COM alumnus named dean of U.Va. School of Medicine

Dr. Steven T. DeKosky, M.D., a 1974 graduate of the College of Medicine and an international leader in the field of Alzheimer’s disease research, will become vice president and dean of the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine on Aug. 1.

DeKosky, who currently serves as professor and chairman of the department of neurology and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh, also was one of the top ten candidates in the UF COM dean search in February 2007.

“I am deeply honored by the University of Virginia’s decision to appoint me as the next dean of the School of Medicine,” DeKosky said. “The School of Medicine and the Medical Center represent the best of Mr. Jefferson’s intentions that the university be a power and service for the public good.”

After graduating from the UF COM, DeKosky completed a residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a three-year residency in neurology back at UF in 1978. He then completed his postdoctoral fellowship in neurochemistry at UVa.

DeKosky’s original plan did not include medicine, although it did include the brain. In 1968, he came to UF as a graduate student in psychology studying animal behavior and brain function. His interest quickly turned to medicine, and he entered the UF medical school in 1970 and earned the Alpha Omega Alpha Research Award from the college in 1972. In 2000, DeKosky was named to the UF College of Medicine Alumni Wall of Fame.

His experiences in UF psychiatry helped Dekosky with his Alzheimer’s and memory research at University of Pittsburgh in the department of psychiatry, and he made everyone proud by his long-time service to people with Alzheimer’s disease, said Mark Gold, M.D. ‘75, chair of psychiatry at the COM who has worked closely with Dekosky since medical school.

“The Gator alumni love and respect him,” said Gold. “I was very excited when on match day he matched at Johns Hopkins. It made it a lot easier for me to visit and match at Yale.”

As the 13th dean in the UVa. School of Medicine’s history, DeKosky succeeds pediatrician Sharon L. Hostler, M.D., who has served as interim-vice president and dean since Garson was appointed provost in May 2007.