TN-CTSI Leadership


Karen C. Johnson, MD, MPH, Co-Director of the TN-CTSI

Dr. Johnson is an Endowed Professor of Women’s Health and Preventive Medicine at UTHSC. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine, and also holds a Master’s of Public Health degree. For the past 28 years, her work has centered on large-scale interventional and observational studies of adults in the areas of women’s health, cardiovascular disease, and obesity, as well as risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and aging, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking cessation, and health disparities. Dr. Johnson is currently the PI of the NHLBI-funded Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) in Memphis and Vice Chair of the National SPRINT Steering Committee. She is also the PI of the Look AHEAD weight loss study funded by NIDDK. Dr. Johnson is an investigator for the Women’s Health Initiative and was the PI of the Memphis site during the clinical trial phase. She has been course director for the Randomized Clinical Trials Course in the Masters of Epidemiology degree program at UTHSC and actively mentors young investigators in clinical research methods and the ethical conduct of research. Dr. Johnson’s expertise in leading significant, large-scale, multisite clinical trials (many of which were cooperative agreements) and her role as Co-Director of the TN-CTSI, a statewide institute housed at UTHSC, provide an excellent foundation for the expertise and experience needed to manage and lead the TN-CTSI.

Michelle Martin, PhD, Co-Director of the TN-CTSI

Dr. Martin is a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Founding Director of the Center for Innovation in Health Equity Research. As a psychologist, Dr. Martin brings to the TN-CTSI a career focused on addressing disparities (racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and rural) across different chronic diseases in partnership with communities and multidisciplinary academic colleagues. She has led and co-led large-scale federally-funded projects with goals and structures similar to the TN-CTSI. These roles include her leadership as one of the Multiple PIs of a three institution NIMHD-funded U54 consortium (U54MD008602) that focused on reducing chronic disease through health policy research, and her Co-PI role on a multistate NIMHD-funded U24 grant, a consortium that brought together 5 cancer centers across the country to increase the recruitment of minorities to cancer trials. Dr. Martin has recently assumed a critical role on a newly-funded P01 (1P01CA22997) for which University of Alabama at Birmingham is the lead institution. On the P01, Dr. Martin will Co-Direct the Recruitment and Retention Core. Her overall program of research provides a strong foundation to manage and lead the TN-CTSI.

Derita Bran, MSN, RN, CCRC, TN-CTSI Director of Administration

As the Program Director, Ms. Bran is responsible for the overall day-to-day activities of the TN-CTSI. She is responsible for integration of the core areas across the institution, state, and within the TN-CTSI; determining the optimal staffing requirements and resources needed; and hiring and supervising staff. Ms. Bran provides communications management including communications planning; information distribution; progress and performance reporting; stakeholder communications; and management of campus and community activities. She ensures compliance with NIH regulations and generates required reports. Ms. Bran will foster community engagement within UTHSC and the larger community, state wide, and regionally, as well as educate research staff and investigators about developing study protocols, monitoring compliance, and assuring adherence to regulations.

Margaret Lynn, LMSW, RDN, CCRP, CIP, Director of Clinical Research Development

As the Director of Clinical Research Development, Margaret is responsible for training, education and compliance of clinical research staff.  She holds two state of Tennessee healthcare provider licenses:  Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist and Licensed Master of Social Work. She has twenty-seven years of experience with regulatory clinical compliance for public and private agencies inclusive of OHRP, FDA, GCP, CDC, OSHA, HIPAA, local and state health departments, and funding agencies. She has twenty years of healthcare and community-based research experience with seventeen of those years spent in clinical research. Margaret has been a Certified IRB Professional (CIP) since 2014 and a Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) since 2009.  She currently serves as a member of the  UTHSC IRB Full Board Section 3 Committee.

