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Physician-researcher Wade Clapp Named IU Pediatrics Department Chairman

Dr. Clapp, 54, Freida and Albrecht Kipp Professor of Pediatrics and a professor of microbiology and immunology, joined the school in 1991 as a physician and researcher at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research. His appointment is effective Sept. 15.

As a physician, he has practiced in the neonatal intensive care units at Riley Hospital for Children and Wishard Health Services, where he served as director of the unit for five years.

Dr. Clapp is internationally recognized for his research in neurofibromatosis type 1, a crippling tumor-creating disorder. He led a team that developed the first promising, non-surgical treatment for this disease, which is one of the most common genetic conditions in humans.

“As director of the Developmental Hematology and Immunology Research Program, I am extremely proud of the work that we have done. As a result of this and other research in the Wells Center for Pediatric Research, we have been able to attract some of the top talent in the world,” said Dr. Clapp.

He also is director of the Tumor Microenvironment Program at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, and since 2001 has been director of the school’s Medical Scientist Training Program, in which students receive both an M.D. and a Ph.D. degree. The program has become one of the nation’s most prestigious, attracting more than 150 applicants each year for the six positions available.

As chair, Dr. Clapp will oversee a department of 250 faculty members and 150 pediatric residents. The department’s doctors provide the care for the young patients of Riley Hospital for Children, which is ranked one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News and World Report and by Parents Magazine. The department ranks in the top 10 of all departments of pediatrics nationally in the amount of research grants received from the National Institutes of Health.

“I am truly honored to be selected as chairman of pediatrics with the opportunity to build on an exceptional program and history of great leadership in this department and Riley Hospital for Children,” Dr. Clapp said.

“As an Indiana native I’m excited to continue the excellent work that’s been done here to make this one of the best pediatric programs in the nation, especially during a time of change in health care and dramatic discoveries in research,” he said.

“We are delighted that Wade Clapp has agreed to take on this important position. His leadership will build upon the strong foundation established by Rich Schreiner and his predecessors to make sure the department attains even greater stature in education, patient care and research,” said D. Craig Brater, M.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine.

“I am pleased by the appointment of Dr. Clapp as the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics,” said Daniel Fink, president and CEO of Riley Hospital for Children. “Riley Hospital has a rich, 85-year tradition of providing compassionate, high-quality health care, and Dr. Clapp is committed to significantly advancing Riley’s pediatric cutting-edge research that will benefit the children, families and communities Riley Hospital serves, as well as future generations.”

Dr. Clapp will succeed Richard L. Schreiner, M.D., who is retiring after serving more than 21 years as chairman of the Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Clapp grew up in Marysville, Ind., and graduated a cum laude from Hanover College, received his medical degree from IU in 1982. He was a pediatrics resident at IU School of Medicine from 1982 to 1986 and served a fellowship at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland before returning to Indianapolis.

He is married to Nancy L. Swigonski, M.D., an associate professor at the IU School of Medicine. They have three sons.