Dr. James Linder named associate vice chancellor for research for UNMC

James Linder, M.D., a key administrator and faculty member at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for nearly 20 years, is returning to Nebraska as associate vice chancellor for research with the goal of boosting UNMC’s clinical research enterprise to a record level. The appointment, which was effective Sept. 1, was announced today by Tom Rosenquist, Ph.D., vice chancellor for research.
Dr. Linder served as interim dean of the UNMC College of Medicine from December 1998 to March 2000. Since 2002, he has maintained a faculty appointment as professor in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology, but he has lived in the Boston area, serving as chief medical officer and senior vice president for Cytyc Corp., where he has been involved in the development of liquid-based cytology, imaging systems, molecular diagnostics and medical devices for women’s health care.
Dr. Rosenquist was thrilled to see Dr. Linder return to Omaha and said he will play a key role in elevating UNMC’s research initiatives.
“A principal outcome of the clinical research planning retreat this spring was the consensus that UNMC has a critical need for a senior clinician devoted to leading the growth of all aspects of our clinical research,” Dr. Rosenquist said. “Our recruiting Dr. Linder for this key position is the first major outcome of the retreat, and it is a real coup. He has the seniority, experience, interpersonal skills, leadership and status in the UNMC community to assure his success. I am pleased and proud that Jim is coming back home to assume this demanding job, and I'm looking forward with great anticipation to our working together.”
Dr. Linder said he was excited to be returning to Omaha and the medical center. “The research enterprise on campus has grown tremendously in recent years,” he said. “I am looking forward to sharing the experience that I have had in the commercial biomedical industry with colleagues here at UNMC.
“My role is to further enable clinical research at UNMC. This includes expanding research activities in clinical departments in the colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and dentistry. To achieve the campus goal of $200 million in extramural funding by 2009, the breadth of UNMC research must include as many clincal faculty as possible. Programs and processes that allow these faculty to balance research, clinical service and educational activities will be my priority. Long term, a reputation for high-quality research at UNMC unquestionably strengthens the reputation of The Nebraska Medical Center and draws patients to the clinical enterprise.”
Dr. Linder said he will enter his new position with several immediate goals in mind. “Initially, we aspire to have the funding level of all UNMC clinical departments to be in the top half of our peer academic medical centers,” he said. “This can be accomplished by a combination of enabling research of our current faculty and by recruiting funded researchers. Focused cross-disciplinary program development will be essential to our success. This can be accomplished by collaborations between departments, colleges, and campuses of the university system.”
Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., was ecstatic with Dr. Linder’s return to UNMC. “Jim was  -- and will be -- a great asset to UNMC,” he said. “I'm delighted that he agreed to return and tackle the job of strengthening our clinical research activities.”
John Gollan, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the UNMC College of Medicine, said: “The addition of Dr. Linder is a critical step in moving UNMC forward in its quest to become a world-class academic medical center. I have complete confidence that he will be successful in moving our clinical research enterprise to the next level. The potential is great, and the time is right for UNMC to make clinical research a priority.”
Rod Markin, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of University Medical Associates and associate dean of the UNMC College of Medicine, has worked with Dr. Linder for 23 years and had high praise for his colleague’s return to the medical center. “He’s like a brother to me. There’s nothing that Jim Linder does that fails. Everything he works on is successful,” Dr. Markin said. He cited Dr. Linder’s stint as interim dean of the College of Medicine and his development of a vision statement for the Center for Health Science Education as two examples of his work accomplishments.
An Omaha native, Dr. Linder has served on the UNMC faculty since 1983 when he joined the Department of Pathology and Microbiology as assistant professor. He was named associate professor in 1986 and professor in 1989. He has held numerous administrative positions at UNMC, including vice chairman of pathology and microbiology, director of surgical pathology, director of cytopathology,  and associate dean for academic affairs. He also served as visiting professor at the Peter Kiewit Institute for Information Science and Technology to develop programs in biomedical technologies from 2000 to 2002.
Dr. Linder, 50, earned his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in 1976 and his medical degree from UNMC in 1980. He did a two-year residency in pathology at Duke University Medical Center and a one-year pathology residency at UNMC.
He has authored more than 130 publications and six textbooks He is an editor or member of the editorial board of seven scientific journals and is active in numerous professional organizations. His awards include the Distinguished Teaching Award of the UNMC College of Medicine, the Award for Excellence in Medical Publications from the American Medical Writers Association, and being listed in the “Best Doctors in America” publication.
He served as president of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) in 1998-99 and will be honored by ASCP later this year with its Distinguished Service to Pathology Award. ASCP is the largest medical laboratory organization in the world with more than 75,000 members.
Dr. Linder’s diverse academic interests have centered on the application of new technology in medical diagnostics, including immunochemistry, molecular diagnostics, computer-aided instruction, cellular imaging, and the use of automated techniques in cytopathology. His work in cytology automation to improve Pap testing in women has been the focus of his affiliation with Cytyc Corp. for the past 10 years. He will continue to be affiliated with the company on a part-time basis.


Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
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