Dr. Murtha is currently a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and in the Department of Pediatrics at Duke University School of Medicine. She is the vice chair for research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She served as interim chair for the department from 2016-2017.
Dr. Murtha earned her Bachelor of Science degree at King's College, Wilkes-Barre, and her MD at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. After completing her residency and Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, she joined the faculty at Duke in 1998.
As the vice chair for research and clinical research unit director for the department, she has implemented policies for managing administrative costs, elimination of deficits, and an improvement in the overall research portfolio of the department, while nurturing a positive environment for clinical and bench faculty. As a result, the NIH funding ranking of the department rose from #57 to #17.
As research director of the NIH-funded K12 training grant Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH), she led its recent successful competitive renewal. She also led the establishment and is directing Duke University's new CTSI Clinical Research Unit, and she has spearheaded an effort to harmonize research training across the entire School of Medicine.
Dr. Murtha is a consummate educator and mentor. The development of junior faculty careers in academic medicine has been a key mission for her. As MFM fellowship director, she has created an outstanding training program that balances basic and clinical research with a comprehensive clinical experience.
Her own research has focused on preterm delivery, specifically the preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM). As a clinician-scientist, she has gained a wide perspective on the clinical implications of basic and translational research. Working closely with grateful patients, she has successfully obtained significant philanthropic support to fund the Perinatal Research Initiative that she is leading. Her goals as a scientist are to advance the understanding of the cause of preterm birth, with an emphasis on training the next generation of physician-scientists in translational and molecular biology techniques.
"I am confident that Dr. Murtha's exemplary record and leadership experience will serve her well as she takes on the role of chair of the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences", Dean King stated in his announcement. "She brings with her enthusiasm, energy, and a willingness to take risks to move our missions forward. Her collaborative approach will be of great support to the careers of both trainees and faculty."
This article was originally published by the UCSF School of Medicine.