Distributed May 28, 2002
News Service Contact: Mark Nickel
Besdine named interim dean of medicine and biological sciences
Richard W. Besdine, M.D., the David S. Greer Professor of Geriatric Medicine, has been named interim dean of medicine and biological sciences at Brown University. Besdine will begin his new duties July 1, 2002.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Richard W. Besdine, M.D., the David S. Greer Professor of Geriatric Medicine, has been appointed interim dean of medicine and biological sciences at Brown University, Provost-designate Robert J. Zimmer announced today. Besdine will begin his new duties July 1, 2002, succeeding Dean Donald J. Marsh, M.D.
As interim dean, Besdine will oversee the University’s programs of instruction in the biological sciences for undergraduate, graduate and medical students. He will lead a research enterprise that currently attracts more than $100 million in support, and he will be responsible for the oversight of the research and clinical instruction that the Medical School undertakes with its affiliated hospitals. As the senior academic and administrative officer for the Division of Biology and Medicine, Besdine will be part of a group that will work with the provost to advance the University’s overall academic mission.
“Dr. Besdine has a great record of achievement in clinical care, research and medical education,” Zimmer said in a message to biomedical faculty. “I am confident he will be an excellent leader in this important time in the development of the Division.”
Besdine, a nationally recognized authority in geriatric medicine, came to Brown in July 2000 as professor of medicine. He was also appointed director of the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, director of the Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine, and chief of geriatrics for Lifespan.
A cum laude graduate of Haverford College, Besdine earned his M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After training at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, military service at the National Centers for Disease Control, and a research fellowship at the Harvard Medical School, Besdine began his academic career at the Harvard Medical School in 1972, serving until 1986 in the Department of Medicine. He co-founded the Division on Aging and developed one of the first academic fellowship training programs in geriatrics.
In 1986, Besdine was appointed the Travelers Professor of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He was also principal investigator of the NIH Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. He also held concurrent appointments there in medicine, community medicine and family medicine until joining the Brown faculty.
From 1995 to 1997, Besdine was the U.S. Heath Care Financing Administration’s chief medical officer and director of its Health Standards and Quality Bureau, overseeing standards, enforcement and improvement of the quality of health care for 70 million Medicare and Medicaid recipients. Currently, he is a senior advisor to HCFA’s Healthy Aging project and a consultant to the HCFA administrator on quality of care.
Besdine was recruited to Brown to be the University’s first David S. Greer Professor of Geriatric Medicine, a professorship that honors the second dean of medicine at Brown.