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UVa announces new medical school dean
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UVa announces new medical school dean

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The head of the University of North Carolina Department of Surgery has been named dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and chief health affairs officer for the University of Virginia Health System.

Dr. Melina R. Kibbe will serve as the 17th dean of the medical school, taking over for Dr. David S. Wilkes, who held the position for the last six years. Kibbe will take over Sept. 15.

“Dr. Kibbe’s cutting-edge clinical expertise, her impressive research credentials and her outstanding leadership skills make her the ideal person to lead the School of Medicine,” Dr. K. Craig Kent, UVa Health’s executive vice president for health affairs, said in a prepared statement.

Kibbe has been with UNC since 2016 and is the first woman to serve as the chair of that university’s Department of Surgery. During her tenure, she helped to expand the health system’s clinical services, recruiting 20 additional faculty members to the department.

She also helped the hospital and medical school expand research grants, with federal research funding increasing by seven times and annual peer-reviewed publications tripling.

As UVa’s dean and chief health affairs officer, Kibbe will lead the School of Medicine faculty in clinical strategy and growth, research expansion, educational programs and developing community partnerships, school officials said.

“Dr. Kibbe’s track record demonstrates that she will not only be an exceptional leader for UVa’s [medical school], she will be a stand-out university leader,” said Liz Magill, UVa’s executive vice president and provost.

Kibbe is the principal researcher, co-researcher, consultant or mentor on a number of federally supported research grants from several agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration.

She has served as principal investigator for a number of gene- and cell-based clinical trials for patients with critical limb ischemia. She holds more than 10 patents or provisional patents and co-founded VesselTek BioMedical LLC, a company that develops medical devices to treat vascular disease.

She also serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association Surgery and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

“I am excited to come to UVa,” Kibbe said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to working with all of the talented people at the UVa School of Medicine and our partners across the university and in the community to build on UVa’s outstanding foundation of world-class patient care, research and education.”

A California native, Kibbe graduated from the University of Chicago in 1990 and the University of California Pritzker School of Medicine in 1994. She completed her internship, residency and research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and her vascular surgery fellowship at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

She also served as vice chair of research at Northwestern University’s Department of Surgery and as deputy director of that university’s bio-nanotechnology institute.

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