Duke Coordinating Center Team
Lisa McElroy, MD, MS graduated from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 2009 as part of the Leadership in Medicine for the Underserved Program. She completed her general surgery residency training at the Medical College of Wisconsin. During her training, she was selected for a T32 postdoctoral research fellowship at Northwestern University, where she also earned a Master of Science in Health Services and Outcomes Research.
Dr. McElroy completed her clinical fellowship in abdominal transplant surgery at the University of Michigan and is currently an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Population Health Sciences at Duke University. Her research examines the influence of organizational characteristics on clinical outcomes of high cost, high acuity patients.
Dr. McElroy’s current projects, which aim to improve equity in access to transplantation by reducing bias in processes of care, are funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Surgical Association and the National Institutes of Health. She serves on the grants and fellowship committees of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and is an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Transplantation.
Allan D. Kirk, MD, PhD
Abdominal Transplant Surgeon
Chair, Duke University Department of Surgery
Surgeon in Chief, Duke Health
Allan D. Kirk, MD, PhD, FACS, is chair of the Department of Surgery in the Duke University School of Medicine and Surgeon-in-Chief for Duke University Health System. He is the David C. Sabiston, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Surgery and a professor of immunology and pediatrics. Dr. Kirk received his medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine in 1987 and a PhD in immunology at Duke in 1992. He went on to complete his general surgery residency at Duke in 1995, followed by an organ transplant fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997.
Dr. Kirk directs the Laboratory of Immune Management in the Department of Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine. His research focuses on the following three interrelated areas: 1) the use of costimulation blockade therapy to prevent organ rejection in transplant recipients, 2) antibody depletion therapies to condition patient immune systems for transplant, and 3) understanding how immunosuppressive agents can affect the immune system based on immune exhaustion, memory, and senescence.
Dr. Kirk is internationally recognized for work in transplant immunology, serving as the inaugural Chief of the Transplantation Branch for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and principal investigator for multiple clinical trials, including the first-in-man experience with novel immunosuppressive agents. He served as Editor-in-Chief for the American Journal of Transplantation from 2010 through 2020 and is now Editor Emeritus.
Nrupen Bhavsar, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor in Medicine
Associate Professor in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Duke University School of Medicine
Nrupen Bhavsar, PhD, MPH, is an Associate Professor in Medicine and an Assistant Professor in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics in the Duke University School of Medicine. After obtaining a degree from the Tulane University School of Medicine Master of Public Health program in 2003, Dr. Bhavsar attended The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He obtained his PhD in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins in 2010 and subsequently completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the New York University School of Medicine in 2011.
Dr. Bhavsar is a quantitative epidemiologist with methodological expertise in the design and analysis of observational studies that leverage data from cohort studies, registries, and the electronic health record (EHR). His background, training, and research is in the measurement and characterization of biomarkers, risk factors, and treatment outcomes for chronic disease using real-world datasets.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health and The Geneva Foundation, Dr. Bhavsar’s ongoing work aims to integrate informatics, epidemiology, and biostatistics to reduce the burden of chronic disease. In parallel, his research portfolio aims to understand the impact of social determinants of health, including dynamic neighborhood changes, such as gentrification, on the health of adults and children.
Duke Department of Sugery
Ursula Rogers is the Senior Informaticist for Duke Surgery in the Laboratory for Transformative Administration (LTA), and previously served as associate director of informatics for AI Health, to which she brought 25 years of experience in data management and software development. Her role at Duke AI Health involved expertise in understanding, extracting and curating data from the EHR and other clinical data sources for the purposes of Clinical Research, QI and Operations. Ursula enjoys working closely with clinicians on data science projects and for the past five years has been an integral part of AI/ML teams and ensuring they have the "big data" necessary for predictive models.
Ursula’s broad healthcare data knowledge has been key to many successes across the Health System and in programs such as Data+, AI Health, Duke Crucible and Learning Health Units. Prior to joining AI Health, she led curation of the Southeastern Diabetes Initiative Datamart (SEDI) at DTRI and was lead data analyst at DCRI’s Center for Learning Healthcare (CLHC), where she led all aspects of Clinical Research data management (database design, reporting, survey and eCRF design, user experience and ePROs).
Ursula graduated from Clarkson University (NY) with a degree in Computer Science.
Roland A. Matsouaka, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biostatics & Bioinformatics
Duke Department of Biostatics & Bioinformatics
Roland A. Matsouaka, PhD, is an assistant professor of biostatics & bioinformatics at Duke University, and a member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Dr. Matsouaka's methodological research focuses on nonparametric, semiparametric, and causal inference methods for comparative effectiveness studies, clinical trials affected by non-compliance, not-so-perfect experiments, and observational studies. His goal is to develop statistical methods that make the best use of the data collected to answer scientific questions while applying principled methods to minimize bias and ensure fair assessments.
