Greg Downey Named Executive VP at National Jewish

MARCH 31, 2006

DENVER — National Jewish Medical and Research Center has appointed physician-scientist Greg Downey, MD, as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Downey leaves leadership positions at the University of Toronto where he served as an endowed Professor of Medicine, Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Chief of Respirology. In addition to becoming Executive Vice President, Dr. Downey will be appointed the Drs. Harold and Mary Zirin Chair in Adult Pulmonary Biology.


"We were seeking a renowned researcher and physician leader, a real star, to fill this important position," said Michael Salem, MD, President and CEO of National Jewish. "Dr. Downey is that individual. I am confident that he will provide outstanding leadership for our academic and research efforts."

Dr. Downey replaces Dick Johnston, MD, who will return to his scholarly pursuits in immunology and children's health. Dr. Johnston will continue his long association with National Jewish.

"Dick's contributions to National Jewish have been enormous" said Dr. Salem. "In addition to stimulating and strengthening our research efforts and facilities, he guided the framing and implementation of the 2004 Academic Strategic Plan. Most recently he directed the development of our new Division of Radiology."

 "It has been a tremendous honor to serve in this role," said Dr. Johnston. "We could not have found a better person for this position than Greg Downey. Greg is a highly productive clinician scientist in pulmonary medicine and an exceptionally fine human being."

As Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Downey will oversee the academic and research programs at National Jewish. Dr. Downey said he will seek to integrate the clinical and research efforts of the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics and Immunology, so that basic research will more commonly address clinical issues, and discoveries in basic research will more quickly be converted to improvements in patient care. Dr. Downey is especially excited to begin developing "individualized medicine programs," which will seek to take advantage of advances in knowledge and technology to better assess disease risk, and monitor for disease, then develop customized treatments if a person does become sick.

"I'm grateful to be back at National Jewish and to have this opportunity to work with Dr. Salem and others in developing individualized medicine programs," said Dr. Downey. "National Jewish is also a wonderful place for me to develop my own programs and break into new directions with my research. I also look forward to providing great patient care."
In addition to his positions at the University of Toronto, Dr. Downey has served since 2001 as the Canada Research Chair in Respiration for the Canada Institutes of Health Research. Dr. Downey's research and clinical interests include pulmonary cell biology and acute lung injury. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles, editorials, and book chapters.

Dr. Downey received his medical degree from the University of Manitoba in 1980, did his internship and residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and completed his clinical fellowship in pulmonary medicine at the University of Colorado Denver and National Jewish in 1986. He then completed a research fellowship in pulmonary cell biology in 1988 at National Jewish, while simultaneously serving as a staff physician and Medical Director for the Adult Special Care Unit at National Jewish.

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