New Faculty Additions – 2023

The Department of Internal Medicine is pleased to introduce faculty members who joined us from January through May 2023 (start dates in parentheses). We are happy to welcome them to the department.

Jason Allen, MD – Clinical Assistant Professor (2/1/23)

Dr. Jason Allen joined the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine as a Clinical Assistant. Dr. Allen received his MD from the Carver College of Medicine, followed by an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Utah, where he also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Allen completed fellowships in both Cardiovascular Medicine and Internventional Cardiology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. His clinical and research interests include out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), high risk percutaneous intervention and structural heart disease. He enjoys biking and spending time with his family (wife, Sara, and sons, Brecken & Isaac) in his free time.

Jose Angel, MD – Clinical Assistant Professor (1/20/23)

Dr. Jose Angel joined the Division of General Internal Medicine after twenty years as clinical faculty at Des Moines University. Dr. Angel earned his MD from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, followed by an Internal Medicine residency, including a year as Chief Resident, at the University of Nebraska in Omaha.

Kristen Followwill Walker, DO – Clinical Assistant Professor (4/15/23)

Dr. Kristen Followwill Walker comes to the Division of General Internal Medicine from Mercy Hospital in Iowa City, where she served as a hospitalist and surgical co-management consultant. Dr. Followwill Walker received her DO from the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale, Arizona, followed by Internal Medicine residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. With her career as a hospitalist, she has had the privilege to take care of patients with a wide range of illnesses that have required hospitalization. Her greatest joy in this position is helping the patient and family understand a new or recurrent health problem and working with them through the treatment course to improve their health. Outside of work, she enjoys biking, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.

Yi Huang, MD, PhD – Associate Professor (3/31/23)

Dr. Yi Huang joined the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation as an Associate Professor from his recent faculty position at the Hillman Cancer Center of the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Huang received his MD from Nanjing Medical University in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, followed by a surgical residency there. He earned a PhD in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and completed an oncology postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. The main research focus of Dr. Huang’s laboratory is to understand how epigenetic abnormality regulates breast cancer initiation, progression, and resistance to therapy, with the goal to improve precision medicine and outcomes for breast cancer patients. In his spare time, Dr. Huang enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing tennis, hiking, cooking, gardening, and traveling.

Serhan Karvar, MD, PhD – Clinical Associate Professor (3/1/23)

Dr. Serhan Karvar joined the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology as a Clinical Associate Professor, from his recent faculty position at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Dr. Karvar received his medical degree from Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey. In 1998, he completed his MD/PhD thesis at Bayerische-Julius-Maximilian-University in Wurzburg, Germany. From 1993-2000, he competed a combined Internal Medicine residency and GI Fellowship at Wurzburg University Hospital and Dresden University Hospital in Dresden, Germany. Dr. Karvar previously served as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. His clinical and research interests focus on Inflammatory Bowel Disease and General Gastroenterology. ​Outside of work he enjoys hiking, traveling, eating out and coffee shops.

Sarah Short, PhD – Assistant Professor (5/1/23)

Dr. Sarah Short recently joined the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation as an Assistant Professor from her position as a Research Instructor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Short received her PhD in Cancer Biology from Vanderbilt, followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship and research faculty appointment in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. Her research focuses on mechanisms that contribute to the development and progression of colon cancer and intestinal disease, with a particular focus on how these pathways are mediated by selenium-containing antioxidant proteins. In order to model cancer and gut biology, her work utilizes a variety of novel animal models as well as mouse- and human-derived 3D intestinal organoids. When she’s not working, she enjoys hiking and camping with her husband and dog, Lexi, and taking advantage of any opportunity to explore the Iowa City area.

Sabrina Tan, MD – Associate Professor (2-1-23)

Dr. Sabrina Tan joins the Division of Infectious Diseases as an Associate Professor from a faculty position at Harvard Medical School. After graduating with a Chemistry major from MIT, Dr. Tan received her MD from New York University School of Medicine in New York City, followed by an Internal Medicine residency at the NYU/Bellevue Program there. She completed her fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston. As a physician scientist, her clinical interest focuses on Transplant Infectious Diseases and her laboratory conducts research in viral immunology. The Tan Lab seeks to elucidate neuropathogenesis of HIV, to understand the human host immune response to the polyomaviruses JC and BK, and to translate findings to clinical trials of potential therapies. In her free time, she enjoys reading fiction, cheering on her three boys at their various sports, and eating and cooking delicious food from all regions of the world.

Emma Stapleton Thornell, PhD – Research Assistant Professor (3-3-23)

Dr. Emma Thornell was recently appointed to the rank of Research Assistant Professor within the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Occupational Medicine, from her position as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar. Dr. Thornell earned her PhD in Conservation Medicine from the Universidad Andres Bello in Santiago, Chile, after which she held post-doctoral fellowship positions at the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health and Carver College of Medicine. Her research investigates the role of air pollution exposure in lung disease. She has most recently collaborated with UI pulmonologists to study the role of bioaerosol in sarcoidosis outcomes. Dr. Thornell’s hobbies include reading, swimming, yoga, and, when possible, mountain activities. She enjoys eating a good meal with her husband and relaxing with their XL herding mix, Hudson, and wizened Shar Pei mix, Chloe.

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