Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s two-year Clinical Chemistry fellowship provides comprehensive training and experience in analytical, clinical and managerial aspects of the clinical laboratory in a large academic medical center setting. Our fellows receive the unique experience of training in a large academic medical center laboratory with affiliated satellite laboratories across Nashville, and exposure to our reference laboratory service. During the fellowship, the trainee learns principles of chemical pathology, both basic and applied. With Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s mission in mind, our program combines a strong emphasis on patient care with innovative practices in personalized medicine. Our fellows join a diverse diagnostic management team of physicians and scientists to provide state of the art interpretive reports for select chemistry, endocrine, and toxicology tests. Participation in clinical/translational research projects introduces fellows to recent developments in diagnostic sciences. Successful completion of the program prepares highly qualified physicians/scientists for ABCC board certification and a career as a practicing clinical chemist in academia, community hospital, or industry. Our program received ComACC certification in 2002 and currently has 1 two year fellowship position at a time.

Faculty and Research Interests:

James H. Nichols, Ph.D.

James Nichols, Ph.D., DABCC

Point-of-care Testing, Informatics and Evidence-based Medicine

Joe Wiencek, Ph.D.

Joe Wiencek, Ph.D., DABCC

Clinical Chemistry, Diagnostic Stewardship and Point of Care Testing

Affiliated Institutions:

Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Vanderbilt Children's Hospital

Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital

Vanderbilt Health 100 Oaks

Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center

Program Listing:

Level(s) of training: Postdoctoral
Duration of program: 2 years
Current trainees: 1


Application Procedure:


PhD or MD
Procedures: Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, application*, CV, personal statement, official transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) and three letters of recommendation to:
  *Application and pertinent information can be found under
Graduate Medical Education 
Deadline: Applications are currently not being accepted



James Nichols, Ph.D., DABCC
Telephone: (615) 343-5708
Fax: (615) 343-9563
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Department of Pathology
The Vanderbilt Clinic, TVC 4918
Nashville, TN 37232


Past Fellows:

Yenya Hu, MD, PhD (fellow from December 2002-November 2004) is currently a faculty member at Nashville State Community College. Eligible for AACC Board Examination.

Alexandra Belous, MD, PhD (fellow from July 2004-June 2006) is currently working in Clinical Trials for Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN. Eligible for AACC Board Examination.

Elizabeth OKeeffe, PhD (fellow from May 2007-April 2009) was working at the FDA in in vitro diagnostics. Eligible for AACC Board Examination.

Amy Pyle, PhD, DABCC (fellow from July 2009-June 2011) is currently employed as the Assistant Director of Core Laboratory Services at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Pyle is certified by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry.

Jessica M. Colon-Franco, PhD, DABCC (fellow from July 2011-June 2013) is currently employed as the Assistant Director of Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Colon-Franco is certified by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry.

Sarah Njoroge Bissonnette, PhD, DABCC (fellow from July 2013-June 2015) is currently employed as a Clinical Chemist at Marshfield Labs in Marshfield, Wisconsin. Dr. Bissonnette is certified by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry.

Joesph Wiencek, PhD, DABCC (fellow from July 2015-June 2017) is currently a faculty member at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and also holds clinical responsibility as the Medical Director of Core Clinical Chemistry and Associate Medical Director of Point of Care Testing. Dr. Wiencek is certified by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry and National Registry of Certified Chemists.

Nicola Rutherford, PhD (fellow from July 2017-June 2019) Eligible for AACC Board Examination.

Nadia Ayala-Lopez, PhD (fellow from July 2019-March 1, 2020) is currently a fellow at Johns Hopkins University.