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Edward W. Holmes, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, has announced that he will be leaving UCSD at the end of September to join the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore, and the National University of Singapore (NUS), to help oversee developing efforts in translational medical research. Holmes, 65, was recruited to UC San Diego in 2000 from Duke University, where he was Dean and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the Duke University School of Medicine.
“I understand and respect Vice Chancellor Holmes’ decision to accept this new exciting position, although I regret losing a tremendous colleague and visionary leader who has done so much for the University during his tenure,” said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “Among his many contributions to UC San Diego are his stellar recruitments of senior administrators and department chairs that are poised to carry on the many important initiatives underway in the Health Sciences and ensure a smooth transition. On a personal note, he has been a valued member of my senior leadership team, and his advice and friendship have been invaluable. He will be sorely missed.”
Fox added that UC San Diego has begun to develop research and educational collaborations with A*STAR and NUS as part of the university’s emphasis on international outreach, and Holmes will continue to be an effective partner in building upon these relationships and implementing joint programs.
At UCSD, Holmes oversees the academic, research and clinical programs of the School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSD Medical Center, and UCSD Medical Group.
“UC San Diego is an exceptional university in an exciting community, and it continues to build on its tradition of innovation and excellence,” said Holmes. “The past five and a half years at UCSD have been the highlight of my academic career. This was a difficult decision because of the unparalleled potential of this institution in achieving national and international prominence, which I believe is greater than ever under the leadership of Chancellor Marye Anne Fox.
“Working with Chancellor Fox has been energizing and exciting, and while the opportunity to continue helping to shape UC San Diego’s future as part of her management team is compelling, I have reached a point in my career when I would like to experience new professional opportunities,” he said. “The Health Sciences is in a very strong position, with a robust academic and research enterprise, a thriving clinical program, and outstanding faculty and administrative leadership with new ideas and energy, so the timing for my accepting this new challenge seems right. San Diego will continue to be my home, and I intend to remain connected with UC San Diego. I also hope to work with the region’s scientific and business leadership to strengthen ties that will solidify San Diego’s emerging role as the scientific and biotechnical hub of the Pacific Rim.”
Fox noted that among Holmes’ accomplishments have been spearheading the reorganization of the academic structure within the Health Sciences and building cross-campus and multi-institutional partnerships to strengthen the bench-to-bedside mission of the Health Sciences.
With his own career commitment to translational medicine – the continuum from laboratory breakthroughs to the development of technologies and treatments benefiting patients – Holmes has focused on building collaborations that support both education and medical advancement. He put into place a structure called the College of Integrated Life Sciences (COILS) with integrated units dedicated to basic research, clinical research and clinical excellence, all in support of a multi-disciplinary educational program focusing on dual degrees (M.D.-Ph.D.s) and opportunities for medical students to learn the rigors of basic research along with their patient care training.
As Vice Chancellor, Holmes has overseen the launching of UCSD’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the construction of a new building to house the school; the opening of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center; expansion of the Shiley Eye Center; building of the Leichtag Family Foundation Biomedical Research Facility; and approval for the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center and expansion of Thornton Hospital. He has led UCSD Medical Center’s long-range planning effort. He has focused on international relationships, developing collaborations with Christian Medical College in India and the National University of Singapore. He was also part of the effort leading to the recently announced San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, a four-way collaboration in stem-cell research between UCSD, the Burnham Institute, the Salk Institute and The Scripps Research Institute.
Holmes received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also began his postgraduate training, which he completed at Duke University. He joined the faculty at Duke as a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator, later leaving Duke to become Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He also served as Senior Associate Dean for Research and Vice President for Translational Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and Medical Center before returning to Duke as Dean and Vice Chancellor.
In his new position, Holmes will become Executive Deputy Chairman for Clinical-Translational Sciences at the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) of A*STAR. He will also be appointed Lien Ying Chow Professor of Medicine at the National University of Singapore. His role will include enhancing translational research synergies between A*STAR research institutes, NUS, and hospitals and disease centers in Singapore.
A national search will be conducted for his successor.
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