Newswise — Saint Louis University has named Philip O. Alderson, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, effective April 1.

Alderson currently is the chairman of the department of radiology at Columbia University and director of radiology service at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia. He also is the James Picker Professor of Radiology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.

"When I came for my interviews at Saint Louis University, I was particularly attracted by the school's authentic tradition of education and service," Alderson said. "In addition, the new Doisy Research Center is tangible evidence of the commitment of Saint Louis University to high level research. Serving as dean of Saint Louis University School of Medicine is a wonderful opportunity and I can't wait to get started."

A nuclear medicine physician and general diagnostic radiologist, Alderson will become the 12th dean of Saint Louis University's School of Medicine.

"Dr. Alderson is a nationally recognized radiologist with excellent administrative experience and outstanding academic credentials," said Joe Weixlmann, Ph.D., provost of Saint Louis University.

"He has held a wealth of leadership positions and is committed to furthering Saint Louis University's mission as an academic medical school. And as a former resident of St. Louis, he has experienced first-hand what makes our region so special."

Alderson earned his bachelor's and medical degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. He completed his residency in radiology and nuclear medicine at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine.

Alderson has been a professor of radiology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University since 1980. He has a special research interest in molecular imaging and disorders of the pulmonary vasculature.

Before joining Columbia University, Alderson was a faculty member from 1975 to 1980 at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, starting as a part-time instructor and completing his career there as an associate professor of radiology and environmental health sciences.

He served as a major in the U.S. Air Force, conducting research for the Defense Nuclear Agency at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute.

Prior to that, Alderson was an instructor in radiology at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis.

Alderson has been active in a number of professional radiology organizations. He currently is president of the American Board of Radiology, and prior to that was president of the American Roentgen Ray Society, the oldest radiology society in the United States.

Alderson also served as a board member and officer of the Academy of Radiology Research, the organization that successfully lobbied for the creation of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, a new institute within the National Institutes of Health.

Alderson has made more than 200 presentations at local, national and international meetings and scientific symposia.

He is listed in "Who's Who in the World," "Who's Who in America," "Who's Who in American Education," Who's Who Among America's Teachers," "Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare" and "Best Doctors in America."

Alderson succeeds Patricia Monteleone, M.D., who is retiring after serving as dean for 14 years. Monteleone, one of the first women appointed to lead a U.S. medical school, has spent more than 50 years at Saint Louis University, starting as an undergraduate.

"I want to thank Pat Monteleone for all that she has done for medical education and patient care. She has dedicated her professional life to Saint Louis University and we all have benefited from her thoughtful, and decisive leadership," said University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J. "I am sure Dr. Alderson will provide the same dedication and leadership as he takes over as dean this spring."

Biondi also acknowledged the hard work of the search committee for the dean of the school of medicine, which was led by Raul Artal, M.D., chairman of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health.

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first M.D. degree west of the Mississippi River. Saint Louis University School of Medicine is a pioneer in geriatric medicine, organ transplantation, chronic disease prevention, cardiovascular disease, neurosciences and vaccine research, among others. The School of Medicine trains physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health services on a local, national and international level.