Penn’s recently renamed medical school came under new leadership last Friday.

Larry Jameson, previously the vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, replaced Arthur Rubenstein as the dean of Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Jameson said he is “very excited” to be starting his post and that it feels wonderful to succeed Rubenstein, someone he considers “one of the most admired and well-respected” people not only at Penn but also throughout the country.

After taking office in 2001, Rubenstein was responsible for the turnover of UPHS. He helped save it from being sold after it had operating losses of $200 million two years before his appointment. After a decade of his leadership, Penn Med posted revenues of more than $4 billion in fiscal year 2010.

He streamlined the leadership structure of Penn Med and developed regional networks to send physicians to work at partner community hospitals. Over the years, Rubenstein also added talented researchers, including two prominent HIV researchers from the University of Alabama, to the Med School faculty.

Rubenstein also played an instrumental role in securing the $225 million gift from 1940 Wharton graduate Raymond Perelman and his wife Ruth to the medical school in May.

“If it wasn’t for that man, I would never have made this gift,” Perelman said of Rubenstein, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Rubenstein was compensated handsomely for his successes. As Penn’s highest paid administrator, he earned $2.35 million in fiscal year 2008.

After stepping down, Rubenstein will remain at Penn as a professor.

With big shoes to fill, Jameson seems poised to continue Rubenstein’s work.

The two have known each other for about 20 years. They both specialize in the field of endocrinology and have worked on a textbook together.

The “culture of collaboration” that Rubenstein has helped develop at Penn was one of the factors that attracted him to the dean position, Jameson said.

“I believe a lot of discoveries happen at interfaces of different disciplines,” he added.

In a meeting with the Board of Trustees last October, Jameson outlined his goals, emphasizing his desire to increase interdisciplinary study at Penn Med by forging partnerships with the University’s other schools.

Craig Umscheid, a professor of medicine and epidemiology, said that although he is sad to see Rubenstein go, he is hopeful about the new dean. “I believe [Jameson] has the qualifications for the job,” he said.

Jameson’s accolades include the publication of more than 300 scientific articles and studies for prominent medical journals, as well as his editorship of the medical manual titled Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine — the internationally renowned and most widely used textbook in its field.

“Penn is fortunate to have Dr. Jameson as Dean,” James G. Adams, a colleague of Jameson at Northwestern and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine, wrote in an email. “He will deeply understand the organization, will identify top talent and will ensure excellence in every dimension.”

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