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Donald Lloyd-Jones Named New Chair of Preventive Medicine

November 10, 2009 | by Marla Paul
CHICAGO --- Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M., an associate professor of medicine and preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has been named the new chair of preventive medicine.

Lloyd-Jones, who joined Northwestern in 2004, also is director of the program for Cardiovascular Risk Estimation, Communication and Prevention at Feinberg and the interim director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute Clinical Trials Unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH).

He takes the helm of one of the top preventive medicine departments in the country, founded in 1971 by former chair Jeremiah Stamler, M.D., who is considered to be one of the fathers of cardiovascular epidemiology.

"This is a really exciting time in epidemiology and prevention, which is the focus of the department," said Lloyd-Jones. "We are at a crossroads. We now have the ability to do population studies with the kind of insight and resolution that we never had before. We can actually study disease processes in populations at the tissue and cellular level. We also can use imaging to get closer to the disease process in cancer and cardiovascular disease. Those insights will likely lead us to new ways to create personalized medicine as well as new treatments to prevent or control disease."

In his new position, he plans to continue to emphasize and expand research into the mechanisms of disease, translational work and to recruit new research talent to an already strong department.

"We also need to do a better job at taking what we know about preventing chronic disease and translating it into public health policies and into information that patients and doctors can use individually," Lloyd-Jones added.

His research interests include cardiovascular disease epidemiology, risk estimation and prevention. A major focus of his work has been investigation of the lifetime risks for various cardiovascular diseases and factors that modify those risks. He also researches cardiovascular disease risk assessment using novel biomarkers, imaging of subclinical atherosclerosis and the epidemiology of hypertension.

Philip Greenland, M.D., who headed preventive medicine at Feinberg from 1991 to 2005, recruited Lloyd-Jones from Massachusetts General.

"I am delighted that Donald Lloyd-Jones has been chosen the next leader of preventive medicine," said Greenland, the Harry W. Dingman Professor of Cardiology, senior associate dean for clinical and translational research and director of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. "He has grown to be a true leader locally, nationally and internationally. We're very lucky to have retained him to benefit from his tremendous contributions as a researcher, clinician and outstanding teacher."

Robert Bonow, M.D., chief of cardiology for Feinberg and NMH and the Goldberg Distinguished Professor of Cardiology, who also recruited Lloyd-Jones, noted, "Donald Lloyd-Jones is an internationally recognized expert in cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention who has provided important new insights into the lifetime risks of developing cardiovascular disease that can begin to be identified in very young people. His appointment as chair of the department of preventive medicine adds new vision and mentorship in a highly productive and acclaimed department."

"He's sharp, level headed, warm and positive," said Stamler, now a professor emeritus of preventive medicine. "It's key for a chairperson to attract other people to the department... he has the ability to maintain and further extend for the coming decades the important role of preventive medicine."

"Don has been an active, dynamic and highly productive member of our faculty for the last five years," added Linda Van Horn, a professor of preventive medicine who has been the interim chair of the department. "He is a visionary who sees new and exciting directions for our future and has the knowledge, enthusiasm and leadership skills needed to implement them."

Lloyd-Jones earned his bachelor of arts from Swarthmore College in 1986. He received his MD degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1991 and a master of science degree in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2001. He was an intern and resident in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston and served as chief medical resident from 1995 to 1996. After his cardiology fellowship at MGH, he joined the staff as an attending cardiologist and was an instructor and then assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Framingham Heart Study as a research fellow in 1997 and became a staff research associate in 1999.

He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association and a past recipient of the American Society of Hypertension's Young Scholar Award. Lloyd-Jones is a member of three panels of the NHLBI's current Clinical Guidelines for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: the Integrated Guidelines Panel, ATP-IV and the Risk Assessment Work Group. He is a recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the Patterson Award for Teacher of the Year from the Department of Medicine and the Teacher of the Year from the division of cardiology at Feinberg.  A prolific researcher, he has published more than 85 original papers in peer-reviewed publications and currently has a major role in 10 research grants.

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