Northwestern announces first female chair of Medicine


Photo courtesy of Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Susan Quaggin will be Northwestern’s next chair of Medicine, starting Sept.1

Shravya Pant, Reporter

Susan Quaggin will be the new chair of the Department of Medicine, Northwestern announced June 27. 

Quaggin is set to become the University’s first ever female chair of Medicine. Quaggin’s term will begin Sept. 1.

“I am incredibly excited to build upon the legacy of excellence at Northwestern and in the department…and to shape a new era of medicine for our institution,” Quaggin said in a news release. 

Women comprise over 75% of the healthcare workforce, yet they hold only 30% of executive leadership roles and 21% of department chair positions, according to a 2022 report by the American Medical Women’s Association.

Serving as the president of the American Society of Nephrology in 2021 and 2022, Quaggin was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019. Last year, the American Heart Association named her one of seven Distinguished Scientists. 

The University of Toronto medical graduate has published over 180 peer-reviewed articles, with her research focusing on gene regulation and kidney health. She also serves as the director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular and Renal Research Institute and a co-editor of multiple medical journals. 

“It is an honor and a privilege to be the next chair of the Department of Medicine at Feinberg and Northwestern Memorial Hospital,” Quaggin said in the release. “Like so many of our faculty, trainees, students, and scientists, it is our patients whose stories inspire me every day and give me my purpose in life.”

Dr. Douglas E. Vaughan is stepping down from the department chair position after 15 years of leadership. 

Vaughan’s tenure marked a period of growth for Northwestern’s largest department. Northwestern’s National Institutes of Health funding grew from $53.8 million in 2008 to $448 million in 2021 and $118 million in 2022 under his leadership. 

“What we have accomplished together has been truly remarkable, and I am deeply grateful for every day spent in this role,” Vaughan said in the release. 

In the release, Vaughan described Quaggin as “a powerhouse in academic medicine par excellence.

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