UC Davis Health System chief Claire Pomeroy has been named the president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit organization that supports and promotes medical research.
Pomeroy, UCD’s vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine, posts she has held for seven years, announced in November that she planned to step down on June 30.
At the time, Pomeroy said that she was “very interested at this point in doing something on the national stage dealing with the implementation of health care policy.”
In a news release announcing her appointment, Alfred Sommer, chairman of the Lasker Foundation board, said Pomeroy had “demonstrated leadership, scholar and vision, both as a researcher and as an advocate of bringing the benefits of medical research to the bedside and to the improvement of the health of the population as a whole.”
The foundation annually presents the prestigious Lasker Medical Research Awards. Among previous recipients, 83 also have won Nobel Prizes.
Under Pomeroy’s watch, the School of Medicine tripled its outside research funding and dramatically increased the philanthropic support. She oversaw the establishment of new programs, including the Institute for Regenerative Cures and Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, and others, like the Comprehensive Cancer Center, rose in stature.
Her tenure has been clouded in recent months, however, by the actions of two neurosurgeons, J. Paul Muizelaar and Rudolph Schrot. They were suspended from performing research on human subjects after being accused of experimenting on dying brain cancer patients in 2010 and 2011 without proper university or federal approval.
A December report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found Medical Center leaders were not aware of irregularities and failed to ask questions that would have revealed them. Federal funding hung in the balance until January, when a follow-up inspection found UCD in compliance with regulations.
An expert on infectious diseases who made stops at the University of Minnesota and University of Kentucky before joining UCD in 2003, Pomeroy was elected to the elected to the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, in 2011.
She has served in leadership roles with a number of national, regional and local organizations, including acting as chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Academic Health Centers and the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
— Reach Cory Golden at [email protected] or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden