News Release: School of Medicine

Nov. 9,  2009

American Association of Medical Colleges Names Thomas J. Lawley Chair-Elect

News Article ImageThomas J. Lawley, MD, dean of Emory University's School of Medicine

Thomas J. Lawley, MD, dean of Emory University's School of Medicine, has been named chair-elect of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Lawley's one-year-term will begin next year, and he will succeed current chair Deborah E. Powell, MD, associate vice president for new medical education programs and dean emeritus of the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Lawley, a professor of dermatology, was named dean in September 1996 after previously serving as interim dean and executive associate dean. In his role at Emory, he has increased school NIH-sponsored research funding nearly five-fold to more than $265 million per year, ranking Emory 15 among U.S. medical schools. Under his leadership, strategic plans for research and teaching have been implemented and a new, innovative curriculum has been created.

A nationally known expert in autoimmune skin diseases, Lawley has published more than 150 original articles and chapters. His research interests include cell biology of endothelial cells and regulation of cell adhesion molecules and inflammation.

Lawley spent the early years of his career as a clinical investigator, serving as senior investigator at the dermatology branch of the NIH's National Cancer Institute 1981 to 1988. Lawley later became the chair of Emory's Department of Dermatology.

In addition to serving on various boards and committees, including NIH study section and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council, Lawley is president of the Emory Medical Care Foundation and is on the board of directors of the Emory-Children's Center. He is immediate past president of the Society for Investigative Dermatology and a former chair of the AAMC Council of Deans. He also serves on the board of the Children's Research Center, The Emory Clinic and Emory Healthcare. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians and the American Clinical and Climatological Association.

Lawley received his medical degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and completed his residency training at Yale, SUNY at Buffalo, and the National Institutes of Health. 


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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