August 19, 2010

Message from the Vice Chancellor: New Chair Named for the Department of Medicine

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great enthusiasm that I announce Nancy J. Brown, M.D., the Robert H. Williams Professor of Medicine, as the new chair for the Department of Medicine, effective November 1.

Nancy currently serves as the associate dean for Clinical and Translational Scientist Development and chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology.

Nancy is a thoughtful clinician and distinguished physician-scientist who has been the recipient of numerous national awards and honors for her work in cardiovascular disease, including the Harriet Dustan Award from the American Heart Association Council for High Blood Pressure Research, membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation and membership in the Association of American Physicians. She is a member of the NIH National Advisory Research Resources Council, responsible for oversight of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards.

Nancy’s appointment comes after many years of significant accomplishments and contributions as a physician-scientist and administrator. Together with the late Thomas Hazinski, M.D., Nancy founded the Vanderbilt Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program in 2000 in order to train investigators in the techniques and processes utilized in patient-oriented research. As associate dean, she established the Elliot Newman Society to nurture the development of physician-scientists at Vanderbilt.

Nancy’s qualifications and experience find her uniquely suited for this responsibility because the Department of Medicine is home to 14 academic divisions that touch nearly all areas of clinical care and biomedical research throughout the University.

After earning her A.B. degree from Yale University and her medical degree from Harvard University, Nancy completed medicine and clinical pharmacology training at Vanderbilt, joining our faculty in 1992 to assume ever-increasing roles essential to our mission.

Nancy’s appointment comes after a comprehensive national search, chaired by Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., assistant vice chancellor for Child and Maternal Health and the James C. Overall Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, which considered some of the very best and brightest candidates from across the country.

I want to express my appreciation to Dr. Gitlin and other members of this search committee: Provost Richard McCarty, Ph.D., Dan Beauchamp, M.D., Ellen Clayton, M.D., J.D., Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., Larry Goldberg, M.H.A., Heidi Hamm, Ph.D., Stephan Heckers, M.D., Kevin Johnson, M.D., Arnold Malcolm, M.D., Bonnie Miller, M.D., Hal Moses, M.D., Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., Corey Slovis, M.D., Paul Sternberg, M.D., and Mary Zutter, M.D.

I also want to thank David Raiford, M.D., associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs and senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs, who staffed our search committee and worked in partnership with executive search firm Korn/Ferry International.

The selection of Nancy as Medicine chair, only the eighth individual in our institution’s rich history to hold this position, will allow us to build upon the outstanding progress the department made during the past 12 years under Eric Neilson, M.D.

I have tremendous confidence in Nancy as our new chair for the Department of Medicine. Please join me as we welcome her into this new role.

Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
Dean, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine