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Montefiore in the News

June 24, 2010

In New Clinical Trials Role, Dr. Katz to Support Research from Microscope to Bedside

Barrett Katz, MD, MBA - Professor of Ophthalmology, Neurology and NeurosurgeryNEW YORK CITY, NY (June 24, 2010) -- Barrett Katz, MD, MBA, an internationally recognized neuro-ophthalmologist, has joined Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University as professor of ophthalmology, neurology, and neurosurgery, and as the Frances De Jur Chair in Ophthalmology.

Dr. Katz has also been appointed director of clinical trials for the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), a jointly sponsored program at Einstein and Montefiore. The ICTR supports clinical research efforts at both campuses with the aim of bringing scientific advances more rapidly to the patient care setting. In this position, Dr. Katz will focus on expanding the ICTR's infrastructure to support clinical trials activity.

"I look forward to working with Dr. Katz in creating a clinical trials unit with the ICTR. His activities will make it easier to conduct research at Montefiore and increase the scope and volume of clinical trials activity at our institution," said Brian Currie, MD, MPH, vice president and medical director for research at Montefiore, and assistant dean for clinical research and professor of clinical medicine and of clinical epidemiology & population health at Einstein. "Dr. Katz will also build on our major efforts with BRANY (the Biomedical Research Alliance of New York), to identify new targets for clinical trials opportunities at Montefiore."

Dr. Katz comes to Montefiore and Einstein from both academic medicine and industry, where he has been most recently engaged in the biotech arena and drug development for several years. He served as CEO of Danube Pharmaceuticals and chief medical officer of both Fovea Pharmaceuticals and Eyetech, which brought the first medical therapy for macular degeneration to market. Prior to that, he had a distinguished career in academia, most recently as professor and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the George Washington University School of Medicine. Over the course of his 25-year career, Dr. Katz has earned a reputation as a gifted clinician and teacher as well as an accomplished researcher. He also served as co-director of a joint fellowship in ophthalmologic drug development, regulation and trials co-sponsored by George Washington University and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

As a neuro-ophthalmologist, Dr. Katz's clinical expertise is in treatment of optic nerve diseases, unusual eye movements, and ocular manifestations of systemic diseases. He has joint appointments in the departments of ophthalmology, neurology, and neurosurgery at Montefiore and Einstein.  

"With several recently recruited, top-notch ophthalmology additions, we are building a department of excellence with expertise clinically, scientifically, and translationally. Dr. Katz will be integral to our efforts to make ophthalmology at Montefiore a key player in clinical research," said Roy S. Chuck, MD, PhD, Professor and University Chairman, Paul Henkind Chair, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Einstein and Montefiore. "He will also work with senior hospital administration in disseminating such participation across multiple departments within the medical center, and work to establish an infrastructure that supports our joint mission of bringing new therapies and devices to our patients."

"I am very pleased to have his opportunity to further enhance the relationship between Einstein and Montefiore and to raise the visibility of research activity that is occurring at both campuses," Dr. Katz said. "In addition to increasing clinical trials activity, our progress in developing the ICTR will be measured by its impact on our younger faculty and our success in attracting and mentoring them to participate in clinical and translational research."

"Dr. Katz's  efforts will not only enhance our public-private partnerships but will  also have the potential to transform our health care delivery environment," said Harry Shamoon, MD, director of the ICTR, associate dean for clinical and translational research, and professor of medicine at Einstein. "The ultimate goal of clinical trials is to bring new therapies to the bedside and thus promote outstanding patient care within the medical care system."

Dr. Katz received his medical degree from Case-Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed an internship in medicine at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, served as a research staff associate in neuro-virology at the National Institutes of Health, completed a residency in neurology at Harvard University and an ophthalmology residency at Tufts-New England Medical Center. He completed fellowships at Harvard, at the National Hospital for Nervous Disease at Queen's Square in London, and at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Katz obtained an MBA in finance and healthcare management from the University of Rochester's Simon School of Business, and has served on the faculties of the University of California, San Diego, UCSF, and the University of Rochester.

Dr. Katz has authored numerous articles published in peer reviewed journals, and has served on the board of directors for professional societies including the Ophthalmology Research and Education Foundation and the International Eye Foundation. He resides in New York City.