January 9, 2020

Interim directors of Cardiovascular Medicine named

Dan Roden, MD, and Daniel Munoz, have been named interim directors of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.


by Matt Batcheldor

Dan Roden, MD, Senior Vice President for Personalized Medicine, and Daniel Munoz, MD, MPA, medical director of Quality for Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute (VHVI), have been named interim directors of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Their appointments are effective February 2020.

Munoz, who is also assistant professor of Medicine and medical director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU), will be responsible for clinical matters and Roden, who holds the endowed Sam L. Clark, MD, PhD Chair in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, will lead academic efforts.

Dan Roden, MD

Roden and Munoz will succeed Thomas Wang, MD, who is departing Vanderbilt to join the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas as chair of the Department of Internal Medicine.

Roden received his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. After completing residency training in internal medicine in Montreal, he arrived at Vanderbilt in 1978 as a research fellow in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and later as a fellow in cardiology.

Since joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 1981, Roden has become internationally recognized for his studies of the mechanisms and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms and variability in drug response. One major interest has been pharmacogenomics — and especially the role genetic variations play in adverse drug reactions such as drug-induced arrhythmias.

Roden directed the Division of Clinical Pharmacology from 1992 to 2004 when he became founding director of the Oates Institute for Experimental Therapeutics.

A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians, he is professor of Medicine, Biomedical Informatics and Pharmacology and the author of more than 700 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Roden is a leader in VUMC’s PREDICT project (Pharmacogenomic Resource for Enhanced Decisions in Care and Treatment), which since 2010 has applied genomic testing to drug prescribing in an effort to avoid adverse drug reactions.

He co-directs the Improving Prediction of Drug Action program, part of the Pharmacogenetics Research Network funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is co-principal investigator for the VUMC site of the NIH Electronic Medical Records and Genomics Network and is principal investigator for the Medical Center’s DNA databank, BioVU.

Daniel Munoz, MD, MPA

Munoz graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. He is co-author, with James Dale, of “Alpha Docs: the Making of a Cardiologist,” in which he describes his journey to his current profession. The book notes that he also served as an intern for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

He went on to receive his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University and his Master in Public Administration from Harvard University in 2005. He continued to serve in the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, where he completed his residency in 2008, chief residency in 2010 and cardiology fellowship in 2011. After completing a research fellowship at Duke University, he came to Vanderbilt for further subspecialty training, after which he joined the faculty in 2013.

Munoz serves as an intensivist in the cardiac care unit, where he is known as an effective teacher as well as a skilled clinician. In addition to his medical appointment, Munoz is an adjunct instructor in Nursing.

His research examines the care delivery of patients with cardiovascular disease. This work ranges from quality improvement projects that tackle difficult issues around coordination of care and inter-team communication in patient transfer to implementation strategies, such as the now widely recognized work with the polypill in underserved areas of the rural South. This research, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrated that a polypill approach to management of hypertension and cholesterol could effectively improve these measurements of cardiovascular health in an underserved population.

“The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine is in excellent hands,” said Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, Cornelius Abernathy Craig Professor of Medicine and interim chair of the department. “The complementary skills of Dan Roden and Dan Munoz will provide the continuity and strong leadership in both the academic enterprise and clinical operations, respectively, that will effectively steer this division in the coming months. This division is big, busy, and growing, and with Dr. Roden and Dr. Munoz leading ongoing and new initiatives, we will continue to thrive and lead in cardiovascular medicine and cardiovascular research.”

A search for a permanent director for the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine will be initiated this spring.