Jack A. Elias, MD, is Brown University's seventh dean of medicine and biological sciences and its first senior vice president for health affairs. He earned his bachelor’s degree and MD at the University of Pennsylvania, served an internship at Tufts-New England Medical Center, and completed residency in medicine and fellowships in both pulmonary and critical care medicine and allergy and clinical immunology at the University of Pennsylvania.
In a professional career spanning more than 30 years, Dr. Elias has cared for patients with a wide variety of lung ailments including those in intensive care and patients with pulmonary, immune, and allergic disorders. He has also conducted research on a number of conditions including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, pulmonary fibrosis, the effects of smoking and lung cancer. His NIH-funded laboratory focuses on the cell and molecular biology of lung injury and repair. A recent focus is the biology of chitinases and chitinase-like proteins including the protein chitinase 3-like-1 and its role in pulmonary diseases. Most recently, he and his colleagues have begun development of new drugs to treat asthma, lung cancer, and pulmonary fibrosis.
An immunobiologist, Dr. Elias has trained scores of young researchers, published more than 260 original peer-reviewed research papers and holds several patents with more pending.
Dr. Elias is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and served as president of the Association of American Physicians. Prior to coming to Brown, he held appointments at the University of Pennsylvania and was Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief at Yale New Haven Hospital.
At Brown, Dr. Elias is leading an ambitious $300 million effort to increase translational research, create new opportunities for students at all levels of training, and to train the next generation of physician-scientists. External research funding in the Division of Biology and Medicine has increased by greater than 118 percent during his tenure. Dr. Elias has also been instrumental in the establishment of Brown Physicians, Inc., a physician-led, multi-specialty group composed of more than 500 faculty members.
As senior vice president for health affairs, Dr. Elias oversees Brown University's relationships with its affiliated hospital partners and the Council on Health Affairs.