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Center of Excellence in Inflammation, Infectious Disease & Immunity

Quillen College of Medicine

Center of Excellence in Inflammation, Infectious Disease and Immunity

Dr. Jennifer Hall is recipient of the 2019 Dean's Distinguished Teaching Award in the Basic Sciences


Jennifer HallThe Summer 2019 edition of  Quillen Magazine recently featured the following article. 

Dr. Jennifer Hall, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences, received the Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award in the Basic Sciences.

She has taught at Quillen since 2009.  During that time, she has earned several teaching accolades, including multiple nominations as Caduceus Club Professor of the Year.  She has also contributed to research, recently garnering two National Institute of Health grants.

“Over the last 10 years, Dr. Hall has become one of the most skilled and respected instructors at Quillen College of Medicine, “ said Dr. Robert Schoborg, Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences.  “Her teaching is of high quality, spans multiple programs within ETSU, and has helped improve both the educational and research environment at Quillen.


The Center of Excellence in Inflammation, Infectious Disease, and Immunity congratulates member Jennifer Hall, PhD, on her award.


ETSU and Vanderbilt scientists co-author editorial commentary for the Journal of Leukocyte Biology


lab group  Front row (left to right): Yana Wang, Min Fan, Melanie McGlothlin, Tammy Ozment; Second row (left to right): Zuchao Ma, Chuanfu Li, Kun Yang, David Williams; Third row (left to right): Cody Winstead, Greylon Gawaluck, Spencer Gill, Fei Tu; (Inset) Edward R. Sherwood


     Dr. David Williams and Dr. Chuanfu Li have long been collaborators with Vanderbilt’s Dr. Edward Sherwood. Recently the scientists teamed up to publish an invited editorial commentary in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.  Their commentary “Loss of monocytemetabolic plasticity in endotoxin tolerance: A model for understanding sepsis-induced immune paralysis?” discusses the implications of the immune paralysis that frequently occurs in sepsis patients. The invited commentary provides insights on a corresponding article in the same issue of the journal authored by Dr. Inge Grondman and colleagues.  Grondman, et al.’s article “Endotoxin-induced immunotolerance is associated with loss of monocyte metabolic plasticity and reduction of oxidative burst” was a Frontline Science paper and the Highlighted Article for the June issue of the journal. Drs. Williams, Li and Sherwood noted that “The research of Dr. Grondman and colleagues may have significant implications for our understanding of the immune paralysis that plagues many sepsis patients. Their data suggest that modulation of metabolic pathways in human monocytes, and perhaps other immune competent cells, may play a crucial role in decreasing susceptibility of immunosuppressed patients to secondary infections.”

     David L. Williams, PhD, is a Co-Director of the CIIDI and holds the Carroll Hardy Long Chair of Excellence for Surgical Research in the Department of Surgery, where he also serves as Professor.  CIIDI member Dr. Chuanfu Li, MD, is also a Professor in the Department of Surgery.  Fellow researcher, Edward R. Sherwood, MD, PhD, is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair and Professor of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.


Drs. Quinn and Zheng Receive Funding to Study ACEs

Quinn, Zheng, and Loudermilk

Dr. Megan Quinn (above, left) and Dr. Shimin Zheng (above, center), Associate Professors in the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, have been awarded a Research Development Committee Major Grant for a pilot study to assess how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) affect a patient’s readiness to adhere to HIV treatment. 

The researchers will collaborate with the Center of Excellence for HIV/AIDS and the Center of Excellence in Inflammation, Infectious Disease and Immunity.  This project stemmed from work that Dr. Quinn completed with Elaine Loudermilk, a Doctor of Public Health student in the Department of Epidemiology (above, right).  This project will be conducted as part of Ms. Loudermilk’s doctoral dissertation.

Southern Appalachia has a higher HIV prevalence than other parts of Appalachia, and people living with HIV/AIDS have reported ACEs and substance abuse as reasons for not adhering to treatment. Life traumas like ACEs are known to play a role in HIV risk behaviors; however, little information exists to aid healthcare providers in understanding how ACEs might impact a patient’s motivation and readiness to adhere to HIV treatment.

The Center of Excellence for HIV/AIDS treats patients from rural Appalachia who report a wide range of sociodemographic backgrounds and trauma histories. Although the Center has a multidisciplinary healthcare team approach and provides financial and social support services to assist patients with quality of life, it is always interested in increasing their current understanding of factors that influence HIV treatment adherence among their patients.

In order to aid the Center in overcoming barriers to HIV treatment adherence that may be related to ACEs in rural Appalachia, Loudermilk, Quinn, and Zheng will develop a screening tool specifically designed for the Center’s patient population.   This screening tool, combined with patient interviews, will help to better understand ACEs, other life traumas, and barriers to medication adherence. Results from this project will hopefully improve patient care, particularly for those who report challenges with medication adherence.

This research will be among the first in rural Appalachia to assess and quantify the relationship between ACEs and perceived barriers to care for people with HIV/AIDS. 

Drs. Quinn and Zheng are members of the Center of Excellence in Inflammation, Infectious Disease, and Immunity.  Ms Loudemilk is a CIIDI student member.


This release is courtesy of ETSU College of Public Health.


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