Faculty Mentors

A rich experience is opened to the trainee in his/her mentoring partnership in Meharry's M.S.C.I. program. The program has enlisted the contribution of dedicated and accomplished scientists from Meharry's faculty to help scholars reach their goals as independent clinical investigators.

Xylina Bean, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Chair of the Department, is investigating the use of addictive substances in pregnant women, health outcomes, and behavioral modification. She has served as mentor and clinical researcher during her academic career at Drew University.

Chandravanu Dash, Ph.d., whose current work is supported by NIDA funding, is investigating the role of nucleic acid structure in HIV-1 replication, as well as cocaine-induced epigenetic changes in Cd4+ T cells and HIV-1 replication.

Marquetta Faulkner, M.D., Professor of Medicine and past interim Chair of the Department of Medicine, is a significant contributor to the conduct and publication of results from NIDDK's AASK Trial (African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension) and is active in the clinical study of pharmacologic interventions in nephrology.

Margaret Hargreaves, Ph.d., Professor of Medicine, is an expert in community-based participatory research and commands multiple research grants evaluating the disparities of cancer, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Paul Juarez, Ph.d., Professor of Family Medicine, is a social scientist whose expertise is on the conduct of clinical research in the community and serves as an excellent resource for scholars targeting community-based participatory research. He has active grants in prevention of disease and violence.

Gwen Ladson, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has been active in various clinical trials for the underserved with a particular interest in health literacy and cultural competency.

Dana Marshall, Ph.d., Associate Professor of Surgery, has experience in translation of bench-to-bedside research in immunotherapy. The goal of her project is to significantly increase the number of minority medical students who develop and maintain an interest in pursuing a career in cancer.

Stephania Miller-Hughes, Ph.d., M.S.C.I. graduate, and Assistant Professor of Surgery, is a social scientist interested in effects of contemporary lifestyle on the development of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome targeting the poor outcome of rural patients. Her qualitative research includes analysis and interventional activities in this population to promote better health practice.

Charles P. Mouton, M.D., M.S., Dean School of Medicine and Director of the Geriatrics Center, is studying aging and health disparities.

John Murray, M.D., Ph.d., Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has extensive experience in the design and conduct of clinical trials in the field of allergy and asthma, serving to guide the research career of multiple post-doctoral fellows during his prior long tenure at Vanderbilt University.

Bogdan Nowicki, M.D., Ph.d., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Microbiology and Immunology, evaluates the higher risk of pyelonephritis in pregnant women by anatomic/obstructive changes and characterizes the expression of DAF among African-American and Caucasian women undergoing elective pregnancy termination and preterm and term labor.

Stella Nowicki, D.D.S., Professor of Obstetrics, examines the role of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) receptors in premature labor and other inflammatory states of pregnancy.

Mitchell Parks, M.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, is studying the neurodiagnostic evaluation of addiction and substance abuse using MRI and PET scanning to correlate neurological pathology and clinical pathology.

Uma Rao, Ph.d., Professor of Psychiatry, is focusing on neuropharmacology, nicotine addiction, depression, and sleep disorders.

Flora Ukoli, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., Assistant Professor of Surgery and an epidemiologist, is studying the effects of nutrition and dietary components on the development of prostate carcinoma. Her work involves comparing native African populations and those who immigrated and reside in the U.S.

Janice Whitty, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of the high-risk obstetrical service at Nashville General Hospital, is evaluating the clinical issues of why people of color and the underserved develop the greatest degree of pre- and post-partum complications and recently expanded her area of interest to obesity and its relationship to obstetrical complications.

Steven Wolff, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, and Director of the MBCCOP cancer trials program, has extensive experience in mentoring and is an active patient-oriented investigator in hematology/oncology clinical trials whose thrust is the clinical evaluation of cytotoxic therapy for the treatment of malignancies.

Roger Zoorob, M.D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Meharry and, at Vanderbilt, was the Scientific Director of the EXPORT Center for Health Disparities and principal investigator on two community-based research grants studying chronic disease and disparities including nutrition, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. He has mentored residents and medical and graduate students, and his primary care research, scholarly activity, health services research record, and publications make him an excellent candidate to mentor M.S.C.I. scholars.