Academic Affairs & Faculty Development

VPCAT Research Scholars Program


2018-2019 Scholar Cohort

Jacqueline Eaton, PhD

My research uses transdisciplinary approaches to enhance the quality of life for older adults and their caregivers through arts-based interventions. I use participatory mixed method research to create ethnodrama as a form of high fidelity simulation. Most recently I am working with certified nursing assistants to incorporate creative caregiving techniques in long term care.

Jason P. Glotzbach, MD

Dr. Jason Glotzbach is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Utah.  While his clinical practice spans all aspects of adult cardiac surgery, he has a special interest in aortic disease.  Dr. Glotzbach received his undergraduate degree in History from Princeton University and his me... Read More

Research Interests: Aortic Aneurysm, Aortic Diseases, Aortic Dissection, Aortic Surgery, Aortic Valve, Cardiovascular Genetics, Marfan Syndrome and other Aortic Disorders, Valve Sparing Aortic Root Replacement

Specialties: Adult Cardiac Surgery, Aortic Aneurysm Surgery, Aortic Dissection, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery, Heart Failure, Heart Valve Surgery, Maze Surgery, Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery, Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVI or TAVR)

Fellowship: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Residency: UNC Hospitals, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Residency: UNC Hospitals, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine


Avery Holton, PhD

Avery E. Holton joined the Department of Communication faculty in 2013 after completing his doctoral dissertation as a William Powers Fellow in the College of Communication at the University of Texas Austin. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy for his work on social media and health communication as well as a Doctoral Certification for his work on disabilities studies.

Lyen C. Huang, MD, MPH, FACS, FASCRS

Dr. Lyen C. Huang, MD, MPH, FACS, FASCRS, is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Family & Preventative Medicine and Population Health Sciences at the University of Utah. He specializes in complex and minimally-invasive intestinal surgery. His clinical practice incl... Read More

Specialties: Colon Cancer, Colon and Rectal Cancer, Colorectal Surgery, Hemorrhoids, Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Crohn's/Ulcerative Colitis, Surgery, General

Fellowship: Mayo Clinic

Residency: Stanford University School of Medicine

Residency: Stanford University School of Medicine

Medical School: Stanford University School of Medicine


David Jones

Currently, I am the Health Informaticist for the Newborn Screening Program at the Utah Department of Health. I work on developing IT infrastructure to automate workflow processes, managing implementation of new software solutions, and analyzing disorder data from laboratory testing for the Newborn Screening Program. My interest is in the use of informatics methods to improve population health.

YouJeong Kang, PhD, MPH

Youjeong Kang is an Assistant Professor (tenure track) at the College of Nursing.  She teaches in the nursing informatics program.  Dr. Kang has studied geriatric population with heart failure, and their characteristics associated with rehospitalization.  In particular, she is interested in how pain and co-occurring symptoms are associated with rehospitalization among geriatric population with heart failure. 

Brent M. Kious, MD, PhD

Brent Kious, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, practices inpatient adult psychiatry, focusing on the management of severe persistent mental illness. He recently became the department's first Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar in Bioethics... Read More

Specialties: Adult Behavioral Health, Psychiatry

Residency: University of Utah

Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine

Catherine J. Lee, MD

Catherine J. Lee, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/BMT at the Huntsman Cancer Center, University of Utah.  Dr. Catherine Lee's clinical expertise is in Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) & Cellular Therapy. She specializes in autologous and allogeneic hematop... Read More

Specialties: Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Graft versus Host Disease, Hematology/BMT

Fellowship: Stanford School of Medicine

Fellowship: Fred Hutchinson/SCCA Blood and Marrow Transplant Program

Fellowship: University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Fellowship: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Medical School: New York University School of Medicine

Brennan Payne, PhD

Research in my lab is centered on understanding the nature of language and memory systems across the adult lifespan, how these systems are modulated by attentional control, and the functional organization of these systems in the human brain. We take an interdisciplinary approach to this work, merging theoretical models from the cognitive and neural sciences, gerontology, linguistics, and quantitative and experimental psychology, as well as adopting a multi-method approach including the non-invasive measurement of brain activity (e.g., event-related brain potentials), human performance (e.g., eye-movement control), and physiology (e.g., pupillometry).

