Dean Tolar Announces Leadership Updates

I have several important leadership updates to share. I am pleased to announce Timothy Schacker, MD, as the Medical School’s Vice Dean for Research. Dr. Schacker will be a key partner in developing and implementing strategies aimed at achieving our goals of increased NIH ranking, expanding clinical and translational research, growing our research portfolio in focused areas of excellence, facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration, and enhancing support for research faculty. Dr. Schacker will partner closely with the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) for M Health Fairview, Dr. Brad Benson, to build opportunities and infrastructure for clinical and translational research across the academic health system and to strengthen the research support services our faculty need to achieve these goals. He will also serve as the key liaison to the Office for the Vice President for Research, working closely with the CTSI and other research units in the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs, and partner with the Associate Dean for Foundational Sciences, Dr. Anja Bielinsky, to facilitate research collaborations, particularly between basic and clinical scientists. 

Tim is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine. He serves as the Director of the Program in HIV Medicine and of the CTSI’s Clinical and Translational Research Services. Tim has a long record of conducting NIH-funded clinical and translational research into HIV pathogenesis, resulting in several fundamental discoveries and innovative ways to improve clinical outcomes. He has also played a major role in creating the Clinical Research Support Center for investigators as well as the M Health Clinical Research Unit, to facilitate Phase 1 clinical research.

Tim’s experience, leadership, ability to collaborate and entrepreneurial spirit will be critical to advancing our goals. I also would like to thank Dr. Tucker LeBien for his service as Vice Dean for Research and for his willingness to take on his new leadership role in the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs.  

In addition, I have asked Dr. Bevan Yueh to serve as the Medical School’s Associate Dean for Strategy and Innovation. He will oversee a broad portfolio of efforts to position us on the leading edge of changes in healthcare. He will also maintain his role as Head of our Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 

Dr. Yueh will lead our connection to industry and corporate leaders. He will strategically source and evaluate new opportunities in research, clinical programming and the integration of the both. In addition, he will play a key role in Medical School strategic planning and implementation and work directly with the University of Minnesota Foundation on prioritizing and developing philanthropic opportunities. In this role, he will work closely with Vice Dean for Research, Tim Schacker, and Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs, Badri Konety, as well as our department heads. This position requires a leader with a creative mind, financial acumen and the ability to take risks. With his history of partnership across disciplines and around the globe, Bevan is the perfect fit for this role. 

Finally, as Dr. Konety takes on the position as CEO of UMP/Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs, we need new leadership in the Department of Urology. In the interim, Dr. Christopher Warlick has agreed to serve as Department Head. Chris is an Associate Professor and Urologic Surgeon. He is a national leader in Active Surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer and leads the department’s clinical trials program. Dr. Warlick will provide strong and stable leadership during this transition and we will launch a national search for a new leader in January, 2019.

Drs. Schacker, Yueh and Warlick will begin their new positions on December 1, 2018.