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Ranga Krishnan MB, ChB, Named Dean of Rush Medical College

Dr. Ranga Krishnan

K. Ranga Rama Krishnan, MB, ChB, an internationally renowned Duke University leader and researcher, has been named as the new dean of Rush Medical College and senior vice president of Rush University Medical Center. The announcement was made today by Larry Goodman, CEO, MD, Rush University Medical Center and president, Rush University. Krishnan will assume his appointment at Rush in October.

Krishnan succeeds Thomas A. Deutsch, MD, who has served as dean of the college for the past 14 years. Deutsch will continue serving as the Rush University provost, a role he has held for the last 11 years. 

Krishnan most recently served for seven years as the dean at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, and previously as the school’s executive vice dean. The medical school is a joint venture between Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and the National University of Singapore and was established in 2005. During this time, Duke-NUS established an innovative learning program for medical students called Team Lead that has been widely recognized and adapted by other institutions.

Prior to and during his tenure in Singapore, Krishnan was professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center. He was chairman of psychiatry at Duke from 1998 to 2009. The department included more than 490 faculty members who conducted more than 270 studies a year, with approximately $40 million of external research funding annually.

“Dr. Krishnan is an innovative medical educator, a productive investigator, a world-renowned leader in psychiatric care and research, and, most importantly, a strong and collaborative leader,” Goodman said.  “His breadth of experience will be a valuable addition to our medical school and medical center.” 

Krishnan earned his medical degree, in 1978, and completed a rotating internship at Government General Hospital and Madras Medical College in Madras, India. He then served as senior house officer at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University of West Indies, Barbados, West Indies. 

Following this training, Krishnan started his distinguished 34-year career at Duke in 1981, when he began his residency in psychiatry, which he followed with a fellowship in neurobiology. 

At Duke, Krishnan created a translational research center focused on depression in the elderly, the only such center in the United States funded by the National Institutes of Health. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine – the world’s foremost national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on human health issues.

He has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including the following:

  • The 2007 Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.
  • The 2008 C. Charles Burlingame Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership and lifetime achievement in psychiatric research and education
  • The Laughlin Fellow from the American College of Psychiatry, 1984
  • The Rafaelsen Fellowship Award, Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum, 1988
  • The Distinguished Investigator Award for Genetic Imaging Study in Bipolar Disorder, granted by National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, 1996-98
  • The research award for mood disorders, 2015, and the research award for geriatric psychiatry 2009, both from the American College of Psychiatry
  • The Gerald Klerman Award for Research in Mood Disorders, Depressive and Bipolar Support Alliance, 2002
  • The Edward Strecker award from the University of Pennsylvania 2011.

Krishnan serves on the editorial boards of a number of scientific journals. He has authored more than 400 peer reviewed papers, has written two books on innovative approaches to medical education, and also writes a well-regarded commentary series in the TODAY newspaper of Singapore, the nation’s second widest read daily. He is also the chairman of the National Medical Research Council, Ministry of Health Singapore. For his service to Singapore he will receive the Public Service Medal (Friend of Singapore) this year.

“At a time when both health care delivery and education are changing rapidly, Rush Medical College needed an innovative and proven academic medical leader to guide this proud 178-year-old institution to a dynamic future,” Goodman says. “After an extensive search that included many exceptional candidates, we have found this leader in Dr. Krishnan. I am very pleased and excited to welcome him to Rush.”

Background: Rush Medical College

Rush Medical College received its charter on March 2, 1837, two days before the city of Chicago was incorporated. It was the first medical school in Chicago, and one of the earliest in the Midwest. The founder of Rush Medical College, Dr. Daniel Brainard, named the school in honor of Dr. Benjamin Rush, the only physician with medical school training to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Rush Medical College, with 523 students, is one of four colleges of Rush University. The others are the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences, and the Graduate College. The University’s total enrollment is over 2,300 students.

Rush is a not-for-profit health care, education and research enterprise comprising Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush Health. The mission of Rush is to provide the best health care for the individuals and diverse communities we serve through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research, and community partnerships. 

Rush University Medical Center encompasses a 664-bed hospital serving adults and children. The 376-bed Tower building opened in 2012 as part of a major, ten-year campus redevelopment.  Rush has more than 10,000 employees and faculty.

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