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blankStacy Blank, M.D.

Medical School:  Indiana University School of Medicine
College: Indiana University
Hometown:  Hebron, Indiana

Stacy Blank was born in Dover, Delaware, but quickly moved back to her parents’ hometown of Hebron, Indiana by the age of one to ensure Chicago sports fandom. She played a variety of sports in high school, but was a science nerd at heart so she packed her running shoes and softball cleats away when she headed for Indiana University where she studied Chemistry and Spanish. Continuing as a Hoosier, Stacy attended IU medical school in Indianapolis where she developed her interest in academic medicine and a future career in Med-Peds. Outside of medicine, Stacy enjoys reading, running, hiking, watching IU basketball, and trying new restaurants. She is very excited to explore Nashville and be part of the Vanderbilt community.


KnittleEmily Camp, M.D.

Medical School:  University of Louisville School of Medicine
College: New York University
Hometown:  Louisville, Kentucky

Emily was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and moved to Louisville, Kentucky when she was 10 years old.  She moved north to New York University for college where she studied French and Sociology and spent a year studying and eating croissants in Paris. During her time at NYU, she developed interests in community health and social determinants of health. After graduation, she went west to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she worked at as a case manager at an HIV clinic and found her love for both medicine and hatch green chili. Emily then moved back to Louisville where she attended medical school and became passionate about primary care and healthcare for the underserved. In her free time, Emily loves to run, bike, and spend time with her husband and their rescue mutt. She is thrilled to train in Med-Peds at Vanderbilt and can’t wait to get back to her Tennessee roots. 


ChambersMichael Chambers M.D.

Medical School:  University of Central Florida College of Medicine
College:  University of Central Florida
Hometown:  Cocoa Beach, Florida

Michael was born in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and grew up watching space shuttle launches and oddly avoiding the beach. For college, he attended the University of Central Florida, majoring in molecular and microbiology with a minor in piano. Throughout his time there, he developed a passion for teaching while instructing undergraduate labs in immunology, microbiology, and anatomy, and temporarily lost his passion for music while playing piano for weddings.  He remained at UCF for medical school, where he enjoyed tutoring, leading UCF’s own a cappella group “Residual Volume,” and volunteering to bring healthcare to underserved areas. He enjoys hiking, craft beer, strong coffee, and cooking various permutations of food served on tortillas.


Catherine Mannon, M.D.

Medical School:  University of Kentucky College of Medicine
College:  Centre College
Hometown:  Lexington, Kentucky

Catherine was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, and like most Lexingtonians, she bleeds blue for UK. She stayed close to home for college, attending Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. While at Centre, she majored in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Catherine returned to Lexington to attend medical school at the University of Kentucky. While at UK she developed an interest in medical education and is passionate about wellness in medicine for physicians and physicians-in-training. Outside of medicine, Catherine enjoys hiking (and most other outdoor activities), spending time with friends and family, and hanging out with her pup, Cooper. She loves traveling and has a personal goal to visit all of the national parks. Catherine is looking forward to exploring both the Tennessee parks and all that Nashville has to offer.

ParkerJ.J. Parker, M.D.

Medical School:  University of Illinois at Chicago
College:  Bucknell University
Hometown:  Lake Bluff, Illinois

JJ grew up in a town north of Chicago, where you’d be hard pressed to find him inside; you’d have had better luck if you checked the neighborhood field, court, park, or ravine.  He played football and basketball in high school and then headed to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to attend Bucknell University.  While at Bucknell, JJ’s biggest accomplishment was winning over his amazing wife, Morgan.  JJ took a gap year in Managua, Nicaragua, where he learned how to sweat and speak Spanish.  During his year in Central America, “Hota Hota” affirmed a strong passion for global health.  During medical school, he continued to work in Nicaragua, conducting a study on barriers to contraceptive use among adolescents.  Recently, JJ and Morgan expanded their family by adding Champ, a lovable golden retriever.  Speaking of champs, now that the Cubs have won a World Series, Morgan and JJ are ready to leave Chicago and couldn’t be more excited to be to Nashville.  They look forward to live music, friendly people, Southern cooking, and exploring the outdoors of Tennessee.


Alicia Stallings, M.D.

Medical School:  Cleveland Clinic College of Medicine
College:  Washington University
Hometown:  River Forest, Illinois

Alicia grew up in River Forest, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. She is the youngest child of three and the only girl, and has thoroughly enjoyed this distinction. For her undergraduate studies, Alicia attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she majored in Women and Gender studies and minored in French. Prior to medical school, Alicia worked as the electronic medical records transition manager for her father’s primary care practice in Chicago, and served as the health education and screening coordinator for a small public health organization in the area part time. Interested in a career of public health research and policy, Alicia attended the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine for medical school, during which she was awarded the American Society of Hematology Physician Scientist Career Development Award to support her thesis research on health services administration in the pediatric sickle cell population. Alicia is passionate about healthcare outcomes and cost-effectiveness research, intra-professional collaboration, and breaking the cycle of disease and poverty through high quality patient care.


