal injury and postoperative delirium.

April 17, 2020

Oakleigh Folkes explores mechanisms of stress-induced relapse in cocaine use disorder.

Mallory Hacker discovers underdiagnosis of spasticity in a nursing home population.

Shailja Shah helps lead effort to establish screening guidelines for gastric cancer in the United States.

Margaret Salisbury finds considerable length of time between radiological evidence of incipient inflammatory lung disease and the development of disease.

Wesley Self launches clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for treating hospitalized adults with COVID-19.

Lindsey McKernan speaks on panel for Grant Rounds on mindfulness and self-care for providers during pandemic.

Sophie Katz receives Leadership in Epidemiology, Antimicrobial Stewardship, and Public Health (LEAP) Fellowship from CDC.

Peter Rebeiro finds evidence of Nashville-area flattening curve of COVID-19 infection.

Matthew Bersi demonstrates distinct roles for myosin-IIA and myosin-IIB during cell division.

March 16, 2020

Francesca Bagnato receives the Health Professional Champion Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (Mid-South Chapter)

Katherine Gifford receives an R01 to study subjective cognitive decline.

Jennifer Sucre, John Benjamin, and Erin Plosa find clues to lung injury in preterm babies.

February 18, 2020

Lucy Spalluto is named the first vice chair of Health Equity in Radiology and Radiological Sciences.

Erin Plosa, John Benjamin, Jennifer Sucre, and Scott Haake publish their discovery that beta-1 integrin is essential for normal lung function in adulthood; absence leads to chronic epithelial inflammation.

Naira Baregamian tests a device to improve identification of parathyroid glands during surgery.

January 28, 2020

Wenliang Song finds a new contributor to atherosclerosis.

Nikhil Khankari reports findings that high circulating HDL-C levels may increase breast cancer risk.

William Beavers identifies and characterizes a zinc uptake system used by an antibiotic-resistant pathogen.

Amy Engevik sheds light on gastric cancer development.

Rosette Chakkalakal expands diabetes prevention program through telehealth.

Young-Jae Nam studies protein dynamics in the beating heart.

December 13, 2019

Andrew Wiese’s research is honored at annual Diabetes Day.

Satya Das and Chenjie Zeng confirm 16 different Mendelian diseases within a de-identified EHR group of 2.5 million patients.

Elizabeth Scoville is co-investigator of large new grant to create a “gut cell atlas” mapping the biology of Crohn’s disease.

Max Joffe explores potential new class of antidepressants to relieve symptoms more rapidly and with fewer side effects.

November 19, 2019

Cathy Ivory is named Director of Nursing Research.

Ricky Shinall finds there’s no such thing as a “low-risk” surgery for frail patients.

Lea Davis works to create a genetic risk profile for insomnia in autism spectrum disorder.

Vivian Weiss is named a 2020 V Scholar.

Miriam Lense studies musical rhythm synchronization to eventually develop interventions for autism spectrum disorder.

Diego Mesa simulates electronic health records to allow researchers access without affecting patient privacy.

Cassiane Robinson-Cohen finds that acute kidney injury recovery time affects future risk.

Danxia Yu discovers an association between a high-fiber diet containing yogurt and lower risk of lung cancer.

Rachelle Crescenzi finds a more accessible and cost-effective way to detect lymphoma.

Cosby Stone sees success in in removing penicillin allergy labels from patients with low-risk allergies.

Matthew Schrag receives a Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging from NIA.

Wesley Self leads a multicenter CDC study to evaluate the flu vaccine’s effectiveness at preventing severe effects like admission to ICU, organ failure, and death.

Jonathan Chipman and Jea Young Min find lower risk than previously believed to using metformin in patients with both diabetes and impaired kidney function.

Heather Pua lands an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award.

Ayush Giri, Jacklyn Hellwege, and Cassianne Robinson-Cohen shine light on the genetic architecture of kidney disease.

You Chen explores care coordination’s impact on patient outcomes.

Miriam Lense launches a pilot study on the effect of live music on patients, family, and staff in the ICU.

Elaine Shelton identifies clinical and genetic predictors of indomethacin response, which will help tailor treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants.

Sachin Paranjape shows that heat therapy eases supine hypertension.

Lang Wu discovers potential biomarkers for prostate cancer.

September 16, 2019

Tiffany Woynaroski wins the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Early Career Contributions in Research Award.