Daniel Dibaba, PhD, Sr. Research Specialist

Dr. Dibaba conducts face-to-face consultations with researchers to discuss study design, statistical and analytical resources, tools, and methods. He is also responsible for conducting educational workshops in biostatistics and study design to various groups of researchers and trainees on campus. He has over 15 years experience as an Epidemiologist.

 

 

TN-CTSI Core Leadership

  • Informatics Core

    Dr. Robert Davis, Director. Dr. Davis is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and is the founding Director for the UTHSC Center in Biomedical Informatics and is also the University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Governor’s Chair in Biomedical Informatics. Dr. Davis has extensive experience in informatics and led the team at UTHSC that has created an Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) from the Electronic Health Records (EHR) of our partner hospitals. Dr. Davis, as part of the leadership team, will oversee the planning, design, implementation and evaluation of each of the processes relating to informatics in the TN-CTSI, and direct the Informatics Core.

     

    Dr. Charisse Madlock-Brown, Co-Director. Dr. Madlock-Brown is a faculty member in Health Informatics and Information Management at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She received my Master’s in Library Science and Ph.D. in Health Informatics from the University of Iowa. She has expertise in data management, data mining, and visualization. Dr. Madlock-Brown has a broad background in health informatics, with a current focus on obesity trends and multimorbidity. Other areas of interest are network analysis and emerging topic detection in biomedicine.Dr. Madlock-Brown has authored several book chapters and journal articles and continues to keep up-to-date on data integration, data architecture, database management, and analytic methods.Dr. Madlock-Brown runs the UTHSC Research Pipelines lab, which provides online interfaces for distributed computing and storage systems.Dr. Madlock-Brown’s lab can manage projects from data extraction and transformation to modeling and visualization for small-scale and big data projects.

    Dr. Arash Shaban-Nejad, Co-Director. Dr. Shaban-Nejad is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and a member of the UTHSC ORNL Center for Biomedical Informatics. His primary research interest is population health intelligence, epidemiologic surveillance and big-data semantic analytics through the use of tools and techniques from artificial intelligence, knowledge representation, and semantic web, particularly ontologies and knowledge bases, description logics, Category Theory, Social Network Theory, reasoning and inferencing.

  • Community and Collaboration Core

    Dr. Sarah Rhoads, Director. Dr. Rhoads is a Professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in the College of Nursing and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the College of Medicine at UTHSC. She has coordinated distance education, quality improvement, and research initiatives to improve health outcomes with a focus on maternal/child health outcomes. Several of Dr. Rhoads’ research and project grants have been dedicated to the Mississippi River Delta region. Dr. Rhoads has a passion for improving health care access and outcomes in rural areas. She advocates for patient- and family-centered use of technology to connect patients with their health care providers. Dr. Rhoads partners with communities and community partners to understand and identify their needs. In July 2019, she received a federal grant to assist with nurse practitioner education and placement upon graduation in rural and underserved areas in the Mississippi River Delta Region. She is currently the site PI and Co-Investigator for a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funded study – Innovative Care Model for Older Adults with Chronic Heart Failure (i-COACH): A Comparative Effectiveness Clinical Trial for Improving Healthcare Systems.

    Dr. Michelle Martin, Co-Director.  Dr. Martin is a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and is the founding Director of the Center for Innovation in Health Equity Research at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. She has almost 20 years of experience working in partnership with community members and partners to conduct clinical trials, improve health outcomes, and eliminate health disparities. These partnerships reflect diverse experience engaging and collaborating with community groups including health departments, Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHC), faith communities, safety net and community hospitals, national organizations, and lay community members. Dr. Martin will be the Core Leader for the Community and Collaboration Core at UTHSC. Dr. Martin works with the Community Advisory Council and supervises the Community Engagement Studios.

