Elevating Excellence & Transforming
Institutional Culture.
Core and Thematic Leaders

Core Leaders

The V-FIRST program consists of several key personnel across the institution who serve as core leaders within the program.

Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI
Senior Associate Dean, Healthy Equity and Inclusive Excellence (School of Medicine), and Professor of Medicine
Director of Administrative Core

Alyssa Hasty, PhD
Associate Dean for Faculty in the Basic Sciences, and Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Director of the Faculty Development Core

Duane Watson, PhD
Associate Provost, Faculty Development, Vanderbilt University
V-FIRST Leadership Team, Faculty Development Core 

Sarah Suiter, PhD, MS
Associate Professor of Human & Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University
V-FIRST, Evaluation Core Director

Sarah Beck, M.Ed, NCC
Program Manager, Vanderbilt University
V-FIRST Faculty Development Core & Evaluation Core

Monique Killyon
Senior Program Manager, VUMC Office for Diversity Affairs
V-FIRST Administrative Core

Walter Clair, MD, MPH
Professor and Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Co-investigator, Faculty Development Core

David Diehl, PhD, MA
Assistant Professor in Human and Organizational Development
Co-investigator, Evaluation Core

Felysha Jenkins, PhD
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Manager, Basic Sciences
Inclusive Excellence Programming

Linda Sealy, PhD
Former Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Basic Sciences
Recruiting and American Indian and Pacific Islander Faculty Support

Thematic Leaders 

Each thematic research area is lead by two senior research faculty who are internationally recognized in their fields and demonstrate a record of successful mentoring of early career faculty. 

Infection, Immunology, Inflammation, and Metabolism  

  • Nancy Carrasco, MD (Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics) 
  • Eric Skaar, PhD (Director of the Institute for Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation (VI4))

Genetic and Omic Discovery and Health Disparities  

  • Nancy Cox, PhD (Director of the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute (VGI)) 
  • Velma McBride Murry, PhD (Professor of Human and Organizational Development and Health Policy) 


  • Angela Jefferson, PhD (Professor of Neurology and Founding Director of the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center (VMAC))  
  • Lisa Monteggia, PhD (Director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute (VBI))  

Structural Biology and Imaging  

  • Dana Borden Lacy, PhD (Director of the Center for Structural Biology) 
  • Matthew Tyska, PhD (Scientific Director of the Cell Imaging Shared Resource)