Wharton, medical school associate dean, to oversee basic science curriculum

By LaKisha Ladson 

Dr. Keith Wharton, assistant professor of pathology and molecular biology, has been appointed associate dean for undergraduate medical education at UT Southwestern, with primary responsibility for the basic science curriculum in the medical school.

Dr. Keith Wharton

"I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to influence curriculum evaluation and development in a leadership capacity," said Dr. Wharton, who will oversee the curriculum of the first two years of medical school to help ensure that it's science-based but focused on preparing students for medical practice.

He will also work with the faculty to consider offerings in fields of growing relevance to medicine such as statistics, clinical trial design, medical economics and ethics.

"UT Southwestern's status as both a renowned biomedical research institution and a state-funded medical school uniquely positions us to impact the quality of health care in Texas and worldwide significantly," said Dr. Wharton, a pathologist who earned both a Ph.D. in molecular biology
and a medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. "The quality of our curricula is therefore of utmost importance to each of our missions."

Dr. Wharton came to UT South­western in 2000 as a W.W. Caruth Jr. Endowed Scholar in Biomedical Research. He won the Lyndon Baines Johnson Research Award in 2002 for the top research proposal in Texas from the state affiliate of the American Heart Association. His laboratory's research, also funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society, uncovered how the naked cuticle family of proteins regulates the Wnt signaling pathway — a pathway crucial in human development and disease.

Dr. Wharton directs pathology coursework and has served as director of the laboratory of molecular pathology. He has also taught and mentored medical and graduate students and residents.