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Class Notes

Posted by on Thursday, October 14, 2021 in Alumni News, Fall 2021, Vanderbilt Community .


Paul J. Huchton Jr., MD’58, HS’59, started a free clinic in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, five years ago. The clinic sees about 20 patients per day and is funded by two annual gala affairs. Huchton is also teaching a class on China at the University of Texas, El Paso, and is a Stephen Ministry member at his Anglican church in El Paso, St. Clement.



Members of the VUSM Class of 1963, Howard Rosen, MD’63, HS’64,’65, Bill Downey, BA’60, MD’63, HS’65,’68, Jim Perry, BA’60, MD’63, Murray Smith, BA’60, MD’63, HS’65,’70, FE’69, Henry Butler, BA’60, MD’63, Newt Lovvorn, BA’60, MD’63, HS’67, and Ronald Overfield, MD’63, HS’67, along with VU friend Warren Patterson, BA’60, HS’72, reunited in Nashville after receiving their COVID-19 vaccines. The “Lunch Bunch” has been gathering every six weeks for years, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, they were not able to safely gather until recently.

Robert M. Carey, MD’65, FE’72, was selected as a Distinguished Scientist of the American Heart Association in November 2020. Carey currently serves as a professor and dean at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.




W. Ben Kibler, BA’68, MD’72, FE’74, HS’77, was inducted into the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) Hall of Fame on July 9. By combining his knowledge of anatomy with biomechanical principles, Kibler was able to better understand athletic activities and injuries, which created a shift in the way doctors approach the evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of sports medicine injuries. Prior to his retirement, Kibler practiced at the Lexington Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky, for 43 years.

Bryan P. Simmons, MD’76, has released his book The Road Taken, The Remarkable Story of a Transcontinental Bicycle Odyssey, about the cross-country bike journey that he took with four of his friends during his senior year at Duke University, when they biked from North Carolina to Oregon in 1972. This book tells the story of their trip, but also of the people and places they encountered along the way.

Samuel A. Brody, MD’77, HS’80, wrote a letter to the editor, “Gratitude for Doctors Risking Their Lives Treating Covid Patients,” which was published in The New York Times in June.




James R. Stewart, MD, FE’84, HS’87, FAC’87-96, chief of Thoracic Surgery at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and the Kansas City VA Medical Center, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Doctors for dedication, achievements and leadership in thoracic surgery.

Alan F. List, MD, FE’86, has been appointed as the chief medical officer and a member of the senior leadership team at Precision BioSciences. List is a renowned hematologist who has led clinical development programs for multiple FDA-approved drugs to treat hematologic malignancies and is the author of more than 425 peer-reviewed articles and books.




Stephen H. Bailey, MD’97, was recently appointed system chair of the Cardiovascular Institute at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) in the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. In this role, Bailey will direct all cardiovascular- and thoracic-related surgical services across AHN.

Deborah Bilder, MD’98, who is an associate professor at the University of Utah in Educational Psychology, General Pediatrics, and Child Psychiatry, has been appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of Taysha Gene Therapies, Inc.

Laura Lowe Furge, PhD’98, FE’99, has been named chief academic officer of Muhlenberg College and began her role June 1. Furge has previously been interim provost and associate provost at Kalamazoo College in Michigan where she taught classes in biochemistry, organic chemistry and first-year writing, in addition to her many administrative duties.

Denny Lyu, MD’99, moved from Colorado to Michigan four years ago and is now the medical director of lung transplant at the University of Michigan and clinical associate professor of Medicine.




Asit Parikh, PhD’98, MD’00, has been appointed president and chief executive officer of MOMA Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company, effective April 5. Parikh previously served as senior vice president and head of Takeda’s gastroenterology unit since 2012.

Julia S. Sammons, BA’01, MD’06, is assistant vice president of the Office of Preparedness, Prevention and Response at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In this new role, Sammons has executive oversight over Infection Prevention and Control, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Health and Safety and Occupational Health, Regulatory, as well as a new Center of Public Health Readiness and Response. Sammons is also the co-author of a paper titled, “Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Healthcare-Associated Viral Infections in Children,” which was featured in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, in July.

Nicole McCoin, BS’99, MD’03, HS’06, Med Fac, after 20 years at Vanderbilt as a “4 Dore” (undergraduate, medical school, residency and faculty at Vanderbilt), has taken on the role of chair of Emergency Medicine at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. McCoin and her husband, Patrick, have three children: Catherine, 14, James, 8, and Richard, 5.

