Inaugural Dean and Professor of The University of Texas School of Public Health San Antonio
Vasan Ramachandran, MD, a distinguished public health researcher at Boston University and principal investigator of the Framingham Heart Study, has been named founding dean of The University of Texas School of Public Health San Antonio. The new school is a strategic collaboration of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) and The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and is one of three schools of public health in The University of Texas System.
Ramachandran has served on the faculty of the Boston University School of Medicine and School of Public Health for more than a quarter-century and as principal investigator of the Framingham Heart Study since 2014. The Framingham study is a population-based, observational cohort study initiated by the U.S. Public Health Service in 1948, and subsequently funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to prospectively investigate the epidemiology and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It has grown into an ongoing, longitudinal study gathering prospective data on a wide variety of biological and lifestyle risk factors and on cardiovascular, neurological and other types of disease outcomes across three generations of participants and its accompanying Omni cohorts of non-white individuals.
Ramachandran also has served since 2019 as one of the principal investigators for the Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal Study (RURAL) aimed at addressing critical gaps in the knowledge of heart and lung disorders in rural counties in the southeastern U.S. This study is of 4,600 individuals ages 25-64 from 10 rural counties in Southern Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta.
With a current active annual research grant portfolio of nearly $20 million and as a recipient of more than $100 million from the National Institutes of Health over the last 20 years, Dr. Ramachandran is a prolific and collaborative investigator. He has more than 1,060 publications to his name, including many in prominent journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the Journal of the American Medical Association and Circulation.
The new school is a strategic collaboration of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) and The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and is one of three schools of public health in The University of Texas System.
As the seventh-largest city in the U.S., San Antonio is a prime location for a school of public health. It is the epicenter of health care in South Texas and is the largest city in the United States without an independent school of public health. Located on the Greehey Campus of UT Health San Antonio will provide optimal access to the region’s major medical and academic health facilities.
Accepting students in 2024
Through its coursework, the School of Public Health will provide a unique curriculum by integrating advanced health research, collaborating on new academic programs to serve a diverse population and building public health leaders who understand and are dedicated to finding positive interventions to mitigate our greatest public health challenges. The first doctoral students will be admitted in 2025.
Fostering inclusion and diversity is foundational to our university mission because it demonstrates a sense of belonging and it ensures everyone is treated with respect, and have agency and voice, no matter one’s race, gender, age, ethnicity, cultural heritage, nationality, religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or socioeconomic, veteran or ability status.