Office of Chief Medical Examiner311Search all websites

Chief Medical Examiner

Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson

Barbara Sampson, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Barbara Sampson was appointed the Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York in December 2014. In this role, she oversees investigations into deaths in New York City, and the operation of the largest DNA laboratory in the nation. She is the first woman appointed to lead the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).

Dr. Sampson brings years of experience to her new role at OCME. Prior to her appointment as Chief, she served as the Acting Chief Medical Examiner following the retirement of long-time Chief Dr. Charles Hirsch in 2013. She has also served as First Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Senior Medical Examiner, and Cardiovascular Pathology Consultant, among other positions since 1998, when she joined the agency as a Fellow in Forensic Pathology.    

A well-known expert in the field of forensic pathology, Dr. Sampson has published widely on forensic pathology and microbiology, including 29 articles and 4 book chapters, and serves as an Associate Editor of the journal Cardiovascular Pathology. She holds Board Certification in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology as well as Forensic Pathology, and is particularly committed to the advancement of graduate medical education at a national level.

Dr. Sampson has extensive experience in research, and she is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Young Investigator Award from the Society of Cardiovascular Pathology and the E.R. Squibb and Sons Senior Thesis Prize for Contribution to Scientific Research, among others. She serves as President of the Society of Cardiovascular Pathology, and as a member of the National Association of Medical Examiners, the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

A native of New York City, Dr. Sampson earned her Bachelor's degree at Princeton and obtained a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at Rockefeller University. She earned her degree in medicine at Cornell University Medical College, followed by a residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.