  • Translational Endeavors Core

    Dr. Simonne Nouer, MD, PhD, Director. Dr. Nouer has an MD and has completed residence training in Preventive Medicine. She also has a PhD in Epidemiology. She has worked at the Department of Public Health, in the Institute of Tropical Pathology and Public Health, in Brazil were she was involved with teaching Epidemiology to medical students, Master of Science students, and PhD students. She has been part of a team working with the World Health Organization to develop a curriculum on epidemiological methods. Upon relocating to the USA, and since joining the Department of Preventive Medicine as a Faculty member in 2009, she has been actively involved with teaching, student interaction, and curriculum design and implementation in the Master’s of Epidemiology program, the Certificate in Clinical Research program (which focuses on teaching physicians and other healthcare professionals how to conduct clinical research), and also PhD students at UTHSC. In 2010, Dr. Nouer became the Director of both the Master’s of Epidemiology and the Certificate in Clinical Research Programs, and in 2018 she became the Chair of Graduate Training at the Department of Preventive Medicine. In this role, she actively participate in student recruitment and selection; serves as student mentor, helping them to define their plan of study. Dr. Nouer has been the Director of the Academic Consortium for Applied Research (ACAR) unit within Preventive Medicine since 2016 and functioned as the associate director since 2015. Within this unit, her research activities include curriculum development, instrument design and evaluation, and expanded community research with disadvantaged and underserved populations. Dr. Nouer’s experience teaching, mentoring and directing the educational programs initially at the Institute of Tropical Pathology and Public Health at the Federal University of Goias in Brazil and now at the Department of Preventive Medicine at UTHSC highly qualifies her as the Director of the Translational Endeavors Core.

    Ansley Grimes Stanfill, PhD, RN, Co-Director. Dr. Stanfill s an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean of Research for the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, in Memphis, TN. Her work is on the influence of genetic and epigenetic factors on long-term outcomes in neurological injury and chronic disease. Dr. Stanfill received a BS in neuroscience from Vanderbilt University in 2003. She worked as a research assistant in genetics and neuroimaging research before receiving her BSN in 2007 from Saint Louis University. She has clinical experience in neurology and neurosurgery, endoscopy, and critical care. She received her PhD in 2014 from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center for her dissertation titled “Dopaminergic genetic contributions to obesity in kidney transplant recipients.” She was awarded an NIH/NINR F31 training grant for this project. Prior to assuming her faculty role, Dr. Stanfill also completed postdoctoral training in omics research at the University of Pittsburgh, supported by the NIH/NINR T32 “Targeted Research and Academic Training of Nurses in Genomics.” She is currently PI of a $1.1M NIH/NINR R01 titled “A multivariate predictive model for long-term disability post subarachnoid hemorrhage in Caucasian and African American populations.” In addition to her NIH support, Dr. Stanfill has received grants from Sigma Theta Tau, the International Society of Nurses in Genetics, and the Southern Nursing Research society. Along with serving as the incoming secretary of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics, she also holds memberships in the American Society of Human Genetics, the American Heart Association, the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, and the American Nurses Association. She has been published many times in basic science and nursing research journals and regularly presents her work at local, regional, national, and international conferences.

    Dr. Karen Johnson, Co-Director. Dr. Johnson is a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine specializing as a Physician Epidemiologist with an endowed professorship in women’s studies. She has been course director for the Randomized Clinical Trials Course in the Masters of Epidemiology degree program at UTHSC and actively mentors young investigators in clinical research methods and the ethical conduct of research. Dr. Johnson’s expertise in leading significant, large-scale, multisite clinical trials and her role as co-director of the Translational Endeavors Core  provide an excellent foundation for the expertise and experience needed to manage and lead the workforce development program.

  • Research Methods Core

    Dr. Saunak Sen, Director. Dr. Sen is a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and the Chief of the Division of Biostatistics in the department. Dr. Sen currently leads the Biostatistics Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) Unit for the TN-CTSI. Dr. Sen is the co-leader of the Research Methods Core and will be in charge of BERD activities. He also serves as a faculty consultant in the BERD clinics. Dr. Sen is responsible for supervising the BERD Program Manager and staff statisticians. Dr. Sen is actively involved in developing educational modules about biostatistics, epidemiology, and study design. He is also involved in novel tool development and actively mentors trainees.

