Physician/scientist Johnson to lead internal medicine

May 2010

Dr. David H. Johnson has been named the next chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern. Dr. Johnson’s appointment is the culmination of a rigorous national search and is based on his exceptional accomplishments as a physician, scientist and teacher. He will assume the new position in early summer.

Dr. Johnson, former director of hematology/oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and deputy director of its Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, is an internationally acclaimed oncologist with specific expertise in the management of patients with lung cancer.

Dr. David H. Johnson

He joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1983 and has been a major contributor to its growth and development. He was the Cornelius A. Craig Chair of Medical and Surgical Oncology at Vanderbilt.

At UT Southwestern, Dr. Johnson will focus on the department’s continued growth and development and will play a central leadership role in the medical school. He succeeds Dr. J. Gregory Fitz, who was named dean of the medical school, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs in October.

“I am confident that the Department of Internal Medicine will continue to prosper under Dr. Johnson’s leadership,” Dr. Fitz said. “His perspectives in science, education, clinical care and clinical research will make a difference.”

Dr. Johnson, who will hold the Donald W. Seldin Distinguished Chair in Internal Medicine, said, 
“UT Southwestern truly represents everything I admire in a great academic medical institution: an unwavering commitment to excellence in patient care, in residency training and in research. That commitment was evident from the first time I stepped on campus and was reinforced with each subsequent visit.”

His research has focused on lung cancer clinical trials, serum proteomics in detection, and genetic determinants of risk and outcome.

President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2005, Dr. Johnson is chairman of the subspecialty board on medical oncology for the American Board of Internal Medicine and holds active committee leadership in organizations ranging from the Lance Armstrong Foundation to the National Cancer Institute and National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Until recently, he served as chairman of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas’ translational and clinical review committee.

Dr. Johnson has won numerous teaching awards and recently was elected to membership in the Association of American Physicians.

He received his M.D. in 1976 from the Medical College of Georgia after graduating from the University of Kentucky, where he majored in zoology before earning a master’s degree in physiology.

He trained in internal medicine at the University of South Alabama and served a medical oncology fellowship at Vanderbilt University before joining its faculty.

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Dr. Fitz holds the Nadine and Tom Craddick Distinguished Chair in Medical Science.