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Nighttime view of Temple University Children's Medical Center Temple University Hospital in background, Kresge Hall (left) and Medical Research Building (right) in foreground Old Medical School building in foreground, Jones Hall, General Services building and Student Faculty Center to the right

OFFICE OF news communications

News Archive


April 26, 2011

CONTACT: Giselle Zayon giselle.zayon@temple.edu



Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACSOn April 1, 2011, Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACS joined Temple as Dean of Temple University School of Medicine, Senior Executive Vice President for the Health Sciences, and CEO of the Temple University Health System. This means leadership responsibility for a 920-bed academic medical center with a clinical operating budget of $1.2 billion, 8,000 employees and 1,500 medical students and residents.


"Temple is a great institution—I am thrilled to be part of it,” Dr. Kaiser says.


A physician-administrator with more than three decades of experience, Dr. Kaiser recognizes Temple’s unique role as a sophisticated academic medical center and safety net hospital in Philadelphia. “I intend to advance Temple’s mission with candor and respect, to come at its issues head on,” he says.


Prior to coming to Temple, Dr. Kaiser served as President of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he was responsible for six schools, more than 10,000 faculty and trainees, and a 900-member physician practice.


The leadership qualities that Dr. Kaiser brings to Temple—careful listening, sound judgment, and the ability to take decisive action—are ones he developed during many years in administrative roles. And they will be key to Temple’s continued development in education, clinical practice, and biomedical research.


Prior to assuming the presidency at the University of Texas Health Science Center, he was the John Rhea Barton Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He also served as the University Health System’s surgeon-in-chief.


Dr. Kaiser was initially recruited to Penn in 1991. His charge was to create a thoracic surgery division. By 1993, the number of chest surgeries performed by the university’s surgeons jumped from 110 to 1,200 annually. More positions of responsibility were added to his dossier. He founded and directed Penn’s lung transplantation program, directed its Center for Lung Cancers and Related Disorders, co-directed its Thoracic Oncology Research Laboratory, and served as principal investigator for Penn’s role in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial. In 2001, he was named chair of Penn’s Department of Surgery.


In earlier positions, Dr. Kaiser served on the faculty at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Washington University School of Medicine.


Dr. Kaiser is author of more than 250 original papers and author or co-author of 13 books, and is a current or past editorial board member of the Annals of Surgery, American Journal of Surgery, the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, and a half dozen other prestigious journals.


He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, and has accrued multiple citations in regional peer-nominated “Top Doc” and “Best Doctors in America” lists. He has been recognized with a number of other honors and awards.

Dr. Kaiser’s own interests center on lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma and mediastinal tumors. In 1991 he helped to pioneer video thoracoscopy—and patented instrumentation for it.


“It was during my general surgery residency at UCLA that I knew my main clinical interest would be lung-related surgery,” he recalls. In 1983 as the thoracic surgical resident at the Toronto General Hospital, he participated in the world’s first successful lung transplant performed by his chief, Dr. Joel Cooper, in a patient with pulmonary fibrosis.


Dr. Kaiser will maintain time in his schedule at Temple for a limited surgical practice. “It’s important,” he says, noting that he has been working in hospitals since he was 15, when a surgeon in the St. Louis neighborhood of his boyhood helped him get a job during high school as an orderly. He says, even as a kid all I wanted to be was a physician.”


“I am incredibly pleased to be at Temple,” he says, “The more faculty, students, staff and alumni I meet, the more impressed I become.”


Dr. Kaiser describes Temple people with words such as smart, hard-working, and unpretentious. He says he’s taken with Temple’s history, its mission, and its role in Philadelphia medicine, clinical practice and biomedical research.


“Temple is large, complex organization with significant, complex challenges,” says Dr. Kaiser. “We have great leadership in place and working together as an integrated team with a clearly articulated vision and approach I’m confident that we can accomplish great things.


“Temple has a unique role, an irreplaceable one, and I intend to protect and champion it,” he says.