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Halasa, Jordan, Wilkins elected members of ASCI

Feb. 10, 2022, 9:33 AM


by Bill Snyder

Natasha Halasa, MD, MPH

Three faculty members of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine have been elected this year to membership in 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:

  • Natasha Halasa, MD, MPH, Craig Weaver Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases;
  • Lori Jordan, MD, PhD, associate professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Neurology and director of the Pediatric Stroke Program; and
  • Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI,Professor of Medicine, Senior Vice President for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Senior Associate Dean for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence in the School of Medicine.
Lori Jordan, MD, PhD

A member of the Vanderbilt faculty since 2004, Halasa has been involved in numerous vaccine trials including influenza, pertussis, pneumococcal and RSV, with focus on young infants and immunocompromised hosts. She also conducts surveillance studies to define the burden of diarrheal and respiratory disease, including COVID-19, in young children.

Jordan, associate professor of Neurology and Radiology & Radiological Sciences, joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2011. Her research has focused on stroke mechanisms, cerebral physiology, and stroke prevention in sickle cell disease, pediatric stroke and brain injury and cognitive function in children with chronic illnesses.

Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI

Wilkins, who joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2012, is internationally recognized for her pioneering work to effectively engage historically marginalized communities in the design and conduct of research across the translational spectrum.

“It is so exciting and inspiring to see the emergence of scientific leaders in medicine, like those who are elected to the ASCI,” said Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, Hugh J. Morgan Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine and an ASCI member since 2011.

“Vanderbilt has a strong and proud legacy with this esteemed organization of physician-scientists and has played a big part in shaping the organization,” Rathmell said. “These new members are going to further influence the physician-scientist community at large, and their work impacts the face of medicine. I am so glad to see them recognized as members.”

“Election to the ASCI is a tremendous honor that recognizes the essential contributions of our VUMC faculty,” said Christopher Williams, MD, PhD, professor of Medicine and associate dean for Physician Scientist Education and Training.

“Membership in this prestigious society is recognition from one’s peers that their work is impactful, durable, and shifted a field forward in a truly substantial fashion,” said Williams, the ASCI Institutional Representative who was elected to the ASCI in 2015.

Wilkins, former director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, currently is principal investigator of the Vanderbilt-Miami-Meharry Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Public Health, which focuses on decreasing ethnic disparities in precision medicine.

She is co-principal investigator of the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and the Vanderbilt Recruitment Innovation Center, dedicated to enhancing clinical trial recruitment and retention. Wilkins also directs the Engagement Core of the All of Us Research Program, part of the National Institutes of Health Precision Medicine Initiative.

Halasa, Jordan and Wilkins are among 63 current and emeritus Vanderbilt faculty members listed on the ASCI membership roster. The new members will be inducted in April during ASCI’s annual meeting held jointly in Chicago with the Association of American Physicians (AAP) and the American Physician Scientist Association.


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