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Department of Pediatrics Welcomes Dr. Rita Ryan as New Chair

Dr. Ryan and a Pediatric PatientOn behalf of the MUSC College of Medicine, it gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Dr. Rita Ryan as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Ryan comes to us from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York where she has served as Chief of the Division of Neonatology, Director of the Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program, and Director of the Center for Developmental Biology of the Lung. She held academic appointments as Professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, and Gynecology-Obstetrics. A member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Thoracic Society, and the American Physiological Society, Dr. Ryan also serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Perinatology and as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other publications. She is an acknowledged authority in neonatal pulmonary issues and has published extensively in peer-review publications. Dr. Ryan brings an exceptional combination of clinical, teaching, research, and administrative skills to lead the growth and development of the department. As we welcome her to MUSC, please join me in thanking Dr. David Habib for his service as Interim Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and his many contributions to the institution.

- Dr. Etta Pisano, Dean, College of Medicine

About Dr. Rita M. Ryan
Born in Tennessee and raised in the Bronx in New York City, Rita M. Ryan, M.D., received her Bachelor’s Degree in mathematical science from The Johns Hopkins University and her M.D. from the State University of New York (SUNY) – Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. She completed her residency in pediatrics at SUNY Upstate Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine at the University of Cincinnati-Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. In 1989, Dr. Ryan joined the faculty at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York as a senior instructor in the Department of Pediatrics Division of  Neonatology. By 1997, she had risen to become Associate Professor of Pediatrics and was appointed Director of the Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program.

Dr. Ryan returned to SUNY in 2000 as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University at Buffalo and the affiliated Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, as Chief of the Division of Neonatology and was Director of the Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program. Two years later, Dr. Ryan was appointed Professor of Pediatrics with tenure with secondary appointments in Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, and Gynecology-Obstetrics. An acknowledged authority in neonatal pulmonary issues, Dr. Ryan has an impressive research  background and has published approximately 70 articles in peerreviewed publications and given more than 150
invited lectures regionally and nationally.

She currently serves as principal investigator (PI ) of the National Heart Lung & Blood Institute (NH LBI)-funded Prematurity and Respiratory Outcomes Program (PROP ) and as site PI of the NH LBI-funded Trial of Late Surfactant (TO LSURF ). Dr. Ryan recently was  successful in obtaining a center grant for Buffalo as a member in the prestigious National Institute of Child Health and Development (NI CHD) Neonatal Research Network. Dr. Ryan is the Chair of the Organization of Neonatal Training Program Directors. She also serves as a  member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Perinatology and as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous publications, including the Journal of Pediatrics, American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry, Archives of Diseases in Childhood, and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. Her honors include election to the Society for Pediatric Research, the Perinatal Research Society where she served on the Governing Council, and the American Pediatric Society, and selection to Best Doctors since 2004.

Dr. Ryan has been active in her community, especially with the March of Dimes, including service in an advisory capacity with the Western New York March of Dimes. She and her husband, Gary Sleggs, have three children: Liam, 19, Conor, 17, and Brenna 15.

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