    Dr. Michael Christensen, Co-Director. Dr. Christensen received his BS in Pharmacy from North Dakota State University in 1978 and PharmD from the University of Tennessee in 1982.  He completed a residency in pediatric pharmacotherapy at LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center and a fellowship in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Dr. Christensen spent 6 years at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a clinical pharmacist and developed the metabolic support service.  In 1990 Dr. Christensen joined the full-time faculty at the University of Tennessee, College of Pharmacy.  Dr. Christensen has been a member of the IRB since 2000 and serves as an alternate IRB Chair. Dr. Christensen has more than 130 published articles, book chapters and abstracts.  His research interests include the design, implementation and analysis of clinical drug trials in children with an emphasis on early phase or pharmacokinetic disposition studies in children; metabolic and nutrient requirements in infants, and evaluation of prescribing trends for therapeutic areas where a high percentage of pediatric drug development programs failed to result in FDA-approved labeling for use in children.

  • Hub Research Capacity Core

    John L. Jefferies, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, FAAP, FHFSA, New Incoming Director. Dr. Jefferies is the Jay Michael Sullivan Distinguished Chair in Cardiology, Professor and Chief of the Division of Adult Cardiovascular Diseases, Director of the Methodist University of Tennessee Cardiovascular Institute, Professor of Pediatric Cardiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee and Research Member of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He completed his combined pediatric and adult cardiology training at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas at the Texas Children’s Hospital and the Texas Heart Institute. He is the lead Editor on two textbooks on cardiology and has authored or co-authored over 220 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters on cardiomyopathy, cardiovascular genetics, and advanced heart failure. His research interests include cardiovascular genetics, novel heart failure therapies, and cardiovascular findings in heritable disorders.

    Dr. Michelle Martin, Co-Director. Dr. Martin is Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and is the founding Director of the Center for Innovation in Health Equity Research at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. She has almost 20 years of experience working in partnership with community members and partners to conduct clinical trials, improve health outcomes, and eliminate health disparities. These partnerships reflect diverse experience engaging and collaborating with community groups including health departments, Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHC), faith communities, safety net and community hospitals, national organizations, and lay community members. Dr. Martin is the Core Co-Leaders of Hub Research Capacity and in that role, will work with the initiative to integrate special populations in translational research.

  • Network Capacity Core

    Dr. Mathilda Coday, Director. Dr. Coday is a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Clinical Psychologist at the University of Tennessee Methodist Physicians. She is investigator on several large projects studying diabetes and is currently involved in a cross-study project of behavior change techniques. Dr. Coday has extensive experience in the development and management of behavioral interventions in large and pragmatic clinical trials. Dr. Coday teaches as a Course Director in both the UTHSC Certificate and MS graduate programs at UTHSC. Dr. Coday has over 25 years of experience in multi-site clinical trial development and operations with specific and detailed expertise in recruitment and retention especially in underserved populations. She facilitates her own projects as well as provides consultation and mentoring for research programs across the department and campus. She teaches, helps develop, and mentors young investigators about ways to optimize their recruitment and retention strategies to have a successful study. Dr. Coday oversees all aspects of the Recruitment Innovation Center (RIC) and Co-Directs the Network Capacity Core.

    Dr. Karen Johnson, Co-Director. Dr. Johnson is a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine specializing as a Physician Epidemiologist with an endowed professorship in women’s studies. For the past 28 years, her work has centered on large-scale multisite clinical intervention and observational studies in the areas of women’s health, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Dr. Johnson’s expertise and experience leading multisite large-scale trials such as the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), Look AHEAD, and SPRINT including participation in drafting and using standard operating procedures and standard common treatment protocols provides the leadership foundation needed to manage and lead the Network Capacity Core particularly focusing on the Trial Innocation Center (TIC).

