UAB Pathology Celebrates its First Female Division Director, Cristina Magi-Galluzzi, M.D., Ph.D.

September is Women in Medicine month—the perfect time to recognize the first female division director of the Department of Pathology, Cristina Magi-Galluzzi, M.D., Ph.D.

RS23286 Cristina Magi Galluzzi 15 scr

According to the book, History of Pathology at UAB, written by Dr. C. Bruce Alexander and Margaret Dotzler, our department was created 75 years ago by Dean Roy Kracke.  The first women faculty members listed under Clinical Pathology (which was a basic science department initially) were medical technologists, and not physicians.  The first woman pathologist appears to have been Dr. Beulah Hattaway, who is first mentioned in the book in a photo from 1952.

The Division of Anatomic Pathology (AP) had illustrious directors such as Dr. Ricardo Ceballos (late 1960s-1980s) and Dr. Gene Siegal, who was recruited by Dr. Jay McDonald in 1990 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  In that same year, Dr. McDonald established the five divisions (AP, Clinical Pathology, Forensics, Neuropathology and Molecular and Cellular Pathology) that comprised our department until the division of Informatics was created by former chair Dr. Kevin Roth in 2011—now called Genomic Diagnostics and Bioinformatics.

Until Dr. Magi-Galluzzi’s recruitment in 2018, the Department had never had a female division director.  She came from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University two years ago.  Our chair Dr. George Netto stated then, “Dr. Magi-Galluzzi is renowned in her field, bringing expertise in genitourinary pathology. Her addition to our team will provide renewed leadership for the Division of Anatomic Pathology and enhance our sub-specialized clinical expertise in surgical pathology. Her research focus on prostate, bladder and kidney cancers will further establish our department as a major player in the field of GU pathology.”

Dan Milner CMG feb 2020Dr. Magi-Galluzzi with Dr. Dan Milner, MD, MSc, Chief Medical Officer, American Society for Clinical Pathology

Dr. Magi-Galluzzi’s research focuses on prostate carcinogenesis and in the discovery and validation of tumor markers and genomic tests of value in furthering the goals of successful treatment and understanding of the pathogenesis of genitourinary diseases. In an interview at the time of her arrival, she said, “I am delighted to join the UAB School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology and excited about leading a team on collaborative projects. I consider myself a pathologist first, and a teacher and researcher second, and my main goal is to provide excellent clinical service to patients.”  
Long Course USCAP San Antonio 2017Dr. Cristina Magi-Galluzzi, center, served as director of and only female participant in a Genitourinary Pathology long course at the 2017 USCAP conference.

In 2018 she was selected for The Pathologist’s Power List of “100 of the best, brightest and most powerful advocates of pathology.” Less than a year after her arrival at UAB, she was named the inaugural holder of the C. Bruce Alexander Endowed Professorship in Pathology by the UA Board of Trustees.

CMG GN and SVDr. George Netto, Chair, UAB Pathology, with Dr. Cristina Magi-Galluzzi and Dean Selwyn Vickers, UAB SOM at the reception for Endowed Professors and Chairs

For those of us who work with her, Cristina is a role model for our students, residents, staff, and faculty members.  She exemplifies the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) mission: “To advance women in medicine, advocate for equity, and ensure excellence in health care.” Like her, our department has many women physicians making a difference, and this month we should celebrate them and all they represent. View this PDF for more information on how you can end workforce gender disparities.  

Written by: Marisa B. Marques, M.D.
AMWA Chapter President (UASOM)
Interim Division Director, Laboratory Medicine
UAB Pathology