Gravallese named to executive leadership program

Drexel University fellowship focuses on women leaders

By Lisa M. Larson

UMass Medical School Communications

May 08, 2012
  Ellen M. Gravallese, MD

Ellen M. Gravallese, MD, professor of medicine and cell biology and chief of the division of rheumatology in the Department of Medicine, has been named a fellow of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Womenat Drexel University College of Medicine.


“Dr. Gravallese is a leader in the field of rheumatology, a caring clinician, a committed teacher and an internationally known researcher,” said Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor in Medicine, dean of the School of Medicine and provost and executive deputy chancellor for UMMS. “It is only natural that she be picked for this prestigious program. Along with Chancellor Collins and the administrative leadership of UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center, I am pleased to congratulate her and support her as she begins this exciting fellowship.”

Gravallese, an esteemed clinician and basic scientist, is devoted to caring for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and studying the mechanisms by which inflammation in the soft tissue lining joints leads to joint cartilage and bone destruction. She is internationally known for major discoveries in the area of bone research and the pathogenesis of joint destruction as a result of rheumatoid arthritis. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation, among others. She received her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and did her residency and fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Gravallese came to UMMS from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she was a member of the Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Gravallese will be a member of the 18th incoming class for ELAM, the only program in the United States dedicated to preparing senior women faculty for positions of leadership at academic health centers, where they can ultimately help academic health organizations become more inclusive of different perspectives and responsive to societal needs and expectations.

“We are extremely excited to see the impact these women will have on their institutions as they work through the ELAM curriculum and develop their action projects,” said Diane Magrane, MD, director of Drexel’s International Center for Executive Leadership in Academics, which hosts the ELAM program. “The projects the fellows conduct not only help them understand the challenges facing academic health centers and the skills a leader must possess to address these challenges, but also often result in concrete changes at their institutions.”

The work for this incoming class begins in May with online assignments and community building activities that continue through the end of the program in April 2013. Fellows begin the first of three week-long, in-residence sessions when they meet for the first time at the ACE Conference Center in Lafayette Hill, Pa., in September.

UMMS faculty continue to have a remarkable experience and track record with this prestigious program: Gravallese will join “Elums” Jean King, PhD, professor of psychology; Julia D. Andrieni, MD, the Joy McCann Professor for Women in Medicine, professor and vice chair of medicine and chief of the division of general internal medicine; Katherine Luzuriaga, MD, professor of pediatrics and medicine, chief of the division of pediatric immunology, infectious diseases and rheumatology, and associate provost for Global Health; Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and associate dean for clinical & translational research; Deborah M. DeMarco, MD, professor of medicine andassociate dean for graduate medical education; and Michele P. Pugnaire, MD, professor of medicine and senior associate dean for medical education. Julia V. Johnson, MD, professor and chair of obstetrics & gynecology, served as a fellow while at the University of Vermont; and Luanne E. Thorndyke, MD, vice provost for faculty affairs, was an ELAM fellow while at Penn State College of Medicine.

Related links on UMassMedNow:
Jean King named latest ELAM fellow
ELAM Fellows become 'Elums' and handoff to incoming class
Two at UMMS selected for executive leadership in academic medicine fellowship