Program Leadership

Joey V. Barnett, Ph.D.

Program Director

Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Pharmacology
Professor of Pharmacology, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
Director, Office of Medical Student Research
Assistant Dean, Physician-Researcher Training

Dr.  Barnett was born in Evansville, Indiana where he studied biology at the University of Southern Indiana. He then completed his Ph.D. in pharmacology at Vanderbilt University in 1986. He subsequently served as a Research Fellow and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and returned to Vanderbilt as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in 1992. He currently serves as Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Pharmacology, Professor of Pharmacology, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology,  Director, Office of Medical Student Research, and Assistant Dean of Physician-Researcher Training at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. His research efforts are focused on growth factor receptor signaling during the development and maintenance of the cardiovascular system. He has published over 70 reports and his research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association (AHA).  In 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his studies elucidating the pharmacology of cardiovascular development. Dr. Barnett is a longtime volunteer with the AHA and has served in several leadership positions including President of the Nashville-Davidson County Board, Chair of the Affiliate Research Committee, and President of the Greater Southeast Affiliate. He currently serves on the both the Affiliate Nomination Committee and the Multicultural Committee, as well as on the National Diversity Leadership Committee and National Research Funding Subcommittee. In 2017 he was awarded the Louis B. Russell, Jr. Memorial Award of American Heart Association that recognizes an individual who has provided outstanding service to or has enhanced the relationship between the AHA and minority or underserved communities.

Kendra H. Oliver, Ph.D.

Digital Science Communication Specialist

Assistant Professor, Pharmacology

Kendra H. Oliver, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of pharmacology, School of Medicine (Basic Sciences) and in communication of science and technology (CSET), College of Arts and Sciences.  She is an experienced scientist passionate about science communication, multi-disciplinary projects, and online learning and engagement approaches.

Using online learning and visualization methods, she is exploring visual science communication to support online education and science marketing approaches.  Although classically trained as a research scientist in pharmacology, she considers herself a science communication designer with skills ranging from project management, pedagogical approaches to online learning, video production, instructional design, and web design.  With a foundation as a cross-disciplinary team member, she is interested in developing and utilizing these skills to produce science marketing, communication, and engagement strategies, particularly those at the intersection of art and science.

Currently she is assisting in the development of a trans-institutional framework to support digital resources.  The primary goal of this effort is to develop online novel programs and courses in drug discovery, a leading discipline at Vanderbilt University.  This effort has culminated in the development of Drug Discovery Online, a service core to assist faculty with instructional design, video and audio editing services, website design, and course assessment strategies.

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