Mount Sinai Appoints Michal A. Elovitz, MD, as Inaugural Dean for Women’s Health

Mount Sinai Appoints Michal A. Elovitz, MD, as Inaugural Dean for Women’s Health

A renowned expert in maternal fetal medicine is joining Mount Sinai to establish the Institute of Female Biology and pursue understudied areas in women’s health research.

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Physician-scientist Michal A. Elovitz, MD, a renowned leader in maternal fetal medicine, in 2022 was appointed Dean for Women’s Health Research and Director of the Institute of Female Biology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is to join the medical school on March 1, 2023.

In these new positions, Dr. Elovitz will advance research into women’s health and female biology across all major departments and institutes within Icahn Mount Sinai, which includes launching new multidisciplinary studies related to women’s health, sex-specific and female biology, and collaborating with The Blavatnik Family Women’s Health Research Institute, the Precision Immunology Institute, the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, and The Tisch Cancer Institute.

“I am thrilled to join the Mount Sinai community and look forward to collaborating with exceptional scientists from diverse disciplines across the campus,” Dr. Elovitz says. “As the inaugural Dean for Women’s Health Research, I am being empowered, along with amazing colleagues at Mount Sinai, to create a new paradigm for advancing women’s health. We will develop new opportunities in women’s health science by leveraging existing expertise in diverse fields, creating collaborative networks, and empowering investigators to pursue understudied areas in women’s health research.”

The main mission of the Institute of Female Biology is to advance understanding of biology that drives health and disease in women, Dr. Elovitz says. The Institute will focus on conditions that—while common and creating an undue burden for women—have remained understudied, such as infertility, preterm birth, preeclampsia, endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome, and menopause.

Dr. Elovitz’s research has focused on understanding the underlying biological mechanisms and consequences of adverse reproductive and pregnancy outcomes, and those implications for the long-term health of the mother and child. Her research integrating immunology and microbiology into pregnancy health has led to critical discoveries in predicting and understanding preterm birth. Dr. Elovitz’s research portfolio, which is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will continue at the Institute of Female Biology.

Dr. Elovitz joins Mount Sinai from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where she has been the Hilarie L. Morgan and Mitchell L. Morgan President’s Distinguished Professor in Women’s Health and a Professor of Microbiology, as well as founder and Director of the Maternal and Child Health Research Center, Vice Chair for Translational Research, founder and Director of the Prematurity Prevention Program, Director of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship, and creator and lead mentor of the Women for Women’s Health Mentoring Group.

We remain not just in the dark about pregnancy but truly about women’s health across the lifespan. I want to change that.

Michal A. Elovitz, MD

She received her BA from the University of Texas at Austin and MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Elovitz completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and her fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Chicago. She is a longtime active member of the National Institutes of Health peer-review process and has served as a reviewer for more than 20 scientific journals; she has authored or co-authored more than 180 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Elovitz is a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the Society for Reproductive Investigation.

Pregnancy and reproductive health remain poorly studied areas in medicine, Dr. Elovitz says. “We have not been able to improve health for women from so many adverse outcomes and conditions because there has just been a tremendous lack of focus and investment in women’s health and in the science needed to advance health,” she says. “We remain not just in the dark about pregnancy but truly about women’s health across the lifespan. I want to change that.”

As researchers work to address these gaps in knowledge, there are lessons to be learned from the rapid, innovative, and multidisciplinary response to the COVID-19 pandemic that occurred at Mount Sinai and around the world, Dr. Elovitz says.

“If we take a step back, we can learn something critical from this pandemic. We learned that bringing together multidisciplinary teams, innovating new approaches, revealing key biological processes, and targeting plausible therapeutics can result in rapid scientific discovery and viable therapeutics to immediately improve health,” she says. “With the support and innovation of Mount Sinai, we intend to leverage all of these tools and approaches to transform women’s health science and improve women’s health.”