News Release

May 27, 2011

Contact: Maureen McGuire, 860-679-4523

New Chairman of the Department of Medicine at UConn Health Center

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Dr. Paul R. Skolnik, an internationally prominent infectious diseases specialist and academician, has been appointed professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

He joins UConn from Boston University School of Medicine, where he served as a professor of medicine, and Boston Medical Center, where he served as chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases, founding director of the Center for HIV/AIDS Care and Research, and program director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program.

“Along with working at the forefront of infectious diseases research and clinical care, Skolnik also has considerable experience in medical education and mentoring aspiring physicians. We are excited to have him join the UConn School of Medicine in this leadership position,” said Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, vice president for health affairs and dean of the UConn School of Medicine.

The Department of Medicine includes 13 divisions that provide primary and specialty care services to the community. In addition, the Department of Medicine supports a robust and collaborative array of educational programs for physicians and physicians-in-training, including graduate medical education, undergraduate medical education and continuing medical education.

“I’m looking forward to joining the department and the UConn Health Center community as it continues moving forward in great ways. This is a wonderful time to help further expand and strengthen the educational, research and clinical programs of the UConn Health Center,” Skolnik added.

A graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he also completed his internship and residency in internal medicine, Skolnik's career has focused on infectious diseases since completing his fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Before joining Boston University School of Medicine in 2001, he was on the faculty of Tufts University School of Medicine-New England Medical Center, where he served as associate program director of the General Clinical Research Center, among other responsibilities. Skolnik is a standing member of the NIH AIDS Immunology and Pathogenesis Study section and has a substantial record of serving as a mentor for successful basic and clinical research trainees on NIH-funded awards. His clinical research interests include studies of HIV-related therapeutics, adherence and retention in care. He has been site leader for the Clinical Research Site of the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit at BMC. His current basic research interests include Toll-Like Receptor (TLR)-mediated innate immune responses, modeling of cytokine and chemokine networks, and the interactions of microRNAs with the innate immune system in the lungs of HIV-positive patients. 

At UConn, he will continue his research pursuits and will see patients in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Skolnik’s appointment follows a national search led by Dr. Denis Lafreniere, the Health Center’s Interim Chair of the Department of Surgery. Skolnik succeeds Dr. Joseph Palmisano, who will continue seeing patients and mentoring students, residents and fellows.

Caption: Dr. Paul R. Skolnik, formerly of Boston University School of Medicine, is the new chairman of the Department of Medicine at the UConn Health Center.

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