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Melina Kibbe, MD, has been appointed the Zach D. Owens Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery. Kibbe will join the UNC community on July 1.
Anthony Meyer, MD, PhD, announced in April of 2015 that he would step down after 14 years of exemplary leadership as Chair. Kibbe’s appointment is the result of a nationwide search for a new leader for the Department of Surgery.
Kibbe comes to Chapel Hill from Northwestern University’s (NU) Feinberg School of Medicine where she serves as the Edward G. Elcock Professor of Surgical Research and Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Surgery. In addition, she serves as the NU Chief of Vascular Surgery Services at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago.
“It is a great honor to assume the role of Chair of the Department of Surgery, succeeding Drs. Meyer, Sheldon, Thomas and Womack,” said Kibbe. “The UNC Department of Surgery has such a rich history of academic excellence; I look forward to working with everyone both within and outside of the Department of Surgery to continue that tradition and build upon it further.”
A renowned researcher with significant NIH support for her work on the development of novel therapies for patients with vascular disease, Kibbe was recognized in 2009 by President Obama with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Since 2011, she has also served as Deputy Director of Northwestern’s Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology, a collaborative research enterprise that promotes translational research in regenerative medicine and targeted therapeutics.
Northwestern has also recognized Kibbe for her outstanding talents as an educator of the next generation of surgeons, honoring Kibbe with 18 awards for teaching excellence.
Kibbe holds many national leadership positions, including serving as Editor-in-Chief of JAMA Surgery, Past President for the Association for Academic Surgery, and the current President for the Association of VA Surgeons.
She is a passionate advocate for gender equality in biomedical research. Her publications on the presence of bias in surgical research have garnered national attention, including the introduction of House Bill 2101, “The Research for All Act” in 2015, and new regulations regarding sex inclusion by the National Institutes of Health.
In an announcement to the Department of Surgery, William L. Roper, MD, MPH, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine and CEO of UNC Health Care, and Wesley Burks, MD, Executive Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, expressed their excitement about welcoming Kibbe to UNC: “We know that Dr. Kibbe’s considerable talents as a clinician, researcher, teacher, and leader will be of immense value to the Department of Surgery, the School of Medicine, and the entire UNC Health Care system.”
Kibbe’s appointment is pending approval by the UNC Board of Trustees