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UB taps California for new Medical School dean

Allison Brashear
University at Buffalo
Dr. Allison Brashear is the new dean of the University at Buffalo's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The University at Buffalo is getting a new vice president for Health Sciences and dean of the Jacobs Medical School. Dr. Allison Brashear will also continue long-standing research on a rare disease that can leave a patient unable to walk, talk or participate in daily life.

The Indiana native starts Dec. 6, replacing Dr. Michael Cain, who is stepping down from both posts and remaining as a professor. The new dean is leaving a post as dean of the Medical School at the University of California, Davis.

"The big draw for me was really the commitment of the community to focus on health and focus on teaching students on how to keep patients healthy and focus of the health system on advocating for health of the community was really a key at my decision," Brashear said.

Brashear completed her residency in neurology at Indiana University Medical School, where she later taught, and holds an MBA from Duke University. She has also worked as a neurologist at Wake Forest Medical School. She inherits a medical school in a vast new building and a sharply larger and more diverse student body.

Brashear said she wants all of the branches of medicine to have a diverse mix of doctors.

"Clearly, medicine is making strides, some areas more quickly than others. But it is very important that we have a diversity both of experience, gender, race in all areas of medicine and it's probably one of the most important things we can do to advance health in the country is to have a diverse group of providers," she said.

Brashear said she wants to see UB graduating doctors who can mix medical care and medical research to bring services to everyone in the community as they progress in their careers.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.