Jeff Balser Named Interim Dean of Vanderbilt University School of MedicineApr. 21, 2008, 9:29 AM
Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been named interim dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Balser will assume this new role in mid-May, when VUSM Dean Steven Gabbe, M.D., will leave Vanderbilt to become Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Chief Executive Officer at Ohio State University Medical Center.
After receiving his M.D. and Ph.D. in pharmacology from Vanderbilt in 1990, Balser trained as a resident and fellow in anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins. He joined their faculty in 1995, initiating a basic research program aimed at the molecular pharmacology of cardiac arrhythmias. His clinical work has primarily involved the care of postoperative cardiac surgery patients in ICU settings.
Balser returned to Vanderbilt in 1998 as associate dean for Physician Scientists. He established a mentoring program for junior faculty physician scientists that has become a national model for physician scientist career development.
In 2001 Balser was appointed the James Tayloe Gwathmey Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology and was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Under his leadership, Vanderbilt anesthesiology scientific programs diversified to include National Institutes of Health-funded programs in health services research and perioperative genomics.
In 2004 Balser became associate vice chancellor for Research for VUMC, overseeing strategy, infrastructure, and investments in basic, translational and clinical research.
Balser is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Advisory Panel on Research, and chairs the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award Committee
Balser’s studies in Nature, PNAS, and Nature Structural and Molecular Biology have established new paradigms for cardiac excitation-contraction coupling, and are yielding new targets for arrhythmia control.