Robert D. Simari, M.D., named executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center

Posted on Jan 10, 2018 in Alumni News and News

The University of Kansas, in consultation with The University of Kansas Health System and The University of Kansas Physicians, announced that Robert D. Simari, M.D., the Franklin E. Murphy Professor in Cardiology, has been named executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Robert D. Simari, executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center“Dr. Simari has served as interim executive vice chancellor since July 1, and he has provided tremendous leadership and stability to the medical center during a time of transition,” said Douglas A. Girod, chancellor of the University of Kansas. “I am pleased KU Medical Center is in capable hands, and I look forward to working closely with Dr. Simari to advance the medical center’s mission.”

Simari will continue to serve as executive dean for the School of Medicine. A national search for his replacement will begin in the coming weeks.

“As an alumnus and executive dean of the KU School of Medicine, it is a great honor and a humbling experience to be named executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center,” said Dr. Simari. “This is an exciting time in the 114-year history of the medical center, and I look forward to collaborating with our partners and other university leaders to continue to train the best health professionals for Kansas, improve the health of our region and discover the cures and treatments of tomorrow.”

A 1986 graduate of the KU School of Medicine, Simari has served as executive dean of the medical school since March 2014. He currently serves as the chief academic and administrative officer for the School of Medicine and provides oversight and leadership to all three medical school campuses: Kansas City, Wichita and Salina.

Simari has been instrumental in guiding the School of Medicine’s new curriculum development and the construction of the Health Education Building, both of which debuted this past summer. Simari is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He is the vice president of the Association of University Cardiologists and will serve as president in 2018.

Prior to joining the KU Medical Center, Simari served as vice chair for the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and co-principal investigator of the Center for Translational Science Activities at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he also served as a physician scientist, cardiologist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

While at the Mayo Clinic, Simari’s research laboratory made fundamental discoveries in the areas of thrombosis and identification of vascular stem cells, and for 10 years he has led the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute-funded Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network, which performs early phase clinical trials in cardiovascular cell therapy. In addition, he continues his cardiology practice at The University of Kansas Health System.

Simari earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. Following medical school, he completed his residency at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, then served fellowships in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology at the Mayo Clinic. Following his clinical training, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan.

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Message: Confronting racism and hate

Posted on Aug 14, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Chancellor Douglas A. Girod sent the following email message to University of Kansas staff and faculty on Aug. 14, 2017.

Confronting racism and hate

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to share our profound sadness and concern at the events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, beginning Friday night. Like many of you, we were horrified at the sight of white supremacists with racist and hate-filled messages marching on a university campus. Even worse was the violence, injury and loss of life that ensued. It was a terrible weekend for Charlottesville and our nation, and a reminder of how much work we have left to do as a society.

The expressions of neo-Nazism and white supremacy at the heart of the weekend’s events are heartbreaking, sickening and unacceptable. There can be no place for that kind of racism and hate in a civilized society — and that includes at the University of Kansas.

Beginning Saturday evening, several KU offices and leaders have used social media to denounce the abhorrent behavior and statements of white supremacists and express concern for the victims. We want the people of Charlottesville and our colleagues at the University of Virginia to know they are in our thoughts, and their experiences will inform our efforts to confront hate and make our KU community more inclusive. Moreover, we support UVA President Teresa Sullivan in condemning the despicable acts and sentiments that have affected their community and our nation.

As faculty, staff and students return to Mount Oread this week, we will apply ourselves to discussing how we can continue to confront hatred and bigotry, both through our scholarship and efforts outside the classroom. More broadly, we will commit ourselves to our ongoing work to address diversity and inclusion on our campuses, and to ensure that all Jayhawks feel valued and welcome here.

The University of Kansas is a marketplace of ideas. We will – and should – have difficult conversations and disagreements with each other on complicated topics. But racism, intolerance and hatred – and violence borne of those views – are never acceptable at KU and, in fact, are antithetical to our values as a university. We pledge to work with all of you to ensure we live up to those values and do our part to condemn and confront prejudice and hate wherever they exist.


Douglas A. Girod

Neeli Bendapudi
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for the Lawrence Campus

Robert Simari
Executive Vice Chancellor for the KU Medical Center and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine

View all messages at

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