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Department of Pediatrics Newsletter
Kevin Ess named director of Division of Pediatric Neurology
By Doug Campbell
November 21, 2013

Kevin C. Ess, M.D., Ph.D., has been named chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurology within the Department of Pediatrics at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Ess, an accomplished physician-scientist who joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2006, is also an assistant professor of Pediatrics, Neurology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Biological Sciences and also serves as program director of the Child Neurology Residency Program.

Ess’ NIH-funded research is focused on deciphering the molecular mechanisms required for normal brain development and how disruptions of these processes lead to malformations of the cerebral cortex.

His clinical activities focus on managing intractable epilepsy in children, and he has a special interest in the diagnosis and treatment of the genetic disorder Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. It’s this strong union of clinical excellence and investigative expertise that makes Ess the ideal leader for the Division of Pediatric Neurology, said Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, the James C. Overall Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

“We are delighted to have Kevin take leadership of the Division of Pediatric Neurology. We anticipate major growth in the clinical, education and research arenas in the coming years. Our goal is simply to be the top Pediatric Neurology program in the country. Kevin is the right leader to help us achieve this goal.

“I would also like to thank Dr. Eric Pina-Garza for his hard work and dedicated stewardship of the Division as the interim chief over the last three years,” Webber said.
Ess received his M.D. and Ph.D. — as well as a B.M. in Music Performance — from the University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation.

After an internship in Pediatrics at Denver Children’s Hospital, he completed a Child Neurology residency and a Neurophysiology fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis/St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He served as Instructor of Neurology and Pediatrics there before coming to Vanderbilt in 2006.

“The Division of Pediatric Neurology has a long history of excellence. We will build on this foundation with a substantial increase in the size of the division over the next several years. Such growth will allow us to greatly improve patient access as well as further enhance the embedded missions of education and research,” Ess said.


 
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