Douglas P. Clark, M.D., has come aboard as the new chair of the Department of Pathology at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Clark, who previously served as Professor of Pathology and Oncology, and Division Director of Cytopathology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, assumed his new responsibilities October 1.
Clark will be responsible for articulating a vision for the department, including the expansion of translational research and bioinformatics programs. He will also contribute to the UNM School of Medicine’s strategic plan and manage career development and performance across department faculty and staff, among other duties.
“We’re pleased to welcome Dr. Clark, who has superb qualifications ideal for UNM’s Department of Pathology,” said Dr. Paul Roth, Chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the UNM School of Medicine. “He’ll bring tremendous leadership skills to our faculty, staff and students.”
“This is an exciting time for the future of pathology,” Clark says. “New advances in molecular diagnostics promise to improve disease prevention and treatment. Pathologists are ideally situated to translate basic science research discoveries to improve patient care and become the gatekeepers for personalized medicine. I look forward to working with my new colleagues at UNM’s renowned Department of Pathology to ensure that these new advances in the molecular and genetic characterization of disease reach all the people of New Mexico.”
Clark has published more than 100 original research papers, review articles, abstracts, book chapters and books. He has held national pathology leadership positions, including serving on national committees to create guidelines for the use of biospecimens in research, and another to standardize the reporting of thyroid cancer biopsies. He also has served on National Institutes of Health study sections and is a frequent speaker on the topics of tissue-based cancer diagnostics and molecular biomarkers for targeted cancer therapy.
Clark's research interests include cancer diagnostics and molecular pathology, specifically the molecular characterization of cancers and the discovery of novel biomarkers to predict patient response to targeted cancer therapies. He also has entrepreneurial experience as a scientific founder and former CEO of a cancer diagnostics and personalized medicine company.
With expertise in anatomic pathology, fine needle aspiration biopsies and molecular diagnostics, Clark is a board-certified anatomic pathologist and cytopathologist who was a member of the Johns Hopkins pathology department faculty for more than 18 years. Clark earned his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and his B.A. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Northwestern University. In addition training in diagnostic anatomic pathology at the University of Pennsylvania, Clark has pursued both pre-doctoral and post-doctoral research in molecular biology at Penn and NIH as a Howard Hughes Scholar.
UNM’s Department of Pathology ranks in the top 10 for NIH research funding among pathology departments nationally. It hosts some 75 faculty, 30 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, 30 residents and clinical fellows and 50 administrative and technical staff. TriCore Reference Laboratories, which is also affiliated with the department, is located close to campus and employs another 1,100 pathology-aligned professionals.