Joan Hendricks Named Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

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Media Contact:Greg Lester | | 215-573-6604October 31, 2005

PHILADELPHIA -- Joan Hendricks has been named dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  The announcement was made today by Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Ronald J. Daniels.

Hendricks, who will assume the position Jan. 1, succeeds Alan Kelly, who is stepping down after 11 years.  

Hendricks is the Henry and Corinne R. Bower Professor of Small Animal Medicine as well as section chief of critical care in the Department of Clinical Studies.  She is also the founding director of the Veterinary Clinical Research Center and holds a secondary appointment as a professor of the Department of Medicine in Penn's School of Medicine.

"Dr. Hendrick's appointment is the culmination of a comprehensive search for a new dean," Gutmann said.  "We looked all over the country as well as internationally and -- not surprising -- found the best candidate right here at Penn."

"Joan has served on the School faculty for more than 20 years.  Her knowledge of Penn is broad and deep, her commitment to the School's mission is passionate.  We feel fortunate indeed to be passing on the deanship from one outstanding leader, Alan Kelly, to another, who has distinguished herself equally in three areas vital to the School: research, education and clinical service."

"In all of Joan contributions to the School and to her profession," Daniels said, "She has shown an extraordinarily nimble intellect and a natural leadership style.  Her devotion to the School where she has made her distinguished career is unwavering and energetic."

"To be entrusted with the leadership of this world-renowned school," Hendricks said, "is the highest honor I could receive.  So much of me is invested in this wonderful place, in the education of bright and ambitious young people and in research."

Hendricks has been a leader in critical care, enhancing teaching and patient care.  With colleagues at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, she was instrumental in establishing a Center for Critical Care at the Veterinary Hospital that brought together the Emergency Service, Intensive Care Unit and the Hospital's Anesthesia Service into a single unit.

By successfully recruiting and retaining highly regarded tenure-track faculty in the Department of Clinical Studies, she advanced the stature and importance of research at the School.  Hendricks has built the School's clinical research capabilities by recruiting outstanding clinician educators and establishing an innovative partnership she initiated and structured with Pfizer Animal Health that will support clinical trials.

The new dean's research has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Journal of Applied Physiology, and she is frequently invited to lecture at major conferences in the U.S. and abroad.  

During her life-changing sabbatical year, she chose to conduct research at Penn on how molecular biology could be applied to neuroscience, specifically to the field of sleep and sleep disorders, in which she is a recognized expert. Hendricks has studied bulldogs extensively and recently has published pioneering studies on the sleep patterns of fruit flies in the high-impact journals Nature Neuroscience and Neuron.

Hendricks earned her V.M.D. and Ph.D. from Penn in 1979 and 1980, respectively, and carried out both her residency and her post-doctoral fellowship here.  She has a B.S. in biology and psychology from Yale University.