May 17, 2012

Emeritus faculty honored for dedicated service

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New Emeritus faculty are acknowledged at Commencement. (photo by Joe Howell)

Emeritus faculty honored for dedicated service

by Kara Furlong
During Commencement, Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty members who are retiring this year were bestowed with the title of emeritus faculty, honoring their years of service to the University.


George S. Allen, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Neurological Surgery, Emeritus

Allen, who became a professor and the chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery in 1984, began his research on cerebral arterial spasm at the University of Minnesota. Later, at Johns Hopkins University, he directed the neurosurgical training program and undertook clinical trials demonstrating that nimodipine, the calcium channel blocker he discovered in his basic research, was effective in human patients and prevented many strokes from brain arterial spasm by preventing the spasm. At Vanderbilt, he recruited and worked with Noel Tulipan, M.D., to accomplish the first adrenal brain transplant for Huntington’s disease in 1987. In 1993, Allen became the first holder of the endowed William F. Meacham Professorship.


William Bernet, M.D., professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus

Bernet joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry in 1992. He initially was the medical director of Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, then became director of Vanderbilt Forensic Services, the program that applies psychiatric expertise to legal situations. At Vanderbilt, he taught medical, nursing and law students and psychiatry trainees, receiving the Emmett Dozier Teaching Award from the Vanderbilt Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training Program. Bernet’s scholarship and research have focused on intriguing and provocative aspects of forensic psychiatry: the differential diagnosis of allegations of child abuse; the evaluation of allegations of child sexual abuse; testimony regarding behavioral genomics at criminal trials; and whether parental alienation should become an official psychiatric diagnosis.


Jackie D. Corbin, Ph.D., professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Emeritus

Corbin received a Ph.D. in physiology at Vanderbilt and later joined the Physiology faculty in 1971, being promoted through the ranks to professor in 1980. His research specialty has been the mechanisms of cyclic GMP mediation of hormone action – how the naturally occurring cyclic nucleotide, cyclic GMP, mediates the effects of hormones, neurotransmitters and other agents on many biological processes, including blood flow, blood pressure, nerve transmission and airway distension. Corbin has published more than 270 papers on his work.
At Vanderbilt, Corbin served on the Vanderbilt Graduate Education Committee and the Faculty Senate and organized the Medical Physiology course. He mentored 18 Ph.D. students and 21 postdoctoral students and served on approximately 30 thesis committees.


D. Wesley Grantham, Ph.D., professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Emeritus

Grantham came to Vanderbilt in 1980. His primary responsibilities at the Bill Wilkerson Center have been to maintain and encourage an active research program in hearing and speech sciences. He has coordinated the research efforts of all faculty in the Division of Hearing and Speech Sciences in his capacity as director of research since 1987. His teaching includes two to three courses each year for the graduate students in the division, as well as acting as an adviser to students completing their doctorates. He has served on numerous students’ academic committees and made his research laboratory and his consultation readily available to all students and faculty in the department and the center.


George C. Hill, Ph.D., professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Emeritus; professor of Medical Education and Administration, Emeritus

Hill served on the faculty at Meharry Medical College for 19 years in various faculty and administrative roles before joining Vanderbilt in 2002 as the institution’s first associate dean for Diversity in Medical Education. He is credited with leading efforts that have substantially enhanced the diversity of students in the School of Medicine. In addition, Hill has had a distinguished career in biomedical research and medical education/administration. He is widely recognized for his research in trypanosome biology and biochemistry. His major accomplishments and recognitions include election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science and as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Tadashi Inagami, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus

Inagami, who came to Vanderbilt in 1966, currently serves as the Stanford Moore Professor of Biochemistry. He is one of the most accomplished and acknowledged scientists in the field of cardiovascular research. He was the first person to purify renal and extrarenal renins; to determine the structure of extrarenal renin; and to clone atrial natriuretic peptide (ANF) and angiotensin II type 1 and 2 receptors and their variants. His current research focus is the prorenin receptor. This is a new research subject related to hypertension, diabetic nephropathy and cardiovascular research fields.Inagami has trained more than 100 postdoctoral fellows and 12 graduate students. He has been the principal investigator for an NIH R01 grant for the last 40 years and the director of SCOR in the hypertension program of NHLBI for 20 years.


Laurence (Larry) E. Lancaster, MSN, professor of Nursing, Emeritus

Lancaster received a Master of Science in Nursing and Ed.D. from Vanderbilt before joining the faculty in 1973 with a joint appointment as an instructor in medical-surgical nursing at the School of Nursing and as a clinical specialist in Nephrology at Vanderbilt University Hospital. Since that time, he has served the School of Nursing in a variety of leadership positions, including director of the graduate adult health specialty and chair of the Department of Adult Health. He was selected one of the Top 100 Leaders of the Past 100 Years during the School of Nursing Centennial Celebration in 2008.


Clifton K. Meador, M.D., professor of Medicine, Emeritus

Meador received his M.D. from VUSM in 1955, sharing the Founder’s Medal for top scholastic honors with a classmate. He returned to Vanderbilt as a full-time faculty member in 1973 and started the Vanderbilt teaching program in medicine at Saint Thomas Hospital and served as chief medical officer of the hospital. In 1999, he was recruited to be the executive director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance and served with distinction in that role until his retirement.


Barbara O. Meyrick-Clarry, Ph.D., professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Emerita

Meyrick-Clarry was recruited to Vanderbilt in 1981 as an associate professor of Pathology and Medicine. She was promoted to professor in 1985. She is an internationally recognized authority on the pathology of pulmonary diseases and has made seminal contributions to understanding the structure and function of the lung and its blood vessels and of the causes and consequences of primary idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. Meyrick-Clarry also has devoted considerable time and energy in her work as director of program development in the Vanderbilt Office of Research, where she has assisted investigators putting together large multidisciplinary National Institutes of Health grants; mentored junior faculty colleagues early in their careers; and trained residents, research fellows, medical students and graduate students.


Marvin J. Rosenblum, M.D., clinical professor of Medicine, Emeritus
(Oct. 17, 1922–Jan. 25, 2012)

Dr. Rosenblum graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 1943. After graduating first in his medical school class at the University of Tennessee in 1947, he completed a residency in internal medicine at Vanderbilt. He held a fellowship in gastroenterology and completed a residency in hematology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1953 and 1954, respectively. In 1955, he opened his practice in internal medicine on the Vanderbilt campus and served on the faculty as an assistant and later an associate clinical professor of medicine. Dr. Rosenblum’s clinical practice partnership with the Department of Medicine helped train more than a generation of internal medicine physicians.


Judith H. Sweeney, MSN, BSN, associate professor of Nursing, Emerita

After receiving both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Vanderbilt, Sweeney joined the School of Nursing faculty as an instructor in medical-surgical nursing in 1975. She rose to the rank of assistant professor of the practice of nursing in 1978 and to associate professor of Nursing in 2001. She was appointed director for the first-year, pre-specialty bridge program in 1998 and was instrumental in designing curriculum changes that focused on a more integrated first-year program aligning students with their specialty areas while still focusing on the basic objectives of the core R.N. competencies. Her passion for teaching also extended to her strong belief in mentoring new faculty by establishing a “buddy” system whereby first-time faculty would be joined with more experienced faculty who served as guides and role models in the lab and clinical areas. She was honored as one of the Top 100 Leaders of the Past 100 Years during the School of Nursing Centennial Celebration in 2008.