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Eckert and Kaper Welcomed as Department Chairs

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

 Dean Reece welcomed Dr. Eckert (right) and Dr. Kaper as department chairs.

One has been with the School of Medicine for a little over three months, the other for nearly three decades, but both Richard Eckert, PhD, and James Kaper, PhD, received a warm welcome at a March 27 reception celebrating their appointments as department chairs. Dr. Eckert, newly arrived from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, has taken over the helm at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Kaper, who has worked at the school since 1981, has succeeded Jan Cerny, MD, PhD, as head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.


"What I enjoy most is his bright optimism about the future of his department and the contributions his department will make and is making at the School of Medicine," said Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, of Dr. Eckert. "His enthusiasm is contagious, and his history of collaboration will be an important leadership strength at the School of Medicine."


Dr. Eckert said he was "looking forward to having Biochemistry reach out and collaborate and integrate with many groups on campus. It's a pleasure to be here, and I look forward to many years of biomedical progress on campus."


Although Dean Reece had a hand in the selection of Dr. Eckert and other recent new chairs, such as Peter Rock, MD, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, "Dr. Kaper represents the first official appointment I have made," the dean revealed. "With the appointment of him to Microbiology and Immunology, I think the department is in great shape, and I look forward to his strong, effective leadership."


"It's a great honor to be your first appointee, and I'm gratified by your trust in me," Dr. Kaper told the dean. "It's a pleasure to serve as chair of this department, because I've been with these people for many years, and we've worked together and will continue to work together to move the department forward and create advancements in general microbiology and immunology research."

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