Webber named new chair of the Department of Pediatrics
By Jeremy Rush
May 31, 2012
Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, has been recruited to become the James C. Overall Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. In this role, Webber will serve as the hospital's pediatrician-in-chief. He will join VUMC in late August.
Webber, identified through a national search, comes to Vanderbilt from Pittsburgh, where he served as the Peter and Ada Rossin Chair in Pediatric Cardiology, professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
"Steve was chosen for his broad academic accomplishments and substantive clinical leadership experiences at UPMC. We are delighted to welcome him to Vanderbilt where he will play a vital role on our Children's leadership team," said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. "His impressive achievements as a physician, educator and researcher, and his warm, outgoing personality make him an ideal fit for this role.
"I also want to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Meg Rush for her outstanding efforts as acting chair during the past year. In addition to her responsibilities as the hospital's chief-of-staff, Meg's steady leadership while serving in this additional role has been extraordinary during a time of transition."
At Pittsburgh, Webber's clinical leadership included co-direction of the Heart Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, which sees more than 15,000 patients each year in 15 locations. Since 1995 he has served as medical director of the Children's Hospital Pediatric Heart and Heart-Lung Transplant Program.
"We look forward to Steve joining us. His contributions to our leadership team will play an integral role within Children's Hospital, throughout our health system and will be of great benefit to our region's most vulnerable patients," said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System.
"His depth of experience and expertise within a high-volume health system, and in pediatric heart and lung transplantation, are welcome and highly complementary additions to our efforts."
Webber graduated from the University of Bristol Medical School, U.K., in 1983, and underwent residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics in the U.K. at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Leicester Royal Infirmary, University Hospital-Nottingham and John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. He underwent fellowship training at the University of British Columbia Children's Hospital and the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. He joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh in 1994.
"I am thrilled to be joining the Vanderbilt family," Webber said. "I was attracted to Vanderbilt because of its deep commitment to all three missions of the academic medical center, along with its visionary leadership and extremely collegial atmosphere. I am looking forward to working with all the wonderful faculty, staff and trainees at Children's Hospital and across the broader Vanderbilt campus."
Webber's clinical expertise involves the care of children and young adults with end-stage heart failure, including those undergoing mechanical support and thoracic transplantation. His research interests include post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders, understanding the genetic contributions to graft and patient outcomes and the role of alloantibodies in determining graft outcomes after pediatric thoracic transplantation.
"Dr. Webber has led an outstanding division of Pediatric Cardiology and has established a stellar reputation at UPMC, working closely with health care leaders and community pediatricians," said Luke Gregory, chief executive officer of Children's Hospital. "His appointment provides a wonderful opportunity to continue to strengthen our relationships with community providers, Vanderbilt faculty members and our growing hospital network."
He has been the principal investigator and program director for a National Institutes of Health-National Heart Lung and Blood Institute SCCOR (Specialized Center in Clinically Oriented Research) Program in Pediatric Heart Development and Disease, titled "Optimizing Outcome after Pediatric Heart Transplantation." He is currently principal investigator for a National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation in Children research consortium.
"I am very happy that Dr. Steven Webber has accepted the chair of Pediatrics position at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt," said John W. Brock III, M.D., Monroe Carell Jr. Chair, director of the Division of Pediatric Urology and Children's Hospital surgeon-in-chief.
"He is truly a collaborative, outstanding scientist who combines the necessary elements of research with a keen understanding of patient care. We are very fortunate to have Steven on board, and I look forward to working with him in the future," Brock said.
"I very much look forward to working with Dr. Webber as we transition to his leadership for the department in a few months," Rush said. "He will bring to us new ideas and ways to support our long-standing tradition of excellence in education, discovery and clinical care. He is thoughtful in his approach and will be a great partner as we continue to advance our many initiatives to improve the health and well-being of children."
Webber is the author of more than 160 peer-reviewed publications. He serves as co-editor (and editor-elect) of the journal Pediatric Transplantation, and is co-editor of two textbooks: "Pediatric Solid Organ Transplantation" and "Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorders."
He is the recipient of the 2012 American Society of Transplantation Clinical Science Established Investigator Award. In addition, he has served as president of both the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study and the International Pediatric Transplant Association.
He currently serves as co-chair (chair elect) of the Thoracic Committee of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). He also serves on the board of directors for the American Society of Transplantation, and previously served on the board of directors of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.
Nancy Brown, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine, led the search committee, which included: R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., John Brock III, M.D., Andre Churchwell, M.D., Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., Luke Gregory, Jonathan Haines, Ph.D., Katherine Hartmann, M.D., Ph.D., Susan Hernandez, MBA, R.N., Kevin Johnson, M.D., Howard Jones III, M.D., Robert Mallard, M.D., Linda Norman, DSN, R.N., Scott Rodgers, M.D., and Anne Marie Tharpe, Ph.D. The committee was staffed by David Raiford, M.D., associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs and senior associate dean for Clinical Affairs, with support from Korn/Ferry International.