Columbia University Medical Center

Donald Landry Named P&S Chair Of Medicine

NEW YORK (Nov. 5, 2008) – Donald W. Landry, M.D., Ph.D., a national leader in forging organic chemical solutions to intractable medical problems in the fields of kidney disease, addiction and critical care, has been named chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) and chief of medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Donald W. Landry
Dr. Landry has been serving the department as interim chair and director. He has been a faculty member in the department since 1985, and has served as director of its Division of Nephrology since 2003. In 1998 he became founding director of a new division, Experimental Therapeutics.

With 13 divisions, 1,300 physicians and scientists, 200 residents and research fellows, and a support staff of 350, the Department of Medicine is the largest department of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Its faculty are a cornerstone of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia, where they treat half of all patients seen there every day. Since its founding as part of King’s College (later Columbia University) in 1767, the department has a long tradition of commitment to excellence in teaching, research and patient care.

A physician and organic chemist, Dr. Landry has harnessed his expertise to speed the translation of knowledge from bench to bedside. His research accomplishments include the identification of a new hormone deficiency syndrome: vasopressin deficiency in vasodilatory shock. In pioneering the use of vasopressin to treat septic shock and vasodilatory shock after cardiopulmonary bypass, he changed clinical practice for these critical conditions. He also started the sub-subspecialty of ICU nephrology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and introduced continuous renal replacement therapy to treat renal failure in patients with shock. His work on cocaine addiction led to his discovery of an artificial enzyme containing anti-cocaine antibodies that destroy cocaine molecules in the blood. His report on the enzyme, published in Science, was chosen by the American Chemical Society as one of the top 25 most important chemistry papers in the world for 1993.

“Throughout his career, Dr. Landry has inspired both colleagues and students through his pioneering research. His dedication to finding new ways to address complex medical problems has led to significant advances, saving the lives of tens of thousands of critical care patients through his work on vasodilatory shock and renal failure,” says Lee Goldman, M.D., executive vice president of Columbia University and dean of the faculties of health sciences and medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. “We are confident that Dr. Landry will provide superb leadership for our Department of Medicine faculty as they excel in their tripartite mission: outstanding patient care, groundbreaking scientific discoveries, and role-model education of Columbia’s next generation of physicians and scientists.”

“Under his steady leadership as interim chief and throughout his more than 20 years of service to this Hospital, Dr. Landry has helped solidify the reputation of the Department of Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia as one of the nation’s best,” says Herbert Pardes, M.D., president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. “An exemplar of excellence in medicine, he has helped strengthen patient care in more than a dozen subspecialties, improving treatment for conditions ranging from heart disease to diabetes to allergies and autoimmune diseases like arthritis and lupus. Equally important, he has prioritized patients and their families, giving them the individual attention and compassion they deserve.”

“I look forward to fulfilling the Department of Medicine’s mission of excellence in medical education, practice and research,” says Dr. Landry. “Columbia is where I learned to practice medicine, and I am honored to now be selected as chair of this esteemed department.”

Dr. Landry is a member of the American Chemical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Practitioners Society of New York, and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He has published more than 160 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

In addition to a medical degree from P&S, Dr. Landry holds a doctorate in organic chemistry from Harvard University. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and then returned to Columbia and the former Presbyterian Hospital for training in nephrology as an NIH Physician-Scientist. He earned his bachelor’s of science at Lafayette College.

Columbia University Medical Center
Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The Medical Center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree and is now among the most selective medical schools in the country. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and state and one of the largest in the United States. For more information, please visit

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation’s largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,242 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including more than 230,000 visits to its emergency departments — more than any other area hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Allen Pavilion and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the largest and most comprehensive health-care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. It ranks sixth in U.S.News & World Report’s guide to “America’s Best Hospitals,” ranks first on New York magazine’s “Best Hospitals” survey, has the greatest number of physicians listed in New York magazine’s “Best Doctors” issue, and is included among Solucient’s top 15 major teaching hospitals. The Hospital’s mortality rates are among the lowest for heart attack and heart failure in the country, according to a 2007 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report card. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation’s leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. For more information, visit