Nancy Andrews, PhD '85

MD-PhD graduate leads Duke Medical School

Nancy Andrews is a woman of two worlds. “I studied in the MIT-Harvard MD-PhD program because I was interested in both medicine and basic science,” says Andrews, who has continued to pursue these dual interests in academe. Last year, in fact, she became the first woman dean of Duke University School of Medicine and the only woman to lead one of the nation’s top 10 medical schools.

Nancy Andrews on vacation with her two children.

After earning her PhD in biology and life sciences, Andrews received an MD from Harvard Medical School in 1987. She completed her residency at Children’s Hospital in Boston and a fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. By 1991, Andrews was a pediatrics instructor at Harvard, where in 2003 she was named to an endowed chair as full professor and became dean for basic sciences and graduate studies.

While teaching at Harvard, Andrews directed the MD-PhD program, where she led the development of its current curriculum. “There are such rich interfaces between clinical practice and basic science,” she says. “The faster we can move across that spectrum, the more we can accelerate efforts to improve human health.”

Andrews has taken this passion for cross-­pollination to Duke, where she wants to build on the university’s tradition of multidisciplinary collaboration. “Duke’s innovative curriculum includes bridging the gap between clinical practice and basic research,” she says. “I want to develop a culture that encourages this connection.”

Among her seminal experiences at MIT, Andrews recalls working in Professor David Baltimore’s lab while the Nobel laureate helped establish the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. “At the time, there weren’t many independent research institutes that were affiliated with a university,” she says. “The Whitehead was ahead of its time, showing how important work could be done outside of traditional departmental structures.”

When she wants to unwind, Andrews enjoys cooking. Her husband, Bernard Mathey-Prevot, who directed the Drosophila RNAi Screening Center at Harvard and is now a faculty member at Duke, enjoys the results–and so do their children, 12-year-old Nicolas and 15-year-old Camille.

Want to go ad free? No ad blockers needed.

Become an Insider
Already an Insider? Log in.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.