Dr. Schnapp and Dr. Wilson in lab

T32 Mentors

Primary Mentors

Clinical Research Track Mentors

Matthew J. Carpenter, Ph.D.Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Carpenter co-directs the MUSC Tobacco Research Program with Dr. Cummings. He has extensive research experience in clinical trials related to smoking cessation, and research expertise in behavioral science. The latter includes a number of clinical trials for both cessation and cessation induction, including a newly funded R01 to examine the role of e-cigarettes in tobacco cessation as part of a randomized clinical trial, and is MPI of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network (Southern Consortium Node). He leads an ongoing statewide comparative effectiveness study coordinated through 20 primary care clinics across South Carolina. Dr. Carpenter has extensive mentoring experience with pre- and postdoctoral fellows, who have attained academic success.

K. Michael Cummings, Ph.D.Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Cummings co-directs the MUSC Tobacco Research Program with Dr. Carpenter. His training and research interests are in the study of health-related behaviors, especially tobacco use prevention and cessation. He has directed more than 70 grants and contracts and has had continuous grant support from NIH dating back to 1983. His research interests in the field of tobacco control are very broad and have included studies evaluating methods for smoking cessation, consumer risk perceptions, evaluations of mass media campaigns, tobacco product marketing, the impact of cigarette design on smoking behaviors, tobacco industry documents, and the impact of public policies on tobacco use behaviors.

Patrick A. Flume, M.D., Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine
Dr. Flume has served as a site Principal Investigator in >100 multi-center clinical trials, and as the overall PI in >10 trials including the Standardized Treatment of Pulmonary Exacerbations in CF (STOP program) funded by the CF Foundation (CFF). His primary areas of investigation revolve around CF and bronchiectasis. He has considerable experience in the design and performance of clinical trials, including the negotiation of trial designs with the FDA. He has a leadership role in MUSC’s CTSA including serving as Program Director of the Research Nexus (our clinical and translational research unit), Chair of the Scientific Review Committee, and member of the CTSA Executive Committee. He also serves as Assistant Provost for Research Compliance and Regulatory Affairs.

Dee W. Ford, M.D., MSCR, Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine
Dr. Ford is a clinician scientist and physician leader with expertise in critical care, quality improvement, health services research, and health professional education. Her specific topics of focus for include palliative/end-of-life care, patient/family-centered research, understanding and improving patient-clinician communication and health services observational and implementation science research. She has a strong track record of mentorship to fellows and early career faculty within and external to MUSC.

Cathy L. Melvin, Ph.D., Professor, Public Health Sciences
Dr. Melvin covers a range of topics exploring the most effective ways to use implementation science to accelerate the use of guidelines in routine practice; communicating and disseminating new knowledge on the determinants of disease risks and outcomes into more precise medical strategies to prevent, diagnose, and treat chronic health conditions and diseases among men; comparing the effectiveness of brief, novel smoking cessation therapies in primary care settings; and understanding and promoting the use of community-based participatory research approaches to reduce disparities in quality and access to lifestyle modification and health behavior change counseling in primary care settings.

Gerard A. Silvestri, M.D., M.S., Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine
Dr. Silvestri leads a patient-oriented clinical research program that focuses on nearly every aspect of lung cancer care, including lung cancer screening, disparities in cancer care, shared decision-making and the evaluation and management of pulmonary nodules all of which are germane to screening for lung cancer. Dr. Silvestri serves as the Vice Chair of Medicine for Faculty Development and is the immediate past-President of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Charlie B. Strange, M.D., Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine
Dr. Strange has a research program focused in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (with specialty interest in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and bronchoscopic lung volume reduction), interstitial lung disease, and rare lung diseases. Much of his work has been in rare lung disease that emphasizes clinical trial enrollment and small trial design as important. He is Director of the Alpha-1 Clinical Resource Center Registry, IDE Consultant for MUSC SCTR, serves on the NIH Pulmonary DSMB, and is funded by NCATS, NHLBI, NIDDK, DOD, Alpha-1 Foundation, and multiple industry-sponsored clinical trials. He works collaboratively across the entire enterprise with grants in informatics, the school of allied health, school of nursing, and school of graduate studies. He has trained a total of 14 postdoctoral fellows; 7 hold positions in academic universities as Professor (2), Associate Professor (1), Assistant Professor (3), and Consultant (UK). He has mentored undergraduate students, Masters level students, and graduate students.

Benjamin A. Toll, Ph.D., Professor, Public Health Sciences
Dr. Toll is a clinical psychologist with a research focus on cancer control. His research focuses on testing novel smoking cessation treatments, and he has conducted numerous clinical trials in this regard. Many of his studies have investigated promotion of smoking cessation through novel message framing and motivational interventions, including those delivered via telephone and in person. Dr. Toll has tested several pharmacological and counseling interventions, and he also has expertise in the measurement of tobacco use and tobacco-related syndromes (e.g., withdrawal, craving) and mediators and moderators of response to treatment. He is also involved in national associations for both tobacco and cancer.

John Vena, Ph.D., Professor & Chair, Public Health Sciences
Dr. Vena has 35 years of experience in environmental epidemiology and graduate training. He was previously Director of the Environment & Society Institute at the University of Buffalo, which coordinated all community-based environmental research. He was part of an NIH-funded team that pioneered integration of biomarkers in epidemiology analytic studies to look at gene-environment interactions, exposure assessments and the use of Geographic Information Systems in epidemiologic research. He is co-PI of a large national clinical translational study designed to document childhood factors leading to lifelong health issues, including asthma, that was recently awarded as part of the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes Program. MUSC serves as the coordinating center for the project, Exposome Contributors to Child Health Originating from National Fetal Growth Study.

