Children’s Hospital announces new surgical, research leaders | TribLIVE.com
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Wes Venteicher

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh has made some changes at the top of its research and surgery programs.

Dr. Victor Morell, a cardiothoracic surgeon who oversees several of the hospital’s heart programs, is the new surgeon-in-chief, the hospital said Wednesday in a news release.

Dr. George Gittes, who was surgeon-in-chief, has been appointed director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation Institute for Pediatric Research and co-scientific director at UPMC Children’s Hospital, the release said.

Morell has led Children’s Hospital’s pediatric cardiovascular surgery program to achieving a mortality rate of 2 percent from 2012 to 2016, which is below the 3.1 percent average of similar programs, according to the release.

Gittes joined Children’s in 2005, the release said. In his new role, he will “develop (the) Mellon Institute and mentor a new generation of dynamic pediatric researchers,” UPMC Children’s President Chris Gessner said in the release.

The institute undertakes “high-risk, high-impact investigations” that often don’t receive government funding, according to the release. Gittes has been studying diabetes in mice, where he has found that injecting a virus into the rodents’ pancreatic ducts can reverse the disease, the release states.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Wes at 412-380-5676, wventeicher@tribweb.com or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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