Dr Augustine M.K. Choi is the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine and provost for medical affairs of Cornell University. Prior to his appointment as dean in January 2017, he served as the Sanford I. Weill Chairman and Professor of Medicine in the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and as physician-in-chief of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
An internationally renowned physician-scientist in the field of lung disease, Dr. Choi has focused his research on understanding how diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute respiratory distress syndrome develop in response to molecular, cellular, and genetic triggers. His laboratory studies how oxidative stress and inflammation affect stress response genes and antioxidant enzymes in the lung, and it has contributed much to our understanding of the molecular regulation and function of heme oxygenase-1 and gaseous molecule carbon monoxide using a variety of in vitro and in vivo models of lung and vascular disease.
Dr. Choi’s research has advanced the study of carbon monoxide from basic biochemistry to clinical trials. He is currently examining whether inhaled carbon monoxide can be an effective therapy in diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, sepsis-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome, and pulmonary hypertension in three trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition, he is interested in genomic approaches to identify candidate genes important in the pathogenesis of lung diseases, in particular sepsis/acute respiratory distress syndrome and emphysema. His laboratory has recently focused on the role of autophagy, a normal physiological process of intracellular degradation, in acute and chronic lung diseases. Dr. Choi has launched his own company devoted to improving the treatment of patients with lung disease.
Dr. Choi has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles in publications such as Nature Immunology, Nature Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as numerous book chapters and editorials. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Choi is currently funded by multiple NIH R01 grants and has two program project grants. An innovator in all aspects of the academic mission, Dr. Choi has a longstanding commitment to training the next generation of healthcare and scientific leaders and has mentored more than 70 trainees and faculty members in an official capacity
Dr. Choi has received numerous honors and awards for his scientific achievements, including the Johns Hopkins Physician Scientist Award; the 2010 American Thoracic Society Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishment; the 2015 J. Burns Amberson Lecture, which recognizes a career of major lifetime contributions to pulmonary research; and the 2011 Ho-Am Prize in Medicine, which is awarded for outstanding contributions to the development of science and medicine and is often referred to as the Korean Nobel Prize.
Dr. Choi received his bachelor’s degree in 1980 from the University of Kentucky and his MD in 1984 from the University of Louisville. After completing his internship and residency in internal medicine at Duke and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins, he began his academic career in 1990 in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins. In 1998 he moved to an appointment at Yale, and in 2000 he became chief of the division of pulmonary, allergy and critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2007 he was appointed the Parker B. Francis Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.