PITTSBURGH, October 1, 2007 Yoel Sadovsky, M.D., formerly professor of obstetrics and gynecology and of cell biology and physiology at Washington University in St. Louis, and a specialist in high-risk pregnancy at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, has been named scientific director of the Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI). Dr. Sadovsky, who will join the faculty officially on Nov. 1, also will be appointed the Elsie Hilliard Hillman Professor of Womens and Infants Health Research in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine reaffirms its commitment to the pursuit of scientific excellence with the recruitment of Dr. Sadovsky, who is well known as a physician-scientist of great talent, energy and vision, said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., senior vice chancellor, health sciences, and dean, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Dr. Sadovsky is an outstanding scientist and is highly regarded as an educator of up-and-coming researchers and physicians, said W. Allen Hogge, M.D., chair of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His proven leadership and passion for womens health will be a real asset to Magee and to Pittsburgh.
Dr. Sadovskys research focuses on reproductive development and function, particularly the mechanisms that determine placental cell formation during human pregnancy. With research support from the National Institutes of Health, he currently is studying placental adaptation to injury and the role of microRNA in placental response under stress as well as during normal conditions. MicroRNA are molecules that are thought to regulate gene activity.
While there are many research centers that focus on common disease areas such as cancer, neurological or cardiovascular disorders, there are very few that comprehensively deal with women's health, said Dr. Sadovsky. The Magee-Womens Research Institute is known internationally for its commitment to research on medicine of women and newborns, and having the opportunity to join such a dynamic environment and outstanding group of scientists is very exciting to me.
MWRIs close affiliation with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), the Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences is a crucial component of the organizations past success in the field and potential future achievements, Dr. Sadovsky noted. This unique collaboration makes the Institute stand out not only in Pittsburgh and the United States, but also worldwide, he added.
Dr. Sadovsky succeeds MWRI founding director James M. Roberts, M.D., who retired from administrative duties in early July. An internationally known authority on the pregnancy complication preeclampsia, Dr. Roberts is continuing his research and mentoring activities part-time at MWRI and will remain a faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
When I came to Pittsburgh 15 years ago, my job was to build a scientific community whose work focused exclusively on health conditions affecting women and their babies. It was the best job imaginable, said Dr. Roberts, who mentored Dr. Sadovsky when he was on the faculty of the University of California-San Francisco and Dr. Sadovsky was training in maternal-fetal medicine there. In June, we celebrated the opening of a major Institute expansion that will support tremendous future growth. That was a proud moment. But now, the time has come to concentrate more on my particular research interests not to mention rowing, cycling, reading and otherwise enjoying life. I am confident that Dr. Sadovsky is the right person to lead this vital community asset into the future.
Dr. Sadovsky was named president-elect for 2007-2008 of the Perinatal Research Society, an international society fostering scientific interchange and collaboration among established investigators whose research interests are in the areas of fetal and newborn medicine and developmental biology. He has received three Clinical Teacher of the Year awards from Washington University in St. Louis and also has been honored with the 2004 Presidents Achievement Award from the Society for Gynecology Investigation.
Dr. Sadovsky earned a medical degree from Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, in 1986. After a residency at Washington University School of Medicine/Barnes-Jewish Hospital, he completed fellowships in maternal-fetal medicine and post-doctoral training at the metabolic research unit, both at the University of California-San Francisco.
Founded in 1992, MWRI has attracted some $185 million in grant funding focusing exclusively on womens and infants health research and representing the Institutes continued strong ties to the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences and UPMC. For more information about MWRI, visit the Institute Web site at http://institute.mwrif.org/.