Leadership transition for Nephrology, Coffman to Duke-NUS

Monday, December 15, 2014

Thomas Coffman, MD, will step down from his roles as Senior Vice Chair for Academic Affairs and Chief of the Division of Nephrology to become dean-designate of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore on January 1, 2015.

"Tom has been an exceptional leader, mentor, investigator and friend to his colleagues in the Division of Nephrology and to so many others across the Department and School of Medicine," said Mary Klotman, MD, professor of medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine. "His almost 18 years as chief are a legacy of dedication to scientific discovery and support for a team of exceptional nephrologists, educators and researchers."

Stephen Smith, MD, MHS, professor of medicine, will serve as interim chief of the division. The department will initiate a national search to find a national leader in nephrology.

Dr. Coffman came to Duke in 1980 for internship, and he stayed through residency, fellowship training and an illustrious career as faculty member and institutional leader here at Duke, at the Durham VA Medical Center, and at Duke-NUS.

Among his many accomplishments, Coffman is a recognized national and international leader in nephrology. He served as president of the American Society of Nephrology in 2008-2009.

In 2012, a Duke team led by Coffman was awarded a five-year, $5.8 million grant from NIDDK to create the Duke O’Brien Kidney Research Center. This past year, he received the Excellence Award for Hypertension Research from the American Heart Association, as well as a DukeMed Distinguished Faculty Award.

In addition to his departmental and divisional roles, Coffman has served as director of the Duke Cardiovascular Research Center that has activities both here at Duke and at Duke-NUS. Starting with that role, Coffman has spent an increasing amount of time in Singapore in the last few years, most recently as executive vice dean and director of the Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders Program. He will become dean of Duke-NUS when the current dean, Ranga Krishnan, MD, PhD, steps down (sometime before June 30, 2014).

Dr. Krishnan is professor and former chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and has served as Duke-NUS dean for the past 7 years.

In 2005, Duke and the National University of Singapore (NUS) initiated a partnership to establish a new medical school in Singapore.

As dean, Coffman will continue to build on the legacy of success in education and research at Duke-NUS, working with its hospital partner, SingHealth, to develop a world-class academic medical center, and strengthening the research partnerships between Duke-NUS and our own campus. Coffman will maintain his academic appointment in the Department of Medicine.