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Vanderbilt Pediatric Chair Leaving For Leadership Role at Cincinnati Children‘s Hospital

Feb. 8, 2007, 12:55 PM

Arnold W. Strauss, M.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics and medical director of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children‘s Hospital at Vanderbilt, is leaving to become chief medical officer and director of the Children‘s Research Foundation at Cincinnati Children‘s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. He has also been named chair of the Department of Pediatrics for the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and will serve as the seventh BK Rachford Chair.
“I am honored to be chosen to lead one of the country‘s largest and best children‘s hospitals and research institutes, the Cincinnati Children‘s Hospital Medical Center. Pat and I are deeply saddened that we will be leaving the many friends and colleagues we have made here at Vanderbilt and in the Nashville community. Helping to build the Monroe Carell Jr. Children‘s Hospital at Vanderbilt and the many outstanding programs for patient care and research with our many colleagues has been exhilarating and a great adventure,” Strauss said.
“The decision to leave has been the most difficult of my professional career, but I know that Children‘s Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics will continue to grow and thrive because of the incredible and dedicated nurses, staff, administrative leaders and faculty who are here. We will miss each and every one of you and remember you with love and respect.”
Strauss will assume his new role at Cincinnati Children‘s later this spring. The 475-bed research and teaching hospital is ranked among the top pediatric hospitals in the nation and is the second-highest ranking recipient of research grants from the National Institutes of Health among pediatric institutions.
“It‘s a blessing and a curse to be one of the top academic medical centers in the country. We attract and cultivate exceptional researchers, faculty and academic leaders. It‘s only natural for other institutions to take notice,” said Harry R. Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “I am thrilled for Dr. Strauss, but deeply saddened to say goodbye to a colleague and friend.”
Monroe Carell Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of the worldwide Central Parking Corp., namesake of the hospital and member the Board of Trust since 1991, noted that Strauss has built a strong department in his tenure.
“It is unfortunate. We would love for him to have stayed, but people need to do what they must,” Carell said. “I do hope it‘s best for him and hope he will be happy. I wish him the very best.”
Strauss, also the James C. Overall Professor of Pediatrics, professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and on the faculty of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, joined Vanderbilt in 2000.
He came to Vanderbilt after more than 25 years as a faculty member at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and more than 30 years at St. Louis Children‘s Hospital.
Strauss received his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and his residency and Pediatric Cardiology training were completed at St. Louis Children‘s Hospital.
Strauss is known internationally as a top cardiology researcher, with interests in the regulation of mammalian gene expression, the molecular basis and genetics of human cardiomyopathy, and metabolic disorders of energy generation in mitochondria.
Last fall, Strauss was awarded the 2006 American Heart Association‘s Basic Science Research Award. Strauss is the first physician from Vanderbilt to receive the award, and only the second pediatric cardiologist to be selected. He was chosen for his research on genetic defects and sudden death in infants and children.
He is a reviewer of several scholarly journals including the Journal of Pediatrics, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He is a consulting editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He is a member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and is a fellow of the American Heart Association.
He has authored more than three dozen book chapters, reviews, editorials and published symposia, as well as nearly 200 journal articles.
“In his seven-year tenure, Arnie has built the research team at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children‘s Hospital at Vanderbilt into arguably the best in the nation, moving from 16th in National Institutes of Health grants to sixth in three short years,” said Kevin B. Churchwell, M.D., interim chief executive officer of Children‘s Hospital.
“That growth is a testimony to Arnie‘s eye for research talent, his ability to create a compelling vision, and his capacity to bring great minds together. He leaves the Children‘s Hospital a pediatric medical center many times stronger than the one he took on seven short years ago.”

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