Appointment: Senior Vice President for Health Affairs

May 1, 2017

Members of the Brown Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences Jack A. Elias as the inaugural Senior Vice President for Health Affairs at Brown University, effective immediately. He will assume this position in addition to his roles as Dean, Frank Day Professor of Biology, and Professor of Medicine. In this new role, he will continue to report to both the Provost and the President. It is also with great enthusiasm that I write to report that we have extended Dean Elias’s term through June 30, 2021.

The position of Senior Vice President of Health Affairs at Brown University has been created in recognition of the growing importance and complexity of academic medicine and health sciences at Brown, and in our state and region. In this position, Dean Elias will continue to oversee the Warren Alpert Medical School, program in Biology, and the Division of Biology and Medicine’s components of the Brown Institute for Brain Science (BIBS). He will also oversee the newly constituted Brown Institute for Translational Sciences (BITS) and Brown Biomedical Innovations Inc. (BBII), which fosters entrepreneurial biomedical activities. Importantly, he will also provide leadership in all discussions and arrangements regarding clinical, research and teaching activities involving Brown University and our clinical faculty and affiliated hospital system partners.

As Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, Dean Elias will create and chair a new health systems coordinating committee composed of the Dean of the School of Public Health, Dean of the School of Engineering, Associate Dean of Biology, and the directors of BIBS, BITS, BBII and Biomedical Engineering. This committee will ensure a coordinated approach to all interactions between Brown and our valuable hospital system partners.

A specialist in pulmonary medicine, allergy and Immunology, internal medicine and critical care medicine, Dean Elias came to Brown from Yale in 2013, following his service as chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine and then chair of the department of internal medicine and physician-in-chief at Yale-New Haven hospital. He brought to Brown a professional career as a physician scientist spanning more than 30 years, as well as extensive administrative experience and leadership positions in academic medicine.

Since his arrival, Dean Elias has demonstrated the strategic vision and requisite drive and determination to achieve many important milestones. Under his leadership, the Division of Biology and Medicine has had a dramatic increase in grant awards, fueling critical research and teaching experiences, enhancing the University’s profile and improving the Alpert Medical School’s ranking and impact. Other major accomplishments include launching the Brown Center for Biomedical Informatics (BCBI) and recruiting talented new faculty for this Center; establishing BITS and BBII; successfully coordinating campus-wide activities that have resulted in the acquisition by Brown of an NIH award to establish a statewide, multi-institutional Center for Clinical and Translational Research (Advance-CTR); recruiting many new department chairs; establishing the new Gateways to Medicine program and Master's degrees; and overseeing the continued growth and selectivity of applicants to the Warren Alpert Medical School.

Dean Elias also spearheaded the development of a strategic plan that outlines concrete actions necessary to advance the academic excellence of the Warren Alpert Medical School and Biology at Brown. He has been a strategic partner, valuable collaborator and an exceptional fundraiser, all of which are essential for our success.  

President Paxson and I look forward to continuing to work closely with Dean Elias in the coming years, including in this important new role as Senior Vice President for Health Affairs.

Richard M. Locke