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Updated 2:30 PM July 7, 2005




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Pathology names new chair

An expert on the genetic and molecular changes that lead to cancer will serve as the next chair of Department of Pathology in the Medical School. At its June meeting the Board of Regents confirmed the appointment of Dr. Jay L. Hess, effective July 1. He also was named the Carl V. Weller Professor of Pathology.
(Photo by Marcia Ledford, U-M Photo Services)

Hess currently is a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine, director of hematopathology for the University's Health System, and co-director of the hematologic malignancies program at Philadelphia's Abramson Cancer Center.

"As we move toward an era of personalized medicine where treatments will be chosen to match the patient's individual pattern of gene expression, the role of the pathologist in clinical care and biomedical research will be especially important," says Dr. Allen Lichter, dean of the U-M Medical School. "I am delighted that Jay Hess has agreed to join the U-M faculty, and to lead our pathology department through this critical period of growth and development."

Hess received a bachelor's degree in biophysics from The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in 1982. In 1989, he received medical and doctorate degrees in molecular biology from JHU's School of Medicine. After his residency in anatomic pathology at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, he completed fellowships in hematopathology and surgical pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Before joining Penn's Health System in 1999, Hess was an assistant professor of pathology at the Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) School of Medicine. From 1993-99, he was assistant attending pathologist in surgical pathology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and co-director of the hematopathology training program at WUSTL School of Medicine.

Hess is board-certified in hematology and in anatomic pathology. He was a charter member of the National Institute of Health's Cancer and Molecular Pathobiology Study Section. He is principal investigator or co-investigator for several current NIH-funded research studies, as well as a Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) grant from the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society.

"During the next 10 years, no field of medicine will change more than pathology," Hess says. "The need to manage and interpret large amounts of genetic and molecular data obtained from analysis of human tissue is expanding exponentially. U-M has a strong research and clinical faculty, and the Medical School has made a commitment to invest in new facilities and advanced technology. It's an exciting time of transition for pathology, and I am looking forward to being part of it here at Michigan."

In addition to his research and clinical responsibilities, Hess serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Clinical Pathology. He is a member of several national societies in pathology, hematology and cancer research, and the author of more than 50 research articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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