Dr. Rita Ryan grew up in New York City and received her undergraduate degree in Mathematical Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She received her medical degree from SUNY-Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, and stayed there for her Pediatrics residency. She then did her Neonatology Fellowship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital / University of Cincinnati where her research mentor was Dr. Jeffrey Whitsett, a premier lung molecular biologist. Rita was on the faculty at the University of Rochester for 11 years and then become Chief of the Division of Neonatology at University at Buffalo in 2000.
In 2011, Dr. Ryan came to the Medical University of South Carolina to be the Chair of Pediatrics. After five years, Dr. Ryan became an integral member of the MUSC Division of Neonatology, including performing clinical service in the NICU, training fellows and continuing her research in the area of neonatal lung biology. She has had a long-standing interest in the effects of hyperoxia for many years. Her disease of interest is bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).
Dr. Ryan recently completed a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant titled “Prematurity and Respiratory Outcomes Program,” or PROP, as principal investigator, and was also recently invited to speak at an NIH National Institute of Child Health and Human Development workshop on BPD, and at NeoPREP, the American Academy board review course for neonatologists.
Dr. Ryan has published over 100 scientific papers. She is currently a member of the Pediatric Academic Societies Program Committee, and now boasts 30 years of clinical experience as a neonatal intensive care physician, or neonatologist. Her clinical interests include care of the preterm infant, neonatal lung disease, and genetic abnormalities.