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VOL. 36 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 20, 2012




Economic Council selects Qualls-Brooks

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The Tennessee Economic Council on Women has named Phyllis Qualls-Brooks its executive director.

The Tennessee Economic Council on Women focuses on research, offering the premiere economic summit for women in Tennessee each year, and working to get women on boards and commissions. Its research covers a myriad of topics focusing on women, including job training, wages and earnings, domestic violence, political participation, preventive healthcare, women-owned businesses and women in Tennessee.

Qualls-Brooks recently served as a congressional affairs specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and special projects coordinator for the African Methodist Episcopal Church..

She holds a doctorate in higher education from the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University and a master’s in English from Tennessee State University.

Klemmer, Jones join Pinnacle

Nikki Klemmer and Rita Jones have joined Pinnacle Financial Partners’ communications team.

Klemmer brings more than nine years of experience to her role of communications strategist. She comes most recently from Atkinson Public Relations, where she served as senior counselor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University.

Jones brings 42 years of experience to her role of communications coordinator. She also comes from Atkinson Public Relations, where she was a senior client services manager. Prior to Atkinson she spent 26 years at First American National Bank.

Johnson named VUMC department chair

Kevin Johnson, M.D., M.S., professor and vice chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) and professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been named the department’s new chair after an extensive national search.

Johnson succeeds Daniel Masys, M.D., who retired in June.

As the new chair, Johnson will be responsible for one of the Medical Center’s most integral and prolific departments. Already the nation’s largest academic department of its kind, the DBMI is slated for significant programmatic growth under Johnson’s leadership.

Founded in 2001, the DBMI is home to more than 70 faculty, a graduate training program, a broad-ranging portfolio of research and development projects ranging from computational biology and bioinformatics applied to the understanding the effects of biological molecules, advanced clinical information systems that help care for hundreds of thousands of patients at Vanderbilt, to regional health information projects spanning across Tennessee and other states.

Johnson is a 1983 graduate of Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pa., and a 1987 graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His post-graduate training was at Johns Hopkins (where he became pediatrics chief resident) and Stanford University School of Medicine (where he earned an M.S. in medical informatics). Johnson taught at Johns Hopkins for 10 years before joining Vanderbilt.

Record number at VU elected to AAAS

Fourteen members of Vanderbilt University’s faculty have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) this year. This is the largest number of Vanderbilt fellows to be elected in a single year on record.

They are among 539 fellows from around the country selected by their peers because of their “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.”

Vanderbilt University has 53 AAAS fellows among its faculty. Twenty-eight of them have been elected in the last three years. The new fellows and their achievements are:

  • Darryl Bornhop, Ph.D., professor of Chemistry: Distinguished contributions to the field of micro-scale chemical and biochemical analysis and for pioneering work in the emerging discipline of molecular imaging.

  • Nancy J. Brown, M.D., Hugh Jackson Morgan Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and chair of the Department of Medicine: Distinguished contributions to the study of vascular biology in humans and for national leadership in scientist development.

  • Bruce Carter, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry: Distinguished contributions to the field of developmental neurobiology, particularly for the elucidation of mechanisms regulating neuronal cell death and peripheral myelin formation.

  • Ellen Wright Clayton, M.D., J.D., Craig-Weaver Chair in Pediatrics and professor of Law: Distinguished contribution to the ethical conduct of genetic and genomic research and to the ethical translation of these scientific advances to clinical care.

  • Michael DeBaun, M.D., MPH, professor and vice chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Pediatrics, and J.C. Peterson, M.D., chair of Pediatric Pulmonology: Distinguished contributions in clinical investigation, authorship of federal legislation and patient advocacy, all focused on improving health outcomes of children with sickle cell disease.

  • Mark Denison, M.D., Craig-Weaver Chair in Pediatrics; professor of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology: Distinguished contributions to the field of RNA virus biology, particularly for the development of coronavirus synthetic biology and discovery of proteins regulating coronavirus replication fidelity.

  • Kathleen Gould, Ph.D., Louise B. McGavock Chair, professor of Cell & Developmental Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator: Distinguished contributions to the field of cell biology, particularly for her contributions to understanding the molecular mechanism of cytokinesis.

  • Heidi Hamm, Ph.D., Earl W. Sutherland Jr. Professor in Pharmacology and chair of the department: Sustained contributions to our understanding of how heterotrimeric G proteins mediate cell signaling.

