• Press Release

New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner Joins Mount Sinai Pathology Department

Barbara Sampson, MD, PhD, brings vast leadership experience in pathology and management

  • New York, NY
  • (December 08, 2021)

New York City’s former Chief Medical Examiner, Barbara Sampson, MD, PhD, has joined the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as Vice Chair for Laboratory Strategic Initiatives and Academic Affairs, and Professor of Pathology, Molecular, and Cell-Based Medicine.

Dr. Sampson was the first woman appointed Chief Medical Examiner of New York City and served at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) for more than 20 years in various leadership roles, from the 2001 World Trade Center disaster through the onset of the pandemic and the city’s ongoing recovery. Dr. Sampson also led independent investigations within the OCME serving the public health, criminal justice system and helping New Yorkers cope with the most difficult moments of trauma and loss.

Dr. Sampson’s signature achievements as Chief Medical Examiner include overseeing the nation’s largest mass fatality management operation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, growing and diversifying the next generation of forensic pathology leaders through the expansion of the OCME Forensic Pathology Fellows Program, leading a period of transformational change for the agency, and establishing the agency’s first Wellness Committee, a committee connecting employees with resources on mental health, physical activity, nutrition, health prevention, and resilience.  

“Serving as Chief of the most advanced medical examiner’s office in the country was my great honor,” said Dr. Sampson. “Helping families during their most difficult moments, promoting the future of this vital profession, and shaping innovations across laboratories serving public health and the criminal justice system were immensely fulfilling. I have admired the work of Mount Sinai and Carlos Cordon-Cardo, MD, PhD, in particular for the last decade. This new role will allow me to expand on my passions for the laboratory and education and to contribute to this vibrant medical community.”

Dr. Cordon-Cardo, Chair of Pathology, Molecular and Cell-Based Medicine at Icahn Mount Sinai, said, “Working with Dr. Sampson for the past several years, including educational programs for our residents and medical students, as well as collaborating in clinical studies and more recently in the COVID-19 pandemic, has been one of the most enriching academic activities in my career.” He added, “Her broad and deep knowledge of pathology and molecular biology, combined with her passion for teaching and community service, are critical for our mission of redefining pathology at the core of patient management and individualized medicine. By integrating complex biochemical, immunological, and genetic tests, pathology diagnostics provide some of the most objective measurements in clinical medicine. Our objective is to use this invaluable information to develop evidence-based treatment protocols to promote personalized strategies, optimize clinical outcomes, and provide cost-effective health care.”

Dr. Sampson has won several prestigious awards and has published more than 40 articles and seven book chapters in the fields of microbiology and cardiac pathology. She also serves on the editorial boards of two journals of pathology, the Academic Forensic Pathology and Journal of Cardiovascular Pathology, as well as on professional committees, and is particularly committed to graduate medical education at a national level. She is also a Trustee of the American Board of Pathology.

“Dr. Sampson’s experience makes her uniquely qualified to further elevate the reputation of our pathology department, one of the largest in the nation,” said Dennis S. Charney, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Icahn Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs of Mount Sinai Health System. “Her exemplary leadership for the past two decades of the largest medical examiner office in the country, with a history of leadership in forensic science and a commitment to developing the latest and most advanced techniques, makes her the perfect candidate to continue the advancement of innovative approaches in pathology at Mount Sinai.”

Dr. Sampson received her PhD in Microbiology at The Rockefeller University and her MD at Weill Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Sampson then completed her residency and cardiovascular pathology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.


About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai advances medicine and health through unrivaled education and translational research and discovery to deliver care that is the safest, highest-quality, most accessible and equitable, and the best value of any health system in the nation. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 415 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the top 20 U.S. hospitals and is top in the nation by specialty: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” among the country’s best in four out of 10 pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and No. 14 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding. Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.

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