ICARE Team

Principal Investigator

Provider

Tuya Pal, MD, FACMG 

Dr. Tuya Pal is a board-certified clinical geneticist based at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Associate Director of Cancer Health Disparities at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. For further information on Dr. Pal, click here.


Co-Investigators

Georgia L. Wiesner, MD, MS

Dr. Georgia L. Wiesner is an Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Genetic Medicine and the Director of the new Clinical and Translational Hereditary Cancer Program for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. For further information on Dr. Wiesner, click here.

Ben Ho Park, MD, PhD

Dr. Park is the Donna S. Hall Chair in Breast Cancer, Co-Leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program, Associate Director for Translational Research and Director of Precision Oncology at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and Professor of Medicine and Associate Director for Basic and Translational Research in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Hematology and Oncology. For further information on Dr. Park, click here.

Sonya Reid, MD, MPH

Dr. Reid is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She received her medical degree from The University of the West Indies and completed an Internal medical residency at Meharry Medical College. She also completed a fellowship at Vanderbilt in the Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer training program and completed a Master of Public Health at Vanderbilt University. She is interested in hereditary breast cancer and health disparities.


Collaborators

Deborah Cragun, PhD, CGC 
Dr. Deborah Cragun earned a doctoral degree in the Department of Community and Family Health at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health. She received her master of science degree from the University of Cincinnati’s genetic counseling program and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2005. She has worked as a clinical genetic counselor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for four years and at Moffitt Cancer Center since 2011. She completed her postdoctoral research fellowship in molecular and genetic epidemiology within the division of Population Sciences at Moffitt Cancer Center. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of South Florida in the College of Public Health where she is the program director for the newly approved and sole genetic counseling training program within the state of Florida. For further information on Dr. Cragun, click here.


Research Manager

Anne Weidner.jpg

Anne Weidner, MPH, CPH, CCRP

Anne Weidner is a Research Programs Manager for ICARE. She is responsible for overseeing all research activities, including regulatory affairs, database development and management, patient recruitment and follow-up, and the dissemination of research findings. She also assists with provider outreach and community education efforts through the ICARE website and social media platforms. Anne attended West Virginia University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology, and also earned her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of South Florida.


Outreach Coordinator

Claudia Tinkle

Claudia Tinkle is the Outreach Coordinator for ICARE with more than 20 years of experience offering hereditary cancer testing in the community setting. Born and raised in Germany, she attended University in Heidelberg and later completed course work at the Fox Chase Cancer Center and City of Hope National Cancer Institute. She has devoted years of self-study in her quest to deepen her knowledge in cancer genetics. With her experience, she developed and managed the first cancer genetics program at a community hospital in Atlanta, GA for 21 years. She is passionate about helping people utilize their DNA information in a positive way and reduce their risk of developing cancer. As a non-traditional healthcare provider in genetic settings, she is also very interested in facilitating more diverse and innovative access models to allow more people to learn about their genetic information.


Research Analysts

Kelsey Horick, MA

Kelsey Horick is a Research Analyst II for ICARE. She is responsible for recruitment efforts, participant outreach, data entry and management, and outreach to Spanish-speaking participants. Kelsey attended Southwestern University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish. She spent over a year studying and teaching in Granada, Spain, where she developed fluency in Spanish, and then returned to Nashville complete her Master’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Neuropsychology. She is interested in clinical psychology, neuropsychology, and exercise physiology.

Lindsay Venton, BSc

Lindsay Venton is a Research Analyst II for ICARE. She is responsible for recruitment, participant outreach, data entry, and data management. Lindsay attended the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada where she earned her bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and genetics. Previously an academic researcher, she has decided to transition into clinical research and hopes to one day become a board-certified genetic counselor.

Makayla Green, BA

Makayla Green is a Research Analyst II for ICARE. She is responsible for recruitment, participant outreach, data entry, and data management. Makayla attended the University of Tennessee where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in neuroscience and sociology. She is interested in research psychology and the genetic influence on psychological disorders. In the future, she plans to continue her education to become a clinical psychologist.


Student Research Assistant

Diego Garmendia

Diego Garmendia is an Undergraduate Student Researcher for ICARE. He is responsible for recruitment efforts, participant outreach, data entry, and data management. Diego is a Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholar at Vanderbilt University majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He graduates in 2025 and plans on pursuing a career in Medicine. 


Communications Consultant

Pauleena Pal

Pauleena is the Communications Consultant for ICARE. She is responsible for creating and managing social media content. Pauleena is currently pursuing her PharmD/MBA at the University at Buffalo’s School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences and School of Management.

Permanent link to this article: https://inheritedcancer.net/meet-the-team/