Justin Gregory makes a massive discovery that could lead to new treatments, better health and longer life for patients with Type 1 diabetes.

Austin Kirschner‘s work provides strong preclinical support for clinical trials of combined radiotherapy and PD-directed immunotherapy for castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Sarah Osmundson develops a clinical decision support tool to help predict individualized opioid needs after caesarian section based on patients’ clinical, demographic and behavioral characteristics.

Dario Englot explores epilepsy-related brain disturbances.

Annet Kirabo defines a novel pathway for salt-sensitive hypertension and suggests an important therapeutic target.

Robert Carson finds suspected contributor to Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.

August 19, 2019

Aaron Aday finds that amputation risk is almost four times higher for microvascular disease than those without.

Jordan Everson finds private practice physicians are less likely than those in group practice or hospitals to use electronic health records.

Justin Balko and Doug Johnson identify encephalitis as a rare toxicity of immunotherapy treatment.

July 3, 2019

Xiang Shu discovers 450 DNA methylation sites associated with breast cancer.

Melinda Aldrich shows current lung cancer screening guidelines miss many African Americans diagnosed with cancer, suggests lowering threshold to reduce disparity. (Reuters, EurkeAlert!)

Michael Reddish determines how enzyme P450 17A1, which is involved in the production of sex hormones, binds to its substrates.

Nathan Bingham and Ashley Shoemaker publish new guidelines for Prader-Willi treatment.

Sara Van Driest receives the Leon I. Goldberg Early Investigator Award from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Julia Phillippi is named academic director of the Nurse-Midwifery Program at the School of Nursing.

May 16, 2019

Young-Jae Nam publishes findings that will provide a blueprint for devising more efficient cardiac reprogramming and regeneration strategies.

Dario Englot demonstrates that people with temporal lobe epilepsy show improvements in brain networks after surgery compared to healthy controls.

Nicholas Ferrell and colleagues find basement membranes are surprisingly dynamic.

Daniel Moore discovers a progressive decline in pancreas volume over a one-year period in children and adolescents with newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes.

Shailja Shah and colleagues explore innate immune receptor’s role in inflammation-related cancer that develops in response to H. pylori.

April 24, 2019

Jon Kropski and collaborators receive $6.1 million in grants to study deadly idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Jonathan Soslow explores new biomarkers to follow disase progression and target for drug therapy in cardiomyopathy as part of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

William Beavers characterizes how a leading bacterial cause of ventilator-associated pneumonia overcomes host defenses.

Austin Kirschner generates mechanistic data supporting the use of enzalutamide concurrently with radiation therapy to enhance prostate cancer treatment.

Melinda Aldrich works to distinguish lung cancer from histoplasmosis, saving patients without cancer invasive procedures.

Danxia Yu finds that Asian countries are in the early stages of a tobacco smoking epidemic, and that Asia’s current diabetes epidemic preferentially kills women and the middle-aged.

March 21, 2019

Jimmy Carlucci works to change the fates of HIV-exposed infants who fall out of care.

Lauren Woodard discovers way to program adult kidney cells into nephron progenitor cells, potentially leading to novel therapies for kidney disease.

Amanda Stone explores connection between endocannabinoids and opioid analgesic responses.

Mark Pilkinton and Katie White identify gene that increases risk for severe reaction to vancomycin.

Eric Tkaczyk uses crowdsourcing to aid machine learning in evaluation of skin diseases.

February 18, 2019

Heather Pua discovers destructive “telegrams” in asthma.

Bill Heerman finds negligible long-term risk of childhood obesity from maternal antibiotic use during pregnancy.

Jonathan Mosley and Benjamin Shoemaker‘s research strengthens the link between thyroid function and atrial fibrillation.

Craig Brooks identifies a mechanism of kidney fibrosis progression. (EurekAlert!)

Sarah Osmundson cautions obstetricians to consider non-opioid methods of pain control for women after childbirth.

January 23, 2019

Jennifer Lewis and Lucy Spalluto are named co-leads of the Veterans Affairs-Partnership to increase Access to Lung Screening (VA-PALS) National Program Evaluation.

Justin Balko and Doug Johnson design a nanoscale particle to unleash the immune system to eliminate tumor cells.

