Peter Igarashi, MD, a nationally recognized physician-scientist, medical education innovator and the current dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming UC Riverside School of Medicine Commencement and Hippocratic Oath Ceremony on Friday, June 2, 2023.
Igarashi's roots run deep at UC Riverside and within the University of California system. He was a member of the inaugural class of the UCR/UCLA Program in Biomedical Sciences, an accelerated program where UCR undergraduates began their medical education at UCR before finishing their final two years of medical training at UCLA. He then moved to the University of California Davis Medical Center to complete his residency in internal medicine, before going to Yale University for a nephrology fellowship.
"Dr. Igarashi is a shining example of the power of the University of California's medical education system,” said Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and the Mark and Pam Dean Deborah Deas, MD, MPH. “As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the School of Medicine and reflect back on the more than 40 years of medical education at UCR, we are thrilled to welcome him back to where he began his career in medicine. I know he will inspire and encourage our graduates as they take the next steps in their own journeys."
“It is a tremendous honor to be invited back to my alma mater to deliver the commencement address on the occasion of the UC Riverside School of Medicine’s 10th anniversary,” Igarashi said. “I began my career as a physician-scientist in the research laboratories at UC Riverside, and the lessons I learned in the Biomedical Sciences Program have guided my work as a researcher, teacher, and clinician. I am particularly gratified by UC Riverside’s success in building a diverse and inclusive community that educates students who are well-prepared to improve the health and wellbeing of all people throughout the Inland Empire and beyond.”
In September 2022, Igarashi was named the dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine. Prior to joining Stony Brook, he was the Nesbitt chair, professor, and head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. During his seven-year tenure, he oversaw more than 600 full-time and affiliate faculty, 100 adjunct faculty, and 240-plus residents and fellows. His leadership resulted in a 60% increase in NIH funding to the department, the nearly complete elimination of gender compensation disparities, and the creation of a new Office of Faculty Affairs and Diversity.
Igarashi is an active NIH-funded physician-scientist with research interests in polycystic kidney disease (PKD), transcriptional regulation, epigenetics, and kidney development. He has received more than $25 million in NIH grant support over the years. Prior to his position at the University of Minnesota Medical School, he served as chief of the Division of Nephrology and founding director of the NIH-funded O'Brien Kidney Research Core Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.