PHILADELPHIA — Ronald P. DeMatteo, MD, FACS, has been named chair of the department of Surgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. DeMatteo is a surgical oncologist who is nationally recognized for his expertise in treating liver, gallbladder and bile duct and pancreatic diseases, and abdominal sarcomas. He joins Penn, where he completed his surgical residency and postdoctoral fellowship, from 20 years at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he most recently served as the vice chair of the department of Surgery and head of the division of general surgical oncology. He is also a professor of Surgery and an associate dean at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

DeMatteo will assume his new post July 1, 2017. He will lead a department which includes 130 faculty across 11 divisions who provide advanced patient care, conduct a robust portfolio of basic science and clinical research.

“We’re excited to have Dr. DeMatteo return to Penn and take the helm of our department of Surgery,” said J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, dean of the Perelman School of Medicine and executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System. “He is an exceptional choice to lead our team of talented clinicians and researchers as they continue to provide the highest level of care to patients, and forge new ground in the crucial research necessary to develop the next generation of surgical innovations.”

Over the course of his career, Dr. DeMatteo has made significant research advances in the development of therapies to help prevent tumors from returning after surgery. He has served as the principal investigator on three national trials of the adjuvant drug imatinib following surgery to remove gastrointestinal stromal tumors, leading to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a new standard of care for the disease worldwide. His clinical and laboratory research has resulted in a substantial body of scholarly work in high-impact journals including the Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Nature Medicine, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. His research has been supported by $17 million in funding, including several grants from the National Institutes of Health and generous gifts from patients and philanthropic foundations. A well-respected educator, he was the director of the surgical oncology fellowship program for 7 years and has mentored more than 135 clinical and laboratory fellows.

“The department of Surgery at Penn Medicine has a storied past, built on the commitment to delivering exceptional patient care, providing pre-eminent training, and uncovering new knowledge,” said Ralph W. Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “Dr. DeMatteo’s outstanding track record of leadership and advancements in oncological surgery will ensure an equally bright future as a national patient care leader.”

Dr. DeMatteo earned his undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University, and his medical degree from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He completed his residency training in General Surgery and two postdoctoral fellowships in Molecular Biology and Virology, and Immunology and Transplantation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania before a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. DeMatteo also completed a research fellowship at Memorial Hospital in New York..

The Penn Medicine Department of Surgery dates back to 1765, when Penn’s medical school was founded. Since then, it has been recognized for extraordinary contributions to surgery and surgical research, including many American surgery “firsts.” Today, the department’s standing and associated faculty operate at 10 sites and see outpatients at nine locations in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.. The continuing generosity of Penn’s benefactors has provided the department with one of the largest endowments for research in the country.

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.9 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $496 million awarded in the 2020 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 44,000 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2020, Penn Medicine provided more than $563 million to benefit our community.

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