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Lawrence J. Marnett

Lawrence J. Marnett, dean of basic sciences and associate vice chancellor for research, came to Vanderbilt in 1989. He is the Director of the A. B. Hancock Jr. Memorial Laboratory for Cancer Research, the Mary Geddes Stahlman Professor of Cancer Research, University Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, and Professor of Pharmacology. Marnett received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Duke University in 1973 and did postdoctoral work at the Karolinska Institute and Wayne State University. He began his academic career at Wayne State University, where he rose through the ranks to professor of chemistry.

Marnett’s research program focuses on the role of the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 in cancer and inflammation, as well as on the contribution of normal metabolism to the generation of DNA damage and mutation. His group has used structure-based based approaches in conjunction with medicinal chemistry to design selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors as potential anti-inflammatory, cancer preventive, and anti-angiogenic agents.

Included in the awards Marnett has received are the Wayne State University President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, the Sigma Xi Research Award, the Michigan Association of Governing Boards Distinguished Faculty Award, the Wayne State University Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award, an Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute, the Harvey Branscomb Distinguished Professorship, the Stanley Cohen Prize at Vanderbilt University, and the first Founders Award of the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Toxicology. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Marnett is the author of over 450 research publications and 10 patents. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the American Chemical Society journal Chemical Research in Toxicology. Marnett served as associate director of basic research of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center from 1993–2002, became director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology in 2002, and was named associate vice chancellor for research and senior associate dean for biomedical sciences for the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2014.

Kathleen Gould

Gould_Kathleen_web2.jpgKathleen Gould is the senior associate dean for biomedical research education and training, the Louise B. McGavock Chair, and professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. Gould received her A.B. degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in biology from the University of California San Diego.

From 1988–90, she was a fellow of the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research at the University of Oxford with Sir Paul Nurse, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2001. After joining the Vanderbilt faculty, Gould received the Boehringer-Ingelheim New Investigator Award, the Searle Scholar Award, and was an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1994–2013. Elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011, Gould is also a member of several national professional societies and journal editorial boards, and serves regularly as reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the Ford Foundation.

At Vanderbilt, Gould has served in multiple leadership roles, including interim and vice chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, director of the Vanderbilt International Scholar Program, and chair of the institutional biomedical/biological sciences internal review committee for limited submission opportunity applications.

Gould is currently the director of Graduate Student Support and associate dean for biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine and leads Ph.D. trainee career development grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Gould’s laboratory studies the mechanism and regulation of cell division, blending genetic, biochemical, genomic, structural, proteomic, and live-cell imaging approaches to identify and characterize the constituents of the cytokinetic machinery and to discover how post-translational modifications of this machinery ensure the exquisite spatial and temporal control of cell division.

Alyssa Hasty

Hasty_Alyssa.jpgAlyssa Hasty, associate dean for faculty, has been a member of the faculty in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics since 2003, and has been an investigator of the Tennessee Valley Veteran’s Administration Research Institute since 2014. She is an active member of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center and the Digestive Diseases Research Center.

Hasty’s research interests are in diabetes and obesity, most recently focusing on the role of macrophages in promoting inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity. Hasty has been very active in mentoring students as director of graduate studies in MPB, and mentoring faculty as director of career development of the DDRC and as chair of the Women on Track steering committee. She is also Faculty Head of House of Murray House. Hasty completed the Hedwingam van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program at Drexel University.

Charles Sanders

Sanders_Chuck.jpgCharles “Chuck” Sanders, associate dean for research, has been on the faculty of the biochemistry department since 2002 and is an active member of the Center for Structural Biology.

Sanders’s research interests focus on the role of membrane proteins, especially those with flexible or unfolded structures, in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular and neurologic disorders. Sanders has won many awards for his research, including the Hans Neurath Award of the Protein Society and the Stanley Cohen Award of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Sanders has been a very active participant on research committees at Vanderbilt (e.g., as co-chair of the TIPs review panel) and has served on multiple NIH study sections. He was associate editor of the journal Biochemistry from 2004 to 2015 and was interim editor-in-chief from 2015 to 2016.

Claudia Paz

Claudia Paz is the chief business officer and associate dean for finance and administration. In this role, she serves as the primary business advisor to the dean of Basic Sciences.

Paz joined Vanderbilt University in 2019. She has an engineering degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and received a master of science in finance from Florida International University.



Felysha Jenkins

Felysha Jenkins, diversity, equity, and inclusion program manager, joined Vanderbilt in 2021. Jenkins received an M.A. in experimental psychology from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. in psychology from North Carolina State University. She is a trained facilitator with the National Coalition Building Institute, an international leadership organization that provides comprehensive, DEI-focused leadership training. Jenkins is also a graduate of the Equal Opportunity Institute at North Carolina State University, a certificate program that offers enhanced training focused on improving equity and diversity in workplaces and schools.

In her role, Jenkins represents Basic Sciences in interactions with university offices and committees related to DEI and facilitates communication across Basic Sciences. She works with faculty, staff, and students to provide opportunities for training and address their DEI concerns.

