The University Record, April 19, 1999

Lichter will be recommended to head Medical School

By Sally Pobojewski
Health System Public Relations
Pending approval of his appointment by the Regents, Allen Lichter will become the 14th dean of the Medical School in May.

Allen S. Lichter, professor of radiation oncology and interim dean of the Medical School, will be recommended to the Board of Regents in May for appointment as the School's 14th dean, according to Gilbert S. Omenn, executive vice president for medical affairs.

The recommendation will be made by Omenn and Provost Nancy E. Cantor and, pending approval, will be effective May 1.

The Dean's Search Advisory Committee described Lichter as a "surpassing choice" with the experiences and ability to be an "exceptional dean." His appointment has the enthusiastic approval of President Lee C. Bollinger.

"The dean's search enabled us to learn more about some of our most outstanding peer institutions and some of our leading figures in our own Medical School," Omenn said. "During the past four months, Dr. Lichter has served as our interim dean. He has a clear understanding of the strengths of the Medical School and the Health System and the challenges facing academic medicine nationally and locally. He is a wonderfully able, positive and forward-looking individual with high values, keen interest in all of the missions of the Medical School and a commitment to diversity. I look forward to working with him as a key member of our Health System leadership team for many years to come."

"Dr. Lichter is president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology--only the second time a radiation oncologist has been honored with this leadership position in the field of cancer care," Omenn added. "He is a pioneer in using three-dimensional X-ray imaging technology to precisely plan radiation therapy. These research advances have had an enormous impact in breast-saving treatment of women with breast cancer. And he has served for 13 years as chair of what has become one of the nation's most outstanding departments of radiation oncology, with faculty ranging from clinicians to radiation physicists and biologists."

"I am delighted to join with Gil Omenn in recommending this appointment to the Regents," said Nancy E. Cantor, who also executive vice president for academic affairs. "It has been a true pleasure to collaborate with Allen Lichter over the last four months and I know that I speak in this regard with the support of all the deans. Allen has represented the Medical School admirably in cross-campus initiatives, seeing the potential for educational and research collaborations of great benefit to the entire university. His ideas and goals for the Medical School fit very well with our values and ambitions for the life sciences at Michigan.

"I am confident that Allen will provide vigorous and enlightened leadership, supporting new programmatic initiatives, recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty, pushing forward on innovations in medical education and fostering the tradition of excellence in service to the community. My colleagues in the Office of the Provost and I look forward to working closely and productively with Allen and Gil in these endeavors."

"I am looking forward to working with Dr. Omenn, Provost Cantor, Larry Warren [executive director, U-M Hospitals] and our department chairs and faculty," Lichter said. "With the proposed Life Sciences Initiative, the next few years should be one of the most exciting times for biomedical science in the University's history. The Medical School and Health System are extremely strong, with solid leadership and solid resources. Using our strengths and investing in our future, we can advance medical research and education while enhancing patient care as we move our school into the highest ranks of medical schools in the nation."

Internationally known for research in the treatment of breast cancer, Lichter is president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and a member of the board of directors of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

He was chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology in 1984-97 and director of the Breast Oncology Program at the Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1984-91. Before joining the U-M in 1984, Lichter was director of the radiation therapy section of the National Cancer Institute's Radiation Oncology Branch and a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

An early advocate of the lumpectomy approach to the treatment of breast cancer, Lichter conducted one of the first clinical trials that found use of lumpectomy and radiation therapy to be as effective as traditional mastectomy treatment. Under his leadership, the U-M developed new three-dimensional X-ray imaging technology, which allows physicians to direct radiation to tumors more precisely and reduce damage to healthy tissue. This pioneering technology is now in use at cancer centers across the United States.

The author of numerous scientific articles and editor of several books on breast cancer, Lichter is co-editor of a textbook on clinical oncology, which was published in 1994. For the past 12 years, he has been an associate editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the world's leading clinical cancer journal.

A native of Detroit, he received his B.S. from the U-M in 1968 and his M.D. degree from the Medical School in 1972. In 1976, he completed his residency in radiation oncology at the University of California, San Francisco.