Azang-NjaahNdang Azang-Njaah, M.D.

Medical School: University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
College: University of Maryland at College Park
Hometown:  Westminster, Maryland

Ndang was born in Arlington, Virginia, but was raised in Westminster, Maryland, just 1.5  hours north of Washington, D.C. He attended the University of Maryland at College Park where he was involved in various campus communities, ranging from Honors Humanities to the Maryland Men’s Chorus. While at Maryland, Ndang also studied abroad in Cameroon where he had the opportunity to volunteer with a local NGO that served young adults living with HIV/AIDS. The experience piqued his interest in public health and made a future career in medicine tangible. After graduating with degrees in biochemistry and nutritional science, he made the transition from the Old Line State to the Land of Lincoln for medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. While at Pritzker he cultivated his interests in community health and primary care, which also included a brief detour through Chapel Hill, North Carolina for an MPH degree at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Outside of medicine, Ndang enjoys reading, staying active, and singing baritone. Ndang plans for a career in Med-Peds primary care where he hopes to capitalize on his training in public health and clinical medicine. He looks forward to spending the next chapter of his life here in Nashville.

BayefskySarah Bayefsky, M.D.

Medical School:  Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine
College: Harvard University
Hometown:  New York, New York

Sarah originally hails from Toronto, Canada. When she was 12 years old, her family relocated to New York City, but she maintained a strict use of Celsius and a deep loyalty to the Blue Jays baseball team. During high school, she played volleyball and softball and studied bat echolocation. She attended Harvard University, where she completed her premedical requirements while majoring in government, with a focus on Latin America. She enjoyed working at the intersection of policy and medicine at the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, an organization dedicated to using our knowledge of child development to influence public policies relating to children. Sarah spent a gap year working in early childhood education and mentoring high school students before returning to New York for medical school. A new school with an innovative curriculum, Hofstra fostered Sarah’s interests in medical education, medical ethics, and care for the underserved. She has relished the opportunity to explore other parts of the world through global health rotations and health policy courses in China, Chile, and Uganda. She loves to learn languages and may try to speak with you in Spanish, Hebrew, or French. Sarah looks forward to living in one of the friendliest cities in America and to introducing her family and friends from home to the South. 

ChuPatricia Chu, M.D.

Medical School: Duke University School of Medicine
College: University of Chicago
Hometown: Solon, Ohio

Patricia is a proud Midwesterner who was born in Iowa and grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland. Looking to explore a bigger city, she headed to the University of Chicago for college. While in Chicago, she discovered a love for working with middle and high school students from the surrounding South Side neighborhoods, and particularly enjoyed mentoring teens with sickle cell disease.  These experiences got her interested in adolescents and young adults with chronic childhood illness, their transition into adult healthcare, and ultimately led her to the field of Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics or “Med-Peds.” Next, Patricia made her first move to the south by moving to North Carolina to attend medical school at Duke. She became a Blue Devils fan and enjoyed rooting for a team that actually won a national championship (remember she's from Cleveland!). During med school, she also completed a Masters in Clinical Research and did outcomes research focused on infants with congenital heart disease. She is excited about  residency at Vanderbilt and figuring out how to combine her many interests which include transitions of care for youth with chronic illness and adult congenital heart disease. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking for friends, yoga, listening to NPR, nerding out at museums, and exploring the different neighborhoods in Nashville. 

KrantzMatthew Krantz, M.D.

Medical School: University of North Carolina School of Medicine
College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Hometown: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Matthew grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and he is one of four siblings who all attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is second oldest of the four, so he technically went to UNC before it was cool. As an undergraduate, he majored in biology and minored in screenwriting. Matthew went on to pursue medical school at UNC where he relied mostly on his biology background but employed his screenwriting skills for his medical school’s annual skit nights by making short films. His favorite film was a black and white, French-themed, silent comedy called, “La Chirurgie” (Surgery) about the third year medical student surgical clerkship experience. His main hobbies include writing, filmmaking, playing soccer, hiking, and following Tar Heel sports. He is excited to move to Nashville and wants everyone to know this isn’t his first time traveling outside of Chapel Hill. It’s his second. Actually, traveling is one of his hobbies too and some of his favorite places are New York City, Berlin, and Galway. For his career plans, he is interested in academic Med-Peds and medical education.

