UTSW will have a new Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost, and 16th Dean of UT Southwestern Medical School this February, when Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee will take the helm in February of next year. Lee’s work has put him on the cutting edge of hand transplantation at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
In his new roles, Lee will lead UT Southwestern’s three degree-granting schools, 2,700 faculty members, and 3,600 graduate medical students, residents, and fellows. He will also be responsible for more than $450 million in funding for biomedical research performed by the school’s faculty, which includes six Nobel Prize winners and 22 members of the National Academy Sciences.
Lee was born in China the son of bomber pilot in the Chinese air force and grew up in Taiwan before coming to the U.S. at age 15 with little knowledge of English. He quickly assimilated and excelled, attending Harvard College before medical school and residency at Johns Hopkins University, where he is currently Director of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. At the University of Pittsburg and Johns Hopkins, he led teams that completed the nation’s first double hand transplant, first above-elbow transplant and the world’s first total penis and scrotum transplant.
“Dr. Lee brings a strong record of leadership, innovation, and extraordinary accomplishment at a critical time as we embrace the opportunity to transform health care delivery, to accelerate research breakthroughs, and to deliver on the promise to Texas, the nation, and the world for a health care workforce prepared to meet the challenges of the future,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern Medical Center, via release. “Dr. Lee’s depth of experience will propel our academic efforts to recruit the next generation of exceptional physicians and researchers, and to nurture a diverse and inclusive environment.”
Lee did his plastic surgery training at Massachusetts General Hospital and an orthopedic hand fellowship at the Indiana Hand Center. Other roles have included a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital and Chief of the Hand Surgery Service in the Department of Surgery. In 2002, he was named Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His research has led to $10 million in research funding grants on which he has been principal researcher. He authored more than 210 original peer-reviewed publications, and 40 textbook chapters on hand surgery co-edited the book Transplantation of Composite Tissue Allografts and is co-editor of the journal Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation, after helping found the journal in 2014.
He served as President of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (2011-2012); as Chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery (2012-2013); as President of the American Society for Reconstructive Transplantation (2014-2016); and is currently the President-Elect of the American Association for Hand Surgery.
“UT Southwestern today is at a propitious point in its storied history and is poised to take its rightful place among the world’s most elite academic medical centers. It will be a tremendous honor for me to join President Podolsky’s leadership team and to work alongside UT Southwestern’s renowned faculty to leverage the Medical Center’s exceptional strength in the basic sciences. I look forward to facilitating the faculty’s continued pathbreaking work, while simultaneously committing to build extraordinary clinical and translational programs, and to expand UT Southwestern’s preeminence across its tripartite missions of education, discovery, and healing,” said Lee via release.