Tinsley R. Harrison Translational Research Training Pathway

The Tinsley R. Harrison Translational Research Training Pathway was founded by the Department of Internal Medicine in 2006. It is designed to provide Internal Medicine residents the unique opportunity for structured research training and support as a means of enhancing research career development. The pathway provides an important mechanism for both basic scientists and physician researchers to interface with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's numerous clinical trials and clinical research endeavors. This helps overcome traditional barriers that hinder basic science application to clinically relevant questions.

Tinsley Harrison Research Program Continuum

The pathway is led by Dr. Bharathi Upadhya, associate professor for Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Medicine and the director of resident research. Trainees in this program receive instruction and practical experience in either basic or patient-centered investigation in a resource-rich and mentored environment.

The Tinsley R. Harrison program offers an in-depth research experience for residents who are considering academic careers as clinical researchers or physician scientists. Residents selected for the program are provided with additional protected research time and didactic research training in a small group setting. Residents receive training in fundamental research techniques in a wide range of disciplines reflecting the ever increasing multi- and cross-disciplinary nature of biomedical research.

Residents who are interested in the Tinsley R. Harrison translational research training pathway are encouraged to apply during their intern year. However, second-year residents who are already involved in a research project and want the added support that the Tinsley R. Harrison research pathway provides can apply during their second year of residency. Residents are encouraged to identify a research mentor early and to carefully plan out a project timeline. Tinsley Harrison scholars are given additional elective time for research during their PGY-2 and PGY-3 years to complete their project and write up the results. 

Program Goals

Goals of the program include: 

  • Train the translational research faculty of the future from within our own ranks.
  • Provide residents the opportunity for a formalized and complete research experience.
  • Encourage publication and presentation of the residents’ scholarly work.
  • Provide resident researchers with protected time to further develop their knowledge and skills in biomedical and clinical research, along with scheduled time to complete a research project in their area of interest.

Current Tinsley Harrison Scholars and Ongoing Projects

The Tinsley R. Harrison Translational Research Training Pathway reflects the dedication of the Department of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest to foster research career opportunities for our residents and embrace a culture of inquiry. This is an excellent opportunity to work within a multidisciplinary team of researchers capable of solving the challenges of complex diseases. Below is a list of our current Tinsley Harrison scholars, along with their respective projects and faculty mentors. 


PGY-3 Residents

  Resident Scholar Project Title Faculty Mentor
 Taylor Rey Brooks, MD Taylor Brooks Paclitazxel therpaautic drug monitoring in cancer patiens: a feasibility study Dr. Roy Strowd
 Christopher Hong Chu, MD Chris Chu Allergy and Immunology: Comprehensive Evaluation of rApid Environmental Immunotherapy Dr. Russell Traister
 Jeffrey Wayne Lantz, DO Jeffrey Lantz To compare the efficacy and tolerability of dose adjusted RVD (lenalidomide, bortezomib, dexathasone-RVD lite) with standard induction RVD in patients diagnosed with multiple myleoma Dr. Cesar Rodriguez
 Daniel John Margalski, DO Dan Margalski Machine learning for prospective identification of immunotherapy related adverse events (irAEs) Dr. Thomas Lycan, Dr. Umit Topaloglu
 Megha Penmetsa, MD Megha Penmetsa Using echocardiography to look at the rate of failure of bioprosthetic aoric valves in patients with ESRD Dr. Karl Richardson

PGY-2 Residents

 Justin Jun-Young Cheng, MD Justin Cheng Assessment of Electronic Health Record (HER)-based Frailty Index (eFI) in Older Adults with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Dr. Heidi Klepin, Dr. Kathryn Callahan, Janet Tooze (statistician)
 Katelyn Elaine Madigan, MD Katelyn Madigan Distinctive Clinical Correlates of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth with Methanogens Dr. Richard Weinberg
 Saif Iqbal Alimohamed, MD Saif Alimohamed Applying deep learning algorithms to determine the efficacy of liquid biopsy for cancer management Dr. Umit Topaloglu
 Eric Matthew Olson, MD Eric Olson Immunotherapy Outcome Database - Geriatric Comorbidity and Functional Status Risk Assessment Dr. Thomas Lycan
 Jiaqian Xu, MD Jane Xu Association between breast arterial calcification on routine screening mamography and coronary artery disease: a case-controlled pilot study Dr. Michael Shapiro