RichardsonLee Richardson, M.D.

Medical School: University of Louisville School of Medicine
College: Transylvania University
Hometown: Nicholasville, Kentucky

Originally from Nicholasville, Kentucky, Lee had spent his entire life within the Bluegrass state until live music and the Vandy Med-Peds program convinced him to migrate south to Nash-Vegas. While in Kentucky, Lee grew up loving ultimate Frisbee, Space Jam, and mix-tape CDs.

For college, Lee attended the mighty Transylvania University (1,100 students!) in Lexington, Kentucky, where he majored in Spanish and Biochemistry. While there, he traveled to Mexico, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, which helped foster his interest in global health. Next, Lee ventured an hour westward and spent four years studying the art of both medicine and road navigation via bicycle. While in Louisville, he met his favorite dance partner-in-crime who also decided to mosey on down to “Music City” for her residency training (McKenzie Vater – Peds). Together, they love cheering on the UK Wildcats, attempting to camp, and running 26.2 more miles than they ever thought they would.

Lee is thrilled to do his Med-Peds training at Vanderbilt. Although not 100 percent sure what he will do long term (#medpeds), Lee has interests in global health, academic medicine, and hospital medicine.

TownsleyElizabeth Townsley, M.D.

Medical School: University of Massachusetts Medical School
: Case Western Reserve University
: Topsfield, Massachusetts

Elizabeth grew up in Topsfield, Massachusetts just north of Boston. She attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio where she completed a B.S. in Biology. Elizabeth then returned to Massachusetts to attended University of Massachusetts Medical School where she completed an M.D./Ph.D. Her Ph.D. research focused on human immune responses to dengue virus. Elizabeth hopes to pursue a fellowship in infectious disease with a focus on tropical infections. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys ballroom dancing, baking, international travel, and trying to learn new languages. Elizabeth has enjoyed being close to her family over the last eight years, but is excited to explore Nashville and join the Vanderbilt family.


ByrneRyan Byrne, M.D.

Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine
College: Texas A&M University
Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Ryan was born and raised in the great state of Texas where his single greatest childhood achievement was arguably rocking the chili-bowl haircut for far too long. It was growing up in the Dallas suburbs where he was spoiled by the success of the 1990’s Dallas Cowboys and now subsequently believes, in vain, that every year they are destined to win another Super Bowl. As a third generation Aggie, Ryan was happily brainwashed since birth to attend Texas A&M University where he majored in psychology. As a part of his secondary education, he would stand proudly as a member of the 12th Man, become very involved in community service, and meet his future wife, Brittany. Despite being completely out of his league, Ryan somehow convinced Brittany to marry him in his second year of medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. It was at BCM that Ryan would find a passion for adult congenital heart disease, and he looks forward to serving this ever-growing population.

In his spare time, Ryan enjoys playing intramural sports, caring way too much about fantasy football, spending time with his wife as well as their dog, Dixie, and being frequently caught at red lights jamming out to music, most likely classic 90’s boy bands. Ryan and Brittany are excited to two-step their way from Texas to Tennessee to join the Vanderbilt Med-Peds family!

CassiniThomas Cassini, M.D.

Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
College: University of Wisconsin
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Thomas was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is an avid sports fan who has been involved in organized sports since grade school, playing soccer, baseball, basketball, track, and football. He attended the University of Wisconsin for undergrad, where his role switched from player to helping the football team prepare for games as part of his job as a student manager for the Badgers. He earned his undergraduate degree in Neurobiology, and for the following year worked as a research assistant, studying the epigenetic mechanisms involved in central nervous system regeneration. Thomas has always enjoyed traveling, and during this time he travelled to Africa with other lab staff to tour hospitals and meet with African medical students. They also worked in some time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. He loved his first four years in Madison so much he decided to stick around for medical school. During medical school, he became interested in genetics and had the opportunity to do a medical genetics rotation at the NIH and work with their Undiagnosed Diseases Program. He plans to pursue a fellowship in medical genetics with the ultimate goal of incorporating a program like that into his practice. In his free time, he still enjoys participating in anything sports related and watching Packer and Badger games with family and friends. Thomas is excited to join the Vanderbilt medical team and call Nashville home.

GilmanAlana Gilman, M.D.

Medical School: University of Pittsburgh
College: Indiana University
Hometown: Telluride, Colorado

Alana grew up in Telluride, Colorado, amid the beautiful rocky mountains, where she loved rollerblading, acting in local plays, singing in the choir, and ski racing. Realizing that becoming the next Picabo Street was a long shot, she moved to Hollywood, California to pursue her passion for acting, where she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Not surprisingly, the only thing tougher than a career as a professional ski racer is becoming the next Natalie Portman.

