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Michigan Medicine names executive vice dean for research, chief scientific officer

Steve Kunkel has long history leading research at U-M


ANN ARBOR - Steve Kunkel, Ph.D., has been appointed as the permanent executive vice dean for research and chief scientific officer for Michigan Medicine, effective Sept. 1.

Kunkel has served in this role in an interim capacity since October 2018 for Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center of the University of Michigan.

Kunkel will be instrumental in collaborating with the research community to develop long-term strategies to grow and advance discovery science at Michigan Medicine. This will include partnerships across the U-M campus to further initiatives like precision health and the biosciences.  

Since 1980, Kunkel has a long and robust history with U-M, including roles as the senior associate dean for research, Endowed Professor of Pathology Research and the Peter A. Ward Distinguished University Professor. He has also held various leadership and administrative positions, including the associate dean for interdisciplinary studies in the Horace Rackham Graduate School, interim dean of the Horace H. Rackham Graduate School and interim vice provost for academic affairs. 

His research interests have centered on assessing molecular mechanisms of lung inflammation by studying cytokine and chemokine biology. His studies are internationally recognized. His research group has provided evidence for specific cytokine phenotypes that dictate the progression of particular chronic diseases.

He has co-authored more than 600 peer-reviewed manuscripts, contributed more than 60 chapters to different books in his field and served as the editor for four books. He's also presented more than 150 lectures as a visiting professor/lecturer in the past 10 years, maintained continuous funding of multiple National Institute of Health grants for a number of years, including the principal investigator of a program project to study lung inflammation and a recipient of a previous NIH MERIT Award and served on National Institute of Health peer review study sections.

Kunkel also has organized numerous international conferences on inflammation, and is an associate editor for various professional scientific journals. He is the present co-chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the NIAID-NIH.

He received his Ph.D. degree in 1978 in microbiology from the University of Kansas. After a short appointment in Connecticut, he joined the faculty at U-M in 1980 as an instructor in pathology. He was promoted to professor with tenure in 1991.


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