Investiture Highlights Mini-Med School Event

Dr. Berk's Investiture Remarks

The Medical Center's "Medical School for an Evening" on November 7 was punctuated with the formal installation of Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., as the University's Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and CEO of the Medical Center and Strong Health.

The Medical Center's "Medical School for an Evening" on November 7 was punctuated with the formal installation of Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., as the University's Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and CEO of the Medical Center and Strong Health.

Leading the investiture, University President Joel Seligman noted, "As he nears his 100th day as Chief Executive Officer of the University of Rochester Medical Center, Brad has already demonstrated that he is the right person to lead URMC to a new level of clinical and research achievement. He has an inspiring balance of scientific prowess, leadership talent, and care for the health of patients and the more than 13,000 individuals who work at URMC. He is and will be a great leader."

Chief of Cardiology Mark Taubman, M.D., traced Berk's career as a leading cardiac scientist. Berk's work has focused on characterizing the molecular signals that determine a person's cardiovascular health – why, for instance, a person might have a stroke or heart attack, or why he or she may be prone to high blood pressure. Berk has made "perhaps the most substantial contribution in the world to scientists' understanding of these signals," Taubman said.

In his inaugural address, Berk borrowed a phrase from Martin Luther King, Jr. when speaking of the importance of embracing future opportunities with "the fierce urgency of now." Citing the shift from manufacturing to a knowledge-based economy and the awesome potential of new technology, Berk said, "…never before in the history of this institution has the convergence of opportunities been greater."

Berk also gave an update on the creation of the Medical Center's strategic plan which is "designed to guide us through a landscape where intellect, innovation, and creativity are cultivated and where the spirit of exploration, discovery and risk-taking, leads the way."

Berk assumed the role on August 1, following a national search chaired by Seligman and involving a main Search Committee plus four advisory committees. In the months since, Berk has been leading a comprehensive strategic planning process that charts the Medical Center's course for the next five to ten years.

The evening began with Seligman presenting the Eastman Medal to URMC Board chair Robert Hurlbut. The Medal recognizes individuals who, through their outstanding achievement and dedicated service, embody the high ideals for which the University stands. Hurlbut has been a long-time member of the Board of Trustees and the URMC Board. In bestowing the Medal on Hurlbut, Seligman cited his "sage advice, loyalty, and willingness to help strengthen a great University and a great medical center."

The community education event drew more than 400 "students" to learn about aging, cancer, cardiac care, ophthalmology, and orthopaedics. James P. Wilmot Cancer Center scientist Craig T. Jordan, Ph.D., gave the opening lecture on the application of stem cell science in cancer research.