Dr. Amy Murtha Appointed Dean of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Dear Members of the RBHS Community:

It is my sincere pleasure to announce that Dr. Amy Murtha, an accomplished researcher and a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine, has been named Dean of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Murtha will join us on August 15 from University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she has most recently served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences.

As Dean, Dr. Murtha will further the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School’s reputation as a nationally ranked, research-intensive medical school with a reputation for high quality education, innovative research and scholarship, and excellence in patient care. She will be integral in the planning, design, and occupancy of the medical school’s new building in New Brunswick.

Dr. Murtha will bring with her a commitment to advancing the diversity, equity, and inclusion missions of the school and expanding research opportunities and training for students, under-represented minorities, and women scientists.

Her research expertise will further the school’s goal and the State’s goal to improve maternal and fetal health and wellbeing. RWJMS is already a national advocate for increasing public and professional awareness of pregnancy-related deaths, empowering women to report pregnancy-related medical issues, and increasing awareness and responsiveness among health care practitioners. 

A skilled academic administrator, Dr. Murtha has a wealth of experience in clinical management while enhancing research portfolios.  She also has a keen interest in mentoring junior faculty careers in academic medicine and has created training programs that balance basic and clinical research with a comprehensive clinical experience.

Prior to her tenure at UCSF, Dr. Murtha was a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Pediatrics, and past Vice Chair for Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology, at Duke University, where she led the establishment and direction of its Clinical and Translational Science Institute Clinical Research Unit and raised the department’s ranking in National Institute of Health funding from No. 57 to 17.

As a scholar and investigator, Dr. Murtha’s research focuses on preventing premature births and seeks to identify the best ways to diagnose and care for patients at risk for preterm birth, particularly for pregnancies complicated by the premature rupture of the fetal membranes. By understanding the causes for this condition, she hopes to determine strategies for prevention and early detection. As a clinician-scientist, she has the unique perspective of understanding the clinical implications of both basic and laboratory research.

Dr. Murtha earned her medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, which is now Drexel University College of Medicine. She completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University Medical Center, as well as a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine.

The recruitment of a nationally known figure like Dr. Murtha illustrates that RBHS continues to be a destination for impactful leaders who seek to join us in building one of the best academic health centers in the nation.  Thanks to your many contributions to our missions, our exciting and important work will continue to bear fruit for years to come.

I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Robert Johnson, who has ably guided both our medical schools since 2019 and during the difficult years of the COVID-19 pandemic. I appreciate all his efforts as interim dean of RWJMS and am glad that he will continue to serve as dean of New Jersey Medical School, which he has led for more than a decade.

I would also like to extend my thanks to the RWJMS Dean Search Committee led by Dr. Martin Blaser and applaud the diligent efforts of the members of the search committee, listed below, aided by the executive search firm, Spencer Stuart. 

I know you will join me in warmly welcoming Dr. Murtha to Rutgers.


Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH
Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences 


RWJMS Dean Search Committee

Martin Blaser, MD (Chair)
Andy Anderson, MD, MBA
Bill Arnold, MBA
Cheryl Dreyfus, PhD
Celine Gelinas, PhD
Sherry Huang, MD
Steve Libutti, MD
Nell Maloney Patel, MD
Carlos Pato, MD, PhD
Arnold Rabson, MD
Mark V. Sauer, MD
Rev. Dr. Deforest Soaries, Jr.
Carol Terregino, MD
Nancy Walworth, PhD
Patricia Whitley-Williams, MD