reprinted from Issue 21, Fall 2015 of Frontiers of Medicine (PDF)
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Talmadge E. King, Jr., MD, an international expert on lung disorders who served as chair of the UCSF Department of Medicine for nine years, was appointed dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs at UCSF. He assumed his new role on July 1.
A physician-scientist, King’s research has focused on inflammatory and immunologic lung injury. He is best known for his pioneering work in the management of the interstitial pneumonias, a scarring process that often leads to death. His bibliography comprises more than 300 publications and he has co-edited eight books, including an acclaimed reference work on interstitial lung disease.
As dean of UCSF School of Medicine, King leads a premier medical school with a four-fold mission of education, research, patient care and public service. It is the only school in the nation ranked in the top five in both research and primary care education by U.S. News and World Report. It receives more competitive research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than any other school in the country, and has 2,197 full-time faculty members, including five Nobel laureates.
In addition to overseeing the school’s education and research enterprises, King leads the faculty at eight major sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley, including UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH), San Francisco VA Medical Center and Fresno Medical Education Program.
"I’m very excited for the School of Medicine as it moves forward," said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. "Talmadge brings extraordinary experience, intellect and vision to his new role, as well as humanity. He’s been elected to the most prestigious societies in science and medicine on the basis of his scientific accomplishments, and yet he remains an accessible and deeply trusted colleague."
King was recruited to UCSF from the University of Colorado in 1997, serving as vice chair of the Department of Medicine and chief of medical services at SFGH. He became chair, the first year as interim, in 2006. Under his leadership, the department increased its faculty from 521 to 602, grew its budget from $322 million to $454 million, and boosted the number of endowed chairs and distinguished professorships from 39 to 72. The department is the No. 1 recipient of research dollars from the NIH among all departments of internal medicine in the nation. U.S. News & World Report ranks six of its subspecialty clinical programs in the top 10 – AIDS, cancer, diabetes & endocrinology, geriatrics, nephrology and rheumatology. Its residency training is among the top programs in the country.
"At UCSF, we are privileged," King said. "Our faculty, staff and students are outstanding. We are able to recruit the best and brightest from around the world and perform the highest level of biomedical research and patient care, and our faculty and alumni have a seat at the table in guiding health policy throughout the world. In that position, we have both the honor and the obligation to ensure the health of our community by strengthening health systems and addressing health inequities, whether they occur at home or across the world."
King is a past president of the American Thoracic Society, a past Secretary-Treasurer of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and a current member of the boards of the American College of Physicians, the National Committee on Quality Assurance, and Gustavus Adolphus College. He was elected to the Association of American Physicians, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was honored as a Master by the American College of Physicians. In 2007, King received the Trudeau Medal, the highest honor of the American Thoracic Society.
King, 67, grew up in Darien, Ga., a small town on the Atlantic Coast. King graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn., and earned his MD from Harvard University in Boston, Mass. He served an internal medicine residency at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals in Atlanta, and a pulmonary fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. He lives in Oakland with his wife, Mozelle D. King, a retired teacher.