Dear Colleagues-Friends,

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Patricia Sime, M.D., as the chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine. Dr. Sime comes from the University of Rochester where she has most recently served as the division chief of pulmonary and critical care and vice chair for research in the Department of Medicine. Her appointments also include the C. Jane Davis & C. Robert Davis Distinguished Professorship in Pulmonary Medicine and serving as professor of medicine, environmental medicine, microbiology/immunology and oncology.

“We are extremely pleased that this national search has brought Dr. Sime to this major leadership role at our institution,” said Marsha Rappley, M.D., VCU vice president for health sciences and VCUHS CEO. “Dr. Sime is a remarkably accomplished colleague and an engaging leader. We look forward with great enthusiasm to her leadership in our department of Internal Medicine as well as broadly in our institution and in our community.”

Dr. Sime is an international expert in the care of patients with fibrotic lung diseases and inflammation. Dr. Sime directs the Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic at the University of Rochester as well as the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Center Network Site and the Lymphangioleiomyomatosis Center. Under her leadership these centers have become regional centers for the care of patients and their families. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Sime leads a team of researchers focused on identifying and developing new therapeutic targets for patients with lung scarring (fibrosis) and inflammatory lung diseases. She has published more than 145 original research articles in highly ranked journals as well as numerous abstracts and book chapters in leading text books.

In 2017, Dr. Sime was the recipient of the Parker B. Francis Award from the American Thoracic Society, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of respiratory medicine and science. She was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2009. She holds patents for her discoveries and has been continuously funded for her research by the NIH since 2001. Dr. Sime has also received funding from the Department of Defense, the American Lung Association, foundations, industry and philanthropy, and she is an investigator on several clinical trials for new therapies for pulmonary fibrosis.

Dr. Sime has served as a permanent and an ad hoc member of several research study sections and advisory panels for the NIH as well as national foundations and international funding organizations in Europe and Canada. She has held a variety of leadership positions in the American Thoracic Society and is currently on the scientific boards of the American Lung Association, the American Thoracic Society and the Parker B. Francis Foundation. She also served as a journal associate editor for the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cell Molecular Physiology.

We are particularly enthusiastic about the skills and experience that Dr. Sime brings in mentorship. She is currently the Director of a NIH T32 training grant to help develop the next generation of lung researchers and has assisted in mentoring at national levels. She is an award-winning mentor to more than 50 trainees in research, including medical and basic science graduate students, clinical trainees and junior faculty.

Dr. Sime received her M.D. training at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where she graduated with honors. She then pursued her specialist training in pulmonary medicine in Edinburgh. After being awarded a prestigious MRC Research Fellowship she traveled to McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, to train in the science of inflammatory and scarring lung diseases. In 1999, she was recruited to the faculty of the University of Rochester as a physician, educator and researcher. In 2000 she was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

In her role as department chair, Dr. Sime will lead the largest School of Medicine department, comprised of 10 divisions with $37 million in sponsored research. The department has a 50-year affiliation with Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Departmental faculty are renowned nationally and the training programs, including 10 fellowship programs operated in association with the McGuire VA, are excellent.

Dr. Sime will succeed Dr. John Nestler, the former chair of VCU’s Department of Internal Medicine. We are most grateful for Dr. Nestler’s stellar leadership as chair as well as for his new and highly innovative role as the Physician-Scientist in Residence as part of an ongoing collaboration between VCU’s School of the Arts and School of Medicine. We also thank Dr. Todd Gehr for his outstanding service as interim chair. Dr. Gehr will continue serving as chair of the nephrology division.

Our sincere appreciation also goes to the search committee chairs, Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan and Dr. Charles Clevenger, along with the other members of the search committee as well as our VA partners and community leaders for their service in this process. In addition, the administrative leadership of Ms. Denise Dye, Ms. Nikki Meador and Dr. Betsy Ripley were invaluable. We also greatly appreciate the contributions of the internal medicine faculty, residents and staff who participated in this process and represented their department and our institution so well.

Dr. Sime will begin her appointment July 1, 2019. Please join us in welcoming her to this critical role in our School of Medicine and VCU Health System.

With all good wishes,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System