Full Name
Cathleen Pettepher
Professor; Assistant Dean of Student Assessment
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Cathleen C. Pettepher received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at
the University of South Alabama. She came to Vanderbilt to pursue a postdoc-
toral fellowship in diabetes focusing on the characterization of the glucokinase
gene locus using transgenic mice and embryonic stem cell technologies. In 1993,
she joined the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and then the
Department of Cancer Biology where she focused her efforts on teaching first-
year medical students and managing the Transgenic Mouse and Embryonic Stem
Cell Core Facility for the cancer center, the diabetes center, and the Vanderbilt
Kennedy Center. She served as the managing director for twelve years before
transferring full effort to medical education and administration in 2005. She
moved to the Department of Biochemistry in 2017.
Professor Pettepher’s administrative duties include serving on the
Foundations of Medical Knowledge Leadership Team, which has oversight of
the fully integrated basic science preclinical phase of Vanderbilt’s Medical
Curriculum 2.0. She also serves as director of Anatomy, Undergraduate
Medical Education, where she has oversight of the teaching of anatomical
sciences across all four phases of the medical school curriculum. As
assistant dean for medical student assessment, she oversees the evaluation of
student academic and professional development across all four years of the
curriculum. In this role, she also serves as the director of the Student
Assistance Program that helps students with the transition into and
challenges associated with medical school.
Her teaching duties include serving as co-director of the Human Blueprint
and Architecture block of C2.0, director of the Cell and Tissue Biology
Laboratory, and one of three senior anatomists in the Gross Anatomy
Laboratory. Professor Pettepher is designated as a master science teacher and is a
member of Vanderbilt’s Academy of Teaching Excellence. Her scholarly focus
is on learning styles and their effects on study strategies and time management
skills and the value of peer assessments in professional growth and
development. She has mentored many individuals at all different levels of
training and most appreciates the collegiality and career support that is
Cathleen Pettepher