Keck School of Medicine Names Holly A. Muir, MD, New Chair of Anesthesiology

Holly Muir

Holly Muir, chair of anesthesiology

Muir to foster academic and clinical growth through faculty programs and leveraging Department’s strengths

The Keck School of Medicine of USC has named Holly A. Muir, MD, the new chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, effective immediately. She succeeds Philip Lumb, MB, BS, MCCM, professor of anesthesiology, who served in the position since 2001. The Keck School will host a reception to welcome Muir and thank Lumb for his service on Friday, Feb. 10.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Muir to the Keck School of Medicine family,” said Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, dean of the Keck School of Medicine and director of the USC Roski Eye Institute. “Her transformative research has changed the standards of care in obstetric anesthesia, and I am confident that her leadership and expertise will be similarly transformative for the Department of Anesthesiology.”

Muir’s immediate goals for the Department of Anesthesiology include developing a faculty program to foster academic and professional growth. She also plans to enhance the department’s synergy with the medical center and university, leveraging the unique anesthesiology skill set to provide the highest quality of patient care and support a broad spectrum of research efforts.

“What most excites me about this role is the upward trajectory of the Keck School at both the clinical and academic levels,” Muir said.  “We have an excellent opportunity to continue moving forward by strategically integrating this department into current initiatives within the health system.”

Muir specializes in obstetric anesthesia, particularly in the effects of interventions on obstetric outcome, both maternal and neonatal. She has more than 30 years of experience practicing, teaching and conducting research, and is extensively published on the management of childbirth pain and is investigating ethnic and cultural influences on pain expression. She has also studied genetic and molecular aspects of pain perception.

Most recently, Muir was a professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke University School of Medicine. She was also the vice chair of clinical operations and the anesthesia medical director of perioperative services at Duke Medical Center, where she had a dual appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She began her time at Duke University in 1998 as chief of the Division of Women’s Anesthesia.

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 Dalhousie where she served on the faculty and was a residency program director until she was recruited to Duke.

As a passionate advocate for global health, Muir has completed international health missions in Africa and Haiti. Seven years ago, she organized a nurse anesthetist training program in Ghana, which has since trained 150 people. Her work in pubic health also extends to those in the immediate community outside of the health center. Muir looks forward to addressing the needs of the Los Angeles community with the best possible patient care.

By Mary Dacuma