  • KI2 Core

    Dr. Jay Fowke, Director. Dr. Fowke is an epidemiologist with a broad research program that combines prostate disease etiology, molecular epidemiology, obesity and metabolism, racial disparities research, and evaluation of measurement error and bias in research studies. He has served as PI on research grants from the NCI, NIDDK, NINR, DoD, and AICR, and is currently Chief of the Division of Epidemiology at UTHSC. For this KL2 training application, he serves as Co-PI and KL2 Director for the UTHSC site with the mission to support training the next generation of investigators. He was a standing-member of a NIH peer-review panel evaluating the merit of F31, F32, K01, K23, K07, and K99-R00 training applications from pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and junior faculty candidates seeking support and time for additional training and mentorship toward their career goals. Dr. Fowke also served on review panels for the American Urology Association to evaluate training applications from junior faculty and fellows, and served as a committee reviewer for Vanderbilt’s KL2 junior faculty training award program. He served as mentor for Vanderbilt’s NCI-R25 program to train epidemiology postdocs conducting research in cancer and molecular epidemiology. He has served as a KL2 primary sponsor, two PhD dissertation committees, and participated as a co-mentor to three PhD students. Dr. Fowke continues to provide research mentorship to junior faculty and fellows in the Department of Surgical Urology. He has sponsored summer research internships for three M2 medical students through the NCI-R25 program at Meharry Medical College (an historically black medical college), contributed to a summer research experience for Fisk University undergraduate students, and sponsored summer research internships for undergraduates through our P20 enrichment program.

    Dr. James Carson, Co-Director.  Dr. Carson is Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Health Professions. Prior to moving to UTHSC in August 2018, he served on the faculty at the University of South Carolina (USC) in the Arnold School of Public Health for 19 years, where he held the rank of Professor, was Department Chair, and Associate Director of the Center for Colon Cancer Research at USC. His research focus examines biological mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle mass and metabolism, which has implications for  health outcomes that include frailty with aging and cancer patient survival. He has authored more than 110 peer-reviewed publications and received several million dollars in external research funding.  Student mentorship in research has been a cornerstone of Dr. Carson’s career and a focus of his laboratory. He has actively worked to promote diversity in biomedical research trainees, spanning high school students to post-doctoral fellows. He has served as a member of the American Kinesiology Association Diversity Committee and the American College of Sports Medicine Diversity & Leadership Training Program. Dr. Carson has been active in professional service. He is the past elected Exercise Physiology Councilor to the Environment and Exercise Section of the American Physiological Society, and a past member of the Board of Trustees for the Southeastern Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine.  He is also a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.  He received the “STAR” Award for excellence in peer review from the American Physiological Society, and currently serves as an Associate Editor for 2 journals. He has been active as a grant reviewer for the NIH, NSF, NASA, VA and AHA. He is currently a standing panel member for NIH/CSR Tumor Cell Biology Study Section and Veterans Affairs Cellular and Molecular Medicine Grant Review Panel.

 

Internal Advisory Committee

  • Steve Goodman, Chairman

    Steven R. Goodman, Ph.D. serves as Vice Chancellor for Research at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) where he also serves as Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Physiology in the College of Medicine; with additional appointments in the College of Dentistry, College of Graduate of Health Sciences, College of Health Professions, College of Nursing, and College of Pharmacy. Dr. Goodman has led creation of the Clinical Trials Network of Tennessee (CTN2) and serves as the President and CEO of CTN2.

    Steve is known globally for his four decades of research into the structure and function of cell structures called membrane skeletons.  As Director of NHLBI Sickle Cell Centers his research into sickle cell disease led to defining the molecular basis of the irreversibly sickle cell and his recent proteomic studies led to potential biomarkers for sickle cell severity. Dr. Goodman’s research accomplishments have led to over $20 million in extramural funding. He is a recipient of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine (SEBM) Distinguished Scientist Award and his election as a 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow.

