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Clinical investigation society lauds Vanderbilt scientists

Mar. 12, 2020, 8:45 AM

NOTE: The ASCI annual meeting, scheduled for April 3, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will not be rescheduled. However, inductees and award winners will be recognized next year during the 2021 annual meeting.


by Bill Snyder

Five faculty members of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine are among 80 physician-scientists who will be inducted this year into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), an elite honor society of physician-scientists from the upper ranks of academic medicine and industry. They are:

  • Julie Bastarache, MD, associate professor of Medicine, of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, and of Cell & Developmental Biology, who studies the pathophysiology of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and sepsis;
  • Carlos Grijalva, MD, MPH, associate professor of Health Policy, and program director of the Vanderbilt Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research, who has evaluated the safety and effectiveness of a wide range of drugs;
  • Meena Madhur, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine and of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, associate director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation and a recipient last year of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers;
  • Michael Matheny, MD, MS, MPH, associate professor of Biomedical Informatics, Biostatistics and Medicine, co-director of the Vanderbilt Center for Improving the Public’s Health Using Informatics, and an expert in using natural language processing, data mining and population health analytics for post-marketing medical device surveillance; and
  • Javid Moslehi, MD, associate professor of Medicine and director of the Vanderbilt Cardio-Oncology Program, who has established preventive and treatment strategies for attenuating cardiovascular disease in cancer patients and cancer survivors.

The new members will be inducted April 3 during ASCI’s joint annual meeting with the Association of American Physicians (AAP) and American Physician Scientist Association in Chicago.

“I am really delighted to have such a large class of inductees from Vanderbilt this year,” said ASCI President Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, Cornelius Abernathy Craig Professor and interim chair of the Department of Medicine and professor of Biochemistry.

“These new members of ASCI are individually the top of the top in their fields, and are conducting cutting edge, highly innovative and impactful research that demonstrates true excellence in medical science,” Rathmell said. “This recognition is a real validation of the rich culture we have supporting science in medicine.

“These inductees will join a class of 75 other top-tier physician-scientists and the greater membership, which celebrates the intersection of health and science and seeks to challenge each generation of investigators to lead scientific inquiry of increasingly broad impact,” she said.

During the April meeting four other Vanderbilt faculty members will receive ASCI Council Young Physician-Scientist Awards, Rathmell said. The awards recognize physician-scientists early in their first faculty appointment who have made notable research achievements. They are:

  • Alan Lewis, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and of Neurology, who joined the faculty in 2018;
  • Dolly Padovani-Claudio, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, who studies vascular diseases of the retina;
  • Heather Pua, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, who received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award last year to support her research on cell signaling involving ribonucleic acids (RNAs) in allergic airway inflammation; and
  • Ciara Shaver, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine and member of the Vanderbilt Lung Transplant Team, whose research focuses on advancing treatment of ARDS, pulmonary arterial hypertension and primary graft dysfunction after lung transplantation.

Rathmell will give the ASCI Presidential Address at the meeting.

Other VUMC speakers include Christopher Williams, MD, professor of Medicine and ASCI’s Institutional Representative; Joshua Denny, MD, MS, adjunct professor of Biomedical Informatics; and Patrick Hu, MD, PhD, associate professor of Medicine and of Cell & Developmental Biology.

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