Renowned Scientist Takes Charge of Women's Health at Danbury Hospital
Renowned physician scientist Shohreh Shahabi, MD, has been appointed chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Danbury Hospital in a move that strengthens the organization’s position as a regional resource for women’s health care.
As part of her duties, Dr. Shahabi will continue her groundbreaking cancer research and plans to establish the hospital’s first Reproductive Tumor Biology Research Laboratory.
“Dr. Shahabi’s appointment builds upon Danbury Hospital’s efforts to enhance its comprehensive range of women’s health services,” said Frank Kelly, president and chief executive officer of Danbury Hospital. “We are committed to delivering the highest level of clinical care to women and their families throughout the region.”
A clinician with a clear vision
John Murphy, MD, executive vice president and chief executive officer designee at Danbury Hospital, said Dr. Shahabi is an important addition to the hospital team.
“She is a superb clinician with a clear and compelling vision for her department,” he said. “In addition to her clinical reputation as an outstanding gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Shahabi has a strong interest in the field of women’s cancer. She brings with her a strong commitment to translational research as well as a sophisticated team with a proven track record of scientific discovery in tumor immunology.”
A surgeon specializing in gynecologic oncology, Dr. Shahabi said she looks forward to expanding her scope of practice to include the full gamut of women’s health services. “Our goal is to offer the finest evidence-based care from labor and delivery to gynecological and oncological care to wellness and screening programs,” she said.
Wealth of experiences benefits hospital and community
A noted surgeon, researcher, teacher and author, Dr. Shahabi brings a broad range of experiences to her new post. Before joining Danbury Hospital, Dr. Shahabi was director of gynecologic oncology and head of the Gynecologic Oncology Research Laboratory, Moses Division at Montefiore Medical Center, which is part of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Dr. Shahabi’s research led to the discovery of beta V tubulin as a marker of resistance to taxol in human ovarian cells. She established the first translational laboratory in ovarian cancer at Montefiore Medical Center to bring research results to the bedside as quickly and safely as possible. She is the mentorship recipient for the prestigious Max-Kade fellowship.
She is the primary investigator or co-investigator in multiple ongoing research projects at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The author and co-author of numerous publications, Dr. Shahabi’s latest book Fast Facts in Gynecologic Oncology is in press.
Hospital’s emphasis on clinical excellence a plus
Dr. Shahabi admits she wasn’t familiar with Danbury Hospital when approached about the possibility of joining the institution. But that soon changed.
“I was impressed with Danbury Hospital’s primary goal of providing high quality care. That’s the major concern of any good physician,” she said. The hospital’s dedication to research was another bonus. “This makes Danbury Hospital completely different from any other community hospital. It’s a great working environment for a physician.”
Danbury Hospital’s commitment to women and their families has been recognized by HealthGrades, which ranked the hospital among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation for women’s health. About 2,500 babies are born at Danbury Hospital each year. The hospital is also part of the Spirit of Women Health Network that provides health and wellness programs to help women and their families put health into action.
Getting down to business
Known for her collaborative approach, Dr. Shahabi’s many goals include instituting a robotic gynecological surgery program, establishing a strong residency program in obstetrics and gynecology, and creating a comprehensive network of specialists and sub-specialists in women’s health. She also wants to establish a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery. “I’m going to be busy,” she said.
Plans to establish a Reproductive Tumor Biology Research Laboratory to conduct translational research will greatly benefit area residents who will have direct access to evidenced-based care. “We will develop the protocols and mechanisms necessary to bring clinical research findings to patients at the bedside,” she said.
Industrious career spans many countries
Dr. Shahabi earned a medical degree and completed a five-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology from the Universite Libre De Bruxelles in Belgium. She received university diplomas in breast diseases, maternal fetal medicine, and ultrasound applied in obstetrics, gynecology and breast diseases from the University of Paris V, Rene Descartes, Paris, France.
In the United States, Dr. Shahabi did her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Yale New Haven Hospital and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the hCG Research Laboratory at the Yale School of Medicine. She was a fellow in gynecologic oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Montefiore Medical Center.
A passion for medicine at an early age
A native of Iran who moved to France at a young age, Dr. Shahabi comes from a long line of highly educated professionals fascinated with learning. Among her role models was her father’s uncle who studied under Madam Marie Curie, the world-renowned physicist, chemist and pioneer in the field of radioactivity.
“I knew I wanted to be a doctor from a young age,” said Dr. Shahabi. “But to be a good doctor, I realized that I needed to focus on prevention and early detection to consistently provide the best possible care. That’s the value of research.”
Now her passion for research has led to Connecticut. “I plan to continue Danbury Hospital’s tradition of excellence,” she said.
About Danbury Hospital
Danbury Hospital is a 371-bed regional medical center and university teaching hospital associated with New York Medical College, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Connecticut School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. The hospital provides centers of excellence in cardiovascular services, cancer, weight loss surgery, orthopedics, digestive disorders and radiology. It also offers specialized programs for sleep disorders and asthma management. Medical staff members are board certified in their specialties.
In the area of cardiac care, Danbury Hospital is ranked number one in Connecticut for cardiac surgery and in the top 5 percent nationally for overall cardiac care by HealthGrades®. This is the second consecutive year for the national award.
Danbury Hospital is nationally ranked in the Top 5 percent in the Nation for Women’s Health and a recipient of the 2009/2010 Women’s Health Excellence Award for providing services to women and is in the Top 5 percent of hospitals in the country for overall clinical performance by HealthGrades®, a leading independent health care rating organization. It is the only health care facility in Connecticut ranked among the Top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for overall clinical performance five years in a row. For more information or to find a physician, visit DanburyHospital.org or call toll free 1-800-516-3658.