    Steve is a Past President of the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Neurobiology Chairs (AACBNC). The 4th Edition of his textbook Goodman’s Medical Cell Biology just became available in July 2020. Dr. Goodman serves on multiple editorial boards and has been Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine (EBM) since July 2006.  Since becoming Editor-in-Chief of EBM, Dr. Goodman has globalized SEBM and EBM opening offices in Tainan, Taiwan, London, Great Britain, Chengdu, China, Campinas, Brazil and most recently Ghana Africa.

  • Stephen Alway

    Stephen E. Alway, PhD., FACSM, is the Dean of the College of Health Professions with appointments as a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Professions and Joint Professor in the Department of Physiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He is also the Director of the Center for Muscle, Metabolism and Neuropathology in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health Professions. For the past 28+ years, Dr. Alway has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and various foundations for research in cellular and molecular adaptations to study sarcopenia, and the effects of aging on adaptations to muscle loading/exercise and disuse. He has authored or co-authored more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers, written chapters for eight textbooks and authored more than 400 lay publications in exercise and fitness journals. He is on the editorial board for five scientific journals and is the Associate Editor-in-Chief for Exercise Science Sports Reviews, and Associate Editor for two other journals and a section head for a different journal. Dr. Alway has served on numerous national and international grant review committees.  He has been active in the field of adaptation to exercise for more than 30 years, and he is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. In 2000 he was named the Sport Scientist of the year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

  • Curtis Cary

    Curtis Cary, MD, FAAP, FACP, MRCP (London) currently holds the dual positions of associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics, and internal medicine residency program director at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga. Prior to commencing his professional career, Dr. Cary earned his Bachelor of Science from Western Kentucky University before completing his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Kentucky.

    Following his medical studies, Dr. Cary remained at the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky to begin his professional career, starting as an assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics in 2009. During this time, Dr. Cary was also named program director of the medicine-pediatrics residency for the University of Kentucky. In 2015, he became an associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics, later accepting the post of medical director of the University of Kentucky’s Polk Dalton Clinic in 2016.

    Dr. Cary is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Physicians, as well as a member of the American Medical Association, Society of General Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases Society of America and Society of Hospital Medicine. Additionally, he previously served on the governor’s council for the Kentucky chapter of the American College of Physicians.

    Dr. Cary was the recipient of the Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America. His teaching achievements have garnered him the William R. Willard Teaching Award from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Kentucky, and the Abraham Flexner Master Educator Award from the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Cary is also commissioned as a Colonel of the state of Kentucky. In light of his exceptional undertakings, Dr. Cary was selected for inclusion in the 66th edition of Who’s Who in America.

  • Chris Finch

    Christopher K. Finch, Pharm.D., FCCM, FCCP  (Chair and Professor, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Pharmacy) was born in Memphis, TN. He received a Bachelors degree in Chemistry from Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee and the Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee, Memphis.  He completed a specialized residency in internal medicine at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Finch taught for two years at Auburn University, School of Pharmacy and the University of Alabama, School of Medicine before moving back to his hometown of Memphis in the summer of 2003. While in Memphis, Dr. Finch served in several roles during his 16 years at Methodist Healthcare, University Hospital, including the Director of Pharmacy for the last 5 years before leaving for UTHSC.  As Chair, he continues to coordinate and teach in the Drug-Induced Disease Selective and several other courses at the University of Tennessee, College of Pharmacy.  His clinical interests include pulmonary disease, drug interactions, adverse drug events, and drug-induced disease.  Dr. Finch has published over 60 manuscripts in several well-recognized pharmacy and medical journals and has been an invited speaker at several national medical and pharmacy conferences.  He is a Fellow in both the American College of Critical Care Medicine and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. He was selected Pharmacist of the Year in 2019 by the Tennessee Pharmacist Association.

