June 12, 2007
Contact: Marla Paul at (312) 503-8928 or at
Feinberg School Awarded $4 Million to Train Vascular Medicine Specialists
CHICAGO—Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine has been awarded $4 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to train vascular medicine specialists. Northwestern is one of seven institutions around the country awarded this opportunity.
The grant is part of a national effort by the NHLBI to increase the number of physicians devoted to and capable of improving the vascular health of the nation.
“One of the unique features about this program is the amount of money the NHLBI has invested,” said Mary D. McDermott, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Feinberg School and director of the training program. “Vascular medicine is not a nationally recognized specialty.”
To help make vascular medicine a recognized specialty, the NHLBI has made a significant amount of money available to support the training of physicians who want to be researchers and clinicians in vascular medicine. Funding for the program will run for five years.
Because few vascular medicine training programs exist, a shortage of physicians who are specialists in this area has resulted. This presents a problem because more than 25 million people in the United States are affected by vascular diseases, which include stroke and clogged arteries.
“Our focus is truly on training the next generation of vascular medicine clinical researchers,” said Dr. McDermott.
The Executive Committee for the Northwestern Vascular Training Program will select five physicians from a pool of applicants. In addition to McDermott, committee members include William H. Pearce, MD (codirector of the program); Philip Greenland; MD, Debiao Li, PhD; and Neil J. Stone, MD.
The trainees will spend one year in clinical rotations and two years conducting research. Mentorship will play a large part in the training process, with at least two mentors overseeing each trainee. Experience in presenting and publishing papers as well as writing and submitting grants are other key elements of the program.
The first trainee is expected to begin this fall, with two more starting in summer 2008 and two others in summer 2009.