Dr. Clay Johnston will serve as the inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin.
Johnston, 49, is a practicing neurologist and also currently serves as associate vice chancellor of research at the University of California at San Francisco. He will begin his new roles in Austin on March 1, which also include university VP for medical affairs and professor of neurology.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the appointment of Dr. Johnston,” UT System Chancellor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, said in a news release
. “He's a nationally recognized leader in medical education, and he has the experience and the skills to establish a world-class medical school.”
Dell Medical School plans to admit its first class of students in the fall of 2016. After state Sen. Kirk Watson launched his “10-in-10” initiative in 2011 to improve healthcare in central Texas, the UT System Board of Regents pledged $25 million per year, along with an additional $5 million for the first eight years, to establish and operate the medical school. The Seton Healthcare Family and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation also committed another $295 million and $50 million, respectively. Additionally, residents in Travis County, in which Austin is located, voted in 2012 to increase the tax rate for the county's hospital district and commit another $35 million annually toward the school.
“We have a vision for creating at UT Austin one of the finest medical schools in the world,” UT President Bill Powers said in the release. “The cornerstone of that school is its founding dean.”Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden