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Deputy Deans of Scientific and Faculty Affairs Appointed

June 29, 2017
by Jill Max

The School of Medicine announced the appointment of Linda K. Bockenstedt, MD, as deputy dean for faculty affairs, Brian R. Smith, MD, as deputy dean for scientific affairs (clinical departments), and Michael C. Crair, PhD, as deputy dean for scientific affairs (basic science departments), effective July 1, 2017.

They late Carolyn W. Slayman, PhD, was the school’s first deputy dean for academic and scientific affairs from 1995 until she passed away in December. Her responsibilities have been divided among among three deputy deanships due to the tremendous growth of clinical and basic science faculty and the increasing complexity of almost every aspect of academic medicine and research.

“Brian, Mike, and Linda will work closely as a team, while at the same time drawing upon their unique expertise to ensure that faculty receive the support they need to succeed and thrive,” Robert J. Alpern, dean and Ensign Professor of Medicine, wrote in an e-mail announcement to faculty. “I am confident that they will continue Carolyn’s legacy admirably as they implement their collective vision on how to best support faculty.”

Bockenstedt is the Harold W. Jockers Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) and associate dean for faculty development. Prior to her appointment as associate dean in 2014, she was named director for professional development & equity, a newly created position in 2006. She obtained her medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, was chief resident at Yale New Haven Hospital, and did a postdoctoral fellowship in rheumatology at the University of California, San Francisco. She is internationally recognized for her research on the host immune response to tick-borne spirochetal infections and is co-chair of the Tri-Societies' (American College of Rheumatology, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and American Academy of Neurology) effort to update guidelines for the treatment of Lyme disease. Her current research, supported by the NIH Human Immunology Project Consortium program, employs a systems biology approach to understand the diverse clinical manifestations of Lyme disease and uses molecular profiling to identify host factors that determine outcome from infection. Bockenstedt is a Fellow member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an elected member of the Kunkel Society and the Interurban Clinical Club. In her capacity as associate dean, she worked closely with Slayman on faculty affairs and has already ably taken on many of her responsibilities in that domain over the last several months.

Smith is professor of laboratory medicine, of biomedical engineering, of medicine (hematology) and of pediatrics. He is also chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and will continue in that role. He obtained his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed his residency and fellowship training at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital. He conducts bench and translational/clinical research on the interface between inflammation and coagulation, focusing on biomaterials and the pathophysiology of immunohematologic diseases, as well as cellular immunotherapeutics. Smith is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Evans Award for Outstanding Contributions to Laboratory Medicine from the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists. His more than three decades of experience as a physician-scientist have amply prepared him for his new role. Most recently, he has chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on the Clinician-Educator Track that is charged with clarifying and updating the criteria for promotion in this ladder track. He also chaired the Research Committee of the Association of Pathology Chairs, which formulated a physician-scientist pathway that was certified by the American Board of Pathology in 2014.

Crair is the William Ziegler III Professor of Neuroscience and professor of ophthalmology and visual science, deputy chair of the Department of Neuroscience, and director of graduate studies for the department. He obtained his doctoral degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and did postdoctoral training in physics and neuroscience at Kyoto University and Kyoto Prefectural Medical School and in neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco. He has developed optical imaging techniques to study neural circuit development, making fundamental contributions to our understanding of neural activity in the developing brain and demonstrating that early spontaneous activity is an essential part of normal brain development. He is currently exploring the mechanisms by which this activity is generated and how it shapes brain circuit development. Crair has been awarded numerous honors for his research and teaching, including the Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Foundation Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences and a NARSAD-Sidney R. Baer Jr. Foundation Young Investigator Award. His scientific and administrative experience as deputy chair will serve him well as he advocates for faculty in his role as deputy dean.

Submitted by John Curtis on June 29, 2017