Dr. Arthur S Levine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Commencement

Abstract

Dr. Levine became Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in 1998. He was named the John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of Medicine in 2013. He is also Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics, and Neurobiology in the School of Medicine. The faculty of the University of Pittsburgh ranks fifth nationally in NIH research funding, and Dr. Levine has been instrumental in fostering the University’s remarkable research trajectory. Dr. Levine has focused his priorities on studies that exploit the vast amount of data emerging from the human genome project and on the newly emerging and powerful technologies that enable us to visualize the three-dimensional structures, locations, and interactions of the proteins encoded by genes as they exist at particular times in particular cells. Beyond his University responsibilities, Dr. Levine works closely with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), one of the largest academic medical centers in the U.S., to ensure that health care delivery, biomedical research, and education—the three legs of the “classic academic stool” – remain equally strong and well positioned for future growth. He has also fostered the transfer of research discoveries to commercial applications, believing that contributing to the economy promotes a healthy society. Prior to his leadership appointment at the University of Pittsburgh in 1998, Dr. Levine served at the National Institutes of Health for more than three decades, having joined the National Cancer Institute in 1967. From 1982 to 1998, he was the Scientific Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, widely recognized as one of the world's leading centers in developmental biology. Earlier in his career, Dr. Levine played a leading role in clinical research on childhood malignancies, and he was one of the first to carry out systematic investigations on the prevention and treatment of opportunistic infections in patients with cancer. Throughout his career, Dr. Levine has also been engaged in molecular biologic research. He and his colleagues carried out the first physical and genetic mapping of SV40, a mammalian tumor virus. These investigators were also the first to work on naturally occurring viral recombinant DNAs, and the results provided an important source of information in the beginning of the recombinant DNA era. Dr. Levine continues to direct his own laboratory, which is focused on the molecular mechanisms that maintain the fidelity of the genome. Until recently, these studies were focused on cancer etiology; currently Dr. Levine is engaged in research on the root molecular cause(s) of Alzheimer’s disease, believing that this is not a curable disease but one which must be prevented. Dr. Levine, who has authored or co-authored more than 280 scientific publications, has been widely recognized for his achievements. He has chaired numerous national and international scientific meetings, been elected to membership in many of the leading research societies and has held visiting professorships and distinguished lectureships at many universities here and abroad. Dr. Levine has served on the editorial boards of four scientific journals and was editor-in-chief of The New Biologist, a journal of cellular and molecular biology.

He received the Meritorious Service and the Distinguished Service Medals of the United States Public Health Service, The Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Medal, the Distinguished Alumnus Award and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Chicago Medical School, and the NIH Director's Award. Dr. Levine is a graduate of Columbia College where he majored in comparative literature and edited The Columbia Review.

In 1964, he received his M.D. from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (formerly the Chicago Medical School). After an internship and residency in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Hospitals, Minneapolis, Dr. Levine served as a fellow in hematology and biochemical genetics at the University of Minnesota prior to joining the NIH.

Published
2019-07-15