September 28, 2017

Meet the New PSTP Associate College Advisors

​Get to know a little bit more about the new PSTP Associate College Advisors!

Avery-Cohen

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Julie M. Chase, M.D., Ph.D.

What residency/fellowship program and year are you in?
I am a PGY-3 in the Categorical Pediatrics Residency program and am currently in the process of applying for fellowship in Pediatric Rheumatology.

How did you first become interested in research?
Fun fact: Organisms as primitive as the sea fan can distinguish their own cells from that of an unrelated individual of the same species (and reject them!). This is the kind of observation that got me interested in studying the ways that a multicellular organism “knows” which cells belong and which are foreign, ideas which have clinical applications in the fields of tolerance and autoimmunity.

What are your ultimate career goals?
After completion of fellowship, I will focus my career as a physician-scientist on conducting research in the field of immunology, particularly as it is relevant to pediatric rheumatologic disease. I would also like to continue to be involved in mentoring young physician-scientists, especially those with an interest in pediatric subspecialties.

What unique perspective do you bring to physician-scientist training?
I completed a PhD in Immunology (Washington University in St. Louis) prior to entering medical school (University of Missouri-Columbia). My unique career trajectory of training in basic science followed by training as a clinician provides me with an unusually valuable perspective, with the ability to appreciate the unique challenges and opportunities inherent in each discipline. I hope to ultimately translate this experience into the pursuit of clinically relevant research as well as into an evidence-based practice of medicine.

What advice do you have for current MSTPs?
The journey is long, so try to enjoy at least part of the process while pursuing your goal. And know that the destination is worth the effort!

What is one "fun fact" about yourself?
I couldn’t have just one career, so I can’t have just one fact. Here are two: 1) I am a previously licensed skydiver with 280+ skydives. 2) I currently Cross Fit and may be able to deadlift you (if you weigh less than 225lbs).

 

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Jordan Wright, M.D., Ph.D.

What residency/fellowship program and year are you in?
I just finished my Internal Medicine residency at Vanderbilt. Now, I am a first year fellow in Endocrinology.

How did you first become interested in research?
I first became interested in research when I first worked in a lab during sophomore year of college studying cardiovascular complications of diabetes. It was so exciting to be part of the generation of entirely new information and ideas.

Where did you go to medical school, and what brought you to Vanderbilt?
I went to medical school at University of Michigan. I came to Vanderbilt for the depth and breadth of the diabetes research being performed here.

What are your ultimate career goals?
I plan to follow the classic physician-scientist model of spending the majority of my time on research, running my own diabetes research lab, while practicing clinical endocrinology part-time.

What unique perspective do you bring to physician-scientist training?
As a type 1 diabetic physician-scientist, I have experienced chronic disease as a patient, a clinician, and a researcher. Whether or not this is a helpful perspective or a frustrating distraction in the long term is yet to be seen, but I feel that it helped me see the big picture during my graduate training.

What advice do you have for current MSTP students?
Try to see the big picture in all of your projects. Why are you doing this? How will it help you, others, or science in general? If the answer to that question isn’t satisfactory, it may be time to reconsider your approach.

What is one "fun fact" about yourself?
I have two beautiful, rambunctious children, Jayda (age 6) and Houston (age 3).

 

Goodpasture

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Brian Grieb, M.D., Ph.D.

What residency/fellowship program and year are you in?
I am a PGY2 resident in Internal Medicine and will be fast tracking into the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program in July 2018.

How did you first become interested in research?
I always knew I wanted to be a physician, but I was not exposed to research until my senior year of high school. I assisted a gastroenterologist at the University of Louisville with a study focusing on tube feeds and aspiration risk in critically ill ICU patients. Through my small role, I witnessed research directly impacting patient care and realized research could be a mechanism to extend my efforts beyond my personal patients.

Where did you go to medical school, and what brought you to Vanderbilt?
I attended VUSM and was in the inaugural class of Goodpasture. During the interview process, it was clear that Vanderbilt had a collaborative culture and the people were genuinely interested in both my personal and professional development.

What are your ultimate career goals?
Philosophically, I want to positively impact patient care through my own clinical enterprise, but also beyond that through research and teaching. Practically, my aspirational dream is to run a translationally minded basic science laboratory, maintain a clinical practice, and educate young physicians and scientists.

What advice do you have for current MSTP students?
Do not be afraid of a challenge. Throughout your time in the MSTP, you will face personal, scientific, professional, and institutional challenges. The MSTP is designed to provide you with the tools to face these challenges head on and overcome them. At the end of the program, you will be empowered to face and overcome future challenges, changing the world in a positive way.

What is one "fun fact" about yourself?
I once went skydiving and bungee jumping in the same day.