Clifford Harding Named Chair of Pathology at CWRU/UH

Released: 17-Jan-2011 9:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Case Western Reserve University
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Newswise — Culminating an extensive national search, Clifford V. Harding, MD, PhD, accomplished researcher and pathologist in the fields of immunology, oncology, and infectious disease, has been named Chair of the Department of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center.

Dr. Harding has been a member of the School of Medicine and University Hospitals communities for nearly 18 years, and in 2008 he assumed the role as the Department’s Interim Chair. In his new role as Chair, Dr. Harding will lead a rapidly growing department by overseeing the research and clinical activities of more than 150 faculty and staff with expertise spanning medical disciplines, including cancer, immunology, neuropathology, and basic and translational research.

“Dr. Harding is a natural leader in research and education,” says Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, Dean, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. “As Interim Chair, he demonstrated a strong ability for developing clinical programs. I have no doubt that as Chair, his integrity, intelligence, strength, and collaborative and integrative abilities will add immeasurable value to the Department and the University.”

Dean Davis credits Dr. Harding with both elevating the stature of the School of Medicine’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), a MD/PhD granting program that trains students aspiring to careers combining academic medicine and biomedical research, and for developing an interdepartmental immunology program with strong collaborations across multiple university departments.

”Cliff embodies the mission of our academic medical center – an innovative researcher, a dedicated educator, and an outstanding physician,” says Fred C. Rothstein, MD, President of UH Case Medical Center. “He is a visionary leader in his field and as Chairman he will further enhance our renowned Department of Pathology.”

Dr. Harding heads an area of increasing importance to the medical community in light of ongoing research in numerous conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The field of pathology provides fundamental insight into disease processes, which helps pave the way for the development of new therapies.

“I look forward to building upon the Department of Pathology’s long and illustrious history of important contributions to pathology, medicine, and biomedical science,” says Dr. Harding. “The coming years will be an exciting time for the department as we enter a period of expansion and innovative development of research, clinical, and educational programs that will advance all areas of the department.”

Since 2008, the Department has recruited 12 faculty members and continues active recruiting to advance clinical and research capabilities in several areas, including anatomic and clinical pathology. Future plans include expansion of the Department’s residency and fellowship programs and continuing efforts to advance the training of medical and graduate students, adds Dr. Harding.

At UH Case Medical Center, the Department of Pathology runs a full spectrum of clinical laboratory diagnostic services, ranging from surgical pathology to lab testing of patient specimens. The operations contribute critically to the care of patients in virtually all areas of the hospital, allowing Pathology to be a key collaborating department with other clinical departments in patient care. Dr. Harding is committed to advancing the clinical program in conjunction with research efforts to provide cutting edge diagnostic services for patients at UH Case Medical Center. Last year, the Department launched a new UH system-wide Pathology Division to provide enhanced diagnostic services at UH facilities throughout Northeast Ohio.

The Department includes 61 primary faculty, 51 secondary or adjunct faculty, and 37 additional faculty members from other departments who participate in the School of Medicine’s pathology PhD program, one of the largest training programs at the University. All faculty members contribute to the teaching of medical students, graduate students, residents, and fellows.

Despite a competitive funding climate, in the last three years, faculty grant applications in the Department increased 80 percent, under Dr. Harding’s leadership. This resulted in a 30 percent increase in external research funding over the last two years, totaling more than $16 million in funding for the 2010 fiscal year.

Dr. Harding joined the School of Medicine in 1993 as an Assistant Professor of Pathology with a secondary appointment as an Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Division of General Medical Sciences. He was promoted to an Associate Professor in 1996 and a Professor in 1999 in both disciplines.

In addition to serving as Chair, Dr. Harding is the Director of the prestigious Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), the founding Director of the Clinical and Translational Scientist Training Program (CTSTP), and the founding Chair of the Immunology Training Program at the School of Medicine.

Graduating magna cum laude with highest honors in biology, Dr. Harding received his BS from Harvard College in 1979. He earned his MD and PhD in cell biology at Washington University in St. Louis in 1985, where he completed his pathology residency. Following his residency, he was an Instructor and an Assistant Professor at Washington University until 1993, while an attending physician at Barnes Hospital of St. Louis.

Dr. Harding is a member of numerous national scientific societies and journal editorial boards, including the editorial board of Biology Direct Immunology. He has authored more than 170 scientific publications in the areas of immunology, cell biology, infectious disease, and oncology. Dr. Harding’s NIH-funded research is currently focused on immunology of infectious diseases, particularly tuberculosis and HIV infection. He has also served on many grant sections at the NIH and other organizations.

Among the nation’s leading academic medical centers, University Hospitals Case Medical Center is the primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, a nationally recognized leader in medical research and education.

About Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation’s top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School’s innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Eleven Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the school.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and ranks in the top 20 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report “Guide to Graduate Education.”

The School of Medicine’s primary affiliate is University Hospitals Case Medical Center and is additionally affiliated with MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002. http://casemed.case.edu.

About University Hospitals
University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care physicians. At the core of our health system is University Hospitals Case Medical Center. The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research centers of excellence in the nation and the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics and spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked fourth in the nation for the care of critically ill newborns; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information, go to www.uhhospitals.org.


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