Important Leadership Transitions

February 2, 2015


 I write to announce that after more than two decades of exceptional and impactful leadership at the Perelman School of Medicine, currently as Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer, Glen Gaulton, PhD, will transition from this role in July 2015. This transition will begin a new chapter in his distinguished career at our institution.  Glen has worked closely with me on succession planning and will assume new responsibilities involving the important domains of global health and our broader global engagement strategy.  I am also pleased to announce that Jonathan Epstein, MD, Chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, will assume a new leadership role as Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer, effective July 1.

Glen's contributions to the research and research training enterprise at Penn Medicine cannot be overstated.  They are enduring as they are wide-ranging, and his leadership in these domains will be missed. Glen's tireless efforts have placed Penn in a position of strength, and I am tremendously confident in Jon Epstein's ability to capitalize on these advantages in today's dynamic research environment. Jon's deep experience at Penn coupled with his broad vision of biomedical research, boundless energy, and proven leadership ability will serve Penn Medicine well going forward.

We all owe Glen a tremendous debt of gratitude for the momentum emanating from every lab across our academic medical center and for the outstanding caliber of our biomedical graduate studies program. His leadership has helped to attract tremendous talent and he has creatively shepherded the research program, always with an eye to expanding and improving training opportunities. His calm and expert handling of even the most sensitive and challenging matters, and his extraordinary range of knowledge, have been crucial to Penn Medicine's success.

Over the years, Glen has greatly expanded the Medical Scientist Training Program, attracting the best students and making it the finest program in the country in which to prepare for a career as a physician-investigator. At the same time, he planned and implemented the BPP biomedical post-doctoral training program, as well as Masters programs in Public Health and Translational Research. Glen conceived and helped develop a University-wide Masters program in Public Policy and the joint PSOM-SAS teaching program. In addition, he co-led development of global health education and research initiatives on campus and in China and Africa.

Glen has considerably strengthened the collaborative nature of our research enterprise, and the foresight he displayed as an early and forceful champion of translational research is paying significant dividends. During his tenure, he has significantly increased and improved research space on campus, tirelessly pursuing grants for this purpose. His team-oriented approach is reflected in the synergistic manner in which the Smilow building was populated, which has enabled the cutting-edge interdisciplinary work taking place today. The Cardiovascular Institute, the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, and the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics were all conceived and initiated under Glen's sponsorship, as was the University-wide Center for Public Health Initiatives.

Another major accomplishment, the Center for Orphan Disease Research and Therapy, reflects Glen's ability to work sensitively with donors to bring their vision to life in a way that creates true scientific impact and brings hope to patients with even the most intractable conditions.

Glen has also enhanced research support offices and services and core facilities. Sponsored NIH program research during his tenure as Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Research Officer has grown 128%, from $175 million to $399 million, with equally impressive growth in corporate funding.

And those are just the highlights of an incredibly productive and impactful tenure during which the Perelman School of Medicine's scientific leadership in academic medicine has achieved true preeminence.

Glen joined the Penn faculty in 1987 and was appointed Associate Dean and Director of the Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs in 1993. He assumed additional responsibility as Director of Biomedical Graduate Studies in 1995 and Vice Dean for Research and Research Training in 1998.  In these roles, as well as his most recent position as Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer, Glen has enriched the scientific careers of many thousands of faculty and students.

In addition to his many administrative accomplishments, Glen is a beloved educator and superb investigator. He has received numerous teaching awards, including the Dean's Award for Basic Science Teaching, the Berwick Memorial Teaching Award, and the Lindback Award. His research in the areas of lymphocyte growth and viral pathogenesis has generated more than 100 manuscripts and texts, and he has received the Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Leukemia Society Scholar Award. Glen's accomplishments extend beyond Penn. He has served on the editorial review panel of nine journals and has been chair of three NIH study sections.

The cycle of institutional leadership can be characterized as a relay race where the effective transition from one team member to another is critical to the team's overall success.  I am deeply grateful to both Glen Gaulton and Jon Epstein for their thoughtful succession planning and the process they will begin in the coming months to ensure our ongoing success.  They both share my enthusiasm for the exciting pace of discovery at Penn Medicine and the unprecedented opportunity we have to leverage this work and further expand its impact. Jon Epstein has spoken with me of his desire to hear the thoughts and perspectives of the faculty and school leadership about the evolution of the Chief Scientific Officer's role, as well as emerging scientific opportunities. He is planning a number of meetings before he assumes these responsibilities in July, which will provide an opportunity to reflect on the best ways to leverage our strengths as an integrated academic medical center. This characteristically consultative and deliberate approach bodes well for his new leadership, and I encourage you to offer your advice as he reaches out to you in the weeks and months ahead.  

As he transitions from his current role, Glen has expressed keen interest in assuming responsibility for our global health and global engagement initiatives. We will not let Glen make this change without formally acknowledging his transformative and beneficial impact. The Perelman School of Medicine has an incomparably richer academic environment as a result of his leadership. In due course, I will be announcing plans to recognize Glen's enduring contributions. In the meantime, please join me in thanking Glen for all that he has done in the past and will do in the future, and congratulating Jon Epstein on his new role, about which I will soon have further announcements.


&quote;Larry&quote; Signature
J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD