Reece Appointed Dean of School of Medicine

For immediate release: June 07, 2006

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David J. Ramsay, D.M., D.Phil., president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), has appointed E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., as dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs at the University. Reece is currently vice chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and dean of the University's College of Medicine. He is also a professor in the departments of obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, and biochemistry and molecular biology in the College of Medicine.

Previously the Abraham Roth Professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Reece was also a faculty member at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., for nearly 10 years. His research focuses on the effects of diabetes during pregnancy, on birth defects, and on prenatal diagnosis.

The new appointment comes after a nationwide search for a successor to Donald E. Wilson, M.D., M.A.C.P., current dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland. Wilson is retiring after 15 years of service. Under his leadership, the School of Medicine has garnered record-setting research grants to target the world's most pressing health care threats. The School's research funding has soared from $77 million in 1991 to $349 million in 2005, placing the School of Medicine in the upper echelon of all public and private medical schools.

Reece joins the University of Maryland after a very successful tenure as dean at UAMS.

“With his depth of experience in research, academics, and administration, Dr. Reece will continue to propel the phenomenal growth the School of Medicine has enjoyed,” says Ramsay. “As we continue our work to educate tomorrow's physicians and to bring the benefits of our medical discoveries to patients, Dr. Reece's leadership will be vital to our success.”

“The appointment of Albert Reece is critical to the continued growth and reputation of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and vital to the partnership between the School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS),” says David H. Nevins, chair of the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents.

“I am confident that Dr. Reece will provide the leadership to continue a positive relationship between the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical System,” says Maryland state Sen. Ulysses Currie, chair of the legislature's Budget and Taxation Committee.

Francis X. Kelly Jr., member of the USM Board of Regents and the UMMS Board of Directors, says, “Dr. Reece will have tough shoes to fill and I am confident that he is more than capable of filling them. In addition to his academic credentials, I am impressed by his character and commitment.”

Originally from Jamaica, Reece received a B.S. degree (magna cum laude) from Long Island University and an M.D. from the New York University School of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center and a postdoctoral fellowship in maternal fetal medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition, Reece holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica, and an M.B.A. from the Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University. He has published 11 books, four monographs, and 450 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and abstracts. Reece is a sought-after lecturer, nationally and internationally, in his areas of expertise.

"I am very impressed by Dr. Reece's leadership and personal qualities. I am confident that he will build upon the legacy of Don Wilson and move our medical school into the top tier. His strong commitment to excellence in research, medical education, and clinical care is exactly what we were looking for in the new dean,” says William “Brit” Kirwan, USM chancellor.

An expert on the mechanism of diabetes-induced birth defects, Reece, and his research group, have pioneered the discovery of the dominant biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying the cause of these birth defects, as well as methods to prevent these anomalies. He and his research team have also developed a technique for early prenatal diagnosis with potential for use in curative fetal therapy.

“The University of Maryland Medical Center is closely linked to the University of Maryland School of Medicine through our important affiliations in patient care, teaching, and research,” says Edmond F. Notebaert, UMMS president and chief executive officer. “The future holds exciting opportunities for the medical center, including a new ambulatory care center and other major investments in clinical innovation. The medical school has made great progress over the past decade under the leadership of Dr. Donald Wilson, and I wish Dr. Reece the best as he begins to build upon that success.”

Reece is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, and he serves on IOM's Board on Health Sciences Policy, the March of Dimes Scientific Advisory Committee, the Administrative Board of the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Executive Committee of the National Council of Deans. He has also served on boards at several federal government agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and on the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality and multiple committees and councils at the National Institutes of Health.

In May, the National Academies' National Research Council and IOM announced Reece's appointment to a newly commissioned committee to monitor and revise the Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

“It is an honor to be appointed as dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland,” Reece says. “I look forward to working collaboratively with the faculty, medical system leadership, and campus leadership to advance the academic and clinical enterprise to the next level of excellence. I am indeed gratified by the strong support and warm welcome I have received.”

He is married to Sharon Reece, M.A., J.D., L.L.M., a professor at the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. They have three daughters, each reaching a milestone in 2006: high school graduation, college graduation, and final-year Ph.D. candidacy.

Reece will assume his new position as dean in September.

The Baltimore campus of the University of Maryland is home to the dental school, graduate school, and schools of law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work. It is the founding campus of the University System of Maryland.

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