The substantive areas of application of Dr. Matsouaka's research include public health, biomedical, and social sciences. As a faculty statistician in the Duke Clinical Research Institute, Dr. Matsouaka collaborates with clinical researchers to better understand and treat cardiovascular diseases. He is actively involved in the analyses of large registry data including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) National Database, the STS and American College of Cardiology (ACC) Transcatheter Valve Therapy (TVTR) Registry, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines (GTWG).
Dr. Matsouaka is also a member of the Duke Center REACH Equity Measures, Methods, and Analysis Subcore. The overarching goal of REACH Equity is to develop and test interventions that reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health by improving the quality of patient-centered care in the clinical encounter across settings, diagnoses, stages of illness, and throughout the life course. At REACH Equity, Dr. Matsouaka ensures the conduct of rigorous, reproducible, synergistic research related to the Center’s theme. In that regard, he advises clinical investigators and provide analytic and data management support for research projects conducted by the Center.
Tyler Schappe, MS
Duke Department of Biostatics & Bioinformatics
Tyler earned his first MS in Botany & Plant Pathology with a concentration in molecular biology from Oregon State University and his second MS in Statistics with a concentration in statistical genetics from North Carolina State University. He currently collaborates with researchers in the Abdominal Transplant Division of the Department of Surgery and in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. His main interests include hierarchical linear models, large "omics" datasets, Bayesian inference and Stan, machine learning, and spatial statistics.
Andrew Olson, MPP
Associate Director, Strategy and Solutions for Health Data Science
Duke AI Health
Andrew Olson, MPP, serves as Associate Director, Strategy and Solutions for Health Data Science with Duke AI Health. In this role, he manages a portfolio of research studies and quality improvement initiatives that leverage health data science and machine learning approaches to improve the value of health care for patients and populations.
Prior to joining AI Health, he worked as a Project Leader for initiatives with the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the Margolis Center for Health Policy, specializing in analyses related to end-of-life care, payment and delivery reforms, and state health policy reforms.
Before coming to Duke, he served as a public sector management consultant on engagements with state Medicaid and Health and Human Services agencies. He is a graduate of the Duke Sanford School’s Master of Public Policy program with a concentration in health policy.
Andrew Adams, MD, PhD
Abdominal Transplant Surgeon and Professor of Surgery
Director, Solid Organ Transplant Service Line
University of Minnesota
Andrew Adams, MD, PhD is a Professor and the John S. Najarian Surgical Chair in Clinical Transplantation in the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is also the Executive Medical Director for the Solid Organ Transplant Service Line at M Health Fairview. Dr. Adams earned his medical degree from Emory University Medical School, before completing his residency at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He returned to Emory University following residency to complete a transplant fellowship and later joined their faculty. There, he established an innovative translational research lab focused on developing cutting-edge technologies that improve patient care and outcomes for transplant patients.
As a transplant surgeon and scientist, Dr. Adams is interested in developing the best therapies and diagnostics for transplant patients by understanding the fundamental mechanisms of the immune system that give rise to organ rejection. As a graduate student, under the direction of Drs. Chris Larsen and Tom Pearson, Dr. Adams investigated the efficacy of costimulation blockade and helped develop Belatacept, now a clinically available therapy for transplant patients. Belatacept leads to improved survival and kidney function for renal transplant patients. The Adams’ Lab has four main areas of investigation: 1) costimulation blockade and costimulation independent rejection, 2) xenotransplantation, 3) transplant diagnostics, 4) transplant outcomes.
Dr. Adams' research efforts are concentrated on the development of novel strategies and therapeutics to promote transplantation tolerance. He has made important contributions to our understanding concerning the interplay between viral infection, immune memory, and the allo-immune response. Dr. Adams is also an internationally recognized expert in large animal models of xenotransplantation.
Katherine Ross-Driscoll, PhD, MPH
Division of Transplantation
Department of Surgery
Indiana University School of Medicine
Katherine Ross-Driscoll, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Ross-Driscoll was previously an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Emory University, and was a member of the Emory Transplant Health Services and Outcomes Research Program of the Department of Surgery, as well as the Health Services Research Center at Emory. She earned her Master of Public Health and PhD, both in Epidemiology, at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
Her primary research focuses on the influence that access to care and quality of care has on racial, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities in outcomes among patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD). Dr. Ross-Driscoll has been building a diverse body of work in health services research since her MPH years, has received a variety of research awards including the Young Innovator Award and the Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, and been published in such leading journals as the American Journal of Transplantation, Transplantation, and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Jessica Harding, PhD
Epidemiologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery
Dr. Jessica Harding is an epidemiologist with extensive experience in conducting chronic disease research at population and system levels in both academic and government settings.
