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Alexander Bassuk to lead Stead Family Department of Pediatrics

Date: Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Alexander Bassuk, portraitAlexander G. Bassuk, MD, PhD, has been named chair and departmental executive officer of the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. Bassuk also will serve as physician-in-chief of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Bassuk will begin his new role on Sept. 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. He currently serves as a professor in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics and is director of the department’s Division of Pediatric Neurology. He also holds a secondary appointment in the Carver College of Medicine Department of Neurology.

“Dr. Bassuk has been an effective leader in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics—as a faculty member and as a division director—and he’s an outstanding choice to lead the entire department,” says Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, UI vice president for medical affairs and the Tyrone D. Artz Dean of the Carver College of Medicine. “He’s highly respected among the department’s faculty and staff, and he has an impressive record as a clinician, researcher, educator, and administrator. I’m pleased for the department and our entire organization.”

Board-certified in pediatrics and neurology with a special qualification in child neurology, Bassuk joined the UI faculty in 2007. His research focuses on the neuroanatomy, molecular biology, protein biochemistry, and genetics of human disease. Specifically, he and his research colleagues study genetic and molecular mechanisms of epilepsy, autism, inflammation, retinal diseases, and traumatic brain injury. A recipient of numerous National Institutes of Health grants, he has authored or co-authored more than 140 peer-reviewed research articles.

Throughout his career, Bassuk has been active in education and training, working with undergraduates, medical students, doctoral students, resident and fellow physicians, and postdoctoral research trainees. He serves on the admissions committee for the college’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)—a combined MD/PhD course of study—and he is an interviewer for the college’s Physician-Scientist Training Program.

Bassuk has helped advance the careers of trainees from diverse backgrounds, and he has been involved in recruiting faculty from underrepresented minority communities to the Carver College of Medicine and the broader university.

He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the Child Neurology Society, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Epilepsy Society, the American Society of Human Genetics, and the Society for Pediatric Research.

I am honored and excited to serve the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics in this leadership role. I am deeply committed to our department, and to the core tenets of our mission: to provide outstanding clinical care to the children of Iowa, our region, and beyond; to excel in scientific research advancing pediatric care and treatment; and to provide superior education and training to the next generation of clinicians and scientists. I look forward to working with all of you.

Bassuk earned an MD degree and a PhD in biological sciences, pathology, through the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program. He completed residency training in pediatrics and pediatric neurology at Children’s Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University.
Jackson expressed appreciation to Eva Tsalikian, MD, who has served as interim chair of the department since 2019. He also thanked the search committee—led by Janet Fairley, MD, and Peter Snyder, MD—for its work in conducting a national search for the position.

“The search committee and the college’s administrative staff did a great job throughout the search process,” Jackson says. “They identified and interviewed outstanding candidates, and ultimately recommended Dr. Bassuk for this important role. I look forward to working with him as a member of our leadership team.”

The Stead Family Department of Pediatrics has more than 170 faculty members and offers a three-year pediatric residency program and 12 subspecialty fellowship programs. As chair and physician-in-chief, Bassuk will work in partnership with Pamela Johnson-Carlson, DNP, RN, NE-BC, chief administrative officer for UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital.