A Welcoming Investiture for Douglas E. Vaughan, Chair of Medicine
|Dr. Vaughan and family celebrate his investiture as the Irving S. Cutter Professor of Medicine.|
During a special midday ceremony held in the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center, department chairs, faculty members, family, and friends gathered to honor Douglas Vaughan, MD, as the newly invested Irving S. Cutter Professor of Medicine. With his family watching from the front row of the Baldwin Auditorium, all in attendance celebrated the arrival of a national leader who promises to elevate an already lauded Department of Medicine to even greater heights.
J. Larry Jameson, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean of the Feinberg School of Medicine, welcomed attendees to the celebration of his successor as department chair for medicine. A renowned and highly sought-after cardiologist, Dr. Vaughan was successfully recruited to Northwestern through a national search effort helmed by Anthony Schaefer, MD, chair of the Department of Urology. Dean Jameson introduced attendees to a dynamic leader before asking John Byrne, MD, to the podium to formally extol the honoree.
Dr. Byrne, chair of the Department of Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Vaughan’s former institution, recalled his own mentor’s recommendation to accept a position at Vanderbilt primarily because he “…had the opportunity to work alongside Doug Vaughan.” In addition to detailing his great clinical expertise, extramural funding awards, and extensive publishing in national research journals, Dr. Byrne characterized Dr. Vaughan as a leader who possesses a rare ability to foster a culture of trust among colleagues and collaborators, empowering all to strive and succeed as a united and cooperative team.
While the ceremony focused primarily on Dr. Vaughan’s contributions to medicine, Dr. Byrne shone the spotlight broadly to showcase a man with diverse interests and talents. Beneath projected slides of the two men playing guitars on a Nashville stage, he spoke again of Dr. Vaughan’s enthusiasm for collaboration and the satisfaction he gains from being part of a group’s greater success.
As Dr. Byrne relinquished the lectern to the honoree, their shared admiration and camaraderie were clear—Dr. Vaughan joked that Dr. Byrne had stolen his best joke during his remarks. Dr. Vaughan opened by paying homage to the medical mentors who helped shape his career, including Drs. Eugene Braunwald, Joseph Loscalzo, Eric Neilson, and Donald Seldin. As humble as he is accomplished, Dr. Vaughan chose to discuss Northwestern’s strengths and the tremendous opportunities he sees to advance plans for the great academic medical center. Though he had been approached by several other top medical schools, Dr. Vaughan decided to focus the next stage of his esteemed career on “…establishing the Department of Medicine as the first, real 21st century department in the country.”
Dr. Vaughan’s predecessors as chairs of the department as well as Cutter Professors include Dean Emeritus Lewis Landsberg, MD, and current medical school dean, J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD.