Dear Members of the University Community:

We seem to be in the midst of many transitions these days, courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic. At least one shift, however, is occurring as planned: On Monday, June 1, after 22 years of transformative leadership at the University of Pittsburgh, Art Levine will officially step down as our senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine.

Next Monday will also mark Art’s first day in his new role as executive director of Pitt’s Brain Institute, a neuroscience research center spanning more than 150 researchers from across the University. 

Art will join the Brain Institute alongside its founding scientific director, Peter Strick, and will bring decades of research experience and clinical leadership to his new position. At the Brain Institute, he will establish a research lab dedicated to studying cellular processes that may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disorder affecting an estimated 5.8 million Americans.

Art is leaving his successor, Anantha Shekhar, with a set of institutions—our six health sciences schools—that are highly regarded for their excellence in education, cutting-edge biomedical research and clinical training. 

I opened this message noting that these changes are occurring amid the many disruptions of this pandemic. Normally, transitions of this magnitude—involving one of the most important leadership positions at our university—would be marked by much more pomp and circumstance, both to recognize Art for his many and lasting contributions and to warmly welcome Anantha to our community.

While we necessarily postpone those events to a time when they can occur safely, let us not lose the spirit of this important milestone. Please join me in wishing both Anantha and Art success in their new roles. This is an important transition for the University and one that we are fortunate to make from a position of enormous strength thanks to the remarkable leaders in our ranks.


Patrick Gallagher