Robert Allen, M.D., Ph.D., has stepped down as chair of the Department of Pathology, effective February 1. Poonam Sharma, M.B.B.S., associate professor of pathology and vice-chair of the department, will serve as the interim chair.
Allen became chair in Jan. 2011 and led the department through a period of significant transition, including expansion of laboratory service within Creighton Medical Labs and major expansion of laboratory support at the Omaha Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He will now resume his faculty activities and devote significant effort to his research interests.
"On behalf of the faculty, staff and students of the School of Medicine, I extend our sincere thanks and deep appreciation to Dr. Allen for his strong leadership," said Robert Dunlay, M.D., interim dean for the Creighton University School of Medicine. "Dr. Sharma brings the necessary experience and leadership qualities to fulfill this responsibility."
In her role as vice-chair of the department, she has been working collaboratively with the School of Medicine and Alegent Creighton Health leadership to resolve complex departmental issues related to the new alliance. Under her leadership, the Creighton Medical Laboratories have made positive strides towards improving quality of pathology services and expanding business.
Sharma serves on several national professional committees and holds leadership roles on subcommittees of the Association of American Medical Colleges and Association of Pathology Chairs. She was recently appointed to the Alegent Creighton Medical Practice Advisory Committee. She is vice-chair of the School of Medicine?s Women in Medicine and Science group and a member of the school?s Admissions and Executive Committees.
Outside of these leadership roles, Dr. Sharma is also co-investigator of several research studies that focus on the pathogenesis of cancer. She has authored book chapters and is well-published in peer-reviewed journals.