Western appoints new Schulich dean

The University of Western Ontario has announced the appointment of Dr. Michael J. Strong as dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Strong will begin his term July 1 and will serve until 2015. He replaces Dr. Carol Herbert, who announced her intention to step down more than a year ago after completing two terms and eleven years as dean.

“Michael Strong will be a superb leader for the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry,” says Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Fred Longstaffe, Chair of the Selection Committee. “He has an impressive array of experience and accomplishment in so many of the key areas required for inspired leadership in medical and dental education and research. Mike has the vision to lead the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry to even greater heights.”

Born in Windsor and hailing from Leamington, Strong undertook his undergraduate training in biochemistry and medicine at Queens University, neurology training at The University of Western Ontario, and postgraduate training at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

He is currently Chief of Neurology and Co-Chair of the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at the London Health Sciences Centre and Western, Director of the London Motor Neuron Diseases Clinic at the London Health Sciences Centre, the Arthur J. Hudson Chair in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Research (ALS), and a scientist at the Robarts Research Institute, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

“Under Dean Herbert’s leadership, the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry has become a centerpiece of success at The University of Western Ontario and is a key contributor to the present and future well-being of London, southwestern Ontario and beyond,” says Western President Amit Chakma. “Accordingly, we are extremely fortunate to have attracted such a talented and energetic individual as Michael Strong to be its next dean.”

Strong has an enviable record in clinical education and practice, research and service. He is a recipient of the University Students’ Council Award for Excellence in Teaching every year since 2004, winner of the 2005 Sheila Essay and the 2008 Forbes Norris Awards, both international recognitions of his leadership in the area of ALS, editor or co-editor of three textbooks on ALS, and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Since 1990, he has also cared for patients from across southwestern Ontario with ALS, including an outreach clinic in Windsor for patients from Essex County. For these and other exemplary contributions across clinical education, research and academic leadership, Strong was awarded Western’s highest academic honour in 2009, when he was named Distinguished University Professor.