VCU School of Medicine appoints new chair of internal medicine

Patricia Sime, M.D.
Patricia Sime, M.D.

Patricia Sime, M.D., has been appointed as chair of the Department of Internal Medicine in the VCU School of Medicine. Sime, who begins July 1, comes from the University of Rochester where she most recently served as division chief of pulmonary and critical care and vice chair for research in the Department of Medicine. She is the C. Jane Davis and C. Robert Davis Distinguished Professor in Pulmonary Medicine and professor of medicine, environmental medicine, microbiology/immunology and oncology.

“We are extremely pleased that this national search has brought Dr. Sime to this major leadership role at our institution,” said Marsha Rappley, M.D., VCU senior vice president for health sciences and VCU Health System CEO. “Sime is a remarkably accomplished colleague and an engaging leader. We look forward with great enthusiasm to her leadership in our Department of Internal Medicine as well as broadly in our institution and in our community.”

Sime will lead the largest School of Medicine department, comprising 10 divisions with $37 million in sponsored research. The department has nationally renowned faculty and training programs and a 50-year affiliation with Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center that includes 10 fellowship programs. Sime succeeds John Nestler, M.D.

Sime, who received her M.D. training at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, is an international expert in the care of patients with fibrotic lung diseases and inflammation. She directed the Interstitial Lung Disease Center at the University of Rochester as well as the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s Care Center Network site and the Lymphangioleiomyomatosis Center. Under her leadership, these have become regional centers for the care of patients and their families. As a physician-scientist, Sime leads ateam of researchers focused on identifying and developing new therapeutic targets for patients with lung scarring (fibrosis) and inflammatory lung diseases. She has published more than 145 original research articles in highly ranked journals as well as numerous abstracts and chapters in leading textbooks.

“We are particularly enthusiastic about the skills and experience that Dr. Sime brings in mentorship,” said Peter Buckley, M.D., dean of the VCU School of Medicine and VCU Health System executive vice president for medical affairs. “Dr. Sime is currently the director of a NIH T32 training grant to help develop the next generation of lung researchers and has assisted in mentoring at national levels.” 

She is a mentor to more than 50 trainees in research, including medical and basic science graduate students, clinical trainees and junior faculty. In 2017, Sime was the recipient of the Parker B. Francis Award from the American Thoracic Society in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of respiratory medicine and science. She was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2009. Sime holds patents for her discoveries and her research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2001. She also has received funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, the American Lung Association, foundations, industry and philanthropy, and she is an investigator on several clinical trials of new therapies for pulmonary fibrosis.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 30,000 students in 233 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-two of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.