  • Dan Harder

    Dan Harder is the Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief information Officer at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. In this role, he is responsible for setting the strategy and direction for the enterprise technology needs within the institution. Dan also provides leadership, support, and technology coordination for the colleges of Dentistry, Health Sciences, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy locations across the state of Tennessee.

    Before arriving at UTHSC, Dan held IT leadership positions at Duke University, Elon University, and Emory University.

    Dan has a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Appalachian State University and a master’s degree in Project Management from Western Carolina University.

  • Wendy Likes

    Wendy Likes, Ph.D., DNSc, ARNP-BC, FAANP is the Dean of the College of Nursing at UTHSC. Her areas of research interest are women’s health and lower genital tract disease. She completed a K23 grant from the National Institutes of Health on women with vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia following vulvar surgery. Dr. Likes has had intramural funding for a vulvar cytology study and HPV types in vulvar and anal disease.

    Dr. Likes is a certified family nurse practitioner and has worked primarily with women with cancer and pre-invasive gynecologic conditions. Dr. Likes is the founder and Executive Director for The Center for HPV and Dysplasia at UT Medical Group where she also has a clinical practice. She is a Mentor for the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, teaching others how to perform these advanced skills.

    She is currently a member of American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease, and American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. Dr. Likes is also a Fellow in the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease where she serves as Past Chair of the Psychosexual Committee. She is co-Chair of the Special Populations Committee for the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. She serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease and serves as a manuscript reviewer for multiple journals.

    Dr. Likes received her Associate of Science degree from Arkansas State University in 1994. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Memphis in 1997. She received her Master of Science in Nursing (family nurse practitioner), Doctorate of Nursing Science, and her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 1999, 2004, and 2009 respectively.

    Dr. Likes joined the College of Nursing as Assistant Professor in January 2005. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and to Professor in 2015. She currently serves as the Dean.

  • Richard Magid

    Richard Magid, PhD, is a Vice President with the UT Research Foundation and manages the operations of the Memphis office as Director of Technology Transfer for the UT Health Science Center. This office is responsible for all aspects of the commercialization of technologies developed at the UTHSC. The Memphis UTRF office also assists the UTHSC by negotiating confidentiality and material transfer agreements, offering educational programs on technology transfer and entrepreneurship, and connecting researchers with local economic development resources. Richard also is the instructor for an annual graduate course titled “Entrepreneurship for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Scientists” which prepares students for non-academic career possibilities by introducing them to the fundamentals of business and entrepreneurship in the life science industry. Richard holds a PhD in biomedical engineering from Georgia Tech and is a registered patent agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

  • Don Thomason

    Don Thomason, PhD, has served as dean of the College of Graduate Health Sciences since 2012. Previously, he was associate dean for Student Affairs. A muscle physiologist, his research has focused on muscle gene expression and adaptations to use, disuse, and diabetes. He has held and continues to hold visiting lectureships and professorships around the world. He has taught in the UTHSC Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Graduate Health Sciences. He previously served as executive director of the Molecular Resource Center of Excellence, and has chaired numerous university committees. Dr. Thomason serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology and is past-president of the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools.

  • Waletha Wasson

    Waletha Wasson, BS, DDS, MPA, MS has 41 years of health care experiences with nine years as a staff dentist at Memphis Health Center, Inc. (MHC) and 30 years at UTHSC College of Dentistry (1988). Dr. Wasson’s experiences at MHC were her inspiration to teach students about diversity, disparities, and activism. Dr. Wasson actively continues in the following: course director of several courses,  a teaching faculty member in the undergraduate dental preclinical and clinical courses; active in community and scholarly activities,  referee for several healthcare journals, and a presenter at conferences. Dr. Wasson’s community activism is demonstrated as the founder and member of Tennessee Smiles: UT Grassroot Oral Health Outreach Initiative (2003).  Dr. Wasson is tenured (1994) and a full-rank professor (2019) in the Department of General Dentistry.   She is the Program Director of the 21st Century Initiative: Oral-Systemic and Population-Based Health for All [(21st COSP) 2018] in the Division of Community Oral Health and Outreach. She has received numerous honors in service, education, and scholarly activities, including Emeritus Status in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2019.

