Patricia Hurn, Ph.D., named next Nursing dean

May 20, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

Patricia D. Hurn, Ph.D., will serve as the next dean of the University of Michigan School of Nursing, effective August 1. Her five-year appointment was approved Thursday by the Board of Regents.

Hurn currently is vice chancellor for research and innovation and executive officer of the University of Texas System. She also was appointed professor of nursing with tenure at U-M. Hurn replaces Dean Kathleen Potempa, who will step down July 31 after 10 years of service.

“Dr. Hurn is an exceptional leader. Drawing on her own experience as a transdisciplinary researcher and teacher, she brings an open and collaborative approach to leadership,” Provost Martha E. Pollack says.

“Her effective work on key health education concerns — student success, faculty development and translational research — makes her the right person to lead the School of Nursing as the university expands its innovative work in interprofessional health education.”

Hurn earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in nursing at the University of Washington. She has a doctorate in physiology from The Johns Hopkins University, where she started her academic career.

“I am greatly anticipating the opportunity to move this already outstanding School of Nursing toward even greater scholarship, leadership in health care delivery, and innovation in education,” Hurn says.

Hurn moved to Oregon Health and Science University’s School of Medicine, where she served as a professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, an associate dean for faculty development and faculty affairs, a professor of neurology and physiology, a professor of pharmacology, and the founder of the OHSU Research Center for Gender-based Medicine.

At the University of Texas System, she serves as the chief health research officer for the system’s six health organizations in her position as vice chancellor for research and innovation. She also is a research professor in neurobiology at UT-Austin’s College of Natural Sciences.

She is internationally known for her work in understanding the cellular and molecular basis of gender differences in response to experimental brain injury. Her more recent research focused on estrogen as an immunoprotectant in cerebral blood restrictions.

Her leadership work focuses on collaborative bio-health research models, science education innovation and research technologies.  She is an internationally recognized researcher on stroke and other neurological conditions and directs an interdisciplinary research laboratory that conducts biomedical research and applies findings to point-of-care patient applications.

She also implemented universitywide programs in faculty development, advanced women’s pursuits in science and medicine and advocated collaboration.

Hurn has been the principal investigator on more than $20 million in grant-supported research as well as the co-investigator or collaborator on many other research projects.