Nina Schor to Step Down as Children's Hospital Pediatrician-in-Chief

Dec. 8, 2016

Nina Schor, M.D., Ph.D., William H. Eilinger Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), will step down as chair in June 2017. Schor served 11 years as pediatrician-in-chief at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital, and under her leadership, the Department of Pediatrics fulfilled a decades-long dream of building a standalone children’s hospital in Rochester; the new facility opened its doors to patients in July 2015.

“I don’t want to downplay the significance of the new hospital, but it’s really what we do inside of it and because of it that’s so important,” said Schor. “I look at the academic physicians and physician scientists who came to Rochester with just a dream and a fire in their belly and how they’ve now brought those dreams to fruition — that’s what I’m most proud of.”

The Department of Pediatrics grew from 110 faculty members to over 170 during Schor’s tenure, creating new divisions in palliative care, sleep medicine, allergy, and hospitalist medicine. Research centers focused on premature infants, translational molecular programs, and red blood cell development also developed under Schor’s leadership.
“Not only was the new hospital built under Nina’s leadership, but she truly championed the project, ensuring that every detail was designed with patients and families in mind,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., URMC CEO and Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “She has been the face of the children’s hospital and inspired trust in our families, physicians, and donors at a time when we very much needed the community’s support.”
Schor came to Rochester after spending 20 years at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where she served as Chief of the Division of Child Neurology and the School of Medicine’s Associate Dean for Medical Student Research. In Pittsburgh, she was among a small group of faculty that developed the university’s fledgling pediatric research program into a nationally recognized powerhouse.
Her research successes carried through to Rochester, where she has maintained a lab that conducts groundbreaking research into neuroblastoma — one of the most common childhood cancers. That research recently earned her recognition as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society. Her leadership was also crucial in securing an institutional training grant that fostered research among URMC clinical fellows and junior faculty physician-scientists.
“One of her accomplishments that is striking — and may be less evident than our magnificent new children’s hospital — is the sustained increase of extramural research funding to the department, including the funding of physician scientists, during a time when the availability of all research and training funding has diminished,” said Elizabeth R. McAnarney, M.D., Chair Emerita of the Department of Pediatrics. “She’s also been highly successful in the recruitment of excellent young pediatric scientists at a time when this group has become increasingly rare.”
Schor is the seventh Chair of the Department of Pediatrics; the university has begun a national search for her successor. Golisano Children’s Hospital serves 85,000 children annually from the 17-county Finger Lakes region and beyond.