September 01, 2006

Case Western Reserve University names interim dean of Medical School

Pamela Bowes Davis to step into dean’s role until successor for departing Dean Ralph I. Horwitz is found

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CLEVELAND – Pamela Bowes Davis, M.D., Ph.D., vice dean for research at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and an internationally renowned expert in cystic fibrosis research, has been named interim dean of the school. Davis replaces current Dean Ralph I. Horwitz, who will step down as dean in September, remaining on the faculty until he assumes a position at Stanford University in December. Davis begins her duties September 15.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue the upward trajectory of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine," Davis said. "Our superb faculty, the new and developing research infrastructure, our newly created Case Medical Center, and a dynamic new medical school curriculum with renewed emphasis on scholarship and professionalism all bode well for the future of the school. It is an honor to follow the distinguished deanship of Ralph Horwitz and to move forward with the many innovative initiatives which he inspired here."

Davis, who received her medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine in 1974, maintains multiple responsibilities at the medical school and at Rainbow Babies and Childrens’ Hospital of University Hospitals of Cleveland. She holds the Arline H. and Curtis F. Garvin, M.D., Research Professor chair at the school of medicine and also is a professor of pediatrics, physiology and biophysics and a professor of molecular biology and microbiology. Davis also serves as chief of the pediatric pulmonary division at Rainbow.

"I am pleased that such an accomplished educator, physician and researcher like Pamela Bowes Davis has agreed to become interim dean of our medical school," said Case Interim President Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D. "Her length of service to the school, to our students and the community at-large and her outstanding reputation in the research community will help provide stability and solid leadership for the medical school in the coming months."

Davis, who joined Case in 1981, directs the Willard A. Bernbaum Cystic Fibrosis Research Center at Case, which is the site of a Core Center from the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), an arm of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a Research Development Center for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The center is devoted to clinical and basic research on cystic fibrosis (CF), an inherited disease that causes thick mucus to form in the breathing passages of the lungs, predisposing the person to chronic lung infections. Her research activities are aimed at discovering new treatments for CF.

One of her first novel and important contributions to CF research was a new approach for treating CF lung disease by limiting the excessive inflammatory response. In a four-year double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, she showed that high dose ibuprofen dramatically retards progression of the CF lung disease. This remains the only treatment directly demonstrated to alter disease progression.

"Pam Davis' appointment signals to the entire medical school and university community a commitment to maintain our progress in building the strength of the medical school," said Ralph Horwitz.  "Pam is a superb scientist, a dedicated clinician and teacher and one of the new breed of scientists with an entrepreneurial spirit. She has the confidence of our faculty and the admiration of our hospital partners. She is a splendid choice to serve as Interim Dean."

Davis has published more than 120 original articles, mostly in the area of cystic fibrosis research, edited one book, contributed numerous book chapters and served as associate editor for several journals. She holds seven U.S. patents, is a founding scientist of Copernicus Therapeutics Inc. and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Arizeke Inc., to which some of her patents are licensed.  Davis also directs a State of Ohio Biomedical Research and Technology Transfer Center on Targeted Nanoparticles for Imaging and Therapeutics, which spans not only the School of Medicine, but also the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry. She has served on the Advisory Council to NIDDK, on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and on advisory boards for the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and several academic cystic fibrosis centers. She has been a recipient of the Rosenthal Prize for academic pediatrics, the Smith College Medal and has been named regularly in "Best Doctors in America" and "Top Doctors." She also has been inducted into the Cleveland Medical Hall of Fame.

Davis received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, summa cum laude, from Smith College in 1968 and a doctorate in physiology and pharmacology in 1973 and a medical degree in 1974, both from Duke University.

Posted by: Kevin Adams, September 1, 2006 10:16 AM | News Topics: HeadlinesMain

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