UT Southwestern taps Nobel laureate as interim dean
of medical school
DALLAS - May 5, 2004 - Nobel laureate Dr. Alfred Gilman, chairman of pharmacology at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, has been named by UT Southwestern President Dr. Kern Wildenthal as interim dean of Southwestern Medical School.
Dr. Gilman's appointment becomes effective next month. He succeeds Dr. Robert Alpern, who is leaving after six years as UT Southwestern dean to become dean and chief administrative officer of the Yale University School of Medicine.
"Al has been a key campus leader for over two decades," Dr. Wildenthal said. "His knowledge of the medical center, his commitment to our multiple missions, and his insight, wisdom and loyalty to our institution are unsurpassed. I am certain that the medical school, and the medical center as a whole, will continue our upward trajectory under Al's leadership."
Dr. Wildenthal said Dr. Gilman will serve as interim dean while a committee conducts a national search for Dr. Alpern's successor. The dean of Southwestern Medical School oversees academic activities, teaching and research in all departments and centers.
"We want to do a thorough search and find a superb individual," Dr. Gilman said. "In the meantime, I'm going to do my best to take a crash-course in dean's school. I intend to keep our planning and priorities on track, including recruiting, keeping our momentum high and keeping us rolling forward until we appoint a permanent dean.
"I've had the privilege of being chair here under a succession of wonderful deans," Dr. Gilman said. "From them I have gained an appreciation for what it takes to be successful and responsive to the faculty. My predecessors have been extremely fair, visionary and ambitious for UT Southwestern as an institution. They have had an enormous work ethic and have been very accessible, which is extremely important."
Dr. Gilman will remain head of pharmacology and will continue to lead the Alliance for Cellular Signaling, a $10 million-a-year, multi-institutional research effort aimed at advancing the understanding of how cells communicate with each other. He also will continue oversight of the Cecil H. and Ida Green Comprehensive Center for Molecular, Computational and Systems Biology and will serve with other distinguished faculty members on the selection committee for the UT Southwestern Endowed Scholars Program in Medical Science, a one-of-a-kind effort to recruit and nurture promising young investigators who will make the medical breakthroughs of the future. Five endowed scholars are chosen each year from more than 1,000 applicants.
Dr. Gilman was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his work with G proteins, which serve as a crucial part of cell communication networks. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
After receiving his bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Yale University, Dr. Gilman earned an M.D. and Ph.D. in pharmacology from Case Western Reserve University. He completed his postdoctoral training in the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics at the National Institutes of Health. In 1971 Dr. Gilman began a 10-year stint in the pharmacology department at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Dr. Gilman, holder of the Raymond Willie and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Molecular Neuropharmacology, in Honor of Harold B. Crasilneck, Ph.D., joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1981.
Media Contact: Amanda Siegfried
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