May 6, 2005

Faculty honored for teaching and research

Featured Image

Dean Steven Gabbe, M.D., left, chats with Arthur Fleischer, M.D., who was presented with an Excellence in Teaching award at this week’s Spring Faculty Meeting.
photo by Dana Johnson

Faculty honored for teaching and research

The 2005 Faculty Awards, presented at Tuesday's Spring Faculty Meeting, recognize excellence in teaching and in research.

Excellence in Teaching

School of Medicine

Innovation and Educational Programming that has Proven to be Effective — Nancy J. Brown, M.D., Robert H. Williams Professor of Medicine, professor of Pharmacology and Thomas A. Hazinski, M.D., professor of Pediatrics, Medical Education and Administration

Brown and Hazinski are recognized for developing and directing Vanderbilt's Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) program. The summer of 2005 marks the start of the sixth year of the program, which has graduated three cohorts of students beginning in 2002. The goals of the MSCI program have been the training and mentoring of senior fellows and junior faculty in the techniques and processes of patient-oriented research. Graduates of the program have attributed their success in acquiring grants and initiating their careers to the MSCI program and note the continuing support provided to them by Brown and Hazinski, even after completion of the program.

Frank H. Boehm Award for Excellence in Teaching; Contributions to Continuing Medical Education — Arthur C. Fleischer, M.D., professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Fleischer has been selected for this award to recognize contributions to continuing medical education, based on his creation and longstanding leadership of programs in diagnostic radiology. In 1981, in response to the increasing need for trained practitioners in ultrasound, Fleischer established and became medical director of a sonographer training program and began an ultrasound preceptorship program for physicians. Under his leadership, the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences has hosted thousands of physicians and technologists for continuing medical education and training in radiological techniques as basic as plain film chest X-rays and as complex as the free electron laser.

Teaching Medical Students, Residents and/or Fellows in a Clinical Setting — Joseph Gigante, M.D., associate professor of Pediatrics, clinical assistant professor of Nursing and Walter E. Smalley, Jr., M.D., associate professor of Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Surgery

Gigante has made educational contributions at the national, regional and local level. At Vanderbilt, he teaches students and residents at various levels in their training. Included in the first cohort of Master Clinical Teachers, Gigante was also recognized as being one of the top 20 most effective teachers of residents among the faculty of the Department of Pediatrics. A former medical student and now colleague comments, “He stood out among a great many excellent teachers in Pediatrics because he was skilled at tailoring his instruction to the level and learning style of the students.”

Smalley has served as a clinical and research mentor for surgery residents, gastroenterology fellows and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom have gone on to excel in academic careers. It has been noted that starting with his tenure as chief resident, the seeds were sown for Smalley's love of teaching. A colleague points out that he “has the respect and admiration of all his colleagues who have witnessed his superb skills in teaching and providing compassionate patient care.”

Teaching Medical or Graduate Students in the Small Group Setting — Lillian B. Nanney, Ph.D., professor of Plastic Surgery, professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

Nanney is recognized for her dedication and excellence in teaching as demonstrated by her: 1) providing laboratory instruction to groups of first-year medical students in Gross Anatomy and Cell Tissue Biology courses; 2) organizing, directing and overseeing approximately 20 fourth-year medical students annually in the senior elective program in Medical Gross Anatomy; 3) sponsoring and mentoring advanced level students in the Medical Scholars Program; and 4) being committed to and involved in the organization and implementation of the medical school's new Emphasis Program. A colleague comments, “Her teaching is intelligent, clinically based, and presented in a personal manner, embracing both a sense of humor and enthusiasm that is appreciated by her students.”

Mentoring Postdoctoral Fellows in the Research Setting — David Robertson, M.D., Elton Yates Proefssor of Autonomic Disorders, professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, Neurology

Robertson has mentored 29 fellows in clinical pharmacology and served as preceptor or supervisor for many GCRC clinical associate physicians, graduate and medical students, and students studying for the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation. The accomplishments of his former trainees are impressive, and Robertson's abilities as a teacher have been recognized nationally.

Mentoring Graduate and/or Medical Students in the Research Setting — Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology, Psychiatry, investigator, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development.

Sanders-Bush has mentored hundreds of graduate and medical students, as well as scores of postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty. Her former trainees hold prominent positions at major U.S. academic centers and in the pharmaceutical industry. She is recognized by a former trainee as being 'tireless in her commitment to fostering excellence in her students.” Sanders-Bush also has a deep personal commitment to enhancing opportunities to minority trainees and has worked to enhance minority-training programs at Tennessee State University, Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt.

Teaching Medical or Graduate Students in the Lecture Setting — Richard S. Stein, M.D., professor of Medicine

Stein is recognized for his teaching in the second-year medical school course, Laboratory Medicine, and for his role as course director. The course serves as a strong bridge from the basic sciences to the practice of clinical medicine. In student course evaluations, his is the routine and annual recipient of unqualified praise, and his course is one of the most highly rated in the curriculum.

School of Nursing

Teaching in the Lecture or Small Group Setting — Jane B. Daddario, M.S.N., R.N., associate professor of Nursing

Daddario brings vast knowledge and practical experience to her teaching setting. Colleagues say her infinite patience with students makes each of them feel valued. “Her ability to nurture students to work at the highest level as Women's Health Nurse Practitioners is responsible for the satisfaction of students have with the program and its high reputation in the community,” noted one colleague.

