Kelly Dooley, MD, PhD, MPH, has been appointed professor and Addison B. Scoville Jr. Chair in Medicine and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, effective Sept. 12.
Dooley comes to Vanderbilt from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is professor of Medicine, and Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences.
“We are delighted to welcome a physician-scientist of Kelly’s stature and experience to the leadership of our vibrant Division of Infectious Diseases,” said Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, Hugh J. Morgan Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine. “With her clinical background, interests in tuberculosis and HIV, significant contributions as a clinical trialist, and strong credentials as a medical educator and academic author, Kelly quickly emerged as a top candidate in our leadership search. She will bring a tremendous energy to this unit that has proven itself to be so important in the pandemic. I know everyone will join us in welcoming her to VUMC and to our team in the Department of Medicine.”
With 61 faculty members and 12 fellows, in fiscal year 2021 the Division of Infectious Diseases saw 19,147 outpatient visits and provided 5,997 inpatient consults and more than 300 hospital admissions. With a raft of basic science and translational research projects ongoing on campus and around the world, the division receives more than $80 million per year in federal funding to support research, training and service.
“Many of the health threats we will be facing in the next several years, locally and globally, are related to infectious diseases, as we’ve all experienced personally with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dooley said. “I am eager to be part of efforts to address these threats, through cutting edge research, expert clinical care, and training of the next generation of infectious diseases clinicians and scientists. Vanderbilt has an exceptionally strong ID division, with broad and deep expertise in many critical ID arenas, and it is a privilege to be invited to be part of the team. Vanderbilt also has a world-class clinical pharmacology division, which was a draw for me.
“Most importantly, when I interviewed, everyone was warm and welcoming. I could feel the strong collaborative spirit and wanted very much to be part of it.”
Dooley studied economics at Northwestern University and, following a premed program at the University of Pennsylvania, received her medical degree from Duke University, her Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her PhD in clinical investigation from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. At Johns Hopkins she also completed an internal medicine residency, an infectious diseases fellowship and a clinical pharmacology fellowship.
Dooley has served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Chad, and as a hospitalist at Providence Portland Medical Center in Oregon. She joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 2010. At the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins she holds appointments in the divisions of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Pharmacology.
Dooley’s contributions to science are in the areas of tuberculosis therapeutics, clinical pharmacology of anti-infectives, HIV-tuberculosis co-treatment, and evaluation of HIV and TB drugs in special populations, like children and pregnant women. She has been a lead investigator for trials of treatments for drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB, pediatric TB meningitis, HIV-associated TB, and TB prevention.
At Johns Hopkins she has also been co-director of the Clinical Pharmacology Training Program and a faculty leader in the internal medicine residency program. For the World Health Organization and the Infectious Disease Society of America she has contributed to development of treatment/prevention guidelines for tuberculosis and HIV. She is immediate past chair of the Translational and Precision Medicine Network, sponsored by the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
The leadership search was led by Ben Ho Park, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology (and incoming director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center).
Dooley will take over from interim division directors Karen Bloch, MD, MPH, and David Haas, MD. The previous director, David Aronoff, MD, departed VUMC last December to become chair of the Department of Medicine at Indiana University.
“I am extremely grateful to Drs. Haas and Bloch for stepping up in this time of transition and for the excellent leadership they continue to provide to the division in this interim,” Rathmell said.