Infectious Diseases
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Patient-Oriented Research
Creech Lab
Natasha Halasa, M.D., M.P.H.
Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program
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 Kathryn M. Edwards, M.D., Director

Dr. Edwards' work focuses on the evaluation of new vaccines for the prevention of infectious disease in children and adults. Edwards has conducted large efficacy trials of live-attenuated influenza vaccines, coordinated multicenter trials of pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines, and the nine-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in young children. She worked on the development of improved tuberculosis vaccines and is currently studying the impact of recently licensed vaccines on the burden of respiratory disease and health outcomes in children.

She has been active in the evaluation of vaccines against agents of bioterrorism through the NIH-funded Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit. These include smallpox, anthrax, and avian influenza vaccines. She currently has CDC funding to evaluate adverse events associated with vaccines. Her laboratory efforts focuses on characterizing the immune responses to vaccines, using serology to measure the burden of pertussis disease in adolescents and adults, and evaluating the impact of vaccines on the burden of viral respiratory illness in a large CDC-funded multicenter surveillance network.

C. Buddy Creech, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Director
Dr. Creech's primary research interests are determining who is at highest risk for staphylococcal colonization and disease and developing novel strategies for prevention, such as a staphylococcal vaccine. Current projects include colonization studies in adolescents, pregnant women, newborns, and college athletes as well as staphylococcal vaccine trials in adults. In addition, he oversees the operational activities of the VVRP and leads trials in vaccines targeting malaria, influenza, and other pathogens of childhood.

Kim Fortner, MD

Elizabeth Williams, MD - Fellow, Vaccinology
Leigh Howard, MD - Fellow, Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Romina Libster, MD - Fellow, Vaccinology
Maribeth Nicholson, MD - Fellow, Pediatric Gastroenterology 

Program Management
Deborah Myers, CCRP (Regulatory Manager)
Debbie Hunter, RN, BSN, CCRC (Quality Assurance Manager)
Gayle Johnson, RN, CCRP (Research Projects Coordinator)
Shanda Phillips, RN, BSN, CCRP (Research Projects Coordinator)


Research Nurses
Wendi McDonald, RN, BSN, CCRP 
Julie Anderson, RN

Regulatory Department
Roberta Winfrey
Kevin Booth, MBA
Reggie Ellis

Research Coordinators and Clinical Trials Associates
Angie Ibarra
Sara Anderson

Administrative Support

Amy Kinsey - Program Coordinator
Jennifer Nixon, MBA - Administrative Officer


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Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt