People

Principal Investigators

  • Edward Sherwood, MD, PhD

    Professor
    Anesthesiology
    Professor
    Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology

    Dr. Sherwood received his PhD in Physiology from Tulane University, where he studied the immunomodulatory properties of beta glucans. After completing a post-doctoral research fellowship at Northwestern University, he earned the MD degree from the University of Chicago. He completed a residency in Anesthesiology at Northwestern University and then joined the faculty in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch. After 14 years at UTMB, he moved to Vanderbilt. His research interests are in antimicrobial immunity, immunomodulation and systemic inflammation.

  • Julia Bohannon, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Anesthesiology
    Assistant Professor
    Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology

    Dr. Bohannon completed her PhD at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX, where she began her studies into immune function following severe burn injury. After completing her PhD studies in 2011, she joined the Sherwood Lab at UTMB as a postdoctoral fellow. Shortly thereafter, she assisted Dr. Sherwood in relocating his laboratory to the Anesthesiology department at VUMC in 2012, where she completed her postdoctoral training. She joined Anesthesiology faculty in 2015 and now has her own research program aimed at investigating immunomodulatory therapies for the prevention of infection and sepsis in patients with severe burn and other critical injuries. Utilizing a variety of murine trauma and infection models, as well as ex vivo study of peripheral blood leukocytes obtained from critically ill patients, Julie's studies seek to understand how critical illness causes immune dysfunction and increased susceptibility to infection. The goal of these studies is to develop new approaches to decrease the incidence and severity of infection in critically injured patients.

Faculty

  • Dr. Hernandez is originally from El Paso, Texas. He did his training at UTMB Galveston to include a fellowship in critical care medicine and another in cardiothoracic anesthesiology.  He then moved to UTHSCSA where he was chief of anesthesiology critical care medicine and cardiothoracic anesthesiology. Dr. Hernandez joined the Sherwood lab and is focused on translating strategies for enhancing the innate immune function and trained immunity, from small animal models into the human subject.  He received a 4-year K08 award from NIH General Medical Sciences.

  • Naeem Patil, MBBS, PhD

    Research Assistant Professor
    Anesthesiology

    Dr. Patil completed his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and his clinical training from B.J. Medical College, Pune, India. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Edward Sherwood and is currently an Early Stage Investigator in the Department of Anesthesiology. His research program is focused on deciphering the molecular mechanisms involved in diverse TLR ligand-induced train immunity-mediated protection against sepsis, with a focus on immunoresponsive gene 1 and mitochondrial reprogramming-induced generation of the antimicrobial metabolite, itaconate. His doctoral research involved studying sepsis-induced renal mitochondrial dysfunction and acute kidney injury. Dr. Patil's Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies were supported by American Heart Association fellowship grants. As a Principal Investigator, he is currently funded by the Shock Society Faculty Research Award and Vanderbilt Faculty Research Scholars Award. He also serves as a co-investigator on NIH funded R01 grants in the laboratory. 

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Allison Owen, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Anesthesiology

    Dr. Owen completed her Ph.D. in December 2017 with a concentration in Physiology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. Her doctoral work was aimed at investigating underlying mechanisms of long-term skeletal muscle weakness in middle-aged murine sepsis survivors using a refined clinically relevant animal model; this project was supported by an individual F31 NRSA predoctoral fellowship. She transitioned to Dr. Bohannon's lab at VUMC in August 2019 to expand her training in the field of Immunology. Dr. Owen's current studies seek to define the regulatory role of metabolic flux on antimicrobial function and to define intracellular signaling pathways by which TLR agonists mediate host resistance to infection. Allison is currently a trainee in the Immunological Mechanisms of Disease Training Program (T32, PMI Department). 

Students

  • Maggie hails from Chardon, Ohio. She earned a B.S. in Biomedical Science from The Ohio State University, where she studied bacterial adherence mechanisms with Dr. Sam King. And aspiring physician-scientist, she joined the Vanderbilt MSTP in 2017. She has worked in the Sherwood Lab since 2019, where she studies the role of the metabolite itaconate in innate immune training.

