After three years as Section Chief of Hematology in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation, Steven Lentz, MD, PhD, Henry Hamilton Chair in Hematology, is stepping down. For an impressive 13 years before the division’s reorganization in 2018, Dr. Lentz served as Director for the Division of Hematology and Oncology. We are fortunate that Dr. Lentz will remain as a faculty member in the department, as Director of the T32-funded postdoctoral training program in hematology, and as Director of the University of Iowa Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), a position he has held since 2010.
Dr. Lentz’s contributions to the department, the Carver College of Medicine, and the University of Iowa are too numerous to list in their entirety. Since joining the department in 1992 after completing his residency and hematology-oncology fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Lentz has distinguished himself as a leader and a dedicated physician-scientist at this institution. In research, over the decades, he has had a significant impact on our understanding of the vascular pathophysiology of hyperhomocysteinemia and its relevance to human disease. In addition to this ground-breaking work, Dr. Lentz has also made critical discoveries in the role of anticoagulant pathways and their contribution to cholesterol-lowering therapies and in many other translational and clinical investigations of thrombosis and hemostasis. Moreover, from his first days at Iowa, Dr. Lentz’s research has been consistently funded from a variety of sources, both private and public, demonstrating his creativity, diligence, and the importance of his work.
As a mentor and educator, Dr. Lentz has shown the primacy he places on training the next generation of scientists. Most recently, he has successfully led (with Co-Director Pamela Geyer) the renewal of the NIH grant that supports the MSTP at Iowa, placing it among the longest-running programs in the country. The hundreds of undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty who have benefited from Dr. Lentz’s guidance render his contribution to the future of medicine immeasurable, as they have built their own successful careers and passed on what they have learned.
As Division Director, Dr. Lentz expanded the scale and the potential of the division, tripling its faculty roster and increasing the types, quantities, and quality of its outpatient and inpatient services. In the last three years as Section Chief, he has been a strong partner with the Section Chief of Oncology as well as the Director of the UI’s Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, helping our institution adapt to future trends, including innovations such as gene and immunotherapies. He also remained focused on addressing the challenges related to the national decline in physician-scientists. In his years of service in leadership roles, his national reputation has continued to strengthen Iowa’s reputation as a premier institution for hematology and oncology training and research. The Department of Internal Medicine is deeply grateful for his years of service to the division and we look forward to what he will accomplish with one fewer set of responsibilities.