VI4 Spotlight

VI4 Spotlight is where you can find the latest news and happenings at the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation. 

Faculty Spotlight: Anna Patrick, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Patrick earned her Master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and her M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She's an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Rheumatology at Vanderbilt where her work focuses on identifying and characterizing pathogenic molecular pathways in juvenile idiopathic arthritis and pediatric autoimmune disease.... Click Dr. Patrick's photo to continue reading.

Trainee Spotlight: Lillian J. Brady, Ph.D. & Kirsty Erickson

Lillian Brady, Ph.D. and Kirsty Erickson are part of the Erin Calipari Lab at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Pharmacology. Lillian obtained her PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the Department of Neurobiology. While at UAB, Lillian worked with Dr. Lynn Dobrunz where she studied the role of the dopamine system in the modulation and regulation of inhibitory synaptic transmission and neural circuit function within the hippocampus. Lillian joined Vanderbilt University as an Academic Pathways Postdoctoral Research Fellow in May of 2017 where her research interests include understanding the synaptic physiology, circuit function, and molecular mechanisms that underlie different types of learning behavior. Kirsty graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2016 with a BS in Medical Biology, during which time she studied the role of Ubiquilin-1 in learning and memory. Kirsty came to Vanderbilt in 2017 as a research assistant in the Neul lab, where she investigated the pathogenesis of Rett Syndrome. Now, she joins the Calipari Lab as a graduate student interested in terminal dopamine dynamics that render susceptibility to stimulant use disorder.

Postdoc Spotlight: Heather Caslin, Ph.D.

Heather Caslin is a postdoctoral researcher in the Alyssa Hasty lab at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. She received her Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University. She studies how macrophages and mast cells contribute to weight cycling accelerated metabolic disease. Heather is also passionate about teaching, mentorship, and outreach, and she has worked with the Collaborative for STEM Outreach and Education at Vanderbilt University, has volunteered with the organization Black in Immuno, and does science communication via Instagram!... Click the image on the left to continue reading.

Postdoc Spotlight: Chris Peritore-Galve, Ph.D.

Chris Peritore-Galve is a postdoctoral researcher in the Borden Lacy Lab at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology. He received his PhD from Cornell University. His work is on understanding the role of Clostridioides difficile toxins during infection. Chris also serves on the VI4 DEI Committee.... Click the image on the left to continue reading.

Faculty Spotlight: Chandravanu Dash, Ph.D.

Dr. Dash is a faculty member in the Meharry Medical College Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research (CAHDR) and the Department of Biochemistry, Cancer Biology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience. His research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of HIV-1 infection and probing the effects of drugs of abuse on HIV pathogenesis.

Graduate Student Spotlight: Ireti Eni-aganga

Ireti Eni-aganga received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Arizona State University in 2014. She's currently a PhD candidate at Meharry Medical College in the laboratory of Dr. Jui Pandhare. Her work is part of the Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research (CAHDR)... Click the image on the left to continue reading.

Faculty Spotlight: Matt Alexander, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Alexander earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He's an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Molecular Physiology & Biophysics at Vanderbilt researching the role of adaptive immunity in the pathogenesis of hypertension and associated cardiovascular disease... Click Dr. Alexander's photo to continue reading.

Graduate Student Spotlight: Nicolas Gray Shealy

Nicolas grew up in Columbia, SC and attended the College of Charleston. After graduating in 2018, he participated in a post-baccalaureate experience program (PREP) at the Medical University of South Carolina, working in the lab of Amy D. Bradshaw Ph.D. He came to Vanderbilt University in the fall of 2019 via Interdisciplinary Graduate Program and ultimately joined the lab of Mariana Byndloss D.V.M, Ph.D. His thesis project is centered around understanding the mechanisms bacterial pathogens use to take full advantage both of the human host and the gut microbiota. He is specifically looking into the metabolism of short-chain fatty acids and amino acids... Click the image on the left to continue reading.

Faculty Spotlight: Dawn C. Newcomb, Ph.D.

Dr. Newcomb earned her undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University in 2002 and her Ph.D. from University of Michigan in 2007. She trained as a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. R. Stokes Peebles, Jr. M.D. laboratory at Vanderbilt University focusing on lung inflammation, viral infections, and T cell immune responses. In 2014, Dr. Newcomb started her laboratory at Vanderbilt to study how sex hormones regulate mechanisms of airway inflammation in asthma. Dr. Newcomb currently has 2 R01s to study these mechanisms...... Click Dr. Newcomb's photo to continue reading.

Graduate Student Spotlight: Jonathan Davies

Jonathan is a graduate student in the Lars Plate lab. He chose the Plate lab because of the interdisciplinary proteomics and chemical biology approaches they were using to study viruses and because of the outstanding training environment Lars and group members provided. His project combines chemical biology tools with quantitative mass spectrometry methods to map host-virus interactomics with temporal resolution during infection, with the aim of identifying potential host factors as therapeutic targets to combat viral pathogenesis... Click the image on the left to continue reading.