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Joan Hendricks: Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine

Joan Hendricks

Dr. Joan C. Hendricks, a  long-time member of the faculty and a Penn alumna, will become the next Dean of the  School of Veterinary Medicine, President Amy Gutmann and Provost Ronald Daniels announced yesterday. Dr. Hendricks, V ’79, assumes her new position January 1, 2006 succeeding Dr. Alan Kelly, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean, who has served as Dean for a successful 11-plus year tenure.

Dr. Hendricks is the Henry and Corinne R. Bower Professor of Small Animal Medicine, as well as section chief of Critical Care in the Department of Clinical Studies, and the founding director of the Veterinary Clinical Research Center. She holds a secondary appointment as a professor in the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine.

A comprehensive international search for a new Dean of the Veterinary School was conducted (Almanac April 5, 2005) after Dr. Kelly announced (Almanac December 7, 2004) that he decided to step down to begin a year-long sabbatical. 

Dr. Hendricks has served on the faculty of the School of Veterinary Medicine for more than 20 years. “Her knowledge of Penn is broad and deep and throughout her career here she has demonstrated a passionate commitment to the School’s mission. We feel fortunate indeed to be passing on the deanship to a leader who has distinguished herself equally in three areas vital to the School: research, education and clinical service,” said President Gutmann.

“In the area of critical care, Dr. Hendricks has played a key role in enhancing teaching and patient care. With colleagues at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, she was instrumental in establishing a Center for Critical Care at the Veterinary Hospital that brought together the Emergency Service, Intensive Care Unit and the Hospital’s Anesthesia service into a single section. By successfully recruiting and retaining highly regarded tenure track faculty in the Department of Clinical Studies, she has significantly advanced the stature and importance of research at the School,” said Provost Daniels. “She has also built the School’s clinical research capabilities through recruiting outstanding clinician educators and establishing an innovative partnership with Pfizer Animal Health that will support clinical trials,” he added.

Dr. Hendricks’ research has been widely published in journals including the Journal of the American Veterinary Association and the Journal of Applied Physiology and she is frequently invited to lecture at major conferences in this country and overseas. During her recent sabbatical year she chose to conduct research at Penn on how microbiology could be applied to neuroscience and specifically to the field of sleep and sleep disorders, in which she is a recognized expert. She has studied bulldogs extensively and recently has published pioneering studies on the sleep patterns of fruit flies in the journals Nature Neuroscience and Neuron.

“In all her contributions to the School and to her profession, she has shown an extraordinarily nimble intellect and a natural leadership style. Her devotion to the School where she has made her distinguished career is unwavering and energetic. We know she will carry it from strength to strength in the years to come,” Dr. Gutmann added.

 Dr. Hendricks earned her V.M.D. and Ph.D. from Penn in 1979 and 1980, respectively, and carried out both her residency and her post-doctoral fellowship here also. She has a B.S. in biology and psychology from Yale. She is the vice president of the Pennsylvania Veterinary  Medical Association, in 2006 she becomes president-elect and then president in 2007. The President and Provost thanked Dr. Richard Davies, professor of physiology, in Animal Biology at the school, for leading the search committee and also to the members of the committee. “They have shown impressive dedication to this task and their tireless work will ensure a strong, successful future for the School,” Dr. Gutmann concluded.



  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 10, November 1, 2005


November 1, 2005
Volume 52 Number 10


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