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More about Gordon R. Bernard, M.D.

Gordon R. Bernard, CTSA Program Director and VICTR Director, is responsible for oversight of VICTR and the CTSA. He works with seven Co-Program Directors to implement the specific the aims of the CTSA and VICTR. His primary functions with regards to Governance include:
1)     facilitating communications and promoting integration between Co-Program Directors and advisors;
2)     integrating closely with Meharry Medical College,
3)     managing external community partnerships;
4)    providing integration, leadership and overseeing implementation and project management; and
5)     ensuring the evolving vision of VICTR and CTSA is carried forward through all the processes including making modifications based on evaluation committee guidance.

In 2000, Dr. Bernard was honored with the Melinda Owen Bass Professor in Medicine Chair. This fund was established in honor of Mrs. Bass and her family’s many contributions to medical research at Vanderbilt. Dr. Bernard has received wide recognition of his professional accomplishments not only as a physician but also as a researcher, teacher and leader. In January 2007, again in recognition of his accomplishments, Dr. Bernard was asked to assume the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. To contribute appropriate attention to that role, he relinquished the role of Chairman of the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.  Although he no longer serves as Chairman of the division, he remains on the faculty as a valued physician, researcher and mentor.    

Dr. Bernard’s clinical and research areas of specialty are Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Sepsis. As a researcher, he has achieved many accomplishments.  Dr. Bernard is in an elite class of investigators who have participated in the design and outcome of two successful trials that clearly reduced the mortality of the patients under study. Dr. Bernard was the Primary Investigator for the Phase III PROWESS trial of rh-Activated Protein C for severe sepsis that eventually led to its becoming the first approved drug for that disease. He also served as the Steering Committee Chairman and assisted in the study design of the ARDS Network Study of Ventilator Management, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health that proved to directly reduce mortality associated with this disease saving as many as 30,000 lives per year in the United States and tens of millions in the cost of caring for the critically ill. Dr. Bernard continues to lead the ARDS Network in the design and management of that organization’s work. Just this year, Dr. Bernard was selected a second time (previously selected in 2002) to receive the coveted Roger C. Bone Memorial Award for excellence in Sepsis Research awarded by the American College of Chest Physicians.  

As Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Bernard has leadership and oversight responsibility for the offices of Grants and Contracts, the Clinical Research Center, the Clinical Trials Center, Research Support Services, and the Vanderbilt Institutional Review Board.  He has responsibility for coordinating these functional areas to a common aim: driving their effectiveness in supporting investigators and the research process, while ensuring federal regulatory and legal requirements are met.  As Program Director of the CTSA, Dr. Bernard will continue to coordinate efforts to fulfill the vision of the CTSA at Vanderbilt and nationally. Vanderbilt recently established the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR), an institute and building that will bring together in one location, the offices currently under Dr. Bernard’s leadership and others, as a way of enhancing collaborations and streamlining processes.