Richard N. Mitchell
Dr. Rick Mitchell is an exemplary physician-scientist-educator who has made broad and impactful contributions to the field of cardiovascular pathology over many years.
Rick received his Ph.D. in Cell Biology/Immunology from The Rockefeller University in 1980 and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1984. Following an internship in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, he completed pathology residency, cardiac pathology fellowship, and post-doctoral fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He joined Harvard Medical School and BWH as Assistant Professor in 1992 and ascended the academic ranks, culminating in his appointment as the Lawrence J. Henderson Professor of Pathology and Health Sciences and Technology in 2011.
Rick is a leading expert in the discipline and practice of cardiovascular pathology. He serves as a Senior Pathologist in the cardiac pathology and autopsy divisions in the Department of Pathology at BWH. He has made numerous research contributions in work conducted at the interface of immunology and vascular cell biology, including the mechanisms underlying acute and chronic rejection following heart transplantation, the role of specific cytokines and chemokine pathways in allograft vasculopathy, the source of recruited intimal smooth muscle cells in atherosclerosis, the nature of inflammatory cell populations involved in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysm, and the immunology of cardiac valve disease. Moreover, he has been and continues to be a highly valued collaborator in studies focused on stem cell biology and the cardiovascular system, amyloidosis, gender differences in gene expression profiles, cardiac electrophysiology, and AI applications to cardiovascular pathology.
Rick also possesses a genuine, strong dedication to and aptitude for teaching and educational leadership, and serves as an important role model to medical students, pathology residents, and faculty colleagues. His teaching of residents on the autopsy and cardiac pathology services at BWH is well known and admired. He is passionate about conveying the scientific basis of medicine in both the pre-clinical and clinical segments of the undergraduate medical curriculum, and has been Director of the HST-030 Human Pathology course for over two decades (notably, this course is ranked by the HST MD students as the most effective and enjoyable course in their entire four-year curriculum). He also actively teaches or has taught in other HST courses in Cardiovascular Pathophysiology, Immunology, and Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, as well as in the Harvard Medical School New Integrated Curriculum's Immunology, Microbiology and Pathology course. Rick has demonstrated long-term and highly effective leadership as Associate Director of the HST Division for over two decades, during which he has directly mentored over 500 students. His teaching commitment and prowess have been recognized with seven teaching awards at Harvard Medical School and, nationally, he has received the Robbins Distinguished Educator Award from the American Society of Investigative Pathology (ASIP) and the Michele Raible Distinguished Teaching Award in Undergraduate Medical Education from the Association of Pathology Chairs.
Rick's educational contributions have had a wide international reach. For many years he has been active in writing and editing the most widely used textbooks that educate most medical students around the world, including Robbins Basic Pathology, Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, the Pocket Companion to Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, and Biomaterials Science: An Introduction to Materials in Medicine. He also co-authored Robbins and Cotran Pathology Flash Cards, with an innovative design format, and co-edited a novel online book, Pathobiology of Human Disease.
Rick has given extraordinary service to the SCVP and other leading organizations in pathology. He is a past-Programming Chair and a past-President of the SCVP. He is also past-Chair of the Education Programming Committee and past-President of the American Society for Investigative Pathology, and developed and directed the annual ASIP Summer Academy, during which he taught fundamentals of acute and chronic inflammation and wound healing to graduate students, fellows, junior and senior faculty, and scientists in industry. He is one of the original organizers of the annual ASIP stand-alone meeting Pathobiology for Investigators, Students, and Academicians (PISA). Rick is also a Senior Associate Editor of the American Journal of Pathology, and Associate Editor of both Laboratory Investigation and SCVP's official journal, Cardiovascular Pathology.