About Us


  • Aaron W Aday, MD, MSc

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

    My research focuses on the mechanisms of peripheral artery disease development as well as better treatment strategies for patients with peripheral artery disease.

  • J. Jeffrey Carr, MD

    Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor
    Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences

    My research is focused on developing quantitative imaging based biomarkers that can be used for to predict future disease risk or to support clinical decision making in populations or for personalized medicine applications.

  • Andrew DeFilippis, MD MSc

    Associate Professor of Medicine, Medical Director Cardiovascular ICU

    I am a translational researcher leveraging my expertise in cohort development, clinical cardiology, cardiovascular epidemiology, and acute myocardial infarction (MI) to better understand, diagnose, and predict the full spectrum of myocardial injury events, specifically subtypes of MI. 

  • Jane F Ferguson, PhD

    Associate Professor of Medicine
    Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
    (615) 875-9896

    My research focuses on the genetics of cardiometabolic diseases, with a particular focus on functional genomics and clinical translation. I am particularly interested in the interactions between genetic and environmental factors in disease development, and in the use of evoked phenotypes as a tool for genomic discovery.


  • Matthew S Freiberg, MD, MSc

    Founding Director V-CREATE; Professor of Medicine Cardiovascular Medicine; Dorothy and Laurence Grossman Chair in Cardiology
    Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

    My research focuses on the intersections between HIV infection, substance use, immune function, and cardiovascular disease outcomes.

  • Deepak K Gupta, MD MSCI

    Associate Professor of Medicine, Director VTRACC
    Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

    My clinical research program focuses on 1) mechanisms for the development of and outcomes in hypertension and related sequelae, particularly heart failure, 2) the natriuretic peptide system, and 3) determinants of racial differences in susceptibility to cardiovascular disease.

  • Frank E Harrell, Jr, PhD

    Professor of Biostatistics and Expert Statistical Advisor
    FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Biostatistics
    (615) 322-4655

    My areas of interest are predictive modeling and model validation, missing data, diagnostic and prognostic research, health services research, cohort studies, clinical trials, cardiovascular disease, reproducible research, and Bayesian methods.

  • Brian R Lindman, MD

    Medical Director, Associate Professor of Medicine
    Structural Heart and Valve Center

    My research is focused on calcific aortic stenosis, including clinical and translation studies related to biomarker discovery, risk prediction, and elucidating pathophysiology to identify adjunctive interventions to improve patient-centered outcomes.

  • Loren Lipworth, Sc.D.

    Professor of Medicine
    Division of Epidemiology
    (615) 343-0639

    My research focuses on the role of metabolic traits and lifestyle and socioeconomic characteristics in relation to cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease, as well as breast and kidney cancers, including their interactions with genetic factors and their contributions to racial disparity.

  • Jonathan D Mosley, MD PhD

    Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics
    Division of Clinical Pharmacology

    My research focuses on developing approaches that integrate genetic data sources including electronic health record systems and large epidemiological studies, to identify genetically-modulated risk factors and biomarkers that impact health and disease.

  • Daniel Muñoz, MD, MPA

    Associate Professor of Medicine, Interim Co-Director for Clinical Affairs, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
    (615) 322-4378

    I am an Associate Professor in the Division of Cardiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. My clinical research is currently focused on the development of innovative strategies for lowering cardiovascular risk and improving patient outcomes in high-risk primary and secondary prevention settings.

  • Kim Lori Sandler, MD

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences

    My focus is in lung cancer screening, characterization of pulmonary nodules, coronary artery disease, and coronary artery anomalies. 

  • M. Benjamin Shoemaker, MD

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

    I am a cardiac electrophysiologist and physician scientist with a clinical/translational research program focused on improving therapies for patients with atrial fibrillation and inherited arrhythmia syndromes.

  • Lynne Stevenson, MD

    Professor of Medicine, Director of Cardiomyopathy Program; Director Training Program Advanced Heart Failure Transplant

    I provide input on formulation of hypotheses, context within related areas of research,  definition of data fields for trial design, and interpretation of results in the context of contemporary clinical and research priorities related to diagnosis, presentation, and management in early and late stages of cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

  • Hilary A Tindle, MD, MPH

    Associate Professor of Medicine
    Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health

    I am an Internal Medicine physician scientist, Associate Professor of Medicine, and founding director of a new center at Vanderbilt focusing on comparative effectiveness research for tobacco control and disease risk reduction. Key aims of the center include using personalized approaches to guide choice of cessation therapy, investigating mechanisms of lapse and relapse in real time, and effectively controlling tobacco disease-related burden in clinical populations. 

  • Quinn Wells, MD

    Associate Professor of Medicine
    Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

    My research program is directed toward precision medicine for cardiovascular disease, with a special interest in arrhythmic and cardiomyopathic phenotypes.  The overarching goal of my lab is to understand how patient-specific features, including clinical and genetic factors, contribute to variable disease susceptibility and therapeutic response, and then translate this knowledge to patient-centered, precision care.

