May 19, 2006

Graduation 2006: New emeritus faculty honored at graduation

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New emeritus faculty include, from left, Fred Goldner Jr., M.D., clinical professor of Medicine; David Gregory, M.D., associate professor of Medicine; Jan van Eys, M.D., Ph.D., clinical professor of Pediatrics; Grant Wilkinson, Ph.D., D.Sc., professor of Pharmacology; Alastair J.J. Wood, M.B., Ch.B., professor of Medicine. Also named emeritus, but not present, was Ian Burr, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Pediatrics.
Photo by Dana Johnson

During Commencement, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine faculty members who are retiring this year were bestowed with the title of emeritus faculty, honoring their years of service to the University.

Ian M. Burr, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Pediatrics, emeritus

Burr came to Vanderbilt in 1971 and was promoted to professor in 1975. In 1986, he moved to the University of Florida to become chairman of pediatrics and returned to Vanderbilt in 1988 in the same role.

Burr's research interests include the neural control of hormonal release, specifically insulin release. During his 33 years at Vanderbilt, Burr was division chief of endocrinology and acting division chief of three divisions. From 1988-1999, he was the James C. Overall Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, medical director and physician-in-chief of Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Since 1999, as associate vice chancellor for Children's Health Services, Burr has had significant responsibility in the planning and construction of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, from design and development to implementation and monitoring of the budget.

Fred Goldner Jr., M.D., clinical professor of Medicine, emeritus

Goldner received his M.D. from VUSM in 1948 and has served on the faculty for 53 years. Throughout his career, he has been an indefatigable teacher. He has taught interns, residents, students, nurses and patients and, in recent years, has been an inspiring teacher of the physical diagnosis course.

For several years, Goldner organized and directed a multi-disciplinary cardiac work evaluation clinic of the Heart Association located at Vanderbilt Hospital. He has also been the medical consultant for the renal transplants performed at the V.A. Hospital and was the clinical evaluator for patients admitted to the surgical renovascular program at Vanderbilt. Goldner implemented the first artificial kidney for the U.S. Armed Forces.

David W. Gregory, M.D., associate professor of Medicine, emeritus

Gregory received his M.D. from VUSM in 1967 and became chief resident in medicine in 1970. He served as chief of ambulatory services at Nashville Metropolitan General Hospital (1973-1993). During this period, he undertook a fellowship in infectious diseases at Vanderbilt and was board certified in internal medicine (1980) and infectious diseases (1984).

From 1993 to 2005, he served as associate chief of staff for ambulatory care at the Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Nashville. He supervised many improvements in ambulatory care at the V.A. and consistently published original reports and book chapters concerning unusual infections.

Gregory's true calling, however, has been volunteer work to provide health care to the underserved of Nashville, particularly refugees, by establishing the Siloam Clinic. He has served on the Board of Directors and as the clinic's medical director since 1989.

Jan van Eys, M.D., Ph.D., clinical professor of Pediatrics, emeritus

Jan van Eys was born in the Netherlands. He earned his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in 1955. In 1968, he was appointed to the pediatrics faculty, where he specialized in hematology and oncology. From 1969-1973, he was Chief of the Pediatric Hematology Clinic at Vanderbilt.

Clinically, van Eys focused on the care of hemophiliacs and advocated for the then-radical idea of self-administration of clotting factors.

In 1973, van Eys was appointed as chair of pediatrics at the University of Texas's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and later became chair of pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical School. During that time, he developed an ancillary interest in ethics and published extensively in that field, as well as in oncology and biochemistry. After retiring from the University of Texas in 1994, van Eys returned to Vanderbilt as a clinical professor of pediatrics and took on the role of senior scholar in the Ethics Center, where he continues to teach.

Grant Robert Wilkinson, Ph.D., D.Sc., professor of Pharmacology, emeritus

Grant R. Wilkinson received his Ph.D. degree from the Chelsea College of Science and Technology School of Pharmacy, University of London, in 1966. In 2002, he earned the D.Sc. degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Manchester. Wilkinson joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1971. He served as director of the Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory (1972-1996) and associate director of the Center for Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology (1980-2001).

His research has focused primarily on the identification of factors that contribute to inter-individual variability in drug responsiveness in humans, especially those related to drug disposition.

For the past two decades, his particular focus has been pharmacogenetics and ethnic variability in the cytochromes P450 and, more recently, the role and importance of drug transporters. Wilkinson has received numerous honors, including the Grant W. Liddle Award for Excellence in Clinical Research at Vanderbilt University (2004) and a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health (1991).

Alastair J. J. Wood, M.D., professor of Medicine, Emeritus

Alastair Wood received his medical degree from St. Andrew's University and Dundee Medical School in Scotland and joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1978. He was assistant vice chancellor for Clinical Research from 1999-2004 and, until retirement, was an associate dean.

His research interests have focused on understanding the mechanisms for inter-individual variability in drug response, with a particular focus on the molecular genetics of adrenergic receptors, ethnic differences in drug response, vascular responses, and the genetics of drug metabolism.

Wood serves on a number of editorial boards, including those of the New England Journal of Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He is currently chairman of the FDA's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee, and recently chaired the FDA Advisory Committee on Cox-2 inhibitors. He has provided Congressional testimony and directly interacted with and advised senior White House officials, legislators, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on matters related to public health.

He was the proposed nominee for Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration in 2001. He is a frequent commentator in the national press on issues related to medicine and pharmaceuticals.