UMKC Alumnus Named Dean of School of Medicine

Alexander Norbash has a background in research and health-care collaboration
Alexander Norbash portrait

Alumnus Alexander Norbash, M.D., M.S., FACR, has been named the new dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. He will begin March 11.

Norbash will be coming from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) where he serves as chair and professor of radiology at the School of Medicine. His personal and professional experiences uniquely position him to lead the School of Medicine during this time of rapid advancement in the health-care enterprise at UMKC.

“I am thrilled to be returning to my hometown of Kansas City and my alma mater where I received an innovative and exceptional medical education at the UMKC School of Medicine,” Norbash said. “It is an exciting time for the school and the UMKC Health Sciences District, and I hope to enhance and contribute to UMKC’s upward trajectory. We commit to educating our future health-care leaders, fostering and implementing advances in clinical care, facilitating research and discovery, with the goal of creating great outcomes in our service to the community.”

Prior to UCSD, Norbash held multiple academic and leadership appointments, including at Stanford University School of Medicine, Harvard University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine.

Norbash grew up in Platte City, the son of a rural doctor. He discovered the innovative UMKC School of Medicine and graduated in 1986 from the combined six-year B.A./M.D. program. From there he went on to further training in radiology and embarked on a career rich in clinical work, research and innovation. Along the way, he received a master’s degree in health-care management from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2004 and combined his clinical and research acumen to drive excellence, innovation and collaboration at top universities and hospitals across the country.

“Dr. Norbash has the ideal set of work and life experiences to help UMKC achieve its vision of continued excellence for our School of Medicine and growing our UMKC Health Sciences district into a preeminent academic medical center,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. “He represents two passions that have been the hallmarks of our healthcare tradition at UMKC – pursuing equitable health care for all and harnessing innovation and technology to improve medical care. Those traits in him will be important assets in his new role.”

Students dressed in white coats

The School of Medicine is expanding in profound ways, both in medical education and the research enterprise and also in its physical footprint with a $120 million Healthcare Delivery and Innovation Building set to break ground in 2024 and a new $14.5 million medical education building underway on its St. Joseph campus.

“While interviewing Dr. Norbash, it became clear that he will bring an abundance of new ideas and experiences to propel the work being done at the School of Medicine,” said UMKC Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jenny Lundgren, Ph.D.

He will succeed Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., another proud UMKC School of Medicine alum, who just this past month won national honors with the Association of American Medical Colleges Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Engagement. Jackson will continue as a faculty member and as a special advisor to the Chancellor on health affairs.

The UMKC School of Medicine, the top public medical school in Missouri for primary care, opened in 1971 to meet the heath-care needs of the state and the nation. Using an innovative approach, the school accepts students directly out of high school for the combined B.A./M.D. program that allows students to graduate in six years – vs. eight – with their medical degrees. The school also offers a traditional four-year program as well as four master’s degree programs in anesthesia, physician assistant, bioinformatics, and health professions education.

UMKC is one of only 20 universities in the U.S. to offer medical education along with dentistry, nursing and pharmacy on one campus. Combined with Children’s Mercy, University Health and city, county and state health organizations, it offers a unique UMKC Health Sciences District.