John D. Rolston, MD, PhD

Dr. John Rolston is a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist at the University of Utah, where he is the Director of Epilepsy Surgery and Director of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. Clinically, he specializes in epilepsy surgery, deep brain stimulation (DBS) for movement disorders (Parkinson’s, dystonia, tremor), focused ultrasound, trigemi... Read More

Specialties: Deep Brain Stimulation, Deep Brain Stimulation, Dystonia, Epilepsy, Epilepsy Surgery, Focused Ultrasound, Functional Neurosurgery, Hemifacial Spasm, Movement Disorders, Neuromodulation, Neurosurgery, Parkinson's Disease, Robotic Neurosurgery, Seizures, Tic Disorders, Tremor, Trigeminal Neuralgia

Residency: University of California, San Francisco

Medical School: Emory University School of Medicine

Jessica Sanders, PhD, MSPH

Jessica Sanders, PHD, MSPH is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Family Planning and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Family & Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah. Sanders completed her Undergraduate studies at Colorado College and received her Masters in Science in Public Health and PhD in Public Health from the University of Utah with an emphasis in epidemiology and Women’s Health. Her research, has focused on person-centered outcomes, as well as clinical and policy approaches to improving quality of and access to the full range of reproductive healthcare. Dr. Sanders approaches research through a public health lens, investigating reproductive health options through interdisciplinary academic and clinical research to ensure an evidenced-based and person-centered approaches to education, policy and clinical care.

Dr. Sanders serves as the Director of Family Planning Research Group, and has had significant leadership in the HER Salt Lake Contraceptive Initiative and Family Planning Elevated, Sanders is also the health sciences liaison for Scholars Strategy Network Utah Chapter. Dr. Sanders is also engaged in student education and mentorship as the Director of the Summer Institute in Women’s and Reproductive Health and faculty mentor for the Campus Contraceptive Initiative and Medical Students for Choice.  Prior to her appointment at the University of Utah in 2013, Sanders was the data steward for the Utah Department of Health Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System (PRAMS) gaining deep insight and experience collecting data and conducting analysis on large weighted datasets. Sanders has been a co-investigator on 3 NIH funded grants, supporting those research efforts with biostatistical and content expertise. In 2017, Sanders received an institutional K-award Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health(BIRCWH) to gain training in longitudinal analysis and psychometrics and currently serves as site-PI for an ROI investigating Contraceptive Sexual Acceptability.

Research Interests: Sexual and Reproductive Health, Contraception, Abortion, Infertility, Maternal and Infant Outcomes, Patient-Centered Outcomes,  Healthcare access, Social Disparities, Quality Metrics, Survey Methods, Longitudinal data,  Psychometrics, Linked-data, Program and Policy Evaluation.


Phone:  801-213-2252

Douglas W. Sborov, MD, MS

Dr. Douglas Sborov is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He was born and raised in Minnesota, completed his undergraduate education with a Bachelor of Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, later completed medical s... Read More

Specialties: Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Hematology/BMT

Fellowship: The Ohio State University

Fellowship: The Ohio State University

Residency: University of Utah School of Medicine

Medical School: American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Marcela C. Smid, MD, MS, MA

Marcela C. Smid, M.D. M.A. M.S., is an Assistant Professor in the division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. She cares for women with pregnancies complicated by a variety of maternal and fetal conditions. Dr. Smid’s research interests include substance abuse, opioid epidemic, the global maternal obesity epidemic, pregnancy after bariatric surgery, ... Read More

Specialties: Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Fellowship: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Residency: University of Chicago Medical Center

Medical School: University of California, San Francisco/University of California, Berkeley

Dongngan Truong, MD

Dr. Truong received her medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, completed her Pediatrics residency at Connecticut Children´s Medical Center/University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and her Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship at Primary Children’s Hospital/University of Utah, and a fourth year fellowship in... Read More

Specialties: Pediatric Cardiology

Fellowship: Stollery Children's Hospital, University of Alberta

Fellowship: Primary Children's Hospital, University of Utah

Residency: Connecticut Children's Medical Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Medical School: University of Connecticut School of Medicine