LifeBridge Health Announces First Chief Scientific Officer

JenniferBerkley

Jennifer Berkeley, MD, PhD, has been named the first chief scientific officer for LifeBridge Health where she will also serve as assistant dean for research for the newly launched Regional Medical Campus (RMC) with the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine at Health Sciences (SMHS), which is based at LifeBridge Health’s Sinai Hospital.

As chief scientific officer, Berkeley, a neurologist and vice chair of neurology at Sinai Hospital, will play a vital role in identifying and fostering research initiatives within the organization, as well as engaging with medical faculty to become active investigators. This strategic appointment further aligns with the health system’s commitment to advances in medical science and enhancing community engagement. 

“Jennifer Berkeley brings extensive clinical and academic expertise and experience to this new role, and we are thrilled to have her leading us into this next frontier of medical research at LifeBridge Health,” says Matthew Poffenroth, MD, chief physician executive and senior vice president, LifeBridge Health, and president, LifeBridge Health Medical Group. 

He adds, “Dr. Berkeley will provide leadership and support for the growth of research endeavors at LifeBridge Health, including working with both internal and external stakeholders to identify research opportunities. She will also work to translate research results into operational practice to advance care at LifeBridge Health facilities.”

A key part of the chief scientific officer role will also be mentorship and education, including developing curriculum for residents and medical students to support scholarly activity during their training. Berkeley will also work to create a culture of scientific rigor and excellence. 

“As the organization’s first chief scientific officer, I am excited to build on LifeBridge Health’s already strong foundation of medical research and identify new areas for exploration. We seek to create an enhanced culture of innovation and collaboration, and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues, residents, and students to advance research excellence,” says Berkeley. 

In her role as the assistant dean of research with the RMC, Berkeley will serve as a liaison between the LifeBridge Health research community and the GW RMC learners. Eleven third-year medical students launched the RMC this summer, a partnership between the medical school and the health system to provide third- and fourth-year medical school training at the community-focused health system in Maryland. The students come to LifeBridge Health after doing their first two years of coursework at GW’s Foggy Bottom campus in Washington, D.C. 

“Research understanding and education are core components of training for medical students, as we need our future doctors to stay on top of medical research findings in order to provide the best treatment for their patients. We are thrilled that Dr. Berkeley will be providing that support to our students at the Regional Medical Campus,” says Ray Lucas, MD, interim senior associate dead for the GW Regional Medical Campus. Lucas is also professor of emergency medicine at the GW SMHS.

Berkeley specializes in neurocritical care. She earned her medical degree and PhD in neuroscience from Emory University. She did her internship, residency, and fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. She joined LifeBridge Health in 2009 and is currently the director of neurocritical care as well as vice chair of neurology, which includes oversight of inpatient education for residents and medical students. She has served on both the governing and clinical advisory boards of the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland.
 

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