January 16, 2009

Growing lecture series honors past leaders of Pediatrics Dept.

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Growing lecture series honors past leaders of Pediatrics Dept.

The Department of Pediatrics at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has added two new lectureships to its series honoring physicians and leaders of the past. These lectures, held yearly during Pediatric Grand Rounds, are named for Amos Christie, M.D., James Overall, M.D., and now, David Karzon, M.D., and Arnold Strauss, M.D.

“It is important to recognize great leaders,” said Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., chair of the Department and physician-in-chief at Children's Hospital. “This is a way for our house staff to learn who these people are. It is important to know the history because we can't know where we are going if we do not know where we have been.”

• The 2008 Amos Christie lecture was held Dec. 2. The talk, entitled “Renal Malformation: The Clinical Conundrum Meets Developmental Genetics” was given by Norman Rosenblum, M.D., associate chair of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children.

Christie chaired the Department of Pediatrics from 1943 to 1968 and is renowned for his research into histoplasmosis. One of his greatest legacies was integrating pediatric wards.

• Overall, who specialized in hematology/oncology, had a distinguished career as a general academic pediatrician. He was one of the initial members of the Children's Regional Medical Center board, which eventually became Children's Hospital.

The Overall lecture this year will be given by Nancy Andrews, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of the Duke University School of Medicine.

• Karzon headed the department from 1968 until 1986 and was the force behind the “hospital within a hospital” concept, which established special pediatric areas in Vanderbilt University Hospital. He was an internationally recognized specialist in viral immunology.

The first Karzon lecture will be given by Jeffrey Murray, M.D., a genetics specialist at the University of Iowa.

• Strauss was chair of the department and medical director of Children's Hospital from 2000 to 2007. Recognized as a top scientist in pediatric cardiology, he facilitated the move to a freestanding building and helped grow the scientific accomplishments and national recognition of Children's Hospital.

Strauss, who is now Chief Medical Officer at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, will give his namesake inaugural lecture.

Louis Muglia, M.D., vice chair for Research Affairs in Pediatrics, is working with other faculty to identify candidates for upcoming lectures.

“We want a diverse group of speakers in different areas,” he said. “These lectures are meant to honor great scholars in pediatrics by bringing in people who have made exceptional contributions. They are providing a forum to bring the very finest scholars in child health to Vanderbilt for dissemination of information to the community here. Our hope is also to make these leaders familiar with the superb environment and excitement about research that permeates our department so they can convey this experience at their own institutions.”