February 29, 2008

Dermody to direct Pediatric Infectious Diseases

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Terence Dermody, M.D.

Dermody to direct Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Terence Dermody, M.D., has been named to direct Vanderbilt's Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

He succeeds Peter Wright, M.D., who retired as division director last July to split his teaching and research time between Vanderbilt and Dartmouth.

“I'm thrilled to be asked to lead the division,” Dermody said. “Peter Wright has been the only division chief we have known and he has built a world class division of pediatric infectious diseases, arguably the best in country,” Dermody said. “To carry on his legacy and build on his momentum is an incredible honor.”

Dermody joined the Department of Pediatrics in 1990. He is also professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt and adjunct professor of Biomedical Sciences at Meharry Medical College. Dermody directs the Elizabeth B. Lamb Center for Pediatric Research and the Vanderbilt Medical Scientist Training Program. His research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, including a MERIT award, and the Lamb Family Foundation.

“I am truly delighted to have the opportunity to work with Terry Dermody,” said Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., who will assume the position of chair of the Department of Pediatrics in June. “He is a premier physician-scientist, a gifted clinician and a thoughtful leader. As the Department of Pediatrics moves forward, this appointment of Terry serves as a strong bellwether of academic excellence to all our faculty.”

Interim chair of Pediatrics, D. Brent Polk, M.D., praised Dermody's accomplishments as an educator.

“Terry Dermody is an outstanding, internationally recognized physician-scientist in the molecular pathogenesis of viral illnesses. As leader of one of the strongest pediatric infectious diseases programs in the country, he will build on the current incredible faculty strengths in infectious diseases, human antibody responses, vaccine development and international health,” said Polk.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Dean Steve Gabbe, M.D., praised Dermody's nearly two decades of exemplary work in teaching and research.

“He has contributed significantly to our understanding of viral pathogenesis and, as the director of our Medical Scientist Training Program, he has demonstrated superb leadership and administrative skills,” Gabbe said. “In the role of director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Terry will now be able to fully utilize his many talents and continue his important work.”

Teaching and training will be one of the main drives for the division, Dermody said.

“We will be recruiting new fellows and faculty and will work hard as a division to develop individualized programs for their professional growth. The goal is to provide our new team members with what Peter Wright's leadership provided for us: a productive career in pediatric infectious diseases,” Dermody said.

“We will offer the very best training in our discipline. That is my conviction and a key component of my vision for the division.”

Dermody came to Vanderbilt from Harvard. He received his undergraduate training at Cornell University and his medical degree from Columbia University in 1982.

His teaching efforts have been recognized by several awards, including a Vanderbilt University Chair of Teaching Excellence. Dermody is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Pediatrics Society, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the Society for Pediatric Research. Last year, he was elected to fellowship in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.