Drexel University has named Paul W. Brandt-Rauf, MD, DrPH, ScD, as dean of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. Brandt-Rauf — one of the nation’s leading occupational and environmental medicine scholars — joins Drexel from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where he served as dean of the School of Public Health since 2008. He will begin his tenure February 1, 2017.
“We are privileged for Dr. Brandt-Rauf to lead one of the country’s oldest schools of biomedical engineering,” said Drexel Provost M. Brian Blake, PhD. “With a diverse research portfolio and a strong background in academic leadership, he will further the school’s commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and translational discoveries.”
Under his leadership, UIC’s School of Public Health initiated an undergraduate major in public health and an online doctoral program for practicing professionals. The school’s enrollment increased significantly and several new research programs were launched, including a research mentorship program for junior faculty and pilot grants for the development of new initiatives. During Brandt-Rauf’s tenure as dean, the school added three endowed professorships and its endowment tripled.
Brandt-Rauf also oversaw the school as it increased extramural funding and new service programs, such as a joint public health training program with the Peace Corps and increased collaboration with local and state health agencies. In addition, the school expanded its acclaimed programs for violence prevention in the inner city and AIDS prevention in Africa.
His research interests focus on environmental health, particularly the molecular biology and molecular epidemiology of environmental carcinogenesis. In addition to basic mechanistic research, his work has included epidemiologic studies of workplace and environmental carcinogens in the United States and around the world.
Brandt-Rauf has also worked on the development of new prophylactic and therapeutic interventions to mitigate the effects of these exposures. He has written extensively on ethical, legal and social issues in occupational/environmental health policy and practice. He has authored more than 240 journal articles and book chapters and edited several volumes on occupational/environmental health, and he is currently the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Prior to his time at UIC, Brandt-Rauf served as a professor and chairman of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health from 2002 to 2008. He holds six degrees from Columbia, including a bachelor’s and master’s in applied chemistry and chemical engineering; a medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons; a master’s and doctorate in public health and environmental sciences; and a doctorate in chemical engineering. Upon his departure, he became an emeritus professor of public health, medicine and engineering at Columbia.
Brandt-Rauf’s wife, Sherry, will join Drexel as a teaching professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health. She is currently a research associate professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois. She received her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College. She earned a master’s of philosophy degree in sociology and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University.
Drexel’s School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems has pushed the boundaries of science and technology for more than half a century. The school was founded in 1961 as the United States’ first Biomedical Engineering and Science Institute. Along the way, it has forged relationships with a network of partners and continues to break down barriers between fields, forging the way for new collaborations and innovations. Kennneth Barbee, PhD, will continue to serve as the school’s interim dean until Brandt-Rauf assumes his post in February.