March 21, 2024

Eric D. Austin set as president-elect of the Society for Pediatric Research

Eric D. Austin, MD, MSCI, director of the Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Program at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, has been elected president-elect of the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR).

He will serve a three-year term, serving first as president-elect from June 1 to May 31, 2025, then as president from June 1, 2025 to May 31, 2026, and finally as past president until May of 2027.

SPR promotes and supports pediatric research as a forum for a diverse array of investigators from all disciplines to exchange ideas and collaborate to benefit the well-being of all children.

“I am truly honored to be chosen as incoming president-elect for the Society for Pediatric Research. As an active member for over a decade, I have directly experienced SPR’s impact on investigators at all stages of careers pursuing new insights for pediatric diseases. Vanderbilt has a proud tradition of leadership within SPR, including past presidents Shari Barkin, MD MSHS, and Thomas A. Hazinski, MD, upon whose shoulders I am thrilled to stand,” said Austin, who is also director of the Vanderbilt Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) Training Program and associate professor of Pediatrics in the Vanderbilt Department of Pediatrics.

A member of SPR since 2010, Austin was elected to the SPR council in 2022. He is also a group co-leader for the American Pediatric Society and Society for Pediatric Research Journeys & Frontier Program, which focuses on supporting developing scholars.

Austin’s focus while president of SPR will include expanding the SPR’s Scientific career development initiatives as well as pursuing an expansion of work with collaborative partner organizations, such as the Pediatric Academic Society, to support ambitious priorities to enhance child- and family-focused research.

“While priorities at SPR are ultimately determined by the needs of its members and its commitment to enhance child- and family-focused research, I aim to help SPR to expand scientific career development initiatives with inclusion of scientists at all stages of career, integrated with focused advocacy on scientists’ behalf to support scholarship in pediatrics and inspire clinical researchers of all backgrounds,” Austin said.

As a National Institutes of Health-funded physician-scientist, Austin’s clinical and research interests and focus includes pulmonary hypertension and other cardiopulmonary morbidities in children and adults with and without preexisting known genetic risks.

In addition to his role with SPR, Austin, who has been at Vanderbilt since 2008, is active with various organizations, including the Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Network, American Heart Association, Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute, American Thoracic Society, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, and TBX4Life.