May 24, 2023

Faculty Awards honor teaching, clinical, research excellence

The 2023 Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Extraordinary Performance of Clinical Service, and Outstanding Contributions to Research were presented May 19 during the annual spring faculty meeting. Awards and recipients are listed below.

The 2023 Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Extraordinary Performance of Clinical Service, and Outstanding Contributions to Research were presented May 19 during the annual spring faculty meeting. Awards and recipients are listed below.


FRANK H. BOEHM, MD, AWARD, for Contributions to Continuing Medical Education.

Elizabeth Perkins, MD, assistant professor of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, and director of Pediatric Neurotology.

Perkins joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2021, after completing a fellowship at VUMC in neurotology, which focuses on ear disorders related to balance and hearing loss, and lateral skull base surgery for the treatment of skull base tumors. In addition to training VUMC residents, since 2019 she has directed the annual Temporal Bone Course, a combined lecture and surgical demonstration course in neurotology that attracts attendees from all over the world.

GERALD S. GOTTERER, MD, PHD, AWARD for Innovation in Educational Programming that has Proven to be Effective.

Miklos David Kertai, MD, MMHC, PhD, professor of Anesthesiology, assistant vice chair for Quality, Safety and Outcomes, and director of the Perioperative Precision Medicine Program.

An expert in perioperative risk assessment and management, Kertai’s research findings have informed national and international guidelines that help physicians prevent cardiac complications after surgery. A member of the Vanderbilt faculty since 2017, he also chaired the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group Anesthesiology Performance Improvement and Reporting Exchange Task Force to improve the care of patients undergoing anesthesia by reducing practice variation.

PETER GUENGERICH, PHD, AWARD for Mentoring Postdoctoral Fellows or Residents in the Research Setting.

Xiao Ou Shu, MD, MPH, PhD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center associate director for Global Health, and co-director of the VICC Cancer Epidemiology Research Program.

An international leader in cancer epidemiology, Shu has mentored more than 50 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. She is founding director of the Vanderbilt Training Program in the Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer, led international training programs to build research capacity and infrastructure in Shanghai and Zambia, and in 2016 launched an epidemiology training program in Vietnam.

THOMAS A. HAZINSKI, MD, AWARD for Effectiveness in Mentoring and Professional Development of Faculty.

Saralyn R. Williams, MD, professor of Emergency Medicine, Medicine, and Pediatrics, and vice chair for Education, Department of Emergency Medicine.

Williams is a leader in both undergraduate and graduate medical education. As vice chair for Education and chair of the Appointment and Promotions Committee in the Department of Emergency Medicine, she has provided guidance and mentorship to numerous trainees and faculty. At the national level, she has provided mentorship in various capacities through the American Board for Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medicine Residency Review Committee.

BONNIE M. MILLER, MD, AWARD for Innovation in Undergraduate Medical Education.

Britany L. Raymond, MD, assistant professor of Anesthesiology, director, Obstetric Anesthesiology Fellowship program, and Anesthesia for In-Utero Fetal Surgery program.

Shortly after arriving at Vanderbilt in 2018, Raymond became an innovative educator, initiating changes to boost the recruitment of medical students into anesthesiology residency positions. In little more than two years, VUMC’s match rate for anesthesiology exceeded the national average. To address a labor shortage of anesthesia technicians, she also helped design and launch an Anesthesia Externship Program, which employed medical students to fill those positions.

JOHN S. SERGENT, MD, AWARD for Teaching Medical or Graduate Students in the Small Group Setting.

Melissa A. Hilmes, MD, associate professor of Radiology & Radiological Sciences and of Pediatrics.

A former fellowship director in Pediatric Radiology, in 2012 Hilmes was named course director for the medical student elective in Pediatric Radiology. She created a thoughtful and highly rated experience for students with an outlined curriculum. Hilmes has served as course director and later as co-director of the Vanderbilt Program in Interprofessional Learning for medical, nursing, pharmacy, and social work students. She is a member of the Academy for Excellence in Education.


GOTTLIEB C. FRIESINGER, II, MD, AWARD for an Outstanding Early Career Clinician.

Kara Siegrist, MD, assistant professor of Anesthesiology, and medical director of the Electrophysiology and Cardiac Catheterization Labs, and of the Liver Transplant Anesthesia Team.

 Siegrist is best known for her ability to care for the most complex patients in the operating room with her unique skillset in cardiac and liver transplant anesthesia. She led the Cardiothoracic Division through rapid expansion of the Electrophysiology Lab and structural heart disease service lines, and she has been a leader in VUMC’s living donor liver transplant and combined heart-liver transplant programs.

THOMAS P. GRAHAM, JR., MD. AWARD for Dedicated Service to Patient-Centered Care.

David S. Haynes, MD, MMHC, professor of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, Neurosurgery, and Hearing and Speech Sciences; vice chair, chief academic officer, and Endowed Director of Relationship Development, Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery; Division Chief, Otology and Neurotology; and Neurotology Fellowship program director.

Haynes co-directs the top-ranked Cochlear Implant Program and Skull Base Center for treating conditions deep behind the eyes and nose. His team has developed a same-day cochlear implant program, and an international referral center for acoustic neuroma tumors, hearing loss, and cochlear implantation.

