News Release
March 20, 2014

Michael S. Parmacek, MD, Named Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA — Michael S. Parmacek, MD, Herbert C. Rorer Professor of Medical Sciences, has been named Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Parmacek has been with Penn for over 15 years, most recently serving as the interim chair of the department and the chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. The Department of Medicine at Penn is the oldest in the country and includes 12 divisions, with origins dating back to 1765 when John Morgan, MD, assumed leadership as the first department chair in the first medical school in the United States. 

“As Chair of the Department of Medicine, Dr. Parmacek will lead the largest department in the Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System,” said J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President for the Health System and Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine. “His exceptional leadership and strategic vision will be invaluable to the talented clinicians and researchers in the department who work each day to provide exceptional patient care and push medical technology and innovation at Penn to new levels.”

Dr. Parmacek is currently the Herbert C. Rorer Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Director of the Penn Cardiovascular Institute. He came to Penn as Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine in 1998, following successful roles at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago.  A nationally recognized expert in cardiovascular biology and medicine, he has distinguished himself at Penn with significant research advances and at the same time has built one of the nation’s leading cardiovascular medicine divisions.  Dr. Parmacek has been named to multiple important local, regional and national leadership positions, including the Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Health Research Advisory Council and the Founding Director of Penn’s nationally renowned Cardiovascular Institute.

Over the course of his career, he has made multiple seminal discoveries which have impacted the understanding the molecular and genetic basis of congenital heart disease, atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysm and dissection and heart failure.  He has published a substantial body of scholarly work in high-impact journals, including Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Genes and Development  and the New England Journal of Medicine.  Dr. Parmacek was elected an Established Investigator by the American Heart Association (AHA), President of the Association of Professors of Cardiology, Fellow of the AHA and American College of Cardiology, and member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. 

Dr. Parmacek earned his medical degree from Northwestern University. He completed residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan and Cardiovascular Disease fellowship training at Northwestern University.  Following his clinical training, Dr. Parmacek performed a postdoctoral research fellowship in molecular cardiology at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Michigan. 

In the almost 250 years since it was established, the Department of Medicine at Penn has been served by 23 Chairs. Today, the department includes 500 full-time faculty members, over 200 associated faculty, and over 300 academic support staff.  The most recent NIH Report ranks the department #3 in funding among all departments of Medicine in U.S. medical schools, with just over $110,000,000 in grant support.

The Department of Medicine also has a long history of training the future leaders in American medicine, and Dr. Parmacek will be at the forefront of these highly competitive training programs, which currently include 166 residents and 157 subspecialty fellows.  In addition to these rigorous training programs, the department is responsible for more than 430,000 outpatient encounters and more than 25,000 inpatient admissions each year.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.

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