Missouri professor named family, geriatric medicine chair at UofL

An accomplished clinician, educator and researcher with a background in family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as chemical engineering has been named chair of the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville.

Diane Medved Harper, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., currently on the faculty of the University

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of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC), also will be appointed as professor and Gradie R. Rowntree, M.D., and Mary D. Rowntree Endowed Chairmanship in Family Medicine. She will assume the position on an interim basis effective Oct. 1, and her permanent appointment is effective Dec. 1, pending UofL Board of Trustees’ approval. She succeeds James G. O’Brien, M.D., who is retiring.

“Diane Harper is an internationally recognized researcher, teacher and clinician in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HPV-associated diseases,” said Toni M. Ganzel, M.D., dean of the UofL School of Medicine. “She is an acknowledged leader in family medicine education as well as in clinical practice, and we enthusiastically welcome her to UofL.”

Harper joined UMKC in 2008 as professor in the departments of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Community and Family Medicine. In 2009, she was named Vice-Chair for Research in Community and Family Medicine. Previously she was on the faculty of Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H.

She is board certified by and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice and is an associate member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. While at UMKC, she served on the Board of Directors of University Physicians Associates and had hospital appointments at Truman Medical Center-Lakewood and Hospital Hill in Kansas City. At Hospital Hill, she also led the research section of the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering and master of science in polymers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned her medical degree and master of public health degree from the University of Kansas Medical School, where she also had residency training in obstetrics and gynecology and completed her residency in family medicine.

Harper has been honored with several fellowship awards during her career, including a United States Public Health Service Primary Care Fellowship, a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Faculty Fellowship, a fellowship in the Stanford University Faculty Development Program for Medical Decision Making and a fellowship with the Inter-Institutes Genetics Clinic of the National Institutes of Health.

Harper was one of the United States clinician scientists leading the global research effort for prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to control cervical cancer. She has been a lead author in the multiple Lancet publications and co-author of more than 100 additional articles on cervical cancer prevention. She has helped establish U.S. national guidelines for the nomenclature of cervical cytology and the screening and management strategies for women with abnormal cytology and histology. She also has consulted for and published with the World Health Organization on the use of prophylactic HPV vaccines. She is currently a member of the NIH’s Population Sciences and Epidemiology Integrated Review Group of the Epidemiology of Cancer Study Section and an active grant reviewer for many national organizations.

Earlier this year, Harper received the

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Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Excellence in Education Award, a lifetime professional award for excellence in family medicine education. She also was honored this spring with the Prix Monaco, presented to her in Monte Carlo by the Prince and Princess of Monaco, which honors an international female role model for her work throughout the world serving humanity. She has multiple awards for her teaching of medical students, residents as well as professional colleagues and won the Jack L Mulligan, M.D. Teacher of the Year award the past five consecutive years at UMKC.

Other significant awards include the New Hampshire Family Physician of the Year Award in 2006, Best Research of the Year awards from the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology in 2002 and 2000, the Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar Award in 1996 and first place in scientific research publications of the American Academy of Family Physicians in 1990.

Harper also was a member of the U.S. National Women’s Crew Team in 1978 and the U.S. Women’s Crew Team for the 1980 Olympics, which the U.S. boycotted.