Ian G. Macara, Ph.D.
Louise B. McGavock Professor and Chairman, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology   
(615) 875-5565
Dr. Macara received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Sheffield,UK. He did post-doctoral fellowships at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA and in the laboratory of Dr. Lew Cantley at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Dr. Macara joined the faculty at the University of Rochester in the Department of Biophysics then joined the faculty at the University of Vermont in the Department of Pathology and became a member of the Vermont Cancer Center. Dr. Macara then joined the faculty at the University of Virginia, earning the Harrison Distinguished Professorship in the Department of Microbiology. He came to Vanderbilt in 2012 as the Louise B McGavock Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology.

Dr. Macara is the recipient of a Mellon Foundation Fellowship, held a Craig Scholarship and was awarded the Distinguished Scientist Award from the University of Virginia. In the past decade he has co-chaired five international conferences and is frequently invited as a Keynote Speaker, Distinguished Lecturer or Plenary Lecturer for significant international meetings. Dr. Macara is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology and the American Society of Biological Chemists, serves on the Council of American Society for Cell Biology and is on the Senior Editor Board for the Journal of Cell Biology. In 2001 Dr. Macara was awarded a patent for Signal-generating oligonucleotide-based biosensors. Dr. Macara has remained fully funded through numerous RO1, NIH, DoD and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation grants and runs an internationally respected research program that has made fundamental discoveries on the mechanisms of cell polarity in morphogenesis and on the role of polarity genes metastasis. Dr. Macara is highly regarded as an educator as well as a research scholar. Over 27 graduate students have completed thesis work in his laboratory and he has mentored over 30 fellows. Dr. Macara’s innovative processes and investigation has made technologic advances and extended methodology in the fight against breast cancer.

Susan E. Walker
Assistant to Dr. Macara
(615) 875-5565
Susan provides support for the Chair of the Department, Ian Macara, maintaining his calendar, travel and meetings as well as scheduling institutional service. She supports faculty, which includes maintaining primary and secondary faculty appointments and committee meetings. Susan also manages the Fall Seminar Speaker Series, the CDB Distinguished Flexner Discovery Lecturer and coordinates travel for visiting speakers.


Steve Hann, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
(615) 343-4344

Dr. Hann received his A.B. in Biochemistry from the  University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. from  University of California, Riverside, studying under Alexander Karu. Dr. Hann is the director of the Integrated Biological Systems Training in Oncology Training Grant at Vanderbilt supporting graduate students and postdoctoral trainees. The principal research interest in Dr. Hann's lab focuses on the regulation and function of the oncogene and transcriptional regulator, c-myc. Oncogenic c-Myc is thought to be a driving force in up to 70% of human cancers. Dr. Hann is a very invested faculty member having served the department over many years on numerous committees. 

Mary K. Heath, MBA, CFA, CRA
Assistant Dean of Research and Core Operations
​Chief Business Officer, POD 2
(615) 343-4905
Mary is Responsible for providing the department chair with insightful counsel to manage financial resources, personnel resources, and space allocations of the department. As Administrator she interprets essential administrative and compliance requirements for department faculty, students, and staff. She provides financial planning for department faculty and compiles the annual Cell & Developmental Biology budget. Mary provides leadership for a knowledgeable, experienced and effective administrative team in order to conduct the daily operations of our the department’s business.

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Celeste Goldman
Finance, POD 2
(615) 343-7328
Celeste works with the Department of Finance to prepare and complete financial summary reports and prepares budget reports on a monthly basis for distribution. She reviews transactions for individual funding agency restrictions, administrative cost restrictions, and screens vendors to verify legitimate business use, documentation, and compliance with institutional and funding agency requirements.

Carol Johnson
Finance, POD 2
(615) 343-7188
Carol coordinates procurement processes for principal investigators and lab managers at the transaction level, and coordinates the department office environment. She is the System Administrator for Procurement Card Program and e-Procurement Purchase Order, and privilege management systems.

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Kristi Hargrove
Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
(615) 322-2294

Kristi provides support to the CDB Graduate Program by assisting the Director of Graduate Studies in execution of responsibilities, the graduate students with administrative details, the graduate faculty with preparation for coursework and teaching, and liaise with the Graduate School, Registrar’s office, and the BRET office to maintain accurate student information.









Josh Luffman, B.S.
Equipment & Resource Manager, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt Brain Institute
(615) 875-8372
Josh manages the daily activities of the CDB and VBI Equipment Resource cores and maintains the common departmental equipment. He provides user training, directs users to the appropriate instrument for their research need, and provides information about new applications, procedures and services. All questions, comments and concerns with regard to the common equipment should be directed to Josh.

Anthony Tharp, Ph.D.
Director of Operations for VU Cores, Office of the Dean of Basic Sciences VU SOM, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt Brain Institute
U4206 MRB III Biosciences Building
456 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37240-7935
PMB 407935
(615) 322-8326

Karla Woodard
Grants Manager, POD 2
(615) 322-8239
​Karla works on the pre-award team, providing support to faculty, postdocs, and students with grant applications, contracts, just-in-time requests, other support files, and all other Pre-Award Grant needs.  Karla is a long-time Vanderbilt employee who transferred to our team from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.

Marc Wozniak
Computer Systems Analyst III, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
(615) 343-3605
Marc is responsible for supporting all aspects of the department’s computing & technology environment, supporting research, administration and education.

Cindy Young
HR Lead, POD 2
(615) 343-8342
Cindy personalizes and provides positive experiences for all new recruits by scheduling orientation, preparing documentation for the payroll system, and establishing email accounts. She manages all aspects of the payroll process. Cindy coordinates with Human Resources including Benefits, Payroll, Recruitment and Staffing, and Classification and Compensation concerning the department’s positions and personnel. Cindy also keeps academic appointments of non-tenure-track faculty and research fellows up-to-date.