Michael Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is stepping down from these roles effective Aug. 31 to assume a “faculty position,” the university wrote in a news release Tuesday.
Cain will return to a faculty position in the Jacobs School’s Department of Cardiovascular Medicine after serving as dean of the Jacobs School since 2006 and as vice president for health sciences since 2011.
As dean, Cain led the university’s five health sciences schools — the Jacobs School, School of Dental Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the School of Public Health and Health Professions — and also served as a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering.
Cain did not explain his decision to step down.
President Satish Tripathi called Cain an “exemplary leader,” and highlighted his commitment to research and clinical work. He also noted that UB was founded 175 years ago as a medical school and that Cain leaves an “extraordinary” legacy in the Queen City.
“His enduring commitment to UB’s mission of excellence has profoundly enhanced the impact and stature of the Jacobs School and all of UB’s health science schools, and this, in turn, has contributed immeasurably to the health and vitality of Western New York,” Tripathi said in the news release.
Cain was one of the visionaries behind UB’s 640,000-square-foot Academic Health Center, which is the region's first academic health center. The medical school and research building was designed for undergraduate and graduate education in downtown Buffalo.
And during Cain’s time as dean, the Jacobs School’s underrepresented minority population increased from 6.4% to 19%.
Cain also helped establish new departments and programs, such as the Office for Interprofessional Education, which now serves approximately 2,500 students across eight schools, and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which promotes diversity across campus.
Cain also helped initiate the Office for Clinical Affairs, the Office for Health Policy and the Office of Accreditation and Quality Improvement. He was also responsible for establishing UB’s undergraduate neuroscience major.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cain worked alongside local and state politicians as the co-leader of the Western New York Vaccination Hub and as a member of the WNY Control Room, which was tasked with monitoring regional metrics related to the outbreak.
Cain will step down from his position effective Aug. 31. UB will begin an international search for the next vice president and dean of the Jacobs School in the near future.
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