Basic Science Research Track Mentors

Carl Atkinson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
Dr. Atkinson is interested in the interplay of the complement system with adaptive immunity in the pathophysiology of inflammation and development of chronic diseases. His major interests include organ transplantation and respiratory diseases. He is the Director of the Lee Patterson Allen Transplant Immunobiology Laboratory and co-founded ToleRaM Nanotech, LLC, a company based on technology developed in his laboratory for the targeted delivery of immunosuppression therapeutics to organ transplant recipients. Dr. Atkinson has filed 11 invention disclosures, with 35 US and international patent applications, 4 of which have been issued.

Carol Feghali Bostwick, Ph.D., Professor, Rheumatology & Immunology Medicine
Dr. Feghali-Bostwick leads a team of investigators whose goal is to identify novel targets for therapy and develop new anti-fibrotic strategies for scleroderma and other fibrosing conditions. Her goal is to gain a better understanding of the pathogenesis of fibrosis and identify novel pro- and anti-fibrotic molecules. Current investigations focus on the mechanism by which a peptide that is derived from endostatin blocks and reverses fibrosis.

Lynn Schnapp, M.D., Professor & Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine
Dr. Schnapp is an established NIH-funded investigator in cell and molecular biology with clinical and research expertise in acute lung injury and repair. Her main research interests focus on understanding pathways involved in lung fibrosis and identifying biomarkers of lung injury. She has established expertise in a variety of mouse models of organ injury, including analysis of tissue injury, inflammation and fibrosis, as well as expertise in bioinformatics and computational analysis of proteomics data using state-of-the-art computational and pathway-focused network analysis.

Stephen Tomlinson, Ph.D., Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
Dr. Tomlinson, Vice Chair Research and Faculty Development, studies the biology of the complement system, with a focus on its role in the pathophysiology of inflammation, as well as how inflammation modulates adaptive immunity and its impact in asthma. Related area of interest is understanding immunopathologic mechanisms involved in lung graft injury following transplantation. His research has led to 25 invention disclosures and 132 patent applications in more than 50 countries, with 53 patents issued. He has been involved in numerous commercial successes through licensing of drug candidates to the pharmaceutical industry. He was the 2014 MUSC Innovator of the Year, and was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2015.

Emerging Mentors

Andrew Goodwin, M.D.,Associate Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine
Dr. Goodwin‘s clinical interests include the hemodynamic management of septic shock and ventilation strategies for ARDS as well as strategies to mitigate ICU delirium. He performs translational research focused on the potential role that micro RNA play in the endothelial dysfunction of sepsis and ARDS. Additionally, he investigates the impact of patient factors such as race and comorbidities as well as hospital factors such as location and size on the outcomes of critical illness.

Jennifer L. Mulligan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology
Dr. Mulligan’s research is focused on the Immunology of airway inflammation and chronic sinusitis, and the mechanistic role of Vitamin D deficiency in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps.

Nichole T. Tanner, M.D., Associate Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine
Dr. Tanner’s specialized interest is in the evaluation of diagnostic testing for lung cancer and pulmonary nodules. Her dedicated career in lung cancer research will help better inform how to include shared decision making in lung cancer screening and will also help patients make informed decisions about the process.

John M. Wrangle, M.D., Assistant Professor, Hematology & Oncology Medicine
Dr. Wrangle has research interests in the development of novel therapeutic strategies and biomarkers for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). His research efforts focus on evaluating the combination of IL-2 receptor gamma agonists in combination with immune-checkpoint blockade for NSCLC.

Support Faculty

Jesse Goodwin, Ph.D., Vice President of Development Zucker Institute for Applied Neurosciences
The Zucker Institute for Applied Neurosciences is a medical device accelerator serving MUSC. Dr. Goodwin is also the Director of the Therapeutics Translation Core for the South Carolina Translational Research Institute. Dr. Goodwin previously served as the Deputy Director of the MUSC FRD, where she managed the university’s intellectual property (IP) portfolio.

Annie Simpson, Ph.D., Associate Professor,  Healthcare Leadership and Management
Dr. Simpson is a Health Services Researcher who specializes in methods development for bias reduction in observational studies. She brings expertise in modeling, particularly in the areas of statistical and observational data that are relevant to many projects in the Clinical Science Research Pathway and actively collaborates with many faculty and trainees in the Pulmonary program.

Erik R. Svendsen, Ph.D., Professor, Public Health Sciences
Dr. Svendsen has substantial expertise in environmental exposure assessment and modeling. His primary interests are in the epidemiology of environmental and occupational lung disease. His recent research endeavors are concentrated on the recovery and aging of the lungs and pulmonary system following environmental injury, either from air pollution, radiation, or irritant gas exposures. Dr. Svendsen has directed multiple environmental health studies within discrete populations employing community-based participatory research and other community-engaged research methods.

Carole L. Wilson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine
Dr. Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Medicine/Pulmonary, working with Dr. Schnapp to decipher mechanisms and pathways involved in initiation and resolution of lung fibrosis. She directs the mouse pulmonary physiology core, and Clinical Science Building vivarium. She is responsible for day to day training and mentorship of new basic science trainees, and is an active mentor in several career development programs within MUSC.