Nancy Catherine Andrews Oral History Interviews, 2010-2019

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November 30, 2010 interview: Restrictions apply. Contact Archives for additional information.January 8 and 10, 2019 interviews: None.
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Andrews, Nancy Catherine
Nancy C. Andrews, MD, PhD is the former vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of the Duke University School of Medicine (2007-2017). After stepping down as dean she became the Nanaline H. Duke Professor of Pediatrics and a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology. Andrews received her MD-PhD degree, through a joint program at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This collection contains 2 oral history interviews: November 30, 2010 and January 8 and 10, 2019. Andrews discusses her childhood, early interest in science, educational background, her administrative roles at Harvard and Duke, and her research. Themes within her interviews include women in science and medicine, advances in the science of iron diseases, and the lived experience of doing laboratory science.
2 interviews (1 Master CD, 1 Use CD, 2 transcripts, 8 files totaling 1.2 GB)
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Scope and content:

Includes 2 oral history interviews with Dr. Nancy C. Andrews conducted on November 30, 2010 by Jessica Rosenberry and January 8 and 10, 2019 by Joseph O'Connell.
In the November 30, 2010 interview, Andrews discusses how dual degree (MD-PhD) is prevalent in deanship positions across the country; translational medicine; Duke's strength in translational medicine; her own research; the difference between what she experienced as a student and what a medical student would experience today at Duke; new learning center opening on Duke campus; financial aspects of the school of medicine and the health system; needs of both the clinical and basic sides of the medical campus; defining her leadership style; direction for school of medicine; study that was done on women in science at MIT in the late 1990s; what Duke is doing to combat the problems that might face women in science; Benjamin Reese of the Duke Office of Institutional Equity and some ways that equity might be achieved; strategies for women trying to achieve success in the sciences; and the uniqueness of this period in history. This interview was done as part of the Women in Duke Medicine oral history exhibit.
In the January 8 and 10, 2019 interviews, Andrews discusses her family background; early interest in science; undergraduate education at Yale; pursuing MD PhD at Harvard and MIT; fellowship research on red blood cells; influence of David Nathan, chair of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School; development of research on iron; administrative roles at Harvard; her transition to deanship at Duke; promoting inclusion and diversity; Duke's characteristics as a younger institution; continuing research during deanship, specifically iron research and iron disease patients; achievements as dean; concluding term as dean; ongoing contributions to Duke including supporting new dean, Mary Klotman; and reflections on scope of dean responsibilities and the importance of a supporting team.

Biographical / historical:

Nancy Catherine Andrews grew up in Syracuse, New York and credits a high school teacher with fostering her love of science and helping get her started down the path of scientific research. Andrews gained admission to a summer program in marine biology in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. At the end of the summer, she brought back a newfound curiosity about the unique characteristics of blood in horseshoe crabs. She also brought back, in trash cans full of sea water, about 30 of the crabs. The budding researcher then linked up with a scientist at Syracuse University and got her first taste of life in a lab. With supervision, Andrews designed and conducted her own experiments to better understand the way the crabs' blood reacts to bacterial products.
During her undergraduate education at Yale University, Andrews gained further formative experience working in the lab of Dr. Joan Steitz, who conducted high-profile research on RNA. The Steitz lab, which used biological samples from medical patients, opened Andrews's eyes to the synergistic possibilities of laboratory science and patient care. She set her course for an MD-PhD degree, and after graduating from Yale enrolled in a joint program at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her training culminated in an internship and residency in pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital and research and clinical fellowships at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in 1993.
Shortly after establishing her own lab, Andrews began working with a medical student with a shared interest in the science of iron. Over the next 20 years, at Harvard and later at Duke, Andrews and her team would make key discoveries giving physicians new tools for identifying iron diseases including hemochromatosis and iron-refractory iron deficiency anemia.
Beginning in 1996, Andrews received promotions into a series of administrative roles, culminating at Harvard Medical School in the position of Dean for Basic Sciences and Graduate Studies. As an administrator, she set out to address many of the shortcomings she had encountered during her own training. Her work included building recognition and resources for women in science and medicine and for MD-PhD students. She accepted the role of Dean of the School of Medicine at Duke University in 2007, where she found a younger, more pliable institution. Andrews shepherded the school through the financial downturn of the late 2000s, encouraging growth in facilities and faculty recruitment at a time when other academic medicine programs were scaling back.
While acting as Dean, Andrews maintained her passion for conducting scientific research. She moved her lab from Harvard to Duke and continued to break new ground in the understanding of iron disorders. Andrews attributes part of her commitment to laboratory research to the collaborative possibilities of lab settings.
Since stepping down from her roles as Dean and Vice Chancellor in 2017, Andrews has remained active in helping the School of Medicine evolve. She is the Nanaline H. Duke Professor of Pediatrics and a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology. Beyond the walls of Duke, she serves on an array of academic, philanthropic, and pharmaceutical boards.
Andrews has received numerous awards and honors. Some of them include Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator (1993-2006); Samuel Rosenthal Prize for Excellence in Academic Pediatrics (1998); American Federation for Medical Research Foundation Outstanding Investigator Award in Basic Science (2000); E. Mead Johnson Award from the Society for Pediatric Research (2002); Dean's Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women Faculty at Harvard Medical School (2004); elected to the National Academy of Medicine, National Academies of Science (2006); elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007); Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science (2010); Henry M. Stratton Medal, American Society of Hematology (2013); and elected to the National Academy of Science (2015). She has authored well over 100 peer-reviewed articles and 16 book chapters and is past president of the American Society of Clinical Investigation.
Andrews is married to fellow biologist Bernard Mathey-Prevot, and they have two children.

Acquisition information:
Accession A2010.080 (transferred by Jessica Rosenberry, November 2010), Accession A2019.007 (transferred by Joseph O'Connell, January 2019)
Organized into the following series: Interview, November 30, 2010; Interviews January 8 and 10, 2019.
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November 30, 2010 interview: Restrictions apply. Contact Archives for additional information.
January 8 and 10, 2019 interviews: None.

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Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Nancy Catherine Andrews Oral History Interviews, Duke University Medical Center Archives.