NOEL B. TULIPAN, MD, AWARD for Clinical Excellence in a Surgical or Procedural Discipline.

William G. Stevenson, MD, professor of Medicine.

In the late 1980s, Stevenson established a program for catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias at UCLA. He defined techniques using programmed electrical stimulation to localize the source of arrhythmias within the heart, thereby facilitating catheter ablation. Refinement of these techniques and their application with advanced technologies have remained a cornerstone of arrhythmia evaluation and therapy for more than 30 years. At Vanderbilt since 2017, Stevenson’s clinical program focuses on management of difficult-to-treat cardiac arrhythmias and receives referrals from throughout North America.

ARTHUR P. “ART” WHEELER, MD, AWARD for Clinical Excellence in the Delivery of Critical Care.

Todd W. Rice, MD, MSc, associate professor of Medicine, medical director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit and director of respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, medical director of the Vanderbilt Human Research Protections Program, and vice president for Clinical Trial Innovation and Operations, Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

As a physician scientist, Rice has advanced the care of critically ill patients worldwide through clinical trials in many disease states, including acute lung injury. During the pandemic, he directed clinical operations at VUMC for care of COVID-19 patients.


RICHARD M. CAPRIOLI, PHD, AWARD for Development, Implementation, and/or Creation of Technology that Elevates the Research and Science of Multiple Investigators.

Jeffrey M. Spraggins, PhD, assistant professor of Cell & Developmental Biology, Biochemistry, and Chemistry, and director of the Vanderbilt Biomolecular Multimodal Imaging Center (BIOMIC).

 A leader in molecular imaging and integrated multi-omics, Spraggins focuses on development of next-generation imaging mass spectrometry technologies to elucidate the molecular basis of health and disease. Those efforts include creation of new, integrated modalities capable of providing a systems biology view of tissue at cellular resolution. BIOMIC, an NIH-funded tissue mapping center, is constructing molecular atlases of normal aging and diseased human tissues.

SIDNEY P. COLOWICK, PHD, AWARD for Research that Serves as a Platform for Discovery in Diverse Areas.

Jeffrey C. Rathmell, PhD, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Immunobiology, professor of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, and director of the Vanderbilt Center of Immunobiology.

Rathmell, who joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2015, has been a pioneer in the fields of immunometabolism and cancer metabolism. As a postdoctoral fellow, he showed that T-cell metabolism plays a critical role in the regulation of the immune system. These metabolic changes and differential regulatory patterns point to mechanisms of disease and offer new therapeutic targets in cancer and a variety of immune-related diseases.

WILLIAM J. DARBY, MD, PHD, SCD, AWARD for Translational Research that has Changed the Practice of Medicine Worldwide.

Lori Jordan, MD, PhD, associate professor of Pediatrics, Neurology, and Radiology & Radiological Sciences, and director of the Pediatric Stroke Program.

Jordan is one of the world’s leaders in the diagnosis and management of pediatric strokes, and her research has changed the way these often-devastating events are managed. She and expert collaborators have applied novel magnetic resonance imaging methods to assess the high risk of stroke in children and adults with sickle cell disease (SCD), and she has co-led the first SCD stroke prevention trials in sub-Saharan Africa.

ERNEST W. GOODPASTURE, MD, AWARD for Groundbreaking Research that Addresses the Pathogenesis of Disease at the Cellular and/or Molecular Level.

Scott W. Hiebert, PhD,Hortense B. Ingram Chair in Cancer Research, professor of Biochemistry, associate professor of Medicine, and associate director for Shared Resources and Research Education, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

The Hiebert lab uses a chemical-genetic approach to address fundamental questions in biology and define mechanisms of cancer development. This “fast biology” approach has allowed the lab to uncover the direct targets of cancer-associated fusion proteins, which regulate gene expression through their control of transcription to trigger cancer development.

LEE E. LIMBIRD, PHD, AWARD for Innovation in Research Infrastructure that Facilitates Multiple Investigators.

Recipients are co-leaders of the Vanderbilt Undiagnosed Diseases Program, which investigates and helps solve medical mysteries for patients with complicated conditions and rare diseases. They are:

Rizwan Hamid, MD, PhD, Dorothy Overall Wells Professor of Pediatrics, professor of Pediatrics, and director, Division of Medical Genetics and Genomic Medicine;

John A. Phillips, III, MD, David T. Karzon Professor of Pediatrics, professor of Pediatrics, and co-principal investigator, Vanderbilt Center of Undiagnosed Diseases;

Joy D. Cogan, PhD, professor of Pediatrics; and

John Hughes Newman, MD, professor emeritus of Medicine.

JOHN A. OATES, MD, AWARD for Two or More Faculty Working Collaboratively or in a Multidisciplinary Manner to Address Important Biological Processes and/or Diseases.

Recipients have made fundamental discoveries about the development, vascularization, innervation, function, and dysfunction of pancreatic islets. They are:

Alvin C. Powers, MD, Joe C. Davis Professor of Biomedical Science, professor of Medicine and of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, director of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center (VDRTC), and chief of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism; and

Marcela Brissova, PhD, professor of Medicine, and director of the VDRTC Islet and Pancreas Analysis Core.