Ernst Lengyel named chair of obstetrics and gynecology

Ernst Lengyel named chair of obstetrics and gynecology

September 20, 2013

Ernst Lengyel, MD, PhD, has been named chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago, effective September 1, 2013.

An outstanding physician scientist who joined the University in 2004, Lengyel studies the biology of how ovarian cancer spreads to other sites and the use of novel drugs for its treatment. His laboratory was the first to culture metastatic ovarian cancer cells in a three-dimensional environment, similar to how these cells would grow in the body, and the first to use high-throughput drug screening in this model. His current research is focused on finding new drugs for the treatment of ovarian cancer and on the interactions between ovarian cancer cells and their surrounding environments.

Lengyel has authored or co-authored more than 90 peer-reviewed publications. His research projects have earned generous support from the National Institutes of Health as well as non-federal sources of research funding. He was a recipient of the prestigious Burroughs Wellcome Fund Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research and serves on the editorial board of the journal Gynecologic Oncology.

He also is an accomplished physician and teacher. Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and gynecologic oncology, he combines his research with an active clinical and surgical practice, focusing on treating ovarian cancer and organ-preserving treatment of cervical cancer. He has a strong track record as a mentor for young scientists and as a dedicated bedside teacher for medical students, residents and fellows. Since his appointment at the University of Chicago, he has twice received awards for excellence in teaching.

"Ernst Lengyel has demonstrated wisdom and dedication as a caring physician and as a scientist," said Kenneth Polonsky, MD, executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Chicago and dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine. "He is a meticulous gynecologic surgeon and an innovative investigator who has done pioneering research on the spread of ovarian cancer and its impact on surrounding tissues."

Lengyel, 47, completed his basic science and medical school training at the University of Munich and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he did his residency in obstetrics and gynecology. After his fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)/Stanford, he served at UCSF for a year as a junior faculty member before joining the University of Chicago in 2004 as an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

Lengyel succeeds Arthur Haney, MD, who has served as chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology since April 2003. Under his leadership, the Department has developed strong educational and clinical programs. Haney will remain an active member of the faculty.