Radiology and Radiological Sciences chair Reed Omary to step downJun. 20, 2023, 4:23 PM
by John Howser
Reed Omary, MD, MS, Carol D. and Henry P. Pendergrass Professor and chair of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, is stepping down from his role as the department’s leader. Daniel Brown, MD, professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering and vice chair of the department, has been chosen to serve as the department’s interim chair.
Omary, who is also professor of Biomedical Engineering, joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2012 and has led Radiology and Radiological Sciences through an important period in the department’s history as the Vanderbilt Health System’s hospitals and clinics have experienced unprecedented growth in demand for clinical services and VUMC’s prominence as a leading research institution has continued to flourish.
One of VUMC’s largest and most prolific departments, Radiology and Radiological Sciences is currently home to more than 140 faculty, 50 trainees and 500 staff, and is responsible for performing thousands of diagnostic imaging studies and radiologic procedures each day. As a national leader in radiologic imaging research, the department currently ranks No. 16 in total National Institutes of Health funding.
Widely recognized as an institutional leader in innovation, Omary, along with Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, and William Stead, MD, McKesson Foundation Professor of Biomedical Informatics, helped co-found Strategy Share, which began in 2016 and is VUMC’s annual innovation summit, spawning countless ideas and initiatives that have advanced the Medical Center’s culture and operations.
Omary has also served as the founding program director for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s (VUSM) Medical Innovators Development Program, which began in 2016. The program, which was the first if its kind in the country, is a four-year MD training program, initially tailored to engineers and applied scientists with existing PhD degrees, that develops leaders with innovative, entrepreneurial mindsets.
One of the nation’s thought leaders regarding the health care industry’s impact on the environment, Omary has focused his department’s efforts to lessen its environmental footprint. This month, Amsterdam-based Royal Philips and VUMC announced a collaboration that aims to reduce the health system’s carbon footprint while determining a blueprint to guide industry efforts. The project will focus on measuring and addressing energy consumption of diagnostic imaging devices including MR, CT, ultrasound and X-ray. Omary will be using the coming year to develop further his interests in the areas of sustainability, including health care’s impact on the environment.
“Dr. Omary brought a new perspective and level of creativity to his role as chair. I am grateful to Reed for his many contributions while advancing the mission of one of our most integral departments. As a leader in innovation, he has challenged each of us to look at things in new ways. I want to express my gratitude for his service,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of VUMC and Dean of VUSM. “I also want to welcome Dr. Brown into the role of interim chair. Having been in a leadership role for a decade now and having served as a vice chair in the department since 2019, Dan is well prepared for these additional responsibilities.”
Brown joined the faculty in 2013 as director of the newly created Division of Interventional Oncology, a division within Radiology and Radiological Sciences, ushering in a new field of image-guided clinical intervention for patients with complex solid tumors. In 2019, he was appointed as Radiology and Radiological Sciences’ vice chair for Innovation and Clinical Research.
Today, the Division of Interventional Oncology includes six faculty and provides a variety of patient-centered services. Working with Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center colleagues, the division develops personalized treatment programs for patients.
Brown is a graduate of Hahnemann Medical College (now Drexel University College of Medicine) and performed a residency in Radiology at Bryn Mawr Hospital and a fellowship in Interventional Radiology at Penn State University. He practiced at Washington University in St. Louis for nine years before moving to Thomas Jefferson, where he was Director of Interventional Radiology.
He has authored more than 100 articles and scientific abstracts and has written performance guidelines for a number of the minimally invasive oncologic interventions done at Vanderbilt. His research has focused on the entire spectrum of interventional oncology.