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New VP for Health Affairs appointed

Torti also named dean of School of Medicine

By Stephen Underwood
On March 1, 2012

Dr. Frank M. Torti has been named the eighth dean at the UConn School of Medicine and vice president for health affairs at the UConn Health Center. Torti, former director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and chair at the Department of Cancer Biology at Wake Forest University, was appointed by UConn President Susan Herbst last Friday.

Torti's announcement comes after Dr. Cato Laurencin stepped down from the post last July. Since then, a nationally comprehensive search ensued while former UConn President Philip E. Austin and Dr. Bruce T. Liang, director of the Jim and Pat Calhoun Cardiology Center at the UConn Health Center, have been collectively acting as the dean of the School of Medicine and interim vice president of health affairs.

According to an article from UConn Today, President Herbst said, "It's a new day at Uconn. As I have said since my appointment, we have the highest ambitions for excellence, so that we may take our place among the international pantheon of great institutions. Dr. Torti is a superb leader, and I want every citizen of this state to know that their health center simply could not be in better hands. With Dr. Torti's guidance, we will find new cures for disease, map the future political economy of health care, and most of all, ensure that every single patient we see receives the best possible care known to contemporary science."

Torti previously served as past President of the Cancer Biology Training Consortium, a nationally recognized collaboration of program directors from 70 different medical centers. He was also elected to serve on the board of directors for the National Coalition of Cancer Research and the Association of American Cancer Institutes.

Torti expressed his gratitude in being chosen for the position in UConn Today, "I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the UConn Health Center and the School of Medicine. Governor Malloy's Bioscience Connecticut program and the state's partnership with Jackson Laboratory are nothing less than transformational. Working together, Connecticut and the university will change the bioscience landscape and grow the region's economy. I look forward to working with everyone to ensure that this outstanding academic medical center reaches its full potential."

He holds a BA and MA from John Hopkins University, with his MD from Harvard Medical School graduating cum laude. A former fellow at Stanford University, he held the title of executive director for the Northern California Oncology Group and belonged to the Northern California Cancer Program serving as its associate director.

"As a future UConn med school student, I am very excited about Dr. Torti's appointment. I am happy that our school and state will have such an outstanding clinician, scientist, and leader directing our future," said Andrew Glick, a 6th-semester double major in healthcare management with an individualized major.

Torti is scheduled to begin his active duties on May 1, with an annual starting salary of $780,000. 

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