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Distributed December 1, 2004
Contact Mark Nickel

Brown Names Eli Y. Adashi Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences

Dr. Eli Y. Adashi, currently chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, has been named dean of medicine and biological sciences at Brown University. He will begin his work at Brown Jan. 18, 2005.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Dr. Eli Y. Adashi, currently the John A. Dixon Professor and Presidential Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, will join the faculty and senior administration of Brown University as dean of medicine and biological sciences. Brown President Ruth J. Simmons announced the appointment today (Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2004); Adashi will begin his work at Brown Jan. 18, 2005.


“Dr. Adashi comes to Brown at a time of great growth and momentum in Brown Medical School and in the University’s broader programs of research and instruction in the life sciences,” Simmons said. “Much important work is under way and much more is planned. I look forward to the strong leadership Dr. Adashi will bring to the Division of Biology and Medicine, to Brown Medical School and to the Program in Public Health.”

As chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Adashi led a large clinical department comprising 40 full-time and 60 adjunct faculty. During his tenure, the department rose in national academic rankings from 32nd to as high as fifth and has ranked among the top 10 departments for the last three years, as measured by research support from the National Institutes of Health.

“Eli Adashi comes to Brown with an extraordinary record of achievement in clinical care, medical research, medical education and academic administration,” said Brown Provost Robert J. Zimmer, who chaired the selection process. “His broad experience in academic and clinical settings will help Brown University and its affiliated hospitals achieve the full potential of our Academic Medical Center. His record of achievement in biomedical research and the depth of his understanding of biology and public health will ensure the growth and development of the University’s entire life sciences research and education enterprise.”

As the senior academic and administrative officer for the Division of Biology and Medicine and Brown Medical School, Adashi will provide leadership for a series of life science investments announced by the University in the spring of 2004. He will be responsible for the Division’s programs of life science research and instruction, including course offerings and research opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and medical students. As dean, Adashi will lead the senior executive boards that oversee Brown Medical School’s partnerships with area hospitals and health care systems and will serve as the chief academic officer for each of those partnerships.

In April 2004, the University announced significant new investments in the life sciences that will:

  • increase the number of faculty in life sciences by 30 percent;
  • increase life sciences research space by more than 70 percent;
  • establish or expand multidisciplinary life science programs (brain science; genetics, genomics and proteomics; computational molecular biology; environmental change and others);
  • enhance the Program in Public Health and consolidate its constituent programs in a single new building; and
  • redefine the partnerships between Brown and its affiliated hospitals and care organizations so as to improve strategic planning, better integrate clinical and academic programs, and gain greater control and accountability for program quality across all academic medical departments.

“Brown Medical School is nationally renowned for its broad scholastic rigor and for its innovative design of medical education. Above and beyond these established strengths, the Division of Biology and Medicine, campus and hospital-based, and the Program in Public Health are enjoying an exponentially growing reputation for excellence,” Adashi said. “Equally impressive are the collective strength of the affiliated hospitals of Brown Medical School and the top-notch quality of the clinical care rendered. I am deeply honored to have been chosen to lead the Division of Biology and Medicine and Brown Medical School. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and to making a difference.”

Adashi’s appointment follows an extensive national search by a committee led by Provost Zimmer. Members included Roy Aaron, professor of orthopaedics; Mark Blumenkranz, Brown trustee; Sheila Blumstein, professor of cognitive and linguistic sciences; Kim Boekelheide, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine; Marlene Cutitar, president of the Brown Medical Alumni Association; Francis Dietz, president of Memorial Hospital; Susan Gerbi, professor of molecular biology, cellular biology and biochemistry; David Greene, vice president of campus life and student services; Philip Gruppuso, professor of pediatrics; Michael Harrison, biology graduate student; Kathleen Hittner, president of Miriam Hospital; John Hynes, CEO of Care New England Health System; Vincent Mor, professor and chair of community health; G. Tayhas Palmore, associate professor of engineering; Katharine Phillips, professor of psychiatry and human behavior; David Rand, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; Olivia Rissland, Class of 2004; Stephanie Tuttle, M.D. Class of 2006; George Vecchione, president and CEO of Lifespan; and Edward Wing, professor and chair of medicine.

