The Keck School of Medicine of USC has named Holly A. Muir, MD, as the new chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, effective Jan. 1.

Muir specializes in obstetric anesthesia, with expertise in the effects of interventions on obstetric outcome, both maternal and neonatal. She has published extensively on the management of childbirth pain and is investigating ethnic and cultural influences on pain expression. Her secondary research emphasis is on genetic and molecular aspects of pain perception. Muir recently completed studies in Ghana to demonstrate the effectiveness and acceptability of regional anesthetics in a resource-strained environment.

Muir is currently a professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke University School of Medicine, where she has been on the faculty since 1998. She is also the vice chair of clinical operations and the anesthesia medical director of perioperative services at Duke Medical Center. She has a dual appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Muir received her medical degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she also did her residency training. She then pursued subspecialty fellowship training in obstetric anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania. She returned to Halifax where she served on the faculty at Dalhousie until she was recruited to Duke, where she was appointed chief of the division of women’s anesthesia.

Muir will succeed Philip Lumb, MB, BS, MCCM, who has served as chair of the Keck School’s Department of Anesthesiology since 2001.

In a memo sent to Keck School faculty, staff and students, Lumb was praised by Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, interim dean of the Keck School, and Tom Jackiewicz, MPH, CEO of Keck Medicine of USC.

“We are indebted for his tremendous leadership of the complex services provided by the Department at all its sites, his continued commitment to faculty development and his stewardship to maintain a fiscally sound department,” they stated in the memo.