James Malter, M.D.

James Malter, M.D.

  • The Senator Betty and Dr. Andy Andujar Distinguished Chairmanship of Pathology
  • Pathology

Biography

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James Malter, M.D., joined UT Southwestern Medical Center as Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology in August 2011. He holds The Senator Betty and Dr. Andy Andujar Distinguished Chair in Pathology.

After receiving his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College, Dr. Malter pursued his medical degree at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He then completed postdoctoral and residency training in pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Malter first became interested in medicine during his senior year at Dartmouth when he was involved on a thesis project at the medical school with a mentor from the Department of Biochemistry. The mentor, a physician/scientist (M.D./Ph.D.), convinced the young Malter that a career in medicine would give him the opportunity to do the science he loved – and more.

In medical school, he would learn the underpinnings of the diseases and conditions he would see in patients, and how he could approach those problems from the development of therapeutics, the investigation of disease mechanisms, or an understanding of the biology and pathology of what he was evaluating.

In 1991, he joined the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He was Medical Director of the Blood Bank and Transfusion Service and the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory for the University of Wisconsin Hospital, and served two years as Acting Chair of the Department of Pathology.

Dr. Malter was named an Investigator at the Waisman Center for Developmental Disabilities, UW Graduate School, in 2002, becoming the Cell and Molecular Neuroscience Core Director in 2003 and Associate Director for Biological Sciences in 2004.

Continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health and other agencies since 1988, Dr. Malter’s research is currently supported by multiple individual and program project grants for his scientific work in post-transcriptional gene regulation and signaling in the immune and nervous systems.

He is a member of both the American Society for Investigative Pathology and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, past Chair of several NIH review panels, and current member of the editorial boards of Journal of Experimental Medicine and Science Signaling.

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Meet Dr. Malter

Some say a pathologist is a doctor’s doctor, a primary partner in diagnosing and understanding disease.

James Malter, M.D., Chair of the Department of Pathology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and his team of 115 pathologists aspire to be just that, delivering the most accurate, well-informed analysis of tissue and body fluids possible to diagnose disease.

“It’s the best patient care we can deliver, when we bring together different doctors with different skill sets and expertise to provide the fastest, most up-to-date, and most accurate diagnosis. That’s what everybody wants, and it’s a tremendous advantage to patients,” says Dr. Malter.

"We can provide a level of expertise in pretty much every area of pathology. That’s a tremendous advantage that our patients receive behind the scenes. They may not realize it, but they’ve got a whole team of experts in their court.”

Dr. Malter oversees three areas: Clinical Pathology, which performs about 14 million laboratory tests each year for patients at UTSW Clinics, University Hospitals, Parkland Memorial Hospital, and Children’s Medical Center; Surgical Pathology, which focuses on tissue analysis for patients at these facilities; and Anatomical Pathology, which includes 15 full-time UTSW medical examiners who perform more than 4,000 autopsies each year at the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office. Dr. Malter also manages extensive blood banking and transfusion services.

“Having access to pathology services in an academic medical center is a huge advantage for our patients through the experience and knowledge our pathologists gain by reviewing tens of thousands of samples each year. The most precise diagnosis means the best treatment plan for improving quality of life,” Dr. Malter says. 

One of the fascinating areas of pathology and its contribution to clinical care is the continuous evolution and refinement of what makes up specific tissue, like a tumor, he says.

“What makes up this disease process? How are proteins and genes expressed? The deeper we go into these complexities, the more we’re able to discern the differences that exist in individual patients, to understand what will happen to the patient, and whether environmental or hereditary issues are affecting the disease,” Dr. Malter says. “These things all have repercussions on the ultimate outcome, which is to facilitate patient care and provide the highest level of care we can. That’s our goal. That’s what we try to do here.”

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Education & Training
  • Residency - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1983-1988), Pathology/lab Medicine
  • Medical School - Washington University School of Medicine (1979-1983)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Society for Investigative Pathology
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • American Association of Blood Banks
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
Honors & Awards
  • Rufus Choate Scholar 1978, Biochemistry - Dartmouth College
  • NIH 1986, National Research Service Award
  • Outstanding Young Investigator 1987, Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians & Scientists
  • Nominee 1993, Romnes Fellow, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • Member 1998, American Society for Clinical Investigation
Books & Publications

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