So, Alana packed her bags again and moved to Bloomington, Indiana to fulfill her legacy as a fourth generation Hoosier graduate at Indiana University. She majored in Neuroscience and discovered the rewarding field of medicine. She spent a summer in Nashville as part of a pre-med educational experience and has wanted to train at Vanderbilt ever since.

Prior to medical school, Alana spent two years in Quito, Ecuador working as the Medical Brigade Coordinator for Timmy Global Health, an Indianapolis-based non-profit that sends undergraduate-led medical aid teams to underserved areas of Latin America. Then she began medical school at the University of Pittsburgh, where she met her "media naranja", Rahul Shah, who will be starting as a co-intern in Pediatrics. They are both so excited to start the next chapter of their lives in Nashville!

KiserStephanie Kiser, M.D., MPH

Medical School: University of North Carolina School of Medicine
College: University of North Carolina
Hometown: Shelby, North Carolina

Stephanie was born and raised in Western North Carolina before moving across the state to the triangle region where she’s been for the last 11 years. She became a triple Tarheel this year after completing her undergraduate degree in biology, MPH, and medical degrees at UNC-Chapel Hill. During medical school, Stephanie became interested in underserved medicine and medical education, and she hopes to incorporate those into her training at Vanderbilt.  When she’s not watching UNC basketball (and always believing they are national championship bound), you can find her hiking, listening to live music (she’s been to CMA fest four times), checking out the local food scene, taking dance classes, or traveling (recent trip was three weeks in Southeast Asia!). After making many trips to Nashville with her family growing up, she is excited to make Nashville her home for the next four years!

KostelanetzSophia Kostelanetz, M.D.

Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine
College: Tufts University
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

Sophia was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and at the age of five moved to the United States where she lived in Missouri, Indiana, Louisiana, and Massachusetts. Through her exposure to diverse cultures and lifestyles while growing up, she discovered a passion for both medicine and global health. This drove her to work with Partners In Health during her undergraduate and graduate years, including most recently a year working in Haiti in quality improvement and operational research. Having conveniently missed two Boston winters while in Haiti, she was eager to find a warm locale for residency. Given her imminent marriage to a Commodore Alumnus, Vanderbilt turned out to be the perfect fit!  Sophia loves to travel, meet and build communities, potluck with friends, dance, and enjoy the great outdoors.

LaneTara Lane, M.D.

Medical School: University of North Carolina School of Medicine
College: University of Pittsburgh
Hometown: Havertown, Pennsylvania

Tara grew up in Havertown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. She traded in an Eagles jersey for a Steelers one when she moved to attend college at the University of Pittsburgh, where she double-majored in Rehabilitation Science and Spanish. After graduation, Tara moved to Houston to teach middle school science through Teach for America. While in Houston, she learned that she loves working in education as well as living somewhere that doesn't require a snow shovel. Not ready to leave the South, she attended the University of North Carolina for medical school. Tara loved her time as a Tar Heel and especially enjoyed her participation in the Honduran Health Alliance, a student-run women's clinic in Southern Honduras. In her free time, Tara loves running, playing volleyball, making recipes from her favorite food blogs, and checking out local restaurants. Her fiancé, Nick, currently works as a lawyer in Atlanta, and they’re looking forward to their wedding in October 2015. Tara is still undecided about her career plans, but she is interested in primary care for under-served populations as well as medical education.


Dan Culhane, M.D.

Medical School:  University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
College: Northwestern University
Hometown: Shawano, Wisconsin

After spending the first three years of his life on a small Native American reservation in western New Mexico, Dan’s parents relocated him to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. He is proud to call the metropolis of Shawano his home. After an adolescence of Legos and Star Wars novels, Dan moved to Evanston, Illinois to study biomedical engineering at Northwestern University. He developed a strong interest in service-learning while at Northwestern, training other students to lead service-learning trips into different communities across the country and globe. It was in Chicago where he fell in love with bicycles and Chicago Critical Mass. It was also here where he was first hit by a car while cycling.

The call home was too great, and he again moved to Madison, Wisconsin to attend medical school. He developed an interest in EMR programming and utilization during this time and hopes to continue to channel his engineering background while at Vanderbilt. Dan can most often be found indulging in soccer, both inside and outside (although hopefully now he will have more opportunities outside); back-country canoe camping; and pretending to know how to use a sewing machine.

Kara Denby, M.D.

