Three faculty members have been named deputy deans at the School of Medicine: Linda K. Bockenstedt, M.D., was appointed deputy dean for faculty affairs, Brian R. Smith, M.D., is serving as deputy dean for scientific affairs (clinical departments), and Michael C. Crair, Ph.D., is now deputy dean for scientific affairs (basic science departments).

The new deputy deans are assuming the mantle of the late Carolyn W. Slayman, Ph.D., who was the school’s first deputy dean for academic and scientific affairs from 1995 until her death last December. Her responsibilities have been divided among three deputy deanships due to the tremendous growth of clinical and basic science faculty and the increasing complexity of almost every aspect of academic medicine and research.

“Our new deputy deans will work closely as a team, while drawing upon their unique expertise to ensure that faculty receive the support they need to succeed and thrive,” says Robert J. Alpern, M.D., dean and Ensign Professor of Medicine. “I’m confident that they will continue Carolyn’s legacy admirably as they implement their collective vision on how best to support faculty.”

Bockenstedt is the Harold W. Jockers Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) and served as associate dean for faculty development. Prior to that appointment in 2014, she served as the medical school’s first director for professional development & equity, a position created in 2006. She is internationally recognized for her research on the host immune response to tick-borne spirochetal infections. Her current research, supported by the National Institutes of Health Human Immunology Project Consortium program, employs a systems biology approach to understand the diverse clinical manifestations of Lyme disease and uses molecular profiling to identify host factors that determine outcome from infection.

She is co-chair of the Tri-Societies’ (American College of Rheumatology, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and American Academy of Neurology) effort to update guidelines for the treatment of Lyme disease. Bockenstedt obtained her medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, was chief resident at Yale New Haven Hospital, and did a postdoctoral fellowship in rheumatology at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an elected member of the Kunkel Society and the Interurban Clinical Club.

Smith is professor of laboratory medicine, of biomedical engineering, of medicine (hematology) and of pediatrics. He also is chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and will continue in that role. He conducts bench and translational/clinical research on the interface between inflammation and coagulation, focusing on biomaterials and the pathophysiology of immunohematologic diseases, as well as cellular immunotherapeutics.

He is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Evans Award for Outstanding Contributions to Laboratory Medicine from the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists. Most recently, Smith chaired the medical school’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Clinician-Educator Track that is charged with clarifying and updating the criteria for promotion in this ladder track.

Smith also chaired the Research Committee of the Association of Pathology Chairs, which formulated a physician-scientist pathway that was certified by the American Board of Pathology in 2014. He obtained his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed his residency and fellowship training at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Crair is the William Ziegler III Professor of Neuroscience and professor of ophthalmology and visual science. He served as deputy chair of the Department of Neuroscience, and director of graduate studies for the department, until his appointment as deputy dean. He has developed optical imaging techniques to study neural circuit development, making fundamental contributions to our understanding of neural activity in the developing brain and demonstrating that early spontaneous activity is an essential part of normal brain development. He is currently exploring the mechanisms by which this activity is generated and how it shapes brain circuit development.

He has been awarded numerous honors for his research and teaching, including the Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Foundation Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences and a NARSAD-Sidney R. Baer Jr. Foundation Young Investigator Award. Crair earned his doctoral degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and did postdoctoral training in physics and neuroscience at Kyoto University and Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, and in neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco.

“All three of these individuals are leaders who bring a wealth of experience to their new positions,” says Alpern. “Linda worked closely with Carolyn Slayman on faculty affairs and had already ably taken on many of those responsibilities in the months leading to her appointment. With more than three decades of experience as a physician-scientist, Brian is amply prepared for his new role, and Mike’s experience as deputy chair will serve him well as he advocates for faculty on a broader scale.”

The new deputy deans say they plan on collaborating closely as a team, working across departments to enhance faculty development through all career stages, provide and support academic opportunities, and integrate research at the medical school with programs throughout the university.