Amy Murtha, an accomplished researcher and a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine, has been named dean of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Most recently, Murtha was a professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Services at the University of California, San Francisco. Formerly at Duke University, she was a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Pediatrics and past vice chair for research in obstetrics and gynecology. Murtha led the establishment and direction of the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s clinical research unit and raised the department’s National Institute of Health’s funding ranking from No. 57 to No. 17.

Amy Murtha
Amy Murtha, dean of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Murtha, who joins Rutgers in August, assumes the role from Robert L. Johnson, dean of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, who has served as interim dean at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School since the departure of Sherine Gabriel in 2019.

“I am honored to be offered this opportunity to lead Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and to build on its solid foundation of outstanding clinical care, excellence in research and high-quality education,” said Murtha, who is originally from New City, N.Y., and has lived in Woodbridge, N.J. “I am also looking forward to getting to know the community and returning to the East Coast.”

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.

As dean, Murtha will further Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School’s reputation as a nationally ranked, research-intensive medical school with a reputation for superior education, innovative research and scholarship and excellence in patient care.  She will continue in advancing the diversity, equity, inclusion and missions of the school and expanding research opportunities and training for students, under-represented minorities and women scientists.

“We are looking forward to Dr. Murtha joining Rutgers, where her primary goal will be to lead the education, faculty development, research, and clinical missions of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School,” said Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. “Her record of leadership, extensive scientific expertise, and enthusiasm in nurturing the careers of faculty will further our mission as a nationally recognized and leading academic health center.” 

Murtha’s research expertise will further the school’s mission to improve maternal and fetal health and well-being. Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is 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. Its advocacy prompted a New Jersey law establishing Jan. 23 of each year as Maternal Health Awareness Day, the first law of its kind nationwide. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick – the teaching hospital for the school — was recently named to Newsweek’s 2022 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals.

A skilled academic administrator, 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.

Murtha earned her medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, which is now the 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.