I am so happy to announce that Dr. Dineo Khabele has accepted our offer to become the next Head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the Mitchell and Elaine Yanow Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, effective June 1, 2020. Dr. Khabele is currently Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Cancer Biology, Director of the Division of Gynecological Oncology and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. As we have come to know her during a national search, Dr. Khabele is the ideal person to take on this important position because of her outstanding career as a physician scientist, her leadership instincts and passion for women’s health.
Dr. Khabele did her undergraduate and medical school studies at Columbia University. After residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell University Medical Center, she completed a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center. After four years as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Meharry Medical College, she joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University where she spent the next nine years holding appointments in both the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Cancer Biology and served as the Director of Gynecologic Oncology Translational Research.
Dr. Khabele took her current position at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2017. Her research has focused on the pathobiology of ovarian cancer and identification of molecular targets for novel therapeutic strategies. Her laboratory uses patient-derived xenografts as well as genetically engineered and syngeneic mouse models of ovarian cancer to study genetic and epigenetic alterations in DNA damage response, inflammatory and cell death pathways. Her most recent studies have provided the basis for a clinical trial of a histone deacetylase inhibitor in combination with a PARP inhibitor for chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer. Her work has been funded by the NIH, including two current awards and a new award just being issued.
Her research has been recognized by awards and elections, including most recently election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2019. She is a member of the NIH SPORE grant review committee and currently is serving as Program Director for the Society of Reproductive Investigation and Co-Chair of the Health Disparities Committee of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons, among many other national and local committees. With an active surgical practice she was recognized with the Five Star Customer Service Award by the Vanderbilt Medical Group in 2014 and 2015. She is leading the Gynecological Oncology Service Line, Co-Leader of the Women’s Cancer Center and Co-Founder of the Hereditary Breast and Gynecological Multidisciplinary Program of the University of Kansas Cancer Center.
Dr. Khabele is a dedicated teacher and mentor and most recently started a new GYN Oncology fellowship program in Kansas. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to her community as a volunteer, including work with the local chapters of the Links, Inc. in Nashville and Kansas City.
On behalf of our search committee, I want to emphasize how thrilled we are to recruit this incredibly talented physician scientist to our leadership team and to provide new vision and energy for Obstetrics and Gynecology here at Washington University and BJC Healthcare. Please join me in welcoming Dineo and her husband James Hunter. And please allow me to take the opportunity to thank Dr. Mike Nelson for his extraordinary service and wonderful positive enthusiasm as our Interim Department Head.
David H. Perlmutter, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs
Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor
George and Carol Bauer Dean, School of Medicine