About Us

Our research focuses on improving outcomes in patients with musculoskeletal conditions. We employ a variety of methods including prospective cohort studies, traditional randomized controlled trials, pragmatic trials, and a clinical registry to address our scientific questions.

Information on our spine registry can be found on our Spinal Column Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research website: https://ww2.mc.vanderbilt.edu/scsqo/

Currently we are involved in projects within the following areas:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Spine
  • Sports Medicine
  • Trauma




    Archer_Kristin01a lighter_ use.jpg  Kristin R. Archer, PhD, DPT

    Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Research

    VUMC Faculty Profile

    Dr. Archer conducts independent research into outcomes after orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal injury. Her program focuses on the assessment of psychosocial risk factors and implementation of rehabilitation interventions through comparative effectiveness research. She is the author of over 90 peer reviewed papers and has been funded by the NIH, DoD, and PCORI. She is a member of the Executive and Science Committees for the DoD-funded Major Extremity Trauma and Rehabilitation Research Consortium (METRC). She is also the Director of the Coordinating center for the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD), a national clinical registry for neurosurgical procedures and practice patterns. Dr. Archer holds a doctoral degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a masters and doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Colorado.


    Coronado_Rogelio.jpg  Rogelio A. Coronado, PT, PhD

    Research Assistant Professor

    VUMC Faculty Profile

    Dr. Coronado is a collaborating investigator on several research trials examining the comparative effectiveness of behavioral interventions for improving musculoskeletal pain outcomes and postoperative recovery. He also conducts research focused on the implementation of psychosocial strategies within physical rehabilitation in patients with musculoskeletal pain. He has published 35 peer-reviewed papers and received funding as principal investigator from the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, Cervical Spine Research Society, and Foundation for Physical Therapy. Dr. Coronado received his doctoral degree from the University of Florida and his masters in physical therapy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.


    Pennings.PNG  Jacquelyn Pennings, PhD, PStat®

    VUMC Faculty Profile

    Research Assistant Professor

    Dr. Pennings conducts statistical analysis and assists with research design and data management for research projects in the Department of Orthopaedics. Her research interests include the relationship between mental health factors and outcomes such as obesity, general and physical health, and health care utilization such as hospital re-admission. Specific statistical areas of expertise include structural equation modeling, factor and cluster analysis, linear and hierarchical/mixed models, and nonparametric analyses including logistic regression techniques.



    susan v Susan Vanston, MS, PT

    Research Physical Therapist

    Susan is a research physical therapist in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. She delivers interventions for numerous clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of psychosocial-based rehabilitation. She has worked with a wide variety of patients in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. Currently, Susan works with patients who have had spine and ACL surgery, traumatic orthopedic injuries, and who are returning home after critical care hospitalization. She introduces patients to a variety of physical and cognitive behavioral strategies to help them with their recovery. Susan is a licensed physical therapist with over 21 years of experience.

    Davidson_Claudia2 (2).jpg  Claudia Davidson, MPH

    Clinical/Translational Research Coordinator III

    Claudia is a project manager for several multi-center randomized controlled trials. She oversees a DoD-funded trial examining the use of Cognitive Behavioral-based Physical Therapy (CBPT) in patients who have traumatic lower extremity injury. She also manages the SPINE CARE trial which is investigating healthcare spending and clinical outcomes in patients with acute spine pain. Claudia holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine with a background in health services and epidemiological research on access and quality care for people living in vulnerable situations.


    Block_Shannon.jpg  Shannon Block, BS

    Clinical Translational Research Coordinator III 

    Shannon is a research coordinator for multiple studies investigating the effectiveness of telehealth interventions following orthopaedic surgery. Her primary focus is on recovery following ACL reconstruction in athletes, but she also works on several projects aimed at improving recovery after spine surgery. In addition, Shannon coordinates a DoD sponsored trial to develop and validate an instrument assessing resiliency following neuromusculoskeletal injury in active duty Service Members. She graduated with a degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan.



    Robinette_Payton.jpg  Payton Robinette, BS

    Research Analyst

    rishahb Rishabh Gupta, BS

    Research Analyst

    Alexander O'Brien, BS

    Research Analyst

    Sarah Whitaker, BS

    Research Analyst

    Brannon_Carol1.jpg  Carol Brannon, BS, MLAS

    Program  Manager

    Carol has worked in research administration at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for over 16 years. She joined the Archer Research Team in the Department of Orthopaedics two years ago to oversee contract and budgetary matters, hiring personnel and to help develop and execute new and ongoing programs. Carol is an excellent contact for questions about all aspects of the teams research.  She has a bachelor's degree in Plant and Soil Science from Southern Illinois University and a Masters degree in Liberal Arts and Science from Vanderbilt.








      Katie Gonzales



    Ratchita Gupta

    Rachita Gupta, Vanderbilt University

    Class of 2020

    Robert Freitag

    Robert Freitag, Vanderbilt University

    Class of 2021


    Elizabeth Nolan, University of Virginia

    Class of 2022

    Michael O'Brien.png

    Michael O'Brien, Vanderbilt University

    Class of 2019


    Emily Oleisky​, Bowdoin College

    Class of 2020

    1st Place Poster Presentation  at Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy 2018



    Emma Sterling, Vanderbilt University

    Class of 2019


    Tony Asher, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Medical Student, Class of 2021


    Steven Patalano, Vanderbilt University

    Class of 2018



    Lizzy Blade, Harpeth Hall High School

    Class of 2018



    Mackenzie L. Bird, Vanderbilt University

    Class of 2016