April 16, 2004

Oates receives NIH clinical research award

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John A. Oates Jr., M.D.

Oates receives NIH clinical research award

John A. Oates Jr., M.D., Thomas F. Frist Sr. Professor of Medicine and professor of Pharmacology, will receive the Sixteenth Annual Award of Excellence in Clinical Research from the General Clinical Research Centers Program this weekend.

The award acknowledges outstanding clinical research, supported by the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health.

“This award is the highest honor the NIH can bestow on a clinical investigator,” said David Robertson, M.D., Elton Yates Professor of Autonomic Disorders and professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Neurology. “It recognizes individuals for recent major discoveries in a setting of lifetime achievement in research. Dr. Oates is the first recipient of this award from Vanderbilt.”

"This is a great honor for the Department of Medicine and for translational research at Vanderbilt in general." said Eric G. Neilson, M.D., Morgan Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine. "John is so closely identified with clinical research in this country that it is truly fitting for him to be this year's recipient."

The $5,000 award and certificate will be conferred during the General Clinical Research Centers Program Directors meeting in Chicago. At the meeting, Oates will deliver a lecture titled “Investigation on the Contribution of Cyclooxygenases to Human Disease.”

“Dr. Oates is a legend in Clinical Research. He put Vanderbilt’s clinical research on the map, and I was personally excited to propose him for this award, and gratified that others recognized, as we do, his enormous contributions,” said Alastair Wood, M.D., associate dean of external affairs.

“There are several important features or characteristics of Vanderbilt that nurtured the research that went on here — the intent of Vanderbilt Pharmacology to include human pharmacology within the scope of the academic mission of the department,” Oates said. “Their commitment to it has brought strong basic science to bear on our clinical research. For the investigation of human pharmacology, this has been an ideal setting.”

Oates said the Vanderbilt General Clinical Research Center has been recognized as one of the leading GCRC’s in the United States, and a great asset to the Medical School.

“The General Clinical Research Center has provided essential resources for our research, initially under the leadership of Elliot Newman, and more recently, David Robertson,” Oates said.

“Recently NIH leadership has rediscovered the importance of patient-oriented research and has taken a number of helpful steps to support it,” Robertson said. “As attention has focused on the nation’s clinical research resources, Vanderbilt’s great strength in this area has been increasingly recognized. This is in no small measure due to the leadership and vision of Dr. Oates and those he trained.”

Oates’ distinguished career at Vanderbilt began in 1963, when he joined the faculty of the School of Medicine as an assistant professor of Medicine and Pharmacology. He served as director of the division of Clinical Pharmacology from 1963 to 1988 and was chair of the department of Medicine from 1983 to 1987.

Oates was named the Thomas F. Frist Professor of Medicine in 1988. He is also the director of the Research Center for Clinical Pharmacology and Drug Toxicology at Vanderbilt.