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Baldwin awarded AHA’s Helen B. Taussig Memorial Lecture

Dec. 10, 2015, 9:28 AM

Scott Baldwin, M.D., director of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, recently was awarded the American Heart Association’s Helen B. Taussig Memorial Lecture, considered one of the most renowned invited lectures in the United States.

Scott Baldwin, M.D.

The award and lecture recognizes those who have made seminal contributions to advancing the care of patients with congenital heart disease. It has been given once every three years since 1975.

According to the American Heart Association, Taussig, a world famous pediatric cardiologist, is best known for her work with children born with serious heart defects. In the 1940s, she and the late Alfred Blalock, M.D., co-developed the first surgical procedure for the relief of pulmonary stenosis. Taussig, a graduate of The Johns Hopkins Medical School, became the first woman to become a full professor at Hopkins. A founder and the first president of the American Heart Association’s Maryland Affiliate, Taussig also was named the first woman president of the national association in 1965.

“Helen Taussig is generally considered the founder of modern pediatric cardiology. There is no greater honor nationally than being invited to give the Helen B. Taussig Memorial Lecture at the American Heart Association,” said Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, the James C. Overall Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics. “We are therefore thrilled that Dr. Baldwin was invited to be this year’s Taussig lecturer, an honor befitting Dr. Baldwin’s national and international stature as one of the world’s leading pediatric cardiologists and cardiovascular physician-scientists.”

Baldwin, who is also co-director of the Pediatric Heart Institute at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, delivered his lecture titled, “The Role of Developmental Biology in the Management of Congenital Heart Disease: Irrelevant or Essential?,” on Nov. 10 in Orlando, Florida. His presentation highlighted some of the newest approaches that will likely make developmental biology an essential foundation for design of optimal therapies for congenital heart diseases in the future.

“It is quite an honor to have been selected as the Helen B. Taussig Lecturer,” said Baldwin, the Katrina Overall McDonald Professor of Pediatrics. “Not only is she one of the most famous clinicians in Pediatric Cardiology, but she was also a developmental biologist who studied heart defects in birds to determine what they might tell us about similar lesions seen in children. As a physician-scientist studying cardiac development, I have always been encouraged by her insistence that discovery-science and clinical medicine are inextricably linked in the endeavor to improve the care of children with heart disease.”

Baldwin earned his medical degree from the University of Virginia, did his pediatric residency and chief residency at the University of Rochester and completed a pediatric cardiology fellowship at the University of Iowa. Previously, he was a member of the Pediatric Cardiology faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where he served as co-director for Cardiovascular Research. He arrived at Vanderbilt in 2002.

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