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Med school names six finalists for dean

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Six finalists to replace Dr. Craig Brater as dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine begin their on-campus visits Monday.

Half of the candidates to replace Brater, who will retire on June 30, are from the IU medical school and the other half are outsiders, according to a release issued Monday by the medical school.

The candidates from inside the school are Dr. David Wilkes, executive associate dean for research affairs and a professor of immunobiology; Dr. Anantha Shekhar, associate dean for translational research and a professor of psychiatry; and Dr. Bill Tierney, associate dean for clinical effectiveness research and CEO of Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute Inc.

The three candidates from other medical schools are:

— Dr. David Williams, chief of the division of hematology and oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital and a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School;
— Dr. Jay Hess, chairman of the department of pathology at the University of Michigan Medical School and director of clinical laboratories at the University of Michigan Health System; and
— Dr. Stephen Strakowski, senior associate dean for research and a professor of psychology and biomedical engineering at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Over the next month, the candidates will go through two-day campus visits, during which each of them will meet with faculty, staff, students and community members.

The search for Brater's replacement is being conducted by a 20-member committee led by John Williams, dean of the IU School of Dentistry, with input from an advisory committee led by Chuck Schalliol, a life sciences attorney at Faegre Baker Daniels LLC in Indianapolis.

The final selection of a new dean will be made by IU President Michael McRobbie and the IU trustees.

The new dean will oversee a massive operation that includes a main campus in Indianapolis and eight satellite campuses throughout the state.

The medical school had a budget of nearly $426 million in the most recent school year, up 30 percent over the previous five years. It employs 1,900 professors who oversee a total student body of 1,880 and also serve as doctors at five hospitals in Indianapolis, including Wishard Memorial Hospital, the Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, as well as IU Health’s University Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children.

Brater announced his retirement in August. He has worked at the Indianapolis-based school for 27 years, including the past 13 as dean. The school is the second-largest medical school in the nation and the only one operating in Indiana.

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