  • George C. Hill, Ph.D., Levi Watkins Jr. M.D. Professor, professor of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, and assistant vice chancellor for Multicultural Affairs: Distinguished contributions to tropical diseases research, leadership as president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and for fostering a diverse research and healthcare workforce.

  • Tadashi Inagami, Ph.D., D.Sc., Stanford Moore Chair in Biochemistry and professor of Medicine, for his role in being the first to purify and identify renin, and in cloning atrial natriuretic peptide (ANF) and angiotensin II type 1 and type 2 receptors and their variants, research that helped lead to the development of renin inhibitors to treat hypertension.

  • Prasad Polavarapu, Ph.D., professor of Chemistry: Distinguished contributions to determining the structures of chiral molecules, which can exist in either “left-handed” or “right-handed” forms, through development of chiroptical spectroscopic techniques. Structure determination is critical in developing chiral drugs because one form may be beneficial to human health while the other may be deleterious. This field also has important biochemical applications.

  • Sandra Rosenthal, Ph.D., Jack and Pamela Egan Professor of Chemistry; director, Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering; professor of Physics, Pharmacology and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering: Distinguished contributions to the field of nanochemistry, particularly for synthesis and characterization of nanocrystals and the utilization of nanocrystals as biomarkers of protein expression.

  • Michelle Sulikowski, Ph.D., senior lecturer in Chemistry: Distinguished contributions to synthetic organic chemistry and the education of graduate and undergraduate students in the chemical sciences at multiple institutions.

  • Scott Williams, Ph.D., professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics: Exemplary contributions to the field of human genetics, particularly dissecting underlying genetic architectures for diseases with health disparities and the diversity of human populations.

Barge, Waggoner names Memphis manager

Chris Triplett, PE, PMP, has been promoted to manager of the Memphis office of engineering and architecture firm Barge, Waggoner, Sumner, and Cannon, Inc. Triplett, who has been associated with the firm since 2008, was previously a project manager in the Memphis office.

Triplett assumes the position of Memphis office manager following the announcement that current office manager Charlie Goforth will retire in April 2012. Goforth will serve in an advisory capacity for the next several months during the transition in leadership.

Garrett new chair of Human Rights Commission

Stacey A. Garrett, a founding member of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, has been elected to chair the board of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC).

Garrett will serve as chairperson of the Board of Commissioners for a two-year term, beginning on January 20, 2012. She has been a commissioner since 2003 and was reappointed in 2009.

Garrett also is chair of the board of directors at the law firm of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC. She focuses her law practice in higher education, corporate transactions, employment-based immigration, healthcare, and government affairs.

She has served in government and nonprofit leadership positions throughout her legal career and has earned recognition by numerous publications and among her peers in the legal profession.

Mayor appoints director of law

Mayor Karl Dean today has named Nashvillian Saul Solomon as Metro’s new director of law. Solomon, who currently serves as president of Bridgestone Americas Latin American Operations, will start as Law Director on Feb. 1.

Solomon assumes the position that was held by Sue Cain since Dean was elected until her retirement in August. Mike Safley, the deputy director of law, has been serving as the interim law director. Solomon’s appointment must be confirmed by the Metro Council and is on the agenda for the Jan. 17 meeting.

Solomon has been with Bridgestone Americas in Nashville for 18 years, serving as president of the North America Commercial Tire Division, president of Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions, vice president and general counsel of Bridgestone Americas and vice president of labor relations. He started at Bridgestone’s Nashville office in 1993.

Crosslin & Associates promotes Lockwood

Crosslin & Associates, a regional accounting and consulting firm, has promoted Rich Lockwood to the position of audit principal.

Lockwood joined Crosslin as an audit senior manager in July of 2008 after serving as audit manager with Nystrom & Company LLP in Northern California.

Lockwood is a CPA licensed in the state of Tennessee and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, where he serves on the governmental committee. He is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association serving on GFOA’s Special Review Committee for its Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting program, as well as the Tennessee Government Finance Officers Association. Rich served as an adjunct faculty member at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., his alma mater.

Levy is shareholder at Waddey & Patterson

Attorney Ryan Levy has been named a shareholder of law firm Waddey & Patterson, P.C., Levy, who joined Waddey & Patterson in 2005, focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation with a particular emphasis on patent disputes.

A registered Patent Attorney, Levy also prosecutes patent applications in a wide variety of technologies including medical devices, environmental remediation, chemical manufacturing, and nutritional supplements. In addition, he regularly advises members of the firearms industry on intellectual property issues.

Levy received his J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 2005. He graduated in 2001 from North Carolina State University with degrees in biochemistry and chemical engineering.

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