Medical School: University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Medicine
College: Auburn University
Hometown: Northridge, California

Kara was born and raised in sunny Southern California, but has spent most of the past ten years in the great state of Alabama. While in Alabama, she was introduced to its many charms, including sweet tea, country music, and SEC football. After earning a Zoology degree and completing a swimming career at Auburn University, she returned to California, but found herself missing the South and was drawn back to Alabama for her medical education and further conversion into a Southern girl.

Kara is excited about living in Nashville and becoming part of the Vanderbilt family during her Med/Peds training! She hopes to become a hospital-based clinician educator and has a passion for education, international health, and underserved populations. In recent years she has spent time serving in Mexico, Haiti, Peru, and the Dominican Republic and hopes to be involved in international medical education during her career. In her free time, Kara likes to be as active as possible and enjoys the outdoors, racquetball, ultimate frisbee, triathlons, cooking, and home remodeling projects.

Sarah Scott, M.D.

Medical School: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
College: Vanderbilt University
Hometown: Bloomington, Indiana

Sarah is from Bloomington, Indiana, and subsequently believes that every year will be the year that Indiana University will win the NCAA Basketball Tournament; regardless of whether they are good or not (usually not). Her first Southern experience came in 2004, when her mother essentially forced her to take a college visit to Vanderbilt. She fell in love with the place, as evidenced by the fact that she’s still here - nine years later! While an undergraduate, she majored in neuroscience and minored in being a walk-on cross country and track athlete. Sarah detoured to Ecuador for a year after college, where she worked for a community development non-profit, before returning to Vanderbilt for medical school. She is thrilled to be one of the newest “Vandy Lifers,” though is quick to point out she has stayed true to her Midwestern roots, based on multiple scientific online quizzes about regional dialect. She looks forward to the next adventure and can’t imagine a better place to live and work!

Shayne Sebold Taylor, M.D.

Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine
College: Emory University
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Shayne is a Tucson, Arizona native. She fled the Sonoran desert to pursue her undergraduate degree at Emory University. While there, Shayne double majored in biology and women's studies. She quickly learned that she couldn't choose between the basic sciences and the social sciences and knew that medicine would be a perfect marriage of the two. She lived in New York City for a year after college where she trained as a rape/domestic violence crisis counselor and did research at Montefiore Medical Center. Her medical school training was at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. One of her more rewarding experiences was a rotation with the Indian Health Services on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana. She has a wonderful boyfriend and two fat cats, who may or may not have metabolic syndrome. She cannot wait to join her new family at Vanderbilt and hear some good country music along the way. As far as her career goes, Shayne is looking forward to a soul-searching journey. She is undecided about whether or not she will pursue a fellowship.

Dan Tilden, M.D.

Medical School: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
College: Washington University
Hometown: Prairie Village, Kansas

Dan was born and raised in Prairie Village, a suburb of Kansas City. It was in this early stage of life where he picked up the self-destructive habit of being a fan of both the Chiefs and Royals. Looking for better sports teams and perhaps a college education, he ventured east to St. Louis where he attended college at Washington University. While he could never quite bring himself to be a Cardinals fan, he did discover a passion for teaching. His experience lead to Teach for America where he spent two years teaching high school science in rural Eastern North Carolina. He learned a lot about teaching, relating to students, and dancing (especially the “Stanky Leg”). However, the best thing to come from his time in North Carolina was meeting his wife, Holly, who despite being a Yankee, is adapting well to the south. After two years of teaching, Dan decided to make the switch back to being a student and luckily Holly decided to move with him to Nashville. While Dan has been in medical school, Holly has continued to teach high school math and help students with college admissions. Dan is planning a career in primary care with an interest in underserved communities. Dan and Holly enjoy hiking, going on walks with their dog Porter, cooking, and entertaining. They are looking forward to four more years here in Nashville.

Savannah Walker, M.D.

Medical School: Georgetown University School of Medicine
College: Transylvania University
Hometown: Hazard, Kentucky

Savannah was born and raised in eastern Kentucky. For college, she ventured to the big city of Lexington, Kentucky to attend college at Transylvania University, where she majored in biology. After college, Savannah joined Teach for America and spent two years teaching high school biology in Greenville, Mississippi. For medical school, Savannah decided to branch out from her mostly rural experiences to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. While in medical school she was able to merge her love of medicine and education by completing a medical education research track. In her spare time, Savannah enjoys casual jogging, cooking, reading, trying new restaurants, and cheering for the Kentucky Wildcats. Just prior to beginning intern year, Savannah will marry her fiancé Stephen in Louisville, Kentucky. Savannah is thrilled to be moving back south, where she can enjoy real Southern food, SEC sports, sweet tea, and good live music.


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