Dr. Brian H. Annex, George A. Beller/Lantheus Medical Imaging Distinguished Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, has been named chair of the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
Annex, a nationally and internationally known cardiologist and National Institutes of Health-funded physician scientist whose research focuses on peripheral artery disease, including innovative ways to identify and develop new treatment strategies for this disabling disease, starts at MCG Aug. 5.
“Dr. Annex is an accomplished leader and collaborator, translational investigator and recruiter who will help us substantially grow our Department of Medicine into the driver of MCG’s research, clinical and education missions,” says Dr. David C. Hess, MCG dean. “He also is a strong, natural fit for MCG’s already robust clinical and research initiatives in cardiovascular disease, the primary killer in our state and nation.”
In his decade-long tenure as division chief at UVA, Annex has worked collaboratively to increase faculty working in areas like advanced heart failure, established new programs in vascular medicine and overseen the growth of advanced fellowship training programs. He has helped develop regional collaborations with external health systems and physicians, and worked to enhance clinical and basic science research within his division and across the university. Additionally, Annex has served as medical director of the Heart and Vascular Service Line for the UVA Health System for the past three years.
At MCG, Annex will work to expand the breadth and depth of the Department of Medicine, traditionally the largest department in a medical school, Hess says. He will be working with faculty and staff across the department and beyond to recruit a wide array of specialists including cardiologists, endocrinologists, gastroenterologists, internists and pulmonologists. Additionally, the Division of Hospitalist Medicine will move from the Department of Emergency Medicine to the Department of Medicine, and Annex will help recruit a division chief and four hospitalists. The Georgia Prevention Institute, an established MCG research institute with a cardiovascular focus, also will become part of the Department of Medicine July 1.
Annex joined the UVA faculty in 2008 after 15 years on the faculty of Duke University School of Medicine, where he served terms as vice chief for research and director of vascular medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. He has served for five years on the American Heart Association National Research Council and for two years chaired the National Research Program Subcommittee of the National Research Council.
Annex is an associate editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Basic to Translational Science; an editorial board member of Vascular Medicine; and a consulting editor for Circulation Research and Journal of Clinical Investigation.
He has been a member of numerous study sections and special emphasis panels for the NIH, as well as the American Heart Association and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. His contributions include reviewing applications for the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Outstanding Investigator Award, which supports the research programs of established investigators who have made a major contribution to heart, lung, blood and sleep research, and serving on the VA Career Development Award Panel, which provides opportunities for junior investigators to work alongside renowned VA investigators.
Annex’s research has been continuously funded for about two decades. Focusing on angiogenesis, the growth and proliferation of blood vessels, current projects include studies exploring the potential of the gene-regulating micro RNA, miR-93, as a therapeutic target in peripheral artery disease, a common, potentially debilitating blood flow problem without good treatment options. Annex also is working with his collaborators to explore gene therapies for peripheral artery disease and on novel ways to grow and modify the function of new blood vessels in patients with the disease.
The new medicine chair is a 1985 graduate of Yale University School of Medicine, completed his internal medicine residency at Tuft’s-New England Medical Center in Boston, a cardiology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and an interventional cardiology fellowship at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.