Dr. Eric Neilson

  • Eric G. Neilson, MD, MACP, FASN
  • Vice President for Medical Affairs
  • Lewis Landsberg Dean Professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University

Eric G. Neilson, MD, is the Vice President for Medical Affairs and the Lewis Landsberg Dean at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. A medical graduate of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, he trained in internal medicine and nephrology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After 23 years at the University of Pennsylvania as the C. Mahlon Kline Professor of Medicine, chief of the Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension Division, and director of the Penn Center for Molecular Studies of Kidney Diseases, he moved to the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine to serve for 13 years as the Hugh Jackson Morgan Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine.

Neilson is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the American Clinical and Climatological Association, the Interurban Clinical Club, the Association of Subspecialty Professors, and the Association of Professors of Medicine. He has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Biostratum Inc., and NephroGenex, Inc., and is the holder of two patents. Neilson is also a past recipient of the Young Investigator Award, the Barry M. Brenner Lecture, the Robert Schrier Lecture, the President’s Medal, the John P. Peters Award from the American Society of Nephrology, and a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health. In 1998, he was the recipient of an A. N. Richards Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and, in 2003, he received the Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Subspecialty Professors, now renamed the “Eric G. Neilson, M.D., Distinguished Professor Award.” In 2006, Neilson received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Alabama Medical Alumni Association, and, in 2010, he was awarded the Robert H. Williams, MD, Distinguished Chair of Medicine Award from the Association of Professors of Medicine. He is a 2016 fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2021, he was awarded a Mastership from the American College of Physicians.

Neilson is an active teacher of clinical medicine and has trained numerous graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in his laboratory. He has a special interest in the training of physician-scientists, has edited a book entitled What’s Past is Prologue—The Personal Stories Of Women In Science At The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine to help mentor women interested in biomedical research, and has helped initiate the Vanderbilt Prize for women scientists. Twenty-four of his former laboratory students and fellows have become professors of medicine, twenty-seven of his former fellows and faculty are now department chairs, eighteen are associate/assistant deans, vice-chancellors, or provosts, and eleven have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Neilson’s earlier research program was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and the March of Dimes, and he has made important contributions to understanding the cell fate of fibroblasts in fibrogenesis, the expression of the nephritogenic immune response, and the biochemical characterization of nephritic antigens. He has published more than 300 scientific articles, reviews, commentaries, editorials, and books, and has edited, in collaboration with William Couser, MD, a major medical textbook entitled Immunological Renal Diseases. From 2007-2013 he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), the leading kidney journal in the world.