January 2, 2019

Robert Cronin is named inaugural fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Ayush Giri, Jacklyn Hellwege, and Cassiane Robinson-Cohen discover more than 200 new genetic variations associated with high blood pressure. (EurekAlert!)

Nathan Klopfenstein suggests diabetics are more susceptible to skin infection due to overabundance of leukotriene B4.

Jonathan Lehman demonstrates that somatostatin receptor 2 is a candidate biomarker for poor prognosis in small cell lung cancer, well as a potential therapeutic target.

Mallory Hacker wins Kumar New Investigator Award from the North American Neuromodulation Society.

Sarah Osmundson, Jea Young Min, and Andrew Wiese find link between early postpartum opioids and persistent usage.

Arion Kennedy reports on restoring eosinophil levels in adiopose tissue during diet-induced weight loss.

Ryan Darby uses a brain network mapping technique to improve reproducibility of Alzheimer’s studies.

November 27, 2018

Dario Englot works with new monitoring systems to study epilepsy.

Daniel Foster receives Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Grant to study pharmacology and repetitive behaviors.

Douglas Johnson links cardiovascular complications to immunotherapies.

Lindsay Mayberry finds association between low health literacy and early death for cardiovascular patients. (Video interview)

Damien Maseda shows glutamine metabolism affects T cell signaling.

Ryan Doster explores immune response to microbes in the fetal membranes.

Katherine Gifford probes the pathology of impaired cognition.

Leanne Boehm seeks methods and practices to help patients and caregivers after they leave the ICU.

October 22, 2018

Cosby Stone explores ways to clarify the true status of penicillin allergies in adults.

Reyna Gordon receives NIH Director’s New Innovator Award to study biomarkers of rhythmic communication.

Ryan Darby studies brain networks involved in free will. (Medical Xpress, Science Daily)

Jonathan Mosley and Sara Van Driest reveal the secret lives of biomarkers.

Justin Balko receives a Komen grant to determine ways to improve treatment response to an immunotherapy drug used in breast cancer.

P. Mason McClatchy finds an insulin accelerant, potentially representing a new mechanism to treat insulin resistance.

September 24, 2018

Lindsey McKernan finds that more doctor visits lead to fewer suicide attempts for fibromyalgia patients. (ScienceDaily, EurekAlert!)

Daniel Moore suggests that healthy antibodies can reverse diabetes.

Doug Johnson tracks the incidence and timing of immunotherapy-related deaths. (EurekAlert!)

Arion Kennedy and Annet Kirabo reveal link between immune cells and diabetes in obesity.

William Beavers demonstrates the existence of a previously undetected histone modification of genes.

Mallory Hacker begins a longitudinal study of the impact of deep brain stimulation on Parkinson’s disease.

Sabrina Poon finds that urgent care centers are becoming Americans’ go-to option for certain health problems.

August 22, 2018

Laura Keohane explores how dual-eligible beneficiaries spend.

Jonathan Kropski and Ashley Shoemaker receive Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Awards.

July 23, 2018

Jo Ellen Wilson receives a Blake A. Jenkins Discovery Award to bolster her catatonia research.

Robert Freundlich investigates attributable mortality of common postoperative complications.

Yash Choksi provides novel insights on “leaky gut.”

Mallory Hacker suggests that deep brain stimulation (DBS) administered to patients with very early-stage Parkinson’s disease slowed the progression of rest tremor.

Lang Wu identifies 48 gene candidates for breast cancer risk.

Robert Carson weighs in on a new marijuana-derived drug for epilepsy on NPR’s Shots.

June 6, 2018

Rachelle Crescenzi wins American Heart Association Career Development Award.

Dario Englot reveals the underappreciated role of the brainstem in epilepsy.

Sara Van Driest finds that acetaminophen reduces acute kidney injury risk in children following cardiac surgery.

Lindsey McKernan treats bladder pain with clinical hypnosis.

Timothy Hohman leads study confirming the APOE ε4 allele has a greater association with Alzheimer’s disease among women compared to men, and that it has great association with the tangle-forming tau pathway for women.

Sara Van Driest finds evidence for drug interaction between statins and antibiotic daptomycin.

Jonathan Mosley discovers genetic variations that increase the risk of heart attack event when patients are receiving statins to lower cholesterol. (EurekAlert!, ScienceDaily)

Brent Ferrell develops a new process to rapidly and inexpensively identify personalized cancer drugs derived from nature.

