Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis Appoints Janet S. Lee, MD, To Lead the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine

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Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis Appoints Janet S. Lee, MD, To Lead the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine

27 Nov, 2022

Janet S. Lee, MD, a highly regarded physician-scientist in pulmonary and critical care medicine, has been chosen to lead the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Her appointment is effective Jan. 3.


Lee comes to Washington University from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she is a professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and the chair in acute lung injury at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.


Also director of the Acute Lung Injury Center of Excellence and the Pulmonary Translational Research Core at the University of Pittsburgh, Lee cares for patients requiring intensive care as well as those with advanced lung diseases, including acute and chronic respiratory failure. Her research centers on the host response to severe lower respiratory tract infections and the molecular basis of distinct host-pathogen interactions triggering lung injury.


“Dr. Lee is exceptionally qualified to take on this new role,” said Victoria J. Fraser, MD, the Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine and head of the Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. “She has a superb track record performing basic and translational discovery research with longstanding funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We welcome her to Washington University and look forward to working with her to carry on and build upon the premier status of the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine.”


Lee is a principal investigator on grants from the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), including a grant focused on host protection against pathogen-encoded proteases in acute lung injury and another on host control mechanisms in lung infections. She also leads a grant focused on patient-oriented research in acute lung injury and another on complement components and activity in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. She leads a training grant for residents and is a project leader on a program project grant to investigate immunosuppression in acute lung injury.


Lee also serves as a teacher and mentor and has trained more than 22 predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees in her laboratory. She has held leadership roles in the American Thoracic Society, most recently serving as chair of the membership committee. She is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.


She earned her bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed her residency at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and her fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle. She joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2004.


Michael J. Holtzman, MD, who has led the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine since 1992, is stepping down from his leadership role but will continue his research program. Holtzman, the Selma and Herman Seldin Professor of Medicine, has focused on understanding antiviral immune responses as pathways to worsening chronic lung disease and as targets for new drug discovery in respiratory diseases. His research includes the development of small molecule drug compounds and biologics for airway diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and related postviral lung diseases.


“The division has thrived under the longstanding direction of Dr. Holtzman,” Fraser said. “Under his visionary leadership, the division has experienced remarkable growth in the scope and depth of its clinical programs, research and educational activities. It enjoys national prominence in basic research in acute and chronic lung disease, clinical care and education in multiple key areas. And throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty members and staff in the division have provided exceptional clinical care and important research under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. We are grateful to Dr. Holtzman for his outstanding leadership and vision, and are fortunate that he is continuing his successful research here at Washington University.”




About Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis: 


Washington University School of Medicine is committed to advancing human health in a culture that supports diversity, inclusion, critical thinking and creativity. As international leaders in patient care, research and education, our outstanding faculty has contributed major discoveries and innovations in the fields of science and clinical medicine since the school’s founding in 1891.


Our faculty members are recognized nationally and worldwide as leaders in their fields. On campus, they’re also known as committed mentors and collaborators. Scientists, physicians, and experts in policy and public health, their countless efforts to advance knowledge, improve care and save lives range from the molecular to global, the biological to social.


Our faculty currently includes 15 National Academy of Sciences fellows, 22 members of the National Academy of Medicine and 10 investigators with NIH MERIT status. They have earned 91 individual and/or institutional NIH career development awards and 52 career development awards from non-federal agencies. In addition, 19 Nobel laureates are associated with the School of Medicine.


Our students learn from master clinicians and researchers while pursuing their studies in a wide array of academic departments and programs. Students select Washington University for the culture of camaraderie and support, a flexible curriculum and outstanding opportunities after graduation. Our programs in medical education (MD)occupational therapyaudiology and communication sciences, and physical therapy are among the highest ranked in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

In addition, over 1,300 residents and clinical fellows train with our faculty in nearly 200 specialty and subspecialty training programs.


Our students and trainees care for patients and gain experience alongside our faculty at our nationally ranked teaching hospitals, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, where our faculty members serve as the medical staff. We see and treat patients at dozens of additional locations across the St. Louis region as well.

The School of Medicine’s clinical practice, Washington University Physicians, includes more than 1,700 clinical faculty members. One out of every three Top Doctors in St. Louis is a Washington University Physician, according to the 2021 Castle Connolly Top Doctors® List.


A robust research enterprise, the School of Medicine received more than $762.3 million in faculty grants and contracts during the 2021 fiscal year. Our faculty, staff and students advance the application of research discoveries to clinical care through multidisciplinary collaborations.

Our clinical faculty additionally oversee a wide array of clinical trials, which offer people the opportunity to participate in studies evaluating the effectiveness of investigational treatments and disease prevention strategies.




About Janet S. Lee, MD: 


Dr. Janet S. Lee is a pulmonologist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is affiliated with UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside. She received her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.


“Broadly speaking, our laboratory studies pulmonary host defense and molecular pathogenesis of acute lung injury. Our research focuses upon the innate arm of immunity, specifically examining effector function of myeloid cells such as macrophages and neutrophils and how they recognize and respond to exogenous pathogen associated molecular patterns or endogenous alarmins. We are interested in probing host-pathogen interactions to examine mechanisms of host protection following pathogen-triggered injury from products of extracellular gram-negative pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae. We are also interested in the factors that shape repair and resolution following injury, specifically factors derived from hematopoietic cells such as platelets and red blood cells that can influence the course of inflammation. We utilize a repertoire of relevant murine models of injury, molecular genetic approaches, in vitro biochemical assays, and human bio-samples to examine innate host defenses of the lung.”





News: https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/lee-to-lead-pulmonary-critical-care-division/

Doctor: https://path.upmc.edu/personnel/faculty/jlee.htm

School: https://medicine.wustl.edu/about/

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