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University of Maryland School of Medicine Appoints New Chairman of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Christopher Harman, M.D.
 Christopher Harman, M.D.

Distinguished Physician-Scientist Christopher Harman M.D. to Lead Department

University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., has appointed Christopher Harman, M.D., an accomplished expert in maternal-fetal medicine (high-risk pregnancy) with a distinguished career in clinical medicine and research, to serve as the chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences.

“The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences has been a national leader in research and patient care, focused on the science and health of women and infants,” says Dean Reece, who is also vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Our faculty are conducting cutting edge research on problems that affect women, making groundbreaking advances in such areas as high-risk pregnancy, fetal abnormalities, critical care obstetrics, gynecologic cancer, urogynecology and general obstetrics and gynecology.  Dr. Harman is an outstanding leader whose accomplishments in clinical medicine and research make him the obvious choice to guide our department to the next level of excellence.”
Dr. Harman has served as interim chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Reproductive Sciences since 2010, as well as vice chair of the department for many years. Dr. Harman has also served as director of the Division of Maternal and Fetal medicine, and co-director of the world-renowned Center for Advanced Fetal Care. The Center offers an array of cutting-edge fetal testing and therapy, including advanced imaging using 3D ultrasound, fetal MRI, fetal echocardiography and fetal surgery. The center was the first in Maryland to offer fetoscopy, a procedure using a tiny fiberoptic camera to allow doctors to see the baby inside the uterus. This technology is used during fetal laser surgery for conditions such as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a life-threatening imbalance of blood flow in some cases of identical twins.

“I am delighted at this leadership opportunity,” says Dr. Harman. “Our department is an energetic group of very productive, positive persons with whom I love working. We are going to build upon our well-deserved reputations for clinical research and upper-echelon patient care, adding physician-scientists in several divisions. With the unique and extraordinary resources of the School of Medicine, our basic science research in pregnancy will advance real-life solutions to obstetric complications. At the same time, we will develop statewide networks with our partners in the University of Maryland Medical System to put these advances into action. This is going to be an exciting time for our department and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”

Dr. Harman is a distinguished and highly regarded physician-scientist and has conducted extensive research aimed at improving high risk pregnancy care.  He is the primary investigator for Maryland Advanced Perinatal Support Services – a research grant supported by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This project delivers high risk pregnancy care statewide through a combination of telemedicine, on-site consultation by maternal-fetal medicine specialists, and the nationally-recognized COMPACT (Center for Outreach Medicine, Provider Awareness and Competency Training), a simulation-based training center for obstetrics emergencies.

Dr. Harman has published extensively on fetal medicine and has served as a reviewer for the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and many others. He published Invasive Fetal Testing and Treatment, an internationally recognized text on fetal therapy. Dr. Harman is a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada and the International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society. He is chairman of the board of director and a founding member of the North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFT Net).

Dr. Harman is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, where he also did his residency training in Obstetrics & Gynecology. He completed his Fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Upon completion of his training, Dr. Harman joined the clinical staff of the University of Manitoba, where his team performed fetal procedures such as intravenous transfusions and intrauterine bladder shunts for the first time in North America. Dr. Harman joined University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1997.

“Dr. Harman has proven himself to be an outstanding physician-scientist and a strong leader for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences,” says Dean Reece. “His exemplary track record makes him ideal to lead this already strong department into a successful future.”

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