Francisco González-Scarano, M.D., new dean of the School of Medicine

Joins faculty of UT Health Science Center at San Antonio on Aug. 1

SAN ANTONIO (April 13, 2010) — A nationally recognized neurologist has been named the new dean of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, announced April 12 that Francisco González-Scarano, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, will join the Health Science Center as dean on Aug. 1.

Dr. González was selected from more than 60 highly qualified candidates throughout the nation by the search committee, led by Kenneth L. Kalkwarf, D.D.S., M.S., dean of the Health Science Center Dental School.

“The committee determined that Dr. González’s experience, communication skills, creativity and energy are a superb match with the skills required for success in this position,” Dr. Henrich said. “Dr. González is an accomplished administrator, clinician, researcher and educator. I am confident that he will be an outstanding leader for our Health Science Center at this critical juncture in our history.”

“I am honored and excited about the opportunity to be the leader of this great medical school and to follow in the footsteps of Dr. William Henrich, former dean who is now the president, and Dr. Glenn Halff, who has done a tremendous job as interim dean,” Dr. González said. “I am enthusiastic to be moving to San Antonio, a city of great charm. I fell in love with the city and the school from the moment of my interview. I look forward to joining one of the greatest medical centers in the state and the country.”

Dr. González, a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania since 1982, has served as chair of neurology for 10 years. He led the department to a national top 10 ranking in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has significant experience in improving delivery of care in a large health care system, as well as experience in strategic and financial planning.

“I particularly am excited about expanding the neurosciences at UT Medicine San Antonio, the academic medical practice of the School of Medicine, with all the changes taking place at the practice’s new building, the Medical Arts and Research Center,” Dr. González said.

Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Dr. González majored in economics at Yale University and earned his medical degree at the Northwestern University School of Medicine. He completed an internship in medicine and a residency in neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He was a fellow in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania and at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, England.

Dr. González is currently funded by the NIH for his work on the neurotropism of viruses such as HIV and La Crosse, and he is the author of more than 160 original papers, chapters and reviews in the area of central nervous system inflammation, encephalitis and HIV/AIDS. He has received the highest accolades for his work, including service to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Council. He also is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.

Dr. González will be joined at the Health Science Center by his wife, Barbara J. Turner, M.D., M.S.Ed., who is a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and serves as executive deputy editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Dr. Turner has a national reputation as a leader in health services research on HIV/AIDS, cancer prevention, cardiovascular disease prevention and substance abuse.

She has served as president of the Society of General Internal Medicine and regent of the American College of Physicians. She is active as a consultant on several NIH and other federal initiatives. Dr. Turner will develop a coordinated program in health services research at the Health Science Center in collaboration with many investigators on campus.

Dr. Henrich said, “On behalf of our entire institution, I want to express our collective appreciation to Dr. Kalkwarf and to each member of the search committee who dedicated time to review and recommend outstanding candidates for this important position of dean. Furthermore, many other leaders from our hospital partners and the San Antonio community were active and interested participants in meeting the outstanding candidates.

“My deepest appreciation goes to Glenn Halff, M.D., for his leadership and dedicated service as interim dean of the School of Medicine during this transition period,” Dr. Henrich said, adding, “Dr. Halff has done a stellar job to advance the School of Medicine.”

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 2 percent of all U.S. institutions receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced 27,000 graduates. The $753 million operating budget supports six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,”

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