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The School of Nursing Offers a Texas-sized Welcome: Dr. Clay Johnston appointed inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School

Posted: Jan. 23, 2014

Dean Alexa Stuifbergen

Alexa Stuifbergen,
Dean of the School of Nursing

As dean of The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, I am pleased to welcome to Austin Dr. S. Claiborne "Clay" Johnston, inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School. His appointment means that the medical school can literally begin to take shape.

Since the new medical school was approved by voters in November 2012, one of the most pressing questions has been: Who will lead this groundbreaking effort?

Well, I’m pleased to tell you that Dr. Johnston is a very talented and capable leader and someone whom I anticipate working with on many projects. He will be an extraordinary colleague, and his work as director of the Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has shown him to be an outstanding collaborator with nursing and other disciplines.

Clay Johnston, MD, PhD, is a neurologist and epidemiologist and comes to Austin from UCSF where in addition to being director of the CTSI, he was associate vice chancellor for research. As a researcher and clinical leader in his field, he has led the way in the prevention and treatment of stroke and transient ischemic attack.

Dr. Clay Johnston

Clay Johnston, Dean of the Dell Medical School

Dr. Johnston is the principal investigator for the $112 million Clinical and Translational Science Award grant from the National Institutes of Health aimed at helping scientists bring experimental research into the clinic and community. In his capacity as leader of CTSI, he has worked tirelessly to accelerate translational research to improve human health. At UCSF, he pursued a variety of innovative initiatives, such as the new Center for Healthcare Value, and critical partnerships with industry, foundations, and private funders.

At a press conference announcing his appointment earlier this week, Dr. Johnston said that leading a medical school unconstrained by tradition and habit would offer all kinds of opportunities to do it right. “I’m very excited to move to a new platform and create a medical school that looks like one for the new century rather than the last century,” he added.

Most importantly, and in sync with the School of Nursing’s efforts to integrate interprofessional education into nursing curriculum, I know that Dr. Johnston envisions a team approach in which all health care workers are integral parts of the way health care will be provided in Central Texas.

Dean Johnston will begin his duties on March 1. I hope you will join me in giving him a warm UT welcome.

Dr. Clay Johnston's Photo: Courtesy of the University of California, San Francisco