10 faculty members named as 2020 Chancellor Faculty Fellows


By Dana Meeks

Ten outstanding faculty members from across the university have been selected for the 2020 cohort of Chancellor Faculty Fellows. This group is composed of highly accomplished, recently tenured faculty from a wide variety of disciplines and areas of expertise.

“Investing in this remarkable group of faculty demonstrates our long-term commitment as a university to their advancement, leadership and pursuit of discovery,” said Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente. “I offer my congratulations to the 2020 cohort and know that their research and scholarship will play an integral role in solving some of the most pressing issues that we face today and in the future, both locally and globally.”

The selected faculty members will meet as a group during the course of their fellowships to exchange ideas on teaching and research, building a broader intellectual community that advances trans-institutional scholarship.

The newly named 2020 Chancellor Faculty Fellows are:

The Chancellor Faculty Fellows program was launched in September 2014 under the Trans-Institutional Programs, or TIPs, initiative to support outstanding faculty who have recently received tenure. Some highlights of accomplishments from last year’s cohort of fellows include:

  • Terrah Foster Akard, associate professor of nursing, was named the co-director of graduate studies for the Ph.D. in Nursing Science program this past year and was invited to serve as co-chair of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative Planning Committee and as a member of the Scientific Committee. She also contributed to the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing and Progress in Palliative Care.
  • Sun-Joo Cho, associate professor of psychology, received a National Science Foundation grant for a research project focused on developing methods for analyzing eye-tracking data that provides a more accurate view of the underlying cognitive processes of human behavior. Findings from her research were published in one of the top-tier journals of psychometrics, Psychometrika. Earlier this year, Cho was named as an Association for Psychological Science Fellow for her sustained outstanding contributions to the science of psychology.
  • William Grissom, associate professor of biomedical engineering, along with his VUMC collaborators, won a $3.6 million grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering for the development of an ultrasound neuromodulation device as a non-invasive and non-addictive method for treating chronic pain. Grissom also contributed to an article, “Designing parallel transmit head coil arrays based on radiofrequency pulse performance,” which was featured in the Journal of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine as the cover article.
  • Lori Jordan, associate professor of pediatrics, has received two grants in the past year from the National Institutes of Health: the K24 Award for Mentoring in Patient-Oriented Research, which supports a portion of her time mentoring young researchers; and the U34 Award, which supports her work in Identifying Modifiable Risk and Protective Factors for Neurocognitive Complications of Pediatric Type 1 Diabetes.

Chancellor Faculty Fellow candidates are nominated by their deans and colleagues. With collaborative oversight by Tracey George, vice provost for faculty affairs and Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor in Law and Liberty, and Jennifer Pietenpol, Vanderbilt University Medical Center executive vice president for research and B.F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology, Biochemistry and Otolaryngology, the TIPs Council reviewed and made final recommendations to Wente and Jeff Balser, dean of the School of Medicine and VUMC President/CEO, on the many excellent nominations received for the 2020 cohort.