 

Statewide Leadership Team

  • Paul Hauptman

    Paul J. Hauptman, MD, is Dean and Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine-Knoxville and Chief Academic Officer at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. He completed internal medicine training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School and cardiology fellowships at both Mount Sinai Hospital (New York) and Brigham and Women’s.  He has received research grants from the American Heart Association and National Institutes of Health; served as a reviewer for the NHLBI and as a panel member of the Circulatory System Devices Panel of the FDA; and has extensive clinical trial experience as site PI and member of steering, clinical events and data & safety monitoring committees. A board certified heart failure and transplant cardiologist, his research interests have been focused on assessing outcomes in advanced heart failure, physician decision-making and trends in care.

  • Karen Johnson

    Dr. Karen Johnson is a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine specializing as a Physician Epidemiologist with an endowed professorship in women’s studies. She has been course director for the Randomized Clinical Trials Course in the Masters of Epidemiology degree program at UTHSC and actively mentors young investigators in clinical research methods and the ethical conduct of research. Dr. Johnson’s expertise in leading significant, large-scale, multisite clinical trials and her role as co-leader of the Translational Endeavors Core  provide an excellent foundation for the expertise and experience needed to manage and lead the workforce development program.

  • Michelle Martin

    Dr. Michelle Martin is Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and is the founding Director of the Center for Innovation in Health Equity Research at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. She has almost 20 years of experience working in partnership with community members and partners to conduct clinical trials, improve health outcomes, and eliminate health disparities. These partnerships reflect diverse experience engaging and collaborating with community groups including health departments, Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHC), faith communities, safety net and community hospitals, national organizations, and lay community members. Dr. Martin is the Core Co-Leaders of Hub Research Capacity and in that role, will work with the initiative to integrate special populations in translational research.

  • Giuseppe Pizzorno

    Giuseppe Pizzorno, PhD, PharmD, is a Professor of Internal Medicine and Associate Dean of Research for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine, Chattanooga campus and the first Chief Research Officer for Erlanger Health System.

    Before joining UTHSC, Dr. Pizzorno was the Founder, Deputy Director and Head of Research of the Nevada Cancer Institute in Las Vegas, NV. He was also Director of Clinical Pharmacology for the Yale Cancer Center and Research Director of the Yale Pediatric Pharmacology Research Unit at Yale University School of Medicine, in New Haven, CT.

    Dr. Pizzorno received his Doctor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the University of Genova, Italy, where he graduated summa cum laude.  His area of expertise is in clinical and preclinical pharmacology, experimental therapeutics, translational research and clinical research as it relates to cancer. He is also an accomplished researcher and scholar. An active member of the American Association for Cancer Research, Dr. Pizzorno has reviewed material for the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Department of Defense, American Cancer Society, The Union for International Cancer Control, the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Cancer Research, Molecular Pharmacology and Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the Journal of Cancer, and more. He has written or co-authored more than 100 scholarly articles and book chapters, and obtained funding for more than 25 individual and institutional research projects during his career.

  • Geoffrey Smallwood

    Geoffrey Smallwood, MD, serves as Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Clinical Medical Education.  In July 2019, he was named to the newly created position of Chief Academic Officer for Ascension Saint Thomas, a family of Tennessee hospitals and physician practices in middle Tennessee, where he is responsible for research, graduate medical education and CME.  From 2012-2019, Dr Smallwood was Chief Medical Officer at Ascension Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital.  He earned his medical degree at Tulane University School of Medicine, interned at UCLA Medical Center and completed his OB/GYN residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  A board-certified OB/GYN, he was in private practice for 23 years.