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University of Minnesota names new Medical School Dean and Vice President for Health Sciences

Jay Brooks Jackson, M.D., will begin in February pending Board of Regents approval

November 14, 2013

Media note: A media availability with President Eric Kaler will take place today at 2 p.m. in Room 12, Morrill Hall, 100 Church Street S.E., Minneapolis. Dr. Jackson will be available by phone this afternoon.

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler announced today that the University’s new dean of the Medical School and vice president for Health Sciences will be Dr. Brooks Jackson.

Pending approval by the University’s Board of Regents, Jackson is expected to begin work Feb. 17, 2014. He was selected following an extensive six-month, national and inclusive search.

"Brooks is the right leader for this time and place," Kaler said. "He is an outstanding scientist, a strong clinician, and a dedicated teacher and mentor, with a demonstrated track record in research, teaching, patient care, and building strong programs. He will be a strong and collaborative leader, working closely with talented faculty, staff and students in the Medical School and at the Academic Health Center to well position the U and Minnesota in the changing health care environment."

"I am honored and excited to have been selected for this position," Jackson said. "The academic health center at the University of Minnesota has a very strong foundation and is well positioned in this changing environment to lead the world in the prevention and treatment of disease, and train the future leaders in the health sciences for Minnesota and the world. I am very much looking forward to returning to the University of Minnesota, which was inspirational for me early in my career and is now."  

Jackson comes from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he has served as director of pathology for 12 years. Under Jackson, the school's pathology department rose from fifth to first nationwide in NIH funding, with nearly $50 million in annual NIH awards. The department also became one of the most diverse in terms of gender and underrepresented minorities at all levels, and obtained more than $60 million in donations for education and research.

An internationally recognized researcher in HIV diagnostics, prevention and treatment, Jackson and his colleagues revolutionized HIV prevention in developing countries and published approximately 200 peer-reviewed papers about HIV prevention and treatment research conducted in the United States, Uganda and China. He is also the principal investigator of the $500 million NIH-funded International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) Network. Jackson’s work resulted in new drug development and a project to prevent neonatal HIV transmission. The method has saved thousands of infants from starting life with HIV infection.

"Brooks Jackson is a remarkable physician, scientist and leader who will be an amazing role model for future health professionals," said Leon Assael, DMD, dean of the University’s School of Dentistry and co-chair of the search committee. "I know our university community will enjoy Brooks, his amazing intellect, warm demeanor and self-effacing ways. But more so, we will gain from his ability to lead science toward great discovery and a better world."

As dean of the Medical School, Jackson will lead efforts to build on the school’s strengths and national leadership, promoting excellence in education, research, outreach and clinical care. He will help execute a strategic plan for the Medical School now being implemented by current Vice President and Dean Aaron Friedman.

As vice president for health sciences, Jackson will lead the six health sciences schools within the University’s Academic Health Center. He will help form and implement a new integrated structure that will strengthen the partnership of the U, Fairview Health Services and University of Minnesota Physicians. Jackson will also work with policymakers and other key stakeholders across Minnesota to enhance the state’s leadership in the health sciences, care and research.

"Dr. Jackson rose to the top of an extraordinarily deep and talented pool," said Bobbi Daniels, M.D., chief executive officer of University of Minnesota Physicians and co-chair of the search committee. "His work as a renowned researcher and academic physician, and as chair of one of the best pathology departments in the nation, has prepared him well for this new role. He is ideally suited to lead the Medical School and Academic Health Center at this pivotal time for health care and academic medicine."

One of the most comprehensive academic health centers in the country, the U of M Academic Health Center has become a national leader in interdisciplinary education and training, encouraging collaboration across disciplines to advance both research and quality care for patients.

"Dr. Jackson has huge opportunities to enhance the leadership of the University and health sciences in Minnesota to the benefit of our state and beyond our borders," Kaler said. "Thanks to the leadership and hard work of Dr. Friedman and everyone working in the Academic Health Center, the foundation exists for the U of M to be a leader in health care delivery and discovery in Minnesota, nationally and globally.

"I’d also like to express my gratitude to Dean Assael and Vice Dean Daniels for their leadership in the search process," Kaler said. "Their dedication, and that of everyone involved in the extensive search process, found a great fit in Dr. Jackson."

The Board of Regents will consider Jackson’s appointment in December. His annual salary will be $725,000. Pending board approval, Jackson will begin work Feb. 17, 2014. Friedman will continue his leadership until that time.

Jackson earned his M.D. from Dartmouth Medical School and his M.B.A at Dartmouth College. He served his residency in clinical pathology at the University of Minnesota Hospitals, where he was a blood bank fellow in the hospitals’ department of laboratory medicine and pathology.

For more information about the search process, go to

The University of Minnesota Academic Health Center was founded in 1970 and brought together six health professional colleges and schools: the School of Dentistry, Medical School, School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, School of Public Health and College of Veterinary Medicine.

For 125 years, the University of Minnesota Medical School has served as the leading educator of the state’s doctors and made discoveries of tremendous significance in research including cancer, diabetes, heart and brain diseases. The U of M system encompasses clinics and hospitals on campus and off, as well as a powerful partnership with Fairview Health Services. Currently, the Medical School has 2,311 students, fellows and post docs, and 3,433 faculty members.

Photo of Brooks Jackson

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