DOCS Scholar-Physicians

Nearly 20 scholar-physicians are part of the Disease-Oriented Clinical Scholars (DOCS) Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Jeffrey Browning, M.D.

Jeffrey Browning, M.D.

Associate Professor and Chair
Clinical Nutrition and Internal Medicine

Research Interest: Understanding metabolic derangements that lead to fatty liver disease, through the application of advanced imaging, and metabolic techniques.

Ezra Burstein, M.D.

Ezra Burstein, M.D.

Professor
Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology

Research Interest: Understanding the regulation of the inflammatory response at a molecular level, and elucidating how these events may participate in human disease. We are particularly interested in pathways that regulate inflammation in the gastrointestinal mucosa, and their potential role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease.
Burstein Lab website

Kenneth Chen, M.D.

Kenneth Chen, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Pediatrics and Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern

Research Interest: How mutations in childhood kidney cancer regulate tumor formation and progression at a molecular level, especially mutations that affect microRNA processing.

Stephen Chung, M.D.

Stephen Chung, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine and Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern

Research Interest: Understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate normal and malignant hematopoiesis, with a goal of identifying novel therapeutic vulnerabilities in myeloid malignancies such as the myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia. In particular, we are interested in utilizing novel dysregulated cell surface antigens to study the cell of origin in these diseases. Areas of interest also include understanding the role of dysregulated translation in disease stem cells, as well as understanding the relationships between hematopoietic stem cell aging, clonal hematopoiesis, and myeloid malignancies.

Luke Engelking, M.D., Ph.D.

Luke Engelking, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine, Molecular Genetics and Center for Human Nutrition

Research Interest: Elucidating the roles of lipids in the control of epithelial homeostasis of the digestive tract, and revealing how particular lipids, such as cholesterol, contribute to human diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal cancers. We have a particular focus on the transcriptional regulation of intestinal lipid biosynthesis by SREBPs, a critically important family of transcription factors that controls cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body.

Tamia Harris-Tryon, M.D., Ph.D.

Tamia Harris-Tryon, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Dermatology and Immunology

Research Interest: Skin is the largest organ in the body and harbors bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites on the surface and within skin appendages. Using a range of experimental approaches, we investigate the interactions between skin bacteria and the immune system. The goal of our research group is to gain a greater understanding of how bacteria on the skin surface affect skin health and diseases.
Harris-Tryon Lab website

Sarah Huen, M.D., Ph.D.

Sarah Huen, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine and Pharmacology

Research Interest: Understanding how metabolic adaptation can promote survival and tissue protection during inflammatory states such as sepsis. We are particularly interested in understanding the role and regulation of kidney metabolism in health and disease.
Huen Lab website

Lu Le, M.D., Ph.D.

Lu Le, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Dermatology

Research Interest: Dr. Le’s scientific work bridges the fields of Cancer Biology, Developmental Biology, and Stem Cell Biology that focus on identification of the tumor cells of origin and investigating how genetic and tumor microenvironmental factors interplay to regulate cancer development.
Le Lab website

Lenette Lu, M.D., Ph.D.

Lenette Lu, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine and Immunology

Research Interest: We are interested in how the landscape of humoral immunity mediates host microbial interactions. More specifically, in tuberculosis we see divergent immunoglobulin profiles and functions in individuals with different states of infection and disease. Our goal is to delineate the mechanisms by which antibody features and effector functions modulate the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and impact these host outcomes, with implications in biomarker and vaccine development.

Ravikanth Maddipati, M.D.

Ravikanth Maddipati, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine and Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern

Research Interest: Our focus is to understand how cellular and molecular heterogeneity develops and impacts normal tissue growth, tumor formation, metastatic progression, and therapy resistance. We are particularly interested in pancreatic cancer and employ novel murine models, screening tools, and informatics based approaches to address these fundamental questions.
Maddipati Lab website

David McFadden, M.D., Ph.D.

