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Kenneth Kaushansky Appointed School of Medicine Dean

KaushanskyAfter a national search, Kenneth Kaushansky, the Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine at University of California, San Diego, has been appointed as Dean of the School of Medicine and Senior Vice President of the Health Sciences for Stony Brook University. Kaushansky joins Stony Brook in July, and will oversee the education, clinical, and research components of the School of Medicine and the Health Sciences, which include the School of Dental Medicine, School of Health Technology and Management, School of Nursing, and the School of Social Welfare. He will also have some oversight responsibility for Stony Brook University Medical Center and full oversight of the Long Island State Veterans Home.

Succeeding Richard N. Fine, who served as Dean since November 2005 and announced his intent to return to practicing medicine in his specialty of pediatric nephrology in July 2009, Kaushansky joins a program poised for growth. With 25 academic departments, 21 residency training programs, and 27 fellowship training programs, and as part of the only academic medical center on Long Island, the School is on a consistent trajectory of increasing enrollment as part of its goal to help meet a growing need for physicians nationwide with 124 men and women enrolled in the class of 2012—the largest incoming class ever. The School is also home to a $4 million, 6,000-square-foot Clinical Skills Center, a state-of-the-art training center where medical students evaluate and diagnose patients through teaching modules that incorporate the use of actor patients, and computerized mannequins that simulate disease.

Kaushansky earned his B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed his internal medicine internship, residency and chief medical residency, and fellowship in hematology at the University of Washington. He joined the faculty at the University of Washington as an assistant professor in 1987, was promoted to associate professor in 1991, and to professor in 1995. Following his service as Hematology Section Chief at the University of Washington Medical Center, Kaushansky was named Helen M. Ranney Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego in February 2002.

A leading hematologist, Kaushansky had conducted seminal research on the molecular biology of blood cell production. His team has cloned several of the genes important in the growth and differentiation of blood cells, including thrombopoietin, a key regulator of stem cell and platelet production. He is an accomplished clinician, and he has been a champion of the need to train more physician-scientists who can bridge the gap between the laboratory and the clinical arena, translating research discoveries into improved treatments and technologies for the prevention, diagnosis, and management of disease.

“We are very pleased that we are able to bring one of the leaders in academic medicine to Stony Brook,” said University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “As an administrator, researcher, educator, and clinician, Ken will bridge many specialties as we move toward fulfilling our mission to strengthen existing relationships and forge new ones with researchers on our campuses, at Brookhaven National Lab, and at Cold Spring Harbor Lab.”

Kaushansky’s laboratory work has led to several significant discoveries for which he received the Dameshek Award from the American Society of Hematology, awarded annually to the scientist who has provided the most seminal insight into the pathophysiology of hematological disorders, and the Outstanding Investigator Award from the American Society for Medical Research, the most prestigious award of the Society. Kaushansky is a past-president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Western Society for Clinical Investigation, and the American Society of Hematology. He also served a five-year term as editor-in-chief of the journal Blood and has served as a major reviewer for the NIH, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and many major scientific periodicals.

“I am absolutely thrilled to join Stony Brook Health Sciences and the University community at large,” said Kaushansky. “For years I have followed the great progress made here on Long Island, and feel it’s the very right time to move the research, education, and clinical missions to a new level. The vision shown by President Stanley and Provost Kaler to help Stony Brook University join the ranks of the world-class universities is something we should all share and aspire to.”

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