Welcome, New Faculty!

Dr. Lucas, Dr. Trankle, and Angie CarnealDr. Alexander Lucas joined VCU as an instructor and was dually appointed in the Department of Health Behavior and Policy and the Pauley Heart Center. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications and has received grant support for his studies of exercise interventions on cancer patients.

“Alex Lucas is a young, dynamic behavioral scientist who is working to help us modify lifestyle behavior to help us improve cardiovascular health. We feel fortunate to have him here,” said Dr. Greg Hundley.

Lucas received his M.S. in Health and Exercise Science from Wake Forest University and his Ph.D. in Health and Exercise Behavior from the Ohio State University, where he also undertook postdoctoral research. His previous position was as a postdoctoral fellow at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Cancer Prevention and Control.

“I was drawn to VCU to work for Dr. Hundley, who I greatly admire. The opportunity to work with him here at VCU where he was building a new team was very attractive,” he said. “Also, upon meeting with the faculty in Health Behavior and Policy, I realized how much of an emphasis VCU places on working within the community and addressing health disparities, which is something I really want to be a part of.”

Fun Facts: “I love the outdoors and am also a runner, so I try and do as much of those two things as I can.” He is originally from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. “In Zimbabwe, it’s quite a dry climate, and our main economy was based on tobacco, so there are some similarities to Virginia,” he said.

A familiar face, Dr. Cory Trankle, attended VCU Medical Center for his residency, postdoctoral clinical research fellowship and Cardiovascular Disease fellowship (serving as chief fellow his third year). He received his M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia. Trankle joined the faculty as an instructor in Non-Invasive Cardiology and will focus on cardiac magnetic resonance and echocardiography and conduct research exploring the use of these imaging modalities in new ways. He has published extensively, has led several Phase II clinical trials and is a reviewer for numerous publications, including Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

According to Dr. Antonio Abbate, who served as his research advisor, “Dr. Trankle is among the most talented trainees we have had at VCU, and we are very excited to have him join the faculty in the heart center. He is a dedicated, knowledgeable and compassionate physician with a clear passion for clinical research. He added, “I am certain that with his clinical and research acumen and his attention to details, Dr. Trankle will continue to promote groundbreaking research in the heart center.”

Trankle describes VCU as a “fantastic place to spend my postdoctoral training because of the wide range of patients that we care for, the connections we have with the basic science laboratories and other research organizations within the university, the wide range of subspecialist expertise within the medical center and the strong support from leadership in facilitating clinician-scientists as they pursue research investigations. I am tremendously thankful for the mentorship I have received, and I look forward to further developing as an academic cardiologist as I transition to faculty.”

Fun Facts: “In my spare time, I like to garden and homebrew beer. Some of the more exotic projects from this year have been pawpaw trees (native to Virginia), ghost chili peppers (one of the hottest peppers in the world), pineapple sage and three varieties of hops.”

Promotions spotlight: Angie Carneal, Nursing Director

Congratulations to Angie Carneal, who was named Nursing Director of the Pauley Heart Center. Her previous roles at Pauley include Interim Nursing Director and Nurse Manager of the Coronary ICU. She has over 10 years of nurse leadership and over 20 years of clinical experience. She received her RN from Richmond Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, her BSN from the University of Phoenix and her MSN from Western Governors University.

According to Carneal, “This role allows me to fulfill my passion for caring for others. I have simply transitioned over time from caring for few patients a day to impacting the care of all patients in the Pauley. In addition, I have the opportunity to shape an environment where nurses can deliver extraordinary care every day. As a nursing leader, nothing can be more rewarding than watching patients entrusted to your care heal and Pauley Heart nurses achieve their full potential.”

Administrator Clare Greene describes Carneal’s transition from interim to director as “seamless.”

“Angie is passionate about patient care and works diligently to streamline operations. She cares about her physicians and team members. She is a strong advocate for creating a work environment in which all can excel. I enjoy her candor and direct approach,” said Greene. “In addition to all this, she is an astute business leader and understands the finances. Angie is an experienced cardiovascular leader and brings to us a wealth of talent.”

FROM LEFT: DR. Alexander lucas, Dr. cory Trankle and Angie Carneal, nursing director