Wesley Self to give plenary talk at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Annual Meeting.

April 24, 2018

Cosby Stone finds that alpha-gal is not only a food allergy, but also a medication allergy.

Brett Kroncke integrates structural biology data to show a new view of the heartbeat.

Jennifer Sucre discovers shared molecular signature in previously unrelated lung diseases.

Nathan Brummel shows that many drugs given to sedate patients in the ICU actually increase chances and duration of delirium.

March 28, 2018

Stephen Patrick tracks the impact of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome on state Medicaid programs.

Vivian Gama examines protein MCL-1’s role in stem cell function.

Sara Van Driest and Jonathan Mosley spot undiagnosed genetic diseases in the electronic health record.

James Cassat pioneers a new imaging approach for staph infections.

Ebele Umeukeje and Khaled Abdel-Kader explore barriers to kidney disease screening among black Americans.

Douglas Johnson and Javid Moslehi find a link between cancer immunotherapy drugs and serious heart effects.

Anthony Daniels reveals a gene mutation’s role in Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome.

March 6, 2018

Christian Rosas-Salazar conducts a study finding infants with higher amounts of Lactobacillus in their nose and throat during an acute respiratory syncytial virus infection are less likely to develop childhood wheezing later in life.

Antonio Hernandez and Wesley Self lead a change from saline to balanced fluids in intravenous fluid therapy, anticipated to improve survival and decrease kidney complications.

A retrospective study performed by Robert Carson finds that CBD oil reduces seizures in children.

Jared Moussa generates four new monoclonal antibodies specific to respiratory syncytial virus, a leading cause of lower respiratory tract infection in infants and children, which may eventually lead to a vaccine.

Kristine Phillips discovers that a new stem cell transplant regimen improves survival in scleroderma over conventional treatment using only immune-suppressing drugs.

Stephen Patrick testifies before Congress on the rise and impact of drug withdrawal symptoms in newborns (neonatal abstinence syndrome).

Ashley Shoemaker conducts the first systematic evaluation of cognitive function, executive function and adaptive behavior in children with pseudohypoparathyroidism 1A.

A study led by Andrew Wiese finds that opioid users have a significantly increased risk of infections severe enough to require hospital treatment compared to those who don’t use opioids.

Ciara Shaver studies acetominophen’s ability to counter the oxidizing action of hemoglobin, which may protect lung transplant patients from primary graft dysfunction

Jonathan Soslow finds that patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) have more T cells expressing a surface protein called CD26 than normal patients, which shines light on potential new therapeutic targets for DMD.

Justin Balko leads a study which suggests targeting methylating agents in breast tumors can turn up the immune response against cancer.

February 6, 2018

Jonathan Kropski launches a pilot study to determine if patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis can tolerate an antiviral that could slow progression of the disease.

Deepak Gupta finds that almost 5% of heart failure risk is connected to neighborhood factors.

January 5, 2018

Francesca Bagnato finds that biologic drug Remicade effectively treats neurosarcoidosis.

Jo Ellen Wilson leads a study seeking to diagnose and manage catatonia in the setting of delirium.

Gilbert Gonzales finds that transgender men and women face many more barriers to healthcare than cisgender counterparts.

Julia Phillippi earns a K08 to conduct a randomized trial of an interdisciplinary team-based maternity care model and examine the preferences of patients and providers.

Robert Cronin studies machine learning for sorting patient messages in an online health portal.

Bill Heerman looks for the ideal “dose” of behavioral intervention to prevent and treat childhood obesity.

November 15, 2017

Annet Kirabo identifies a pathway by which excess sodium contributes to inflammation and hypertension.

Peter Rebeiro shows that clinics reaching out to HIV patients who miss an appointment associates with a twice-greater likelihood of return to care.

Bethany Rhoten explores head and neck cancer survivorship and sexuality.

October 17, 2017

Dario Englot finds that patients with epilepsy whose seizures can’t be treated with medication or surgery may benefit from neurostimulation.

Scott Smith receives a Stanley Cohen Innovation Fund award to test a new therapeutic strategy for peanut allergies.

Todd Monroe suggests that better understanding of sex differences in perception of pain could lead to more effective pain assessment and management for those with Alzheimer’s Disease.

September 21, 2017

Todd Monroe finds that pain which interferes with daily activities may be under-reported in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Katie White discusses barriers to widespread adoption of PrEP for HIV prevention.

