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At a Town Hall meeting on campus in April, the newly announced executive vice president, Lee Goldman, M.D., M.P.H., outlined a vision for Columbia University Medical Center to sustain and enhance its stature as one of the great medical centers in the world, able to claim excellence in all fields of biomedical research, patient care, and teaching.

"Only a limited number of academic medical centers can aspire to such broad-based
Lee Bollinger with Lee Goldman
Columbia University President Lee Bollinger with Lee Goldman as he is introduced to CUMC faculty and staff at a Town Hall meeting in April.
excellence, and Columbia is one of them,"Dr. Goldman said. “Our goals must be high, or we will be losing a spectacular opportunity." Dr. Goldman defined a great medical center as one whose greatness flows across disciplines, rather than being concentrated in particular niches. "The goal is to take disciplines that are extraordinarily strong here and make them even better, and at the same time try to be equally successful across a very broad spectrum."

Dr. Goldman will succeed Gerald Fischbach, M.D., as Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine. He also will be appointed the Harold and Margaret Hatch Professor of the University, professor of medicine in P&S, and professor of epidemiology in the Mailman School of Public Health.

"Columbia is home to some of the greatest researchers in academic medicine and the health sciences, including Nobel Prize winners who are renowned across the globe," Dr. Goldman said. "It is also home to thousands of dedicated health professionals committed to improving the quality of life for families in our own neighborhood and around the world. My responsibility is to create a diverse environment where the best clinicians, researchers, teachers, and students can have the resources and institutional support to expand the frontiers of scientific knowledge, to improve health care for our society, and to train the next generation of leaders. It’s an enormous challenge and a wonderful opportunity."

Dr. Goldman is currently chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he is also the Julius R. Krevans Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs.

"For the past 10 years Lee Goldman has played a critical role in the leadership of the largest single department in the UCSF School of Medicine,"says Clyde Wu, M.D., University Trustee and chair of the Health Sciences Committee of the Columbia University Board of Trustees. "He has demonstrated great success in building partnerships and integrating resources to address the challenges facing biomedical science, education, and patient care today."Dr. Wu has pledged $5 million to launch a discretionary fund for use by the new EVP and dean.

Dr. Goldman says one of his first priorities will be a complete assessment of current and future space needs. He believes the university’s planned expansion into Manhattanville will create short-term challenges but will ultimately produce spectacular results.

"Those familiar with UCSF know that we started a new campus in Mission Bay. It’s never easy. Undertaking this expansion into Manhattanville will not be a top-down process; it will require a lot of bubble-up participation from staff and researchers. Ultimately, Manhattanville should foster a culture of integration among the health sciences, and we will be able to use it as a magnet to expand our wonderful cadre of students, faculty and staff."

Dr. Goldman added that new faculty will be critically important to the success of the institution in these times of tight NIH budgets: "We have just come out of a period of ‘seven years of plenty’ with the NIH budget and now funding for biomedical research is in a flat period. We need to position ourselves for the future by attracting and nurturing investigators who can buck the tide for what unfortunately may be ‘seven years of famine.'"

In describing his choice of Dr. Goldman to be CUMC’s new leader, President Lee Bollinger said it became increasingly clear that Dr. Goldman was the right person for the job after so many leaders in medicine around the country showered him with kudos.

"Dr. Goldman was described to me as an ‘exceptional person’; ‘a superb manager’; ‘savvy and extremely bright’; ‘a terrific recruiter’; ‘the best mentor I’ve ever seen’; as having ‘an amazing ability to know what’s happening’; ‘a star’; ‘the finest candidate I can think of for this job,’" Mr. Bollinger said, denying lightheartedly that he was biased toward Dr. Goldman because they share the same first name.

"There’s a spectacular amount of talent here," Dr. Goldman concluded. "My hope is to capitalize on that as we try to recruit, retain, and develop even more people of similar caliber. We want to create a supportive, energetic environment, so the best people want to come here to train and then will want to stay for their careers. If we can do that, the sky is the limit."

Researcher, Clinician, Educator

Lee Goldman with his wife, Jill Goldman
Lee Goldman with his wife, Jill Goldman, M.S., MPhil. Ms. Goldman has been a genetic counselor in the UCSF Department of Neurology and an assistant clinical professor in the UCSF School of Nursing.
Lee Goldman works at the interface between public health and clinical medicine,investigating how high-quality clinical research can improve the delivery of medical care. His research has changed the way medical care is delivered, exemplified by the “Goldman Index,” which predicts cardiac risk with non-cardiac surgery, and the “Goldman Criteria,” used to determine which patients with chest pain require hospitalization. The Coronary Heart Disease Model that he developed is a computer program that analyzes the effectiveness of medical care and life style changes on heart disease in the United States. Dr. Goldman is currently using the model to analyze the effect of smoking and second-hand smoke on heart disease.

Dr. Goldman has published more than 400 papers, including 19 original articles and seven reviews and editorials in the New England Journal of Medicine.

As chairman of the Department of Medicine at UCSF since 1995, Dr. Goldman increased the size of the department from 325 to 550 faculty members and tripled its NIH funding. The department ranks No. 1 in NIH funding among the nation’s medicine departments. He also created the first academic hospitalist program, in which physicians specialize in treating hospitalized patients.

Dr. Goldman, a cardiologist, received his M.D. and M.P.H. degrees from Yale University School of Medicine. From 1978 to 1995 he was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, becoming full professor in 1989, and from 1992 to 1995 he was professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s School of Public Health. In addition to chairing the Department of Medicine at UCSF, he is Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at UCSF and attending physician at the UCSF Medical Center.

He currently serves as president of the Association of Professors of Medicine and lead editor of the “Cecil Textbook of Medicine,” which was edited in the 1950s by preeminent physician, educator, and scientist Robert Loeb, M.D, chairman of medicine at P&S from 1947 to 1960.

Dr. Goldman is past president of the Society of General Internal Medicine and the Association of American Physicians. In 1995 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, and in 1998 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1986. He has won the Glaser Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine and the Blake Award from the Association of American Physicians.