Michael W. Konstan, MD, has been appointed chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at University Hospitals Case Medical Center’s Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Konstan, a pioneer in the field of cystic fibrosis, has been a clinical and academic leader at UH Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine for 25 years.
Dr. Konstan and his team are among the world’s most innovative researchers in pediatric pulmonology, developing new treatments and leading the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF). His seminal work has led to novel therapies, early detection through newborn screening and extending significantly the lives of children with this disease.
“Mike has dedicated his professional life to improving the care of children with cystic fibrosis, and this appointment gives him the opportunity to extend his reach to all of Cleveland’s children,” said Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, Dean of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Vice President for Medical Affairs. “His dedication, intelligence, and compassion are legendary in the CF community, and will now be applied to the Department of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University. I look forward to his success.”
“Michael embodies the clinical and academic mission of University Hospitals Case Medical Center and we are so pleased to have him assume this leadership role in our renowned pediatrics department,” says Fred C. Rothstein, MD, President, University Hospitals Case Medical Center. “Through his research and dedication to pediatrics, he has played a pivotal role in our Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital becoming one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals.”
Dr. Konstan has served as Interim Co-Chair of the Department of Pediatrics for nearly two years, along with Brian Berman, MD, and Anne Lyren, MD. In this position, he has overseen all pediatric research at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and UH Case Medical Center’s Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Konstan also served as Chief of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy/Immunology, and as Director of the LeRoy W. Matthews Cystic Fibrosis Center and the KC and Ginny Bryan Pulmonary Diagnostic Center at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. He also has been Director of the Willard A. Bernbaum Cystic Fibrosis Research Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
He additionally holds the Austin Ricci Chair in Pediatric Pulmonary Care and Research, which was donated in his honor to UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital by Kenneth Ricci. Dr. Konstan will, following the approval of the CWRU Board of Trustees, become the Gertrude Lee Chandler Tucker Professor of Pediatrics, while James F. Chmiel, MD, Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, pediatric pulmonologist, and a close colleague of Dr. Konstan, will assume the position of Interim Division Chief and CF Center Director.
Dr. Konstan has spent his professional career in the service of patients with cystic fibrosis, a hereditary disease of the lungs that as recently as 1970 was fatal by about the age of 11. Now, in part due to Dr. Konstan's own research and to his leadership inspiring and facilitating others' efforts, the life expectancy of patients with cystic fibrosis nationwide is more than 38 years, and most of the patients at Rainbow are now adults.
One of his major contributions to the field has been devising successful strategies to treat cystic fibrosis with anti-inflammatory therapy to control inflammation in the lungs of patients. Additionally, Dr. Konstan has led first-in-human gene therapy trials that have shown promise in cystic fibrosis patients.
In addition to his accomplishments as a physician-investigator, Dr. Konstan is a founding member of the Therapeutics Development Network sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a collaborative network of centers around the nation that deploy and test new therapeutics. His dedication and leadership has been essential in launching and growing this network, which has been critical to advancing the pipeline of new drugs available to CF patients.
Dr. Konstan received his BA from Western Reserve College, magna cum laude, and the MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and a pediatric pulmonology fellowship at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and UH Case Medical Center’s Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. He has been named regularly in “America’s Top Doctors” and “Best Doctors in America”, and was a 2009 “Health Care Hero” finalist in Crain’s Cleveland Business. Last summer, Dr. Konstan was chosen in a nationwide vote as one of 30 Major League Baseball and People Magazine “All-Stars Among Us,” spotlighting people who have gone above and beyond to serve their communities. Last fall, he received the coveted Richard C. Talamo Award for Distinguished Clinical Achievement from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
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