Innovation in Educational Programming that has Made a Significant Contribution to Teaching and Learning — Renee P. McLeod, D.N.Sc., R.N., professor of Nursing

McLeod is recognized for teaching nursing students to use Personal Desk Assistant (PDA) technology in their clinical work and in the classroom setting. She currently runs a PDA udders group for students, faculty and alumni and has served as a consultant for other nurse practitioner specialties that have wanted to add PDA's as part of their curriculum. McLeod has taught other health care professionals and educators around the country and the world on the use of PDA technology in their work.

Teaching in a Clinical Setting — Dawn M. Vanderhoef, M.S.N., R.N., lecturer in Nursing

Vanderhoef works closely with pre-specialty psychiatric and mental health nursing students and enjoys mentoring nursing students and providing clinical experiences for those who are completing their psychiatric-mental health rotation. Colleagues say she works well with her students, as well as with her fellow clinical staff members. “She has an expectation of excellence and requires competent communication skills,” said one colleague.

Outstanding Contributions

to Research

Stanley Cohen Award — For Research Bringing Diverse Disciplines, such as Chemistry or Physics, to Solving Biology's Most Important Fundamental Questions — Richard N. Armstrong, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry, Chemistry

Armstrong has been selected for this award for his application of cutting-edge technology and chemistry to elucidate biological processes. He is internationally known as a superb mechanistic enzymologist. His research efforts focus on the elucidation of the mechanisms of action of enzymes involved in the metabolism of foreign or xenobiotic molecules. Recently, Armstrong has applied a new technology, amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry, to the study of dynamic processes in membrane proteins to map, for the first time, conformational changes in functioning membrane proteins.

Sidney P. Colowick Award — For Research that Serves as a Platform for Discovery in Diverse Areas — Jonathan L. Haines, Ph.D., T.H. Morgan Professor of Human Genetics, professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, investigator, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development

Haines is recognized for the broad, cross-institutional impact in both research approaches (epidemiological genetics) and research tools (advanced computing and bioinformatics). His research integrates clinical, molecular and statistical methods to address the difficult problem of dissecting the genetics of common and complex diseases. His current research can be divided into two areas: developing methods to apply the molecular, technological and computational tools of the human genome project to common diseases, and applying these tools directly to define the genetic architectures of Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, age-related macular degeneration and host response to infectious disease.

William J. Darby Award — For Translational Research that has Changed the Practice of Medicine World Wide — William Schaffner, M.D., professor of Preventive Medicine and chair of the Department, professor of Medicine

Schaffner is recognized for his strong advocacy for clinical and public health and for his devotion and service to public health research, committees and organizations. Quoted frequently on matters related to public health, in both local and national news media, Schaffner is known nationally for his expertise in immunization policies and practices and serves on the Center for Disease Control's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the National Vaccine Advisory Committee. He also works as an infectious disease consultant for the Tennessee Department of Health, was instrumental in developing the Tennessee Medicaid database for health services research, and recognizes and supports the need for research on vaccine safety and the importance of high quality research that helps to assure the public's trust in immunization programs.

John H. Exton Award — For Research Leading to Innovative Biological Concepts — Kathleen L. Gould, Ph.D., professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, investigator, Howard Hughes Institute

Gould is recognized for her fundamentally important biological research on the cell cycle and for innovative steps to extend that work into other eukaryotic organisms. Gould has established a formidable reputation in research on control of the cell cycle and has, most recently, focused on the mechanisms of cytokinesis — the process by which cytoplasm is separated to produce new cells — and how this is precisely coordinated with nuclear division. Her studies are unusually innovative in merging cutting-edge biochemistry/structural biology with classic studies of genetics and cell biology.

Ernest W. Goodpasture Award — For Groundbreaking Research that Addresses the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases or Important Biological Problems in Immunity — Jacek J. Hawiger, M.D., Ph.D., Oswald T. Avery Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and chair of the Department

Hawiger has had a distinguished research career in many areas, including the function of platelets in health and disease, the release of lysosomal enzymes from leukocytes, the role of fibrinogen in platelet function and staphylococcal clumping, the mechanism of action of lipopolysaccharide endotoxin, and the effects of postaglandins on platelets. His contributions in the area of physiology and pathophysiology of platelets and leukocytes have been extensive and wide-ranging, spanning both basic research and disease states.

Grant W. Liddle Award — For Outstanding Contributions in Clinical Research — Stephen N. Davis, M.D., Ph.D., Rudolph H. Kampmeier Professor of Medicine, professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Davis is recognized for his internationally renowned research on hypoglycemia. David understood early that intense glycemic control was critical in reducing the long-term tissue complications of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. He discovered that insulin could amplify the human autonomic nervous system response to hypoglycemia and that it is sensed directly by the brain to regulate those responses. Most recently, Davis discovered that corticosteroids are a major mechanism responsible for causing hypoglycemia associate autonomic failure.

Charles R. Park Award — For Basic Research Revealing Insights into Physiology and Pathophysiology — Alan D. Cherrington, Ph.D., Charles H. Best Professor of Diabetes Research, professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and chair of the Department, professor of Medicine

Cherrington has made major contributions to the understanding of diabetes. He was the first to define the quantitative relationship between insulin and glucagons in regulating hepatic glucose production in vivo. He also carried out fundamental studies in animals on hypoglycemic counterregulation and was the first to prove that the mammalian brain responds to physiologic changes in the plasma insulin level. More recently, Cherrington's research has led to the “portal vein sentinel” theory, which proposes that sentinel cells within the portal vein monitor incoming nutrients and coordinate the body's response to food ingestion.