Dear Colleagues-Friends,

Earlier this week, we had the privilege and opportunity to honor faculty throughout the university for their excellence – two of whom are leaders in VCU School of Medicine.

President Michael Rao praised all these leaders for their commitment to making a real difference, for their excellence in tackling difficult human issues, and for their roles as great ambassadors for VCU. President Rao also affirmed our University’s unwavering commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Provost Hackett also thanked our leaders for their community engagement and Dr. Marsha Rappley, CEO of VCUHS, commented on how inspirational these leaders are and how uplifting their stories and accomplishments.

Michael Neale, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, human genetics and psychology VCU School of Medicine, and associate director, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, received the VCU Distinguished Scholarship Award. Dr. Neale’s work focuses on how genetic, environmental and behavioral factors interact and contribute to illnesses such as substance abuse and psychiatric disorders is no small task. In addition to his remarkable level of productivity, Dr. Neale is also an outstanding teacher and mentor. It is estimated that over 2,000 researchers in his field have been trained by Dr. Neale … significantly influencing the next generation of genetics researchers.

Harinder Dhindsa, M.D., associate professor and chief of emergency medicine in VCU’s School of Medicine, medical director for the university’s Critical Care Transport team, was the recipient of the Outstanding Term Faculty award.

Dr. Dhindsa leads the clinical operations of the Emergency Department and has worked tirelessly with all his colleagues to improve efficiencies that raise the level of care patients receive. HD has an exceptional record of teaching and service. He is equally passionate about ensuring that not only future physicians are trained well, but other hospital personnel, including EMTs and paramedics, are also trained well to create an environment of first-class support for patients at all levels of interaction with health care staff.

You can read more about each of these stellar colleagues and their accomplishments at:

Please join me in congratulating Michael and HD.

Thank you for your leadership too.

Warm regards,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System