Eric L. Grogan, M.D., M.P.H.

Associate Professor
Department of Thoracic Surgery

Lung nodule evaluation; Health services research; Lung cancer predictive modeling; Small nodule localization research


Dr. Grogan's clinical practice includes all areas of general thoracic surgery. He has experience in the treatment of lung and esophageal cancer, lung failure surgery, lung transplantation, mediastinal tumors, and tracheal and bronchoplastic procedures. Dr. Grogan's clinical interests have focused on minimally invasive thoracic surgery for treatment of lung cancer and benign esophageal diseases. He performs VATS lobectomies, radiotracer guided excision of small pulmonary nodules, and laparoscopic and thoracoscopic esophageal surgical procedures.

Dr. Grogan was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and raised in Paducah, Kentucky. He attended Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN and graduated summa cum laude in 1995. In 1999, he received his medical degree with honors from Vanderbilt University. After completing a general surgery internship and residency at Vanderbilt, Dr. Grogan continued his cardiothoracic surgery training at the University of Virginia where he also was the minimally invasive thoracic fellow. During his surgical training, he also obtained a Master's in Public Health from Vanderbilt University focusing on surgical outcomes research and quality improvement.

Dr. Grogan's current research focuses on the early detection and optimal therapy for patients with lung cancer. He holds a secondary appointment with the Department of Medicine and the Institute for Medicine and Public Health.

Dr. Grogan joined the Vanderbilt University faculty in July, 2008.

As a Thoracic Surgeon and clinical scientist, both at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and at Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center for over 13 years, Dr. Grogan assists with the thoracic oncology program and the research program. His research efforts over the past decade have focused on improving the accuracy of the evaluation of lung nodules suspicious for lung cancer and improving access to lung cancer detection and care. He and his team have worked to identify populations of patients who are at higher risk for false positive imaging, have developed clinical models to predict who has benign or malignant disease and have evaluated the impact of biomarkers to improve the diagnostic algorithm. Dr. Grogan has studied the impact of imaging (FDG-PET scan), cancer, and fungal biomarkers to improve the accuracy of the evaluation of lung nodules suspicious for cancer. He and his team have made important discoveries demonstrating that fungal lung disease, such as histoplasmosis, is an important cause of false positive evaluations in lung nodules. He has investigated promising serum tests to non-invasively diagnose histoplasmosis in these indeterminate lung nodules and his team has significant experience in this field.

Dr. Grogan has helped lead the CanVFun consortium which is a three-site cancer and fungal biomarker program established with funding from the National Cancer Institute through the EDRN. He is a Co-leader of the TREAT (Thoracic disease, Research, Epidemiology, Assessment and Treatment) Lung Cancer team at VUMC, an experienced multidisciplinary research team with expertise in epidemiology, biostatistics, lung cancer early detection, and clinical trials. In collaboration with clinicians, epidemiologists and biostatisticians, Dr. Grogan has been part of a team whose critical modeling has helped to redefine the lung cancer screening guidelines for African Americans to reduce disparities. Like many researchers, he and his team have been forced to pivot their efforts in the past year due to the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 2020, they have performed extensive modeling to study the impact of reducing cancer operations during the COVID-19 epidemic and the impact on disease progression. Dr. Grogan has extensive experience in lung cancer research, multicenter research project and program leadership, biomarker evaluation and predictive modeling.


B.S., David Lipscomb University, Summa Cum Laude, 1995
M.D., Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Alpha Omega Alpha, 1999
M.P.H., Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2004

Postgraduate Training

Internship and General Surgery Residency, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Minimally Invasive Thoracic Fellow, University of Virginia
Cardiothoracic Residency, University of Virginia

Board Certifications

  • The American Board of Surgery
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery

Dr. Grogan's Curriculum Vitae is available in PDF format.

View Dr. Grogan's publications on PubMed


Eric L. Grogan, M.D. M.P.H.
Associate Professor of Thoracic Surgery                                                                                                                                                                                                          Vice Chairman of Research
Associate Professor of Medicine                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Section Chief Thoracic Surgery                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Veterans Hospital, Nashville, TN