Interim Chair of Department of Pathology and Cell Biology

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce that Kevin Gardner, MD, PhD, has agreed to serve as the interim chair of the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology. Dr. Gardner, currently the senior vice chair of the department, will assume his new role on July 1. Kevin Roth, MD, PhD, will work alongside Dr. Gardner to ensure a smooth leadership transition before Dr. Roth officially steps down from the chair position on August 31.

Dr. Gardner is a respected colleague and leader within the department where he has served as senior vice chair since joining VP&S in 2017. Dr. Gardner also serves as director of the Digital and Computational Pathology Laboratory, which facilitates the basic, translational and clinical research of the department, and the Physician-Scientist Research Pathway in Pathology, a mentored career development program for aspiring physician-scientists. Before joining Columbia, Dr. Gardner was a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute and scientific director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, overseeing the health disparities research of tenure-track investigators, staff scientists, and staff physicians. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. While at the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Gardner received two NIH Director’s Awards for his work in defining the mechanisms of gene regulation and their role in the evolution of cancer, and for conducting the first research to define a molecular mechanism linking metabolic imbalance with increased risk of breast cancer.

This is an auspicious moment for the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, and we are grateful to have a physician-scientist of Dr. Gardner’s stature continue the upward trajectory set by Dr. Roth. Under Dr. Roth’s leadership, the department significantly enhanced its reputation as one of the leading research-intensive pathology departments in the country. The department increased its NIH funding by more than 63% and showed record increases in gender and ethnic diversity at all academic levels including trainees, faculty, and leadership. The department helped develop a framework of excellence for clinical research and training in personalized genomic medicine and expanded its ability to provide the best precision medicine for our patients. The department has also grown its rank of physician-scientists, established a robust physician-scientist research pathway helmed by Dr. Gardner, and redoubled its commitment to mentorship at all levels. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the department emerged as a model for how a university-based pathology department leads during a global pandemic crisis. We appreciate the leadership Dr. Roth has demonstrated over the past eight years and his support of Dr. Gardner as we look to the bright future of the department.

Please join us in thanking Dr. Roth for his many contributions to the department and our medical center. We are grateful to Dr. Gardner for accepting this interim appointment until a national search is completed and Dr. Roth’s successor is in place. Please join us in thanking Dr. Gardner, welcoming him as interim chair, and wishing him well in this new role.


Katrina Armstrong, MD
Dean of the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences, Columbia University

Steven J. Corwin, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian