Friday, January 25, 2013

Armstrong to lead Department of Medicine

Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE

Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE, a world-renowned investigator in the areas of medical decision-making, quality of care and cancer prevention and outcomes, has been selected as the MGH’s next physician-in-chief of the MGH Department of Medicine. Armstrong will succeed internationally regarded physician-scientist Dennis Ausiello, MD, who has led the department since 1996.

Armstrong, who currently serves as chief of the Division of General Medicine and professor of Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, will start in the new position April 15. “We are at a time of unparalleled opportunity to advance science, education and clinical care to benefit our patients and our communities,” says Armstrong. “MGH is an extraordinary institution with a long tradition of leadership in internal medicine, and I am honored to become part of that tradition.”

Armstrong is a graduate of Yale University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and joined the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 as a physician-scientist fellow in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She joined the faculty at Penn in 1998 and was appointed chief in 2008. She also serves as associate director of the Abramson Cancer Center and co-director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program at Penn.

Recently, Armstrong led the National Cancer Institute-funded Penn Center for Innovation in Personalized Breast Cancer Screening, which is dedicated to studying emerging methods of breast cancer detection. Throughout her career, she has received a number of awards and honors including the FOCUS Award for the Advancement of Women in Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 2011. She also is the author or co-author of more than 130 peer-reviewed journal articles and has written numerous chapters, editorials and abstracts.

Ausiello first came to the MGH as a Harvard undergraduate working with the late Alexander Leaf, MD, and fondly recalls his early days at the hospital, especially his relationship with his mentor. “It was an honor and privilege to work with Alex and then to have things come full circle when I followed in his footsteps – first to become chief of the Renal Unit that he created and then to ultimately take over his role as chief of the Department of Medicine. It was a great journey.”

During his career, Ausiello has received numerous accolades and honors, including election into the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. While reflecting on the many memories created during his years at the MGH, Ausiello says one recurring theme comes to mind. “What makes an institution great is its people, and I’ve never met a finer group of individuals – from residents to faculty – than at MGH,” he says. “I’m proud to say that I’ve enjoyed every minute of working here, especially with the young people who are so inspiring at every turn.”

After stepping down, Ausiello plans to concentrate on building the Center for Assessment Technology and Continuous Health, a collaboration among scientists, clinicians and engineers at the MGH and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The program seeks to transform how individuals monitor their health and how physicians can better prevent, diagnose and treat disease. 

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