Division of Biology and Medicine

Communications from the Dean

2022

March 1, 2022

Dear Members of the Brown Community,

I have the distinct privilege of joining the Brown community as dean of medicine and biological sciences, and of calling Providence and Rhode Island home. Since my appointment was announced a few months ago, I’ve received an outpouring of hospitality and warm wishes, and I very much look forward to meeting faculty, staff, students, alumni, clinicians, physicians, neighbors and community partners in the coming weeks and months.

While my term starts, officially, today, I’ve spent the last few weeks beginning what will be an extensive period of listening and learning, both to promote continued progress on the University’s current strategic plan, Building on Distinction, and to envision new areas of growth, opportunity and impact. And while many colleagues have been extremely helpful during this period of transition, I’m especially grateful for the tremendous support that I’ve received from Dean Jack A. Elias. Dean Elias’ substantial accomplishments during his period of leadership have positioned the Division of Biology and Medicine and The Warren Alpert Medical School for continued growth and success, and I’m fortunate to have the benefit of his knowledge and perspectives at this juncture.

I’ve been asked many times what attracted me to this new role. Certainly, the strength, caliber and trajectory of research in the Division were a factor, as were the exceptional undergraduate, graduate and medical students for which Brown is renowned. It was also the size and scale of the community that I found so appealing. But I was especially drawn to serve as dean because of the visionary leadership of President Christina Paxson and Provost Richard Locke. It became clear to me in this process that they are squarely focused on taking actions and making investments to spur scientific discovery through basic and translational research, continue excellence in biomedical education, and contribute to world-class clinical care locally, regionally and beyond.

As a physician-scientist, I believe firmly in the power and potential of institutions like Brown to make substantial contributions to human health. Brown in particular has demonstrated a deep commitment to research in pressing areas of unmet need; cultivating an engaged community that values diversity, equity and inclusion as fundamental to its mission; offering rigorous and innovative education to develop the next generation of physicians and scientists; and being an active partner in strengthening health care in Rhode Island.

I’m inspired and motivated to advance these values, collaborating with colleagues in areas such as the School of Public Health, School of Engineering, and with hospital partners to help shape a world-class integrated biomedical ecosystem. There is so much we can accomplish given our distinct resources, values and ambition, and I am so pleased to be part of this community, engaging in this important work.

And as a new member of this community, I want to take this moment to echo the sentiments shared by President Paxson, Provost Locke, and Vice President Estes in their email Sunday night. The images and accounts from Ukraine—and from other areas of the world enmeshed in violence and war—are deeply, deeply disturbing. And while troubling on several dimensions for many of us, I recognize that members of our community may have family and friends who are struggling right now. We stand together as a University in times of crisis, and our thoughts are with the frontline health care providers who are so critical in such times as these.

Sincerely,

Mukesh K. Jain, MD
Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences