Appointment of Kelsey C. Martin as Dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

July 27, 2016

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To: Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Faculty and Staff in the David Geffen School of Medicine, Vice Chancellors and Vice Provosts

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Kelsey C. Martin as Dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, effective July 1, 2016.

Dr. Martin, a member of the UCLA faculty since 1999, has served as interim dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine since September 2015. Prior to that, she served as executive vice dean and associate vice chancellor at the school. A professor of biological chemistry and of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, she is also the principal investigator of a molecular neurobiology research laboratory that integrates cell biological, molecular and electrophysiological approaches to understand how experience changes brain connectivity to store memories. Her laboratory has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1999. From 2005 to 2013, she served as co-director of the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program, and from 2010 to 2015, she served as chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry. Outside UCLA, she is a senior fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus, and she serves on the editorial board of Cell, the board of directors of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the selection committee of the McKnight Scholar Awards and the board of directors of the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience.  

A newly elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Martin is the recipient of many honors, including a W.M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research Program Award, Jordi Folch-Pi Award from the American Society for Neurochemistry, Daniel X. Freedman Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), McKnight Scholar Award, Klingenstein Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences and NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grant. She is the author of more than 75 publications, and she has delivered numerous lectures at conferences and universities worldwide. Dr. Martin received an A.B. in English, American language and literature from Harvard University and then spent two and one-half years as a Peace Corps volunteer, leading health and disease-prevention efforts in remote villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This experience inspired her to pursue M.D./Ph.D. training at Yale University, where she studied molecular biophysics and biochemistry. She completed her postdoctoral training in neurobiology with Dr. Eric Kandel at Columbia University. 

I want to thank search/advisory committee members for assembling an outstanding pool of candidates and for their roles in recruiting Kelsey. I served as chair of the committee. Other members were:

  • Carol Bennett – clinical professor of urology, DGSOM; chief of urology, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System
  • Arleen F. Brown – professor of general internal medicine and health services research
  • Alex A.T. Bui – professor of radiology
  • Sherin U. Devaskar – distinguished professor and Mattel Executive Endowed Chair, Department of Pediatrics; physician-in-chief, Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA; assistant vice chancellor of children’s health, UCLA Health System
  • Charles C. Flippen II – professor and Richard and Ruth Walter Chair in Neurology
  • Hilary A. Godwin – professor of environmental health sciences; associate dean for academic programs, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
  • Laurie Davis Gray – member, UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors; member, Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors
  • Sarah J. Kilpatrick – professor and The Helping Hand of Los Angeles Endowed Chair; chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; associate dean for faculty development, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Paul E. Micevych – distinguished professor and chair, Department of Neurobiology; distinguished professor of head and neck surgery
  • Steve O. Michael – executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
  • Jeffery F. Miller – Fred Kavli Chair in NanoSystems Sciences; director, California NanoSystems Institute; professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics
  • Adeline M. Nyamathi – distinguished professor of nursing; associate dean for international research and scholarly activities; Audrienne H. Moseley Endowed Chair in Community Health Research
  • Michael A. Rodriguez – professor and vice chair, Department of Family Medicine
  • Gary J. Schiller – professor of medicine, hematology and oncology; chair, DGSOM Faculty Executive Committee
  • Monica Sifuentes – professor of pediatrics; vice chair of education, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
  • Victoria L. Sork – dean, Division of Life Sciences; senior associate dean, DGSOM; professor of ecology and evolutionary biology
  • Benjamin M. Wu – professor of bioengineering, materials science, dentistry and orthopedic surgery

Kelsey has demonstrated outstanding leadership, inspired and impactful scholarship, and keen knowledge of the intricacies of academic health care. Chancellor Block, Vice Chancellor Mazziotta and I are confident that she will continue to provide distinguished leadership as dean, building on the school’s tradition of excellence in medical training, research and patient care. Please join me in congratulating her and welcoming her to this new permanent position.


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost