Leadership Transition in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

November 15, 2022

Announcement from:

J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, EVP/Dean
Kevin B. Mahoney, CEO, UPHS

We write to announce that David Roth, MD, PhD, will be stepping down as Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in January after nearly twelve years of impactful leadership. We know that the decision to depart a few months before the end of his second term due to health reasons was a difficult choice for David; he has been an exceptional leader, trusted colleague and mentor, and a true citizen of Penn since his arrival in 2011 to take on his "dream job," as he described it to department faculty last week.

Under Dr. Roth’s highly effective leadership, the Department has strengthened its position as one of the leading academic Pathology Departments in the country across each mission area. Over the past ten years, clinical services have expanded and integrated across the health system, including the opening of the HUP Pavilion in which Dr. Roth played a pivotal role. The Department has also achieved international recognition for its research in Alzheimer’s disease pathology, as well as cellular therapies for cancer. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Roth’s leadership was particularly evident as the Department mobilized quickly to meet the challenges facing of our health system and our patients during a time of great need and uncertainty.

Dr. Roth completed his MD/PhD at Baylor College of Medicine and residency in Anatomic Pathology at the National Cancer Institute before joining the Baylor College of Medicine in 1993. For over 20 years, he studied DNA double-strand break repair in the context of the developing immune system. In 2004, he was appointed Chair of the Department of Pathology at New York University’s School of Medicine. Since arriving at Penn in 2011, his work has focused on bringing genomic diagnostics into clinical use highlighted by the founding of the Penn Center for Personalized Diagnostics in 2013. The Center has sequenced tens of thousands of patient tumors and has been an integral part of the approach to cancer care at Penn.  More recently, he founded the Penn Center for Precision Medicine, which will further center and enhance precision medicine approaches in clinical practice
We are pleased to announce that Kathleen Montone, MD, has agreed to serve as interim Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine beginning in January.

Dr. Montone received her BS in Biology from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA and MD from Pennsylvania State College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. She completed her residency in Anatomic Pathology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and has been a faculty member at Penn since 1993, where she has served in leadership roles including Director of the Surgical Pathology Fellowship, Chief of the Surgical Pathology Section, and Director of the Department’s residency program. Dr. Montone is currently Director of the Division of Anatomic Pathology and the Interim Director of the Division of Hematopathology.  

Dr. Montone is an outstanding diagnostician and educator. She is a member of the Academy of Master Clinicians at Penn and was recently elected to the Philadelphia College of Physicians. Her many teaching awards including the Robert Dunning Dripps Memorial Teaching Award, the Kevin Salhany Memorial Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching, the James Wheeler Award for Excellence in Anatomic Pathology Resident Teaching, the Most Valuable Pathologist Award.

We have launched a search committee for the next Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, which Mitch Schnall, MD, PhD, has graciously agreed to chair.

Please join us in thanking Dr. Roth for his outstanding institutional citizenship and the lasting mark he will leave on Penn Medicine. We would also like to thank Dr. Montone for taking on this important responsibility. Under her interim leadership, the Department of Pathology will continue to thrive as the search committee identifies its next permanent Chair.