Expert in necrotizing enterocolitis to also join UMass Medical School faculty

January 31, 2002

Worcester, Mass. - Cynthia A. Gingalewski, MD, a pediatric surgeon, has joined UMass Memorial Health Care and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Gingalewski was formerly the director of the minimally invasive surgery center at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center and an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut.

"The UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center is near and dear to my heart," said Marianne E. Felice, MD, who was chair of the department of pediatrics prior to being appointed interim CEO of UMass Memorial, "and we are all thrilled to have recruited a surgeon of Dr. Gingalewski's talent to our excellent pediatric team."

"Dr. Gingalewski, with her outstanding training and years of experience at the UConn Children's Medical Center, adds a world of talent and expertise to our burgeoning pediatric surgical service," said professor of surgery and pediatrics Michael P. Hirsh, MD, chief of the division of pediatric surgery and trauma and associate director of the pediatric intensive care unit at UMass Memorial. "She will be establishing a laboratory that will be an excellent opportunity for our medical students and residents to learn about the basic science of necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, a neonatal gastrointestinal infection that has become the most common reason for surgical consultation in the 21st century neonatal intensive care unit."

"NEC has become more prevalent in recent years because we're seeing even very premature infants survive, infants whose immune and gastrointestinal systems are not functioning properly," said Dr. Gingalewski. She theorizes that such an infant's first feeding may introduce bacteria that would be harmless to a full-term baby but in the premature infant can trigger an erratic immune response, causing the intestinal tissue to die, or necrotize. About half of all infants with NEC require surgery. Gingalewski's research will focus on the premature immune system and the mechanisms that effectively turn it on after birth.

A 1986 cum laude graduate of the University of Rochester and a 1990 cum laude graduate of the State University of New York (SUNY) Health Sciences Center at Syracuse, Dr. Gingalewski served her residency in general surgery at the Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. She served as a postdoctoral research fellow in pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and returned to Yale New Haven in 1995 as chief resident in general surgery. She served as fellow in pediatric surgery at JW Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis before joining the Connecticut Children's Hospital in 1999.

Dr. Gingalewski is board certified in general surgery and pediatric surgery and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics-Surgery Section and an associate fellow of the American College of Surgeons. She is a member of the Association of Women Surgeons, the Association for Academic Surgery, the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, and the Connecticut State Medical Association. She is also an invited reviewer for the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.

Dr. Gingalewski has published more than a dozen original articles and more than 20 abstracts and presentations. She has also contributed to several medical textbook chapters.

UMass Memorial Health Care is central Massachusetts' largest not-for-profit health care delivery system, covering the complete health care continuum with teaching hospitals, affiliated community hospitals, freestanding primary care practices, ambulatory outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, hospice programs, a rehabilitation group and mental health services. UMass Memorial is the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School is one of the fastest growing medical schools in the country, attracting more than $123 million in research funding annually. A perennial top ten finisher in the annual US News & World Report ranking of primary care medical schools, UMMS comprises a medical school, graduate school of nursing, graduate school of biomedical sciences and an active research enterprise, and is a leader in health sciences education, research and public service.

Alison Duffy, 508-856-2000

Related Links:
UMass Memorial Hospital This link goes to an external web site