Jeffrey A. Towbin, MD, Tapped as Pediatric Cardiology Chief

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Jeffrey A. Towbin, MD
Jeffrey A. Towbin, MD

Jeffrey A. Towbin, MD, has been named co-director of the Heart Institute at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, chief of Cardiology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and chief of Pediatric Cardiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). He will also be the vice chair for Strategic Advancement and will hold the St. Jude Chair of Pediatric Cardiology at Le Bonheur Children’s.

Dr. Towbin comes to Memphis from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where he is the Executive Co-Director of the Heart Institute, Chief of Pediatric Cardiology and the Kindervelt-Samuel Kaplan Professor and Chair of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Research. Clinically, Dr. Towbin specializes in diagnostic and therapeutic advances for cardiomyopathies (heart muscle disease), heart failure, heart transplantation and cardiovascular genetics.

“Dr. Towbin is a renowned physician-scientist who leads the field of pediatric cardiomyopathies and heart failure. His personal research involves understanding the genetic basis of cardiomyopathies, arrhythmias, sudden death and congenital heart disease and using this knowledge to improve the lives of kids with these devastating heart diseases. His addition to Le Bonheur and St. Jude will transform the manner in which we are able to care for children here and across the nation. Memphis will now be the preferred destination for diagnosis and treatment of complex pediatric heart diseases of childhood,” said Jon McCullers, MD, pediatrician-in-chief at Le Bonheur Children’s and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at UTHSC.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Towbin to the UT Health Science Center community,” said David M. Stern, MD, Robert Kaplan Executive Dean for the UTHSC College of Medicine. “As a member of our clinical and academic faculty, he brings specialized patient care skills, a strong research background and a commitment to share his expertise in pediatric cardiology with future generations of physicians.”

At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Towbin successfully built one of the largest pediatric heart failure and cardiovascular genetics programs in the country. His research work and clinical expertise in pediatric heart failure is internationally known, and he is widely thought of as a leader in pediatric cardiology.

“I hope to accomplish the building of a nationally recognized destination program with world-class expertise and help the field to expand into new areas of care based on the paradigm we will develop,” Towbin said.

Towbin’s plans include the recruitment of additional faculty, enhanced training of pediatric and congenital cardiologists, development of several novel clinical and research programs and facilitation of a new pediatric cardio-oncology specialty, in partnership with St. Jude. He looks forward to furthering the clinical and research profile of both institutions.

He graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1982. He completed a fellowship in pediatric cardiology and molecular cardiology research at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston (1985-1989). He served as Professor and Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital from 2003-2009, leading that program to a top three ranking and from 2009 to the present has led the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s to a top five ranking as well.

Recognized nationally by U.S. News & World Report as a top pediatric cardiology and heart surgery program, Le Bonheur’s Heart Institute provides care for patients with congenital heart defects from before birth to adulthood. Patients from across the country are seen at the Heart Institute where some of the most complicated defects are treated with outcomes often better than the national average.

About Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., treats more than 250,000 children each year in a 255-bed family-friendly hospital and in communities where they live. Nationally recognized, Le Bonheur has been named by U.S. News & World Report as a Best Children’s Hospital. Serving as a primary teaching affiliate for the University Tennessee Health Science Center, the hospital trains more pediatricians than any other hospital in the state. For more information, please call (901) 287-6030 or visit www.lebonheur.org. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/lebonheurchild or like us on Facebook at facebook.com/lebonheurchildrens.

About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to increase the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent in the next decade. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food—because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow St. Jude at @stjuderesearch.