Jonathan A. Epstein, MD

William Wikoff Smith Professor
Interim Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System
& Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine

Jonathan A. Epstein, MD

Jonathan Epstein, MD, serves as Interim Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and Dean of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine. Together these two entities make up Penn Medicine, an $11.9B enterprise dedicated to excellence in the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and patient care.

Founded in 1765 as the Colonies’ first medical school, the Perelman School of Medicine is now home to over 3,100 full-time faculty members and more than 4,500 students, trainees, residents, and fellows. The School receives over $1 billion in total sponsored research. The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes multiple nationally ranked hospitals, a clinical network that includes a faculty practice plan, advanced medicine, primary care, home care, hospice, nursing homes, and multispecialty satellite facilities.

Dr. Epstein's journey is one of unwavering commitment to academic and medical advancement. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, he completed his residency and fellowship in Medicine and Cardiology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital before joining the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. Since then, he has both advanced his own research and held various leadership positions, serving as a crucial steward in the growth of Penn Medicine’s research enterprise into the powerhouse of discovery it is today.

As the William Wikoff Smith Professor and, most recently, as the Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Epstein has played a pivotal role in shaping the Penn Medicine’s trajectory as a national and international leader in discovery science and clinical research. He has also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for the health system since February 2021. From 2006 to 2015, he served as chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and Scientific Director of the Penn Cardiovascular Institute. He played an instrumental role as a founding co-director of the Penn Institute for Regenerative Medicine in 2007.

Under Dr. Epstein's guidance, Penn Medicine has flourished as a hub of innovation and excellence in medical research. His contributions have earned him numerous accolades, including the Sir William Osler Young Investigator Award, the Outstanding Investigator Award from the American Federation for Medical Research, and the American College of Physicians Harriet P. Dustan Award for Science as Related to Medicine.

In the broader academic medical ecosystem, Dr. Epstein has served as a respected member of distinguished organizations, including the Philadelphia College of Physicians, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association of Physicians, and the National Academy of Medicine. He also served as President of both the Interurban Clinical Club and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Epstein has directed a highly impactful research program throughout his 27-year tenure at Penn and he is widely recognized for contributions to the understanding of congenital heart disease, heart failure, stem cell biology and epigenetics. His most recent advances involve utilizing modified mRNA delivered with targeted lipid nanoparticles to engineer immune cells within the body to fight heart disease, cancer and other disorders.