PITTSBURGH, March 6, 2015 – The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has chosen one if its own renowned faculty members to be the next chair of the Department of Medicine, which ranks among the nation’s largest clinical and research departments with divisions in cancer, cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, infectious diseases, kidney, lung and allergy, and rheumatology.
Mark T. Gladwin, M.D., who assumed his new role on March 1, will remain the director of Pitt’s Heart, Lung, Blood, and Vascular Medicine Institute and will continue to see patients in the critical care units at UPMC Presbyterian. He was recognized as a Distinguished Professor of Medicine in 2014.
“Dr. Gladwin will be taking on critical responsibilities in a time when the scientific opportunities to improve the human condition have never been greater, but the funding to address these opportunities has never been more threatened,” noted Arthur S. Levine, M.D., Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of Medicine. “I have great confidence in his ability to rise to these challenges and take the Department of Medicine to the highest achievements in medical education, as well as research and clinical excellence.”
The Department of Medicine is home to 650 faculty members and 10 divisions, including Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine (PACCM), which Dr. Gladwin chaired for the past six years. Last year, the department’s direct research expenditures were $94 million, and its physicians saw 340,000 outpatients.
“I am honored to be selected to play this key role in the School of Medicine,” Dr. Gladwin said. “We face many opportunities to translate the remarkable progress in genetics and science to better care for our patients and to develop new therapies. I am convinced that Pittsburgh will continue to be home and catalyst for new models of efficient and high quality patient-centered care and the training of future generations of physicians and scientists. Our work and success will enhance our regional economy, with science and medicine bringing National Institutes of Health grants to the community and attracting new businesses and industry partnerships that will take our exciting discoveries to the patient at the bedside and the clinic.”
Dr. Gladwin will continue his research into the role of nitrite and nitric oxide (NO) in vascular medicine. Among his major scientific discoveries is the finding that the nitrite salt is a biological signaling molecule that regulates physiological and pathological hypoxic responses, blood pressure and flow, and dynamic mitochondrial electron transport. His 2003 Nature Medicine paper on proteins that regulate NO production has been cited more than 1,000 times, is listed in the journal’s top 10 “Classic Collection,” and has led to the development and licensing of intravenous, oral and inhaled nitrite as a human therapeutic agent, currently in clinical trials. He also has characterized a novel mechanism of disease called hemolysis-associated endothelial dysfunction, a state of resistance to NO in patients with sickle cell disease, malaria, the transfusion of aged blood, and other conditions of damaged red blood cells.
Dr. Gladwin received his bachelors of science and medical degrees from the University of Miami. He completed his internship and chief residency in internal medicine at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, followed by a critical care medicine fellowship at the National Institutes of Health and a pulmonary fellowship at the University of Washington. He returned to NIH for postdoctoral research fellowships in cell and molecular biology and later served as chief of the Pulmonary and Vascular Medicine Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of NIH. He joined Pitt as chief of PACCM in August 2008.
Among Dr. Gladwin’s numerous academic awards are: the U.S. Public Health Service Achievement Award, the NIH Director’s Award for Mentoring, the NIH Clinical Center Director’s Award for Science, and the Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishments from the American Thoracic Society.
He succeeds John Reilly, M.D., who is now dean of the University of Colorado’s medical school.