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UCI Clinician-Scientist to Lead URMC Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

John J. Krolewski, M.D., Ph.D.

John J. Krolewski, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at University of California, Irvine, whose research interest in cancer and personalized medicine complements efforts at the University of Rochester Medical Center, has been named Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Pending approval of the URMC Trustees, Krolewski will start as chair on July 1, 2012. Krolewski replaces Daniel H. Ryan, M.D., who retired as department chair, serving in that role since September, 2004.

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has several different roles across URMC and in the surrounding community. It provides a wide range of lab services and specialized tests on tissue and blood for patients at Strong Memorial Hospital, and for several medical practices, health centers, nursing homes, and hospitals in the region. The department also collaborates with investigators and takes part in many multidisciplinary basic science and clinical research projects at URMC.

Krolewski is a superbly skilled molecular pathologist with a strong vision for the future of the department, according to Mark B. Taubman, M.D., dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

“Not only is he an accomplished scientist with a wealth of experiences, but he is a consensus builder who understands the importance of bringing together dynamic clinical and anatomic pathology programs in a way that will push for innovative research and the best possible clinical care,” Taubman said.

Jeffrey M. Lyness, M.D., associate dean for Academic Affairs at URMC, who chaired the search committee, also noted that Krolewski is a highly successful collaborator. “This is crucial given the many roles our Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has across URMC and its clinical, educational, research, and community missions. John is well suited to lead new initiatives that will further raise the department’s national profile.”

Krolewski earned medical and doctoral degrees from New York University, and undergraduate degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He established Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories at Columbia University and UC Irvine, and has served as director of the UC lab since 1998.

Since 2001 he also has been director of the UC Pathology Research Services Core; and for the past three years Krolewski has been co-leader of the carcinogenesis program at the UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Krolewski is currently supported by more than $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health, with a particular focus on the mechanisms of prostate cancer cell death and a goal of developing novel pro-apoptotic therapies for prostate cancer. He is collaborating with a startup diagnostics company to carry out clinical studies of new technologies to improve prostate cancer diagnosis.

He believes his current research will fit well with the groundbreaking work being done by Chawnshang Chang, Ph.D., the George Hoyt Whipple Distinguished Professor of Pathology, Urology, and Radiation Oncology at URMC, and Hiroshi Miyamoto, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Pathology and Urology at URMC.

At URMC, Krolewski said, he would like to implement clinical gene sequencing, a linchpin of the next generation of medical care that promises to tailor treatments to each patient’s specific genotype or cancer defect. Scientists believe this approach will enhance the benefits of many medications and reduce healthcare costs.

Krolewski also has a strong commitment to teaching, and plans to strengthen the department’s M.D. residency and Ph.D. program (Pathways of Human Disease), and establish a master’s degree program in clinical genomics, to train scientists and physicians in the diagnostic application of genomic medicine.

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