From the Dean
This year we celebrate our sesquicentennial—
150 years of excellence.
We continue to build on this foundation as we move into the future of medicine as leaders and innovators. Our strategic vision can be summed up in three words: Alignment, Innovation, and Impact.
Alignment involves the nurturing and expansion of pragmatic alliances with our clinical affiliates. This effort intensifies as Children’s Memorial Medical Center prepares to move onto our campus in 2012 and as we strengthen our partnership with Northwestern Memorial Hospital. As many of you know, in June 2009, the Feinberg School and Evanston Northwestern Healthcare (ENH) will terminate their affiliation. We are moving forward with an amicable separation (details are provided in the Clinical Services section of this annual report) and are exploring exciting new affiliations.
Our search for innovation has led us to initiate a process to redesign the curriculum (discussed in the Education section of this report). It also has led us to our vision of The Great Academic Medical Center, which grew out of a Joint Planning Committee of senior leaders from the medical school, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation. It had become evident to us all that more opportunities were available through better alignment and joint planning. After more than a year of work, we recently reported our findings to an external group of senior academic leaders from leading institutions and are awaiting their feedback.
Innovation is also the causative impulse behind “One Northwestern,” a novel budgeting and planning process that reflects the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of biomedical education and research. The final report contains several transformational themes including a new process for joint faculty hiring across schools, the creation of new University-wide departments, the redefinition of the focus of existing basic science departments, and the integration of the graduate programs.
In all these endeavors, we will guide our activities by assessing impact, whether in clinical care, research, teaching, or community outreach. We want to measure what we have accomplished, not how much time or money we have spent.
It is my very great pleasure to announce the following key leadership appointments that were made during the year.
Nathaniel J. Soper, MD, the immediate past-president of the International Society of Digestive Surgery, nationally known as an expert and innovator in minimally invasive and natural orifice surgery and as a surgical educator, was selected as Loyal and Edith Davis Professor and chair, Department of Surgery.
William A. Muller, MD, PhD, was recruited to the Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM) and was named the Magerstadt Professor and chair, Department of Pathology. Dr. Muller had been on the faculty of Weill Cornell Medical College, where he was professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and attending pathologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is the editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine and is distinguished for his research in leukocyte– endothelial cell interactions in inflammation.
John G. Csernansky, MD, was recruited from Washington University in St. Louis where he was Gregory B. Couch Professor of Psychiatry and professor of anatomy and neurobiology. He joined FSM as the Lizzie Gilman Professor and chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He is a nationally respected physician-scientist whose research utilizes sophisticated neuroimaging techniques to study how abnormalities in brain structures relate to symptoms, cognitive defects, and responses to drug therapies in patients with schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Douglas E. Vaughan, MD, was recruited to FSM from Vanderbilt University where he was the C. Sidney Burwell Professor of Medicine and chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Dr. Vaughan came to Northwestern as professor and chair, Department of Medicine. He has been invested as the Irving S. Cutter Professor of Medicine. Dr. Vaughan currently is principal investigator on four major grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute that address research questions ranging from the basic mechanisms to the potential innovative therapies of cardiovascular disease.
In closing, I would like to reassure you that the Feinberg School remains financially solid. Like all medical schools, we have been impacted by the recent economic downturn. However, the careful stewardship of our Board of Trustees and the generosity of our many donors enabled us to weather these difficulties. I sometimes think of the medical school as a high speed train. We have enormous momentum, all the signals are pointing in the same direction, we know where we want to go, and we are getting there fast. We have always been known for excellence and for leadership. There is no doubt in my mind that we will intensify that tradition during the next 150 years and beyond.
J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD
Vice President for Medical Affairs
and Lewis Landsberg Dean,
Feinberg School of Medicine