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October 2018

Avrum I. Gotlieb, MDCM, FRCPC

Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Avrum I. Gotlieb is a Past President of the American Society for Investigative Pathology (2001-2002) and has been a member of the organization for 57 years. Dr. Gotlieb is the founding Chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Toronto (1997-2008). After completing his term as Department Chair, Dr. Gotlieb served as Interim Vice Dean for Research and International Relations (2009-2010), and Acting and Interim Vice Dean for Graduate and Life Sciences Education in the Faculty of Medicine (2011-2014). Dr. Gotlieb then served as Senior Academic Advisor to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto (2010-2017), and continues to serve on the Governing Council. Beyond serving as President, Dr. Gotlieb has held several important leadership positions in the ASIP over his long period of membership, including serving as

  • Chair of the Program Committee (1996-1998)
  • Chair of the Education Committee (1998-2002)
  • member of the Research and Science Policy Committee (since 2010), among others
  • Dr. Gotlieb served on the ASIP Council for 15 continuous years (1997-2011)

In addition, Dr. Gotlieb served in leadership positions for numerous other scientific organizations:

  • Past President of the Canadian Society of Atherosclerosis
  • Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology (also a founding member of SCVP and its first Secretary-Treasurer)
  • a former member of the Board of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology and
  • served as FASEB Vice-President for Science Policy.
  • Dr. Gotlieb is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a
  • Senior Fellow of the Association of Pathology Chairs.

Dr. Gotlieb earned a BSc in Psychology and Physiology with first class honors (1967), and the MDCM (1971) from McGill University. He continued his training in medicine and anatomic pathology at the teaching hospitals of McGill University, obtaining a Fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Anatomic Pathology (1975) and certification from the American Board of Pathology (1976). Dr. Gotlieb then pursued research training in cell biology in the Department of Biology, University of California San Diego with Professor S. J. Singer, supported by a Medical Research Council Fellowship. Dr. Gotlieb’s research is currently focused on understanding the pathogenesis of common human cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and heart valve disease, especially calcific aortic stenosis. The work is now focused on utilizing the expertise in the investigation of experimental models of human disease to review the vast and dynamic literature on these conditions. The purpose of these in depth reviews is to develop state of the art teaching material to be used by graduate and undergraduate students, medical students and physicians to transfer up to date knowledge to them.

The focus is primarily on understanding the cell and molecular biology of the disease conditions and the influence of physical forces on regulating these processes. The emphasis is on the cells in the normal and diseased tissue and how these cells maintain normal physiologic conditions and then undergo transformations to regulate the pathological states that are found in disease.

Over the years, Dr. Gotlieb’s laboratory has published extensively on blood vessel repair, and in particular on the role of the cytoskeleton in endothelial repair, and on cellular mechanisms of heart valve after injury. Likewise, Dr. Gotlieb’s laboratory has been very well funded over the years, with support from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and has been incredibly productive. Dr. Gotlieb has published 114 peer-reviewed papers (including 10 in The American Journal of Pathology), and 56 reviews and book chapters, including contributions to major pathology textbooks (such as Rubin’s Pathology). Dr. Gotlieb has also edited several books. Dr. Gotlieb is a former co-Editor of Cardiovascular Pathology, a basic, clinical, and applied cardiovascular science journal that is associated with the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology. Dr. Gotlieb serves on the Editorial Boards of The American Journal of Pathology and Laboratory Investigation, is an Associate Editor of Cardiovascular Pathology, and a Senior Advisor for Academic Pathology.

Dr. Gotlieb has a longstanding interest in education/teaching, mentorship, and career advising/planning. In 2003, Dr. Gotlieb authored “The Road to Becoming a Biomedical Physician Scientist in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,” which is published by the American Society for Investigative Pathology, with support from the Intersociety Council for Pathology Information, and is now in its 4th edition. Dr. Gotlieb published a second popular booklet with Dr. Tara Sander to encourage graduate students to train in pathology biomedical research programs: “Journey to Success; Career Pathways for Biomedical Scientists in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (2009). Over 20 years ago, Dr. Gotlieb led the development of the Specialist Program in Pathobiology for undergraduate students at the University of Toronto. In conjunction with this program, Dr. Gotlieb wrote and published “Planning a Career in Biomedical and Life Sciences: Making Informed Choices” (Elsevier, 2014), which is now in its second edition: “Planning for a Career in Biomedical and Life Sciences; Learn to Navigate a Tough Research Culture by Harnessing the Power of Career Building” (Elsevier, 2018). Dr. Gotlieb mentored 9 PhD students and 10 MSc students in his laboratory, as well as numerous undergraduate students, medical students, medical residents, and postdoctoral fellows.

Dr. Gotlieb’s dedication to teaching and education have been recognized by several prestigious awards at the University of Toronto, including

  • the J.B. Walter Award (1991, 2004)
  • the W.T. Atkins Award (1992, 2004)
  • and the Excellence in Teaching Award (1994)
  • In addition, Dr. Gotlieb received the Robbins Distinguished Educator Award (2011) from the ASIP in recognition of “…contributions to education in pathology that have had a manifest impact at regional, national, and international levels…”
  • Dr. Gotlieb also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology
  • the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Pathology Chairs
  • and the President’s Award from the Canadian Association of Pathologists.
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