Dorsha James, MD, HS’08, has been elected a board member of the East Tennessee State University National Alumni Association. James is an emergency medicine physician in Nashville.

Vivek Agarwal, MD’09, practices allergy & immunology in Silverdale, Washington.




Daniel E. Spratt, MD’10, was named the Vincent K. Smith Chair in Radiation Oncology at University Hospitals/Case Western Reserve University (UH/CWRU), effective May 1. Spratt was the associate chair for Clinical Research in Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His wife, Ellie Gordon Spratt, MD’10, has accepted a position at UH/CWRU as assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology. They live in Cleveland, Ohio.

Robert J. Wilson III, MD’11, is head of Orthopaedic Oncology at Baptist MD Anderson Jacksonville, Florida. His wife, Jessica R. Wilson, BS’07, MD’11, MSCI’16, is a senior associate consultant in Endocrinology at Mayo Clinic Florida. The Wilsons have three sons, Robert, 5, Jack, 2.5, and George, born March 19.

Charles Phillips, MD’11, HS’15, and his wife Lara Phillips, MD’11, HS’14, have settled into the suburbs of Philadelphia with their two children and dog. Charles is on faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and is a member of the Division of Oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where he serves as the associate director of the Childhood Cancer Health Informatics Program. Lara is working in the Emergency Department at Thomas Jefferson University and has been running the Breckenridge Wilderness and Environmental Medicine Elective (in Colorado/Utah) and working with the Regional Congregate Care Assistance Teams for COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities. She was recently selected as one of the Top 40 Physicians Under 40 through the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

Sabrina Poon, MD’12, and her husband, David Marcovitz, MD’12, welcomed their second child, Cole Henry Marcovitz, on Jan. 16, 2020, at 4:20 a.m., and weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces. Poon and Marcovitz have a 4 1/2-year-old daughter, Maya, who is very excited to be a big sister. Poon has also started a new position at VUMC in Population Health, and Marcovitz is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry.

Katie Jackson, MD’12, has joined the Utica Park Clinic in Claremore, Oklahoma, as a pediatrician. She previously worked at St. Francis Health System.

Ryan Fritz, MD’13, MBA’13, HS’16, and his wife Cristin Fritz, MD’15, MPH’15, HS’18, welcomed their first child, a son, Quinn Carter Fritz, on July 9.

Natalie Lockney, MD’13, and her husband, Tim Lockney, MD’13, moved back to Nashville this summer with their daughter, Evelyn, 3, and son, Parker, 1, after Tim completed his complex and minimally invasive spine fellowship at University of California-San Francisco. Natalie is a radiation oncologist and residency program director at Vanderbilt, and Tim is a neurosurgeon with Nashville Neurosurgical Associates.

John Erickson, PhD’13, MD’15, is graduating from a neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and will be starting as an assistant professor in the Division of Neonatology in July.

Laura Ballenger, BA’10, MD’14, and David Pratt, MD, married on Sept. 5, in Columbus, Ohio.

Irène Mathieu, MD’15, and her husband, Justin Reid, celebrated the birth of their first child in June.

Elizabeth Nguyen, PhD’13, MD’15, will be completing her pediatric nephrology fellowship training at Seattle Children’s Hospital/University of Washington this year and is staying at Seattle Children’s Hospital as a physician-scientist and assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology starting this fall.

Niraj R. Nathan, MD’12, HS’13, has been appointed chief of service for Ophthalmology at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Nathan is also an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Michael Pelster, BA’09, MD’13, and Meredith Sellers Pelster, BA’09, MD’13, returned to Nashville this summer after Meredith finished her hematology oncology fellowship at MD Anderson in June. Meredith will be working as a clinical investigator focusing on GI and head & neck malignancies at Sarah Cannon Research Institute/Tennessee Oncology, and Michael will be working as a Mohs surgeon and general and cosmetic dermatologist at Nashville Skin (21st Avenue & Clarksville offices). They also welcomed their first child, Millie Grace Pelster, in August 2020.

