Catarina Kiefe, MD, PhD, has been appointed director of the Medical Scientist Education Program at UMass Chan Medical School.
His nomination was announced by Terence R. Flotte, MD, on Professor Celia and Isaac Haidak, Executive Vice Chancellor, Provost and Dean of TH Chan School of Medicine; Anne Larkin, MD, associate professor of surgery and vice provost for educational affairs; and Mary Ellen Lane, PhD, Dean of the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
“Our program is dynamic, very successful and moving in a very positive direction. It is a great honor to have had the opportunity to take the place of its former director,” said Dr Kiefe, the Melvin S. and Sandra L. Cutler Chair in Biomedical Research and Professor of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences. “This program is one of the gems of UMass Chan and I consider our medical/Ph.D. students to be one of the most brilliant, dynamic and academically promising early-career physician-scientist groups I have ever had. ever met.”
Kiefe succeeds Silvia Corvera, MD, the Diabetes Research Chair and professor of molecular medicine. Jonathan Kay, MD, the Timothy S. and Elaine L. Peterson Chair in Rheumatology and Professor of Medicine, will continue to serve as Associate Director.
The goal of the UMass Chan MD/PhD program is to produce physician-scientists who will make significant contributions to health care and academic medicine. It is one of 53 MD/PhD programs nationwide supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health Medical Scientist Education Program, representing recognition of its excellence and rigor.
Kiefe founded the UMass Chan Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences in 2009 and led it for 10 years, serving as Scientific Director since 2019. Throughout her career, she has combined the objectivity of mathematics with the human needs of clinical medicine to improve health care outcomes for individuals and populations. She has been funded by the NIH as a principal investigator for over 30 years and has over 300 peer-reviewed publications.
Most importantly for his new role, Kiefe has been the primary mentor to more than 100 young professionals, ranging from undergraduates and young faculty to medical and MD/PhD students. She is also the founding principal investigator of several NIH-funded training grants.
“The two things I love most about academic medicine are training the next generation of scientists and doctors and generating new knowledge,” she said.
“I am very happy to work with Dr. Kiefe in this role,” said Dean Lane. “She brings decades of experience as a physician-scientist, a successful track record with fellowship training, and a strong commitment to UMass Chan students, faculty, staff, and leadership. We are very proud of our MD/PhD program and I am confident that we will continue to attract and train talented future medical scientists.
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