Jeffrey Glassroth named Dean for Clinical Affairs

July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

Jeffrey Glassroth, MD, has been named professor and dean for clinical affairs and head of the faculty practice plan at the University of Chicago effective July 8, 2013.

In this role, Glassroth will work with the dean of the Biological Sciences Division, the clinical department chairs, clinical faculty, president of the medical center and hospital administration to advance the University of Chicago Medicine's three missions of patient care, research and education in the clinical departments. Glassroth will help the organization prepare for the changes that will come with implementation of health care reform. He also will work to enhance off-campus clinical practices through relationships with physicians and physician groups, hospitals and health systems and to facilitate the full engagement of the faculty practice in other aspects of the medical school's mission.

Glassroth comes to the University of Chicago from Northwestern University, where he had been a professor of medicine and formerly was president and chief executive of a 700-member faculty practice. He served as interim dean of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine from Jan. 1 to Sept. 1, 2011.

"Jeff Glassroth has the ideal mix of skills and experience for this position," said Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Chicago and dean of the Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker School of Medicine. "He has impressive credentials as a physician and scientist, combined with a strong track record in building clinical practices and adjusting to a continuously shifting health care environment. He is well versed in the region's marketplace and attuned to community needs."

Glassroth, a pulmonologist widely recognized for his work on lung infections, has considerable experience in academic medicine and health care administration. He served as president of the Association of Professors of Medicine, the leading society for chairpersons of academic departments of medicine in the United States, and is a past president of the 13,000-member American Thoracic Society, the premier subspecialty organization for those in the field of respiratory medicine, critical care, and sleep-disordered breathing. He also served as a member of the Board of Extramural Advisors at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

Glassroth's research interests focus on pulmonary infections, particularly tuberculosis. He studies the prevention, diagnosis and general epidemiology of lung infections, including those related to HIV, with recent emphasis on nontuberculous mycobacteria. He has authored numerous publications and has co-edited a major textbook on lung infections as well as Baum's Textbook of Pulmonary Diseases.

"This is a great opportunity for me," Glassroth said. "The University of Chicago has a strong tradition and huge potential going forward. I was thoroughly impressed with medical center and university leadership and the institution's commitment not just to science and medicine but also to the larger community. My experience working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention early in my career taught me the importance of considering the larger community in addition to the individual patient when it comes to providing high quality care and conserving health."

An alumnus of Columbia University, Glassroth received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1973. His interest in tuberculosis was sparked by two years as a medical officer in the U.S. Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control's Tuberculosis Control Division. He completed his residency in internal medicine in Cincinnati, followed by a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

In 1981, he joined Northwestern University Medical School as an assistant professor of medicine, quickly rising to professor of medicine, vice chair of the department and associate dean for clinical/academic affairs. He left Northwestern in 1995 to serve as chair of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, followed by a similar role at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in Madison. In 2005, he became vice dean for academic and clinical affairs and professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, in Boston. In 2007, he returned to Northwestern as vice dean, chief academic officer and professor of medicine in the Feinberg School of Medicine.

Glassroth has received many honors for his research and teaching, including a presidential citation from the American Thoracic Society. He is consistently included on various "best-doctor" lists and was elected a Master of the American College of Physicians.

Although most of his time will be devoted to administrative tasks at the University of Chicago, Glassroth said he intends to continue to practice medicine.

"In a position like this it's important to maintain a direct connection to the practice of medicine," he said. "It protects you from becoming isolated, builds some credibility with your colleagues and keeps you in touch with patients, which is, after all, the reason we all went into medicine."

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