As a community psychologist, she is an advocate for social justice and for working with those who wish to create academic and social environments that work for all. Her primary goal is to continue using evidence-based approaches to guide our community as we strive for inclusive excellence.

Amy Major

Amy Major, faculty director for Immersion Vanderbilt for the School of Medicine, joined Vanderbilt’s faculty in 2002. The broad research focus of the Major laboratory is to understand immunological mechanisms of cardiovascular disease, specifically atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the number-one cause of mortality in developed countries, and it is known that both lipids and immunity play significant roles. Work performed in her laboratory has significantly impacted our understanding of how the immune system modulates atherosclerosis, as well as how dyslipidemia and the atherosclerotic environment influence normal immune function.


The committee’s purpose is to offer input into new and ongoing research and educational operations and initiatives for faculty across the School of Medicine.

Committee members:

• Mark Denison, M.D., Craig Weaver Professor of Pediatrics

• James Goldenring, M.D., Ph.D., Paul W. Sanger Professor of Experimental Surgery and professor of surgery and cell and developmental biology

• Anne Kenworthy, Ph.D., professor of molecular physiology and biophysics

• Edward Levine, Ph.D., William A. Black Professor of Ophthalmology and professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences

• Craig Lindsley, Ph.D., William K. Warren Jr. Professor of Medicine and University Professor of Pharmacology

• Lawrence Marnett, Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine Basic Sciences, Mary Geddes Stahlman Chair in Cancer Research, and University Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry (ex officio)

• Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Benjamin F. Byrd Jr. Chair in Oncology, and professor of biochemistry (ex officio)

• Charles Sanders II, Ph.D., associate dean for research, Aileen M. Lange and Annie Mary Lyle Professor of Cardiovascular Research and professor of biochemistry

• Edward Sherwood, M.D., Ph.D., Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Anesthesiology

• Eric Skaar, Ph.D., Ernest W. Goodpasture Professor of Pathology and professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology

• Seth Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of radiology and radiological sciences

• Alissa Weaver, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cancer biology

• Christopher Wright, D. Phil., Louise B. McGavock Professor and professor of cell and developmental biology

• Roy Zent, MBBCh, Ph.D., Thomas F. Frist Sr. Professor of Medicine

Biochemistry: David Cortez
Chair of the Department of Biochemistry
Richard Armstrong Ph.D. Chair for Innovation in Biochemistry
Ingram Professor of Cancer Research
Professor of biochemistry

Cell and Developmental Biology: Ian Macara
Chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
​Louise B. McGavock Chair
Professor of cell and developmental biology
Co-Leader, Signal Transduction and Chemical Biology/VICC

Molecular Physiology and Biophysics: Nancy Carrasco
Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
​Joe C. Davis Chair in Biomedical Science
Professor of molecular physiology and biophysics

Pharmacology: Ege Kavalali 
Chair of the Department of Pharmacology
William Stokes Chair in Experimental Therapeutics
Professor of pharmacology
Professor of biological sciences



Brain Institute: Lisa Monteggia
Barlow Family Director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute
Professor of Pharmacology
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Psychology

Center for Addiction Research: Danny Winder
Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research
Bixler-Johnson-Mayes Chair in Basic Sciences
Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Pharmacology

Center for Stem Cell Biology: Mark Magnuson
Director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology
Louise B. McGavock Chair
Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Professor of Medicine

Center for Structural Biology: Borden Lacy
Director of the Center for Structural Biology
Edward and Nancy Fody Chair in Pathology 
Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
Professor of Biochemistry

Center for Extracellular Vesicle Research: Alissa Weaver 
Director of the Vanderbilt Program for Extracellular Vesicle Research
Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair 
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology

Mass Spectrometry Research Center: Richard Caprioli
Director of the Mass Spectrometry Research Center
Stanford Moore Chair in Biochemistry
Professor of Biochemistry
Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Medicine
Professor of Pharmacology

Program in the Molecular Basis of Genetic Diseases: Hassane Mchaourab
Director of the Program in the Molecular Basis of Genetic Diseases
Louise B. McGavock Chair
Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Professor of Chemistry

Quantitative Systems Biology Center: Vito Quaranta
Director of the Center for Cancer Systems Biology at Vanderbilt[LIL1] 
Co-director of the Center for Matrix Biology
Professor of Biochemistry
Professor of Pharmacology

Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology: Gary Sulikowski
Director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology
Stevenson Chair of Chemistry
Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Pharmacology

Warren Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery: Craig Lindsley
Director of the Warren Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery at Vanderbilt University
William K. Warren, Jr. Chair in Medicine 
University Professor of Pharmacology
University Professor of Biochemistry
University Professor of Chemistry

Selene Colon
Assistant Dean for Research Logistics and Compliance

Aaron Conley
Director of external communications and partnerships

Ted Gilbert
Assistant dean of biomedical research education and training

Mary Heath
Senior assistant dean of administrative Pod 2

Tiffany Lawrence Givens
Director of human resources for Basic Sciences

Anthony Tharp
Assistant dean of facilities, infrastructure and risk management

Kimberly Turner
Assistant dean of administrative Pod 3