National search lands top scientist to chair UAB pathology

The new chair named to lead UAB’s Department of Pathology has a strong background in personalized medicine, clinical care and basic science research.
Written by Kendra Carter
Media contact: Bob Shepard,

george nettoGeorge Jabboure Netto, M.D., an internationally recognized clinician-scientist, has been named chair of the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine.

Netto comes to UAB from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he is the director of Surgical Pathology Molecular Diagnostics and professor of pathology, urology and oncology. He will join UAB on Oct. 1, 2016.

“I am honored and thrilled to join the distinguished team of scientists and clinicians at a world-premier institution such as UAB,” Netto said. “This is an exciting time for the field of pathology as an integral part of the institution’s unmatched commitment to lead in personalized medicine.”

Netto’s primary research interest and contributions have focused on the evaluation of molecular biomarkers to serve as potential markers of detection, prognosticators and therapeutic targets in the management of urologic cancers. He is also recognized for his expertise in molecular diagnostics of solid tumors.

Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the UAB School of Medicine, says Netto’s leadership and vision will be integral as the Department of Pathology continues to grow its impact in personalized medicine research at UAB and looks to sustain its enormous contributions to the academic missions in the School of Medicine.

“Dr. Netto has a wealth of experience in developing clinician scientists, and his leadership in personalized medicine and translational science is exciting,” Vickers said. “His vision for growing an outstanding department that is balanced in its commitment to both clinical and basic science research was a key factor in our decision.”

UAB’s Department of Pathology — home to 83 full-time faculty members in six divisions — is currently ranked No. 10 nationally among its peers in funding from the National Institutes of Health. The clinical service, which includes inpatient and outpatient procedures, along with outreach initiatives, completes more than 6 million procedures each year.

Netto began his career at Damascus University in Syria, where he earned his medical degree before beginning a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at Baylor University Medical Center. Following residency, he completed fellowships in surgical pathology at the Washington University School of Medicine and in urologic pathology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

He joined the faculty at Baylor in 1996 and served as director of the residency training program, director of tissue procurement and director of molecular pathology. He joined the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2005 as an associate professor of pathology.

While at Hopkins, he gained international experience as medical director of Amcare Labs International Inc., and as international medical director of the Johns Hopkins Clinica Las Condes and Clinica Las Condes Comprehensive Cancer Center in Santiago, Chile.