Lieberman tapped to chair Keck School department

Jay Lieberman will assume leadership of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery on Sept. 1.

Jay Lieberman, an internationally recognized clinician and researcher, has been named professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, an appointment that will take effect on Sept. 1. He will also serve as orthopaedist-in-chief at the Keck Medical Center of USC, director of the USC Institute of Orthopaedics and chief of orthopaedics at the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center.

Lieberman comes to the Keck School from the University of Connecticut Health Center, where he serves as professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and director of the New England Musculoskeletal Institute. He is known as a leading authority on total joint arthroplasty and the treatment of osteonecrosis of the hip.

Lieberman succeeds Michael Patzakis, who recently retired after 21 years as chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

“Dr. Lieberman is a distinguished clinician-scientist who has a proven track record as a dynamic clinical program builder,” said Carmen A. Puliafito, dean of the Keck School. “Under his leadership, the New England Musculoskeletal Institute has garnered a national reputation for its clinical excellence in orthopaedic surgery. We also thank Dr. Patzakis for his leadership and many contributions to the success of the Keck School.”

Lieberman’s goals include expansion of the clinical enterprise, development of robust basic science and clinical research programs, and enhancement of educational opportunities for orthopaedic residents and medical students.

“I am honored by this appointment,” Lieberman said. “The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at USC has a long tradition of excellence, and I hope to build on the legacy established by Dr. Patzakis. We will not only provide superb clinical care but be on forefront of the development of new therapies and procedures that will benefit our patients.”

Among his accomplishments, Lieberman is considered a pioneer in the field of musculoskeletal gene therapy to promote bone repair. He is currently the principal investigator for a National Institutes of Health-funded RO-1 study on the use of regional gene delivery to heal critical-sized bone defects.

“Our immediate plan is to continue to enhance our understanding of the influence of growth factors on bone repair,” Lieberman said. “This knowledge will help us attain our ultimate goal, which is to move regional gene therapy from the bench to the clinic.”

The New England Musculoskeletal Institute includes a Comprehensive Spine Center, an Osteoporosis Center and the Division of Rheumatology. As director, Lieberman presided over a dramatic increase in the size of the institute’s faculty and led the development of new clinical programs in joint preservation and replacement and sports medicine. He also oversaw the opening of two satellite offices and a third now in development.

“We are excited to have been able to recruit such a dynamic clinical leader to the Keck Medical Center,” said Thomas Jackiewicz, senior vice president and CEO for USC Health. “We look forward to working with Jay and the Department of Orthopaedics as we expand the scope and reach of our programs for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, including the future development of a USC Institute of Sports Medicine.”

At the University of Connecticut Health Center, Lieberman also serves as chief of the Orthopaedic Surgery Service at John Dempsey Hospital and as an adjunct professor of biomedical engineering.

“The Department of Athletics is delighted with the appointment of Dr. Jay Lieberman to such an important post,” said USC Athletic Director Pat Haden. “We look forward to working with him as we strive to make USC a world leader in sports medicine.”

A graduate of the Horace Mann School, Cornell University and Albany Medical College, Lieberman completed a residency in orthopaedic surgery at the Albany Medical Center Hospital and a fellowship in hip surgery and total joint arthroplasty at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Connecticut, he served as professor of orthopaedic surgery and director of resident education for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles.

He is an author or co-author of more than 175 peer-reviewed papers and abstracts, as well as approximately 80 review articles and book chapters. In addition, he serves as a consultant reviewer for numerous publications, such as the New England Journal of Medicine and The Journal of Bone Joint Surgery, and serves on the editorial board of several prominent orthopaedic journals including the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) and The Journal of Arthroplasty. He is also deputy editor for adult hip and knee reconstruction for JAAOS.

Lieberman has received numerous awards for his work, including the Frank Stinchfield Award from The Hip Society and the prestigious ABC Traveling Fellowship, a program of the American Orthopaedic Association. The Orthopaedic Research Society named Lieberman winner of the Marshall R. Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research in 2011. In February, he received the Elizabeth Winston Lanier Kappa Delta Research Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in recognition of his development of regional gene therapy to enhance bone repair.

Lieberman was recently elected third vice president of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and will assume the role of president in 2015. He is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a member of The Hip Society and The Knee Society.

A native of New York City, Lieberman is married to Laura Meyers Lieberman, and the couple has three children: Danielle, Sam and Jordan.