  • Melissa Wellons, MD, MHS

    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
    (615) 343-6756

    My research focuses on the relationship between gonadal aging and/or artificial gonadal hormone manipulation and cardiometabolic disease.  I am especially interested in how the loss of gonadal hormones contributes to the development of atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Research Team

  • Cassandra Reynolds

    Clinical Trials Manager
    Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

    I am a Clinical Trials Manager for the division of cardiovascular medicine and Vanderbilt Center for Translational and Clinical Cardiovascular Research (VTRACC) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  I am currently working on clinical and translational research predominantly focused on the role of the natriuretic peptide system on cardiovascular health, heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, and cardiovascular disease prevention.  

  • Emily Epstein, MPH

    Research Programs Manager
    V-CREATE, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
    (615) 875-7253

    Emily is the Research Program Manager of the V-CREATE center, and the Program Director of the Vanderbilt Scholars in HIV and Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep Research (V-SCHoLARS) K12 training program. Emily manages a number of projects focusing on studies utilizing cohort data to examine HIV and cardiovascular disease risk. 

  • I have served as a leading biostatistician and methodologist in multiple NIH and CDC funded randomized clinical trials. My research areas of research include statistical consulting and collaboration, statistical computing, clinical trials, R, Longitudinal data analysis.

  • Meng Xu, MS

    Department of Biostatistics
    (615) 936-6974

    My interests include survival analysis, categorical data analysis, longitudinal data analysis and prediction models

  • Suman Kundu, DSc, MSc

    Database Administrator
    V-CREATE, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
    (615) 875-9426

    Suman’s research interest include investigating the impact of standard risk factors, genetic variants, and biomarkers in understanding the relationship between HIV infection and the risk of cardiovascular disease; methodological and analytical considerations in risk prediction research.

  • J Greg Terry

    Research Programs Manager
    Department of Radiology & Radiological Sciences
    (615) 875-8986

     My work involves non-invasive imaging of cardiac, vascular and adipose tissues and risk factors cardiovascular disease.

  • Sangeeta Nair, DVM, MS

    Staff Scientist
    Department of Radiology & Radiological Sciences
    (615) 875-9727

    I develop protocols and conduct analyses on MR and CT images of cardiac, vascular, adipose and skeletal tissues from study cohorts with burden of cardio vascular disease, diabetes, and atherosclerosis.

  • Grace Wallace, BS

    Clinical Translational Research Coordinator III
    V-CREATE, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
    (615) 936-5356

    Grace is a Clinical/Translational Research Coordinator with the V-CREATE team. Grace works to support a multitude of projects, with a focus on studies examining HIV status and cardiovascular risk.

  • Stacy Desine, MSc

    Clinical/Translational Research Coordinator II

    I am a Clinical and Translational Research Coordinator II for the Vanderbilt Center for Translational and Clinical Cardiovascular Research (VTRACC). I work on translational vascular research studies. In particular, our studies focus on the genetics of cardiometabolic diseases, with a particular focus on functional genomics and clinical translation. Currently, we are also investigating the effects of PDE5 inhibition in obese adults, as well as Probing the determinants of α-aminoadipic acid (2-AAA) and understanding the relationship to diabetes

    Selected Publications
    Persaud, A., Desine, S., Blizinsky, K., Bonham, V.L. A CRISPR focus on attitudes and beliefs toward somatic genome editing from stakeholders within the sickle cell disease community. 2018. Genetics in Medicine. Volume 8:1726-1734. PMID: 30581191

    Hollister, B.M., Gatter, M., Abdallah, K., Armsby, A., Buscetta, A., Byeon, J., Cooper, K., Desine, S., Persaud, A., Ormond, Kelly, Bonham, V.L. Perspectives of sickle cell disease stakeholders on heritable genome editing. 2019. The CRISPR Journal. Volume 6:441-449. PMID: 31742431

    Desine, S., Hollister, B.M., Persaud, A., Abdallah, K., Hull, S., Bonham, V.L. The Meaning of Informed Consent: Genome Editing Clinical Trials for Sickle Cell Disease. 2020. American Journal of Bioethics: Empirical. 11(4):195-207. PMID: 33044907 

    Desine, S., Eskin, L., Bonham, V.L., Koehly, L.M., Social Support Networks of Adults with Sickle Cell Disease. 2021. Journal of Genetic Counseling. PMID: 33847032
    Conn, C., Creary, M., Bonham, V.L., Desine, S., Resilience of Adults Living with Sickle Cell Disease. 2022. Adversity and Resilience (submitted)


  • Megan Stewart

    Lead Administrative Assistant
    V-CREATE, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
    (615) 875-7810

    Megan Stewart is a Lead Administrative Assistant supporting Drs. Matthew Freiberg, Hilary Tindle and Jeff Carr. A native Nashvillian, she studied at Nashville State Community College. She has extensive experience with all administrative tasks, including scheduling and correspondence. Having held positions in the research and medical fields, Megan is able to tailor her skills to meet the needs of those she supports.