Gayle Winters is a distinguished member of the global cardiovascular pathology and transplantation communities. She received her BS in Biology (with Distinction) from Purdue University, and her MD in 1979 from the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, followed by a year of general surgery residency, residency in anatomic and clinical pathology, and fellowship in surgical pathology at Loyola University Medical Center. After joining the Loyola faculty and rising to Associate Professor of Pathology, she was recruited to the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in 1992, where she is Senior Pathologist and Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Winters has a national and international reputation as a heart transplant pathologist and serves or has served on the Editorial Boards of Circulation, Cardiovascular Pathology, Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, and Advances in Anatomic Pathology. Within the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology, Dr. Winters has held important leadership positions as Cor Notes Editor, Secretary, Acting Treasurer, Vice-Present/President Elect, and President.
Among sentinel contributions to her field, Dr. Winters was a member of the working group and co-author on the original 1990 grading system for cardiac transplant biopsies, its revision in 2005, and the grading system for antibody-mediated rejection in 2011. These grading schemas are considered the foundational guidance for all of heart transplant practice to the current time. Her work demonstrated the lack of progression of untreated Grade 2 rejection, and was instrumental in prompting the revision of the grading system in 2005. Other important work within the area of cardiac transplantation includes defining perioperative ischemic injury on post-transplant endomyocardial biopsies, studying the pathologic composition and clinical significance of Quilty effect, and defining the composition of allograft coronary disease and the use of myocyte vacuolization on post-transplant endomyocardial biopsies as a predictor of allograft coronary disease.
Dr. Winters has been actively involved in resident and medical student education throughout her career. In fact, she is a major educational leader in her home institution. She was the Director of the BWH Autopsy Service for over 20 years, Director of the BWH Residency Program in Pathology from 2001-2015, and served as Director of the BWH Harvard Medical School elective clerkship in Pathology. She has taught at Harvard Medical School in the Human Pathology and Cardiovascular Pathophysiology courses. Of perhaps the greatest significance in terms of the continued expertise in cardiovascular pathology as a discipline, Dr. Winters and her colleagues at BWH have trained 12 Cardiovascular Pathology Fellows. Of these Fellows, 7 have pursued a career in cardiovascular pathology and are current members of the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology. At the national level, she has been an active member of the Program Directors for Pathology (PRODS), and served as Member-at-Large of PRODS Council, Co-Chair of the PRODS Outcomes Committee, Secretary-Elect, Secretary, Chair-Elect, and was elected Chair in 2014-15. She received the Graduate Medical Education Distinguished Teaching Award from the Association of Pathology Chairs in 2016.
In summary, Dr Winters exemplifies the professional skills and leadership qualities that the SCVP Distinguished Achievement Award was established to honor. She has been and is a recognized scholar in her field, she is widely known as an educator in cardiovascular and transplant pathology, and she has served in many leadership roles for the SCVP and other related organizations. She certainly is an expert in the field of cardiovascular pathology.
Finally, Dr Winters is an absolutely lovely human being. She is a person of great character and great courage.