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ETSU names Means as new dean of Quillen College

Staff Report • Jan 8, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Dr. Robert T. Means Jr., has been named Dean of the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University, effective March 1.

He succeeds Dr. Philip Bagnell, who retired last summer after serving as Dean of Medicine since 2006.

Means, who is board certified in internal medicine and hematology, comes to ETSU from the University of Kentucky where he currently serves as executive dean and professor of internal medicine and is a member of the hematology and blood and marrow transplant division. He is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

A magna cum laude graduate of Rice University, Means earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt University and completed an internal medicine residency at Baylor College of Medicine before returning to Vanderbilt for a hematology fellowship.

He remained at Vanderbilt University as an instructor and assistant professor in the hematology division before being recruited by the University of Cincinnati in 1992 to become associate professor of medicine and director of the diagnostic hematology laboratory, as well as associate chief of the hematology/oncology section at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center.

In 1998, he joined the Medical University of South Carolina faculty as professor of internal medicine, associate director of the hematology/oncology division, and chief of the hematology/oncology section at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. He became director of the hematology/oncology division in 2000, serving until his recruitment to the University of Kentucky.

UK named Means as associate chair for research in the Department of Internal Medicine in 2004 when he also became chief of the medical service at Lexington VA Medical Center. He was later appointed interim director of the Markey Cancer Center from 2006-2009 and senior associate chair of the Department of Internal Medicine from 2007-2011. UK promoted Means to executive vice dean in 2011, and he was named executive dean in 2012.

Means gained significant attention in the research arena for his work on the pathogenesis of the anemia of chronic diseases. His studies have received funding support from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and he is the author of more than 120 original scientific reports, invited commentaries or editorials, review articles, and book chapters.

He is an editor of the 12th and 13th editions of Wintrobe’s Clinical Hematology and of a forthcoming textbook on nutritional anemia. He serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Hematology, Blood Research, and the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, and is an associate editor of the Journal of Investigative Medicine, as well as a frequent referee for other journals.

Means is Past-President of the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation (SSCI). From 1995-1998, he was a councilor for the Midwest section of the American Federation for Medical Research (AMFR) and later held national office as Councilor-at-Large from 1997–2000, and vice president for meetings and programs from 1999-2002.

Means has served on several research review panels for the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2006, he was voted “Faculty of the Year” by the UK internal medicine chief residents.

“Although the Quillen College of Medicine is a young institution as medical schools go, it has already achieved a national reputation in a number of areas, including rural medicine and primary care,” Means said. “I am honored and excited to have been chosen as the next dean. I look forward to working with the faculty, students, university leaders, our clinical partners and the community to achieve greater excellence in the missions of education, service, and scholarship.”

In addition to serving as dean of Medicine, Means will become president of the Medical Education Assistance Corporation, which oversees Quillen ETSU Physicians and other clinical services for the College of Medicine.

“Dr. Means’ arrival coincides with the 40th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the ETSU medical school,” said Dr. Wilsie Bishop, vice president for Health Affairs and chief operating officer. “He brings a distinguished career in academic medicine and is also a noted scientist and a well-respected clinical administrator. The students, faculty, and staff of the Quillen College and the ETSU Academic Health Sciences Center are honored to have him serve in this senior leadership role. He is an outstanding individual.”

Means’ wife, Dr. Stacey McKenzie, grew up in Kingsport and graduated from Lynn View High School. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases. They are the parents of three children.

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