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School of Medicine discoveries

July 2, 2012

Alumnus Tachi Yamada featured in JCI’s “Conversations with Giants in Medicine”

Tadataka “Tachi” Yamada, M.D., who completed his residency training on the MCV Campus in 1974, has been featured in the Journal of Clinical Investigation’s video interview series “Conversations with Giants in Medicine.”

In the interview, Yamada describes how his residency with the MCV Campus’ “strong GI division” sparked his excitement for the field of gastroenterology.

Over the course of the interview, Yamada recounts a career that took him from academic medicine into the pharmaceutical industry and ultimately to the presidency of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program, where he oversaw over $9 billion in programs.

“Being a physician is tremendously liberating,” Yamada tells his interviewer. “You can be a great clinician, you can be an academician doing clinical work or teaching or doing science, you can be an administrator, you can work in government, you can work in industry, you can work in philanthropy — there’s no limit to what you can do. I found it tremendously invigorating and exciting to do different things in different phases in my career. I’m not saying that that’s the best way, but it certainly is a fun way to be a physician and to learn that you can contribute to patient welfare in different ways.”

In 2011, Yamada was recognized by VCU as the School of Medicine’s Alumni Star. He returned to the MCV Campus to accept the award and to speak with students about his passion for global health.

The 38-minute video interview is the latest in the JCI series that has featured other distinguished physician scientists including director of the National Cancer Institute, Harold E. Varmus, M.D., as well as Nobel Prize winners Joseph Goldstein, M.D., and Michael Brown, M.D.

Watch JCI’s video interview with Tadataka “Tachi” Yamada, M.D., H’74. A transcript of the interview is also available.

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Updated: 04/29/2016