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Dr. Aaron Friedman named Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School

September 17, 2010

Dr. Aaron Friedman, current chair of the University of Minnesota’s department of pediatrics, was named vice president for health sciences and dean of the University’s Medical School today by President Robert Bruininks. Pending approval by the Board of Regents at its October meeting, Friedman will begin in the position following Dr. Frank Cerra, who announced he was stepping down earlier this year.

“This marks a significant milestone in a complex transition of leadership in the university’s health sciences,” said Bruininks. “For more than two decades, Frank Cerra has provided transformative leadership at the Medical School and in the health sciences – and we are truly grateful for his service.”

Bruininks continued, “Aaron Friedman is an entrepreneurial and visionary change agent. His personal integrity, high energy and ability to work across academic and organizational boundaries make him the perfect person to lead our health sciences at this time.”

Friedman is the Ruben-Bentson Chair and Professor of Pediatrics in the Medical School, where he has served since he arrived at the university in 2008. Before coming to the university, he was chair of the departments of pediatrics at Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island (2004-2008) and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1996-2004). While at Wisconsin, Friedman also chaired the University Committee, the primary all-university faculty governance committee.

“The University of Minnesota has a long history of leadership across the health sciences,” Friedman said. “I look forward to helping this institution ensure that leadership continues in the years ahead.”

In addition to his current role in the Medical School, Friedman is currently pediatrician-in-chief at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, a role he previously held at the Hasbro Children’s Hospital/Rhode Island Hospital. Friedman also serves as a member of the board of directors of the American Board of Pediatrics, of which he was chair in 2008, and is active in the American Academy of Pediatrics. His research and scholarly work have centered on amino acid transport and factors influencing growth in chronic renal failure, and he serves as chair of a steering committee for an NIH-sponsored clinical trial in pediatric nephrology. He is the 2010 recipient of the Henry Barnett Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics nephrology section for his contributions to children with kidney disease and to the pediatric nephrology community.

Friedman will devote half of his time to transitional issues, beginning on Oct. 15 and will begin in his new duties Jan. 3, 2011, pending approval by the board.

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Dr. Aaron Friedman was named vice president for health sciences and dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School.

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