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Clinical Research Scholars Program (KL2) Scholars

2023-2025 Scholars

Mary Beth Howard, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Howard’s research focuses on injury prevention and infant mortality, with a focus on sudden infant death prevention. Her current work is focused on improving how injury prevention, in particular safe sleep, education can be delivered in the pediatric emergency department.

Primary mentor: Rachel Moon, MD

William Garneau MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Division of Hospital Medicine
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Garneau is interested in the use of large-scale observational data to examine novel treatment effects and health outcomes in a variety of clinical contexts. His recent work has explored the use of paxlovid in pregnancy, effects of b-cell depletion on COVID-19 severity in hospitalized patients and outcomes for patients hospitalized due to mpox. He is currently enrolled in the GTPCI program pursuing a MHS in clinical investigation.

Primary mentor: Kelly Gebo MD, MPH

Erica Prochaska, MD
Instructor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Prochaska’s research aims to identify and address inequities in preventable, healthcare-associated infections. She is using a multicenter, retrospective cohort to identify clinical, hospital-level and sociodemographic variables associated with preventable bloodstream infections among neonates admitted to NICUs in the United States. These results will inform future interventions to address any found inequities in preventable bacteremia risk.

Primary mentor: Aaron Milstone, MD, MHS

2022-2024 Scholars 

Brianna Aoyama, MD
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics and Pulmonary
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Aoyama’s research focuses on respiratory outcomes in infants and children with a history of prematurity and bronchopulmonary dysplasia with a specific focus on the role of somatic “catch-up” growth and the use of forced oscillometry (FOT), which could allow for earlier identification of those infants and children at highest risk of poor outcomes and further targeting of available therapies.

Primary Mentor: J. Michael Collaco, MD, MS, MBA, MPH, PhD

Richard Alexander Harbison, MD, MS
Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Harbison has an interest in the effect of metabolites in the tumor microenvironment on the anti-tumor immune response and how this translates to prevention of tumor formation and progression. Using a broad range of techniques, we are investigating the impact of metabolites in the tumor microenvironment on immune cell viability, function, and differentiation.

Primary Mentor: Erika Pearce, PhD

Jessica LaRosaJessica LaRosa, MD
Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. LaRosa’s research focuses on improving functional outcomes for critically ill children. Her research work is aimed at developing and evaluating unit-based interprofessional interventions to optimize acute physical rehabilitation for children in the pediatric intensive care unit. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Investigation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Primary Mentor: Sapna Kudchadkar, MD, PhD

Anum Minhas, MD, MHS
Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Minhas’ research aims to evaluate the possible pathways leading to increased long-term cardiovascular risk in women with a history of preeclampsia during pregnancy. She will be using novel imaging methods to assess coronary and peripheral vascular endothelial function, and the association of biomarkers with vascular and cardiac function/structure.

Primary Mentor – Allison Hays, MD

Chris Morrow

Christopher Morrow, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences & Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Morrow’s clinical and research focus is in the management of neuropsychiatric symptoms in neurodegenerative disease. I see patients at the Johns Hopkins Young Onset Dementia Clinic where my approach involves careful assessment of cognitive and behavioral symptoms through comprehensive clinical interviews, structured neurological exams, and interpretation of neuropsychological assessments and neuroimaging results. The goals of my research are to better understand the phenomenology and underlying neurobiology of neuropsychiatric symptoms in early-stage dementia with the goal of developing novel approaches to treatment including targeted non-invasive brain stimulation.

Primary Mentor: Chiadi Onyike, MD, MHS

Yinin Hu

Yinin Hu, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of General and Oncologic Surgery
University of Maryland, School of Medicine

Dr. Hu’s research is an Assessment of preferences and health state utilities across treatment strategies in low-risk thyroid cancer. This study will elicit preferences from three cohorts of participants: thyroid cancer survivors, general population, and healthcare providers.

Primary Mentor: C. Daniel Mullins, PhD

KL2_2022_Sarah Sunshine

Sarah B. Sunshine, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Project Title: Identifying novel treatment targets and biomarkers for ocular surface disease in patients with ocular Graft vs Host Disease (oGVHD) a Biobank study

2021-2023 Scholars

Santiago Alvarez Arango
Assistant Professor
Division of Clinical Immunology and Pharmacology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Alvarez’s research centers on applying advanced epidemiologic and clinical methods to address the dramatic public health consequences of antibiotic allergy labels in Electronic Health Records. His research project focuses on the development of a human-centered clinical decision support tool to assist antibiotic allergy assessment and documentation. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Investigation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Mentor: Corinne Keet, MD, PhD, MS

Cindy Cai, MD
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Cai’s research lies at the intersection of ophthalmology, public health, and informatics and is aimed at developing novel strategies incorporating social determinants of health for the prevention of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Applied Health Sciences Informatics.

Mentor: Scott Zeger, PhD

Jennifer Dantzer, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Allergy and Immunology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Dantzer’s research focuses on pediatric food allergy, with a particular focus on understanding and improving patient-centered outcomes of novel food allergy treatments.

