Radiology Professor and Chair Reed Omary, M.D., M.S., was named co-recipient of the Geoffrey David Chazen Award by the Vanderbilt Academy for Excellence in Education (AEE) this week. He shares the award with colleague Matthew Walker, III, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology, for their contributions to the design and implementation of innovation in medical education at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM).
Together, Omary and Walker serve as director and associate director, respectively, of the Medical Innovators Development Program (MIDP), a four-year Ph.D. to M.D. training program that was integrated as part of VUSM in 2015.
“As the director and associate director of a truly unique program we feel they are both tremendously deserving,” said Bonnie Miller, M.D., MMHC, Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences Education and Executive Vice President of Educational Affairs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). “On behalf of the AEE Board, congratulations!”
Omary, along with the MIDP leadership team, developed the MIDP to bridge the gap between health care, academia and industry. The curriculum, designed in alignment with VUSM’s Curriculum 2.0, prepares students for leadership roles as applied physician scientists. Since its implementation, the MIDP has welcomed 10 students with Ph.D. degrees in various areas of engineering and applied sciences. They will graduate its first cohort of students with the VUSM Class of 2020 next spring.
Omary joined Vanderbilt in 2012 as the Carol D. and Henry P. Pendergrass Professor and Chair of Radiology and Radiological Sciences. In addition to his radiology and MIDP leadership, he co-leads the Medical Center’s strategic planning efforts.
Prior to coming to Vanderbilt in 2011, Walker led cardiovascular imaging at Merck Pharmaceuticals and was a mechanical/biomedical engineer with NASA. He now teaches and implements biotech design curriculum across VUSM and the School of Engineering, as well as for organizations in the biotechnology and medical device industries.