Investigators and Collaborators

The widened perspective that comes from different disciplines working together on overlapping interests is essential to the research method of the Emory Transplant Health Services and Outcomes Research Program. Our interaction with the following collaborators and investigators from the Emory University School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health has created a unique, team-based approach for transplant research that does much to maximize our patients' superior quality outcomes.

Department of Surgery

All of our collaborators from the Department of Surgery of the Emory University School of Medicine are members of the Division of Transplantation.

Raul Badell, MD

Dr. Badell's clinical practice consists primarily of kidney/pancreas transplantation. His research interests involve basic transplant immunology and clinical investigations aimed at optimizing the use of belatacept in kidney transplant recipients.

Mandy Ford, PhD

Dr. Ford is scientific director of the Emory Transplant Center and a leading researcher in the study of the cellular mechanisms of T cell responses in transplantation and immunosuppression. Her work is funded by various federal, foundation, and industry grants. She was a vital member of the Emory research team led by Dr. Christian Larsen and Dr. Thomas Pearson that helped develop belatacept as a successful new class of immunosuppressant.

Jessica Harding, PhD

As a research fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2017-2019, Dr. Harding focused on describing trends in diabetes and kidney disease-related complications in the United States. At Emory, she is working to improve data collection and quality related to kidney disease and transplantation.

Christian Larsen, MD, DPhil

Dr. Larsen's clinical practice is focused on kidney, pancreas, and islet transplantation at Emory University Hospital and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. He is also an affiliate scientist at Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Together with long-time collaborator Thomas Pearson, MD, DPhil, Dr. Larsen has played a pivotal role in developing a new class of immunosuppressive drugs, the co-stimulation blockers, and belatacept in particular.

Raymond Lynch, MD

Dr. Lynch specializes in adult and pediatric liver and kidney transplantation and hepatopancreatobiliary diseases and malignancies. His academic interests include resource utilization and outcomes analysis in transplantation.

Joseph Magliocca, MD

Dr. Magliocca's clinical practice focuses on liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery, while his research involves organ preservation, ischemia and reperfusion injury, and immunosuppression management in post-transplant patients.

Ronald Parsons, MD

Dr. Parson specializes in kidney, pancreatic, and liver transplantation. His basic science and clinical research activities are rooted in immunology. His current projects include B-cell and plasma cell transplant immunology, developing techniques for maintaining humoral transplant tolerance in naïve transplant recipients, and designing strategies for improving organ access in highly-sensitized organ transplant candidates.

Katherine Ross-Driscoll, PhD, MPH

Dr. Ross-Driscoll's primary research focuses on the influence access to care and quality of care has on racial, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities in outcomes among patients with end-stage liver disease.

Department of Medicine

The Department of Medicine is a component of the Emory University School of Medicine.

Aneesh Mehta, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases

Dr. Mehta specializes in researching clinical and translational viral immunology. Specifically, he focuses on developing predictive immunologic and virologic signatures for pathogen specific protective immunity. He is currently exploring the effects of various immunosuppressive agents, such as belatacept, tacrolimus, rapamycin, and thymoglobulin, on the function of CMV- and EBV-specific T lymphocytes in kidney transplant recipients.

David Neujahr, MD, PhD, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Dr. Neujahr investigates components of patient care in lung transplantation and ways of increasing access to lung transplant across communities. His work has also focused on lung biomarkers of injury that can predict the subsequent development of chronic rejection.

Stephen Pastan, MD, Division of Renal Medicine

Dr. Pastan's research focuses on improving access to kidney transplantation by means of innovative educational tools to improve knowledge about the potential benefits of kidney transplantation. He is also interested in the socioeconomic and geographic determinants of health in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients.

Ruth Parker, MD, Division of General Medicine/Geriatrics

Dr. Parker is highly active in the areas of medical education, health literacy, and health services in relation to underserved populations, and has collaborated extensively with various communities and organizations.

Laura Plantinga, PhD, ScM, Division of Renal Medicine

With a primary interest in the quality of care among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD), Dr. Plantinga collaborates on a variety of studies aimed at improving care in the underserved CKD/ESRD patient population with Emory investigators in transplant, geriatrics, rheumatology, epidemiology, and renal medicine.

Joel P. Wedd, MD, MPH, Division of Digestive Diseases

Dr. Wedd's clinical interests include end-stage liver disease, portal hypertension, and hepatocellular carcinoma, while his research concentrates on improving the appropriate prioritization of patients for liver transplantation.

Department of Pediatrics

The Department of Pediatrics is a component of the Emory University School of Medicine.

Roshan George, MD, Division of Nephrology

Dr. Roshan is a pediatric nephrologist with clinical and research interests in pediatric renal transplantation, transplant immunology, and quality improvement in transplantation. She has conducted investigations of the immune repertoire of pediatric patients with chronic renal insufficiency.

Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education

The Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education is a component of the Rollins School of Public Health.

Cam Escoffery, PhD, MPH

Dr. Escoffery has conducted research on health promotion, cancer prevention and control, health technology and media, and dissemination and implementation research. She has served as PI on grants funded by the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Healthcare Georgia Foundation.

Kimberly Jacob Arriola, PhD, MPH

Dr. Arriola's work focuses on improving the health of marginalized populations and communities of color, with her specific interests including HIV/AIDS among correctional populations, organ and tissue donation among African Americans, and breast cancer education and treatment support for underserved women in Atlanta.

Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

The Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics is a component of the Rollins School of Public Health.

Sudeshna Paul, PhD

Dr. Paul specializes in developing new statistical methods with targeted applications for problems in biology, imaging, and public health. Her current methodological research focuses on modeling the dynamics of dyadic/relational data (friendship, spousal/relatives information, contacts in a population) based on various measured and unmeasured covariates to construct longitudinal models that capture various aspects of the underlying network structure.

Rebecca Zhang, MS

Ms. Zhang has analyzed data for a variety of studies, including investigations of disparities in transplant outcomes, treatment, and access; studies of indicators, risk factors, and prevention measures for frailty and functional decline conditions in hemodialysis patients; and examinations of therapeutic interventions to enhance quality of life for post-stroke patients.

Department of Epidemiology

The Department of Epidemiology is a component of the Rollins School of Public Health.

William M. McClellan, MD, MPH

Dr. McClellan's recent research has included investigations of racial disparities among patients with chronic kidney disease; examinations of anemia and kidney disease as risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke; studies of the familial aggregation of chronic kidney disease; and analyses of patient and treatment center variations in quality of care, vascular access, vaccination use, and outcomes among patients with ESRD.

Department of Health Policy and Management

The Department of Health Policy and Management is a component of the Rollins School of Public Health.

Jason Hockenberry, PhD

Dr. Hockenberry is interested in the role of health care providers' human capital in patient outcomes, patients' investment in their own health, the effectiveness and impacts of publicly available provider quality information, and the role of technology in health, health economics, and applied microeconometrics.

David Howard, PhD

Dr. Howard's research focuses on the value of early detection in improving cancer survival rates and the impact of quality on a patient's choice of health care provider.

Department of Emergency Medicine

The Department of Emergency Medicine is a component of the Emory University School of Medicine.

Justin Schrager, MD, MPH

Dr. Schrager's primary research interests are improving health outcomes and resource utilization in the emergency department, and identifying socioeconomic factors that contribute to poor access to kidney transplantation in the Southeastern U.S.

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine is a component of the Emory University School of Medicine.

Nancy Kutner, PhD

Under a contract with the National Institute on Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Kutner directs a United States Renal Data System Special Studies Center on Rehabilitation and Quality of Life located at Emory. Her current projects focus on functional outcomes among persons with stroke and osteoarthritis as well as chronic kidney disease.