Michael Rutledge DeBaun, MD, MPH

Michael Rutledge DeBaun, MD, MPH

Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
J.C. Peterson Chair in Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics
Vice Chair for Clinical and Translational Research
Department of Pediatrics
Vanderbilt-Meharry Center for Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease
Delivery Address
2525 West End Ave
Room / Suite
(615) 875-3040

Hematology/Oncology, Pediatric
Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, 1987
Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, 1987
The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD, 1993
Pediatric Residency-Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis, MO
Pediatric Chief Resident-Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis, MO
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship-Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis, MO
Epidemiology Fellowship-United States Public Health Service, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Clinical Interests

Sickle cell disease

Research Information

Dr. DeBaun is an internationally recognized physician-scientist whose advocacy and research have resulted in fundamental advances in medical care of children and adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) and children with Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome, a cancer predisposition syndrome. He is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Vice Chair of Clinical and Translational Research in the Department of Pediatrics and holds the JC Peterson Endowed Chair at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. After receiving his degrees from Stanford, he completed his pediatric residency, served as chief resident, and completed his pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship at St. Louis Children's Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine. He then completed a four-year United States Public Health Service Epidemiology fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). During the fellowship he obtained an MPH degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2003). Dr. DeBaun returned to St. Louis and spent 14 years at Washington University School of Medicine where he was promoted to Professor of Pediatrics, Biostatistics, and Neurology, and was the inaugural Ferring Family Chair in Pediatrics. He also received the following Washington University Medical School Awards: Humanism in Medicine Award (2002), Clinical Teacher of the Year Award (2008), and Distinguished Faculty Award (2009). In 2010, Dr. DeBaun was recruited to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where he founded the Vanderbilt-Meharry Center of Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease. The Center is one of the first in the country to establish a medical home care model for children and adults with SCD in a community health center. For over two decades, Dr. DeBaun has received continuous funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Robert Wood Johnson, Doris Duke and Burroughs Wellcome foundations. Dr. DeBaun was the primary physician author of the Sickle Cell Treatment Act, signed by President Bush into law on Oct. 22, 2004 Title VII, creating regional networks for enhanced services for with SCD. His research efforts in SCD have focused on the clinical epidemiology of acute and chronic lung disease, sequelae of silent and overt strokes, including leading eight investigator-initiated controlled stroke trials in North America, Europe, and Africa. Additionally, in Ghana, he was the leader of multi-disciplinary team decreasing the death rate of pregnant women with SCD by approximately 90% and continues to work with the team at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. His research has expanded to include the clinical history and optimal therapy for recurrent ischemic priapism in men with sickle cell disease living in Nigeria and malnutrition in older children with sickle cell disease living in Nigeria. Dr. DeBaun is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (2006), Association of American Physicians (2008) and National Academy of Medicine (2009). He has received the Ernest Beutler Prize and Lecture in Clinical Science from the American Society of Hematology (2014) and two international mentor awards for his work in Ghana, Nigeria and U.S.: the Maureen Andrews Mentor Award from the Society of Pediatric Research (2017) and the American Society of Hematology Mentor Award (2019).


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