ASIP Member Spotlight – Richard N. Mitchell, MD, PhD

Richard N. Mitchell, MD, PhD

Dr. Richard (Rick) Mitchell is a long-time member of the American Society for Investigative Pathology and is currently serving as President of the Society. Dr. Mitchell has been a member of the ASIP since 1991 and has served in many different capacities over the years. Dr. Mitchell served on the ASIP Education Committee for many years, and as Chair of the Education Committee from 2009-2015. As a member of the ASIP Education Committee, Dr. Mitchell served on several subcommittees, including those overseeing CME and on-line education. In 2008, Dr. Mitchell co-organized and Directed the ASIP Summer Academy on the topic of Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease: Injury, Inflammation, and Tissue Repair. Dr. Mitchell joined the ASIP Council as Chair of the ASIP Program Committee from 2016-2018, prior to his election as Vice President in 2018. From 2018-2019, Dr. Mitchell served as Vice President and Chair of the Membership Committee. From 2019-2020, Dr. Mitchell served as President-elect and Chair of the Meritorious Awards Committee. Dr. Mitchell currently serves as President of the ASIP (July 2020-June 2021). In addition to his leadership roles within the Society, Dr. Mitchell has worked with The American Journal of Pathology for many years, most recently serving as Senior Associate Editor (since January 2018). Beyond the ASIP, Dr. Mitchell has been active in the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Society of Transplantation, the International Academy of Pathology, and the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology.

Dr. Mitchell began his training at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA) where he earned a BS with Honors in Chemistry in 1975. He subsequently attended The Rockefeller University (New York, NY) where he earned a PhD in Cell Biology/Immunology in 1980 (working in the laboratory of Dr. William Bowers). Dr. Mitchell moved to the Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) where he earned an MD in 1984, and subsequently trained in internal medicine (1984-1985) at Beth Israel Hospital (Boston, MA) prior to residency training in pathology (1985-1988) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, MA), where he served as Chief Resident from 1987-1988. Upon completion of residency training, Dr. Mitchell completed a clinical fellowship in cardiac pathology (1988-1990) and a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Abul Abbas (1990-1992) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Mitchell became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at the Harvard Medical School in 1992, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2000. In 2009, Dr. Mitchell became the Lawrence J. Henderson Associate Professor of Pathology and Health Sciences and Technology, and in 2011 was promoted to become the Lawrence J. Henderson Professor of Pathology and Health Sciences and Technology. Dr. Mitchell is associated with the Graduate Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences and the Graduate Program in Human Biology and Translational Medicine, and serves as Program Director of the Health Sciences and Technology Education and Curriculum. In addition, Dr. Mitchell serves as Director of Research Career Development and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Mitchell plays major roles in education at his institution, directing several courses, participating on dissertation committees for PhD students, and directing a T32-funded training program in Vascular, Pulmonary, and Renal Injury. Dr. Mitchell has received numerous teaching awards from Harvard/MIT. In recognition of his contributions to pathology education at Harvard and across the field of pathology at-large, Dr. Mitchell received the ASIP Robbins Distinguished Educator Award in 2013.

Dr. Mitchell has committed substantial time and energy to clinical service, training of clinical fellows, participation in teaching, and direction of education programs during his career. In addition, he is a very successful researcher. His research program has been well funded and has produced >150 papers, reviews, and book chapters to date. His original research has been published in exceptional journals, including The American Journal of Pathology. Dr. Mitchell’s research has focused on cardiovascular pathology with a focus on the mechanisms of acute allograft rejection and transplant-associated arteriosclerosis. His research utilizes murine aortic and cardiac allograft models, taking advantage of mouse strains with targeted deletions of various cytokines, chemokines, or their receptors to examine the roles of selected mediators, co-stimulatory molecules, and therapeutic agents in the development of acute and chronic allograft rejection. Dr. Mitchell’s research has shown that circulating bone marrow-derived precursors contribute to allograft arteriopathy, as well as in more typical atherosclerosis and other vascular pathologies, and has also demonstrated that different cytokine milieus lead to either stenosing vascular lesions (Th1 cytokines) or to aneurysm formation (Th2 cytokines).