Louis Sullivan to Step Down as President of Morehouse School of Medicine
After more than two decades at the helm of the Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Louis W. Sullivan will turn over the presidency to Dr. James R. Gavin III in June of next year.
Gavin is currently senior scientific officer of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Chevy Chase, Md.
Except for the 47 months that he served as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — from 1989 to 1993 — Sullivan has led the school of medicine since its inception in 1975.
Over the past 26 years, the school has grown from a temporary trailer on the Morehouse College campus into an independent campus with seven buildings and an eighth building — the 105,000-square-foot National Center for Primary Care — under construction. The student body has grown from the two dozen medical students enrolled in that first two-year basic medical sciences program to more than 200 students in fully accredited M.D., Ph.D., and M.P.H. programs.
“I am pleased that Dr. Gavin will be our new president,” says Sullivan. “He is an outstanding physician, academic administrator, researcher and teacher.”
Gavin graduated from Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., in 1966 with a degree in chemistry. He earned his doctoral degree in biochemistry from Emory University and his medical degree from Duke University. He has been senior scientific officer at HHMI since 1991 and director of the HHMI-National Institutes of Health Research Scholars Program since 2000.
Prior to going to HHMI, Gavin worked at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as a professor and as chief of the Diabetes Section, acting chief of the Section on Endocrinology, Metabolism and Hypertension, and the William K. Warren Professor for Diabetes Studies. He served as lieutenant commander in the U.S. Public Health Service from 1971-1973 and continues as a reserve officer in the Public Health Service.
“The opportunity to become a part of the Morehouse School of Medicine story is a singular honor,” says Gavin. “I’m humbled that the board chose me to follow in the footsteps and build on the legacy of a dynamic leader like Dr. Sullivan.”
Sullivan will continue as a member of the school’s board of trustees and assist in fund- raising and other activities. He also will be writing a history of the Morehouse School of Medicine.
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