Mentor: Robert Wood, MD

Thomas Cudjoe, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor
Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Cudjoe’s research focuses on understanding how social factors influence the health of older adults and developing strategies to improve the health trajectory of older adults. His research has focused on identifying risk factors for social isolation and currently examines the relationship between social connections and health among low income older adults. He intends to pursue coursework and experiential training in human centered design, community-based interventions, and implementation science.

Mentor: Cynthia Boyd, MD

Jonathan Baghdadi, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Epidemiology & Public Health
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Dr. Baghdadi’s research seeks to improve use of multiplex molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases in acute care through “diagnostic stewardship.” He has a PhD in health policy and management from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and is a former VA Quality Scholar.

2020-2022 Scholars

Olga Charnaya, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Charnaya’s research focuses on utilizing novel tissue typing methodologies to improve immunological matching of donor organs and recipients to improve long-term graft outcomes in pediatric kidney transplant recipients. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Investigation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Mentor: Dorry Segev, MD, PhD

Amir Manbachi, MSc, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Whiting School of Engineering

Dr. Manbachi’s research focuses on studying and innovating various applications of sound and ultrasound to refine diagnosis or treatments associated with neurosurgical procedures; examples include: using ultrasound for automatic detection of foreign body objects during surgery, incision-free treatment of brain tumors as well as ultrasound monitoring and therapy of acute spinal cord injury.

Mentor: Nicholas Theodore, MD, MS

Thomas Metkus, Jr, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Metkus is a cardiologist and intensivist, a PhD candidate in the Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a physician-scientist jointly appointed in the Department of Medicine and Department of Surgery. The goals of his research are to improve the quality of care and outcomes of patients with medical and surgical cardiac critical illness. Specifically, he aims to a) use large administrative data sets and surgical quality consortia to identify targets for improving medical therapy among patients undergoing cardiac surgery, b) use cardiac physiology and novel biomarkers for risk stratification and therapeutics in critical illness and c) optimize the management of non-cardiac organ failure in primary cardiac diseases such as heart failure and acute coronary syndromes.

Mentor: G. Caleb Alexander, MD

Lydia Tang, MBBCh
Assistant Professor, Institute for Human Virology
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Project Title: HIV infection and hepatitis B disease stage as determinants of response to toll like receptor 8 agonism

Mentor: Shyam Kottilil, MD, PhD

2019-2021 Scholars

Kelly Gleason, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Dr. Gleason is an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.  She led the development of an institution-wide service that leverages the patient portal for research and continues to work on helping researchers leverage the electronic medical record for research. Dr. Gleason serves as the co-lead of the Armstrong Institute’s Center for Diagnostic Excellence’s Team Core and leads a national Nurses and Diagnosis Community of Practice. Dr. Gleason’s research focuses on integrating patient-reported information with electronic medical record data to improve diagnostic processes.

Mentor: Dr. David Newman-Toker

Tanya McDonald, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology
Johns Hopkins Epilepsy Center
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. McDonald is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate studies at Emory University and received her medical and doctoral degrees from Cornell University. She trained in neurology and epilepsy at Johns Hopkins and joined the faculty in 2018. Her clinical efforts focus on the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy and seizures. Her research focuses on the impact of ketogenic diets like the modified Atkins diet on cardiovascular health measures in adults with epilepsy.

Mentor: Dr. Mackenzie Cervenka

Anna Sick-Samuels, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Sick-Samuels is an instructor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Sick-Samuels grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, during which time she also obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed pediatrics residency at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. After completion of fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the JHU School of Medicine, she joined the faculty in 2019 in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. The focus of Dr. Sick-Samuel’s research is to understand the epidemiology and develop effective strategies to prevent multidrug-resistant healthcare-associated infections in children.

Mentor: Dr. Aaron Milstone

Scott Pilla, MD
Assistant Professor
Division of General Internal Medicine
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Scott Pilla is a board-certified internist, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Faculty in the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research. He earned his M.D. at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He completed internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Bayview, the Master of Health Sciences from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Johns Hopkins General Internal Medicine Fellowship. Dr. Pilla’s research focuses on the individualized care of patients with diabetes, especially with regards to choosing optimal medical therapy for older adults and preventing hypoglycemia and other treatment-related harms.

Mentor: Dr. Nisa Maruthur

Janet Alexander, MD
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
Pediatric Ophthalmology
University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Medicine

Dr. Janet Alexander is an assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Pediatrics. She earned her M.D. at University of Pittsburgh and completed her ophthalmology residency at the George Washington University. She completed a General Surgery internship at Northwestern University and a Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Fellowship at Children’s National Medical Center in 2013. Dr. Alexander’s clinical interests focus on a broad range of pediatric ophthalmic conditions including genetic ocular disease, retinopathy of prematurity, strabismus, and anterior segment diseases including congenital cataracts and congenital glaucoma. Her research interests include automated ocular image analysis using novel techniques and artificial intelligence to enhance diagnosis and treatment for childhood glaucoma, and other potentially blinding eye conditions.

Mentor: Dr. Steven Bernstein