• C. Buddy Creech, MD, MPH

    Director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics
    Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases

    Dr. Creech serves as Director of the VVRP, Prinicipal Investigator of the NIH-funded VTEU, and Co-Principal Investigator of the CDC-funded CISA Project. His research focuses primarily on the clinical and molecular epidemiology of S. aureus infections and on the immune response to vaccination and disease. He has served as PI for numerous vaccine studies in the VVRP including a Phase I malaria vaccine study, studies of live-attenauted influenza vaccine in children, and a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of clindamycin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole in the treatment of skin and soft tissue infections. In 2007 he was the recipient of the IDSA/SHEA Young Investigator Award in MRSA and in 2012 he received the PIDS Young Investigator Award.

    He currently is leading studies to determine the optimal duration of therapy for children with pneumonia; to define the immune response to influenza vaccination using a systems vaccinology approach; to define the immune response to S aureus infections in children and adults; and to compare whole-cell pertussis and acellular pertussis vaccines in children, using ribosome profiling as a transcriptomics tool. 


  • Kathryn M. Edwards, MD

    Sarah H. Sell and Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Pediatrics

    Dr. Edwards is an internationally-recognized expert in vaccinology, with numerous publications in the fields of pertussis, pneumococcus, and influenza. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Edwards is Principal Investigator of the CDC-funded Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Network.

Laboratory Director

  • Isaac P. Thomsen, MD, MSCI

    Assistant Professor
    Pediatric Infectious Diseases

    Dr. Thomsen is a medicine/pediatrics trained physician with advanced training in pediatric infectious diseases and clinical research (MSCI). His work focuses on defining the humoral response to staphylococcal infections in children and adults, evaluating best management strategies for pediatric osteomyelitis, and leading clinical trials of new vaccines and therapeutics. He also contributes significantly to the vaccine safety mission of the VVRP, serving as a subject matter expert and co-investigator in the CDC-sponsored Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) network.


  • Leigh M. Howard, MD, MPH

    Assistant Professor
    Pediatric Infectious Diseases

    Dr. Howard's research focuses on vaccine-preventable diseases that have global impact. She has extensive experience in the developing world, serving as a physician in the Baylor International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) prior to completing a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Vanderbilt. During fellowship, she completed a master's degree in public health, devoting a portion of her time to defining health literacy and medication dosing errors in Mozambique. She now serves as a Fogarty Global Health Fellow at Vanderbilt and is working with colleagues at the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Lusaka, Zambia (CIDRZ). She continues to work on pathogens such as influenza and other respiratory pathogens, and continues to work in the developing world. Her current research focuses on the impact of respiratory pathogens on pneumococcal carriage in an Andean cohort (Peru).

  • Natalia Jimenez, PhD, MSCI

    Research Assistant Professor
    Pediatric Infectious Diseases
    VTEU Program Coordinator

    A native of Costa Rica, Dr. Jimenez originally joined the Creech Laboratory in 2007 as a Fogarty Fellow. After completing a master's degree in clinical investigation (MSCI), she entered the inaugural class of the Vanderbilt Graduate Program in Epidemiology and was conferred a PhD in 2013. Her work focuses on observational studies of S. aureus and pertussis, clinical trials of pertussis vaccines in high-risk hosts, and laboratory studies of the clinical and molecular epidemiology of S. aureus colonization in children and young adults.

Clinical Team

Regulatory Team

Administrative Team

Laboratory Team

  • Nicole Soper, MT

    Laboratory Manager, Creech Laboratory
    Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program

    1161 21st Avenue South
    Room / Suite
    D-7235 MCN
    Lab Phone

    Ms. Soper is a licensed medical technician with extensive experience in microbiology and immunology. She is the laboratory manager for the VVRP Laboratory, overseeing projects focused on S. aureus, respiratory infections, and C. difficile infections.

  • Sandy Yoder, MT

    Senior Research Specialist
  • Eric Brady

    Research Assistant

Postdoctoral Fellows