The below is a lightly edited version of a message sent from outgoing Chair & DEO E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, to the department.
By now you have heard the news that Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD, will serve as Interim Chair and DEO for the Department of Internal Medicine. This is a tremendous piece of news. The department is extremely fortunate that Dr. Grumbach has accepted this role. You can read about some of her accomplishments at the story on The Loop, but those of you who have followed the department’s news channels and my posts will already know just how eminently qualified Dr. Grumbach is for this role. Her service as Vice Chair for Research has been exemplary and of critical importance for me throughout my tenure as Chair. She has been a motivating force in creating new initiatives to spur discovery, to increase our ability to submit more and successful grant applications, and to communicate our achievements both to each other in the search for new collaborations and to the world.
Dr. Grumbach has not only been a terrific member of my leadership team, but she has extended that talent and passion for leadership beyond the borders of her lab and our department. She serves on the American Heart Association’s cardio-oncology science advisory committee and was recently an editor for a cluster of manuscripts in this area for the Journal of the AHA. She has also been a strong advocate within that organization and within our department for the advancement of women in medicine. She is a compassionate mentor, an accomplished scientist, and a shining example to the next generation of what leaders look like.
Most recently she was named the Kate Daum Professor, a position that recognizes outstanding women scientists at the University of Iowa. When I recommended her for that professorship, I wrote, “Her intellectual rigor, her capacity to excel in both achievement and service, and her commitment to the University of Iowa make her an ideal candidate for this appointment. She represents greatness in each of the College’s three missions: dedication to her students and trainees, rigor and curiosity in her research, and commitment to improving the health and lives of patients.”
It is a terrific relief to know that the department will be in such capable hands while the national search for my replacement begins. That search will be led by Janet Fairley, MD, and Colin Derdeyn, MD, and one hopes that as they settle on candidates they look to Dr. Grumbach as the standard.