David McFadden, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine and Biochemistry

Research Interest: The McFadden lab uses genetically engineered mice and human cancer cells to identify new genes and small molecules that regulate cancer cell growth. Current projects involve Ewing sarcoma, thyroid cancer, and small cell lung cancer.
McFadden Lab website

Nikhil Munshi, M.D., Ph.D.

Nikhil Munshi, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine, Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth & Development and Molecular Biology

Research Interest: Transcriptional and epigenetic control of cardiac rhythm; lineage conversion and cardiac pacemaker reprogramming; regeneration of cardiac rhythm.
Munshi Lab website

Deepak Nijhawan, M.D., Ph.D.

Deepak Nijhawan, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine and Biochemistry

Research Interest: We aim to discover the mechanism of action for small molecules with anti-cancer activity. Using this approach, we expect to unveil new biological pathways, and in some cases, provide lead molecules for therapeutic development.
Nijhawan Lab website

Sangeetha Reddy, M.D.

Sangeetha Reddy, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine

Research Interest: Our research focus is to target the tumor immune microenvironment of breast cancers and develop rational combinations of immunotherapy with other therapeutic modalities to improve patient outcomes. We are particularly interested in targeting innate immunity pathways to initiate anti-tumor immune responses.

Michael Shiloh, M.D., Ph.D.

Michael Shiloh, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine and Microbiology

Research Interest: Our long-term goal is to elucidate host-pathogen interactions that govern the ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) to cause disease in humans. We are taking an integrated approach, using powerful new molecular genetic, cell biologic, bioinformatic and metabolomic tools to test novel hypotheses and challenge existing paradigms. Our ultimate aim is to use this knowledge to develop new vaccines and treatments for Mtb.
Shiloh Lab website

Peter Tsai, M.D., Ph.D.

Peter Tsai, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Neurology & Neurotherapeutics, Neuroscience, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry

Research Interest: We are interested in understanding the molecular, cellular, and circuit mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders in order to leverage those discoveries into translational opportunities. Recent studies from the laboratory have cast light on the contribution of non-canonical, but strongly clinically implicated brain regions to these disorders. We are using a combination of functional neural modulation, electrophysiology, precision behavioral, circuit, cellular, and molecular phenotyping to elucidate the contributions of these brain regions. Concomitantly, we are demonstrating the translational potential of modifying these pathways to benefit these disrupted phenotypes with the goal of translating these findings into therapies that will benefit individuals with these often devastating disorders.
Tsai Lab website

Emre Turer, M.D., Ph.D.

Emre Turer, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine and Center for the Genetics of Host Defense

Research Interest: We are interested in finding genes with novel functions in intestinal immune homeostasis. Our projects generally involve a mix of experimental approaches examining both the intestinal epithelium as well as hematopoietic causes of intestinal inflammation.
Turer Lab website

Rafael Ufret-Vincenty, M.D.

Rafael Ufret-Vincenty, M.D.

Associate Professor
Ophthalmology

Research Interest: Improving our understanding of the mechanisms of disease in early age-related macular degeneration and the mechanisms of retinal recovery from injury using animal models.
Ufret-Vincenty Lab website

Richard Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

Richard Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Dermatology

Research Interest: Glucose transport and metabolism, DNA tumor viruses
Richard Wang Lab website

Sam Wang, M.D.

Sam Wang, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Surgery

Research Interest: 1) Understanding the functional effects of chromatin remodeling molecule mutations in foregut malignancies. 2) Dissecting the molecular mechanisms behind gastric cancer outcome disparities associated with patient ethnicity and race.

Jeffrey Zigman, M.D., Ph.D.

Jeff Zigman, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor
Internal Medicine and Psychiatry

Research Interest: Understanding the mechanisms by which the gut-brain axis controls body weight, eating, blood glucose, and mood in normal and disease states by studying the hormone ghrelin.
Zigman Lab website