Krishnan Appointed Dean, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore

Singapore; Durham, NC, USA (July 2, 2008) – Dr. Ranga Krishnan, MB, ChB, has been named the Dean for the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS). Dr. Krishnan has served as executive vice dean at Duke-NUS for the past year and will succeed Dr. R. Sanders Williams, MD, as Dean. Dr. Krishnan’s appointment as Dean was effective July 1, 2008.

In making the announcement, both Mr Tony Chew, Chairman of the Governing Board for Duke-NUS, Dr Victor J. Dzau, MD, Chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO for the Duke University Health System, and Professor Shih Choon Fong, NUS President, expressed confidence in Dr. Krishnan’s ability to lead Duke-NUS as it continues to develop and expand.

“Dr. Krishnan has done an outstanding job over the past year in his role as Executive Vice Dean and I believe he is the ideal person to guide Duke-NUS through its formative years and beyond,” said Mr Chew.

“Ranga is a multi-talented individual and he has already played a major role in the success of Duke-NUS over the past year as Executive Vice Dean,” said Dr. Dzau. “He is an accomplished leader and physician-researcher and has an ambitious vision for the future of the school.”

Dr Krishnan succeeds Dr. Williams who has served as Dean for the school over the past few years leading up to the welcoming of the first class of students in August, 2007 and through the first academic year.

“NUS would like to thank Dr Williams for his invaluable contributions in helming Duke-NUS during its formative years. Building on the strong foundations laid by Dr Williams, we are confident that Dr Krishnan will lead Duke-NUS to yet another level of excellence that will further strengthen Singapore’s standing as a global hub for medical education and research, and healthcare,” said Professor Shih.

Dr. Williams, who also previously served as Dean for the Duke University School of Medicine, will now turn his full attention to his role at Duke as Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in which both Dr. Krishnan and Dr. Nancy Andrews, MD, PhD, Dean of the Duke University School of Medicine, report to him. Dr. Williams will co-chair the Academic and Research Committee at DukeNUS and will serve, along with Dr. Dzau, as a member of the Duke-NUS Governing Board.

“I am honored to accept the position of Dean at Duke-NUS as I believe the school has the potential to become the preeminent leader in the region for the training of physician-scientists and the conduct of significant clinical and basic research,” said Dr. Krishnan. “I look forward to working with the ministries within Singapore, as well as the esteemed faculty members here and at Duke, to continue to advance the mission of the school.”

Duke-NUS welcomed its inaugural class of 26 graduate students in August of 2007 and will welcome its second class in August of 2008.

Dr. Krishnan believes that within one to two years, Duke-NUS will offer an MD/PhD program, as well as a research PhD program.

“This is a rare opportunity to help establish a legacy of excellence and progressive medical education in the new era of technology,” Dr. Krishnan said. “Methods of teaching and learning are very different today than they ever have been before, and building a modern medical education system that, from the start, includes all of the new tools, technologies and strategies can be a model that other medical schools might be able to learn from.”

Over the past year, Dr. Krishnan has continued to serve as chairman of the department of psychiatry within Duke University School of Medicine. Dr.Krishnan will continue to serve as chair of psychiatry at Duke over the next year.

A native of Madras, Dr. Krishnan received his medical degree from Madras Medical College. He came to Duke in 1981 as a psychiatry resident and was appointed a faculty member in 1985. Dr. Krishnan is an internationally renowned expert in treating depression and other brain disorders of the elderly. He has written four books, more than 50 textbook chapters and more than 380 journal articles on the subjects of elderly depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, panic disorder, bipolar disorder in late life and obsessive-compulsive disorder, among others. In the late 1990’s, he identified and described the pathology of a then little-known condition called vascular depression, in which small strokes in the mood centers of the brain give rise to a unique type of depression.

“It is important to recognize the enormous contributions that Dr. Williams has made to Duke-NUS, and to the growing relationship between Duke Medicine and the Singapore government,” said Dr. Dzau. “He has shepherded this project, working closely with the various ministries, during the critical formative and infancy years and has positioned the school for great things ahead. I look forward to his continued involvement in this important ongoing project.”