December 19, 2008

Year in review 2008: Medical Center leadership team bolstered

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Sylvia Gografe, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., Vanderbilt Medical Center's associate vice chancellor for Research, was named in October dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Balser had served as interim dean of the school since July, when former dean Steven Gabbe, M.D., left Vanderbilt to become senior vice president for Health Sciences and chief executive officer at Ohio State University Medical Center.

In addition to his responsibilities as dean, Balser continues to serve as associate vice chancellor for Research, with continued oversight of the Medical Center's research enterprise.

In January, Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., was named to lead the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer, Tennessee's only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehen-sive Cancer Center. She had served as interim director since February 2007.

A member of the Vanderbilt faculty since 1994, Pietenpol served as the center's associate director for basic science and translational research programs since 2002. She is a past program leader for Signal Transduction and Cell Proliferation, one of seven research programs in the center.

Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., of Washington University, took over in June as chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

“I could not be happier to have Jonathan as a part of our Medical Center, as he is one of this country's leading pediatricians,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “His broad appreciation for both children's health care and for child health research, coupled with his bold vision for the future of pediatrics at Vanderbilt, make him the perfect leader for our entire children's enterprise.”

In December, Douglas Sawyer, M.D., Ph.D., was named physician-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute (VHVI), and chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Sawyer had been serving as interim chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine since May.

In March, Nicholas S. Zeppos was chosen as Vanderbilt University's eighth chancellor.

Zeppos joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1987 as an assistant professor in the law school, where he was recognized with five teaching awards. He subsequently served as an associate dean and then as associate provost before being named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs in 2002.

Roger Cone, Ph.D., became chair of Vanderbilt's Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics in August.

He came to Vanderbilt from Oregon Health and Science University, where he was director of the Center for the Study of Weight Regulation and is a senior scientist at the Vollum Institute.

Harvard's Roland “Ron” Eavey, M.D., will become the new chair of Vanderbilt's Department of Otolaryngology and director of the Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Hearing and Speech Sciences, effective February 2009.

Eavey, director of ENT Pediatric Services at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard since 1981, succeeds founding chair Robert Ossoff, M.D., who announced last year that he would transition into a new role at Vanderbilt in December.

Terence Dermody, M.D., was named in February to direct Vanderbilt's Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Dermody joined the Department of Pediatrics in 1990. He is also professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt and adjunct professor of Biomedical Sciences at Meharry Medical College. Dermody directs the Elizabeth B. Lamb Center for Pediatric Research and the Vanderbilt Medical Scientist Training Program.

In September, Brent Graham, M.D., was named director of the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

He previously served as clinical director of the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Graham, who grew up in Nashville and graduated from VUSM, is the son of Thomas Graham, M.D., professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus.

Three Vanderbilt University School of Medicine faculty members are taking on new leadership roles.

• Susan Wente, Ph.D., has been named assistant vice chancellor for Research.

• David Raiford, M.D., will become senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs and assistant vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

• Lynn Webb, Ph.D., M.B.A., has been named assistant vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

Mark Wallace, Ph.D., associate professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences and Psychology at Vanderbilt University, was named director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute in June.

Wallace succeeded Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

In April, Donald Brady, M.D., was named Vanderbilt University School of Medicine's new associate dean of Graduate Medical Education.

Brady, who received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Vanderbilt, was previously associate vice chair of Education at Emory University.

Becky Keck, M.S.N., R.N., was named assistant dean for Administration at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in March.

“Becky is a talented administrator, instructor and nurse who brings with her a long track record of successes,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of VUSN. “She is uniquely suited to make important contributions to our work here.”

In June, Samuel McKenna, D.D.S., M.D., was named chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

McKenna was formerly director of the Residency Program.