UMass Memorial Medical Center President will guide translational research efforts

November 8, 2007

WORCESTER, Mass.—UMass Memorial Medical Center President Walter Ettinger, Jr., MD, MBA, has been appointed Associate Dean for Clinical and Population Health Research for the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In this capacity, Dr. Ettinger will be a key leader in the development of the vision for clinical and population health research across UMMS and in close collaboration with UMass Memorial Medical Center, where he will continue to serve as president. 

“In recent months, Dr. Ettinger has played a principal role in efforts to bridge clinical care and clinical research enterprises at UMMS and UMass Memorial,” said Dean of the School of Medicine and Executive Deputy Chancellor Terence R. Flotte. “With his continued expertise and input, we look forward to an accelerated pace of progress in the development of a broad agenda in clinical and translational research in order to positively impact the health of communities and populations.” 

Working with other faculty and administrators, Ettinger will help to shape the submission of the UMMS Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) application to the NIH. Through the CTSA program, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has challenged academic medical centers to accelerate the pace at which we integrate research findings into clinical practice.  UMMS is committed to meeting this challenge and is aggressively expanding translational and clinical research with the aim of becoming a national leader in creating the ideal environment to foster interdisciplinary research to enhance the public’s health.

Specifically, Ettinger will focus on “T2” projects. As defined by the NIH, T2 is that part of the research continuum that moves the data and insights gained from clinical trials to clinical practice. (“T1” research focuses on the transfer of knowledge from the laboratory or bench to clinical trials.) T2 research aims to develop strategies for the establishment and implementation of new technologies, improvements in practice, evidence-based guidelines and new and effective models of care. Ettinger will inform UMMS efforts to build a successful T2 research program that will ultimately provide crucial information that will lead to the creation and evaluation of effective health policy.

A physician and hospital leader, Ettinger joined UMass Memorial Medical Center in 2004 from New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, where he served as vice president of medical affairs and medical education.  At that time, he was also appointed professor of medicine in the division of geriatric medicine at UMMS.

Ettinger is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine, geriatrics and rheumatology. He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1978, and an MBA from the Babcock Graduate School of Management of Wake Forest University in 1997. He completed his residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital and two fellowships at Johns Hopkins in Rheumatology and Geriatric Medicine respectively.

“As President of UMass Memorial Medical Center, Dr. Ettinger is in an ideal position to inform and direct potential areas of collaboration between our clinicians and researchers. His appointment as associate dean is a vital step for the future of our academic health center as we strive to serve as a national model for others,” Dr. Flotte said. 

About the University of Massachusetts Medical School
The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research.  The Medical School attracts more than $176 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. The work of UMMS researcher Craig Mello, PhD, an investigator of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and his colleague Andrew Fire, PhD, then of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, toward the discovery of RNA interference was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, hailed as the “Breakthrough of the Year” in 2002 by Science magazine and has spawned a new and promising field of research, the global impact of which may prove astounding. UMMS is the academic partner of UMass Memorial Health Care, the largest health care provider in Central Massachusetts. For more information, visit