O’Connor selected as Cardiology chief

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mary Klotman, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine, today announced the selection of Christopher O’Connor, MD, as chief of the Division of Cardiology, a role he has filled in an acting capacity since July 2010.

"Throughout a deliberative and comprehensive national search for a new chief of the Division, Chris remained the top candidate among a prestigious list of leaders in cardiovascular medicine," wrote Klotman in a message to the department's faculty. "His dedication, service and stewardship of the Division, as well as his clear vision for how Duke Cardiology can strive forward in a changing healthcare environment, were essential determinants of his selection."

The Division of Cardiology, with 117 full-time, regular-rank faculty members, is a large and central part of Duke Medicine. The Division is among the top programs in the country with international prominence across the three missions of patient care, research and medical education.

Among his responsibilities as chief of Cardiology, Dr. O'Connor will work with Tom Coffman, MD, chief of the Division of Nephrology and director of the Duke Cardiovascular Research Center, to further develop the center and its research program. O'Connor will continue his role as director of the Duke Heart Center (held since 2007) and as chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology.

O'Connor received his M.D. and a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, then came to Duke for residency, serving a year as chief resident at the Durham VA Medical Center, prior to completing his fellowship in cardiology. He joined the faculty in 1989, and is currently professor of medicine with tenure and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

"Chris has been a role model for excellence in academic medicine," said Klotman.

An accomplished clinical investigator with a focus on heart failure, O'Connor has authored or co-authored more than 400 peer-reviewed publications (find a list, and an interactive chart of his research network, on his REACH-NC profile). He is a top clinician, researcher, and has served as a mentor for dozens of trainees in academic cardiology.

Dr. Klotman also thanked Dr. Coffman and members of the search committee for their time and effort in the search process.