Li named Carle Illinois College of Medicine dean, chief academic officer

King Li, M.D., MBA, the senior associate dean for clinical and translational research at Wake Forest University and the deputy director of that university’s comprehensive cancer center, will become the inaugural dean and chief academic officer of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine effective Oct. 1.

The appointment will be considered by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at its Sept. 8 meeting.

Edward Feser, the interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at Illinois, described Li as a renowned researcher, educator, inventor and clinician in molecular imaging and radiology. Feser and Carle Chief Medical Officer Matthew Gibb, M.D., recommended Li from a pool of finalists identified in an international search.

“Dr. Li has a deep knowledge of all facets of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine concept, particularly its engineering-based foundation and public-private structure,” Feser said. “He is a highly regarded scholar who commands respect in his discipline and in the medical profession. And he is excited about engaging faculty, disciplines and colleges across the campus to help this new college succeed.”

“We were fortunate to consider the applications of a number of outstanding candidates, and Dr. Li possesses the academic, clinical and technical skills – along with the personal attributes – to lead the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and to galvanize public support,” Gibb said.

Li’s experience includes research, clinical, educational and entrepreneurial roles at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and Stanford University, as well as Wake Forest and Houston Methodist Hospital. He studied physiology and biochemistry at the University of Toronto, earned a medical degree from Toronto and an MBA from San Jose State University.

He also holds 16 patents, with another six pending, and is the Wells Fargo Faculty Scholar at Wake Forest, established for the recruitment of faculty whose research shows promise for generating significant intellectual property and commercialization.

The Carle Illinois College of Medicine is the first college of medicine in the nation specifically designed at the intersection of engineering and medicine. A partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health System, the college will integrate the university’s unparalleled assets in engineering, technology and supercomputing with Carle’s nationally recognized, comprehensive health care system.

The college is expected to accept its first class of students in 2018.