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Gannon named to new faculty development role

Aug. 15, 2019, 11:00 AM

 

by John Howser

Maureen Gannon, PhD, professor of Medicine, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Cell and Developmental Biology, and Vice Chair for Faculty Development in the Department of Medicine, has been named to the newly created role of Associate Dean for Faculty Development for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Her appointment is effective Sept. 1.

Maureen Gannon, PhD

In this role, Gannon will report to David Raiford, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs for VUSM and Chief of Clinical Staff for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

As Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Gannon will be responsible for advancing school-wide programs associated with faculty training, mentoring and career development. The programs created through the Office of Faculty Affairs are meant to complement those already existing within the Medical Center’s clinical departments.

“Offering our faculty additional opportunities for career growth is vital to the Medical Center’s future. Dr. Gannon has been incredibly effective as a mentor and leader driving career development initiatives in the Department of Medicine, and I am confident she will make significant contributions to our institution in this new role,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer for VUMC and Dean of VUSM.

Reporting to Nancy Brown, MD, Hugh Jackson Morgan Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, Gannon has served as the department’s vice chair for Faculty Development since 2011 and during this time has been responsible for overseeing the continued mentoring and career development of tenure track junior faculty, both physician scientists and basic scientists, to increase faculty retention through tenure and promotion.

“Dr. Gannon is an outstanding addition to the Office of Faculty Affairs and Career Development. She will complement nicely and enhance our existing programs and expertise in Faculty Development.

She is passionate about supporting the career aspirations of others and assumes this position with ample experience through her leadership in the Department of Medicine,” Raiford said. “I am excited to welcome Maureen into the office and look forward to serving with her as we advance the portfolio of professional development offerings for our faculty.”

As Vice Chair for Faculty Development in the Department of Medicine, Gannon has led the Neilson Society, a group of approximately 45 early-career faculty, and has implemented an evolving curriculum with a range of topics including expectations for tenure and promotion, developing a national reputation, successful mentoring, strategies for hiring and personnel development, conflict resolution and effective communication, work-life balance and effective grant writing.

Since 2015, Gannon has also led the creation of a mid-career faculty leadership development program to train future leaders in the Department of Medicine.

The program is now in its third year with a class size of approximately 20. In 2018 the program was expanded to include the Departments of Pediatrics and Health Policy. This year, the program has been expanded across all clinical departments and will remain under Gannon’s oversight as a school-wide offering.

“I am delighted that Maureen is taking on this institutional role. Enhancing the ability of faculty to succeed is the most important thing we can do. The return on our investment is discovery and innovation leading to better patient care. As an accomplished scientist Maureen is an outstanding role model for others,” Brown said.

Gannon’s passion for mentoring has extended beyond the Department of Medicine. She is a regular reviewer for the Edge for Scholars program and is a member of several junior faculty mentoring committees.

She is a frequently invited speaker for the Medical Center’s Women on Track series and is often asked to deliver a highly personal seminar on Imposter Syndrome.

A native of Queens, New York, Gannon received a Bachelor of Science in biology from Molloy College and a Master of Science in biology from Adelphi University. She received a PhD in cell biology and anatomy from Cornell University.

She joined Vanderbilt in 1996 as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Christopher V.E. Wright, DPhil, Louise B. McGavock Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and director of the Vanderbilt University Program in Developmental Biology.

After completing her fellowship, Gannon joined the faculty in 2001 as an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism and as assistant professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. In 2007 she also joined the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology.

In 2008 she was promoted to associate professor and in 2016 she was promoted to professor. She is also engaged in research with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.

While Gannon is closely associated with faculty career development and mentoring, she is internationally recognized for her research contributions in the field of diabetes. In addition to serving in various leadership roles with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Gannon’s research focuses on the function and regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells. Her work has implications for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Her lab has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), ADA, JDRF, and the VA. Gannon currently holds multiple research grants funded by the NIH and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), along with funding from the VA.

She is the author of more than 130 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and abstracts and is a frequently invited lecturer. She has presented at conferences in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Gannon says she is grateful to Brown for the opportunity to serve as Medicine’s Vice Chair for Faculty Development.

“The high priority that Nancy has placed on faculty mentoring and career development on all tracks has been transformative to the department and is a model for others. I am very proud to have a part in that,” she said.

“I am also very appreciative of the support and trust that Drs. Balser and Raiford have placed in me. They have been important to the development of my career since I was an assistant professor.

“Mentoring faculty and helping each individual reach their career goals gives me great joy. Research may have a distant outcome, but through mentoring and career development I can have more of a tangible impact on others.

“I look forward to being able to work across all VUMC departments and centers to help expand and enhance existing programs, and to develop new programs that meet the needs of faculty at all levels on all of the academic tracks,” Gannon said.

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