Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P.


Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P.

Speaker Year: 2015

Commencement Speech

Dr Kenneth Kaushansky earned his B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed his Internal Medicine Internship, Residency and Chief Medical Residency, and Fellowship in Hematology at the University of Washington. He joined the faculty at the University of Washington and quickly rose through the academic ranks to become Professor in 1995. Following his service as Hematology Section Chief at the University of Washington Medical Center, Dr. Kaushansky was named Helen M. Ranney Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego in February 2002. Dr. Kaushansky is currently the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean, School of Medicine at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York. During his career Dr. Kaushansky has been a successful medical educator, clinician, biomedical researcher and healthcare administrator.

Dr. Kaushansky has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health to perform cutting edge biomedical research for 30 years. The goal of the Kaushansky laboratory is to understand, and manipulate for therapeutic benefit, blood cell production. Towards this end, his team has cloned several of the genes important in the growth and differentiation of blood cells, including thrombopoietin, a key regulator of stem cell and platelet production. This work ultimately lead to others developing two drugs currently approved by the FDA to treat low blood platelet counts, and has resulting in his penning well over 200 scholarly publications.

Throughout his career, Dr. Kaushansky has been an excellent medical educator and mentor. He has mentored over two dozen post-doctoral fellows, numerous graduate students, and several faculty members whoare now leaders in their scientific or educational fields, including three who serve as chairs of Departments of Medicine at the University of Michigan, University of Florida and University of Illinois at Chicago. Nearly all of those students and post-doctoral fellows who have trained with Dr. Kaushansky are faculty members at Academic Medical Centers or Biomedical Research Institutions.

Dr. Kaushansky has been recognized for his scientific, educational and clinical contributions by election to several honor societies, including the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. Dr.Kaushansky is a Master of the American College of Physicians, is a past-president of the American Society of Hematology (2007-2008) and of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2004 – 2005). He also served a 5-year term as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Blood (1997-2002) and is the lead editor of Williams Hematology, the primary textbook of blood disorders in the world.