“The University owes a special debt of gratitude to Dr. Richard Besdine, who has served as interim dean of medicine and biological sciences since July 2002,” said President Simmons. “Dr. Besdine has provided dependable, creative leadership for faculty and students in the Division of Biology and Medicine and for Brown Medical School and has worked closely with the Provost and our hospital partners to build a stronger Academic Medical Center.” Besdine will continue to serve as interim dean until Adashi assumes his responsibilities in mid-January.

Eli Y. Adashi

A native of Israel, Adashi earned his medical degree in 1973 at the Sackler School of Medicine of Tel Aviv University, where he also completed a medical internship. In 1974, Adashi began residency training in the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology at the New England Medical Center of Tufts University School of Medicine, followed by a fellowship in the subspecialty of reproductive endocrinology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and postdoctoral training in reproductive biology at the University of California–San Diego School of Medicine.

Adashi began his academic career at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1981, where he served as the director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology. During a 15-year tenure, with faculty appointments in physiology and obstetrics and gynecology, Adashi also served as director of the Fellowship Training Program in Reproductive Endocrinology and as director of the Residency Training Program. In 1996, Adashi relocated to the University of Utah Health Sciences Center as professor and chair of the Department Obstetrics and Gynecology, with subsequent additional appointments in pediatrics and oncological sciences.

Serving as a Cancer Center investigator, Adashi founded and continues to lead the Ovarian Cancer Program at the Huntsman Cancer Research Institute and Hospital, a component of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center. Comprised of scientists and physicians from three different schools and six distinct departments, the Ovarian Cancer Program is focused on uncovering the genetic determinants of the disease as well as on novel therapeutics and diagnostics. Adashi’s own research has been funded continuously by the NIH since 1985, most recently in ovarian genomics and gene targeting technology. Four current awards from the NIH extend through 2005, one of them through 2007. Along the way, Adashi has trained more than 50 postdoctoral fellows.

As the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and more than 120 book chapters or reviews, and as the editor or co-editor of 13 books focusing on intraovarian regulation, reproductive medicine and novel gene discovery, Adashi has lectured extensively in the United States and abroad, including the delivery of multiple named lectureships. Adashi also served the NIH as a member of the Reproductive Sciences Five-Year Planning Forum for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), as a member of the selection committee of The Reproductive Scientist Development Program and as a member of the Reproductive Endocrinology Study Section. In 1998, Adashi was appointed by Donna Shalala, then secretary of health and human services, to the National Advisory Council for NICHD for a four-year term.

A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, a member of the Association of American Physicians and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Adashi has been the recipient of several academic honors and awards. Included among those are a Research Career Development Award from the NICHD; the President’s Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society for Gynecologic Investigation; the Annual Research Award from the Society for the Study of Reproduction; the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine; Honorary Ad Eundem Fellowship with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; President d’Honneur à titre Etranger, The Societé Francaise de Gynécologie; the Medical Book Award (first prize) from the American Medical Writer’s Association; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Infertility Association, a national patient advocacy group.

Adashi is former president of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinologists, the Society for Gynecologic Investigation, and the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, as well as a former examiner and director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is also a founding member and treasurer and more recently chair of the advisory committee of the Geneva-based Bertarelli Foundation, dedicated to promoting the welfare of the infertile couple and to addressing the current “epidemic” of high-order multiple gestations. Having concluded a sabbatical with the Quality Improvement Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Adashi is currently enrolled in a two-year master’s degree program in health care management at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Adashi’s wife, Toni, was an actress at Habima, the Israeli National Theatre. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and a Master of Arts in drama studies from the Johns Hopkins University. The couple’s son, Judah, a composer, is a doctoral student in composition at the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University and a member of the composition faculty of the school’s preparatory division. Judah’s wife, Kristen, is a physician in her third year of residency training in psychiatry at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt program. Both hold undergraduate degrees from Yale University.


Other sources

03-106 – Brown’s new investments in life sciences, new partnership agreements with affiliated hospitals

03-041 – Brown to design and build, buy and retrofit two new research facilities

03-150 – Sidney E. Frank Hall will be home to Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, Brain Science at Brown

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