Mary Ellen I. Koran, M.D., P.h.D.
Mary Ellen Koran, MD, PhD, grew up in Annapolis, Maryland. She attended Duke University, where she was a Pratt research fellow in Biomedical Engineering. After graduating with honors, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a joint MD/PhD in Vanderbilt's Medical Scientist Training Program.
At Vanderbilt, Dr. Koran completed her PhD in Human Genetics in the laboratory of Dr. Tricia Thornton-Wells, where she studied how genes interact in Alzheimer’s Disease using quantitive traits from PET and MRI. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Dr. Bennett Landman’s laboratory validating imaging genetics software. When she returned to medical school, she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society, was active as a Student Advisor for the MSTP, and graduated as valedictorian of her medical school class. She matched into Stanford's radiology residency program, where she was served as chief resident and pursued a dual board pathway in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine. While at Stanford she received the Etta Kalin Moskowitz Fund Research Award and the RSNA Trainee Research Prize for her research on clinical interpretation of Tau PET imaging.
She joined the faculty at Vanderbilt in 2021 as an Assistant Professor of Radiology in the nuclear medicine division on the physician scientist tenure track. As part of the Vanderbilt Memory & Alzheimer’s Center, she is focused on developing novel positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracers and novel applications of available PET radiotracers to help tease apart the etiology of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias and brain health in general. Outside of work, Mary Ellen enjoys swimming with the local Masters' team and exploring Nashville with her husband, Cody, and their dogs.