Appointment of Steven M. Dubinett as Dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

June 5, 2023

Dear Colleagues:

Following a nationwide search, we are pleased to announce that Steven M. Dubinett, who has served as interim dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA since September 2021, has been appointed permanent dean of our medical school. An effective, collaborative and experienced leader, Dean Dubinett is well-equipped to helm the DGSOM and to help advance its strategic goals — including partnering with colleagues to deepen the school’s commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) in alignment with UCLA’s overall focus on inclusive excellence; elevating the school’s profile in academic research; and expanding its engagement with underserved communities in Los Angeles.

Deepening the DGSOM’s commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion

One of Dean Dubinett’s principal focus areas in the years ahead will be attending to and advancing the DGSOM’s JEDI goals. 

Working with the DGSOM’s vice dean for JEDI as well as others across the institution, Dean Dubinett has already invested in building infrastructure to help achieve these aims. His efforts have included initiatives to support the recruitment, mentorship and career development of faculty, especially those traditionally underrepresented in the medical field. Dean Dubinett has had success in recruitment, bringing in new basic science faculty — the majority of whom are women and/or are from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in medicine — as well as hiring senior leaders in research, faculty development and career development roles. Programs he has helped launch include the JEDI Academic Mentorship Council, which provides guidance and training for early career faculty, as well as the JEDI Bruin Scholars Program, which supports residents and fellows as they transition to DGSOM faculty positions. Other initiatives include those related to faculty career development, physician-scientist mentorship and recognition for team science.

Importantly, Dean Dubinett also shepherded the establishment of JEDI vice chair positions in each academic department, creating a framework for units to implement structural change at the local level. 

Additionally, several months ago Dean Dubinett brought together a team that is launching a faculty compensation equity initiative, which was announced to UCLA Health faculty this past week.

Elevating the DGSOM’s profile in academic research

In his work, Dean Dubinett has promoted the advancement of basic, translational, clinical and community-engaged research at the DGSOM — a key institutional aim. He has supported the retention and recruitment of outstanding faculty and invested in training and mentorship programs. Continuing to enable research success will require renovation of research space as well as investment in the DGSOM’s core infrastructure, including enhanced administrative support for grant submission and fund management. Campus and UCLA Health leaders are developing a new funds flow model that will empower the dean of the DGSOM with greater autonomy to invest in these and other strategic priorities.

Dean Dubinett has decades of experience in research administration that will enable him to serve the school effectively in the research space. Before taking up his current role, he was associate vice chancellor for research at UCLA and senior associate dean for translational research at the DGSOM. Dubinett also served as founding director of the UCLA Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI), leading the development of research infrastructure supporting the translation of UCLA biomedical discoveries into medical products and health interventions. In that capacity, he played a key role in creating UC Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration, and Development (UC BRAID), which promotes research collaborations across the UC biomedical campuses.

From 2006 to 2021, Dubinett was chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine and Clinical Immunology and Allergy, where he grew the division to 110 clinical and research faculty and significantly enhanced its stature and impact. Dean Dubinett’s own research focuses on the immunobiology of lung cancer. He has led major multidisciplinary research programs including UCLA’s first NCI SPORE grant, the VA Lung Precision Oncology Program, the NCI Early Detection Research Network, the NCI Moonshot Human Tumor Atlas Network and the Stand-Up to Cancer Dream Team in lung cancer interception.

Expanding the DGSOM’s engagement with underserved communities in Los Angeles

A third area of focus for Dean Dubinett will be extending the DGSOM’s engagement with underserved communities in Southern California. He has considerable experience in this realm. Leading the CTSI, he helped colleagues launch a statewide community-partnered collaborative to address COVID-19 misinformation. During his tenure, the CTSI also initiated programs in community engagement research, including a transformational partnership with community pharmacists and 52 Los Angeles barbershops that has become a model to treat a variety of chronic conditions.

We would like to thank the search/advisory committee members for assembling an outstanding pool of candidates for the DGSOM dean position and for gathering information and insights that will help guide the school moving forward. Tracy L. Johnson, dean of the Division of Life Sciences in the UCLA College; Keith and Cecilia Terasaki Presidential Endowed Chair; and professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology, was the committee chair. Other members were:

  • E. Dale Abel – William S. Adams Distinguished Professor of Medicine; chair, Department of Medicine
  • Alex A. T. Bui – professor of radiological sciences, bioengineering and bioinformatics
  • Arturo Vargas Bustamante – professor of health policy and management
  • Karen A. Grimley – chief nurse executive, UCLA Health; assistant dean, School of Nursing
  • Helena Hansen – professor of anthropology and of psychiatry & biobehavioral sciences; interim chair, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
  • Langston T. Holly – professor, executive vice chair and vice chair of clinical affairs, Department of Neurosurgery; chair-elect, DGSOM Faculty Executive Committee
  • Alice A. Kuo – professor of medicine, pediatrics and health policy and management
  • Jennifer M. Lucero – professor of anesthesiology and of obstetrics and gynecology; associate dean for admissions, DGSOM
  • Carol M. Mangione – Barbara A. Levey & Gerald S. Levey Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Health Policy and Management
  • Jeff F. Miller – professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; Fred Kavli Chair in NanoSystems Sciences; director, California NanoSystems Institute
  • Karen Reue – professor of human genetics and of medicine
  • Anna Spain Bradley – vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion; professor of law

Dean Dubinett’s years of leadership within the DGSOM have been marked by efforts to advance justice, equity, diversity and inclusion programming; support the development of outstanding scholars and clinicians; facilitate major improvements in our research processes and infrastructure; and engage with our local communities. His vision and style of leadership — grounded in multidisciplinary collaboration and transparency — will allow him to partner effectively with community members within the DGSOM, throughout UCLA Health and across the university to lift our medical school to new heights.

We look forward to seeing the many accomplishments Dean Dubinett will continue to achieve in his role. Please join Chancellor Block and us in congratulating him on this appointment and in wishing him the very best in the years ahead.


Darnell Hunt
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

John Mazziotta
Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences 
CEO, UCLA Health