Lea Davis engages the community to improve health care for LGBTI patients.

Jay Bhave collaborates with Bayer to develop new therapies against kidney diseases.

September 1, 2017

Rocco Gogliotti discovers a compound that is the first step toward a treatment for Rett syndrome.

Ariella Hanker finds and treats new breast cancer mutation.

Justin Balko and Thomas Stricker use genetic profiling to find potentially druggable changes in breast cancers that are resistant to anti-estrogen therapy.

August 1, 2017

Cathy Maxwell receives the 2017 Innovation Award from the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence.

Kaite Gotham and Julie Lounds Taylor help bring to life a new initiative to improve the lives of young adults with autism spectrum disorders.

Sara Van Driest wins one of 17 Clinical Scientist Development Awards nationally from the Doris Duke Foundation.

Wesley Self and Isaac Thomsen research a new approach for treating MRSA skin infections.

July 5, 2017

Melinda Aldrich conducts a first-of-its-kind genome-wide association study of lung cancer survival in African Americans and finds a gene variant associated with reduced cancer mortality in that population.

Daniel Moore leads a multi-site study that uses a patient’s own immune system against type 1 diabetes.

Ashley Shoemaker directs the Vanderbilt Pre-Diabetes Clinic, which aims to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes in young people.

Sayeh Nikpay finds that fewer uninsured patients are visiting emergency departments in states that expanded Medicaid.

Stephen Patrick receives the Nemours Child Heath Services Research award.

Sara Van Driest develops a screening tool to more quickly identify pediatric patients at risk for acute kidney injury.

Jon Kropski reveals a role for stem cells in chronic lung diseases.

May 22, 2017

Stephen Patrick finds that male infants are at increased risk of neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Valerie Jansen leads a study study which suggests a drug combination including a PDK1 protein blocker may be more effective for certain resistant breast cancers.

Evan Brittain examines racial differences in pulmonary arterial systolic pressure and finds higher PASP associates with black race and metabolic traits including plasma markers of insulin resistance, inflammation and adipose volume.

Anna Vilgelm receives award from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to study how the body’s immune system reacts to certain breast cancer drugs.

Quinn Wells is part of a team receiving $15 million from the American Heart Association to study cardioprotective properties of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor.

March 10, 2017

Josh Fessel uses a drug formerly used to treat HIV/AIDS to make melanoma cells more vulnerable to targeted anti-cancer therapy.

Jonathan Mosley uses genetic correlation to link sets of data, overcoming major limitations inherent in using only one dataset.

Findings reported by Jennifer Sucre support a role for Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in bronchopulomonary dysplasia (a common complication of preterm birth) and suggest that beta-catenin may be a relevant therapeutic target for this disease.

Shruti Chaturvedi publishes a study identifying a combination of risk factors that lead to earlier death for patients with sickle cell disease.

Stephen Patrick co-authors an American Academy of Pediatrics statement noting that a public health response, rather than a punitive approach, is needed to address the increasing number of pregnant women using opioids.

Leigh Howard uncovers cellular responses to bird flu vaccine, signifying a new way to study vaccines.

February 3, 2017

Bradley Richmond is the first graduate of the new Physician Science Doctoral Program.

In a systematic review of almost 10,000 studies, David Francis finds that tonsillectomies offer only modest benefits.

Stephen Patrick reports that babies born with opioid withdrawal symptoms are disproportionately increasing in rural vs. urban areas.


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Recent Awards

Dr. Aima Ahonkhai (R21)
Dr. Melinda Aldrich (U01)
Dr. John Benjamin (R01)
Dr. Rachel Bonami (R03)
Dr. Katherine Cahill (U01)
Dr. Ryan Darby (K23)
Dr. Amanda Doran (R01)
Dr. Irina de la Huerta (K08)
Dr. Mallory Hacker (K01)
Dr. Eric Kerchberger (K01)
Dr. Annet Kirabo (R01)
Dr. Allison Norlander (K99)
Dr. Luis Rosas-Vidal (K08)
Dr. Julia Sheffield (K23)
Dr. Bhuminder Singh (R01)
Dr. Amanda Stone (K23)
Dr. Justin Van Beusecum (VA CDA)
Dr. Andrew Wiese (K01)
Dr. Shawniqua Williams Roberson (K23)