TREAT Lung Cancer Program

Thoracic disease, Research, Epidemiology, Assessment, and Treatment

Our goal is to ultimately improve the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer for all populations. We are a multidisciplinary team of biostatisticians, nurses, thoracic surgeons and epidemiologists that perform cutting edge research in epidemiologic and clinical studies of lung cancer. We collaborate with leading investigators with expertise in genetics, epidemiology, medicine, surgery, pulmonology, bioinformatics, and health services research to improve the prevention and clinical care of lung cancer.



August 25, 2021


Jennifer Richmond, PhD, has received the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Scholar-in-Training Award, which recognizes meritorious abstracts submitted to the AACR Virtual Conference on "The Science of Cancer Health Disparities". Congratulations, Jennifer!


August 9, 2021

Congratulations to Jennifer Richmond, PhD! She has been awarded a NIH Loan Repayment Award from the National Cancer Institute.


July 24, 2021

white ribbon

TREAT members Melinda Aldrich, MD, MPH, and Eric Grogan, MD, MPH, participated in the White Ribbon Project Nashville Lung Cancer Community Build on Saturday, July 24. The White Ribbon Project is a grassroots movement committed to changing public perception and raising awareness about lung cancer. The project was started last year by lung cancer survivor Heidi Nafman Onda and her husband, Pierre. Dr. Aldrich is pictured above with Heidi Nafman Onda, founder of WRP, and Patricia Midori Murobushi Ozawa, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Alissa Weaver’s (VUMC) laboratory.


July 1, 2021

Michael Betti has been accepted to take part in the Vanderbilt Program in Molecular Medicine (VPMM) for two years starting in September 2021. The VPMM is a unique training program available to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Biomedical Sciences at Vanderbilt University. It allows for the integration of thesis work with important clinical, disease-based areas. Congratulations, Michael!


June 25, 2021

Congratulations to Diane Haddad, MD, MPH, and Maren Shipe, MD, MPH! Each is the recipient the Alfred Blalock Resident Research Award for this year. The Alfred Blalock Award was established in 1988 to honor the resident whose published laboratory or clinical research marks an outstanding contribution to medical research.


May 19, 2021

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has released a new report titled “The Economic Impact and Functional Applications of Human Genetics and Genomics”. This report describes how human genetics and genomics is growing the U.S. economy and becoming increasingly integrated in healthcare and society. TREAT member Melinda Aldrich, PhD, MPH, contributed to this report as an ASHG Government and Public Advocacy Committee member.


May 10, 2021

Congratulations to Tory Martucci! She successfully defended her dissertation titled “Leveraging electronic health records and genetic predictors to understand COPD and lung cancer”.


April 22, 2021

ASHG logo

From ASHG Press Release: The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) hosted its first ever Hill Day. Due to the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hill Day 2021 was hosted virtually, making advocating for geneticists more accessible than ever. Twelve advocates from across the nation, including TREAT team member Melinda Aldrich, PhD, MPH, joined the Virtual Hill Day, reaching key Members of Congress to discuss issues of critical importance.

During the Virtual Hill Day, advocates discussed the impact of human genetics and genomics research both on human health and on the U.S. economy. They called on their Members of Congress to act swiftly to advance three legislative priorities: funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supporting research relief for labs that were shut down last year due to the global pandemic, and voicing concerns for the need for diversity in genetics, in both the workforce and research. 


April 13, 2021

Melinda Aldrich, PhD, MPH, has been appointed to serve as a Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Research Program Fellow for Population Sciences for the term May 1, 2021 through April 30, 2022.


April 8, 2021


Melinda Aldrich, PhD, MPH, and Jeffery Blume, PhD, are Multi-PIs on recently awarded 1R01CA251758-01A1 entitled "Addressing racial disparities in lung cancer screening". 


April 7, 2021


Congratulations to TREAT team members Melinda Aldrich, PhD, MPH, Kim Sandler, MD, and Jennifer Richmond, PhD, MSPH! They were part of the team (also including Melissa McPheeters, PhD, MPH, and Travis Osterman, DO) that won first place in the Techquity Design Challenge sponsored by the Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center. The title of their presentation was "Capture of Smoking History in EHR for Assessment of Lung Cancer Screening Eligibility" and their proposed revisions will be implemented in the Vanderbilt EHR.


March 23, 2021

TREAT team member research published in JAMA Oncology has played a key role in new lung cancer screening guidelines. VUMC Reporter article "Vanderbilt research played key role in new lung screen guidelines" highlights the effect this research, whose authors include TREAT members Melinda Aldrich, PhD, MPH, Kim Sandler, MD, Eric Grogan, MD, MPH, and Jeffrey Blume, PhD, had on new USPSTF lung cancer screening guidelines.


October 29, 2020

VUMC Reporter article "Surgery risk model proves invaluable during pandemic" highlights the work of a team of investigators, including TREAT members Eric Grogan, MD, MPH, Stephen Deppen, PhD, and Maren Shipe, MD, MPH, who created complex decision analysis models that balanced the risk of COVID-19 infection against the risk of disease progression if surgical procedures were delayed during the pandemic. When the team analyzed six specific disease-surgery pairs in relation to model patients, they determined that proceeding with surgery in hospitals with low perioperative COVID-19 infection rates rather than waiting three to six months would likely result in an improved five-year survival for the patients.


October 1, 2020

"Addressing Disparities in Lung Cancer Screening Eligibility and Healthcare Access. An Official American Thoracic Society Statement" has been published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. TREAT member Melinda Aldrich, PhD, MPH, is co-senior author.



Nashville Lung Cancer Screening Trial

Read "Saved by the Scan", the story of a participant in the Nashville Lung Cancer Screening Trial who credits the low-dose CT scan she received as part of the trial and subsequent physician care with saving her life. 

Vanderbilt Lung Screening Program

Read "A decade after lung cancer, aspiring minister aims for a ‘significant life’". An illness and CT-scan led to a diagnosis of lung cancer for Mr. Taylor Stokes. TREAT member Eric Grogan, MD, MPH, performed the surgery to remove the tumor from Mr. Stokes’ lung and now Mr. Stokes has annual follow-up scans through Vanderbilt’s Lung Screening Program.


Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) Lung Screening Program for patients at high risk for cancer recently reached a milestone, enrolling more than 700 patients and performing more than 1,000 CT screening examinations. TREAT member Kim Sandler, MD, is co-director of the Lung Screening Program. Read more at