She received her PhD in medical research (epidemiology) from Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia, in 2016, and engaged in a research fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2017-2019. During the latter period she focused on describing trends in diabetes and kidney disease-related complications in the United States, and examined variations in diabetes incidence and diabetes complications according to demographic, socioeconomic, and lifestyle risk factors.
At Emory, Dr. Harding is working on improving data collection and quality related to kidney disease and transplantation as a member of the Transplant Health Services and Outcomes Research Program.
David J. Taber, PharmD, BCPS
Transplant Pharmacist and Associate Professor of Surgery
Director of Transplant Clinical Trials
Medical University of South Carolina
David J. Taber, Pharm.D., BCPS is an Associate Professor of Surgery and the Director of Transplant Clinical Trials at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine. Dr. Taber earned both his Pharm.D. and his Master of Science in Public Health from MUSC. He completed a post-doctorate pharmacy specialty residency in transplantation at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Taber has approximately 15 years of post-residency experience providing pharmaceutical care to transplant patients.
Dr. Taber’s current research endeavors surround the study of optimizing medication utilization in transplantation and studying mechanisms to improve the peri-operative value of care in transplant surgery. He was recently the PI of a R18 study with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The primary purpose of the Transplant Medication Safety through a Pharmacist-Empowered, Patient-Centered, mHealth-Based Intervention (TRANSAFE Rx) study was to demonstrate significant reductions in medication safety issues leading to reduced healthcare resource utilization in kidney transplantation through a pharmacist-led, mHealth-enabled intervention. Dr. Taber was recognized by his peers as the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Investigator Award by the American College of Clinical Pharmacists.
Rhiannon Deierhoi-Reed, DrPH, MPH
Epidemiologist and Assistant Professor of Surgery
University of Alabama
Rhiannon Deierhoi-Reed, DrPH, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine. Dr. Deierhoi-Reed earned both her Master of Public Health and her DrPH from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health.
Dr. Deierhoi-Reed is an epidemiologist and clinical data analyst with a focus on long-term care of living kidney donors and organ transplant policy. She has interests in qualitative and mixed methods research, as well as dissemination and implementation science, particularly regarding education efforts to increase organ
Elisa J. Gordon, PhD, MPH
Medical Anthropologist and Clinical Ethicist
Department of Surgery
Director of Surgical Outcomes Research
Director of Transplant Outcomes Research
Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Elisa J. Gordon, PhD, MPH is a Professor in the Department of Surgery and Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She also serves as Director of Surgical Outcomes Research in the Section of Surgical Sciences, and Director of Transplant Outcomes Research. Dr. Gordon completed her doctorate in Medical Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University. Thereafter, she completed a Fellowship in Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. Dr. Gordon earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago, specializing in Community Health Sciences.
Dr. Gordon's research interests include: ethics of organ transplantation and donation, health disparities in health care access and outcomes, clinical trials of interventions to enhance patients' decision making and informed consent, and to reduce racial/ethnic disparities, patient engagement, and qualitative research and mixed methods. She has received funding from the NIDDK, NIAID, NINR, HRSA, VA, and DOD for her research in transplantation and decision aids.
Dr. Gordon currently serves as the Chair of the American Society of Transplantation's Psychosocial and Ethics Community of Practice, Member of the Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability (ACBTSA), Member of the Health Equity Advisory Board of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) of the ESRD National Coordinating Center, and Associate Editor for the American Journal of Transplantation. She served as the ex officio Chair of the UNOS Ethics Committee, and as Member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on A Fairer and More Equitable Cost-Effective and Transparent System of Donor Organ Procurement, Allocation, and Distribution.
Juan C. Caicedo-Ramirez, MD
Abdominal Transplant Surgeon and Professor of Surgery
Director of the Hispanic Kidney Transplant Program
Juan C. Caicedo Ramirez, MD is a Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where he also serves as the Director of the Hispanic Kidney Transplant Program. Dr. Caicedo is Director of the Liver Transplant Program, Living Donor Liver Program, and Hispanic Transplant Program at Northwestern Medicine. He is an adult and pediatric transplant surgeon who is actively involved in the adult kidney and liver transplant programs, including the living donor program for both kidney and liver. Dr. Caicedo is also involved in hepatobiliary surgery and advanced laparoscopic procedures. His primary goal has been to increase living kidney and liver donation and transplantation for Hispanic patients using a culturally competent and congruent approach that has been very successful. Dr. Caicedo has been a Co-Principal Investigator on a NIH funded grant to disseminate and implement his Hispanic Transplant Program. He receives calls from transplant centers around the world seeking his advice on how to replicate the model in their own institutions.
