Kenneth Kaushansky M.D. Named Dean of School of Medicine, Sr. V.P. of Health Sciences


After a national search that began in August last year, I am very pleased to announce that Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P., the Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine at University of California, San Diego, has been selected as Dean of the School of Medicine and Senior Vice President of the Health Sciences for Stony Brook University. Ken 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. Ken succeeds Dr. Richard N. Fine, who served as School of Medicine Dean since November 2005 and announced his intent to return to practicing medicine in his specialty of Pediatric Nephrology in July last year. Dr. Craig Lehmann, who has been serving as Interim Executive Dean for Health Sciences, will now resume full time efforts in his role as Dean, School of Health Technology and Management.

As an outstanding administrator, top researcher, educator and clinician and a true leader in the world of academic medicine, 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. As the new School of Medicine Dean, Ken 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.

A native of Montreal, Canada, who's father "wanted to be an American" and moved the family to the west coast when he was age 2, Ken 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, Dr. Kaushansky was named Helen M. Ranney Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego in February 2002.

A leading hematologist, Ken has 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 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.

Ken's laboratory work has lead 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. He is a past-president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2004 - 2005), the Western Society for Clinical Investigation (1998 - 1999) and the American Society of Hematology (ASH; 2007-2008). He also served a five-year term as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Blood (1998-2002) and has served as a major reviewer for the NIH, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and many major scientific periodicals. He has been recognized for his scientific, educational and clinical contributions by election as a Master of the American College of Physicians, and to several honor societies and organizations, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Ken and his wife Lauren, an outstanding educator in her own right, hope to settle in the Three Village community; they are the proud parents of two children, Alexis (28), a post-doctoral fellow in Molecular Biology in Seattle, WA, and Joshua (25), an economist in Boston, MA.

I would like to thank the search committee for its diligence in finding the best candidates for this position. I truly believe Dr. Kaushansky will take the School of Medicine, the Medical Center and the Health Sciences to their fullest potential. I also would like to extend a special thanks Dr. Richard Fine, for taking the School of Medicine to such heights during a difficult political and fiscal environment and to Dr. Craig Lehmann for his patience and fortitude while serving in the dual role of Dean of the School of Health Technology and Management and Interim Executive Dean of the Health Sciences while this search ensued, and prior to that as well.

Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D.