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June 2005 Issue

David Stern, MD, was appointed dean of the College of Medicine on Aug. 1, 2005.
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College of Medicine Names New Dean

Published June 2005

The appointment of David M. Stern, MD, as dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and Christian R. Holmes Professor of Medicine, has been approved by the university's board of trustees.

Dr. Stern, whose appointment becomes effective Aug. 1, joins UC from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, where he has served as dean of medicine and professor of medicine, physiology and graduate studies since April 2002.

"David Stern is a proven leader in academic medicine," said Jane Henney, MD, senior vice president and provost of health affairs for the Academic Health Center.

"He has a strong track record in research and building superb interdisciplinary programs," Dr. Henney said. "Additionally, he's an exceptional physician-scientist with numerous research accomplishments. The University of Cincinnati is very fortunate to attract someone of his caliber. I think this is recognition of the work that has gone on here for years and the direction our faculty and staff have taken us."

In addition to being dean, Dr. Stern will have a primary faculty appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine and a secondary appointment in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology.

Cincinnati," Dr. Stern said. "This is a wonderful time for the Academic Health Center. There are terrific opportunities for the future. Some of the best opportunities will come from exploiting the synergies between the college, UC Physicians and the Health Alliance to provide added-value services not available elsewhere in the region. I hope to be a focal point for such interactions in moving the college and the health center forward.

"From the standpoint of investigation," Dr. Stern continued, "the combination of new and renovated laboratory space, excellent core facilities and opportunities for collaboration across the whole campus provides an ideal platform for propelling the research mission forward. Additionally, I am especially impressed with the goals outlined in the university's ambitious UC21 plan. This will be essential as interdisciplinary research initiatives with translational and clinical, as well as basic, research themes are emphasized. By working together, I believe we can move the College of Medicine up the ranks of academic medical centers for the benefit of the many communities we serve--our students, patients, alumni, friends, the Greater Cincinnati area and the region. I'm excited to be a part of this."

Dr. Stern is a 1973 graduate of Yale University and received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1978. He spent most of the next 24 years at the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University in New York, where he completed an internal medicine residency and a fellowship in hematology.

Beginning in 1985, he spent two years at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City before returning to Columbia as an associate professor in the physiology and cellular biophysics department. He established a laboratory that would grow into Columbia's Center for Vascular and Lung Pathobiology. He also became the Gerald and Janet Carrus Professor of Surgical Sciences and professor of physiology and cellular biophysics and directed Columbia's Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Center on the Vascular Complications of Diabetes.

Dr. Stern's research focuses on mechanisms of vascular dysfunction related to diabetes, ischemia and Alzheimer's disease.

One highlight of Dr. Stern's career was the discovery in 1990 of a receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE), a new member of the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell surface molecules.

Dr. Stern first identified RAGE as a binding receptor for sugar-modified proteins that accumulate in the blood vessels of people with diabetes. Later, in 1996, he identified that RAGE also binds with an Alzheimer's-implicated protein fragment called amyloid-b peptide.

By showing that RAGE has a role in enabling the destructive accumulation of plaque inside the brain and blood vessels, the research provides evidence of a possible new treatment pathway for Alzheimer's. Blocking RAGE can help avoid the buildup and even help eliminate accumulation--at least early in the disease process in animal models.

Dr. Stern is board certified in internal medicine and has published more than 300 medical and scientific papers, invited articles and book chapters. He also holds 12 U.S. patents.

An accomplished clarinetist, Dr. Stern is a native of Great Neck, N.Y., a suburb of New York City. He is married to ophthalmologist Kathleen Shirley Stern, MD. They have two adult sons.

Dr. Stern's selection is the culmination of a national search chaired by former College of Medicine Dean John Hutton, MD. Dr. Stern replaces William J. Martin II, MD, who stepped down in August 2004. Ronald Sacher, MD, has served as interim dean since that time.

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