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Tufts Medical Center names Richard H. Karas, MD, PhD Chief Scientific Officer

10/11/2011

BOSTON – Internationally esteemed researcher, clinician and teacher, Richard H. Karas, MD, PhD, has been named Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Tufts Medical Center.  Karas, a Tufts MC cardiologist and globally recognized expert in coronary artery disease in women, preventive cardiology and cholesterol and lipid management, had held the title of Interim CSO since July, 2010.

“Dr. Karas is an excellent choice to lead our research enterprises into the future; his impact as the interim CSO has been profound,” said Tufts Medical Center President and CEO Eric Beyer.  “Under his strong leadership and keen vision, Tufts Medical Center will be in a prime position to set the market standard for cutting-edge research in a challenging and fluid health care landscape.”

Since assuming the responsibility of directing, from both an academic and administrative perspective, all research enterprises at Tufts Medical Center, Karas has made an immediate and pronounced contribution to the advancement and success of the Medical Center’s research program.  He markedly diversified Tufts MC’s research funding base by growing corporate-sponsored research initiatives, including founding Commercialization of Research Partnership (CORP) to unite the offices of Business Development, Grants and Contracts and Technology Transfer and Licensing.   By combining these three offices into one organized, cohesive unit, Karas created new partnerships with industry sponsors and decreased the Medical Center’s reliance on federal funding.

During his tenure as Interim CSO, Karas also enrolled Tufts MC in the Pfizer Center for Therapeutic Innovation program.  The partnership, in which Pfizer invests in early-stage collaboration between its scientists and academic medical center researchers, aims to expedite the process of turning breakthrough scientific research into clinically tested and approved medication, for the benefit of patients.  Under his guidance in the past year, total funding of Tufts Medical Center’s scientific research program has increased by more than $3 million and commercial sponsorship has grown by 17 percent.  An active senior team member since accepting the interim CSO position, Karas has played a significant role in ensuring Tufts MC leadership’s focus on, and attention to, the research mission of the Medical Center.  He has also worked strategically with the research leadership at Tufts University School of Medicine to enhance the research endeavors of both organizations.

“We are extremely pleased that Dr. Karas will continue to spearhead collaborative research efforts between our respective institutions,” said Dean of Tufts University School of Medicine Harris A. Berman, MD.  “He is an outstanding communicator and a determined innovator, and his results speak for themselves.”

“I am deeply honored to be given the opportunity to lead Tufts Medical Center’s scientific research program,” said Karas. “We have already made tremendous strides, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Medical Center and Medical School leadership to further strengthen our research initiatives and aggressively grow our research enterprise.”

Karas has held the titles of Director of the Preventive Cardiology Center since 1999, Vice Chairman for Scientific Affairs for the Department of Medicine since 2008 and Executive Director of the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI) since 2010.  His basic science research laboratory has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1994.  The Principal Investigator in 24 current and recent clinical research studies, Karas’ research findings have been published in nearly 150 different peer-review journals.  He has also received a number of clinical, research and teaching awards, from both local and national institutions, including the Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association (AHA).  Karas has served on 15 different AHA committees, including the highly respected National AHA Research committee, and has sat on numerous grant review committees for the NIH.

Karas earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University in 1978, and went on to receive a PhD in Biology/Physiology from Harvard University in 1984.  He graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1986 and completed his Internal Medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his Cardiology Fellowship at Duke University Medical Center and the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center.  Karas has been a Tufts MC faculty member since 1992 and has held the title of Elisa Kent Mendelsohn Professor of Molecular Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine since 2010.

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About Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children

Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 415-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Floating Hospital for Children. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, the Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. Floating Hospital for Children is the full-service children's hospital of Tufts Medical Center and the principal pediatric teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine. Tufts Medical Center is affiliated with the New England Quality Care Alliance, a network of more than 1,800 physicians throughout Eastern Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org.

Media Contact: 
Julie Jette
(617) 636-3265
jjette@tuftsmedicalcenter.org