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The Big Green can now lay claim to a Dean Green
From research scientist to department chair to dean of Dartmouth Medical School: William Green, Ph.D., chair of microbiology and immunology at DMS since 2002, was tapped in January as dean of the Medical School. He succeeds Stephen Spielberg, M.D., Ph.D., who stepped down to focus on international health initiatives and his research on children's therapeutic advances. Spielberg, who was DMS's dean for four years, has been appointed by the nonprofit Institute for Pediatric Innovation, Inc., to lead a program focused on tailoring existing pharmaceutical products tomeet children's needs.
Right: Green decided to take on the deanship because "it just felt like the right thing to do," he says. "Having been a department chair for five and a half years gave me some preparation." Building on that foundation, he's begun meeting with key DMS, DHMC, VA, and Dartmouth College officials and is quickly learning to navigate a complex matrix—the intersection of the Medical School, Medical Center, and College. He's poised to capitalize on DMS's "unique strengths"—which he considers to include being a "right-sized" institution, where researchers and physicians can easily collaborate with each other to "go from basic science laboratory discoveries through translational research to clinical trials." He also counts among the institution's strengths the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice—formerly the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences—and its research on medical outcomes, resource allocation, and healthcare decision-making.
Size: "I think we have a lot of ...unrecognized classic strengths, despite our size," Green says. "We need to get the message out [that] this place up in the north woods really competes head-tohead with all the big places that many of us have trained at." Green trained at some pretty big places himself. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he earned his Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve and did postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins and then the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington in Seattle. He joined the faculty at Fred Hutchinson in 1979 and moved to Dartmouth in 1983.
Immune: He was the director of DMS's Immunology Program from1992 to 2002 and then took over as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. While he's dean, he plans to continue his research—looking at immune responses to retroviral diseases, including leukemia and immunodeficiency, and developing new approaches for a better smallpox vaccine. In fact, Green is one of only four medical school deans—out of 129 in the U.S.—who are not M.D.'s., according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Two of the other three also have Ph.D.'s—those at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and at Eastern Virginia Medical School—and one at East Carolina's Brody School of Medicine has an R.N.
Priorities: Green's priorities include improving the financial position of DMS, in response to the drop in federal funding for theNational Institutes ofHealth (NIH); helping to raise funds for the Koop Medical Science Complex; and finalizing DMS's application for an NIH grant that, it is hoped, will lead to the establishment of a Center for Clinical and Translational Science at Dartmouth. And, of course, medical education is also among his priorities, too. As dean he will not only oversee all the School's educational programs but will continue to teach classes himself, for medical students, undergraduates, and graduate students. At Green's request, his term as dean is not a renewable one. While he is serving, there will be an organizational review of the Medical School, as well as a search for the next dean. Dartmouth College Executive Vice President AdamKeller, former chief operating officer of DMS, has been appointed vice president of health affairs for the period of Green's deanship, to advise Green and to help with fund-raising and public relations. Green also plans to appoint a senior associate dean for clinical affairs to advise him in that arena.
Missions: "We have a lot of missions here," Green points out. "We teach.We do research. We do other forms of scholarship." But at the same time, he says, "I think a lot of the job is good communications, building consensus, [and] getting people to interact well."
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