PITTSBURGH — Anne Marie Lennon, M.D., Ph.D., a physician-scientist and leading innovator in the early detection of pancreatic cancer, will become the next chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and chair of medicine at UPMC, effective March 1, 2024. She will be the first woman to lead the department.
As chair of the largest department in the Pitt School of Medicine, Lennon will oversee more than 1,000 faculty members with combined clinical and research revenues of nearly $600 million. She also will have clinical responsibilities, caring for patients as a gastroenterologist dedicated to early cancer detection and prevention.
“The departments of medicine at Pitt and UPMC are incredible — truly among the best in the country. And what makes them so impressive are the people,” said Lennon, who is currently the Moses and Helen Golden Paulson Professor of Gastroenterology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she holds joint appointments as a professor in medicine, surgery, radiology and oncology. “I look forward to further developing a diverse, collaborative culture where high-impact research is rapidly translated into patient care. Pittsburgh is unique in having all the elements necessary to provide the very best evidence-based, sustainable health care — a phenomenal, cross-disciplinary health sciences academic program and a world-class health system partnered with an insurance provider and venture capital arm.”
An internationally recognized expert in the management of precancerous pancreatic lesions, Lennon’s research focuses on the development of tests for early cancer detection and their translation into clinical practice. While pancreatic cancer is relatively rare, it is among the deadliest cancers because it is hard to identify early, limiting effective treatment options.
“We’re confident that Dr. Lennon’s vision for the Department of Medicine, already top-ranked, will further elevate its national and international standing, as well as enhance population health and health equity in our local communities,” said Anantha Shekhar, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice chancellor for Pitt Health Sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of Pitt’s School of Medicine. “This includes swiftly moving basic scientific discoveries into the clinic, advancing educational and career opportunities for students, faculty and underrepresented groups, and developing new evidence-based, patient-centered and equitable models of health care and delivery in partnership with UPMC’s vast clinical enterprise and insurance plans.”
Lennon earned her medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and her Ph.D. from University College Dublin. She completed her internal medicine residency at Cleveland Clinic and at Mater Misericordiae Hospital and Wexford General Hospital in Ireland followed by a fellowship in gastroenterology in Edinburgh, Scotland, and an advanced endoscopy fellowship at Johns Hopkins. She joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 2010 and has directed its Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology since 2020.
Her selection to lead the Pitt and UPMC departments of medicine came after an extensive search led by Donald M. Yealy, M.D., chief medical officer at UPMC and Distinguished Professor and UPMC Endowed Chair of Emergency Medicine at Pitt. Lennon succeeds Mark T. Gladwin, M.D., who became dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in 2022. Lennon will assume the role from interim chair Mark W. Geraci, M.D., associate vice chancellor for interdisciplinary research and professor of medicine at Pitt.
“Dr. Lennon is an impactful clinician-scientist who showed our search committee and the UPMC and Pitt teams her thoughtful and forward-looking servant leadership qualities,” said Oscar Marroquin, M.D., senior vice president at UPMC and president of the Physician Services Division. “Her ability to understand, envision, apply and inspire will add to the trajectory of the department and our institutions.”
Lennon has served in many leadership positions shaping current and future guidelines for medicine, including on the governing board of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) where she helped develop the society’s five-year strategic plan and brought together related societies to create international guidelines for the care of patients with pancreatic cysts. She also co-chaired the ASGE Women’s Task Force, which highlighted inequities in career advancement and pay equity, leading to change.
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CREDIT: Johns Hopkins University
CAPTION: Anne Marie Lennon, M.D., Ph.D.