January 4, 2018

Young named chief medical officer of American Red Cross

Vanderbilt’s Pampee Young, MD, PhD, has been named chief medical officer of the American Red Cross.


Vanderbilt’s Pampee Young, MD, PhD, has been named chief medical officer of the American Red Cross.

Pampee Young, MD, PhD

Young, who joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in 2003, will oversee American Red Cross Biomedical Services, the nation’s largest supplier of blood and blood products.

“Without Vanderbilt, I would not be the scientist or clinician that I am today,” said Young, professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology. “The reason I got the job was not just my clinical expertise, but also my expertise in science. It is because of Vanderbilt’s infrastructure and the tremendous advisers that I have had that have enabled me to grow in both areas.”

In addition to running a research lab at Vanderbilt, Young currently serves as director of Transfusion Medicine, director of the VUMC stem cell lab and director of the blood bank at for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.

Samuel Santoro, MD, PhD, Dorothy B. and Theodore R. Austin Professor and Chair of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, said Young has been instrumental to Vanderbilt’s Transfusion Medicine program.

“Dr. Young has demonstrated superb leadership as she has guided the development of Transfusion Medicine at Vanderbilt to its current state,” Santoro said. “Although we hate to see her leave VUMC, we are at the same time pleased and proud that the American Red Cross has tapped an outstanding Vanderbilt physician-scientist to lead its blood services program. Dr. Young’s influence on the national blood supply and relevant policy in her new position will reflect positively on VUMC for many years to come. I am pleased that she will continue to be actively engaged in our research and educational programs as an adjunct professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology.”

Young, who has focused on regenerative medicine and tissue repair at her lab, is transferring her National Institutes of Health Research Project Grant (RO1) over to Sirika Saraswati, PhD.

“She has received a Fellow-Faculty Transition Award from the American Heart Association,” Young said. “She is really quite capable and ready to take the helm and be much more independent.”

Young and her family will continue to live in Nashville, where she will continue to mentor VUMC researchers as an adjunct professor.

She said she looks forward to the new challenges that come with ensuring that the nation’s blood supply is safe from emerging pathogens and overseeing the logistics to make sure hospitals and patients have blood supplies.

Young said she will miss being at VUMC on a daily basis and is proud of what she and colleagues have accomplished.

“When I came here in 2003, there was no academic Transfusion Medicine program,” she said. “It was basically run as a blood bank. Over the years, with colleagues, we have really built a very active academic program. We went from one person running the blood bank part time to a team of four physicians focused on transfusion medicine with an active fellowship training program and many ongoing intramurally and extramurally funded clinical and translational projects.

“I think that program-building aspect is something that has always appealed to me. It is something that I want to do on a greater scale with the Red Cross.”