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Two Research Deans Named at School of Medicine and Dentistry

Monday, October 28, 2002

Two new deans have been named at the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., has been named senior associate dean for basic research, and Thomas A. Pearson, M.D., Ph.D., is senior associate dean for clinical research.The appointments were made by David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., who became dean of the school earlier this year.

Federoff is known around the world for developing new technologies aimed at helping diagnose or treat diseases of the nervous system, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and even mad-cow disease. Much of his work involves new ways to develop precision control over what happens in the nervous system, for instance, getting certain proteins into key parts of the brain at exactly the right time to treat Parkinson’s or the brain damage caused by stroke. Federoff has also advised Federal officials on the best ways to use funding dollars to spur research on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Federoff’s basic research is helping scientists understand what is happening in the brains of healthy people as they learn and remember.

Federoff is the director of the Center on Aging and Developmental Biology and joined the medical center in 1995. He is also chief of the Division of Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy, and professor of Neurology. He received his master's, doctoral and medical degrees from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and did his internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Pearson has served as chair of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine since joining the University in 1997; since then, the department has expanded its research programs dramatically in health services research, epidemiology, public health practice, and behavioral medicine. Pearson is also director of the Clinical Research Curriculum Program, training doctors and other researchers on proper ways to do research with people. His own research deals with the causes and prevention of heart disease. He is a spokesman for the American Heart Association and helps set the guidelines that millions of Americans follow as they seek to stay healthy. Pearson is also director of the Preventive Cardiology Clinic at Strong Memorial Hospital, working directly with patients throughout the region.

Pearson received his M.D., Ph.D., and master’s degree in public health at Johns Hopkins University. He completed residency training in preventive medicine and in internal medicine and fellowship training in cardiovascular medicine and cardiovascular pathology. In two weeks Pearson will receive an honorary doctorate of medicine from the University of Umea in Sweden, which is recognizing his contributions to preventing cardiovascular disease on a global basis.

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