  • Olivia was born and raised in Bowie, Maryland. She is currently an undergraduate student (Class of 2024) at Vanderbilt University double majoring in Biochemistry and Medicine, Health, & Society with a minor in Spanish. Olivia has been a member of the Bohannon Lab since the beginning of 2021 and plans to stick around for the rest of her undergraduate career.

Research Staff

  • Jingbin Wang

    Research Assistant
    Anesthesiology

    Jingbin has served as research assistant and lab manager for the Sherwood Lab since 2013. She performs the critical tasks of managing animal and supply orders, lab organization, maintenance of equipment, and facilitation of experiments. 

  • Katie Burelbach

    Research Assistant
    Anesthesiology

    Originally from Wisconsin, Katherine received her B.S.E. in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University where she concentrated in biomaterials research. In 2018, Katherine completed the ASIP internship in the Sherwood Lab. In 2019, she decided to continue her work in the Sherwood Lab as a research assistant, focusing on metabolic rewiring of macrophages in trained innate immunity. 

Past Lab Members

  • Cody is originally from Sheridan, Arkansas. After earning a B.A in molecular and cellular biology & philosophy from Vanderbilt in 2014, he decided to stick around for the MD/PhD program. Since joining the Sherwood lab in 2016, Cody has studied innate immune training to better combat infections. Cody completed his PhD in the Sherwood lab in 2021 and is currently completing the final year of his MD at VUMC. 

  • Dr. Luan joined the Sherwood lab as a staff scientist at the beginning of the transition to Vanderbilt in 2013. During his tenure in the lab he served as a key facilitator, collaborating with each member of the team. Dr. Luan also actively maintained his own research projects. With his high level of expertise in every technique performed in the lab, he made significant contributions to each project. Dr. Luan was nominated by the lab for the Roger England Research Award, which he won at the 13th Annual Department of Anesthesiology Research Symposium in 2017. He left the lab in 2020 to pursue a career in Cardiovascular Perfusion. Currently, he is a student in the School of Perfusion Technology at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, TX. 

  • Ben hails from Rockville, MD. He earned his PhD in the Sherwood Lab in August 2017 studying how a single administration of TLR ligands can prevent infections for over two weeks. His work centered on the role of the macrophage in this protection, and how TLR ligands persistently change macrophage metabolism to fuel an antimicrobial state. He is currently a pediatric resident physician at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and plans to start a fellowship in neonatology in 2021.  

  • Jessica joined the Bohannon Lab as a Research Assistant in December 2016, after graduating from the University of Alabama. She helped to coordinate and conduct experiments, maintain murine model care, and assist in preparation of presentations and manuscripts related to Dr. Bohannon's studies using various TLR agonists as a means of mediating protection against infection after severe burn. In August 2017, she left to pursue a dual degree MD/MPH program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and UTHealth School of Public Health. She returned to the lab during the summer of 2018 as a Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) Medical Student Anesthesia Research Fellow (MSARF) in which she continued working on her previous project, which she presented at the 2018 American Society of Anesthesiologist Meeting. She is currently an Anesthesia resident physician at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.  

  • Dr. Guo was born and raised in China and received her M.D. degree there. She joined Dr. Sherwood's lab at UTMB in 2010 and followed the lab to Vanderbilt University, where she completed her PhD. degree in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology. Her dissertation focused on mechanisms of acute sepsis-induced systemic inflammation and multiple organ injuries with emphasis on the roles of natural killer (NK), NKT and cytotoxic T lymphocytes, as well as the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-15. Following completing of her doctoral studies, she continued in the lab as a postdoctoral fellow with a research focus on the immunmetabolism of macrophages in response to the TLR4 agonist MPLA. Dr. Guo is currently a Pathology resident physician at Columbia University.