Mary McGrae McDermott, MD
Photo: Mary McDermott



Elected 2007
Mary McGrae McDermott, MD is a Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. McDermott is a leading clinical researcher of lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Her research program in PAD is funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Dr. McDermott was the first investigator to demonstrate that asymptomatic leg ischemia is associated with greater lower extremity impairment and increased rates of functional decline, compared to persons without PAD. She has identified clinical characteristics associated with faster rates of functional decline in persons with PAD. Dr. McDermott has established that lower extremity ischemia is associated with pathophysiologic changes in calf skeletal muscle and peripheral nerve function. She has demonstrated that these pathophysiologic findings in calf skeletal muscle and peripheral nerves are associated with the degree of functional impairment in peripheral arterial disease. Dr. McDermott’s previously published work has led to an ongoing clinical trial, designed to determine whether lower extremity strength training improves lower extremity functioning in persons with PAD. Dr. McDermott’s ongoing work includes use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to identify characteristics of atherosclerotic plaque in the superficial femoral artery associated with faster functional decline in persons with PAD.