Meet Dr. Victor Dzau, new IOM president


Beginning in July, Dr. Victor J. Dzau will take the helm at the Institute of Medicine, succeeding Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg, who has been the institute’s president for the past 12 years.

Dr. Dzau will be on leave of absence from his post as chancellor for health affairs at Duke University, Durham, N.C., and president and CEO for Duke University Health System.

He’s also in the process of resigning from several corporation boards, including PepsiCo, he said in an interview.

"I think at IOM we need to be independent, and there shouldn’t be any potential concerns over these issues," said Dr. Dzau.

Dr. Dzau spoke about the most pressing issues in health care, and his vision for his presidency, in an interview.

Dr. Dzau, who was born in China and grew up in Hong Kong, brings with him experience in academic health systems, national health policy, health care innovation, and global health. He is recognized at Duke for his "transformational leadership," which "renewed academic, research, and clinical care enterprises."

While at Duke, he has also been conducting research focused on the molecular and genetic mechanisms of cardiovascular disease and the development of new gene and stem cell–based therapies to regenerate and repair tissue damage from heart attack and heart disease, according to the university.

"He has guided Duke Medicine through a rapidly changing health care landscape with strength, imagination and unflagging energy. He has been an outstanding citizen of the university, the city, and the region, and a major voice for health care innovation globally through the World Economic Forum," Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead said in a statement.

Dr. Dzau isn’t new to the institute. He was elected to IOM Council in 1998.

"As a physician-scientist and leader in academic medicine, Victor has consistently demonstrated inspirational leadership, innovative thinking, and multifaceted achievement. Now, all of us at the IOM, both members and staff, will benefit more fully from his leadership," Mr. Fineberg said in a statement.

"Many people have been telling me, ‘You have to make a lot of sacrifices,’ but I’m prepared to make those sacrifices," said Dr. Dzau. "I think it’s an enormous opportunity to make a difference, and it’s not about me. It’s what we can together to make the society better."

You can read more about his background and accolades here.

On Twitter @naseemsmiller

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