Houston physician named College of Medicine dean
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A physician-scientist with a record of success in each of the three broad missions shouldered by academic medical centers — education, research and patient care — has been appointed dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine.
Dr. Bruce C. Kone, 49, chairman of the department of internal medicine at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, is slated to begin work May 15, according to Dr. Douglas J. Barrett, UF senior vice president for health affairs.
Kone was one of four candidates named in February as finalists to succeed outgoing dean Dr. C. Craig Tisher, who will return to the faculty after five years in the post.
An accomplished scientist and kidney specialist whose research the National Institutes of Health has funded continuously for two decades, Kone also has a reputation as a champion of medical and graduate education.
“I believe Bruce Kone is the perfect fit to sustain our national prominence in medical education and to build on the work Craig Tisher has done to lead the college to elite status in research and clinical activities,” Barrett said. “Bruce stood out in a field crowded with talented candidates in part because he’s so well-rounded.”
His appointment is a bit of a return engagement for Kone, who earned his medical degree with honors in research at UF and later joined the faculty as an assistant professor of medicine in the early 1990s.
“I’m very excited and humbled by my selection,” Kone said. “I was attracted by the opportunity to come back to my medical school alma mater and serve it in this way. I’ve been extremely impressed with the faculty, students and trainees and the enormous potential of the institution.”
Kone graduated cum laude from Princeton University, where he was captain of the swimming team. After medical school, he completed a residency in internal medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and fellowship training in nephrology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
Kone joined UT-Houston’s medical school as an associate professor in 1995 and was appointed chairman of the department of internal medicine in 2004. He is chief of the internal medicine service at the school’s teaching hospital, Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he was also medical director of patient care management. In addition, he served as chief of the nephrology section at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Kone’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of inflammation, injury and repair to the kidney, blood vessels and intestine, and he has authored more than 80 original scientific articles. He is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American College of Physicians.
He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society, and has been active in the leadership of American Heart Association programs focused on the kidney’s role in cardiovascular disease. Involved in medical education at all levels, he is a four-time winner of his school’s award for excellence in teaching.
Barrett said he was impressed by Kone’s efforts to enhance faculty diversity at UT-Houston by recruiting racial and ethnic minorities and women.
“Dr. Kone didn’t just talk about the importance of diversity and equity in the faculty,” Barrett said. “He put strategies in place that led to positive change.”
Kone and his wife, Daisy, have three daughters. He will be the eighth dean of the UF College of Medicine, which was founded in 1956.
The college encompasses 26 clinical and basic science departments staffed by 882 faculty on the Gainesville campus and 311 faculty on the UF Health Science Center’s urban campus in Jacksonville. It attracts more than $200 million in external grants and contracts for research each year, part of a $630 million budget. The college is the leading educator of physicians, physician assistants and biomedical scientists for the state of Florida. In association with Shands HealthCare, College of Medicine faculty physicians in Gainesville and Jacksonville provide advanced medical care to residents of Florida and patients from around the world.