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David N. Louis, MD, To Lead Pathology Service at Massachusetts General Hospital

BOSTON - July 26, 2006 - David N. Louis, MD, a neuropathologist and a pioneer in deciphering the complex molecular structure of tumors, has been named chief of the Massachusetts General Hospital Pathology Service, effective Sept. 1. A leader in both the clinical and research arenas, Louis has been serving as associate chief of the Pathology Service and director of the Molecular Pathology Unit. He is a professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.

Louis will succeed Robert Colvin, MD, who after leading MGH Pathology since 1991, last year announced his intention to step down from his role as chief. Colvin will continue on staff as a senior faculty member in Pathology.

As associate chief of Pathology, Louis has been overseeing the department’s multi-dimensional research program. His own research has focused on unraveling the genetic basis of brain tumors. Louis and his team were the first to demonstrate that molecular approaches could be used to subdivide a type of brain tumor called malignant gliomas in a biologically and clinically relevant manner. His laboratory determined the way in which molecular approaches could predict the response particular malignant gliomas will have to a given therapy, which has resulted in a test for patients that is now used worldwide.

“David is the ideal leader for pathology at this time,” says Peter L. Slavin, MD, president of the MGH. “He is assuming the departmental reins as molecular profiling of disease appears to be critical in developing treatments that are tailored to the individual. David embodies the direction that pathology is – and should be – heading.”

Louis is known as a thoughtful and creative problem-solver who tackles difficult problems head-on, says David F. Torchiana, MD, CEO and chairman of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization. “He is a careful and deliberate listener who can home in on a complex issue and figure out a pathway toward solution. The consummate collaborator, David inspires those around him to aim high, push hard, ask the right questions and succeed.”

The author of or contributor to more than 200 original articles as well as numerous reviews and chapters, Louis is chairing the 2007 World Health Organization Committee for the Classification of Tumours of the Nervous System. He serves on the scientific advisory panel of the Brain Tumor Society, the board of directors of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, and on the editorial boards of more than 10 national and international journals. He is one of three editors for the eighth edition of Greenfield’s Neuropathology, the standard international reference for the field, and is current chair of the Cancer Biomarkers Study Section at NIH.

Louis received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1981 and his medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1985. After training in internal medicine at Albany Medical Center, he came to the MGH as a resident in anatomic pathology and neuropathology and did his post-doctoral training in cancer genetics.

He and his wife, Pamela, and their two children live in Wellesley.

Massachusetts General Hospital, established in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of nearly $500 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, transplantation biology and photomedicine. MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital are founding members of Partners HealthCare, a Boston-based integrated health care delivery system.

Media Contact: Donita Boddie , MGH Public Affairs
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