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Karp takes new role as Department of Surgery chair

Apr. 16, 2015, 9:14 AM

Seth Karp, M.D., professor of Surgery and Ingram Professor of Surgical Sciences, has been named the new chair of Vanderbilt’s Department of Surgery.

Seth Karp, M.D.

Karp succeeds Naji Abumrad, M.D., professor of Surgery and the John L. Sawyers Professor of Surgical Sciences, who has served as chair for more than a decade. Abumrad is stepping down to focus more on research and other leadership and mentoring roles.

Karp, whose appointment is effective July 1, joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2011 and currently serves as the director of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center.

“Under his leadership, we have experienced significant growth in solid organ transplantation rates and outstanding outcomes,” said R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences.

Beauchamp, professor of Surgery, Cancer Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology and the John Clinton Foshee Distinguished Professor of Surgery, called Karp a “proven leader” who “brings a well-balanced set of skills to this position.”

“Dr. Karp and Dr. Abumrad will work closely together and with me during this interval period to facilitate a smooth transition,” Beauchamp said.

Abumrad said Karp has established himself as an outstanding surgeon, scientist and educator.

“He and his team in the Transplant Center have established the liver transplant program at Vanderbilt as one of the premier centers in the U.S., in relation to volume and quality,” Abumrad said.

Before coming to Vanderbilt, Karp served as assistant professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and was the director of the Pancreas Transplant Program and the Transplant Fellowship Training Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He also previously served as assistant professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Karp, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard and his medical degree from the Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) Division of Health Sciences and Technology, said Abumrad had built the Department of Surgery into one of the finest in the country.

“During his tenure, the department recorded tremendous growth, provided the highest quality general and subspecialty care and rose to rank in the top 10 in National Institutes of Health funding,” Karp said. “The residency is generally regarded as one of the finest in the country, attracting outstanding medical students and placing graduates into premier fellowships. It is an honor to be asked to help continue and build upon these extraordinary successes.

“Our goals are to take outstanding care of our patients and help lead advances in surgical practice, training and research across the United States and the world,” Karp said.

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