Stephen T. Bartlett, M.D., a surgeon who has built the University of Maryland’s organ transplant program into one of the largest and most respected in the nation, has been promoted to the position of Chairman of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In his new capacity, Dr. Bartlett also becomes Chief of Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dr. Bartlett, who is also the Barbara Baur Dunlap Professor of Surgery, came to Baltimore in 1991 from the University of California at Davis to lead the University of Maryland’s Division of Transplantation. Within only five years, he had developed the medical center’s kidney and pancreas transplant program into one of the largest and most successful programs in the United States, known for excellent patient care, innovation and community outreach. By the mid-1990’s, Dr. Bartlett had also performed Maryland’s first simultaneous pancreas/kidney transplant and its first successful pancreas-alone transplant.
“Dr. Bartlett has achieved a steady stream of success at the University of Maryland since his arrival here, by developing effective ways to help a vast number of people with organ failure to survive and thrive. I am confident that under his extraordinary leadership, the Department of Surgery will continue its growth and national prominence in research and patient care,” says Donald E. Wilson, M.D., M.A.C.P., Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and Dean, School of Medicine.
Working with colleagues in general surgery, Dr. Bartlett was also a leader in the development of the laparoscopic, or minimally invasive technique for removing a kidney from a living kidney donor, which opened the door for many patients with kidney failure to identify a living donor. The University of Maryland Medical Center has performed about 950 minimally invasive living donor operations since March 1996—the most in the nation.
Jeffrey A. Rivest, President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center, says, “Dr. Bartlett has set very high standards for excellence in patient care. Through his innovative work over the years in organ transplantation, he has raised awareness and attracted patients here from throughout the United States. We are delighted that he will now be in a position to further enhance the entire Department of Surgery.”
Dr. Bartlett, who is board certified in General Surgery and Vascular Surgery, received his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1975 and his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 1979. He received residency training in general surgery at the University of Pennsylvania from 1980-1985 and did a vascular surgery fellowship in 1985-86 at Northwestern University.
Dr. Bartlett leads a wide variety of large basic and clinical research projects. With funding from the Office of Naval Research, he is working on developing cranial-facial transplants for people who have lost tissue because of traumatic injuries.
In laboratory research funded by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, he is studying novel ways to cure Type 1 diabetes using islet cell transplants but allowing patients to avoid taking drugs to prevent rejection of the transplanted cells. Such drugs weaken the immune system. Dr. Bartlett developed Maryland’s first Islet Cell transplant program for patients with diabetes and also severe, chronic pancreatitis.
Dr. Bartlett is co-investigator of an NIH-sponsored clinical trial that is enabling HIV-positive people who have kidney failure to receive a kidney transplant and stay healthy, in spite of taking anti-rejection medications. And in a study funded by the Health Resources Services Administration, he is looking at strategies to help minority patients with kidney failure to have improved access to kidney transplants and living donors.
“My goals for the Department of Surgery include continuing to provide excellent patient care as well as building the department into a world-renowned research powerhouse. We have made tremendous strides in that direction in recent years, and I plan to keep that momentum going,” says Dr. Bartlett.
Dr. Bartlett succeeds Bruce E. Jarrell, M.D., who has moved to the position of Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
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