PITTSBURGH, Jan. 21, 2015 – The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC are proud to announce the appointment of Robert P. Edwards, MD, as chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Dr. Edwards is succeeding W. Allen Hogge, MD, who retired at the end of December 2014 after 22 years of distinguished service.

Dr. Edwards received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed an internship in surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. He also completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, and two postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Alabama; one in immunology and microbiology, and another in gynecologic oncology.

His first independent appointment was in 1993 as an assistant professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh with a secondary appointment in the UPMC Department of Surgery. In 2000, Dr. Edwards was promoted to associate professor. From 1993 through 2001, he was director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Magee, and he was a clinical investigator in the Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI). Starting in 2002, Dr. Edwards spent three years at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, and Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health. In 2005, Dr. Edwards returned to Pitt as vice chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, a senior investigator in MWRI, and director of Gynecologic Oncology Research and Outreach at Magee. In 2008, tenure was conferred, and he was appointed full professor. In 2010, Dr. Edwards was appointed executive vice chair of Gynecologic Services and co-director of the Ovarian Cancer Center of Excellence at Magee.

Dr. Edwards is a member of several professional and scientific societies, including the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Clinical Oncology, the International Gynecologic Cancer Society, and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists. He also is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Surgeons.

He has received various awards and honors throughout his career including two National Faculty Awards from the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Edwards also has authored or co-authored 177 peer-reviewed research reports published in obstetrics and oncology literature, as well as PLOS ONE, Human Genetics, Nature Genetics, and The New England Journal of Medicine, and he is a member of the editorial board of Gynecology. His prominence is reflected in frequent invitations to lecture in such venues as the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, as well as annual meetings of the Society of Surgical Oncology and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists.

Dr. Edwards’ research is very well supported and has been since the inception of his independent academic career. Currently, he is co-principal investigator of an ovarian cancer NIH SPORE grant, and he is co-investigator on grants from the United States Army and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.

Dr. Edwards’ research focuses on the diagnosis, pathogenesis, and management of gynecologic cancers. He investigates therapies for cervical and ovarian cancer, combining biologic and immunologic strategies. Clinical trials that he designed and implemented include studies on intraperitoneal interleukin-2 therapy for ovarian cancer, and he was involved in early trials of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. In his current work, Dr. Edwards is investigating vaccines to treat ovarian cancer, and he is studying the impact of cytoxin on T regulatory cell populations, which are associated with the induction of vaccine responses in ovarian cancer patients. In collaboration with the radiation oncology group, he has also worked to advance radiotherapeutic treatments for vulvar and cervical cancers. In addition to his own research, Dr. Edwards will be a member of the MWRI Board, while Yoel Sadovsky, MD, continues to serve as vice chair of the Department for Research, MWRI’s executive director, and associate dean for Women’s Health and Reproductive Sciences Research.

In addition to his clinical and research activities, Dr. Edwards is a committed teacher and mentor for University of Pittsburgh medical students, residents, and fellows. He is a member of many internal committees at UPMC and Magee. He also has been an ad hoc member of the Ovarian Cancer Research Program Integrated Panel NIH study section and a member of various advisory boards, as well as industry working groups.