Colby C. Uptegraft, MD’13, completed a fellowship in clinical informatics at Boston Children’s Hospital and a Master of Biomedical Informatics from Harvard Medical School in June 2020. He is the solution owner for discrete data capture and clinical documentation for the Department of Defense; flight surgeon at Joint Base Anacostia Bolling; and adjunct assistant professor for the Uniformed Services University.

Lauren M. Connor, MD’14, recently completed her residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She will be returning to Nashville with her husband, Jon Connor, and sons Britton and Declan, to join the faculty in the Department of Plastic Surgery at Vanderbilt.

Courtney M. Campbell, PhD’13, MD’15, and Richard Samade, MD’15, embarked on their final stages of training in July. Campbell graduated from cardiovascular medicine fellowship within the physician-scientist track at The Ohio State University. She is completing a fellowship in cardio-oncology and amyloidosis at Washington University in St. Louis. Samade graduated from an orthopaedic surgery-research track residency at The Ohio State University. He is completing a fellowship in hand and upper extremity surgery at The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. They look forward to starting their independent practices in Texas in 2022. They have two daughters, Sheridan, 4 and Rosalyn, 2.

Rachna Patel, BA’10, MD’15, is currently in the third year of her pulmonary critical care fellowship at Cooper University Hospital in New Jersey. She is engaged to Hiren Sheth.

Sarah Coggins, BA’11, MD’15, just graduated from her neonatology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Coggins will be pursuing a Master of Science in clinical epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania and will also work as a neonatologist at CHOP.

Steve Gadomski, MD’15, finished his general surgery residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and will be proudly returning to Vanderbilt this coming summer for his surgical critical care and trauma fellowship with his wife, Danielle.

Kristin Stevens, MD’15, graduated from her residency program at the University of Minnesota in June 2020, and started working as a comprehensive otolaryngologist – head and neck surgeon in Nashville with Heritage Medical Associates in September 2020. Stevens got engaged to Jason Diehl on June 23, with plans to marry in fall 2022.

Mary Ellen Koran, PhD’14, MD’16, will be returning to Nashville with her husband, Cody Goodwin, PhD’13, to join the Radiology Department in VUMC as a faculty member in November. Koran is a chief resident in the Radiology Department at Stanford University Medical Center.

Kevin K. Kumar, PhD’14, MD’16, was awarded the 2021 Philip L. Gildenberg Resident Award by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). Kumar is a PGY-6 neurosurgery resident at Stanford University.

Eric Rafla-Yaun, MD’16, been awarded the Jeanne Spurlock Congressional Fellowship from the American Psychiatric Association and will be moving to Washington, D.C., to serve as a health policy liaison for the U.S. Senate. Rafla-Yaun has also released a new publication, “Decoupling Crisis Response from Policing — A Step Toward Equitable Psychiatric Emergency Services,” which was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Maria Sturchler, MD’17, completed her hospice & palliative medicine fellowship at UCSD and has accepted a full-time job position at Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego, in the Palliative Medicine Department. She and her husband, Emmanuel, have a daughter, Joséphine, who recently celebrated her first birthday.

Michelle Izmaylov, MD’17, HS’20, is an assistant professor of Clinical Medicine at VUMC, and due to the pandemic, was inspired to write narrative medicine essays over the past several months. Her essays have been featured in the online publication of the Official Journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

Henry Quach, MD’19, HS’21, has released his children’s book, Morningly, with his colleague Danson Nguyen, about a young boy named Alexi Conn, who is trying to bring change to his town and the world. The book was inspired by Quach’s real-life challenges in communicating medication schedules to his patients. In the book, Alexi notices people’s confusion when using the word “daily” to describe an action done every day, so Alexi suggests using the word “morningly” instead. Quach is an internal medicine resident at VUMC.

Katie Geck, MD’19, has accepted the position of chief resident for the internal medicine program at Virginia Mason Medical Center for the 2022-2023 year.

Vishesh Jain, MD’19, had one of his poems, “A Wandering Smile,” featured in the inaugural newsletter of AAMC’s FRAHME initiative, The Fundamental Role of the Arts and Humanities in Medical Education.

Joseph Wong, MD’19, has completed his internal medicine residency this year, and he will be staying on to serve as one of four chief residents for the Olive View UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program for the 2022-2023 academic year.




Garrett Parker, MD, HS ‘21, has finished his Diagnostic Radiology residency and is stationed at Keesler Air Force Base, MS as he serves in the U.S. Air Force.