Aly T. Strauss MD, PhD, MIE
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Co-Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Unit for Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Johns Hopkins University
Aly Strauss is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she also serves as the Co-Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Unit for the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. She is an adult hepatologist who cares for general hepatology patients as well as pre- and post-liver transplant patients.
Dr. Strauss is currently funded by the NIH on a K08 to study the use of data science for improving health equity for patients referred for liver transplantation. Previously, Dr. Strauss completed her Masters in Industrial Engineering at the University of South Florida and her PhD in Clinical Investigation at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a faculty member in the Johns Hopkins University Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare.
Lastly, Dr. Strauss serves as an editorial board member for Liver Transplantation, a member on the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) Task Force for the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), a member on the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and a member on the Quality Committee for the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA).
Yue-Harn Ng, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Director, Transplant Fellowship Program
Division of Nephrology
University of Washington
Dr. Yue-Harn Ng received her medical degree from McGill University, Faculty of Medicine, in Montreal, Canada. She completed her Internal Medicine residency, Nephrology and Transplant Nephrology Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Ng has over 15 years of clinical experience caring for kidney transplant patients. She joined the Division of Nephrology at the University of Washington in 2020 as an Associate Professor of Medicine. She currently also holds the title of Transplant Nephrology Fellowship Program Director.
Dr. Ng is the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lead in her division and has a special interest in improving healthcare access in the underserved population. Her research interest is in identifying causes and addressing disparities in access to kidney transplant. She is currently working with the National Kidney Foundation to improve access to kidney transplant for all thru advocacy and education of patients and kidney disease providers.
In addition, Dr. Ng also works to improve access to kidney transplant for those facing additional barriers including elderly patients, patients with frailty and/or cognitive impairment etc.
Jesse Schold, PhD, M.Stat., MEd
Visiting Professor in Surgery-Transplant
University of Colorado Health, Anschutz Medical Campus
Jesse Schold, PhD, M.Stat., M.Ed. is Visiting Professor in Surgery-Transplant at the University of Colorado Health Anschutz Medical Campus. He received his undergraduate training at Emory University, two Masters degrees at North Carolina State University, and a Doctorate at the University of Florida.
Dr. Schold’s research interests include large database analyses, quality metrics for healthcare providers, health services research, disparities in access to healthcare and statistical and epidemiological methods. He has previously overseen outcomes monitoring and quality evaluation of the solid organ transplantation programs at the Cleveland Clinic and had a special interest in the development and use of report cards for evaluating the quality of transplant programs.
Dr. Schold has authored over 175 peer-reviewed scientific publications with primary focus in the field of organ transplantation. He has served on numerous national committees including the SRTR Scientific Technical-Advisory Committee, the OPTN Data and COIIN Advisory Committees, the AST Kidney-Pancreas and Education Committees and as an NIH Study Section Reviewer. Dr. Schold is currently a Statistical Editor for the American Journal of Transplantation. Dr. Schold has been a Co-investigator on multiple studies from the National Institutes of Health, Health Services and Resource Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has given over 100 invited national and international lectures and peer-reviewed abstract presentations at scientific conferences.
Adam J. Milam, MD, PhD
Senior Associate Consultant
Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Anesthesiology
Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, AZ
Adam J. Milam, M.D., Ph.D., conducts research centered on environmental determinants of health. Dr. Milam uses his training in public health, biostatistics and epidemiology to examine clinical outcomes in anesthesiology and opioid addiction. His understanding of substance use at the population level as well as the individual level enables him to develop interventions to reduce opioid use during the perioperative period. This is coupled with population-level work examining trends in opioid-involved overdose deaths and health data disparities in the classification of opioid-involved overdose deaths among African Americans.
Dr. Milam also studies how health is affected by human-made structures and surroundings, often called the built environment, and by people, groups and organizations in a community, referred to as the social environment. He has been a co-investigator on several grants examining how the built and social environments shape behavioral health outcomes among adolescent populations. He works collaboratively with national organizations and policymakers to implement policies to alter the built and social environment to reduce substance use and violence exposure among youth.
Marina Serper, MD, MS
Transplant Hepatologist and Associate Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology)
Associate Program Director for Research, Gastroenterology Fellowship
University of Pennsylvania
Marina Serper, MD, MS is a transplant hepatologist, an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Gastroenterology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and Staff Physician at the Corporal Michael J Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia.
Dr. Serper’s research focuses on: 1) investigating barriers to access and high quality care for patients with liver disease, 2) designing behavioral and health-system interventions utilizing health technology to improve care delivery and outcomes in chronic liver disease and liver transplantation, 3) evaluating how health literacy, medication understanding, and cognitive function affect medication adherence, self-care and health outcomes.
Dr. Serper is a health services researcher with a Master’s Degree in Health Services and Outcomes Research from Northwestern University