Duke Researcher, CHOP Alum Named Physician-in-Chief

Jul 11 2013

Duke Researcher, CHOP Alum Named Physician-in-Chief

CHOPNoted microbiologist and Children’s Hospital alumnus Joseph W. St. Geme, III, MD, was recently named CHOP’s Physician-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. St. Geme, who officially started July 1, succeeds long-serving CHOP veteran Alan R. Cohen, MD, who held the post of Physician-in-Chief for 12 years.

After receiving his medical degree from Harvard, Dr. St. Geme served his residency and chief residency at Children’s Hospital from 1984-88. After his time at CHOP, he performed postdoctoral research under Stanley Falkow, PhD, at Stanford, and in 1992 joined the faculty of the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. A progression of appointments followed, and in 2005 Dr. St. Geme moved to Duke University, where he served as chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and Chief Medical Officer of Duke Children’s Hospital.

Dr. St. Geme studies host-pathogen interactions, and much of his work has been focused on examining the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae. Despite its name, H. influenzae does not cause influenza, but is instead associated with invasive infections and localized respiratory tract disease.

More recently, Dr. St. Geme has also been investigating Kingella kingae, an emerging cause of bone and joint infections in young children, and earlier this year he published a study in the Journal of Bacteriology examining the bacterium. The study, which sheds light on the internal workings of K. kingae, could eventually lead to targets for novel antimicrobial drugs.

Ultimately, Dr. St. Geme said his “great respect” and fondness for CHOP led him to return to the Philadelphia area. He called the opportunity to serve at the site of his medical training “very appealing and ultimately irresistible.”

Saying he was “very pleased” that Dr. St. Geme had agreed to join CHOP, Children’s Hospital’s CEO Steven M. Altschuler, MD, noted he is “a distinguished researcher and member of the Institute of Medicine and is recognized nationally for his outstanding leadership at Duke.”

“In many respects CHOP sets the standard in pediatrics as a leading children’s hospital nationally and internationally, and I’m excited to participate in establishing the standards in pediatric clinical care, education, and research as a member of the CHOP community,” Dr. St. Geme said.