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Opening Ceremony

Saturday, May 19
4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
San Diego Convention Center
Hall H (Ground Level)

Darrell G. Kirch, MD

ATS 2018 will kick off with the Opening Ceremony, featuring distinguished physician, educator, and medical scientist Darrell G. Kirch, MD, president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Dr. Kirch speaks and publishes widely on the need for transformation in the nation’s health care system, and how academic medicine can lead change across medical education, biomedical research, and patient care. His career spans all aspects of academic medicine, and includes a leadership role at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Kirch previously served as CEO of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at The Pennsylvania State University, where he and his leadership team are credited with revitalizing the institution and guiding it through a period of educational innovation and major growth in clinical activity and research funding.

As a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, Dr. Kirch conducted research on the biological basis of and clinical treatments for severe neuropsychiatric disorders. Following the completion of his residency training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, he joined the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he was named acting scientific director in 1993. His NIMH contributions were recognized when he was presented with the Outstanding Service Medal of the United States Public Health Service.

A prolific writer and public speaker, Dr. Kirch has published more than 150 articles and book chapters, and made numerous presentations to medical, educational, scientific, and advocacy organizations. He currently serves as chair of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat, and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2007. In 2014, he was named a Distinguished Life Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association.

Also during the Opening Ceremony will be an address by ATS President Marc Moss, MD, and the presentation of the Public Service Award, World Lung Health Award, and Jo Rae Wright Award for Outstanding Science.